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Frugal Spring Cleaning

(59 Posts)
FrugalFashionista Sat 01-Mar-14 10:58:46

Winter is on its last legs - it's time to think about spring clothes, gradually clear out winter items and get ready for the new season.

If you are considering a shopping ban, interested in frugal living, minimalism, downsizing, or just want to reassess for a few days where you are headed, this thread is for you. Continued from here, so you are also welcome to update how things are going!

I'd like to declutter a bit. (Here is an inspiring wardrobe detox link.) Get rid of piles of clothes and books, possibly reorganize my desk and makeup, and do a few other things. Perhaps even cook something nice and healthy.

I also think my mind needs some decluttering wink. I have a few quieter weeks before life is going to get really hectic, so would love to recharge a bit...

If you want to join, let's do it together!

MotherOfChickens Sat 01-Mar-14 14:02:21

Signing in smile

March promises to be a hectic month for me so hopefully I can gain a bit of clarity on this thread!
I've slowly started to declutter some of my winter items from my wardrobe and sorted through my jeans this morning. I've got rid of a couple of pairs that had been relegated to mooching around the house in so I'm now looking to replace them with something more comfortable.

daimbardiva Sat 01-Mar-14 14:09:06

Oooh me too smile starting (yet another) shopping ban and a WAR ON CLUTTER in all areas of life!!

Ruprekt Sat 01-Mar-14 14:13:01

Signing in.......on a lovely sunny day! smilesmilesmilesmile

cloutiedumpling Sat 01-Mar-14 14:33:36

Signing in. This morning I sewed a button back on to a spring jacket- so I have no excuses to buy another one. I've also bought moth hangers to try and look after my existing clothes.

FrugalFashionista Sat 01-Mar-14 14:38:00

Thanks ladies for joining!

<enjoy the sunshine if you are somewhere where the sun is shining>

DH took the children to movies so I have the house all to myself. Wanted to go out but the weather is crap... So far I've paid a bunch of bills (depressing), decluttered my makeup shelf (some way to go still before I reach this level of organization wink), and purged my nightstand (those piles of books were getting dangerous).

Shopping ban in effect too and will keep track of my spending this month! Last year, spring lasted about three weeks here, so no point in buying anything new, might revisit what I wore last year. Unfortunately, I've somehow accumulated more clothes this winter <sigh and eyeroll>, so need more hangers and some pretty ruthless editing.

There are more problem areas. I have a pile of clothes on a chair because I don't have enough hangers, boxes lying about that should be storaged properly, my desk is a mess, and my dresser is a mess too. Feel better though because at least I have a game plan now...

<sending everyone happy organizing vibes>

Handyshandy Sat 01-Mar-14 15:07:58

Just what i need! My husband was given his notice yesterday at work so need to get my head around a frugal March. We have looked at where we need to save money and decided we need to be more aware of how we spend. I have taken a sum of money out just use on food instead of using the cards. I am terrible for going out to buy milk and spending £30! Also going to go through wardrobe to see what i can sell on ebay.

Ujjayi Sat 01-Mar-14 15:09:33

I'll join in smile

My make up is already neatly organised in perspex trays. Ditto hair styling items - hair pins etc.

My wardrobe however needs a complete overhaul. I am such a hoarder when it comes to clothes and my style is quite "multiple personality": Some days I'm pared back to jeans and a tee and other days I'm Paloma Faith on acid grin. I need to have a huge "trying on & styling" session. Work out what really works and what can either be rehomed or, if I really love it, find something else to go with it.

I have set myself the target of decluttering one problem area a week. Yesterday I re-organised the linen cupboard and was so inspired that I ended up doing the laundry cupboard and the cleaning cupboard as well.

My studio needs a huge decluttering session. I have fabrics everywhere and far too many projects sitting waiting. I should pack everything away except for the piece I am actually working on. My work encompasses recycling so I aim to share the love of frugality and ethical clothes buying with my clients too.

I completely understand the mind overhaul. After a long illness, I am finally coming around to the concept of mindfulness and being present with the task in hand rather than giving into the relentless background chatter in my mind about the rest of my To Do list. Being kind to yourself and understanding that, as a mother, your wellbeing is central to the smooth running of family life. Once you get the hang of it, life becomes very peaceful - even in the midst of a chaotic day.

