2020 Personal Items Count (#92 items)

Long-time readers know that I count my items each year around my birthday as a mindfulness tool. Many of you have told me that it is your favorite post of the year. Let’s get started.

Clockwise, spiraling in: laundry basket, vacuum, tools glasses & case, tote bag, lap top, calendar, wallet, emWave (more on this another day,) yoga mat and blocks, memory box, towel, sewing kit, iron.

Miscellaneous items not pictured: cell phone, car, umbrella, the bed. Total miscellaneous items #21.

Clothing (total clothing items #61)

Outfit 1
Outfit 2
Outfits 3 & 4. Dresses are so much cooler in the summer!
Outfit 5 and a scarf that goes with all three dresses.
Outfit 6
The same black dress you have been seeing for years and a sparkly summer sweater-counting this as 2 items.
Left side of closet, you can see the dresser and on the top shelf some borrowed books for a class I am taking.
The right side of the closet. On shelf, more books for the course and below, a file cabinet for a new business venture. Also, more on that later this summer.
Two coats
Three sweaters, a pashmina, a hat, 2 purses.
Three yoga outfits. I also use these a pajamas.
Three pair of shoes. Now that I am walking almost everywhere, I have no tolerance for shoes that make my feet hurt.
Paint clothes, swimsuit, 3 masks and earrings. Plus 10 hangers.
Toiletry bag, hair clip, comb, grooming scissors, nail clippers, toothbrush and razor.

Personal care items #7. Just for transparency, I stopped counting the consumables, but if you are wanting to keep track: I use a natural bar soap which also works as a shampoo and shaving lubricant, a hair conditioner, tooth paste, floss, foundation, eyebrow pencil and mascara.

I’ve started a new category called business which currently has 3 items: the file cabinet and a shredder and a bin for office supplies.

That is a total of 92 objects for myself alone. It does not include household and kitchen items shared with my son. I will do a post later in the summer listing those objects.





  1. Hi Fawn, This timely post is great as I try to do Project 333 – having a complete wardrobe of 33 items, including shoes, but not athletic wear. or undies. I wore uniforms for 12 years of parochial school; family thrift made for minimal out of school outfits; then I worked as a staff x-ray tech in a white uniform for twelve more years. By the time I was 30, my street clothes & leotards were the only outfits with the least bit of individuality. I’ve over-compensated for that during 40 years since, but now I plan to go back to a uniform of sorts.
    I’ll never pass the 100-items test, but a start is a start. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is funny, when the uniform is imposed on us by authorities, it feels like a constriction of our creativity. When we choose it for ourselves, it feels like it supports our creativity. (I’m thinking of Steve Jobs who wore identical jeans and black turtlenecks for decades. And Mark Zuckerberg seems to have only grey T-shirts.)


  2. I must have missed the first time you did this, in which you answered the question, “Why?” I feel as if I’ve just snooped around your house, which I was taught as a child I must never do. But now that I’m snooping, doesn’t having fewer clothes mean that you have to do laundry more often?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, the first time I did this was over 15 years ago on my first blog singlemomenough.wordpress.com. The rationale was thus: My kids were in elementary school and college (one child is 11-16 years older than his siblings) and I was discerning ways to be efficient with my limited time and money to spend them in line with my values. I began tracking every penny spent after reading “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominquez and Vicki Robbins and counting my objects to discern what was “enough.” And it would be snooping if you were physically in my home and began going through the medicine cabinet and closets without permission. However, I post this stuff every year to be transparent about how few material objects we really need to live rich and vibrant lives. It is NOT about being poor, or some weird modern ascetic, but a choice that leads to freedom. And about the laundry-every person has a limiting factor that determines when they MUST do laundry. When my kids were growing, we had a weeks worth of clothes for each kid for any given season. That was the balance point for me between doing laundry and spending money on clothes that they would outgrow in 6 months. After they stopped growing, they accumulated more. Now, my limiting factor is that my son works for a grocery store and he has 3 uniform shirts. So I do some laundry every 3-4 days depending on his work schedule.


    1. It is interesting to me that my new walking lifestyle change has unexpectedly changed my footwear preferences and the unexpected addition of masks is still workable within my 100 item limit.


  3. For the record, I’m one of those many readers who tell you that this is their favorite post of the year. And while I’ll never get at all close to having fewer than 100 items, this always reassures me that I can live quite comfortably with far less than what I have now. (And let me add that I’m looking forward to a count of your household items a few months from now.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks kris! Yeah, this was never about getting everyone to join the 100 Club, but more an invitation to mindfulness about what we own as a measured counterpart to the advertising BUY! BUY! BUY!


  4. I’m always amazed at your count because I’m still having difficulty in reducing clothes, shoes, cosmetics, etc. I don’t have a lot compared to others but far too much compared to you. You inspire me to continue finding ways to diminish my supplies. Once the self-isolation is finished, I look forward to selling some furniture. If you want to see minimalism in the extreme, I encourage all of you to check out healyourliving.com. She leaves me speechless! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post every year! It makes me feel peaceful just to read it. I do not have a minimalist home – I have a packrat husband, three kids, a dog. BUT I have made all “my” areas (my closet, the kitchen, my office, etc.) as minimalist and organized as possible. Interestingly, two of my three children have chosen to be minimalist, neat, and organized. But the other (who is very similar to his dad in many ways) has not. I don’t let my husband’s disorganized closet or garage, or my son’s room with clothes strewn everywhere, bother me. And I just chuckle to myself when they can’t find anything they’re looking for.

    Thanks again for posting. I’m one of the readers who considers it the favorite of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a wise minimalist that does not take on the clutter of “what other people ought to do.” And I know exactly what you mean about how non-minimalists spend a lot of time looking for stuff.


  6. Happy birthday Fawn. Thanks for the count. I always enjoy it. Definite change in the shoes. No sandals or heels for the dresses? Love the colour pallette.
    Can I ask what is the soap you use for body and hair. I’m trying to find a good bar soap for travelling.
    Thanks Adrienne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No sandals or heels. Which surprised me, as I could not wear sandals when I worked as a home hospice nurse and I was certain that free of the dress code, I would wear sandals all summer. But I find that they are not comfortable for walking distances, which I do most days now. The soap is Ayurvedic Formula Auromere shampoo bar with neem. Tulsi-spice fragrance. Both my son and I have multiple chemical allergies and this is a soap that we can both use without a problem.


  7. I, too, always enjoy these annual posts!

    Currently living on a boat for a month and enjoying the minimalist life (tho‘ you do have to have a fair amount of just-in-case items on a yacht!!).

    I always find it interesting that you see your clothing in terms of outfits – presumably you mix and match, too, though?

    Curious about your new ventures!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very little mixing and matching goes on. I generally hang the outfits together when they are laundered and wear whatever is on a hanger when the time comes. However, if half of an outfit gets too worn or stained, then I find a new pair for the remaining item. I am not a fashionista and I put very little effort into my clothes.


    1. Well, I don’t do a lot of ironing…..even clothing that most people would, i.e. linen. But when I do, I just put a towel down on the kitchen counter and give it a whirl. You can’t be really fussy about areas like cuffs, but [shrugs shoulders.]


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