My Philosophy on Owning “Things”

This is a snap of my closet this morning–unstaged! You’re looking at nearly half of it width-wise. It’s little!

It seems like everyone and their mother has an opinion on the the Konmari method, thanks to the recent release of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the renewed attention around Marie Kondo and her practice of only keeping things that “spark joy.” Similarly, my friend Meg has shared her plan for #noshop19 and has a amassed an impressive group of individuals who are also motivated to own fewer, better things in the way of quality over quantity. These conversations have prompted me to further think about my own buying + owning practices, particularly as it comes to owning less and consciously selecting items that are sustainably made and built to last. It’s much easier said than done–particularly in the world of influencers, online shopping, targeted ads, etc.–but it really is completely doable if it’s something you’re excited about! (Which I am…if clearly.)


I’ll start off by saying that the Konmari method/owning fewer better things can and should (in my opinion) apply to all belongings in general, but I just want to talk about clothing + accessories for the sake of this post. Any time someone calls this a “fashion” blog I politely correct them and say it’s best described as “lifestyle” because I truly don’t own enough clothing to shoot new outfits regularly. That said, I do have more than what would constitute a “capsule wardrobe” so am definitely not making myself out to be a wardrobe minimalist. Instead, I’m just taking a more intentional look at what I own and what I buy. When two people share a tiny one bedroom apartment with a dog, and one of those two people (me) hates clutter, doing this is one of the most valuable things I can do for my sanity :)


In the past three or four years, I feel like I’ve done an increasingly good job making thoughtful vs. impulsive purchases. It was definitely a gradual process driven by a few different factors, including: a growing disposable income (compared to my former intern and entry-level salaries, which allows me to invest in slightly pricier, high-quality items that are built to last), having a better sense of my personal style (knowing I’ll use something for years makes me feel less “guilty” about splurging), and having more expenses/savings goals (which requires being more thoughtful about where my money is going since getting older comes with more financial responsibilities). I think most people who read Marie Kondo’s book feel motivated to make some kind of change, and I definitely did when I read it back in 2015. But I also credit my dad for a lot of these habits–he’s sentimental, but always so thoughtful about making purchases and knows when to invest in something that will last for years to come. I inherited his love for classic style and prefer it to trends, and he’s practiced his own version of “fewer, better” for decades. I have definitely done my fair share of cheap buying at major retails but in the past 1-2 years and increasingly in the past six months, have made a big effort to curb that type of spending. I truly love a great J.Crew sale section find (and can’t tell you the number of gems I’ve snagged and use regularly–that at the time, would have been categorized as “impulse purchases), but am trying to stop the frequency of those expenses and stick with checking off items from a list I have in my phone. They’re the “gaps” I’ve identified in my wardrobe and are where I know my money would be best spent.

So yeah–I don’t really know where that leaves things, but kind of wanted to brain dump my thoughts on owning “things” and get the ball rolling on this topic over here, because it’s definitely having an impact on the content I put out and is something I plan to continue talking about over here! There will still be some product roundup posts (still containing things I’d truly buy myself) and I’m definitely not planning on taking a year of from shopping entirely any time soon, but have been so energized by these discussions on owning less and buying things that are made sustainably and built to last. And if this isn’t for you–I get it! I know so many people who are happier with more and thrive off of having all the options, don’t mind their closets being filled to the brim, and relish trends and impulse shopping. There’s no right or wrong, but this has been working well for me and I’m excited to continue sharing the things I find and love! The plan for Wednesday is to highlight the essentials I rely on this time of year…and if you are interested in more or less of this topic, have your own views on the subject, or want to discuss further–comment below. I know many people are so sick of hearing about things that “spark joy” but I have a feeling many of us are in the same boat and are relishing the fewer, better mentality as we settle into 2019!

P.S. The best things I bought in 2018.

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