The title says it all. This is how I used to feel about shopping.
I used to go shopping for clothing on a regular basis and working in retail certainly didn’t help. I was obsessed. I browsed the “new in” section of a popular online store on a regular basis.
Adding stuff to my Amazon wishlist was something I enjoyed doing.
I bought clothing not because I needed it, but solely because I wanted it.
Don’t get the wrong idea here – it’s not that I was spending a whole lot of money on clothing – I just bought things I didn’t need. Over and over again.
I was and am an advocate for buying used over new and that’s exactly what I did. I was a regular at quite a few thrift stores and loved hunting for clothing (that I didn’t really need).
It wasn’t until I embraced minimalism that I realized how I used to feel about shopping. I’ve been living out of a suitcase and small carry-on backpack ever since and wouldn’t have it any other way.
You either need a new pair of socks, because all your other pairs are unwearable, or you don’t. It’s that easy, really. I bought a jumper at the thrift store for less than $1 although I already had 5 at home. The fact that this one was different didn’t really matter. A jumper is a jumper.
By buying a piece of clothing you are either filling a “want” or a “need”. Chances are, you don’t actually need 30 pairs of underwear. You can only wear so many pairs any given week and it almost certainly won’t be 30 pairs.
If you’ve already got 5 jumpers then a sixth one is probably not of need and won’t make you any happier.
I craved and absolutely loved it
I had a closet filled to the brim with clothing and yet I bought more. As mentioned earlier, I wasn’t spending a whole lot of money on it. I loved sales and thrift stores full of $1 jumpers were my best friend.
The issue is just that I didn’t really need any more clothing. I was good and had enough. Now, here’s the thing: what one deems enough may be too little for the next person and that’s cool.
That being said, I’ve yet to meet a person who would tell me that they need 10 pairs of Jeans. You’d bee the first one to confess such a thing.
Needs vs. Wants
I’ve mentioned Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in quite a few posts and you are probably tired of hearing about it. I feel you. It’s important though which is why I’ll keep on mentioning it.
All you need to do is take a quick look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and you’ll understand the difference between a need and a want.
Our basic needs are psychological needs such as air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, warmth, sex and sleep. We need these very things for survival.
Does that mean that one needs 30 pairs of underwear to survive? Probably not.
A peek into my brain circa 2010
I used to think about shopping more often than I’d like to admit. There was this constant craving. Again, don’t get the wrong idea here, I was doing ok enough in school, cherished my friendships and did a lot of fun stuff.
That being said, I did spend way too much time chasing stuff I didn’t really need. And when I speak of stuff I mean mostly clothing and accessories. Oh, and crappy jewelry. Way too much crappy jewelry.
As mentioned earlier, I worked in retail. In fact, I’ve been working in retail for years and absolutely love it. My most recent position was in resale luxury e-commerce and I love the resale industry to bits.
Throughout my studies, I worked at a fast fashion retailer who’s churning out a new range of clothing every single week. Was I tempted? Oh boy, absolutely.
Did I buy something every week? Not quite, but I definitely purchased a few more pieces then I actually needed. Did I mention employee discounts?
On having too much
If you are having too much and buying more than you actually need, then you are in a pretty privileged position. The desire to get back to basics and only purchase what you really need usually stems from excess. You’ve got too much and you are tired of dealing with all your stuff.
I’ve mentioned this in previous posts and I’ll say it again: That’s something to be grateful for. You’ve got everything that you need (and more) and that’s something to appreciate.
Embracing minimalism made me realize how grateful I am for everything that I have and for everything that I don’t have to deal with. Of course, everyone’s definition of minimalism will vary and here’s mine: “Minimalism is a fantastic tool that can help you to live the life that you truly want to be living.”
Minimalism helped me to move from owning too much, to living out of a suitcase. Sadly, there are quite a few myths about minimalism and one of the biggest ones being that you need to own a certain number of items. Minimalism for me is living an intentional life, the number of items that I do own has nothing to do with that.
This Is How I Used To Feel About Shopping
I used to love it and now I only do it when truly necessary. I shop for clothing twice a year (usually March + September) and have been doing this for years now.
Purchasing only what I need and forgetting about the rest is key to keeping things simple and clutter-free. If you are in need of inspiration check out these 10 books on minimalism and simplicity.
If you want to dive a little deeper then I highly recommend doing a shopping ban. I am currently on a yearlong shopping ban, although I am super frugal. I think shopping bans make sense no matter how frugal you are.