To say that minimalism does not come naturally to me is an understatement. I may appreciate elegant Sans Serif fonts, Zen-inspired living spaces, and one-dish meals, but trying to get me to buy a dress that’s not covered in glitter is just not going to happen. The only place, in fact, that I can get minimalism to stick when it comes to my wardrobe is in my purses.
Clearly I don’t mean the purses themselves. Have you missed the amount of love I have for my Louis Vuitton-monograph-emblazoned collection?
Most women opperate under the “just in case” rule when it comes to filling their handbags. They carry everything that might possibly be needed in the event of a nuclear holocaust – miniature versions of their favourite make-up, bottles of water, compacts, perfumes, the entire stationary aisle, bandaids, snacks, cellphones, chargers for their cellphones, iPods, computers, a novel (or two), hair products, and miscellaneous detrious.
I used to be the same way, and would haul copious amounts of stuff around with me all day. But then I ran into problems when I wanted to switch to a smaller purse that weren’t so akin to a carry-all. The choice would become: to carry a purse that didn’t go with my outfit, or to eliminate some of the contents. Obviously I opted to eliminate items, since there’s nothing worse than carrying around a ruck-sack while wearing a party dress.
As time went on I realized – elimination after elimination – that the items that I was consistently leaving out when I downsized were not actually essential in my everyday life. I didn’t need to carry glasses or my contact lens supplies, because I was comfortable wearing contacts without a safety blanket. I didn’t need to carry a book all the time, because I wasn’t spending copious amounts of time waiting around. I didn’t need to carry snacks or water at all times, because I don’t have blood-sugar issues and I can usually find something if I really need it. And having duplicates of my make-up or transferring things constantly was a waste of money and time.
I’ve gotten so efficient in my purse-packing strategy that I only ever have 6 constants: my wallet, a compact mirror, lip balm (right now I'm really into Burt's Bees - mmm peppermint!), a pen, a hair elastic, and my iPhone (featuring an adorable Andy Warhol case this month). Things are added based on where I’m going (a water bottle for a road trip, a novel & notebook for classes, a re-usable shopping bag for the library), but my overall purse-mantra is simple: if it can’t fit the smallest iteration then it’s not essential.
Where do you fall on the purse-contents spectrum? Are my readers a bunch of “just in case” enthusiasts, “essentials only” minimalists, or maybe somewhere in between? Upload a picture of your purse contents and tell me your story!