Step Into Our Shopping Bag

June 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm 4 comments


Disorganized spaces and unused items often begin with shopping. 

 Thus, we view strategic shopping as a preventative measure against clutter, disorganized space, and unused (often regrettable) items.  Strategic shopping has money, time, and peace-of-mind saving potential. 

What is strategic shopping? It’s shopping with purpose and intention. It’s the process of obtaining items you genuinely need and will use. A lot.    

How can you put SS into action? Follow our 5 tried and true steps (for the purpose of this article we’re focusing on strategic clothes shopping but the formula can be applied to shopping for anything).  

1. Survey your wardrobe. Take inventory of what you already own. How can you bring new life into existing items? What are you missing? If you haven’t worn a piece in a year (and you really do  love it) perhaps purchasing a belt or a great pair of shoes will pop it back into your wardrobe rotation? 

2. Create an ongoing list of items you need or want. What staples are you lacking? 

3. Be a smart, savvy shopper

a) Set a budget for your shopping trip. Even if you’ve popped into a shopping centre unexpectedly – take a few minutes to mentally map out what you need or would really love to look at.      

b) Beware of overly helpful sales associates (often on commission they have the ability to talk you into purchasing a florescent green felt veiled hat you will never, ever, wear  – we hope). 

c) It’s common shopping knowledge that a trip to the change room will most likely result in a purchase. Before trying items on ask yourself: Is it on my list? Do I really need it? What will it go with? Do I own something similar that will suffice?     


4. Resist Temptation

a) The word SALE does not necessarily mean it’s a deal. Our brains are easily tricked into believing we’ve stumbled upon something elusive and fleeting. It’s only a sale if it’s marked down and you really NEED it. (Check your list! What do you mean you lost it?!) 


b) Avoid Selling Gimmicks. BOGO, spend $100 and get a $20 giftcard, gift with purchase, etc… These schemes can quickly lead to what Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project) calls Bargain Clutter and Freebie Clutter – the result of purchasing unnecessary things because they’re on sale.     



c) Don’t overspend on trends. Although seasonal trends often resurface, you will most likely want an updated version the next time it comes around. 

Yes its baby blue, yes it show'd my stomach (in my defense I wore a tank top underneath), and no I wasn't ten years old when I wore it. Some trends are NOT enduring. ~ Beth


This also rings true for trendy house-wares, knickknacks, and high-tech gadgets. 

5. Enjoy your purchases! Use them and wear them. Don’t save them for special occasions so not to ruin them (this is more common than one would expect). Also, if you happen to come home from a shopping trip without any items, look at your bank account (and storage space) and give yourself a pat on the back! 


Other useful links to help you edit your shopping habits ~ 

The Unclutterer ALWAYS has an answer: 

Retail Therapy sucks.  Develop a de-cluttering addiction instead: 

Read The Power of Less (just don’t email the author): 

Conscious consuming:


Entry filed under: Closet Organization, Decluttering, Editing, Financial Organization, Storage Solutions, Strategic Shopping. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Step Into Our Toolbox Step Into Our Medicine Cabinet

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. andrew  |  June 10, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Wow… i hear ya with regards to 4C @Beth… so what you’re saying is that i should avoid trying to resurrect my pink polo tee (popped collar included)? Attached link = case in point

  • 2. Sara  |  June 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I believe I own the same blue sweater. LOL

    Great tips. Can’t wait to hear more.

  • 3. Step Into Earth Day!!! «  |  April 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

    […] packaging, shipping, purchasing, storing, using and discarding have a huge impact on the earth. Strategic shopping and de-cluttering are two ways the average person has power to evoke environmental […]

  • 4. Step Into Our Shopping Diet «  |  November 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    […] We believe this approach gives one immediate insight into pieces of clothing (and other non-wardrobe related items – apply the strategies to kitchenware and toiletries) they can do without. Think you need a new cocktail dress or blazer despite the many not worn in months? Think again and skip to Part Two (The Battle of the Bulge) Step Six: Reinvent The Favorites. […]


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