Winter Count 2015: 84 items

I’m pretty excited about this count, as I have dropped 8 items since last summer. Six items are from the clothing category: I lost earrings, gave a bracelet away and learned how to live with five outfits, instead of the 4 work and 4 non-work outfits I had. In the miscellaneous category, I ditched the iron and ironing board (gave then to my daughter,) switched to bi-focals (ridding myself of the readers and a case for them.)

New/returning items: a got another wallet as it is a practical way to keep the change corralled. I bought a vase (0.99 cents at Goodwill) because by boyfriend has a habit of buying me roses. I de-cluttered my Christmas decorations so extensively (I had always counted the decorations as the kid’s stuff, as I really only decorate for their sake) that I discovered a Christmas decoration that is one of my “100 things.” It is a stocking that my mother knit with my first name on the front and my middle name on the back.

Interestingly, I still see excess in this list: Six shoes! Tights that I wear about three times a year. A scarf–which is a purely decorative item.

Readers tell me that they really enjoy these counting posts–so, Enjoy!

Miscellaneous items (#19)

2015-02-04 12.51.58

laundry basket, suitcase, vase (with roses) shredder, back pack, To-go cup, coffee pot, two books, towel and Christmas stocking, glasses, case and sunglasses, lap top and wallet.

Not pictured are the car and bed and cell phone. Same as previous posts.

Clothing (#54)

outfits #1 & #2

outfits #1 & #2

outfits # 3 & # 4

outfits # 3 & # 4

outfit #5 and the black dress

outfit #5 and the black dress

there are four sets, here are three of them

Exercise clothes: there are four sets, here are three of them

2015-02-04 11.33.09

winter coat and rain coat

winter coat and rain coat

2015-02-04 12.32.35

a fleece, a scarf and a sweatshirt

paint clothes and swim suit

paint clothes and swim suit

watch and earrings

watch and earrings

gloves, headband/ear warmer, basket with socks and other underthings: socks 5 pair, panties 5 pair, bras 4, tights x1.

gloves, headband/ear warmer, basket with socks and other underthings: socks 5 pair, panties 5 pair, bras 4, tights x1.

two summer outfits

two summer outfits

And then 8 hangers pictured in the clothing photos.

Personal care items #12

grooming scissors, deodorant, razor, hair paste, oil, face powder, lip balm and nail clippers, soap/shampoo, mascara, floss/toothpaste/toothbrush, basket to hold stuff in the cabinet

grooming scissors, deodorant, razor, hair paste, oil, face powder, lip balm and nail clippers, soap/shampoo,
mascara, floss/toothpaste/toothbrush, basket to hold stuff in the cabinet

84 things in total, and room to edit!

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39 responses to “Winter Count 2015: 84 items

  1. These are one of my favorite posts of yours; they are always so inspiring. So sweet that you bought a vase btw 🙂

    PS: this is random but whatever happened to the small bird figurine?

  2. As you probably already know, I’m one of those of readers who enjoy these “count” posts. As Erin says, they’re always inspiring. Thanks!

  3. I love your count posts, too! I always get ideas on what I can consider doing without.

  4. Love this post! Very inspiring to see what I can do without. It’s so sweet that your boyfriend gets you roses.

  5. I love this post as well – you are such an inspiration. I sold my 10 tablecloths and matching napkins a few years ago and use only placemats (but nice ones) and paper napkins (I know I’m creating garbabe but I was sick of washing and ironing every time I had company and the paper ones don’t require soap, water and hydro!) Remember the expression “What would Jesus do?”, well, now when I think I need something I ask myself “What would Fawn do?” I’m down to seven shoes (includes two runners and slippers) but still more clothing than you. Also, I haven’t ironed in I don’t know how many months but have difficulty letting go of my ironing board “just in case”. If I keep the iron, I could always do it on my kitchen table. I keep rereading all your “count” post and especially the kitchen one because I still have a ways to go but am closer to being Fawn than any of my friends or family.

  6. P.S. “He has a habit of buying me roses”. My favourite flower (in pink). Does your boyfriend have a brother? I still available 🙂

  7. Amazing! Sometimes I wish I could be this disciplined. Life would be so much simpler.

  8. Another fan of the count here – inspiring, though I don’t really think I’d ever get down to quite as little as you.
    And it’s always interesting to see how different people class needs – I wouldn’t need a to-go cup, a coffee machine or a shredder, for instance!! But a vase? Definitely!! (though I have used teapots and bowls and such before now!)
    I would be curious as to what your adult children consider to be minimum needs and if they follow your philosophy.

