2016 By the Numbers: Budget, Purchases, and Purges

I hope you all liked Esther’s “story of recovery” that I published last week. I felt it was well worth interrupting my 2016 recap posts (see the first two HERE and HERE) to share such an inspiring story with you.  If you enjoyed reading about Esther’s journey and want to learn how others have been able to overcome their shopping and wardrobe management challenges, click here. What I love most about the recovery stories is how varied they are, as it illustrates that there’s no one right way to reach peace and freedom around shopping and our closets.

2016 clothing purchase and purge update

It’s time for my final “by the numbers” accountability update for 2016.   I already covered my wardrobe “all-stars” and “benchwarmers” earlier this month.  In today’s post, I’m going to look at the remaining numbers surrounding my wardrobe and shopping for last year:

  • My budget
  • My purchases
  • What I purged from my closet

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race Against Overshopping and Closet Chaos

The following is a guest post from Esther, who shares how taking on two challenges over the past year has helped her to gain control of her shopping, pare down her wardrobe, improve her personal style, and feel more at peace with herself. 


Ever since I was a teenager, I have always felt “out of step” and like I never knew how to dress. I longed for a uniform so I didn’t need to stress out about what to wear. In my search for ease, I actually started buying and buying. Ironic, isn’t it? I was always attracted to minimalism but went in the opposite direction. On top of that, I picked a profession (or it picked me) where I lived in workout clothes. Remember when those “track suits” were popular? That was the closest thing to a uniform I ever found. Meanwhile, I had tons of clothes but “nothing to wear”!

Fast forward to July 2015 when I asked my daughter to help me find a style. She suggested that I use both Pinterest and Google. It was through my online searching that I found this blog. That was the first time I realized I was a shopaholic. When Debbie’s private Facebook group started, I was “home.” I became a daily contributor, even though it took me a while to do outfit of the day (OOTD) posts.

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2016 By the Numbers: Wardrobe “Benchwarmers”

Last week, I shared the good news portion of my 2016 wardrobe review, my closet “all-stars.”  In compiling the information for that post, I was pleased to see that my frequency of wear numbers had significantly improved over my 2015 statistics.  Now it’s time for the flip side of the equation, my wardrobe “benchwarmers.”  As with my last post, I will share numbers and photos, as well as my thoughts about the lesser worn – or not worn at all – items in my closet.

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2016 By the Numbers: Wardrobe “All-Stars”

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope that 2017 is off to a good start for you.  In the next few posts, I’m going to review my goals and numbers from 2016 and give you some updates and thoughts on my progress.  We’re going to start on a high note today with my wardrobe “all-stars.”  In upcoming articles, I’ll share an update on my wardrobe “benchwarmers,” a review of my purchases, and a recent closet inventory.  I will also report on how I did with my 2016 balance goal and reveal my theme for this year.

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Normal-Sized Wardrobe Revisited…

The most popular post on “Recovering Shopaholic” – by far – is one that I wrote way back in February 2013, just one month into the blog.  Which post was it?  The title is, “What is a Normal-Sized Wardrobe?” and you can access it HERE.  In that essay, I wrote about a closet decluttering session my husband and I did and how it got me thinking about the concept of a “normal-sized” wardrobe.  My pondering led to a basic formula that used frequency of wear as a guideline in figuring out how many clothes and shoes we need.

normal-sized wardrobe

That single post has been viewed over 100,000 times!  Clearly, a lot of people are interested in the concept of wardrobe size and whether or not the number of clothing pieces they have is “normal.” I furthered the discussion of what’s a normal or ideal wardrobe size a year later with “What is Your Ideal Wardrobe Size?”  In that article, I delved a bit deeper and looked at how climate and lifestyle issues affect how many clothes a person might need or want to have.

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Compulsive Shopping Tips & Resources “Cheat Sheet”

Before I dive into today’s post, I want to give you a heads up about my recent appearance on “I Can’t Stop Spending,” a podcast about recovery from compulsive spending, shopping, and debting.  This podcast is run by Susan B, who wrote a guest post here earlier this year titled, “Debtors Anonymous is Not Just for Debtors.”

Susan and I talked about my compulsive shopping history, when and how I created this blog, some of the rules I follow to manage my shopping, and how I went from out of control spending to being able to stick to a budget for four years now.  To listen to this podcast (it’s 42 minutes long), click here. I also recommend that you listen to Susan’s earlier episodes, as she offers a lot of practical tips and inspiration to help those of us who struggle with overshopping.

Compulsive Buying Disorder

Many people struggle with shopping around the holidays – and all the time…

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Revisiting Project 333 and the “Love It, Wear It” Wardrobe Challenge

At the end of September, prior to attending Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour,” I decided to put together a hypothetical Project 333 summer capsule.  I wrote a blog post about this and concluded that it would be useful to try out that capsule during October, as warm weather where I live usually continues until at least early November and sometimes longer (our cool weather started just a week ago!).

I reasoned that if nothing else, I’d learn some useful things about myself and my wardrobe through doing a short version of Project 333 (even if not the full three months that it’s intended to be).  In today’s post, I share my thoughts on that experience, as well as about how I’m revisiting the “Love it, Wear it” Challenge (LIWI) that I did during the full year of 2015.

Project 333 Capsule Wardrobe

Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe challenge? 

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