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It is hard to live like a minimalist with 72 pair of underwear

A closet full of clothes

I have wanted to live a like a minimalist ever since I found Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus’s blog, the minimalists. They write about living a meaningful life with less stuff.

 How might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions?
–Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

It is hard to live like a minimalist with 72 pair of underwear.

Last year I made the commitment to not buy any clothes for 365 days. Usually I get rid of clothes every month. But I kept everything after starting the challenge to be content with what I have. I hoarded my clothes. Even the clothes I had not worn in over twenty years I didn’t want to get rid of. What if I got rid of something and I realized I made a mistake?

I was afraid of making a wrong decision so I didn’t make any decision.

On Sunday I wrote a story on my blog about the extreme  need I have to be perfect. I admitted how hard it was to make up my mind.  Somehow admitting what I struggled with make it easier to make up my mind today. I took all of my clothes out of my closet and bagged up all the clothes I haven’t worn in more than a year.

I took seven pair of shorts, seven skirts, seven pair of pants, thirteen sweaters, three vests, six coats, ten dresses, eighteen t-shirts, ten long-sleeved button-up shirts, three scarfs, ten tank tops, six bras, two bags, and five pair of shoes to the thrift store. And I threw away fifty-six pair of underwear.

Taking clothes to the thrift store.

My life is already better. I have fewer choices to make when I choose my underwear in the morning and I can now find my exercise pants in my closet.

My minimalist closet

How might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions? Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • Sue Sutherlin

    Less laundry, too! It can only pile up so much before you HAVE to do it. Sometimes I think I should get rid of all but one plate, cup, fork, knife, and spoon for each family member. There would be so many less dishes to wash!

    Living with less makes US less of a slave to our possessions. Less stuff to worry about, less stuff to maintain . . . you get the idea.

    I wish I had the ability to “Like” many of the comments below (does that say something about how much time I must be on FB?). Lots of good insight shared!

  • La McCoy

    I like less. I collect more.

  • Bravo Pamela!!!!
    Giving away everything and going to love on a small boat. That is what I did. I never never again accumulate stuff. My life is mobile and I love it.
    I can sail off into the sunset when ever I want.

    • Yeah! Yippee! Trying to live with less like my friend Patricia!
      I would still need an aircraft carrier to sail with all my stuff, but I do at least have fewer pairs of underwear.
      Sailing off into the sunset whenever I want does sound wonderful. This year when I travel to Europe for seven days, I was going to try and go with only the clothes on my back and my toothbrush and computer. xo P back at you

      • Alas, I still pack the ‘kitchen sink’ when I travel. Have not yet learned the art of packing light.
        Where in Europe are you traveling to?

        • Patricia,
          We are going to Denmark and Sweden. My husband was asked to be a speaker at a conference and they always ask the wife to come too. I am excited to travel.

          • I’ve never been there but the landscapes are spectacular. Will sail Mojito in the fjords one day. Enjoy the trip.
            TRAVEL; it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a story teller.

  • Dana Murphy

    you are serious! Your closet looks so… orderly now. i need to do something similar – with every closet in my house. Isn’t there a saying about our physical space being a reflection of our inner selves or something? Interesting.

    • Oh dear Dana,
      If that is true, my inner self is cluttered and unorganized. Or maybe I just want to sit at the dining room table without a booster seat.

  • Jaana

    You have courage! And I can testify, you can manage just fine with less than 16 pairs of underwear!

    • Hello Jaana,
      I felt courageous. Yes, I don’t need to keep the dress that is two sizes too big that I bought to sell on ebay. Living with less means I don’t have to waste so much time deciding what to wear. Fewer choices. Less stress.
      Thank you for your encouragement on living with fewer pairs of underwear!

  • Janelle

    I’m working on it…

    • Hello Janelle,
      One day at a time and one cupboard or shirt at a time.
      There is no rush. The stress free declutter lifestyle.

  • You know you are singing my song…I went through my kitchen and gave away boxes and boxes of duplicate pans, utensils, tablecloths and small appliances, and I enjoy being in there so much more. I also went through all of Joe’s clothes with him and gave away everything that doesn’t fit him any more. It’s the best feeling.

    • Great job Kathleen,
      Isn’t it amazing how much stuff was can hide behind a cupboard door?
      Yes, getting rid of stuff is the best feeling. And now we have more room to be creative.

  • I’ve been reading about minimalism as well lately and worked at it a bit. You’ve inspired me to get back at it. I think I would have more time for things I’d like to do if I didn’t have so much to clean and so many things in the way!

    • Hello Kim,
      We might have years more time to create if we had less things to clean and organize and dust.
      It is hard work to get rid of things. At least for me, every thing I own has a story attached to it. I don’t want to throw away the memories. So I keep more thing than I need.

  • Tara

    Woah…that closet is a work of wonder. You were serious about cleaning up! You have me inspired, Pamela – this is a task I am avoiding. Now is the time!

    • Hello Tara,
      I feel like a new woman with an empty closet. I haven’t missed anything I got rid of yet. Who knows maybe the fur trimmed coat from the seventies will come in style again.
      Did you start cleaning out your closet yet?

  • Mariaselke

    That is awesome! I bagged up a bunch of clothing a few weeks ago and it felt great. I need to keep going and get rid of even more. I don’t like to shop, so I cling to the old to avoid having to get the new… (except books, of course)

    • Hello Maria,
      Yes books would be a good exception to not wanting to buy new.
      Even after I took four hugs bags of clothes to the thrift store I still have more I can get rid off. Shopping for “good deals,” use to be my hobby.

  • djts

    I actually had started weeding out my closet today, too. I usually do it in December to give a donation to Goodwill in time to claim it on my income taxes for the year. Forgot to this year, but NEED to do it. My bed is going to be impossible to sleep on tonight if I don’t bag it and move it NOW! A few years ago we lived in a motel for 11 months. It was a wonderful experience in learning to live with very little of anything.

    • How did you closet weeding go? Did you get your clothes in bags so you could go to bed?
      That must have been an interesting experience to live in a motel for 11 months. Now that would be a minimalist life.

  • Bonnie Kaplan

    Every so often, not often enough I start weeding my closet garden and fill bags for GoodWill and it feels good but I immediately visit a favorite store and fill up new bags with new clothes. That’s my process…unfortunately. I love new things.

    • Hello Bonnie,
      New things are so much fun. I have had to stop window shopping because the temptation is too great. My favorite place to look is the vintage section in thrift stores.

      • Bonnie Kaplan

        My downfall is Chicos 🙂

        • Oh dear, a new temptation. I just looked up Chicos and the clothes look amazing. Are they an East Coast Store? I have never heard of them before. Goodwill I know. 🙂

          • Bonnie Kaplan

            They are a chain. Originally from New Mexico. Expensive but there are lots of discounts.

  • Bernadette Laganella

    Great that you still are staying with your resolution not to buy and now are able to let go. I’ll be the cleaning out made you feel great.

    • Hello Bernadette,
      Yes it feels good to have cleaned out my closet. I don’t want any new clothes, I am content with what I have. I wonder if I will want to buy any clothes when the challenge ends?