Minimalism: Redundancy In What We Own


I’ve dabbled in minimalism for the past year or so and it’s been a journey. I didn’t dive right in because minimalism creates an internal struggle for me, someone who likes to stock up and has a slight addiction to free things. (You can read more about that here!) It’s been an evolution and has been so interesting to see where it takes me!


I noticed a theme this week: redundancy.

Winter coats

Flip flops

Workout clothes


Zip up fleece sweaters

I have multiples of each. And not just two or three….I must have at least 12 pairs of flip-flops!


Do We Really need Duplicates?

I can only wear one coat at a time. I could see having one for fall, and maybe two for winter: a nicer one for work and a different one for playing in the snow. But 3 leather coats (umm, some faux leather) 4 heavy winter coats, and 3 or 4 dressy coats? Unnecessary.

I wear the same few pairs of flip-flops all the time, so what about the many pairs I rarely wear? Do I really need the ability to wear a different pair of flip-flops for two weeks straight?

Given the frequency of my workouts (not often), I own an obscene amount of workout clothes. But I hesitate to get rid of any of them because workout clothes can be so expensive. I do laundry every week, so there’s no need for two weeks worth of clothes.

I have gotten rid of a lot of purses (recovering Coach addict here) but I still own a bunch. I usually use a purse for a few months and then rotate it out, going through maybe 3 or 4 a year. So why do I need 10? They are all roughly the same size and long-lasting good quality. So why so many?

I keep a zip up fleece on a hook by the door for fall yard projects and shoveling snow. Unless it’s a really dirty project, it usually gets used a few times before it’s washed. The coat only gets worn once or twice a week, and like I said, I do laundry once a week, …so why do I need 3 different fleece coats?


I’m embarrassed to say these 9 pairs are after I whittled down the pile. After taking this picture I got rid of 3 more pairs.

Some Have To Go

Once I realized the redundancy of things in my house, it all seemed so silly to me! Slightly ridiculous!

I started assessing items and making some cuts. If I were a hardcore minimalist, I’d be down to one of everything, but I’m just not there yet. I’m slowly trimming…a jacket here, a purse or two there.

It’s opened my eyes and I’m seeing redundancy every where, not just the items mentioned above. I’m just going after a little at a time. For example, my 10 coffee mugs? Don’t dare touch them! Even though I can only use one at a time, they all have so much meaning to me! I’m not ready to go there.

We’re Being Tricked

We are being tricked into thinking we need options and choices! We need a purse of every size and color for the many occasions in our lives. (If you’re truly passionate about fashion, you should skip this paragraph.) Marketing tells us that if only we had that jacket, we’d excel in our professional careers! But if you pair it with this purse, you are sure to get that promotion!

You should have many of everything! Your entire wardrobe should change with every season and get a complete overhaul every year. (Never mind that Minnesota really only has 2 seasons!) This marketing aims at our confidence, subtly telling us that if we had these things, we’d be better. At what? Who knows. Whatever they are trying to sell.

We are being tricked into thinking we need options and choices! Click To Tweet

The Truth

The truth is, you don’t need this much redundancy in the items in your life. And it’s not just the wardrobe…I rarely cook or host large get-togethers and yet I have enough Tupperware to serve a small army. And remember my beloved coffee mugs? At one point I owned three bathrobes.

People likely will not notice or care if you have one winter coat. Unless you work at a gym, you likely don’t need several weeks worth of different workout clothes. If there are people in your life that do notice these things, care about them, and possibly make decisions about your based on your one or two favorite purses….you might want to reassess their place in your life. Or just don’t give a darn what they think.

Less Is More

What does all of this matter? Choices are good and choices are fun. I enjoy having a few different purses to choose from and I like picking out my flip-flops for the day. But I still feel like I have so many options that it’s ridiculous. Most of my flip flips collect dust.

Having just a few favorites that get regular use gets us the most bang for our buck. It feels good to really use the things you own. Letting go of redundancy puts money back into our pockets. We have time for other things in our lives since we don’t need to shop as often to fill our closets.

Having just a few favorites that get regular use gets us the most bang for our buck. Click To Tweet

Less clutter really can feel good! It makes space in our homes and minds for other passions. And decision fatigue is a real thing. Have you noticed the recent trend in capsule wardrobes and self-made uniforms?

Do you have a lot of redundancy in the things that you own? What are your trouble spots and what things can you part with? I suspect you might feel good to get rid of a few things!

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, GoldBean Blog and Debt Free Divas*

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  1. Have you heard of a capsule wardrobe? You should look it up if not, it might be interesting to you. It’s a minimalist type of wardrobe with a limited number of articles of clothing to wear–so basically cut it down the favorite clothes you wear over and over anyway. Some people go nuts and cut their whole wardrobe down to 10 items, but I went for 50 items on my work clothes between shoes, shirts, cardigans, pants, etc. It feels good to look in my closet and only see clothes that I actually like to wear, and feel comfortable in.

    • Yes, I’m familiar with them. I find them really intriguing but am not ready to go there yet. Kudos to you though! That is awesome!

  2. I went through my closet recently. A lot of stuff got taken out. I’m still trying to gear up to take it to a consignment store. But my clothes now fit in my closet a lot better.

    I’ve managed to stick to just three purses — and one of those was a Christmas gift from my husband. Also the one I happen to use the most. I have a black one, a blue one that I fell in love with while trying to find a black one (oops) and the lovely purple Coach bag my husband gave me. Which will be the only one he gives me for a looooong time, I told him. But I do love it.

