January 10, 2014

{LIFESTYLE} To Keep, To Sell, and To Swap

It's January 10th and I'm still keeping my word on a promise I made to myself on January 1st to halt my clothing shopping. Shopping is something I do compulsively: it's something that brings me pleasure, it's something I do as part of my job, and it's something I do socially with friends. Checking up on the latest stock at some of my favorite online retailers (ASOS, Modcloth, Net-a-Porter), has become a built in part of my morning routine - following checking my email and reading NYTimes.com to make sure a world war hasn't broken in the time that I was sleeping.

While I'm still browsing, I've taken a few steps to curb my shopping addiction for the long haul - and not just until the calendar flips over to February. I registered my email on a site called Unroll.me - which culls your entire inbox to find email lists to which you're subscribed... and was shocked to find that my primary, work-related email account had been registered to almost 400 subscriptions. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of these newsletters and subscriptions were from online retailers - but perhaps surprisingly, is that I probably do fall victim to their sneaky sales and traps more often than a self-identified "Savvy Shopper" like myself would like to admit. I unsubscribed from about 90% of the lists, and added my favorites to my "roll up" - where they are summarized in a single email delivery to my inbox on a daily basis. The best way to resist temptation? Avoid knowing that it's there!

Next, I went through my entire wardrobe and separated the pieces that I wanted to donate, sell, or store for the future. I'm a sentimentalist, and even though there are a handful of items in my wardrobe that don't fit, aren't currently in fashion, or I just know I'm not going to wear anytime soon - I still can't bring myself to toss them. So, these get a special place - the swap pile. We'll come back to this pile later. Then, I sifted through the rest (this is an ongoing process for someone who has a surplus of clothing, as I do), and found pieces that were ready to go to the "sell/donate" pile. They don't have a place in my life now, nor do I see them having a place in my life in the near future, nor do I have a particular sentimental attachment or fondness to them -- and off to a Goodwill or Buffalo Exchange they go! Phew. It's really liberating to say buh-bye (and walk away with cash in hand or a tax-write-off, too).

Now, let's return to the swap pile. I recently became acquainted to a new site called Swapdom, through a friend who used to do PR at Modcloth. She introduced me to the site and shared the basic premise: you upload some of your new-condition pieces to the site that you're interested in swapping, and make them available to the Swapdom community. This was a perfect solution for the pieces that I'm not getting current use out of, but do not want to entirely get rid of, either! If I can't enjoy them right-at-this-very-moment, why shouldn't someone else? I'm still new to the site and working my way around it, but have already found amazing pieces that I'm dying to get my hands on: this star-spangled sequined top, this tartan button-up sweater, and this cute beaded BCBG clutch. You can browse the entire community with their updated-as-items-are-added feed, and search and filter the results by keyword, size, brand, and so on.  Looking for a party outfit? Plug in the keyword "sequin," and behold. (PS, all the items in the photo above are listed on my Swapdom page.) 

I'm curious what methods you all use to curb your consumer habits, purge your closet, and save yourself from wardrobe fatigue?! Seriously. I want to know, cause the first time to overcoming your problem is admitting you have a problem, and I've at least gotten that far! 

This post was sponsored by Swapdom,
But all opinions and scenarios above are real and 100% my own. 


  1. I'm on a spending cleanse this month too! Like you, I always browse online sites and totally fall victim to the stupid sales emails they send out (Who knew they were SO freaking effective). I'm definitely going to check out Swapdom, because even though I've stopped browsing clothing sites, I still get the itch! Thanks for the advice!
    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

  2. I've been trying REALLY hard to curb mine after a huge Trashy Diva bender at Christmas time. We've got to save for our wedding & honeymoon in April (sure you understand that! Congrats lady! ;). One thing I find that helps? Stepping back from enablers! (Which is hard as an enabler myself.) But not acknowledging a want online, and having dozens go OMG YOU NEED THAT really helps a lot. Also, stepping back from fashion & beauty blogs helps me curb my Fashion FOMO (which is easier said than done).

    As for purging, I try to really do it regularly. I also try to shop with a lot more intention now that I've cleared up my credit card debt ($15,000 from reckless shopping). I buy less for trends, and more for life & lifestyle. I try to step back and think on purchases for months (if not YEARS) before making a huge splurge. But in the end, it means I purge less and love what I own a lot more.

    And for Wardrobe Fatigue... well, I try to step back from pieces as I wear them too much. I let them sit in my closet, and look at them, reminding myself WHY I loved them in the first place. That connection makes it last longer.Good luck, lady!

  3. Also, I have to add... I'm curious about Swapdom, but it's disappointing that there doesn't seem to be much in the way of details? I had a hard time finding sizes, brands, measurements, etc. That seems to make it hard for people to swap? Is this something internal, that you can't see when browsing but can if you have a sign-up?

  4. I get you! I'm also trying to spend less money on shopping..especially now that I'm moving and need every penny I can save!

    I love your dog btw!!! So cute, I want one like that!! =D

    Rosie's Life

  5. swapdom seems cool, but unless i can sort by plus-sized garments, it seems like it'd be a big waste of time. i remember when modcloth didn't have the "sort by size" and "plus-size" filtering options and it was a terrible user experience.

  6. For some oddly strange reason all I can picture is you bouncing around like Carrie Bradshaw in the last installment of Sex in the City; wherein she modeled for her three cronies the items in her closest that she allowed them to vote on whether the items remained or stayed. My suggestion is you do likewise and grab a bottle of Moscato, invite over a few girlfriends, put on some musical classics and commence the voting process! #Simply my thoughts (Who doesn't have a few fav Sex and the City moments?)

