Why I Used Only One Purse for an Entire Year

So back in October 2015 I was totally sick of all my purses. I was the definition of a purse hoarder – always buying a new cheap purse and racking up my collection, with zero room to put them all. Nevertheless, since I was buying cheap purses they were always falling apart. I’ve had so many straps rip, inner-linings tear, and zippers fall apart after using them on a regular basis. Also, with using multiple purses all week, I was leaving important stuff in different purses that I would need…such as my subway card, my I.D, even my whole wallet from time-to-time.

On top of all of that, I never could truly find a purse that fit my laptop comfortably. Sure I could fit it, but with almost no room for other stuff like a book or my packed lunch. Frustrated with the whole thing, I did something completely out of my nature: I sold all of my purses and bought myself a designer bag.

After selling all of my purses, I marched into a Nordstrom Rack with my laptop to make sure I bought a bag that would truly work for everything. One that would look chic on the city streets, comfortable to wear, go with every outfit I own, and be able to at least fit my laptop and a packed lunch. I was elated to find one that fit all of these requirements.

When I saw Oliver (whom I was only dating at the time) later that day, he kind of made fun of me. Okay, he really made of me. He couldn’t understand why the queen of purses would sell all of her bags, and especially didn’t get how I would possibly be okay with using the same bag over-and-over each day. I told him that I made sure I got a purse that I truly loved, worked with everything, and through in the following statement: “My mom buys designer bags and uses them to the point of exhaustion, like, almost four years at at time.”

He laughed and bet me that I couldn’t use the same purse for four years. I took the challenge. I have to admit to all of you that I only lasted about 16 months until I felt the urge to get a new one, but for the “queen of purses” that still feels like a big deal. Through this little challenge I have learned an immense amount about minimalism, and why having what we dubbed “the perfect purse” is probably one of the best decisions I have ever made for my closet.

Here are all the reasons to why you should sell all of your bags and challenge yourself to one purse for an entire year:

There’s no need to figure out what purse goes with your outfit when it goes with everything.

In the past I used purses like accessories. I would choose my purse for the day based on my outfit, and transfer all of my stuff from one purse to the other, which we will absolutely dive into later in the post. However, the biggest lesson I have learned about myself when it comes to getting ready in the morning is this: The less I have to think, the better. Taking time to think of a purse to go with my outfit is another minute or two I have to not only make another style choice, but take more time out of my precious morning.

When you have one purse that goes with everything, you never have to worry about it not matching your outfit or even stress about it all when putting together your outfit in the morning.

No more transferring your stuff & losing it.

This was the biggest praise that came with my purse challenge. I stopped losing my subway card, my student I.D, even my latest pack of gum because I stopped transferring stuff from one purse to the other. I always knew where all my crap was, and never had to stress about making sure I checked all my other purses before having to leave.

It saves a TON of room in your closet.

I mean, a tonnnnnnn of room. I am so surprised how much capacity my purses were taking up in my drawers, my baskets, even in containers under my bed. When I finally got rid of all my purses, I had a so much more room for my clothes and shoes that I actually felt physically lighter. Plus, when we finally got married and moved, I was delighted knowing that I didn’t have to think about where to store all my purses and scare Oliver with that very sad reality I used to live.

Wearing a designer bag makes me feel, um, awesome. And they will last a long time.

I am 150% a Kate Spade fan, and was elated when I wore my perfect purse for the first time. The reason I went for a high quality purse is because I really wanted it to last me a long time. And it has; I still use it to this day! Having a bag that is chic, although pricey at first, was worth the investment since it always looked great with my outfit and is still going strong. No tears. No ripped straps. Maybe one broken zipper on the inside, but that was easy to fix.

If you’re contemplating making an investment, let me break this down for you. I got my Kate Spade purse at Nordstrom Rack for $200. I have used that puppy for 16 months now. I did the math, and I have owned this purse for 504 days. This means that I have spent $0.40 a day, and that number continues to decrease. This is the type of investment that would be absolutely worth it.

Think you can challenge yourself to one purse for a whole year?

I promise you, it is totally worth it! Here’s how to get started:

  • Sell all of your purses (try Poshmark or thredUP).
  • Evaluate your wardrobe aesthetic and what color purse what go well with it (Brown? Beige? Black? Grey? Green? Red?)
  • Choose a bag that works for your needs (i.e. laptop, books, lunch, weather conditions, etc).
  • Mark the day you will start, and the same day the following year (maybe title it “Buy Perfect Purse #2!)
  • Find someone to do this with (who will scream at you when you want a new one, because trust me, it will happen).

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