3 Steps to a Shopping Detox (and a Happier Closet)

Here are some practical steps I’ve inadvertently taken that have made me happier with my closet and hopefully they’ll work for you! Clothing and identity come hand in hand. Which means that sometimes we feel the pressure of fitting into which ever subculture we follow, or to staying up to date – that doesn’t just mean following trends but consuming because we’re “bored” or “unhappy” with our current closet. But in the end all that leads to is a wardrobe filled with clothes we never wear.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you may know that I have deep-seated closet issues. That’s why when I found Minimalism I was like, yesssss, finally something that speaks to me.

But the thing is that when you have so many issues with your closet it’s hard to break away from them. And I even find myself falling back into them when I’m stressed or when I find a new YouTuber whose life looks oh-so-perfect on camera (note: no one’s life is perfect, even if it seems to be).

So, let’s get to it! Here are my practical steps that’ll have you working towards good wardrobe habits! They’re not necessarily minimalist, but are the kind of things that most of us forget to do!

Step One: Stop Buying Clothes

The first thing you need to do to find out where you are with your closet is to stop adding to it! Buying more clothes just covers up any problems that are starting to show through. It’s a quick fix that makes you feel satisfied in the short term. You’ll be happy you have something new to wear and forget about what ever else you have in your wardrobe.

When you do stop shopping (just for a while, I promise!), you’ll realise what you actually want to wear. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself and dress the way you would if you had five minutes to get ready. This is where it’s great to have a go-to uniform, otherwise you might find your own during this period.

How to:
It may hurt but unsubscribe from your favourite shopping sites email updates. If they’re true favourites you’ll remember to check their website when you’re looking for something purposely.

Remember that you don’t have to be a carbon copy of your favourite blogger/Youtuber/idol (or their wardrobe). I’m sure they would want you to be the best you possible. Buying all of the same boots they own, won’t make you any more awesome (because you’re already awesome!)

And lastly, focus on your other hobbies or learn a new skill to take your mind off reflex boredom or stress shopping. I’m a stress shopper and a half. But at the end of the day, when I stress shop I try to remind myself of how guilty I feel after mindlessly buying new things and that it won’t make me happier in the long run – unlike picking up a new hobby, trying something new like pinning insects or spending time with someone you love.

custom made celebrity dresses

Step Two: Force Yourself to Wear What You Own

This is a weird kind of concept, but it’s true that most of us only wear ten percent of our wardrobe. I found myself making excuses not to wear pieces. “It’s too hot to wear pleather” and “I don’t want to be pulling down my skirt every five minutes.” But when I started putting aside my obnoxious complaints and forced myself to wear literally every piece in my closet that I hadn’t worn in a while, I remembered why I kept them in the first place!

My biggest tip to wearing what you may think has been worn every way possible is, simply, to try it on. Try it on with everything you own! There’s always a combination that you haven’t thought of before. And it might be your new favourite.

And if you can’t figure out how to wear it, or you’ve actually never worn it before, why is it in your closet? It’s time for you to rethink keeping the pieces you don’t wear. Because honestly, who has the space?

Step Three: Help Yourself Make Good Decisions

Remember when I assured you in step one that, don’t worry, you won’t be starving yourself of new clothes forever? Well, that’s this step! It’s time to start shopping again, but it’s important to stay conscious. Throughout this experience (or a detox of any kind) you’ll learn a lot about yourself and what you want to wear. Keep everything you’ve learned in mind, don’t go on a shopping spree straight away and if you’re still feeling worried I’ve left you some tricks to keep you focused right below!

Don’t Pack Your Cart with Extras

Easier said than done, right? My biggest suggestion is even when you’re buying something that’s trendy don’t pack your cart with extras. You don’t need another pair of black thigh-high socks, Sarah! Even if you know you’re going to wear them!

Sit On It!

Not literally. But I always have a running list of things that I want to buy. That’s probably why I post so many wishlists. Sometimes I eventually puck up and buy something, but other-times it lets me realise that I don’t need another ripped t-shirt or velvet skirt (what am I kidding, I always need a another velvet skirt!).

Be Conscious

When you’re conscious of where your clothing is coming from you will make better decisions regarding your closet, not just because you’re not buying cheaply made clothes from sweatshops, but it also makes you think a little harder about what you want. I know when I started to think about ethical fashion – it’s one of my yearly resolutions – I found out that I was limited to what I could by and all of the shops I would spend hours trawling where suddenly out of the game.

What do you think of my experience? It may not work for you, but if helps you in the least let me know! I know in the end it’ll be a hell of a lot better for you than any silly juice cleanse.



  1. May 22, 2016 / 11:24 pm

    Minimalism isn't really me but I like the tip about wearing your stuff. Sometimes I get into a rut of wearing my boring clothes for errands etc instead of wearing something I like because I'm saving it.

  2. May 23, 2016 / 11:44 am

    SARY!!! How do you do this?! This was exactly what I needed to read, at exactly the right moment. I am actually going to print off these steps and take them shopping with me. This is EXCELLENT. Thank you!

    (A sidenote: I recently read this article about boycotting sweatshop fashion/ethical shopping. It's a bit of a long read but I thought it was interesting, although it seems almost the opposite of logical at some points. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts if you had the time (if not, no worries!): http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/the-myth-of-the-ethical-shopper/)

    • May 23, 2016 / 12:48 pm

      I'm so glad this helped! 🙂 I'm definitely going to give that article a read (and maybe feature it in one of my article roundups) but I might not get back to you when I find the time! Sorry!

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