I believe that it would be a fair assumption to presume that most do not associate luxury goods with minimalism. Often when we think of minimalism we envision small, monochromatic wardrobes, houses that aren’t filled to the brim with decor and an overall standard of living that’s, simple (and sometimes frugal).
And that’s absolutely right, yet as I’ve said since the beginning, it’s important to realize that there is no one way to “do” minimalism. It’s up to the interpretation of the individual to determine what makes them feel less cluttered in their life.
Prior to my personal journey with minimalism, I had a great interest in luxury items, Louis Vuitton, in particular was a weak spot for me. At 22, I worked hard to build up a collection that I was proud of and that made me happy (these items had value to me). When I made the decision to strive towards minimalism for my life, I was conflicted on whether not luxury goods would still have a place. I owned several handbags, clothes and so forth that would be considered luxury and I wasn’t sure if they would need to go or not. I asked myself, did minimalism mean that I needed to shy away from brands that held such a “status” in our society?
For every action that we take, there’s a message intentionally or unintentionally being sent to the world around us. Especially when considering shopping; the brands we buy, and the stores we chose to shop at (for all of our needs) ALL say something about us, as a consumer. A great example of this would be those who only get coffee from Starbucks. While Starbucks is on the more expensive end and you could more than likely get a comparable coffee at your local Quick-Trip, there are some who will pay a higher cost for a drink due to their own personal reasoning – which is fine!
As a consumer, have you ever wondered what drew you to Starbucks (for example) over other coffee chains – was it the branding, was it location, was it that they finally spelled your name right on the cup, was it the customer service, was it taste, was it the feeling you got when you hold the branded cup in your hand, was it that you could artfully post a photo of your Starbucks cup and connect with others who too enjoy Starbucks..?
Much like choosing Starbucks over other coffee chains, our wardrobe is often a way that we outwardly express ourselves. For as long as I can remember, I cared about the clothes that I wore and what they meant in relation to my peers and the world around me. I wanted to be “cool” or “in style” and this is something that we all (or a great deal of us) want. That’s what consumerism and marketing do, they make you want to look like the images that are flashed on the screen/billboards/magazines and so forth that that subtly say, Buy me, so you can live this lifestyle..
So I had to check myself and ask a few honest questions before I proceeded with minimalism and considered keeping nay luxury items.
- Was I keeping the items because I like them?
- Do these items add value to my life?
- How often do I buy these items?
- Do I really need these items?
- How often do I use these items?
- Are these items worth the money I’ve spent?
- Do I need more than one of these items?
- What are you willing to part with?
Long story short, I did say goodbye to some items. I’ve only kept one “style” of each handbag, and have let go of a great deal of shoes and clothes, It wasn’t a difficult decision to part with so many items as they were collecting dust in my closet and will hopefully add value to another person’s life. At the end of the day it’s just stuff.. It’s really silly how much value we place in things, as opposed to just valuing them for what they are and the purposes they serve. Yet, that’s just the world we live in, eh?
While I am still far from my end goal with minimalism, I have to remind myself that I am not even a month in. In just 27 days I’ve seen a vast change in my life, so I am remaining encouraged and diligent. I eventually want to be the minimalist who is down to 100 items or less, but I’ve got a ways to go..
Below I will provide some fun resources on more about minimalism!
Click here to learn more about the “Minimalist Luxury Lifestyle”.
Click here to watch “The Art of Letting Go” TedTalk.
Click here to watch a 30 Day Minimalism Challenge
Click here to watch, “Can a Luxury Lover be a Minimalist?”
Click here to watch “Minimalist Lifestyle: Can Luxury Co-exist?”