Killing Off Old Habits

Old habits really do die hard.

I shared recently about some of my post-baby struggles with depression and anxiety. Looking back over the several months when I wasn’t managing my mental health issues, I can see that I fell back into old bad habits such as impulse shopping and junk food binging as a way to make myself feel better.

The impulse shopping aspect really became apparent to me when I was doing a spring purge of my closet last weekend. I was going through all of my clothes, deciding which pieces needed to be retired and what could be donated. After digging through my closet, storage bins, and dresser drawers, it hit me: “holy sh*t, how do I have so much stuff?!”

I did a Konmari purge of my closet four years ago. I always felt that I’d done a good job managing what was coming in after the purge, but the clothes don’t lie.

As I stared into my closet, the issue soon became apparent. My shopping habit was hiding in plain sight. It was right there in front of me, stored in my giant closet.

My husband and I share a closet that takes up one entire wall in our master bedroom. Our home was built in the 1980s, so it’s a pretty long closet. When we moved in about three years ago, my clothes took up about half of my side of the closet. That has slowly crept up to be about seven-eights of my side of the closet.

Part of the problem lies with my poor body image after the birth of my second son. Binge eating giant chocolate chip cookies has never helped anyone lose the baby weight, me included. My pre-baby clothes wouldn’t even fit over my hips for months after my son was born. I had to buy new clothes because I couldn’t go to work in sweatpants, and I impulse purchased way more clothes than I needed. Looking back, I can see that I purchased clothes as a way to make myself feel better whenever I was feeling particularly low.

So last weekend, I did another big purge of my closet. After you’ve done one Konmari purge, it’s easy to be ruthless the second time around. I listed a few pieces on eBay, but I dropped the majority of items off at a local consignment store that takes pieces for all seasons year-round. Whatever they didn’t want, I donated on the way home.

And now I’m getting ready to do something I’ve never done before, but have read about on many tiny wardrobe and minimalist blogs. I’m going to pack away my out-of-season clothes. Earth shattering, I know. But this way, when I open my closet to get ready, I will only see in-season clothing that fits me now and that I enjoy wearing. I’m hoping this will be one more tool to break my impulse shopping habit.

What about you? Have there been any items that you’ve purged but noticed creeping back into your life?


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