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