Drive-By Shopping, Returns, & Clutter! My Weekly Check-in

I encountered an all new (at least to me) shopping experience last weekend. I’m going to call this “Drive By Shopping”. Let me explain…

I was having a nice day. The sun was finally out for a bit, my back wasn’t bothering me, I was happy and excited for a weekend in Montauk. While alone driving, I happened upon a bit of usual traffic going through the town of Bridgehampton. I don’t mind Hampton traffic as it gives me an opportunity to gaze out the windows and see all the people and scenery. I shifted my eyes to the left and BOOM - I spied a mannequin displayed in a store window wearing a cream colored sweater with ruffled sleeves paired with jeans that had the perfect fading down the front. As my car rolled past the town, I started thinking about that outfit. It spoke to me…I felt it represented me….casual, yet trendy…basic yet with an edge. The urge to buy that outfit began. I didn’t have time to turnaround and although I noticed the outfit, I did not notice the name of the store.

The weekend continued and I occasionally thought of the outfit, but was truly busy having a great time with my friends. Then Sunday arrived and everyone started heading home. With some downtime, I decided to try and figure out the name of the store so I could call them and see if they had the outfit in my size. It wasn’t that difficult to locate the names of the few boutiques in that area. One name looked familiar so I called it first. I asked the sales girl if her boutique had a cream sweater and jeans on display in the window… and it did. Within just a few minutes I had given her my credit card info and address. The outfit would be shipped to me first thing the next day.

I honestly don’t know what came over me. I purchased two items that I had barely seen for 10 seconds while driving by. I didn’t touch them or have any idea what brand they were. And on top of all that, the sales girl told me there were no refunds if I didn’t like them…only store credit. I never buy from stores that only offer store credit! Plus, think of the inconvenience…I’ll have to drive back to Bridgehampton for an exchange! I think I temporarily lost all my senses…how else can I explain this “drive by” purchase? I suppose the “drive-by” shopping was likely a combination of a few emotions. First, after a tough few days, I was feeling happy and I wanted to celebrate by buying myself something new, The second reason was the thrill of the search…the mystery and detective work to track down the items appealed to my inner Nancy Drew.

The items arrived two days later and I loved the sweater, but the jeans are not for me. Now I have to figure when I can get back there to exchange them for something else. I also remembered that I had said I wasn’t going to buy anymore sweaters. Feeling a bit guilty, I decided to go through all of my sweaters and see where this new one fit in. I looked at all the new clothing I had purchased within the last couple of months. Did I like this sweater better than the other ones I owned? I liked them all, but honestly I don’t need them all. Since the weather is only now starting to get cool, I still had tags on many of the new items. I decided to keep the new cream sweater, and instead return two sweaters that were also white, still had tags, and could be fully refunded. This would offset the cost of the new sweater and also keep my total sweater count from creeping higher.

Moving on….

I am on my second week of not viewing any of my favorite beauty and fashion bloggers. The first few days had been difficult as I mentioned last week, but then I quickly adjusted and I haven’t thought that much about them. This week was much easier with only a few passing quick thoughts. Except for the incident mentioned above, I haven’t done more shopping and I do believe not watching these bloggers is part of reason. So what do I do going forward? I enjoy watching the bloggers during coffee or tea “down time”, but they can trigger me to want to shop. I haven’t decided yet if I should attempt one more week without the bloggers. I’ll let you know!

Now for my commitment to de-cluttering. I eased into decluttering by choosing a simple project…my kitchen drawers. I dumped everything onto the floor, wiped down the drawers, and only put items back in that I actually use. I also go rid of many doubles (why did I have so many of the same items in the first place?). I had five ice-cream scoops and kept two (one for vanilla and one for chocolate). I had three vegetable peelers and kept two(an extra in case someone decides to help me peel potatoes on Thanksgiving). I had three can openers and kept one (not an item I use too often). I had four sets of measuring spoons and kept two (incase I’m measuring liquid and dry goods at the same time). I donated all the extras along with my son’s old toddler spoons, baby medication dispensers, and a bunch of keys that I had no idea what they were for. Here are the results:

It’s hard to tell from the pictures how much unused “stuff” I removed, but trust me it was a lot! I worked quickly and with purpose. It wasn’t a difficult job, but I did clean out three drawers in under an hour. Afterwards, I felt really good about it. I had accomplished my first decluttering task. Next week I’d like to tackle my bedroom vanity, my nightstand, and the fireplace mantle.

Even with the drive-by shopping trip, I feel this was a positive week. I experienced less shopping urges, and began my decluttering project. I can laugh at myself, learn from my experiences, and keep moving forward!

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