20% 80%

October 14, 2010


I find it interesting that currently I’m interested in getting rid of all the stuff I’ve been acquiring the past couple of decades. The whole bat bug thing this summer really cranked this initiative into overdrive. Each week I’m taking a couple of bags of things to the thrift stores in Lincoln, but still there is so much junk around here.

My closet has been an experiment in progress. When we were going through the whole ‘soak the house in poison’ phase, all our clothes except for a few pairs of pants and shirts were in bags in the basement. As I’ve been going through the bags I’ve been getting rid of stuff I don’t wear or stuff I don’t like. Here’s what’s left – mostly clothes from Target and Kohl’s.

Merona Merona Merona

Kohl's Kohl's Kohl's

Now, there are still a couple of sweaters in storage and I switch out regular pants to corduroy in the winter, but it makes for an interesting project: Tracking what I wear.

You’ve probably heard that we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. (This was partly true for me in the summer when I was working with 7 shirts. There were two I hardly ever wore.) Well, that’s probably still true, so I made a list of all the stuff that’s in that closet, and I’m going to keep track.

I'm marking each square with the date worn.

It’s probably not really an unbiased experiment, because even though it’s only been a couple of days, I’ve looked at the list in the morning and have said, “I never wear those gray pants. I should wear them today.” Whatever – no one ever said that data collecting was an exact science or anything.

By the way, I reserve the right to buy two long-sleeved shirts to replace some that may or may not have been cut up.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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8 Responses to “20% 80%”

  1. Brad Said on:

    Do you suppose that if you get it down to five shirts, you’ll wear one of them 80% of the time? I can never sustain record-keeping efforts like you’re attempting. You’ll have to do an update in a few weeks to let us know how it’s going.


  2. Lauren's dad Said on:

    But, you have so many hangers!


  3. Beth Said on:

    I have a whole set of teacher clothes that I keep in case I go back to regular classroom teaching in the future. I don’t really like the clothes themselves, but they are the uniform I like while teaching MS/HS.
    I honestly can’t decide if I should just donate them or not. It’s a daily -- well, weekly at least -- quandry.


  4. Kristi Said on:

    Kudos to you for ditching the stuff. When you’re done, you can help me. I don’t mean by bringing bats over either. Just help me purge.


  5. Peggy Said on:

    All this clothes thinking makes my head hurt…I have the worst bedroom closet ever designed …. so I usually wear whatever I can reach.

    And yes, please keep us updated!


  6. Lauren's mom Said on:

    You have courage.


  7. Keren Lowell Said on:

    I keep my clean laundry piled up on my dresser. So I keep grabbing the clothes that are on the top of the pile. Would this skew poll results?


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