TeamSwitzerland Sat 01-Mar-14 15:16:45

This is fab!! Just the motivation I need, living the makeup organising ideas smile

cloutiedumpling Sat 01-Mar-14 15:27:48

In January I set myself the target of finishing off and throwing out one make up/ skin care item a week. So far I have just about managed it and the cupboard where I keep everything is starting to look a little bit better already. Apart from one relapse in the BodyShop sale I've not bought anything.

FrugalFashionista Sat 01-Mar-14 15:57:21

Welcome everyone! grin And my sympathies Handyshandy!

<in the middle of a wardrobe clearout>

My wardrobe depresses me. It's chock full of clothes that I like in theory but rarely wear in practice - too good and current to throw out, yet too impractical/dressy/colorful for most days. The stuff that I actually wear is all in messy piles and pretty neutral and casual. A totally crazy ideal self / actual self divide. I'd actually need two separate wardrobes, things I think I will wear and things I'll actually wear...

Last spring I donated some of the excess items to someone close to us and I've had the pleasure of seeing her wear them constantly. Those items are finally getting some love! Might need to donate some more! Have decided to put most of the wool sweaters in a storage box, I have so much stuff in my wardrobe that no movement is possible.

The tunic length is impossible for my shape and anything longline just doesn't get worn. I'm also learning that I just don't wear t shirts any more. They can serve as nightshirts in the summer but when I'm done with the current ones I won't need more. Ditto for scarves. I think scarves went out of fashion around here sometime last year and I survived the winter with just one light wool shawl (mostly wore a chunky polo neck instead). I love uncluttered clean lines so the no scarf look is better for me but this means that my scarf drawer should be sorted out.

Some of my clothes are getting worn though and are near the end of their lifespan! My white 3.99 H&M vests are some of the hardest workers in my wardrobe and may need to be replaced soon... Some of my knits are also soon going to be beyond help. They all are neutral toned, shades of oatmeal. cream and light taupe.

I'm learning the hard way that I'm attracted to color and pattern when I make purchases but I actually really only wear neutral-toned solids sad

<continues decluttering>

Piratefairy Sat 01-Mar-14 16:58:44

I found having my colours done followed by a style day worked wonders..

FrugalFashionista Sat 01-Mar-14 17:47:30

<whew done with the wardrobe clearout>

Sadly most of the excess in my wardrobe is post color analysis... My palette was mostly bright colors and I still like them sometimes, but got bored of them really quickly. In my day to day dressing, I prefer neutrals. Ditto with makeup - I need really few accents. It took a couple of years for me to figure this out. And who knows, maybe I'll like brights again sometime in the future, but right now they don't feel 'me'.

If anyone here has had her colors done recently, my advice would be to go easy on the brights, implement changes very slowly, keep things in a 'purgatory' for a while and to try to learn more about the neutrals. I also made quite a few dyeing mistakes - I learned the hard way that if I don't like an item, dyeing it navy is usually not a solution wink I've actually returned to wearing black too, so happy that I still have some left grin

<sorry about the many posts today, glued to the computer, pretty shaken by the war news>

sewbee50 Sat 01-Mar-14 17:48:26

Hi frugal your post is very timely for me. Following on from my 'decluttered and depressed' thread I vowed to only buy stuff I need.

Just today I returned two shirts and some bras that weren't up to scratch - shopping makes me feel empty these days sad

I've decided that when I'm unhappy or not feeling as if I'm enough, I buy things (predominantly skincare, make-up, and clothes - all the exterior stuff) to cheer myself up and then feel doubly unhappy and take things back.

I need to work on less 'style and beauty' and more tangible things like gardening and family.

I now have the 'right' skincare routine and make-up stuff, a wardrobe with things in it I can wear and so I need to declare that it's enough.

I may spend less time here as a result but that's ok too.

Thanks for the into-mind blog link, I've been hooked on it since you mentioned it on another thread.

Enjoy your declutter smile

Ujjayi Sat 01-Mar-14 18:23:43

I completely understand the "ideal vs actual" need dilemma when it comes to clothes. Frugal - what is it about those items that stop you from wearing them?

When I first started working from home, "dressing up" felt weird. However, I realised that actually my personality is really reflected in my sartorial choices & so now there are no off limits clothes, unless I am doing any messy work.

BriarRainbowshimmer Sat 01-Mar-14 19:30:43


cloutiedumpling Sat 01-Mar-14 21:07:55

I am also guilty of buying clothes for the life I'd like, rather than the one I have. There're loads of unworn dresses sitting in my wardrobes. I'm trying not to save things for "best", although it is hard when I have a young DD who seems to make it her personal mission to cover me in yoghurt from head to toe.

