The Right Amount of Things to Own

Yesterday Dr. MinimalistHobbit was inspired to sort through his bike jerseys. (Following KonMari’s observation that the best way to get others in the household to tidy is to tidy your own belongings.) After a while, he looked up from his pile of clothes and sighed, “I like all of these jerseys,” giving me a look of expectation for some words of wisdom or criticism with the “correct” number of jerseys he should keep.


“Then keep all of them” was my quick answer, and so is my belief. I agree with the Minimalists and KonMari (and a lot of other minimalists I follow) that there is no magic number of items to own because we all live such different lifestyles and have different tastes. Dr. MinimalistHobbit owns around 40-50 t-shirts, but they all spark joy for him and he also wears t-shirts every day all year round, even when it’s -30F outside. I own a bookcase full of Pop figures because they make me smile when I turn around from my computer for a quick break from staring at my computer screen.

Conversely, I own almost no “real” pants because I work from home and live in yoga pants and Dr. MinimalistHobbit owns precisely one suit because he only wears a suit 2-3 times a year. Neither of these would probably work for someone who works in a business formal office all week.

So do not worry about the actual number of items you keep as long as you, to use the old William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Hugs from Hobbiton,


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