100 Possessions: Turquoise Wellies

At first glance, this particular possession may seem way out of line with my minimalist principles. But hey, a girl’s gotta have a little fun, right?

Maybe they make me a bad minimalist—they’re not a basic color, and they don’t go with everything in my closet (though I typically pair them with anything anyway). They’re not lightweight, and they don’t fold down to nothing for easy storage and transport. And they’d take up way too much space in the minimalist’s proverbial backpack. ;-)

So why are they part of my life?

1. They’re practical. When I lived in England, I learned that in rainy weather, there’s nothing better than a pair of wellies to keep your feet warm and dry. They’ve gotten plenty of use, and I like to think that they’ve even staved off a cold or two.

2. They preserve my other (more delicate) shoes, meaning I don’t need to replace them as often. I’d go through many more shoes if I wore them all in the rain.

3. They brighten my day. Yes, I actually smile when I look out the window and see rain, simply because I can pull on my wellies. It’s like recapturing the joy of childhood, splashing around in puddles simply for the fun of it.

4. They appear (so far) to be virtually indestructible. I’m a big fan of things that last a l-o-n-g time. It’s a more efficient use of resources, and means I can avoid shopping.

5. They’re classic. The company (Hunter) has been making this style of boots since the 1950s; no worries about them going out of fashion!

6. They’re colorful. Yes, despite my white décor, and the blacks and grays in my closet, I do enjoy a shot of color here and there. Minimalists don’t have to live in monochrome. :)

In summary: if something has the power to bring a smile to my face on a rainy day, I think it deserves a place in my closet.

Although some may find my minimalism a bit extreme, I’m a big proponent of the Middle Way—in other words, finding a happy balance between too ascetic and too lavish a lifestyle. For even as we strip our lives to the essential, we still need to leave room for a little whimsy, a little fun, a guilty pleasure here and there.

Do you have a surprising possession in your minimalist life?

{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.}

51 comments to 100 Possessions: Turquoise Wellies

  • I definiely approve!

    Sadly, my calves won’t go into any of the lovely tall wellies. Fortunately, shorter models are becoming available, not quite so rainproof, but at least I get my smiles as I splash around ;)

  • I have a black pair with hot pink roses- and thank goodness I do ! Five days of thick sheets of rain and a paddock underwater :)

  • emma

    I have never thought of wellies as a guilty pleasure before, more an absolute essential. What I don’t understand however is the use of wellies as a fashion item and wearing them around town where there isn’t a bit of mud or rain in sight.

  • A

    In my region of the US, these are not a frivolity, but a necessity! In fact, when I need to replace my current rain boots, something similar with a removable sock liner for warmth in the winter is on my list.

    My “frivolous” item is my bright red folding bicycle. My husband and I have only one car (we never replaced our second one when it died and chose to try a one car lifestyle – so far so good after a year), so it provides me with wheels when I need them.

  • Sarah

    I have a pair of turquoise Hunters too! But they are lighter, like this http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6028/5914383527_3b6781d229_z.jpg
    Best thing in my wardrobe.

  • S

    My weirdly minimalist possession: a small, 12oz Klean Kanteen. I have a large 27oz one that’s my primary outdoors water container, but the small one has proven great for everyday travels when I don’t have (or want) to carry a larger bag with me. It fits so nicely in my purse, and helps me out during excursions around the city! :)

    • Lilly

      S or anyone. Do you know where I could get a non toxic canteen of any brand that’s 8 ounces? I’ve tried so many places and no one has them. I even tried Klean Kanteen. I’d like it to be 8 ounces because it would fit so much better in my purse than a 12 ounce canteen. I carry around a disposable 8 ounce water bottle all the time and would like to get rid of that habit. Please let me know. Thanks!

  • AKM

    My favorite color, and I need some wellies! Unfortunately, a search on the Hunter website turned up no turquoise boots at the mo’. :-(

  • Hannah K

    I also think there’s an argument here (there? everywhere!) for bright-colored minimalism. My closet is living proof that you can have a brights-heavy wardrobe in which basically everything matches–you just have to pick a color palette.

    • Sarah

      That’s so true about the color palette, Hannah. Does anyone remember the book, “Color Me Beautiful?” My mom used to have a copy from the 70s, so it’s been around for awhile, but the principles remain true today. The premise of the book is that we each have a certain type of skin tone that looks best when wearing one of four categories of color tones: Winter or Summer (cool tones), or Fall or Spring (warm tones). The books teaches you how to identify which color palette looks best on you, and then streamline and simplify your wardrobe accordingly. It really works and makes shopping (and keeping a minimalist wardrobe) much easier!

