Hmm, having had a home with two adults and three children, I am accustomed to doing a load of laundry daily or every other day. If I were to wait a week, I'd spend an entire day doing laundry on the weekend, which isn't my idea of fun, plus sheets get washed on weekends and that would add to the backlog.

I have a fairly large wardrobe, as I enjoy variety and have a low tolerance for repeats. I also agree with Janet that wardrobe size and a peaceful home are not at all related in my mind. One can be clean and organized, regardless of wardrobe size.

Last, I also agree that the size of the wardrobe has no bearing on how many clothes are generated to wash, it is just a question of whether you launder the same items repeatedly or different ones, but one must wear something every day. So I don't see how wardrobe size is correlated to how often one does laundry.

I love having a large wardrobe and actually feel it leads to less laundry not more, and certainly less wear and tear on my clothing. I also agree with others that say they do not wash every item after every wear. I often let things air out for a day and put them back (obviously I don't mean underwear which I do wash every use!). Anyway, all this is to say that different things bring peace and joy to different people.

My short answer is that for me, I know my wardrobe is too large, not by the amount of laundry I'm washing and folding, but by how long it takes to put away. It's a riff on Marie Kondo's second book "Spark Joy", when she talked observing a professional chef in a kitchen, and realized the determining factor in how you organize, is the ease with which things can be put away after using and washing.

If I have a backup of clothing on the bench in my bedroom, I know it's time to cull the herd.

The deeper dive is that, on most days, I will have 2-3 outfits that I wear, not including pajamas: hot yoga, then an ordinary daytime outfit, then 5-6 days a week, a public-facing evening activity: usually band rehearsal, filming auditions, or socializing.

I pretty good about observing and editing out things that are showing wear, get changed out of quickly, or just aren't my style anymore. Usually while it's still in good enough shape to launder and donate, or resell.

Dee--I, too, live in a four seasons climate, though between the sun and global warming it's mostly just two seasons--spring and summer. I'm glad to hear you are able to get several wears out of your clothes. I cannot do that with tops, for fear of body odor--it might be alright a second day, but I'm afraid.

Janet--yes, I definitely respect that lots of people enjoy more than a minimal closet--that's why I put the prompt about what people prefer. I like a small closet a) for space reasons and b) for keeping my mind less cluttered, because it tends to race about a million things.

And definitely, there are many ways to have a peaceful home. When I said whatever I said: "do you like having a small wardrobe for a peaceful home," I didn't mean that was the only way.

Irina--I don't understand when people talk about clothes wearing out, unless they're talking about something they will keep 10 or 20 years. I do wash my clothing often, but the average tee, sweater, etc. will be just fine for a couple of years--it doesn't really see any wear and tear. I tend to thrift or buy only basics new, so when a couple of years are over I donate them for something new. If I don't follow the washing instructions, though...then something will fall apart.

Joy--super interesting post about emotional dressing, about enjoying wearing certain colors in certain seasons. That got me to thinking:

perhaps more artistic dressers enjoy larger closets to be able to play around with clothing combinations.

Then I thought of me, and even though I'm creative, playing with clothes is something I don't do very often. I'm more of a grab-and-go person, so it makes sense I would rely on a few things that go together.

unfrumped--You touch on something that affects a lot of people and me, too. And that is having almost "too much" while also missing some basic things you need. When you talked about panicking if one of your items were unavailable, I thought of my bottoms, of which I don't have a lot.B

One of my favorite things I heard for clothing shopping is: "what are you always reaching for but can't find?" For me lately that would be a long necklace and slip on shoes.

Helena--I do that, too, repeat things. They say no one will notice if you wear the same jeans 3 days in a row, and this I find comforting. Wasn't there also an experiment where a woman wore the same black dress to work for like, 45 days, and no one noticed?

rachylou--If I did laundry once a month, we'd have to climb over the big pile to get to the bedroom, because we don't have a lot of space! So I can't picture that. But it sounds overwhelming--like people who buy groceries once a month.

judy--I thought I was the only one who liked laundry! I like being able to see the things I own and think about them: I remember I was so happy the day I got this skirt, etc. I have begun the documentary. Thank you!

