Why should you count your clothing?

It can help you to:

  • reduce clutter
  • discard or donate unused items
  • determine what shopping is required or not required
  • raise awareness of abundance

What about frugality vs. decluttering?

I didn’t want to discard useful clothes just because I had too many of them. My solution was to put them into a storage box for future use.

My Method:

For each clothing type I removed them all from my closet/storage area, counted and sorted them into piles:

  • love
  • like and use
  • functional for some purpose
  • don’t use but suitable for donation
  • too ratty for donation

For some of the items I picked a target number based on:

  • how often I do laundry
  • how often I need to wash that particular item
  • how many I wear at a time

(Currently I’m living in a house with a washer/dryer so can do small laundry loads if needed. When I was using the laundromat I needed a larger number of items for less frequent washing with larger loads.)

TMI Warning – If you’d prefer not to know about my undergarments I’ve put that at the bottom of the list so you have lots of time to avert your eyes. But we all have them and they’re part of my clothes, so leaving them out seemed silly.

 

My Categories and Counts

Non-Work Shirts

We all have things we tend to buy excessively. For me that is casual shirts. Part of the problem is that I can easily wear 3-4 shirt layers at a time, so I need more shirts than any other clothing type.

clothing count

Shopping Conclusions:

I need another long-sleeved undershirt.
I’d like a newer light hoodie.

Other conclusions:

I discarded/hid some really ratty shirts that I had been wearing around the house. And instead I moved two shirts that weren’t quite work appropriate to my house shirt category.

 

Pants/Shorts

chart of pants/shorts count

Shopping Conclusions: 

I need some better public-use shorts. I have one or two I want to discard but I need replacements first.

 

Other Random Items and Notes

work appropriate shirts – 8 – good number

light sweaters for over a tank top – 2 – keep

house dresses – 2 – keep

belts – 2

purse – 1

skirt that doesn’t fit – 1 – donated

fancier dresses – 3. 2 I wear occasionally, 1 has sentimental value – all kept

 

Coats/Jackets

good thick hoodie – 1

heavier fleece jacket – 1

windbreaker – 1

good winter coat – 1

fancier jacket – 1

 

Underwear/Socks

chart of underwear count

Notes about bras:

Being large-chested and small busted and endlessly annoyed with bra shopping I’ve switched to camisole tops for most days.

Target is 1 sports bra, 2 soft comfort bras, 2-3 fancy bras.

 

 General Conclusions

Was this a useful exercise? I think so. My clothes are better sorted, my sock drawer isn’t overflowing. And I have a clear idea of what items I need to shop for, and which I do not. Saving money is going to be especially important this year, so I like having clear guidelines.

Will I count my clothes every year? Probably not. Next year I may try a different clothing experiment:

Hide almost all of my clothes, and just take them out as I need them. This way I will discover exactly how many I need in my regular rotation. The rest can remain in storage or be donated. Hopefully this will allow me to narrow down the complications of possessions even further.

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