Stereotypical minimalists are often thought to have less then 333 items or 100 items or any other specific number of items, that they keep, often according to a kind of challenge. Founder of this idea was David Bruno and his 100- things- challenge, where he lived for one year with only 100 personal items. This may be considered the start of modern minimalism. I never planned to do a kind of challenge like that, mostly, because I though, that I could not own 100 or less personal belongings. I could cut down my belongings, I could reduce them, well, but 100 things seemed just not enough considering all the things, I want to create and collect.
I may not even do this challenge in the future but yesterday, I at least did the first step for it. I counted my belongings. I made and excel diagram with all the categories, items in my room could fall in and then went from furniture pice to furniture pice clockwise through my room and counted my stuff. Instead of just being content with having 'a few books' or 'a small pile of underwear', I really looked for every item and counted every item to get the exact number of things, I own. So, in contrast to other people doing this (1, 2, 3, 4), I gave each single item a number. It is also common to count summarized items as a group, for example, underwear, letters or books. Except for some clothes in our hallway, I really just included the very things in my own room. There are a lot of more or less personal items that I own together with other people or share with my family but those were not included. So, I basically estimated and categorized the number of items in my own room.
I cannot really tell if the final number surprised me, because I did not expect a certain number previously.
But without further ado, I will show you the diagram of all my items in my room.
The right bar shows all the categories, I put the items in to sort them. After the category name you got in brackets the exact number of items, I counted of this cathegory as well as the percentage, this items take up from my own belongings. As the total number of items is 993 (I will talk about this later), the approximate percentage was always the number of the items divided by 10. The cathegories are sorted by size.
put away (153): This category includes all the items I want to put away (maybe) as well as prepared gifts and things, that I will give to another person. This being almost 1/8 of all of my items definitely show that this is something, I should pay attention to.
memory (111): Memory items include memory books like photo albums and friend books as well as items on my memory and Japan memory shelf (old bracelet, toys, pictures etc.) This makes up even more than 1/8 of my personal belongings. Can one conclude that I am focusing too much on the past?
hobby items (110): This category consists mostly of fabric and sewing items. Also, it includes a guitar, a few camera items, some books to study Japanese and my letter set. Considering my huge sewing plans, this number will definitely expand.
zero waste items (98): So, after 10 weeks of zero waste, I have collected a decent amount of items to go zero waste. The great majority, however, are the paper sheets (counted single), that I created trying to recycle paper. I still do not really know how to use them.
clothes (89): Is it a lot having 89 clothing items. I, however, do not worry about this number, because styling and sewing are hobbies of mine that may create a lot of items. It is not that my closet is filled with old, worn clothes, but with well. folded, amazing clothes, that I really enjoy wearing.
personal books (64): This category includes empty books and writing pads as well as planning books or other papers, I use to organize my life and my dream diary. As letters fall into this category as well, it is a pretty high number.
stationary (62): Stationary items are both items, I need for school as well as some crafting supplies (note: each pencil counted as one item)
decoration (47): Some items are just in my room to make it look nice and comfortable. In my case, 47 items here are there to make my room look nice. I do not really know how to evaluate this number. I do not feel like my room is over decorated.
beauty/ health (42): This category consists of supplies like creme, razors and sun lotion to maintain beauty. Well, most of this items I consider to be unneccessary and am using up right now. Also, I counted items for my health here like a massage ball (for my feet), sunglasses and heat cushions
school items (42): School items are all folders, book ans papers that I am using for school. I expect this number to decrease dramatically next year ;)
boxes/ bags (41): This category includes both fabric bags, I use when going somewhere to transport my stuff as well as items in my room that just exist to organize, keep, show and capture other items. If the number of my items decreases, I will also need less boxes to organize them.
books (35): This number kind of surprised me. In contrast to a few years ago, my bookshelf really only includes books, I love and enjoy reading a lot and therefore read frequently. On the other hand, I could not think of giving away a single of this books, so the number is probably fine.
accessories (29): My accessories consist mostly of jewelry as well as hats or caps. Given that I rarely even wear them, I should maybe get rid of some.
make- up (23): Although my make- up collection fits in one, small box, it are still a total of 23 items.
electronics (16): All devices that require power are included in this categories as well as the wires to connect them. Especially the latter will presumably decrease.
furniture (13): Furniture may not be personal items of mine, but they are items filling and maybe cluttering my room. At the time, I think of 6 items of furniture I do not need anymore, but have to keep because of my parents.
fun items (12): This are items for things that give me pleasure but are not done often enough to be considered a hobby. Does this say something about my freetime?
cuddle toys (7): I always loved cuddle toys and we still have 2 big garbage bags full of cuddle toys in our basement. Those that I am really loving, however, are those 7 I keep in my room.
plants (6): I like plants, but I am having only 6 so far. I think this will change.
personal items (5): Personal items include the items, I do not leave the house without. It are a bottle of water, my keys, my purse, a handkerchief and my smartphone.
other (2): Well, some things do not fit in any category. Others are my desk pad and coint box. Are they necessary?
total (993): So, all this items make up a total of 993 items, of which I want to keep 840. Firstly, I was kind of astonished of the quite big number of items, I am still keeping in my room, although I want to put them away. I do not really know, whether the leftover number of 840 items is comparable with the 100- things challenge, because I really counted each item as one thing and did not work with item groups. It is, however, still a quite big number of items, my room is filled with. I want to decrease it. I am wondering, how high this number might have been one year ago. I will do this counting in a year again and then compare those two numbers. I am striking to decrease this number till next year to at least 550 items. I do not really know if that is a realistic goal, but I will definitely try.
All in all, it was definitely a interesting thing to do and gave my minimalism another push. What do you think about counting your belongings? Have a nice day and see you soon,