How much is too much? Is it ever enough?

I’ve always wondered if there were rules concerning how many clothes or laptops were enough.

To be fair, no one needs more than a couple of outfits a week and a laptop per person (if one at all), but with such an overabundance available to us and in our homes, this becomes a serious question.

How much is too much? Is it ever enough?

This is such a “it depends” answer, it frustrates me sometimes.

For clothing, my personal rule is no more than 50 items per category, hard stop.

Less than 20 items per category being ideal, and I’m currently working towards that.

Accessories are another story of course 😉 They don’t take up that much space. 😉

Why 20 clothing items in each category?

I came to the number of 20 because there are 14 days in 2 weeks, and I do laundry every one to two weeks.

Therefore, I need outfits to last about 2 weeks, assuming for a few changes here and there when things get dirty, or things change.

That number is my personal feeling, not so much anything based on rationality or averages of what I wear or don’t wear.

So why a maximum of 50 then?

I simply feel that having 50 tops is the maximum I could handle as a wardrobe for a month (assuming I change twice a day on occasion).

If you think about it, 50 tops, 50 bottoms, 50 dresses.. that’s a lot of clothing.

Ideally, everyone wants the wardrobe where every piece is perfect and the only item you’ll ever need.

How many clothes?

The only place I’ve succeeded in doing this, is in the jeans category.

I own one pair of jeans. Singular.

Why? Because I don’t fit well into most jeans, and I wear that one perfect pair until it dies.

Then I patch it every 2 months and wear it for another 3 years until it is beyond repair.

Where I fail, is in the dresses category.

I own about 30 dresses. Plural.

Why?

Mostly it’s because I never throw away anything that still fits, which is why I still have dresses from high school in my closet that I pull out and wear.

I also just really like colour and variety…

How about technology?

I own roughly 6 laptops and netbooks.

You think I’m mad but 2 of those are left at my parents’ house (Macbook and PC Netbook) for a spare computer to use for when others visit.

The other 4 serve separate purposes, taking into account that I travel and have my own business.

Where I really don’t care, is in the telephone/cellphone department.

I own ONE cellphone and I forget to charge it 25% of the time.

I’ve had it for about 4 years and I feel no need to upgrade unless the upgrade is free.

I leave it at home, forget to charge it, and can’t find it half the time unless it rings.

So.. now what?

I’m stumped.

The only advice I can offer is to really go through what you own and make sure it is what you need to keep and use.

I see a purpose in everything I own, even if others don’t or think I’m crazy.

People are perfectly happy with just one laptop, but I’m not.

I need different laptops for different purposes and that suits me fine.

I can only say that paring down and downsizing it’s constantly on my mind every time I pick up something:

  • Have I used this in the past 6 months?
  • Do I need it?
  • Do I still want it?

Then I take it from there.

How do you do it? Do you have any rules you loosely or rigidly follow?

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.