Yesterday I had a head on collision with reality. I can’t buy a purse this year.
Did you know the average woman owns 11 purses? When I read that my first thought was, “Only 11?” I finally purged a lot of my purses last year when I moved and I still own ten myself. Buy why did I hold on to those ten? Why am I so emotionally attached to these purses? And why do I feel like getting rid of them will be the hardest part of this year?
Everyone who knows me knows I only carry Kate Spade’s purses – it’s my ONE splurge in life. I buy myself one new Kate Spade purse every year and to justify this I TRY to buy it during the yearly 75% off sale. Guess what happened yesterday…yup…the BIG sale.
The notice pops up in my email and my heart skipped a beat! I immediately logged in and started browsing for my yearly splurge. I was half way through the pages when it hits me – this is shopping – I CAN’T do this – I CAN’T buy a purse.
No lying, I was sad. I closed the website and put my phone down. No splurge this year. Sigh.
That disappointed feeling stuck with me all morning too. Later that day I sat at my desk and looked over at my current Kate Spade and thought, “Well I guess I could just pull one of my old ones out of the closet, I have at least 7 to pick from.”
Wait – I have 7 Kate Spades in my closet?! Why?! It was at that moment I realized that after a year carrying a purse, I NEVER carry them again. I don’t sell them, I don’t give them away, I don’t do anything with them. They just sit there, inside their dust bags, all lined up like really expensive purse headstones. That’s what I’ve created, a purse graveyard.
If this year of self-growth is going to mean anything I NEED to get these purses out of the “purse retirement home” and give them away! I instantly called my sister to tell her and her first response was, “Finally! I call first dibs!” And just like a mother watching her first child head off to college, I’m excited to see them go. I’ve given them a good home and now they can make someone else as happy as they have made me.
I’ve decided that I’m going to keep 4 of my purses. I’m going to keep my current Kate Spade, it’s large and great for everyday use. I’ll also keep my small cross body Kate Spade since I think it’ll be great for vacations and trips and it is a lot lighter than my big bag. I’m also going to keep my red patent leather Kate Spade wristlet, it’s great for nights out and dressing up. The last purse is a handmade green leather cross body that I picked up in Italy. It was actually altered just for me while I waited and I had the loveliest conversation with the artisan. I mean…hello…Italian leather and made for me by an attractive Italian man? Yeah, I’m keeping this one.
So maybe owning 4 handbags isn’t exactly the minimalist way, but it feels right for me. It’s less then what I had before and it’s a step in the right direction. And that’s what this year is all about - forward progress. Moving towards a minimalist lifestyle is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I didn’t accumulate all this stuff overnight and it’s going to take time to get rid of it all. I’m going to take pride in every step (no matter how small) towards that goal.
I’ve discovered that I like giving you your own challenge at the end of each of these posts. So here’s what I have for you this week. Go count your purses and if you find yourself surprised at the number, then give some of them away. Be tough on yourself too! With each one you pick up ask yourself these two questions: “Will I ever carry this purse again?” and “Who else could benefit if I give it away?”
Next, snap a photo of the ONE purse you could live without and post it in a comment. I’d love to see what everyone got rid of!
My name is Misty Day (yeah, that really is my name) and I'm a normal every day person. I'm a twin, I work as an analyst, I take my daughter to Girl Scouts and swim team, I play bass guitar in a band, I love food and wine, I like new clothes, and I'm trying to be a better person.