    As a knitter, I do love that you appreciate that Christmas stocking ❤

    • My adult children, i.e. the 30-somethings have a house with rooms full of furniture, the usual American stuff and my first grandbaby on the way. The two in college: have dorm rooms with stuff (daughter more clothes, son more books) and then each a closet stuffed with precious things here at home too. And the teenager? He has at least 100 things of rock and roll instruments, amplifiers, microphones, etc. They are not minimalists….but they are not mindless consumers either. They are thoughtful consumers.

      • Congratulations for your future first grand-child! Exciting! 🙂
        As grand-parents gifts for the children are the main challenge to my minimalist aspirations, I must say I envy your children!!! But I also have to say that I am very grateful for their generosity as I practically don’t have to buy anything!

  9. It’s so true. I have found that after de cluttering down to a certain level, and don’t feel comfortable letting go of anything else, I just wait a couple of days or weeks or so and end up finding more that can go. Wow Fawn, way to go. And nice boyfriend too.

  10. Also – all pants except for the black dress? Is that just winter? I thought you were more into dresses and skirts (at least in the summer)? Do you store those things?

    • I do like dresses and skirts, though sometimes have trouble finding ones with pockets. I do keep out of season clothing that is not worn out. In this winter’s count there are two summer outfits. (See above photos.)

  11. Fawn, I also enjoy the number count of items although I will never get to this small of number to things. You have helped to to purge many household and personal goods and I appreciate the encouragement. I am happy that you have found a special guy, and he does sound very thoughtful, giving, and charming. Now we need to to pray for Diane to find that great guy too!

    • I will also probably never get down to this many items but it’s still very inspirational to me too.

    • Yes, I would appreciate those prayers! I’m in the middle of Louise Hay’s How You Create an Exceptional Life, and I’ve added “him” in my daily affirmations.

      • Wishing you every happiness–with or without a man. 🙂

      • Diane! Me too, I am wishing you every happiness!
        And I am very supportive of your affirmations. I just want to share my story: a few years ago, I though it was “too late” for me to meet anybody I could share my life with and I made the decision to be happy no matter what and especially to be happy as a single woman. Then, by the strangest of serendipity, I met a wonderful man and we are still together! That was many years ago!

  12. A while back my husband and I sold/gave everything we had to go RVing full-time. I didn’t miss anything I had left behind. We’re in a house now, but it is very small and we have just what we need. People are always wondering where the pictures and decorative items are; most are just impressed how clean and serene everything looks. I love your website because I can identify with what you do. Oh the money we save by not constantly buying things is astounding and it’s so relaxing not to have to upkeep all the “stuff”. Count me as a new fan of the number count.

  13. “Serene” or “Calm” are the two most common adjectives I hear to describe my de-cluttered home. I know you “get it.”

  14. I think I found the ultimate minimalist as I just finished a book on Julian Assange, creator and publisher of Wikileaks. They claim “due to his nomadic lifestyle, he only has 2 laptops, 2-3 cellphones and a few articles of clothing”. I’m guessing his count would be around 30!

  15. Love this post! And the roses! Fawn, have you got any pyjamas or nightgown to sleep in? I don’t find it in your count.

  16. I sleep in a clean set of exercise clothes. If it’s really cold, I wear the sweatshirt over them.

  17. Excellent choice on the books! Borges’ Labyrinths are good to chew on for a long time. And although I haven’t read Atlantic, I’ve enjoyed another of Winchester’s books (The Professor and the Madman). Entertaining and educational.

  18. They were Christmas gifts. I haven’t started them yet. 😦

  19. Love takes time to nurture! Hence, less reading time 😉
    Where is the jeans jacket that you had since you were 14? (maybe I missed the post on that or maybe this is too personal, then please don’t feel you have to answer).
    Have you done a post on letting go of personal items? I know you have a personal history with a fire unfortunately not letting you much choice about what you wanted to keep but have you ever faced any dilemma about that? Have you written about it and could you give us a link? Sentimental items is my biggest minimalist challenge!
    PS: I always get the giggles at the way you put you exercises clothes on the bed! And I finally understood why you have so many of them!

