Taking up closet space

I’m always looking for a good deal, so like most of you I scour the thrift stores, yard sales and social media for things I am not willing to spend a lot of money on – clothing being the main item. If I can find it gently used and in good condition for less than what it would cost me, then I know I have a deal. Especially when it comes to kids clothes. However, what I can’t understand is the term “new with tags,” because, to me, an item sitting in your closet should be worn. I’ve seen lots of items for sale online and so many of them have a “new with tags” comment on the purchase price. A child’s North Face Jacket. Women’s dresses. Men’s Columbia shorts. The list goes on and on. How do you purchase a North Face Jacket for your child and then never take the tags off it and let them wear it? I don’t buy the “it doesn’t fit” comment, because I am always buying the Wizard, clothes he can grow into. I also don’t understand purchasing a pair of shoes and only wearing them one time. If the shoes hurt your feet walking around the store while you were trying them on, then I can assure you they will hurt your feet when you get home. People close to me will tell you – I wear my shoes out, so much so that the bottom of some of my shoes have been known to have extremely thin soles or straps that I have glued back together. Maybe it’s because I’m frugal and don’t like spending money. Or perhaps it’s the reality that I don’t have money to spend. Either way – I have never had a pair of shoes that have only been worn once. The only thing that even comes close to being “new” in my house is a set of spring form cheesecake pans that I’ve never used. But unlike a jacket, a cookware doesn’t go bad unless you use it all the time. My mom taught me many years ago to hold up the item and if I feel that I just have to have it, then get it, but if I can see myself being content without it and making do, then I never really wanted that item to begin with. It’s a great trick that has saved me a lot of money and closet space over the years. I know some of you are reading this and wondering where my thoughts are coming from this week (just wait until I get started about the cost of milk.) Let me digress. Holiday shopping season for 2019 is about to kick into full gear. Presents to be purchased here, family events to attend there. So much moving and going and lots of money being spent. Make sure that the items you are purchasing for yourself are ones that you are truly going to want and wear. And when it comes to buying gifts for others, make sure they are practical gifts – things that would get a great deal of use instead of collecting dust and in a year ending up on a buy-sale-trade social media page. This holiday season, spend the money wisely – both on yourself and on others. Don’t let the things you purchase for yourself (and others) end up being “new with tags” in your closet. Laura Pitts is a former Daily Mountain Eagle reporter and currently serves as director of the Scottsboro Public Library.