100 Possessions: My Handbag

I’ve decided to start a new series here on Miss Minimalist called “100 Possessions.” My intent: to feature each item I own, and explain why I chose to include it in my minimalist life.

Sure, it may seem ironic to be talking about stuff on a minimalist blog. However, given that the majority of us are not Buddhist monks, we need a certain amount of things to function (and be comfortable) in our homes, jobs, and daily lives.

Furthermore, as minimalists, we must be mindful of, and make smart decisions about, the things we own—because the more versatile and functional each item, the less overall we need.

I’m calling the series “100 Possessions” not because I think we should limit our things to an arbitrary number. Rather, I regard it as a metaphor for the carefully-chosen things that have earned a place in our lives.

I think it’d be great to open up a dialogue about our consumer (or should I say minsumer?) choices. I receive emails every day asking for particulars about my wardrobe, luggage, cosmetics, shoes, electronics—you name it, I’ve been asked about it. Well, I’ll share my choices with you; and I hope you’ll share yours as well!

In fact, I’ve started a group photo pool on Flickr called “100 Possessions.” I invite you all to upload photos of your own things, and let us know why they merit a place in your minimalist life.

I’m kicking off the series with a topic near and dear to many minimalistas: handbags. Like many of you, I’ve engaged in a long quest to find the “perfect” bag. Something that works in every season, with every outfit, for every occasion. I only want to own one, after all.

Have I found it? Quite possibly. Here’s my current carryall of choice:

Miss Minimalist's handbag

Miss Minimalist's handbag

Why did I choose it? Ah, let me count the reasons!

1. It’s black—which means it goes with all my shoes, and everything in my wardrobe. It’s also less likely to show stains, and general wear, than a lighter-colored bag.

2. It’s made of seatbelts. I love the fact that the material is vegan, wipes clean, and doesn’t scratch like leather or stain like cloth. It appears to be virtually indestructible—perfect for someone who, once they find something they like, wants it to last forever.

3. It’s versatile. It has a feminine shape, and slight sheen, making it appropriate for dressier occasions (like going to a nice restaurant), as well as casual wear.

4. It zips across the top, making it secure in crowded places and on public transit. (Note: for those thinking of ordering this, the bag comes standard with a magnetic closure–I requested a zipper instead.)

5. It has an adjustable cross-body strap, which I prefer (for versatility, for security, and to keep my hands free).

6. It’s lightweight. I can easily toss it into my suitcase when I travel.

7. It folds flat for easy storage, so no need to find extra shelf space for it in the closet.

8. It was handmade by an Etsy artisan, rather than being mass-produced.

So that’s what I’m sporting on a daily basis. I’d love to hear about your choice of everyday bag—be it purse, tote, backpack, messenger bag, etc. Tell us about it in the Comments.

I think this series will be a fun break from the more serious, philosophical posts. I can’t wait to trade ideas with you on how we can live beautiful lives with less stuff!

{If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or subscribing to my RSS feed.}

Related posts:

  1. 100 Possessions: Turquoise Wellies
  2. 100 Possessions: Monk’s Bowl
  3. 100 Possessions: Little Black Dress

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