Runcarla--sounds like a lot to stay on top of, especially the ironing. I don't iron much at all--I have mostly tees, sweaters, and other wrinkle-free stuff. But I would love to try it with everything, to see the difference it makes.

Counting your items makes me want to count my items. 80 does not seem like a lot, especially if you include outerwear and shoes.

suntiger--I know what you mean about balance. When you stick to a minimum you really do need the right items. I have a work skirt right now (my only work skirt) that's not quite flexible enough, and so I'll need to get another. A balance between the ease of being able to grab from multiples, and a small wardrobe.

phoebe--I also replace items often, but usually every couple of years. I don't have a lot of super-nice things meant to be kept for years. So it doesn't bother me to wash them often.

Val--I, too, have been in different living/laundry situations. This is the first I've had washer/dryer in an apartment since I was growing up in my house. Such a luxury! It's true--I don't feel like I need much more, since I can wash it all.

RobinF--a nice, medium wardrobe! Just right. Like Goldilocks!

Sal and Echo--you can launder at the same rate whether you have a large or small wardrobe--that's true. But I think one thing that can happen with a large wardrobe, and I'm sure it sometimes happens, is that you let that pile go to a gargantuan level while you wear other things--I know I've done that. When you have a small wardrobe you are forced to launder before that pile gets too big.

Jules--yes, minimalism comes with a cost. I don't know if I ever identified as minimalist, but certainly I've been through frugal periods. And I've worn things I really shouldn't--old shoes, etc., instead of getting new ones.

Firecracker--I also splurge on undies! That will always be an area of plenty because a)they take up less space and b)you never want to run out.

Jaime--I have heard of airing things out for another use. I wonder what the purpose is for airing them out? It seems they would be okay to go back on the hanger without that.

Mary Beth--it can be hard to cull your wardrobe when you wear many hats. For me it's the opposite, I have a work tee I wear that is part of the uniform, and casual bottoms. When I get home I can easily just change my shirt and leave the bottoms and be done.

My wardrobe is large to me- around 150 items of clothes/shoes not counting underwear, sleepwear, exercise wear or bags. But when I joined the forum in early 2017 it was 200 items and it felt too much. I know all of it now and wear almost everything. Things seldom wear out and I keep much of it for easily 5 years.
I still have 17 things that are 2010 or earlier. These do get worn, some very frequently ( warm woollen knitwear from 80s or 90s.) I wash twice a week or more but the knitwear maybe only once per winter on a “wool wash” cycle.

Jenni NZ--It is nice to wear everything in your wardrobe. I have less, but still a comfortable amount. I also have a couple of "one day" pieces that I saved in the hopes I will go down a size. We'll see...

By airing out, I mean hanging outside my closet for a day or so before it goes back. In my mind, that gives them a chance to completely dry out from any perspiration or whatever before going into my closet. Not sure if this is valid or not .

Jaime, I do this as well with my knitwear and wool trousers, and also brush clothes prior putting them back in my wardrobe. I can see that they maintain better and longer.

I recently had some cooking mishaps and ruined my blouses, I now use an apron every day! The final straw was last week when I was wearing a cross body bag and some of its glue rubbed onto my blouse. Those experiences have taught me that maybe I should keep an extra blouse to avoid new bottlenecks, even when I would prefer a much smaller number. I wonder if I should do the same with my winter coat, as I have only one.

Jaime, I do the “airing out” thing too. It helps any creases or wrinkles fall out of the garment, as well as the things you mention. I also gives me one more chance to evaluate it for laundering before I return it to the rack in the closet. Sometimes if I notice a little spot or it doesn’t smell so fresh I’ll chuck it in the hamper. I have some pants that I’ve worn easily 6-7 times that haven’t been laundered yet. I think a lot of people over-launder their clothes — tumble drying especially seems to wear them out faster! I dry most of my stuff just partway in the dryer and then hang to dry the rest of the way.

Me, too! I air out my clothes by hanging it in my bathroom close to the window. Mostly, I leave it overnight.

Jaime, Minaminu, Janet, Irina--pants, maybe, I do wear those more than once. Shirts--I'm still not sure I could do that, because even if I aired them out, they might smell a little bit.