The focus during this final week of the Family Financial Challenge is clothing.
When I read the details of this challenge to myself I thought, “Hey, we are in pretty good shape in this area…not much improvement to make at all.”
Lately my hubby has especially been feeling like there is stuff piling up all around our house. I think we do a fairly good job of purging unused items regularly, but in the spirit of the challenge, when the Diabetes Foundation Clothesline called last week to see if I would like them to make another pit stop at our house, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Graham and I do not have a huge closet, and we need to share that space, so our rule is that if we buy something for ourselves, we have to eliminate something, too.
I keep a bin just inside the garage door, where I throw things that I know I will want to get rid of the next time a donation pick-up rolls around. In addition to clothing, I also throw toys and household items into the bin. Today I got out the bin and a couple of garbage bags and I went around the house filling them up. I even decided to part with three beautiful, brand new suits that I had bought for a job five or six years ago and never wore. I have always said I would sell them but after several attempts, they haven’t sold. Out they go!
Now that winter is (in theory) almost over, I noticed several sweaters in the closet that I have yet to wear, even though it’s been dreadfully snowy and cold this year. Out they go!
Nate has been outgrowing his pants lately and I’ve piled some up to give to my brother and his wife for their new baby that’s on the way. However, he’s recently said that they are up to their ears in hand-me-downs from friends. Out they go!
I also started to keep a pile of pieces of clothing that I will have repaired rather than throwing them away. My cousin’s wife runs a small sewing business on the side and she always does a great job of hemming and patching. Much to Graham’s chagrin, I am NOT a seamstress. Rather than waste money on replacing a shirt, we’ll have it fixed up, instead! As Gail’s Rule #67 says, “Take care of your stuff!”
I also remembered that I have a beautiful, long, black winter coat that I bought in the States a few years ago and wore mostly when I was teaching at the college. Just because I’m not a teacher anymore doesn’t mean I can’t wear that beautiful coat once in awhile, so I brought it up to our hall closet to make use of it more often.
If you need help in the closet, here are some ideas to help you eliminate unwanted clutter and expense:
1. Use an effective laundry detergent such as Tide to keep stains at bay (see my previous post, The Tide Carpenter Laundry Challenge). Wash in cold water to save some extra pennies, too.
2. Take inventory of your closet. Vow not to buy anything new until you’ve worn something out!
3. Before you buy a new item, sell or give away its equivalent.
4. No more hangers! If you have more items of clothing than hangers, you need to get rid of some of your clothes.
5. Fix your stuff! Have your pants patched, your seam sewn or your shoes repaired. The art of repair has fallen into the past. We discard so many things that would still have value if fixed. Bonus: You’re keeping an item out of landfill.
Do you have any ideas to help save money when it comes to clothing for your family?