Minimalism and shopping

So, I have three handbags:

  • Cross-body bag
  • Large tote
  • One with top handles which I got in the US about 8 years ago

I love that one so much that I rarely use it!!   I annoy myself when I write that.  If a friend told me about a bag she loved but didn’t use, I would be the first to tell her to use it, love it, enjoy it and not keep it for best.  Or even let it go, if it wasn’t bringing value or joy (which is not the case).

I am determined to use it and not just look at it from now on.

It’s a bag not an ornament!

However, my cross-body bag is showing serious signs of wear and tear.  It’s a few years old and the most practical bag I have.  I use it all the time and the cost per wear is pennies at this stage.  It’s so handy for the times when I want my hands to be free or my tote is just too large.

I wanted to replace it but when I went to shop for one, I felt guilty and extravagant.   I went home instead and took out my other two bags, feeling discomfited that I wanted yet a third.  However, my cross-body bag serves a defined purpose that the other two do not.   So I went shopping again.  This time, I approached it in a far more intentional way.  I defined what I wanted a cross-body bag for, when I would use it, how much my budget was and the approximate cost per wear.

I then felt that a second-hand bag was a more sustainable and ethical way to shop and more in keeping with what I am trying to achieve via minimalism.  I found a practical, hardly-used bag on EBay.  It’s good quality and I’m expecting it to last years.  I’m satisfied with my purchase and no longer feel guilty.


All this angsting led me to a few thoughts:


  • It’s fine to replace an item when it’s worn, once I know I still need it and will use it.
  • Many are minimalists through circumstances and not through choice and I am lucky – so I want to shop with intention and not mindlessly.
  • Shopping and consumerism are not inherently obstructions to a more minimal lifestyle – but for me, intentional shopping and conscious consumerism is the way to go.
  • Purchasing second-hand items extends their life and, for me, feels more sustainable and ethical.
  • I’m going to use and enjoy my new bag – it definitely sparks joy!

Have your shopping habits changed?  I’d love to hear back from you.  Have a great week 🙂

  13 comments for “Minimalism and shopping

  1. nataliesalchemy
    August 5, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    I love that you mentioned that it’s ok to replace an item especially if it’s in constant use! I also think that it’s more sustainable and ethical to shop second hand 🙂

    Natalie | Natalie’s Alchemy

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Natalie, thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂 I think previously, I would have just automatically replaced something and I’m trying to be a bit more thoughtful with my purchases now. I’ve started to do more and more second-hand shopping and it’s a revelation! I intend to do far more of it and totally agree with you regarding its sustainability and more ethical nature, Lxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • nataliesalchemy
        August 6, 2017 at 2:54 am

        It’s my pleasure 😀 I was the same way; for instance, I automatically replaced my razors, but when I started to think about consuming less and less waste, I realized I could buy a stainless steel razor. 🙂 I’m glad we have the same views of thrifting!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. July 21, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    I love your decision to buy second-hand! For some time now, I’ve been trying to buy second-hand instead of new whenever possible. It makes me feel less materialistic and less plugged into the consumerist, disposable society we live in. Thanks for another great, inspiring post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 22, 2017 at 3:10 am

      Hi there, thanks so much for reading and commenting 😀 I’d like to do more second hand shopping, so will see how I can do more of this in future xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. July 20, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I am too ashamed to say how many bags I have and don’t use. I don’t shop much but keep everything if it is not broken or worn out! I am moving house and have been forced to admit to myself I am a hoarder. Not something previously I would have recognised in myself. Keep blogging as it’s inspiring me to change my ways!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 20, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Thanks for your words of encouragement, Nik 😀 I suppose it’s all about striking a balance and finding what works best for you. Moving house can be so stressful anyway and especially having to confront items from the past- hopefully it will prove a helpful and cathartic experience and the gateway into a whole new chapter ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. July 18, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Hi Courtney, thanks a million for your comment and for reading 😀. I found your comment really helpful, as I’ve never bought anything from Kate Spade before. I was hoping for a bag that would last so your comment is reassuring! I’ve just been reading your blog and love your posts. Your photos, especially, are beautiful and amazing quality! Lxx


  5. July 18, 2017 at 3:08 am

    I am a minimalist as well and am constantly cycling through bags… I love Coach and Kate Spade! They always last long and hold up well. I will have to check out this cross body!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. asmallwardrobe
    July 16, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I think I need a cross-body, so I can free my hands. I’ve been looking for two years and still no luck. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 17, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      Hi there, thanks a million for reading and commenting 😀 Glad you liked the post. Now that I have the bag, I think I will join you on your shopping fast. Your blog continues to be a key source of inspiration and motivation 🌷

      Liked by 1 person

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