    • The jean jacket no longer met my needs–so I sold it at a consignment shop. I got $10 for it. I bought the thing new for $14 or so…and certainly got my use out of it.
      It was not me that had the fire…it was my kid’s (at their dad’s house) so I have not had that event. But if I did–I am prepared.
      I am not sentimental–other bloggers may be able to help you better than I.
      I have a few hand-made birthday and Mother’s day cards that the kids made. The photos from their childhoods I have forwarded to them.

      It is one of my dearest wishes that I die with 3 changes of clothing and maybe a Memory foam mattress. Everything else is borrowed.
      I’ll have my kids given you all a post about how successful I am.

  20. I see. Well, in a sense you did help me. The main reason I have a hard time to let go of personal items is the picture of myself at 90 in my retirement home. I always thought that I would be happy to have souvenirs from my youth. But will I ? Or will I prefer to sit in the sun with a cup of tea and look at the birds?
    Also, be able to show things to my potential grand kids. But will my potential grand kids have any interest in seeing these things? They might be more happy and the connection might be deeper if I listen to them instead.
    Other bloggers are not very helpful on that. They all say, something along the line “memories are in the heart” but it is not true because one forgets and an object can help remind things one had forgotten. I just think that most minimalist bloggers are too you young to have start forgetting!
    I also believe to some extent in a few objects being passed down several generations. It can be a burden but it can also be a strenght … maybe, or maybe not….

    • Oh…the irony. It was those family heirlooms that started me on the path. For example, as my mother’s only daughter, I was to inherit the silver. Except one of my jobs as a teenager was to polish it monthly. I do not want to own anything that is that much work. I have refused to inherit it. My daughter or niece will get it, and they plan to sell it. The Hitchcock chairs have been passed down through the women in my family and are 200 years old. But they are so fragile, that no one sits on them. They should be in a museum.
      Beatrice- if you are afraid of forgetting, journal and take photos. You don’t need the ticket stubs or the baby shoes. And remember there is some forgetting (dementia) that no amount of collectibles will prevent.
      I like your image of yourself as an old woman sipping tea, watching the birds and listening to the younger generation. That is what I wish for myself–to be in the present moment, puzzling over the world’s current problems and how to solve them. The past is useful as instruction for that, but I don’t want to use it as a refuge.

  21. Definitely a lot of good food for thought, especially:
    “But they are so fragile, that no one sits on them. They should be in a museum” (that rings a bell :-D)
    and
    “the past is useful…..but I don’t want to use it as a refuge”
    I am very grateful for your words indeed! I hope it will help…me!

  22. Béatrice, thank you for your kind words and I`m happy you found someone. I am a happy single (the eternal optomist) but I do miss the companionship and being able to share my burdens with someone. Both my parents are in a retirement home, their health is declining, my mother is now in a wheelchair due to a mini-stroke last fall and it`s difficult to work 9 hours a day, run their errands (and mine) after work, and take them to all their medical appointments (especially managing a wheelchair in piles of snow!). It would be nice to have a partner who could help out. My friends are great but they have their issues with again parents as well.

    I too have problems letting go of sentimental items. I adored both my grandmothers and don`t think I could part with any of the souvenirs I have of them, as well as things that my mother has giving me. There are items I will sell after she`s no longer with us (it would break her heart to know that I will be selling her china set) and others that I will keep. The downsizing test will be when I retire and move to the other side of the country. I`m only bringing two suitcases: one for clothing and the other for those items I just can`t part with.

    • There are many delights of being in relationship, but I do not believe that less work is one of them. It has been my experience that relationships create more work.

  23. Your posts are really impacting my life. I’ve been getting rid of for a long time but even my 11 year old asked me why you can’t really tell I’ve taken so much out? You are inspiring me to move to a higher level of freedom.

  24. I so aspire to this!! Most of my family and friends think I’m nuts for the amount of stuff I freely give away. But all it does is make me feel weighted down. I want to live lightly on this earth and for me that translates into less stuff! Love these posts!

    • Fawn, I really do love these posts. I know you have mentioned you enjoy hand sewing. How have you gotten by with sewing and no iron? Have you missed it for that purpose, or do you find you are fine without it?

  25. I have not missed the iron. My hand sewing is mostly to alter my clothing to suit myself, which is very small scale. I can “finger press” things using the heat of hands.

  26. Interesting, thank you! When I read your reply, I had just cooked something using my cast iron skillet, and I realized one could also always just heat the skillet up and place a cloth between the bottom of skillet and fabric if needed. You always have me thinking of things in new ways, thank you.

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