Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolution

Taking lunch breaks at Goodwill

The other night on the way to the mall, I expressed to Mac with a bit of trepidation that I had spent the last few days pondering a New Year's resolution for 2013.  I inquired whether he would like to hear, and before I could finish, he asked me what it was.

Now...before I continue, I should explain my days of pondering and trepidation by stating that I am terrible at resolutions.  The last one I can remember with any clarity was in Junior High or early High School.  I read aloud to a roomful of my peers that I would limit my TV intake to one hour a week (which I imagine I had thoughtfully divvied up between weekly episodes of Home Improvement and Saved By The Bell).  I cannot tell you whether or not I kept this resolution, because all that I remember is a boy named Josh widening his eyes and shrieking, "One hour!?!?", and to this day wondering whether he thought that a large or little sum.  All resolutions since have been hopelessly defeatist (& therefore, defeated) or optimistically vague (& likely defeated as well).  So, fast forward to now and not only do I hesitate to make resolutions for fear I can't keep them, but I most often decline to express them outloud.

Today I make an exception (which I will probably regret post-Publish-button) because I think that I can actually keep this one and because the only one I've told (the one who counts) did not shriek in appalled horror, but seemed to cautiously approve.

So here it is: For 2013, I've decided not to spend any of our income on clothes.  I'll only sew, swap or alter/refashion what I already have or what is given to me.  (For my purposes, I am including swap to mean selling my clothes and using only that money for a thrift purchase.)

As a side note, for the last three years, I committed (somewhat by accident) to buy clothes only from thrift stores (with the exception of a couple pair of shoes and a new coat during the freezing winter of 2010).  So, while I've gotten really good at saying No to new-new clothes & to retail stores...I don't know that I've exactly saved a bundle, because the Goodwill's here are loaded and I have developed a slight addiction to the thrift-hunt.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking.  All this build-up and that's it?  Lame.  I get it. But there is a greater good at stake like doctor's bills and student loans to be paid...a closet in desperate need of some cleaning...a life to be simplified...sewing skills to be honed...and fun progress and mishaps along the way to post about.  And while next year I hope to be able to tackle slightly more epic things, maybe getting out of debt and saving a little cash can help pave the way.  In the meantime, I'll have a little more means to devote to my Etsy shop, which will still continue to donate 20% of all proceeds toward projects and people I love (including this one, which I think is pretty epic).

Sound like fun and want to participate? Here are a few ideas:
  • Join me in your own clothes budget freeze and we can sew/swap/upcycle together
  • Follow along as I document my saving, selling and sewing/refashioning adventures
  • Send your castoffs my way if you think that seeing them recycled on the blog sounds like more fun than having a garage sale
  • Shop my closet on Ebay for some good scores like these:

Recent Ebay listings
 Happy New Year!  Here's to a healthy, joyous (simpler) 2013!