Saturday, November 24, 2018

How to Shop Your Stash

When I started reining in my spending and decluttering, I heard the phrase "shop your stash" a lot. I kind of knew what this meant, but I had no idea how to go about it. Simply looking at my clothing and beauty products and pretending to shop just didn't do it for me. So I started experimenting with my collection and trying different things until I finally figured out how to "shop my stash" in a way that worked for me.

1) Get bored.
When I started shopping my stash, I didn't really get it, because I didn't allow myself enough time with each item (or set of items) before moving onto something else. I would look at my clothing and products over and over again, and everything looked like the same old, same old. It didn't feel like shopping at all, where things are shiny and new. Then I implemented the beauty basket and the capsule wardrobe. I can't remember exactly how long it took me to get bored, but I think I used the same beauty basket for 3-6 months and I'm sure I kept the same capsule wardrobe for 1-3 months. This was enough time for me, but you may need to experiment to find what works for you.

For my beauty basket, I would use the same set of products for 3-6 months. I found it took me around that amount of time to get bored of something like a blush or eye shadow pallet. When I eventually got bored, I would then "shop my stash. Lo and behold, I got the "shiny and new" feeling from products I already had in my collection! I felt zero need to buy something new.

For my capsule wardrobe, I started out doing product 333 but only for my work wardrobe. I took photos every morning and posted them on my Instagram account. I had to tweak this challenge a bit before I found something that worked for me. I found it a bit difficult to pick out pieces at the beginning of the season, so I switched to a fluid capsule wardrobe, where I would build the capsule throughout the season, adding items here and there until I reached the 33 pieces. I liked this better as it required less planning ahead, but I found that my capsule was not cohesive. Eventually, I decided to do a monthly capsule with a theme, and I loved this approach! I would basically pick a theme for the month; it could be related to colour or some other theme--for one capsule, I wore 5 dresses and 2 pairs of shoes for the entire month. It was fun, flexible, and cohesive. When the next month rolled around, I would be excited to change the theme and wear other clothes I already had in my collection. It really made my wardrobe new and exciting again.

In both instances, I had to get bored with what I was currently using or wearing, before "shopping my stash."

2) Create an abundance mindset.
Having an abundance mindset is key to shopping your stash. If you think you have nothing to wear (in terms of makeup or clothing), you're much more likely to go purchase something new. One easy way to create an abundance mindset is to take out all the makeup or clothing in your collection and do an inventory. It can be a visual inventory (your pile may be much more than you thought you had), or if you're like me, you may want to do a physical inventory (e.g., on Excel). I love Excel, data, counting, and analyzing, so I find tremendous pleasure in doing inventories. The inventories definitely helped me create an abundance mindset as they provided tangible evidence of what I currently have in my collection. By doing this inventory periodically (around once per year), you may also find items you had tucked away and forgotten about.

3) Stimulate your creativity.
This is probably the most "out-there" recommendation, and most people I know personally wouldn't go to these lengths, but I find that taking photos or videos of myself wearing my makeup (lipstick, nail polish, etc.) and clothing helps me to get creative with what I already own. To be clear, you do not have to post these photos or videos in any way--they can be reserved for your own personal use. After you review them, you can delete them! From personal experience, photos and videos are very different from looking in a mirror, and these forms of media really helped me gain a more objective perspective on how something looks on me. Once I saw myself in certain makeup or clothing items, it stimulated my creativity, and I was able to utilize what I had in new and different ways. Since this is the most abstract point, here are some examples of how it helped me:

- When I recorded my handbag collection video, I thought of combining an existing bag strap with the body of another handbag I have in my collection. I love the combination and wear it all the time now. This combination injected new life into these items, both of which I wasn't really reaching for previously.

- When posting daily photos of my work outfits, I played with different combinations, and I could easily see in my feed what I liked and what I didn't. I was surprised because I loved some combinations that I didn't think I would, and this breathed new life into my wardrobe. I began to experiment more.

- When I did the lipstick-a-day challenge, I got more comfortable with wearing bold lipsticks both to work and in my personal life. Previously, I had a lot of bold lipsticks in my collection but always felt too self conscious to wear them. The lipstick-a-day challenge changed that, as I saw through my videos how nicely they brightened up my complexion and added a pop of colour to my otherwise neutral look.

Experimenting with and seeing your products and clothing in a different light is key to finding the "newness" in something you already own.


Yesterday's journalling prompt really made me feel good! Since it's Saturday, and many of us don't have to work, I'd like to journal on the following:

What are your favourite hobbies (or things you love to do) that don't involve shopping? Please try to list at least 10 ways you truly love to spend your time!

I'll be journalling on this at some point today, so please feel free to join me. You can set aside a specific block of time to journal (it could be as little as 5 minutes), or you can add to your journal entry throughout the day each time you feel like buying something. If you don't like journalling, you can just think about the prompt instead of shopping.


In each video, I'll also ask:

What's the best thing that happened to you today?

My former colleague (and friend) shared this question with me as it's a daily practice she implemented in her life. I loved the concept, but I've been off and on about applying it in my daily life, so I thought we could practice together. My twist for this 5-part series is that my answer can't involve shopping.

The best thing that happened to me yesterday was going to an event with hubby and a couple of our friends. Last year, hubby and I watched a documentary called Living the Game, and I subsequently wanted to check out an esport event, but I eventually forgot about it. I'm so happy we finally got to see the action in person! I found it incredibly interesting watching gamers play Street Fighter with their custom consoles just like the gamers in the film. I love getting immersed in different cultures, and that includes the subcultures surrounding different hobbies! The event was free and included 3 drinks, a t-shirt, and an eSmartr sleeve, which I wore when writing this blog post to boost my mental capacity and creativity (I think it worked). There was lots of food, but I stuck to the eat-at-home challenge. Best of all, I got a chance to chat more with my hubby's colleague's girlfriend, who is absolutely lovely.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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