25 Items or Less… Something That Has Changed Our Lives!

by SomeGirl on April 20, 2011 · 23 comments

Oh my! Let me tell you that we have done something here that has changed our lives, and we LOVE it!

Last week I read about a movement to go down to 6 clothing items or less for a month to experience what MANY people around the world live like.

This got me thinking.

Then I read a blog post, Does Having Less Stuff Make Life Easier, about de-cluttering your life and the stress that comes from clutter… starting with closet clutter (extra, unneeded clothes).

This got me thinking even more and confirmed what I was already thinking…

We have TOO much stuff!!


I don’t know about you, but I have always battled with laundry… and I’m usually on the losing end of the battle.

I have spent lots of time in my life avoiding laundry and LOTS of time dreading the task.

But NOW I have a WONDERFUL solution and I’m DYING to share it with YOU!

My family has created our own challenge and put it into place this past weekend.

We went through our closets and drawers over the weekend pulling out everything we don’t like, don’t want or don’t wear anymore. We bagged those clothes and made the decision as a family to try to sell the items – donating the money somewhere (haven’t decided where yet).

(please ignore the low quality of this photo… it’s definitely not going into my “How to get accepted to iStock” tutorial.) ;) lol

Then we went through the rest of our clothes and pulled out 25 items to take us through the next month (and hopefully through the summer)…

25 items from underpants to scarves.

It took quite a bit of thinking (and catching up on laundry), but we each did it. And then we bagged up the rest of the clothes by season and marked them with our name and the season they match. If our clothes wear out, we can go shopping in one of our bags. :)

Now, let me tell you what has happened… (this is the EXCITING part!!)

I haven’t spent ANY time worrying about getting the laundry done or avoiding the DREADED task. And I haven’t spent ANY time wondering what to wear (it’s not that hard to choose from a handful of outfits which are my favorites of all my clothes).

Believe it or not, without the time spent doing, dreading or avoiding laundry I even had time to clear out our bathroom, taking those items down to the bare essentials, and time to paint my nails and shave my legs. ;) (TMI?)

Not only that, but without laundry to worry about (since a load is so small now and so easy to get done, leaving the hampers empty since there’s not much else to fill them with) our dishes have been tackled much more easily! Both my sweet husband and I who used to enter the dark, gloomy dungeon to serve our laundry duty now have nothing else to do, but dishes. And since those are being done so quickly with both of us tackling them, I now have time to do other things that were pushed to the side because “Mommy has laundry to do.”

It’s SO freeing!!! I have SO much more time to fraddle with my loved ones!! And no guilt because I should be doing LAUNDRY!

It actually feels so good that I’m planning on making similar challenges in every area of our house. The less stuff we have to shift around (aka: pick up, clean, straighten), the less time it takes and the more time I have to do WHATEVER I want! :)

This is SO AWESOME I just HAD to share it with YOU!

Btw, can you believe we have 10 FULL bags of stuff to donate from our closets, dressers and bathrooms alone??!! Can’t wait to see how many bags we end up with when it’s all said and done and what GREAT thing God’s going to do through the selling of our items and the donating of the money made!

(another photo to ignore the quality of…) :)

Anyway, just wanted to pass this along to you guys and give you…

Something to think about.

(Btw, to answer the question to the second post I found, “Does having less stuff make life easier?” I’d have to shout an emphatic, “YES!!”) :)



Living the Balanced Life

Hey there, Michelle!
I came over to check out your post, and lo and behold, you shared my blog here! I really appreciate that, and I am so glad that it was helpful to you. I love that you have made progress and have more time for fraddling! You have spurred me to do even more! I can’t wait to hear how the next decluttering project goes!
My latest post- 13 ways to stay stressed out

Deb Chitwood

What a great idea, Michelle! I truly believe that having less stuff makes life easier. Every time I declutter, it makes my life better. Of course, I still have a long way to go before I have things properly decluttered … must do more again soon!

Renee Ann

Thanks for this great example you’re living in front of all of us! Blessings!


Yes! so true! We thinned the kids’ clothes about a year or two ago. We limited it to 2 play outfits, one church outfit, a coat and a light jacket and pj’s and swimsuit for each kid. It made a HUGE immediate difference on my time! But I will say, it’s a dragon that you have to keep slaying! Grandparents give presents of more clothes, kids grow and you run to Goodwill to get more jeans/pants/whatever, friends gift you with hand-me-downs…. I’m thankful for all those sources of cheap clothes for the kids, but about every 6 months we find we have to thin out again. As the kids get older (about 8 and up) they start doing their own loads which helps a ton too!

Also, here’s a little tip…I keep in a seperate part of the closet “photoshoot/visit Daddy at work” clothes. These are the white polos and a few things like that which I don’t want to be hunting for when it’s picture time! Its made taking advantage of a sunny, blue sky day much easier. I can grab my camera, throw clean clothes at the kids and go.

Mindy @ The Purposed Heart

THANK YOU for the WONDERFUL inspiration!!! We are getting ready to move and this will be a great opportunity for me to weed out tons of our “stuff”!

Thanks also for hosting Thought-Provoking Thursday!


Ashley Pichea

I need to do this with the kids’ toys. We currently have an entire room FULL of toys (plus toys in their bedrooms), and they rarely play with the majority of them. It’s just hard because of the “what ifs” and the emotional attachment that *I* have to some of the toys.