  7. I've been on Swapdom for a few months now, but I've been really lazy about it. I've only swapped one item so far (I got my dream Vivienne Westwood x Melissa pumps for a vintage blouse!). I definitely need to be more active on there, because it is a really great idea. Still not super user-friendly, though it has been getting better. There is also now a site like this for beauty products- edivv.com. (I can get you an invite if you're interested!)

  8. Coming the beginning of March I'm moving to Vietnam for a year with only a backpacking backpack. Talk about downsizing! Thankfully the weather doesn't get below about 70*F, so no heavy sweaters or even pants really, for that matter. Here's to a 2014 minimalist adventure!

  9. Ifigeneia KonstantinidouJanuary 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Hi Ashley, jumping in, I'll try to help out: You can select
    sizes. If you select any category that has a size, such as anything under
    apparel or shoes, the filters allow you to seach by size.

    If you want to look for a
    brand, simply type it in the search box. And you cancombine a category
    search with typing a brand name. Good luck!

  10. I've been trying to adopt the same mindset recently. I'm slowly making the switch from impulse-spending on clothes, jewelry, and home decor to paying off debt or putting away in savings. I've found that unsubscribing from email notifications has been a huge help- Unroll.me is THE BEST! But I've really started to get excited about seeing my savings grow (slowly) and my debt shrink (a bit less slowly) and it's been fun to find different ways I can "minimalize" my life instead of bringing in new purchases.

    Good luck!

  11. Ooohhh. This sounds like exactly what I need to help make my closet awesome again. Thank you!

  12. Thank you so much for this post Nicolette -- I'd been unsubscribing to each of my subscriptions one by one just this week and I was just about to give up! How timely this post was for me. As a blogger myself I find myself parousing ASOS & Forever21 daily after checking my email and other social media so learning to break the habit starts with removing these sites from my favorites/bookmark tabs.

  13. OMG, I just did the unroll me thing... I had 477 subscriptions! >_< Thank you so much! This will make my inbox much more use-able. I'm definitely going to check out swapdom! Sounds awesome. Maybe I'll finally find that Anna Scholz for Simply Be feather jacket I've been needing forever! I host a shop and swap every July with other plus size bloggers from Toronto called Big Deal Toronto, and it allows us all to purge our closets a bit. We had over 300 people show up last year. It was amazing! I also frequent "Second Rounds" and "Fat Too" which are both groups on facebook that allow you to sell or trade items. "Second Rounds" is Canadian, and "Fat Too" is mostly US, but there are people from everywhere on there. I also drop whatever's left after that at a consignment store, and whatever she doesn't think she can sell gets donated to a local women's shelter. All of these things make my wardrobe more financially and environmentally sustainable, which is so important!

  14. http://finafrun.seJanuary 14, 2014 at 3:50 AM

    I buy a lot of my clothes vintage and second hand, to be kind to the environment (and the wallet). It´s so much more fun aswell!
    Love from your Swedish reader/

  15. I do purge my closet 2 times a year and here I have some tips especially for a small closet

  16. This is such a wonderful post! Every year for the past few years, I've embarked on a total shopping ban too (it's not easy, but like any addiction, it feels better to break the cycle and re-set your habits). This year, I decided I wouldn't be so totalitarian and cut it out completely, but to instead be as considered as possible with my purchases (only things I love) and to compensate by having a clearout and selling more (on ebay) than I spend and to de-clutter/donate a pile more.
    P.S. thank you for the Unroll.Me suggestion; I had never heard of this but just did it for all of my accounts then, and it is genius!
    B xx

  17. Have a look, I was inspired from you! :-)


    Warm Regards

  18. Pretty much the steps you listed on this post is how I go about purging my closet as well. Right now, I have 4 large white trash bags filled with clothes that's been separated by a particular clothing item (pants, skirts, etc.) I'm hoping (and this is a BIG hoping) that during this 3 day weekend I'll start uploading half of those clothes to my blog and sell them. Remember...HOPING. The rest goes to my local thrift store. And this is now becoming a problem because every time I donate to a thrift store I HAVE to enter said thrift store and OOPS! there I go buying more clothes. First world problems, indeed.

    Gonna check out Swapdom and DEF Unroll.me.

  19. Love your blog!
    I just started a plus size denim collection called Arad Plus.
    We featured all of our Arad Denim designs in sizes 16-22.
    Come check us out!

  20. Hmmm, I have to agree with the other commenters who aren't fans of Swapdom's layout and search options. Filtering by size is unnecessarily awkward; I set the filters to show me size 9 shoes, and I'm getting listings that clearly state the sizes as 6, 8, and 11. And many of the photos and descriptions aren't clear enough. This site is a great idea and I really want to like it....but it doesn't matter for me anyway, since I'm in Canada. Maybe in the near future Swapdom will expand outside of the US, develop clearer guidelines for what kind of detail posts should include, and fix their search/filter options. If so, count me in.

    Also, I am in love with that leather (pleather?) skirt on the left!

  21. I do the exact same thing as you do only I put my stuff I would like to donate in a bag and then call my girlfriends over and they have fun going through the bag and taking what they want. They actually get upset if I take my clothes somewhere like Plato's Closet who buys your clothes from you and hands you cash right on the spot. Whatever they don't end up taking, I bring to the Salvation Army.

  22. ASOS Curve clothes would be so much more appealing if they looked like they fit the models.


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