Notcontent Sun 02-Mar-14 00:17:21

Joining in!

Frugal - what you say about your wardrobe really resonates with me. I have been quite ruthless in getting rid of stuff and so now my wardrobe is mostly full of things I really like BUT I only wear a small proportion of them.

I need to be frugal, stop obsessing about finding perfect clothes that will change my life (I know they will not!), start some exercise and eat well. Already eating relatively well, so that's a start!

Stokey Sun 02-Mar-14 07:51:36

Good idea, I've been either pregnant or brestfeeding for large chunk of last 5 years but now done & dusted and hopefully the size I'm going to stay, more or less.

So qq on sizing & decluttering. If it is too big, small, you should just throw it out? Often find myself thinking, well if i put on weight again, that might be useful. Or if bootcut jeans come back...

ginzillas Sun 02-Mar-14 08:15:28

Signing up. I'm terrible for hanging on to things I never wear.
This month is the month I'm going to sort my overflowing wardrobe and drawers!

MotherOfChickens Sun 02-Mar-14 09:19:04

I must admit that I do wear most of my wardrobe. Towards the end of last year I had a major purge and ebayed a lot of clothing that didn't fit into my lifestyle. Most of these items were originally impulse purchases that were mainly sale items and interestingly none were well thought out purchases.

Frugal and Sewbee the Into-Mind blog is great, I've just been reading about proportions of outfits which is something I need to look at. I'm hoping that the skinny jean look is coming to an end as it's not really a style that suits my shape (tapered and wide legs are better, worn with a fitted top) as that's the only shape that shops seem to stock. My planned purchases for spring are some well fitting, good quality trousers - if I can find them!

BriarRainbowshimmer Sun 02-Mar-14 10:18:41

I want to get rid of most of my old, frumpy now too large clothes but that means I need to buy replacements.
Into-Mind seem to spend soooo much time thinking about her style, it makes me tired to read it. It's probably a very good idea to create mood boards etc but I don't have the energy. Do you think I can still succeed in getting a nice spring wardrobe by just going to a shop and try on stuff?

Bonsoir Sun 02-Mar-14 10:27:20

I need to do a technology audit. We have more computer equipment than we know what to do with, some of it doesn't work and I need to upgrade the internet access.

FrugalFashionista Sun 02-Mar-14 10:28:38

Welcome everyone!

Stokey where I live bootcuts are still worn a lot (with sneakers and pulled over heeled boots). But you can be sure that they return the minute you've done a major purge... grin(I dyed my favorite pale blue pair a dull dark indigo, and now everyone is wearing light wash denim... Miss my perfect pair!) Everything returns eventually, even acid wash wink If you have storage space (or even under-bed storage bins), I'd put away the clothes that you genuinely have liked and think you might wear again, and get rid of the rest!

Ujjayi, Notcontent and Cloutie great to hear that I'm not alone with my actual/ideal wardrobe stuff... I don't wear a big part of my clothes daily because they are incompatible with snot marks wink I used to work outside home but have mostly worked from home since the children were born. (Confusingly, I still spend a part of the year in an office environment.) I'm a fairly classic dresser so formal is much more instinctive for me than casual/relaxed. For a couple of years, I wore my 'good' clothes at home, but I've started to think that that's a bit contrived too and I think I'm slowly finding my way of doing casual. (I like jackets, but I've learned that I just don't wear blazers; flexible, light jackets are better - right now I'm loving a light, crocheted one.) And the undercurrents in fashion have made 'casual' more formal (the sweatshirt trend works for me, as do these more structured tees), so I find it much easier to find things to wear right now than a couple of years ago. I wear a lot of whites but quite a few of my everyday tops are from H&M so they are easy to wash and cheap to replace. (The upside of polyester is that dirt won't stick.)

Anyway, everything looks much better after decluttering! Now, my wardrobe has a neutral side and a bright side. I'm still in the process of doing the hanging up and folding (join the club Ginzillas1) and have a bunch of clothes that need repairs or maintenance, but it's not overwhelming any more!

FrugalFashionista Sun 02-Mar-14 10:34:46

Bonsoir grin we have a special drawer for obsolete techno stuff in 50 shades of light gray (floppy and zip drives, old hard disks, long dead cell phones, extension cords, adapters...) About once a decade, DH bungs it all in a cardboard box and drives to the recycling center. Lots of electronics contain trace amount of valuable materials, so there are companies that buy this junk and sort and reuse it and sell it back to you in your new phone!

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