Lisa Lansing

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I describe myself as an extreme minimalist because I can carry everything I own on my back. I jumped head first into this minimalism thing because I wanted to travel freely and the easiest way to do that is to own very little.

The other day I happened to venture into a TKMaxx since a friend was looking to buy a hoodie. I browsed the athletic apparel and contemplated buying a new shirt or two. I never buy new clothes that quickly, so I decided to think about it for a few days before making a purchase.

Later that day I organised my belongings, separating the things I will take with me to Berlin and the things I’ll keep here in Scotland. I’ve accumulated a few sweaters since arriving here and I doubt I will need them this summer while bouncing around Europe. Still, everything I own can fit into two bags.

After organising everything, I decided that I could indeed purchase a new shirt if I wanted to but I’m still on the fence about it. Currently, I have two short sleeve shirts and two pairs of stretchy trousers that I wear regularly. I also have two tank tops and one pair of shorts.

I have to think about each and every clothing purchase now that my wardrobe is so minimal. I don’t go shopping because I’m bored. If I buy a new shirt, I have to make sure it’s worth it to me. Will I wear it often enough to justify it taking up space in my bag? One shirt doesn’t take up that much space, but I don’t want anything in my bag that isn’t completely useful to me.

In order for me to accept a new article of clothing into my wardrobe, it must pass the following test: Does this fit me well? Can I walk 10 miles or so in it and still be comfortable? Is it black or dark grey?

I first watched this video over a year ago when I was first minimising my life, selling and donating everything I owned so I could travel freely with two bags. At that time, I had a closet and multiple dressers full of clothes and an impressive shoe collection, and couldn’t imagine owning so little let alone less than 10 items in my wardrobe.

As Jennifer Scott points out, most of us have closets FULL of clothes, yet we keep buying more clothes, mindlessly. We’re not discerning about what goes into our wardrobe, so we buy clothes out of boredom or simply because we find a sale. Our closets are packed full of junk clothes we hardly ever wear.

We should focus on quality over quantity. I recommend buying a few quality items that you can wear for years rather than settling for cheaper clothes.

Owning less means you put more thought into the items in your wardrobe so you avoid shopping unless you genuinely need something. Imagine how much money you’d save if you only shopped for clothes with intention. When contemplating a purchase, ask yourself these questions: What do you actually enjoy wearing? What feels comfortable to you? What makes you feel good? You’ll feel better about yourself in the clothes you wear because you genuinely like and appreciate each and every piece of clothing in your collection.

The fewer clothes you have, the less choice you have, which it turn gives you more time. I waste no time choosing an outfit in the morning since I wear the same thing every day, with minor variations.

You’ll save money, feel better about yourself and your clothes, and have more time.

What’s not to like?

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