Jamie (@va_grown)

Kids clothes are a real issue for us! Everyone loves to buy them “cute” stuff. At first I thought it was a help because I could put off doing laundry if I was busy, but that’s not a job that gets better if you put it off! We’re going to try something like this for the summer!


Wow! What a great challenge! I, too, have been trying to find solutions to simplify our lives. I’m starting with the kids’ playroom. I find one of the problems is that I face a lot of opposition–from adults! We don’t even buy our kids toys during the year aside from birthdays and Christmas, yet grandparents go overboard and then think I’m going overboard when I say we’re going to give some of the old toys away.

I think kids (and adults, too) get overwhelmed with the amount of ‘stuff’ and then don’t know how to help clean up their messes. I am all for simplifying and applaud your efforts!


Okay, that’s it. This confirms it for me. I have been wanting to purge, but this is radical and may be the only solution. For years I have lamented the fact that I spend a ridiculous amount of time moving things around my house. You know… clothing goes to the laundry room, to the washer, to the dryer, to the basket, to the folding spot, to the dresser and so on. Everything else too. I want to spend my time on people not things! Now to be brave….


I am an accessories person. I have more than 25 scarves! So this idea sounds like Absolutely No Fun to me. But setting aside accessories, I think I already do this.

I lost weight a year ago and as I rebuilt my wardrobe since then, my actual articles of clothing (not counting underwear and accessories) is definitely less than 25 per season. I simply don’t have the budget to buy more than that.

I did live with a very limited wardrobe one summer when we were travelling for over a month. We each had one small suitcase. I think I had five shirts and three pairs of capri pants. When we got home….I never wanted to see those clothes again! LOL So I’m interested to see how you feel about this in a month or so.

In the meantime, great job setting a goal and sticking to it. :)

ET @ Titus 2:3-5

You know, it’s funny…I already live like that. Not because I’m super awesome, but because I keep on hoping I’ll lose weight (baby is 3 1/2, lol), so I refuse to buy more clothes in my “big” size. I have two pairs of jeans, one pair of slacks, one skirt, and a pair of yoga pants, maybe 3 casual shirts and 3 slightly-less-casual shirts. Not that you needed an itemized list, but whatevs! :)

But to think, if I had my kids (and maybe even the hubs) do the same! Oh, it would be glorious! Laundry is my nemesis. You’ve totally inspired me! Thanks.


WOW – I’m inspired.

Karen @ Just Call Me Grace

Wow, Michelle, what a concept for laundry day blues-clear out the closets! Well done. It’s my first visit here, will be back. Thanks for introducing me to the word fraddle, I’m such a word nerd. Blessings on your Easter weekend!

Cranberry Morning

This is great! I’m going to read this post to my family and we’ll see what happens. I KNOW we have way too much stuff. Good plan!

Betsy at Zen Mama

A great post Michelle! I think we all have way too much stuff! Your post fit in perfectly with my blog post today so I added a link to your post today at mine.


You totally hit the nail on the head! We just started doing that around our house. With a family of 5 in a smallish old house we need to keep the clutter under control. I’ve donated bags and bags of Stuff that we’ve accumulated i’ve the years. Sooooo freeing. And practical. Less stuff to clean, move, and worry about. Hubs is a pack rat so that’s hard but when we had a huge flood in our basement I will admit that i was kind of excited to see most of it go. Well except for the case of diapers that I just bought that got drenched… lol


Oh how I would love having LESS laundry…sigh. You have LOTS of courage, my friend. Way to go! I found your post via twitter and so glad I did. It seems like so many link parties are usually about crafts. {which I love, BTW} Seldom do I see link parties about content. This is wonderful. I have gleamed a lot of wonderful posts and new blogs to read from your Thought Provoking Thursdays. I just began my own Thursday theme {Treasure-Trove Thursday, about values or things I treasure} myself, but I don’t always write one on every Thursday. Depends on how my week is going. Anyway, it has been a true pleasure to stumble upon your blog today. Thanks & have a beautiful Easter weekend. :)

Eryn {mamahall}

way to go, girl! i’m a firm believer that less is “more” in this stuff-loving world we live in.

Kristen @ JoyfullyThriving

Wow! Way to go, Michelle, sorting through excessive! We all have it and sometimes it does take a radical clean-out to par things down. Good luck with your 25 item challenge!


Your post is sooooo true. My husband, children and myself were stuck in a hotel for about 6 months because of housing issues. All of our belongings are still in storage, and to be honest I don’t miss them….well, I miss my spices, and pots and pans. It really puts the perspective on how much we really need. I really didn’t see that until we’ve had to live with considerably less. It has been a refreshing and humbling experience.

Mela Kamin

Fantastic! So happy for you – we’ll be joining you, as we’ve decided to downsize. Most, if not all, of my time-management woes & chaos are a by-product of excess. Amazing when we start seeing more value in family time, service and using our gifts, the stuff doesn’t look so good anymore.


Thanks for all the great comments! I’m going to get back to each of you soon! :) Thought you might like to see what my 25 items are; here’s a link to my list with photos. :) http://somegirlswebsite.com/showing-love/2011/04/what-i-wore-wednesday-and-a-few-photography-tips/


Great idea, Michelle. I’ve been trying to get rid of some things but haven’t gone full force. Perhaps it is time to.

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