05 January 2012

A Year of No New Clothes Purchases

So, if we had a dollar for every New Year's blog or story about resolutions, we could ALL be wealthier! Personally, I think it's great to have a time of year that we reflect on where we have been and plan for where we are going. I like to do it Jan 1 and July 1, hitting both the "traditional" and the "fiscal" new years. I feel it's healthy to assess without criticism and to look forward without placing expectations. Both are hard, I know, but I believe both are critical to my mental and physical health. This year I looked back and looked forward and felt one goal I could set for myself is not to purchase any new clothing (other than the necessities).
Three Rs

I have an abundance of clothes because I am blessed with a job that allows me to meet my family's needs and then some. Actually, I believe I have more clothes than I need. I realized this as I pulled out two winter coats and a flannel coat. I have one coat hook and three coats. I decided the Rule of the Three R's REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE (ha...bet you thought I meant Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic, eh?) could help with my clothing purchases for 2012.

Since I don't really need to define this aspect, I am going to talk about how I am going to apply it. I figure my clothing can be broken into the following categories:

  • Pants/Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Coats
  • Hats/Gloves
  • Other (socks, boxers, etc.)
Living in Central Ohio lends a need to having both "hot" and "cold" weather items for many of those categories, but my goal is to limit the numbers of each. For example, what do I have vs what do I need in the shoe department. If my have far outweighs my need, then I reduce the items until I reach my need goal. Once I have reduced, then I simply follow the rule of "Bringing something in means taking something out." If I find a better pair of used boots, they replace my current pair, not get added to my shoe collection.

I actually started embracing this idea this past summer. I realized I had two pairs of shorts that fit at the start of summer. Since I love wearing shorts (and wear them all year) I needed to perhaps invest in some more shorts. 

I hate spending money on clothes, so I laid out all my clothes and took inventory of my jeans. I was very excited bc I had three pairs of jeans that had very badly torn and ripped pants bottoms. I couldn't even wear them on Friday Jeans Days! So I measured them to my favorite shorts and made cut offs. Now I have five pairs of shorts and that is enough to get me through from one laundry day to another! 

Along that same line, if there is a need for an article of clothing such as work pants or shirt, I will only purchase through a thrift store. I have found many a great deal, sometimes with the store tags still on, at local thrift stores. My favorite game is to find clothing with the "Color of the Day" tags! It's a double-good deal.

One of my life philosophies is to live life not harming yourself, others, or the world around you. Assumed, by me at least, is the idea that just "not" doing isn't enough when it is possible to activity "do." My life is indeed blessed in so many ways. There are times I wish I had this or I really want that, but those are desires not needs. My needs are more than adequately met. That is why, when there is something in my life that isn't going to benefit me or my family, I try to find someone who can use it. Some times I have bartered or traded for an item I need, and some times I have just given it freely. To me, that is a total win-win situation!

I am also going to make more of an effort to incorporate recycling into my everyday living outside of my clothing. I realize that as a country we have not mastered the art of recycling, but I intend to do what I can do to move it in a progressively forward path.

What say ye?
So, now you know one of my goals for this year. As with all of my goals/resolutions, although they may start out as something I try for 28 days, or a season, or even a year, if they help me be the best I can be, they become lifestyle changes. It is my hope that no new clothes purchases for one year will allow me to focus on making me a better Papi, partner, human, and friend. I will let you know how things progress.
As the year 2012 begins, have you looked closely at the things last year that made you feel better about yourself? What one change did you make in 2011 that will help you be the best person you can be in 2012?