  • I love my Hunter boots! Mine are boring black but…I splash in puddles in them just the same! It’s amazing how having rain boots changes your whole perspective on rain. I use mine as Winter boots too with a warm pair of socks. So I guess they are multifunctional. :)

  • Whoa, I love those. I have a pair of paisley Bogs for winter and rain. But I also have a tiny stuffed cloud toy with a happy face and a pensive face. It’s Japanese and understated and while I never was much for stuffed animals as a child, this is like a pocket-sized lovey for adults!

  • Kari

    I am a firm believer in minimalism, but if that doesn’t allow for a few joyous, “what the heck” possessions then we might as well give up right now. Rules that are not flexible are not worth it.

  • Karen (Scotland)

    Big fan of wellies. My last pair were pink with lovehearts. My new ones are black with a lace-up feature at the front. My mum thought they were “kinky boots” until I hastily explained they were my new wellies. She’s still not convinced about them!

    My item of whimsy is a glass thermometer – the Gallileo (sp?) type with the floating glass balls of coloured liquid. I don’t need it – I can tell how warm my living room is by whether I feel the need for a jumper or not. But I like it – it’s pretty and I find the simplicity of it fascinating, especially when I catch a ball actually rising or floating.
    I like being reminded that we had tools and mechanisms long before computers took over and digitialised everything.

    Karen (Scotland)

  • The Graduate

    My item(s) are picture frames. I used to be a photographer and had two close-calls with death, so I try to capture the people and places I love that have made my life worth fighting for. I have two small galleries hanging in my apartment. So if you were to count the items, they would not be considered “minimalist”, but they are all the same simple flat black frames in two sets, filled with priceless memories of love and friendship. They are the only decorative items in my apartment, and I will keep it that way…but those pictures are never leaving. It puts my priority front and center to all that enter and share my joy. They remind me that I have everything I need in life: respect, love, and connection…nothing “things” could ever give me :)

  • I bought my first pair of wellies a few weeks ago in anticipation of moving to a city where it rains continuously. Mine is black, but if they’d had a turquoise, I’d definitely have picked that up. :)

  • Muriel

    What I have been learning as I read your blog (and other minimalist literature), is that minimalism isn’t “doing without”, it is “doing with just enough”. Something of a Goldilocks viewpoint – not too much, not too little, but just right. :-)

  • I’m still culling my belongings to get down to where I’d like them to be (i.e., able to fit everything I own (minus furniture?) into my car), but I have kept a few pieces of my Rubik’s Cube collection. I have a classic Rubik’s Cube, a party favor cube that started my love for them, a Rubik’s Cube-style clock/timer/calendar/thermometer, and a Cube-style pepper mill. I’m still thinking of purging them further, but there they are… 4 from a collection of over thirty!

  • Summer

    I love your rain boots! I live in Los Angeles and I own a pair. It doesn’t rain much but when it does, there are huge puddles. I agree they have saved many of my shoes. They make me smile and remind me of being a little kid. I will always have a pair in my minimalist closet.

  • Great wellies! My anti-minimalist item is actually a collection (and I normally abhor collections!) I have a box of Sweet Dreams books and Dolly magazines from my teenage years :) Not as practical as your wellies though.

  • Couldn’t agree more, and those are adorable! I’d invest in some myself if we got more rain. Maybe someday. My non-essential item would be my bright multi-colored socks. They don’t match with anything, but they make me smile. :)

  • Megan

    “If something has the power to bring a smile to my face on a rainy day, I think it deserves a place in my closet.” I love that – minimalism isn’t a competition to have the least stuff, it’s about what’s simplest and makes YOU happy.

  • Melanie

    I’m glad to see you are enjoying your boots!!! I don’t think it is anti-minimalistic at all-minimalism to me is about removing unnecessary clutter and only keeping what you love.It appears you thought about the purchase of your boots carefully and you put them to gret use…I think that is the epitome of minimalism!

    Things are not the enemy-it’s our behavior and the guilt/pride/greed/lack of thought and consideration to materialism that are!

  • lol! I love your colour choice. I have had many pairs of these excellent wellies over the years. They are ideal for dog walking here in sunny (?) Scotland! I have had red, orange, pink, and am currently the proud owner of a black pair.

  • Heather

    My feelings exactly! My girls and I got wellies when we lived in England also. We all wore them on the plane in order to save room in the few boxes we moved back with. We laughed at how we must have looked, but we got more looks for the 18 boxes with us anyway! :) We have since worn them through an extremely snowy winter and quite a bit of rain back here in the States. Love them- and totally worth the space in our minimalist home!

  • ME

    I just returned to the UK from warmer climes and have bought a pair of purple polka dot fur-lined wellies from Padders. I think I have a pink pair of non-lined wellies somewhere too – but think they are in the garage of my house which has a tenant in at the moment.

  • Your wellies are gorgeous, I love the color!

