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 🙂


  1. 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


  2. 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

    • 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

  3. 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

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