The One Shopping Hack You Need In Your Life

There are a lot of tips out there on how to curate your wardrobe, and most of them aim to help you create a more mindful approach to how you spend your money and how you develop your style. Tips on how to shop mindfully are sometimes meant to be taken with a grain of salt, though. Sure, it'd be nice to have a well thought-out closet — one that looks like a game plan was drafted and then actually followed. But I'll tell ya, when that urge to shop hits, well, things can get a little hazy.

There are some wild moments in my past during which something has just been triggered. Whether I was extreme coupon-ing for too long or living in rundown, cozy hostels for a day too much, I would end up swiping my credit card like a weapon, buying anything in sight that was remotely pretty and frivolous. That watercolor dress? Uh, yes please. Those heels I'll never figure out how to walk in? Come on down! How about that trench coat that I already own two times over? There's room for it as well.

It would feel so good, but after the dust settled on the madness, I'd find myself in an awkward position. I'm not talking about me panting on the floor with my mascara slightly running, but about that annoying, nagging guilt coming from the back of my head. The one that would "tsk, tsk, tsk" as it made its way to the crime scene.

"What have we done?" it would whisper, slightly horrified at the both of us. Bringing my head to my knees, I could only agree. That was dumb.

Any fashion lover probably knows these moments can and will happen from time to time, but the question to ask is how do you curb it so it doesn't happen often? The world needs a tip out there that'll put a leash on our prone-to-crazy-town spending and help us stop and think before that credit card cuts through the air. And guys, I think I found one.

There’s a curating-your-closet trick that’s a little extreme but very efficient. Buckle up, because it may make you uncomfortable. Just try to keep an open mind, OK?

If you buy something new, you have get rid of something in your closet to take its place. Not you should get rid of something. You have to.

Yea, I know, utter madness. It's because of its insanity that it works, though. It makes you stop and think about whether the swap is actually worth it.

So many times we shop for sport rather than necessity, creeping around stores with our little duck whistles, ready to bag a trapped cashmere sweater or a cornered pair of leather sandals. Sure, we have a couple of those already stowed at home, but what's another trophy for the wall, eh?

What happens when you decide that you'll buy that pair of jeans, but in order to do so you have to get rid of a dress? Which one will get the axe? Are you ready to retire any of them? If you want to buy a new purse, you have to toss an older one to make room. But what if you love each one of them like a child? Then what?

By being strict in this way, you're checking yourself. You're asking yourself some pretty important questions that will keep you from spending money just for the fun of it. Do you really like this piece? Will it improve your wardrobe in any way? Will it move your outfits into a higher caliber? Will it bump your wardrobe up a new notch? Or are you just buying another B-rated frock just because, meh, you don't really have a reason not to?

I tried doing this exercise a few times and was surprised just how hard it was. When actively thinking about the pieces I'd have to filter out to make room for the newer items, I literally came home with zero bags. I just couldn't justify getting rid of any piece in my closet to bring home a shinier, newer version of it. Although the stuff I found was pretty, it didn't really add anything to my wardrobe and it didn't change my styling game. It was just... stuff.

If you're looking to add new things into your life mindfully, or hoping to find a surefire way to curb your spending, then try the one in, one out shopping policy. It might not permanently put the kibosh on your reckless spending, but it'll help.

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