    Myself I have quite a few possessions that I could live without (as I´m a minimalist in the making). The last year I´ve donated about 70% of my stuff to charity, but boy do I still have a lot of stuff! Atleast compared to my vision of one day beeing able to fit all my possesions into a backpack (…at least a very large backpack) ;)

    My most weird possession though, that has survived every decluttering day without a question is a zoomerang. It´s like a boomerang, but with three “legs”. It´s not a necessity, and I could live without it. But I rather not, as it appeals to my childish side and bring me a lot of joy (…and exercise – As I´m a really bad thrower and have to run around to pick it up from the grass).

  • Lolly

    I love my Hunter wellies too! I forgot to bring them to Japan with me during this rainy season and I miss them terribly. I’ve had to stuff my leather shoes with newspaper to save them from the rain because I refuse to get another pair of wellies knowing I will be bringing them to Japan soon. I agree that they are indestructible! When I first got them, my boyfriend’s nephew who was 3 years old at the time liked to wear them even though his legs were too short which warped them a lot but they still look as good as new!

    As far as surprising possessions, I think I’m still at the stage where I own a bit too much so there is probably a lot of weird things I own. Something that I love a bit too much is a My Neighbour Totoro tape dispenser. A lot of things I regret buying in the past but somehow not that!

    • Ariel

      Anything with Totoro on it is not a regret!!! :)

    • Fran

      I have a very small Totoro stuffed toy that I bought on a trip to Japan with my mom the summer before she passed away. It is one of only 3 toys still on my bookshelves. If I decide to let go of any more sentimental items along my minimalist journey, the Totoro toy will stay. It’s soft and cuddy, it makes me smile, and it’s small, so I consider it worth adorning my increasingly bare shelves.

  • Aili

    I completely think my Wellies are a minimalist staple! With the fleece socks inside they take the place of a rain boot and a winter boot. They last forever. They are a high quality item. And they make me happy. What more could a minimalist ask for?

  • Carol

    My strangest possession is this huge sound protector:


    I know there are other smaller and more practical options, but none are as effective and comfortable for me. I use it when I’m working from home and my kids are making noise, to study, during PMS when I am more irritated, to sleep if a neighbor is throwing a party, etc. I use it almost every day. Unfortunately, I cannot carry it in my purse, it’s too big and I would feel embarassed to wear it outside :-S

    This is because I have recruitment:
    “Recruitment refers to a condition related to some hearing loss. Recruitment causes your perception of sound to be exaggerated. Even though there is only a small increase in the noise levels, sound may seem much louder and it can distort and cause discomfort.”

    Here in São Paulo, Brazil, it does not rain much during cold weather, it rains during hot weather more, so it seems strange for us to wear boots when it’s hot. We usually wear this type of boots only to wash the backyard or something, we do not walk around with them. But yours are beautiful! The plastic boots available here in Brazil are not so beautiful. If I lived in a place like England I would definitely walk around in those :-)

  • Maria

    My minimalist’s life exuberance is tea. I have about a dozen sorts of tea in my cupboard all the time. Simply cannot minimalise my tea moments :)

  • We’ve got a hand made tea pot, that we found at a thrift store, as well as champagne flutes with our boat’s name etched on them, You’ve got to have a few fun things!

  • Jennifer

    I love the turquoise. I have Uggs in the same color. Uggs are so not my style I could only wear them in a “happy” color!!

  • Grace

    I recently purchased a Seventeen magazine from Jan. 1974 off the internet. The cover for some reason had stuck in my memory and had recently had a dream about the image. I decided to look it up. I figured it would be from 1973 or 74 because those were the years I did a lot of library escapism. When I found it, it really resonated. It reminds me of who I was and who I dreamed of being. I’m 52 and lifes flow has deviated me from many of hopes and dreams. It’s healing to me to look at the images in this magazine to create a bridge back to my 14 year old self. My minimalist self is surprised and revived by this possession and when it no longer reprises the hopes of my youth I will pass it on.

  • Sophie

    I only own four pairs of shoes, one of them being black wellies (they’re actually sloggers). And just because they are black doesn’t mean they don’t make me smile! They’re really comfy, and cute, and they keep my feet warm and dry. Not to mention they are more flexible than traditional wellies, and they actually roll up really good, they fit in a small suit case with my whole wardrobe quite nicely! Did I mention they’re made in the usa? I sound like an ad but I really just love my boots! I think minimalism is also about enjoying the things you have and/or acquire instead of just living with loads of crap you could care less about.

  • Dinah Gray

    My 5 year old has a pair of rain boots and a cute umbrella. I noticed that when ever it rained, she would get really excited about being able to wear the boots and use the umbrella. I don’t like the rain, but it gave me an idea. Perhaps if I had some fun boots and nice umbrella, I would get excited about the rain. So I have some poke-a-dot rain boots and a rainbow umbrella. So now when it rains we both wear our fun boots and get our colorful umbrellas out.

