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Minimalism ‘Challenge’ – Fighting the Urge to Shop

I want to go shopping. Online, of course, because I’m making a conscious effort to refrain from any impulse shopping & because I can never find what I’m looking for in 100% natural fabrics without spending days in a row hopping from store to store & I usually find myself settling for something that ‘will do’ as a substitute.

In order to slow myself down, I’ve developed a habit of googling minimalism to reassure myself that I can manage with the items I have. Besides, soon I will be able to fit in some of my other items, as I’ve been working very hard on toning up and slimming down my body.

You know what I’m starting to notice during these google sessions, though? It’s that so many of these writers are using the terms ‘building your minimalist wardrobe’ – ’10 items you need for your minimalist wardrobe’ – ‘Growing a minimalist wardrobe’. Pardon my stupidity, but isn’t the whole thing about paring down? Living happily with the items you currently own? Not SHOPPING MORE????? How does this in any way fit in with actual minimalist theorems?

I don’t have a closet full of options. I did a purge about a year ago, and gave away many of the items I had that were not sustainable or natural fabrics. You may think me crazed, but these are the items I love and want to wear, so there was no use in hoarding a closet full of ‘meh’ items. However, it absolutely baffles me as to how someone could read one of these articles, give away 80% of their items, and then go shopping to replace those items with more items, but items which cost probably 70% more than the original donated item. (Let us not forget that the big advice is to buy high quality basics – which usually cost no less than 150 Euro per piece. ) Now, investing in a needed item which will last for years, I understand and agree with totally. Most times, you have to pay for quality of make & fabric. But throwing things out & then buying more really just seems like a good justification for a shopping trip to start your new life. And that just seems silly.

What do you think?

-Mliae

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18 Comments »

  1. My wife would love your efforts. She is into ‘decluttering’ and gets rid of something every week. It’s especially important as you age so you don’t leave ‘stuff’ to others to discard. It feels good to donate to worthy causes. Keep up the good work.

    • Thank you! It sounds to me that your wife is doing good things! That is a happening here as well…to keep the clutter at a minimum so that you don’t leave ‘stuff’ for others. Also, its nice to enjoy ourselves as well..no?

      • Yes! And there are plenty of social welfare organizations who can use some ‘stuff’ if it’s in decent condition. So, we donate. That feels good, too. 😊 Have a great day!

    • Yes, this, exactly. I pass time also with the online shopping. But I keep thinking how much I could actually get done in that time that I’m just staring at the PC.

  2. I could sort of agree with “growing” a wardrobe from the perspective of buying the items that fit the broader need such as a single jacket that both meets cool weather and cold weather instead of the light and heavy jacket that one might get rid of, but it wouldn’t be my strategy. I prefer to reduce, wear out, reduce again, but if one made a lot of really bad choices in the past a fresh start might have some value.

    • I like this comment. You are correct in that allowing for those purchases is good strategy for long term purchasing decisions. I also prefer to use completely what I have available before purchasing new, but I do think that if I found a multi-use item, I would purchase it. Thank you for commenting! 😀

  3. As I was decluttering, I really took some time to think about each item I wanted to keep. In terms of clothing, I haven’t bought anything (save for maybe one basic item that needed to be replaced) in over a year. It feels great to wear the clothes you enjoy, and see nothing but those clothes in your closet. I don’t believe you need to buy anything to sustain a minimalist wardrobe – you simply need to keep your multi-use articles and donate the rest. A good way to start is by picking out a few articles of clothes then putting everything else in a box. This is a good way to ease into the lifestyle. It is hard to get rid of things, so start by simply putting them out of sight instead. If you don’t need to open that box in the next few months, you know you can donate those items. Minimalism is a truly freeing lifestyle! Thanks for sharing

    • That is a good one. 33 pieces provides many options, but its so much less than many people have. So in my mind it is a nice challenge.

  4. As long as you are removing something with something better, you are doing it right. The ‘something better’ may be a thing, or it may not even be a thing at all 🙂

  5. I am completely on the same page about shopping vs. maximizing what you already own. Otherwise it will be an endless loop – getting rid – buying – then ridding and buy again…

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