I recently did an experiment where I decided to count everything I own. I made a list in Notion of everything in our home that is solely mine. The list excluded things like dishes, bath towels, furniture, etc. Things that are communal property.
There are two reasons why I made the list. One, I thought it would be fun. And two, I wanted an easy way to see the scope of my belongings.
The idea of making a list is it helps to identify blind spots. When your belongings are scattered in different locations within your home it’s difficult to see how much stuff you have. By making a list, it puts everything front and center. Things that are placed in closets and stored under the bed are now staring you in the face. They have no place to hide. And once they are in plain sight, it’s much easier to see where you can let go of some stuff. There are things on my list I forgot I even had.
When I first counted up my stuff the list totaled 163 items. I previously thought I had nothing left to get rid of. But after making the list, I easily found more items to let go of. And that’s how I arrived at 149.
My items include:
- 69 Clothing items, including individual pairs of socks, underwear, etc.
- 12 Personal Hygiene items like nail clippers, a comb, and toothbrush.
- 17 Work items including a laptop, phone, printer, notebook, etc.
- 18 Personal items like house keys, eyeglasses, wallet, and travel bag.
- 33 Miscellaneous items like my car, weight set, coffee cup, and my blanket.
As a minimalist, I don’t think numbers are important. How many things you own can easily differ from one person to the next. Too many people who call themselves minimalists are obsessed with things or the lack thereof.
Minimalism is a lifestyle that can be catered to each and every individual. There’s no rulebook.
And yes, it was sort of fun counting up all of my stuff. I’ve considered myself a minimalist for years without knowing how many things I actually had. Today I am at 149 and tomorrow it may be more. Or less. Who knows.
So should you count up all of your belonging? IDK. It’s up to you. But if you do, you may find there are some things you don’t need or want. And if you remove those things from your life you might feel a little lighter, a little less stressed, and perhaps freer. And that to me is what the minimalist lifestyle is all about. It is about living a lean and nimble life. It’s about freedom from being owned by the things we own.