Tuesday, March 1

Fewer Things

One of the things I wanted to do in 2011 was to reduce the number of things I own and the amount of things I buy, particularly pertaining to wardrobe, but also bric-a-brac. I've always been frugal by nature, but living in a small space has made me realise that I need to question what is really necessary to own, and what is convenient. So far I am in a phase of planning and developing, list-making, sketching and discovering minimalist blogs (one of my favourites for fashion right now is Dead Fleurette); baby steps.

Earlier this year I also started budgeting, which I haven't done before (going mostly by gut feeling and bank statements – a dubious idea when you're living on sub-poverty line study loans), and I realised that by living this way I will actually be saving money, compared to when I was less conscious about every purchase, thus also focusing more on being ethical and environmental.

All the schemes I have laid out for myself are already explained better elsewhere, but I have one protip for cleaning out your wardrobe, especially if you get easily attached to things: Make a special heap for items you are not entirely sure about; the extravagant shirts that would be fun to wear for that one occasion, the dresses you never wear but keep for the memories, the things that are really kind of nice so you keep hoping to be able to pull it off one day. Put these items away, for example in a suitcase underneath your bed, or a box in the storage room. You probably have enough clothes to forget about the stow-aways pretty quickly. A few months later, you can look through your box or suitcase, and most likely realise you didn't miss these clothes at all. If you did, re-incorporate them into your wardrobe, and if not, donate them to charity or flea markets.

Next up is the bookshelf, which I am afraid will be more difficult to get through efficiently, and loose papers.


  1. I adore this idea! The only problem with the blog you mentioned is that she can drop a grand on a handbag! I want to have a minimalistic wardrobe, but I will also use thrifted and vintage pieces. I'm trying to find a basic trenchcoat and high quality brogues to replace my cheap and uncomfortable pair. Can you share minimalistic blogs if you find more? This is a very relevant issue!

    I'm a soon to be grad student, with undergraduate loans and a very small living stipend.

  2. I'm a grad/MA student as well, with a housekeeping job on the side, so I can relate to the part about the budget. The trick is how you distribute your money. If you buy four, five, six items (besides underwear, socks, tights and other articles of rapid consumption) every year, you can afford to spend more on each of the individual things you buy, and hopefully get things that last (I ruined a pair of jeans and a pair of boots last week, and had to get new ones, so no more shopping for me until summer...)

    There are so many advantages to planning your long-term shopping – you get to think through whether you really need these things, how they fit into your wardrobe, how they fit you, what materials and cuts you are looking for, all in all not impulsively buying something you're not quite sure about. (This goes for vintage shopping and thrifting as well, although in those cases the impulse is imperative).

  3. That is exactly what I'm doing right now! It's hard to clean out the wardrobe, but I don't ever want to wear badly made, non-ethical clothing again and that makes it easier.

  4. I am struggling to be more restrained in what I buy as I am a student as well but am lucky to have my parents helping me. When I move to London however I am out on my own so probably will have no spending money for clothes. I wish I was as disciplined as the blogger you pointed out, sometimes though there are those days when you need to pull out a frivolous blouse from your wardrobe. I am a big charity shop junkie as well so sometimes I get carried away.