    I’m also trying to avoid buying shoes except out of sheer necessity. I need to get rid of a few pairs as it is. And I’m trying not to buy any makeup unless it’s a replacement for something I’ve run out of.

    I’m slowly getting a little more streamlined.
    Abigail @ipickuppennies recently posted…A weekend of savingsMy Profile

    • Wow, you have really accomplished a lot! I still need to whittle down my purses even more and am far from just 3…it’s tough for me to part with some of them, so it’s a little slow going.

  3. I am in the same place! My husband and I have noticed that we have WAY too much stuff…much of it we never use. Going through and getting rid of stuff is so satisfying but also time-consuming and emotional. I find it a hard exercise but we are trying to tackle our clutter room by room! I am in the same boat as you in regards to purses! It can be hard to part with items that were expensive!
    Jess @ Best Credit Cards Canada recently posted…How to Use a Credit Card ResponsiblyMy Profile

    • Yes, I can totally relate! It can be overwhelming and mentally exhausting! Room by room is a great idea! I’ve had to go drawer by drawer sometimes.

  4. I have the same redundancy as you with flip flops and purses! I do eventually wear my purses to the ground, but still hang on to them “just in case.” I’m going through my closet now and getting rid of all but one or two!

    I love variety with clothing, but since becoming pregnant I feel a little forced into a capsule wardrobe. I don’t think that’s a bad thing — I’m taking it as an exercise in purchasing quality, multi-purpose items that I can wear (hopefully!) throughout the pregnancy.
    Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances recently posted…Save Money This Summer With 7 Lifestyle ChangesMy Profile

    • That’s a good perspective…an exercise in a capsule wardrobe! Capsule wardrobes intrigue me but I’m not quite ready to part with that many clothes yet!

  5. I’m slowly heading towards a more minimalistic life. I cleared out lots of clothes a few months back that I’d been hoarding since around 2003. I have no idea why I was keeping all those things. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and one of these days I’m going to get one!
    Hayley @ Disease Called Debt recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays #102My Profile

    • That’s awesome! I want to try the capsule wardrobe eventually too! I’m just not sure I’m ready to part with so much stuff just yet.

  6. I’ve been thinking about this exact thing this week. Last year I bought 5 pairs of shoes at a clearance sale. Guess what? I either don’t like them or they hurt my feet, so I stick to wearing the same two pairs I always wear. If I don’t need the stuff on clearance I’m wasting time and money despite the good price. And now I have more stuff.
    Savvy recently posted…Was My Neighbor Entitled to a Referral Discount?My Profile

    • I can totally relate! I get suckered into deals, but then when I don’t use the item I bought, it turns out I didn’t really save any money!

    • You make a great point about not acquiring new things. I used to have a habit of cleaning out my closet only to fill it right back up again. Sort of defeats the purpose! I’ve gotten a lot better at putting thought into the things I purchase.

  7. My favorite consignment store is accepting fall and winter clothes next week. I am working on downsizing and have too many clothes that I never wear. Time to clean out and maybe make some money, too.

  8. I’ve started the journey towards minimalism awhile back. Over a year at least. I’m pretty happy with the general household items now, and even my closet. I’ve started experimenting with a capsule wardrobe this month. I don’t touch my purses or shoes (they aren’t that many and there’s no redundancy really), I just let items fade out and then I may or may not replace them. My fashion motto for ages now has been “I don’t haul, I curate”.

    Very much agree that we are being told we need all these things, not only for fashion, but all walks of life, when really we don’t. Making the switch from buying lots to only buying selected pieces really helps keeping redundancy at bay from the get go. Barely anyone will remember if you’ve worn the same coat three days in a row, but they will remember if it’s a great quality & fit.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year!
    Alex – Funky Jungle recently posted…Capsule Wardrobe Experiment #1 – Travel & Star Wars Force AwakensMy Profile

  9. I am a huge shoe hoarder, and keep them because certain ones go perfect with outfits! I think that is the only issue I have with redundancy. I do keep a wide array of books, though! I don’t like re-reading the same book over and over again. I do agree that less is more, though! I hate a huge amount of clutter. If my house is cluttered, so if my life! I can’t stand it.

  10. I’ve never struggled with shoes, as every pair of mine is a completely different style (flip flops, slip ons, chucks, running shoes). I typically only have one pair of each. I definitely think minimalism is important. You’re totally right, no one will notice if you only have one coat!
    Amanda Butler recently posted…Social Media and LeadershipMy Profile

  11. I just tossed all my hot mess shoes that were hiding in the back of my closet ! Laci

  12. My friend recently helped me re organize my closet, and basically she had me put together all different items; black shoes, flip flops, brown pursues etc. You really see the excess stuff that we just don’t need! I’m trying to be a lot more minimalist this year too. It can be hard!

  13. I have a lot of redundancy too, and for some of it I have a hard time letting go. I probably own half a dozen pairs of sneakers, and I almost never wear sneakers at all. I just went through my closet today and found at least half a dozen black shirts, only 2 of which I could bring myself to part with. Your goal of minimalism is inspiring me to try doing the same. I’ll never be a true minimalist, but I can be minimal-er!

    • It can be challenging! I feel like for me, the more I did it, the more I had a clear picture of what things matter most to me and it got easier. There are so many aspects to minimalism, there’s really no right or wrong way to do it!

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