One of the biggest clutter culprits is online shopping. It’s just so darn easy. You click, and voila! Two days later your fab item arrives at your doorstep, ready to change your life.
We’re not here to tell you to stop. Unlike Kate and Ann, who have never been lured by the instant gratification of online shopping, I have always loved it. And believe me, I’ve kept a number of items I shouldn’t have, and learned my lessons the hard way. Read this guide to find out how to avoid a cluttered closet, and be the savviest online shopper out there!
Do Your Homework
Read reviews! Find out if people like the fabric and cut of the product before you buy.
Beware of Sales: They are almost always non-refundable. A sale item is a great bet if you know it fits you and looks good already, like a replacement white T-shirt. Anything that is a fashion risk is better shopped in person.
Check The Return Policy: They vary widely across brands. A 7 day return policy on an online item is extremely quick turn around. Also, certain companies (Lululemon, for example) have extremely generous exchange policies, where if you just don’t like an item after a while you can exchange it for another. These companies are great for consumers.
Make the Returns Easy! Make sure you have:
Clear packing tape – Useful for closing up boxes or taping labels.
Large polyethylene mailers – They are tear-proof and east to store. This way you won’t panic trying to find an adequate box to send back your items.
A Printer– Many companies send return labels with your items, but jut in case, make sure you can print out a label and affix it to the box with your packing tape.
Know Your Shipping Methods
Doorman building? Lucky duck. They will likely hold packages for you until the Fedex, UPS, or postman comes for a pickup.
Set up free accounts with Fedex, UPS, and USPS so you can arrange to have packages picked up at your door. If the brand you shopped provided a pre-printed label, you may be eligible for a free pickup!
Scout the nearest location and drop your package on the way to work!
As Always: Be Rigorous
The thing is, particularly with clothes, it’s difficult to assess the quality and fit of an item when you buy it online. And often, when you try it on, it’s often a little different than you imagined – not quite right. But returning it is such a pain that you settle for the not-quite-right item, and stuff it into your closet. It’s already in your house, after all.
When you get dressed in the morning and are faced with the choice between a shirt that is perfect for you and a shirt that is not quite right, you’re going to choose the former. And before long, you have a closet full of not-quite-right tops that you never wear.
Don’t fall for this! A primary tenant of our philosophy of Owning Well is never settle for “Good, Not Great” purchases. You may think you can make it work later, but chances are it will end up as money and closet space squandered.
It might take you a couple more days, even weeks, but you will find that piece that makes you feel fantastic.