Monday, April 6, 2015

How many is too many? How many is enough?

This is one of my first world problems. How many of each type of thing if just the right amount?

So much has been written about how to declutter or reach the right balance point for your belongings. So many different approaches.

This is what I am trying right now.

I am following Mette's lead as she discusses in her post about creating a five year shopping calendar but I am trying to create a one year shopping calendar for my clothing and other useful things.

The first step is to decide how many of each type of garment is the "right" number. I managed to shed older tops using this approach while others had not helped me let go of them. Did they bring me joy per Marie Kondo? No, but they stayed in the closet. Had I worn them in the last year? Yes, but more because I felt I should wear them because they were hanging there. So 10 short sleeve/sleeveless casual knit tops is my number to try and I have 11 now plus 2 dressier ones. At the end of the summer if not sooner I will let the one go that is most worn out or least suited to me. I will not buy anymore until Spring 2016 when I will replace one or two.

As I continue to work on decluttering the office I have lots of these choices. Three exercise DVDs when I barely use one? Two are being donated.

Two books on colored pencil drawing when I took a class and then haven't drawn since? One will be donated but I am keeping the pencils and one book as I have realized that I like draw.

So my decluttering and therefore shopping questions for now are:

- How many is the right number to have?
- If I have too many should I let them wear out or remove them?
- If reducing the number I have, which ones of what I have are the best and/or most used?
- Do I need to add or replace in this category?
- We will see how it goes.


  1. Aw Julie, thanks for mentioning me - I guess there is no right number, that is why it is so hard to figure out. I have a hope to remember the things I own and as such aim to have a maximum of 5-9 pieces within each category. Made a post about that in the beginning of my blogging adventure :-). But theses days I'm really torn between letting go of excess (the lean perspective) and keeping what I already have and make them work for me (I spent my hard-earned dollars on them, it would be a shame to let go just to let go).

    1. I agree that letting go just for the sake of doing it doesn't make sense unless you are downsizing your living space substantially. Clothing is something that I struggle with as I like having a small wardrobe but it has rarely been filled with things I love and I tend to buy too many of what is easiest to find like t-shirts. Other things I am looking at with an eye to the cost and hassle of moving them across the country in two years into a probably smaller living space. So many kitchen or small household items are easily replace at least in the US by going to thrift stores so why keep them.

  2. It's helped me to reduce my load of possessions to know that someone else could REALLY use the things I'm giving away. I have a lady who cleans for me who is struggling financially. Last year I gave her 20 t-shirts (you are not the only one with a t-shirt habit) that I had not worn in two years. She was totally pleased as this gave her a whole new wardrobe to wear in her cleaning job.