I Counted Everything I Own

When I started to be interested in Minimalism in 2017, I decided to count all my stuff.

The average European citizen owns 10,000 items and I wanted to know how much I own. I counted 2,490 items five years ago.

Last week Minimalist and filmmaker Matt D’Avella released a new video titled I counted everything I own as a minimalist. He also created other videos showing how little stuff he owns when he showed his apartment, his wardrobe, or what is in his pockets.

After watching his video I decided to recount my items and this time have everything neatly organized in a spreadsheet with columns for amount, room, category, date of buying, and price (if known).

Rules for Counting

Back in 2017, I counted way too strict, I even counted each dental brush as one item. Matt had some good ideas for “what’s a thing”:

  • A box of screws is one thing
  • All loose screws are one thing
  • All sandwich bags inside a box are one thing
  • A hard drive and its cable is one thing because it needs it to operate
  • A pair of socks is one thing
  • Counting all consumables (except food)

The Items I Own

Matt D’Avella counted 1,641 items in his home (together with his wife); 1363 things, and 278 consumables which is not a lot. He owns 498 items, his wife the rest.

After counting my flat and cellar on the weekend the results are finally in. I own 2541 items, including 162 consumables. Matt won.

I still own 652 books and way too many coffee cups (I don’t even drink coffee) 🤷‍♂️ And I still have way too many clothes, but even though I don’t wear my dress shirts very often, I still love them too much to get rid of them.

Things vs. Consumables

I did the same as Matt and checked all my items if they are a thing or consumable. 339 items are consumables, the rest are things.

{"type":"doughnut","data":{"labels":["Things","Consumables"],"datasets":[{"label":"Things vs. Consumables","data":[2257,361],"backgroundColor":["#D7B98E","#0C0C0C"]}]},"options":{"plugins":{"title":{"display":true,"text":"Things vs. Consumables","font":{"family":"SecuelaVariable, Arial, sans-serif","size":"18","weight":"900"}},"legend":{"position":"right"}}}}


Most of my items are in the living room, followed by the bedroom, kitchen, cellar, corridor, bathroom, and balcony last.

{"type":"doughnut","data":{"labels":["Living Room","Bedroom","Kitchen/Dining Room","Cellar","Corridor","Bathroom","Balcony"],"datasets":[{"label":"Rooms","data":[1199,760,305,127,137,77,10],"backgroundColor":["#FAD689","#939650","#DC9FB4","#91AD70","#2EA9DF","#77428D","#3C2F41"]}]},"options":{"plugins":{"title":{"display":true,"text":"Rooms","font":{"family":"SecuelaVariable, Arial, sans-serif","size":"18","weight":"900"}},"legend":{"position":"right"}}}}


My top category is “books”, even though I recently gave 150 books away. Followed by kitchen tools … I need to get rid of my coffee mugs and the dozens of Asian noodle bowls. Then clothes, probably because I recently bought a bunch of socks.

{"type":"doughnut","data":{"labels":["Books","Kitchen","Clothing","Electronics","Entertainment","Stationery","Survival Gear","Furniture","Personal Care","Decor","Organization","Sports Equipment","Paper/Documents","Clearning Supplies","Plants/Plant Accessories","Tools","Medicine","Travel"],"datasets":[{"label":"Categories","data":[655,272,262,208,180,176,171,138,114,96,74,64,48,46,40,36,26,12],"backgroundColor":["#CB4042","#B9887D","#B07736","#B1B479","#3A8FB7","#6E75A4","#CB1B45","#F6C555","#BEC23F","#986DB2","#FFBA84","#967249","#26453D","#77969A","#005CAF","#535953","#9F353A","#ECB88A"]}]},"options":{"plugins":{"title":{"display":true,"text":"Categories","font":{"family":"SecuelaVariable, Arial, sans-serif","size":"18","weight":"900"}},"legend":{"position":"right"}}}}


Now I have a good list where I can add new items I buy and remove items I sell or throw away. Additionally, the list is useful for traveling or in case I need to move. I can compare if a category or a room has too many things quickly. And with the new purchase price column, I can calculate how much I buy each year.