How to Stop Shopping

It may have been the change of season, the prospect of a walk-in closet in the new home or I could also just blame it on Lockdown-induced boredom… Whichever way you put it, it comes down to the hard facts: I’ve been shopping a little too much. Since I’ve been spending more of my daily time at home, I’ve come to realise that I have a lot of clothes, too many shoes and overflowing cupboards filled with accessories. Bottom line: I should just put a stop to acquiring new items, time for Project Shop Stop to be put in effect.

Here are a few of my personal tips that may be of help to you as well.

1. Unsubscribe from all newsletters

The first thing I do every morning upon waking up is grabbing my phone and checking if there are any important work emails. Some days there are, most days it’s just newsletter after newsletter sent by clothing labels, online stores and jewelry brands. From Topshop over H&M to MyTheresa (probably the most dangerous), I get bombarded by mails trying to sell me something. During the lockdown I actually already unsubscribed from a lot of unimportant email lists, but it looks like I may have resubscribed to a few of them since (in my defence it got me 10% off my next order – okaaaay?). I’m making it a habit of opening the fresh newsletters that land into my inbox, scrolling all the way down to the bottom and hitting that unsubscribe button. This way I get less seduced to enjoy discounts, check new arrivals or browse sales. I may be missing out on some very sweet deals this way, but oh well, it helps keep my impulse online shopping orders to a minimum.

2. Delete every shopping app on your phone

I’m an avid online shopper and most of my buys are being done through a store’s app. I have a seperate section on ‘Shopping’ on my phone, that used to include some of my favourite apps: from Asos and AliExpress to Zara and Zalando. You don’t want to know how many times I’ve opened that Asos application, navigated to the New Arrivals and bought something, just because ‘oh that looks cute’ and ‘oh I am bored’. I have the Asos Premier subscription that includes free next-day delivery on all orders, and they make returning items so easy, that I never think twice about ordering something. In a bid to get less tempted to online shop out of boredom, I’ve deleted all of my shopping apps on my phone. Replace them with an educational app such as Duolingo or a Journalling app to reflect on your thoughts when you have some time off.

3. Never buy anything on your first visit

Not sure how well I’m going to implement this into my own life, because the thought of having to go into a store, try everything on, then hang everything back, only to go home to ponder if it’s worth the buy – seems like a loooot of effort. What I mean with this tip is that I often walk into a store and, without giving it a second thought, buy something. Chances are I don’t really need it, it doesn’t have a good cost-per-wear-ratio or I already have something very similar in my wardrobe. By taking yourself out of a potential shopping situation, you’re obligated to re-think your choices and see if they’re really worth the effort of going back into the shop for.

4. Stop buying because you feel you have to

I have this one a lot: I go into a store owned by someone I know or visit a sample sale of friends in the business and instantly have the feeling that I should purchase something. You can look at it and say: “Hey, Elien is such a great supporter of small business owners!” but the only way I can really look at it is that I’m spending money on things I wouldn’t¬†necessarily have bought otherwhise (if they were from a different store or brand). The same thing goes for occassions when I go shopping with a friend, something that rarely happens since I prefer to shop alone. When I have someone with me, I’m much more enclined to buy items just because my friend says it looks cute. Try avoiding shopping with friends, or only go with that one friend who knows she shouldn’t enable you.

5. Rediscover your closet

Now is the time to take inventory of what you already own and curate your closet to perfection. Clear out everything in your wardrobe and make piles: keep, sell/donate, toss. You wouldn’t believe the amount of simple t-shirts I have piling up in the back of my closet – they’ve been sitting there for three years now and do not contribute anything to my actual wardrobe, apart from taking up valuable space. Clean everything out and you’ll discover items that you’ve forgotten about. Sell the items that you don’t wear any longer (use easy apps like Vinted or United Wardrobe, put them of Facebook Marketplace or sell your designer items through Labellov)

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I’ll be uploading a lot of new items on my Vinted account in the upcoming days, so keep an eye on my virtual closet sale here.

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