Thursday, April 17, 2014

Determining how much to purchase annually

We’re now just over a quarter through the year, and I am only one item away from meeting my goal cap for the year. I also keep overspending into the next month. Even this time when I was ‘so’ committed to saving up for my dress, and I thought it was gonna work because I had a clear goal in mind, I still spent unearned money, on something that I thought was ‘better’, and ‘must have’ because I didnt want it to sell out, and because the company is going out of business. And then I made a list of probably ten items that I would buy in a heartbeat if I had the cash, to take advantage of the liquidation.

I dont think buying more than 18 items (my goal cap) is necessarily wrong, it is a fairly arbitrary number, but I see the danger of going overboard. So I decided to think about how much is a reasonable yearly amount of turn over..I’m estimating i have 142 items in my closet, in all categories from shoes, to undies, to outerwear, everything. If these should last an average of 2 years, I need to replace 71 items, no that's too many. Let me break it down.

In order to figure out how often items generally need to be replaced, I'm dividing the amount of items, by the average amount of years I expect them to last, to figure out how many I will need to buy each year to maintain a set amount. I'm breaking it up into seasons, since my 'seasons' (hot, cold, and mild) last different lengths, and result in different rates of wear. I wouldn't be surprised if all of my 44 summer items needed to be replaced every year. Summer is my main season, taking up at least 6 months out of the year. Also, I tend to wash items after every wear during the summer, resulting in more wear and tear from the washing.

Well, my 25 sleep/lounge summer items will likely last 2 years since I don't expect these to remain pristine, [12.5 annual].  So that leaves [19] (44-25) core summer items to be replaced yearly. 35 winter items to be replaced every 4 years [8.75 annual].  42 mild weather items to be replaced every 3 years, [14 annual] 

My likely annual total comes out to 54.25. Oh boy. That's more than I expected. My purchasing for the last few years, 30-40 items, makes a lot more sense now.  I had an excess of clothes, and so didn't need to buy as much as I might need to now that my wardrobe is closer to my goal size.  But also I should consider wether I really want to keep up with this amount.  Though its comfortable, …its not necessary.. so i’ll keep thinking about what minimal amount can still be acceptably comfortable. 

To sum it up, you can break up your wardrobe into categories of wear (as in wear and tear). I did it by seasons, but you could also figure it out by categories perhaps. For example, you might expect your work cloths to last longer than your weekend clothes, or vice versa. Or your shoes to last longer than your tops. You decide what's makes the most sense for you. After you have your categories set up. Do an inventory of what you have, or would like to have, in each category. Divide these numbers by how long you expect each category to last, on average. Add up the numbers in each category, and you have a target number for how many items to bring in to your wardrobe on an annual basis. I think this could be really useful for managing the size of your wardrobe.  

If you decide this total number is too big, you might want to think about how to extend the life of your clothing and accessories. I'll post some ideas about this soon.

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