January 2015 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

I hope you all enjoyed the excellent guest post from Chau Le earlier this week.  I know I found her story inspiring, especially the way she let go of 60% of her wardrobe in just one hour!   I love reading about others’ journeys to break free from closet overload and excessive shopping.   If you’d like to share your story of recovery with your fellow readers (you don’t need to have a blog and you can remain anonymous if you wish), please contact me.

Well, we’ve reached the end of the first month of 2015!   I have finished with my 2014 wrap-up posts and will soon delve into goals for this year, my January accountability, and an update on the first month of my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge.   But since this is the last post of the month, it’s time for another installment of “useful links” on a variety of subjects.

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On Paring Down, Project 333, and World Travel

The following is a guest post from Chau Le of Milo Theory, a globetrotter (14+ countries) and avid Krav Maga addict (she’s training to become an instructor). Chau lived abroad in Taiwan and Spain during her college years, picking up languages and a love for exotic, foreign foods. She relocated to sunny California after graduating from Portland State University and is currently pursuing a career in Communications and PR.  She loves cookies and considers her move to go to graduate school in Belgium (and quitting after 10 days) to be one of the hardest and best decisions of her life.

Chau Le, The Traveling Cherub

Chau Le enjoying her European journey. 

We’ve entered a new year, and can put Black Friday, Christmas sales, and crowded January returning sessions behind us.   So I thought it would be a good time to write about how Project 333 instilled a zen-like calmness in me that helped prevent me from rushing to Macy’s at 5 a.m., possibly saving me from actual bodily harm from fighting the crazed masses trying to get the cheapest deals at the door.

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January 2015 Closet Purge and Inventory

In my last post, I mentioned that I recently did another closet purge.  It wasn’t anything too extreme, but after seeing how few wardrobe “all-stars” I had last year, as well as how many closet “benchwarmers,” I felt compelled to do some downsizing.   So I took a few hours this past weekend to give everything I own a second look (using the “first impression test” that I wrote about here).   Today’s post reveals what I’ve opted to pass on, as well as my new closet inventory.

Shopping and wardrobe statistics

Rethinking My Closet Inventory

In previous closet inventories, I’ve focused primarily on my “regular clothes,” those pieces I wear when I’m out and about.  However, since so much of my life involves being at home, walking, and going to the gym, I decided to start including my entire wardrobe in these updates (with the exception of undergarments and sleepwear).  I need to start considering what I wear for my day-to-day life, which involves a lot of sitting in front of my home computer wearing lounge wear.  Those clothes count and I need to start treating them more as if they matter.   I need to feel just as good in my at home clothes as I do in what I wear when I’m out and about.

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2014 By the Numbers: The Wardrobe “Benchwarmers”

On Friday, I shared the good news portion of my 2014 wardrobe review, my closet “all-stars.”  I appreciate all of the excellent feedback I received on that post.  I especially liked learning about the way others track their wardrobes and work to make sure what they have gets worn on a regular basis.   I realize that wearing something five, eight, or even twelve times per year isn’t exactly stellar or earthshattering and that many of you wear your clothes far more often. But, as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day (or even two years), so we have to start somewhere and build from there.

2014 Wardrobe Benchwarmers

I definitely have a lot of room for improvement in terms of frequency of wear for my clothing.  Seeing my 2014 numbers is really what pushed me to start my new “Love It, Wear It” challenge.  The stats in black and white also propelled me to do another closet purge, which I will share in a future post, along with an updated inventory.

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2014 By the Numbers: The Wardrobe “All-Stars”

These year-end wrap-up posts are quite enlightening for me to write and I hope you also enjoy reading them.   If any of you were wondering what prompted me to start my 2015 wardrobe challenge (now called “Love It, Wear It” or LIWI – a big thanks to Kim for the suggestion!), you’ll better understand after reading this post and my next one.

2014 Wardrobe All-Stars

I have now been tracking my wardrobe for four years.   Ever since the beginning of 2011, I’ve recorded how often I’ve worn all of the clothing and shoes in my closet (I haven’t tracked jewelry and other accessories, but it might be time to start!).   Each year, I’ve aimed to improve upon my stats from the previous year.   Seeing that 2012’s numbers were just as abysmal as those from 2011 was what prompted me to start this blog!  And the blog has been helpful in that I did start wearing more of what I own and have pared down my wardrobe to half its previous size.

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December Accountability Update and 2014 Wrap-Up

It’s time for my final monthly accountability update for 2014.   As long-time readers know, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet during the previous month, what I wore, and how I did with my shopping budget and rules.  It’s my way of keeping myself honest and on track with my goals.   This update will also include a year-end wrap-up in terms of my budget and item limit.  Other goals – including wardrobe “all-stars” and “benchwarmers” – will be covering in future posts.

Wrapping up 2014

What Left My Wardrobe and Why

I always start these reports with what left my closet during the previous month.  During December, I purged just two items from my wardrobe:

  • Black lace sweatshirt (returned to store)
  • White cardigan (slated for donation or consignment)

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Ending Closet Chaos: My New Book and Next Wardrobe Challenge

At the end of my “worst purchases of 2014” post last week, I mentioned that my second book is available.   In today’s post, I share more information about the book, as well as the next wardrobe challenge I’ve opted to take on for 2015.

About the Book

My second book is titled End Closet Chaos:  Wardrobe Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic.”  It contains the best of my wardrobe management tips and strategies from the blog, categorized into logical sections related to various closet conundrums.   The solutions in the book have all been revised and enhanced from the original versions that appeared on the blog, and some new material has also been created specifically for the book.

End Closet Chaos book cover

You do not need to be a shopaholic to benefit from “End Closet Chaos”!   The tips and suggestions I provide are intended to be helpful for anyone who struggles with “closet chaos” of any kind.  You can read the book from cover to cover or use it as a reference to tackle your individual wardrobe challenges.

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