    When I became a minimalist, I never even entertained the thought of getting rid of my rain boots.

  • Dinah Gray

    “Do you have a surprising possession in your minimalist life?”

    I have large divided clear plastic container with a handle full of bento making supplies. (Bento is a Japanese style lunch). The box is full of rice ball molds, egg molds, food cutters, nori punches, sauce containers, picks shaped like animals, etc… I also kept my bento boxes (fun containers to hold your bento lunch). I have limited my bento supplies to this container only. I pack my and my daughters lunches and breakfasts everyday.

    Bento-ing is probably not very minimalist, but it is a big priority in my life. I don’t have to cut carrots into flowers and mold eggs into the shape of bunnies for my family to be fed healthy food, but it is a lot more fun (for me too). I am able to compete with school food this way. When my daughter looks back on her childhood and associates food with memories, she will associate carrots, rice, fresh fruit, salmon, sandwiches and eggs shaped like bunnies, etc… instead of greasy school pizza, breaded chicken sandwiches, and french fries with the good memories of childhood.

  • Alyssa

    Unfortunately it doesn’t rain enough in Texas to justify getting some Hunters (even though I want them). But I still have a pair of rain boots I got at Target for $8 on clearance, and they’ve lasted me years. You’re right, in that when it rains, I’m excited to go out and splash in them.

    And they’re perfectly minimalist to me. You use them to their full extent, you enjoy them, you don’t have pairs you don’t use, and they fit your lifestyle. What more can you ask for in a minimalist product?

  • Nick Hall

    I have had the same wellies for nearly 30 years, and I got them free for a job I was working on. They are used almost daily, cleaned and cared for when I come in from the garden. Happy with that.

  • Mims

    This post made me smile, I really think that you should only own things that make you smile (OK, I know it’s a tad unrealistic). Maybe I should rephrase it, if you own very little, the things you do own should bring you happiness, either through their use or their appearance. Besides, living in a country where it rains a lot you wear them too.

  • RachelH

    I have been mulling over in my mind the things I own, to see if I can uncover something surprising. I think perhaps the most surprising is a huge Spanish/English dictionary. It is bigger than the traditional red English dictionary. I bought it as a college student, when I was completing my B.A. in Spanish. Although I could probably find everything I need to know online, the physical dictionary remains and it will remain because I look on it as a symbol of my devotion to and continuing love affair with the Spanish language.

  • carolyn

    Hi, I too love my pair of wellingtons and I live in England. They are kath Kidson ones, but seem sturdy I use them all the time to go down to the shed and in the garden etc. They have cowboys and indians on them. Hunters are the english middle/upper class wellington or the practical horse riders ideal, but think they are a sturdy brand so practical choice. My niece has pink ones for horse riding. I just could not have boring standard country green ones, love my patterns my bit of fun – but you dont even notice unless you look hard. Enjoy

  • Sandra

    Just a tip, they make now the version “original tour” they fold, they’re light, stylish and so multifunctional, I can bring them I’m my backpack! http://www.hunterboots.com/tall-wellingtons/original-tour-wellington-boots/red/403

  • christina L

    After reading your very inspiring articles I admit I made an unplanned purchase and got myself some Hunter boots. I live in southeast Louisiana where we see plenty of rain, and oddly enough I have never owned a pair of rain boots. I plan to make a shoe donation this weekend in order to check off my very first attempt to declutter! Thanks so much for the ideas.

  • Tina

    I keep some ripped up jeans and an old T shirt to wear when I make a big messy project or help someone paint. The T shirt has several stains already and the pants are discolored. Why ruin something nice? Even if I were to give away some other clothes, I still need my worn out clothes just in case.

  • Mike

    My sig other, a registered dietitian, has a pair of wellies with fruits and veggies on them. They’re not strictly necessary but they do make them smile when working out in the garden, and so the boots shall stay.

    I used to have two pairs of winter boots and two pairs of rain boots/wellies. One pair of boots had been left on the floor and one of our furkids decided to piddle on it. They were the epitome of work boots: covered with crusted on dirt, mud, paint stains, oil stains, you name it; they had gone through 3 pairs of laces over the years; and the soles had been worn nearly smooth from decades of use. I was sad to see them go, but I view it as “minimalism by attrition”. As I already had another pair of work boots, there was no need to buy a new pair. I simply use my other, well-worn (but kitty-pee-free!) boots for the dirty work. I now keep them on a shelf in the basement to keep them safe from the furkids.

    As for my rain boots: I have no idea why I bought two pairs. I kept them both for years, but when I discovered minimalism, one pair went out to the local charity shop for a donation. I use them for working in the really dirty (and deep, up to my knees) stuff.

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