Whether it is a personal count of someone's possessions, or a challenge to own/get rid of a fixed number of objects, there are often numbers involved when the subject of minimalism is treated.
Is there a maximum number of objects that define a "minimalist"? I don't think so. As I mentioned before, I think minimalism is about our relationship and values regarding possessions, not their number. Then, is it useless to put a random number on a minimalist's collection or challenge? I don't think so. I think numbers can be a guide to start taking action, used as a reference more than a strict rule.
I discovered one of these quantified challenges pertaining wardrobe editing lately: project 333. The idea is to choose 33 pieces of clothing and use only these for the next 3 months. As the author states, it is an experiment of living with less. Is it possible that 33 items may be enough for a season? This experiment helps figuring that out.
Which made me wonder about the underlining question here: how much is enough? I decided to approach the subject on my own wardrobe, since I feel there are still too many items in my closet.
Obviously, there is no magic number as an answer. I noticed other, more subjective elements that can help find out how much is enough for you. After all, having enough is a feeling, it's personal and subjective, isn't it?
You may have too much if:
- You have a hard time picking your outfit because there are too many possibilities and you don't know where to start
- You don't wear the latest pair of shoes you bought because they hurt - you haven't broken them in yet
- The latest garment you purchased still has its price tag on
- When laundry day approaches, you still have trouble finding free space in your closet.
- You wardrobe bores you because you feel like nothing fits together
- You feel like you "have nothing to wear" because you can't find anything you want to wear among the piles in your closet
You may not have enough if:
- You have a hard time picking your outfit because there is no combination that you haven't already worn very recently
- You don't wear the latest pair of shoes you bought because they are being fixed at the cobbler's
- The latest garment you purchased shows signs of wear and tear
- When laundry day approaches, you have trouble finding a matching set of clothes, if there are any clean ones left at all.
- Your wardrobe bores you because you feel like you're dressed the same every day
- You feel like you "have nothing to wear", because you litterally have nothing that is neither dirty nor worn out left today
You may have nailed your perfect amount if:
- You don't have a hard time picking your outfit in the morning
- You wear the latest pair of shoes you bought, on a very regular basis
- The latest garment you purchased found its place in your wardrobe and is worn on a regular basis in many different outfits
- When laundry day approaches, there is just enough left for a few outfits until the rest is clean, dry, ironed and put away.
- Your wardrobe doesn't bore you
- You never feel like you have "nothing to wear"
In which of these categories do you think you fit in? Is there any other hint you would add to these lists? Another experiment I use to assess my wardrobe is when I travel for a few days. How much can I pack so I have all I need and use everything I packed?