Minimalism: How Many Things Should You Own

Look for the list of what I own at the bottom if you’re looking for “number” or “tangible data”, but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about using what you have and not having things for the sake of having them.

This is a question A LOT of new minimalist enthusiast get held up on. It’s one I struggled with for quite some time, the less stuff I have must directly correlate to my success and credibility as a minimalist, right?

Not quite. (Sighs of relief)

I would say that I probably own less than anybody I know personally, but from a purist minimalist standpoint, I could be considered a normal person in terms of consumerism. I own a truck, an IPhone, a laptop, and a kindle, clothes, books, a skateboard, shoes, all the normal stuff. However, I only own things I use on a regular basis and that’s where minimalism comes in to play.

We’re allowed to have things. Having things is necessary, but you should also not have more than you need just for the sake of having them. Everything I own serves a purpose to me, and the second I stop using an item, I get rid of it. I don’t own many copies of things either, which is a big thing in my opinion. No 2 pairs of the same shoes in different colors, no having 30 shirts just because, no having 10 different hats when we only wear the same one or two.

I will say hat I have A LOT of books, it’s the only non minimal part of my life. But guess what, I read those books. Reading is a huge part of my life and I love every book I have. If I buy one, read it don’t plan on ever reading it again, I give it away. So while I have probably 60 books, I read them all continuously and they all serve an important purpose in my life, and THAT IS WHAT MINIMALISM IS AL ABOUT. So don’t feel like you’re a failure if you have an old movie collection you can’t part with because you watch it every week. That doesn’t mean you’re a slave to the system, it just means that those movies bring continuous joy to your life and if that’s the case, keep them.

And now for the list of all of my stuff, since I’m sure I’ll have to prove myself as a “real minimalist?” at some point.

about 10 shirts or so.
3 pairs of pants
3 pairs of short (two of which are running shorts)
7 pairs of underwear/socks
3 hats (one is a beanie)
Hiking boots for when it rains and snows (which in Oregon is often)
2 pairs of shoes (one running, one casual)
2 sweaters

IPhone 5s
Kindle paperwhite (with even more books in it)
Hp computer (cheapest one at Walmart)(One day I’ll get a Mac)
Record Player (which is basically my tv since I don’t have one)
Garmin running watch

Bed on box springs, no frame
Small table next to bed for books, drinks, phone
Dresser for clothing

Cooking Utensils
Rice cooker (obviously)
Coffee maker

Tool bag with tools for truck
2 guitars (planning to get rid of)
2 backpacks for hiking or carrying things around town
45-60 books
earphones for IPhone

Things I plan on buying
650 Sq. Ft. house in Indiana
Couch for that house
Bike to ride around town
2 pots for cooking
2 bowls, plates, forks, spoons, knifes
Small tv

I will say that I live with other folks at the moment who obviously have things I use such as a washer/dryer, fridge, stove, and tv that I’ll have to get after my move to Indiana in the next month or two.

So am I a minimalist? Who knows, I would consider myself one but there’s always someone more minimal who questions your credibility regardless of how much stuff you have. So you be the judge. The point I was trying to make is there isn’t a number. There’s no equation you can plug your age and marital status in that pops out a generic “32 items for your persons”. If you have something just to have it, throw it out. If you use it on a WEEKLY basis, it’s probably alright to keep. The minimalist Gods wont crucify you for having one two many pairs of socks or two bikes.


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