Thanksgiving! All About Stuffing, Spreadsheets, And Being Thankful For My Stuff


Thanksgiving.  Turkey Day.  This is one of my favorite holidays.  It’s about celebrating abundance, gorging on green-bean casserole and can-shaped cranberry sauce and collapsing in front of the TV to watch wheels come off the season of your favorite football team thanks to an ill-timed interception by an overpaid quarterback with overly-long sleeves…   Oh yeah, it’s about being with family and friends and being thankful for everyone and everything in your life too.

I am thankful.  I’m thankful for my wonderful wife and amazing son.  I’m thankful for an extended family that I actually enjoy being around.  I’m thankful for my job, that I have a roof over my head, all of that.

But, of course like most people, I forget to be thankful most of the rest of the year.  I forget to show proper gratitude for the abundance I have.  So, I wanted to share one small thing I did this past week to exercise that muscle.  I decided to be especially thankful for the clothes on my back.  I created a spreadsheet and catalogued every single thread of clothing I own.

Okay, that’s pretty dorky and probably not too inspiring.  But, this is one small step I hope will eventually make a huge impact in how I view and treat the many blessings I have in my life.

Nothing to Wear

A few weeks ago I complained to my wife that I had “nothing to wear” to work.  I didn’t like to wear any of the clothes hung haphazardly in my closet.  I didn’t like any of the clothes crumpled up on the floor at the side of our bed.  I didn’t like any of the clothes stuffed into the overflowing drawers of our dresser.  I threw up my hands.  I had “nothing to wear”.

My wife, being the compassionate and all-around awesome woman she is, immediately started searching online for new clothes for me to try on (I hate shopping for clothes).  But I kind of had a problem with that too.  We’re trying to be more minimalist.  We’re trying to get rid of clutter.  This plan seemed to be going away from that.

You see, deep down I knew I had things to wear.  The piles were clearly visible in my closet, by the bed, seeping out of the dresser.  Plenty of nice clothes that I treated like crap.  Yes, I had holes in my wardrobe, but I didn’t really know exactly where those holes were.

What has typically happened in the past when I whined about my wardrobe is my wife and I would go on an emergency shopping spree online or at the mall, and I’d end up with 8 new polos to pile up with the 80 other polos I already have and not really get anything new that I actually need.

The Spreadsheet

This time I decided to do something different.  It was time to treat what I did have with respect.  So I took everything out of the closet and drawers, I picked through the piles and wrote down every thread of clothing I had.  After that, I carefully folded and hung each piece of clothing.  I wrote down where I put them too.

I catalogued colors, brands, materials and descriptions and put it all that info into a spreadsheet.  If I could remember, I wrote down when I bought a particular piece of clothing.

And I categorized my clothes:

Tier 1 clothes are the clothes I absolutely love.  Tier 2, serviceable clothes that look pretty good when layered with something else to make an interesting outfit every once in a while, or weekend wear.  Tier 3, the clothes I’m pretty sure I’ll never wear again, but I’m afraid to donate just yet.  Workwear, comfortable clothes with rips and stains that I can still use for doing projects around the house.  And clothes for Donation.  Here’s a snip of the spreadsheet:


Naturally, my 2009 MLB Central Division Champ cap that I bought right after witnessing the greatest baseball game ever, Game 163 at the Metrodome where the Minnesota Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers in a nail-biting back-and-forth 12-inning battle, is Tier 1.

Now I know exactly what I have.  I have 177 pieces of clothing that I’m keeping… for now.  That includes socks, underwear and undershirts, so that number is a little inflated.  I know exactly where every piece of clothing is.  Most importantly, I know exactly where the holes are in my wardrobe, so I don’t have to guess anymore.  I can shop smartly.  It turns out I really need a plain white dress shirt.

Now that I know exactly what I have, I can start to beef up the parts that are lacking and trim the excess.  I can review it all on a regular basis and eventually optimize it down to a core group of mostly Tier 1 items.

And now that I’ve acknowledged every single piece of clothing and assigned them each a location, I find myself treating my clothes much, much better.  Once-worn, perfectly clean dress shirts don’t pile up at the side of my bed anymore to be accidentally stepped on then unnecessarily scooped up for the next wash (Come on.  I can’t be the only one that lazily peeled and dropped after a long day).  My clothes should last much longer as a result.

The Bottom Line

This simple cataloguing exercise cleared the clutter and made me much more thankful for the few favorites that are left.  I plan on doing a similar thing for other areas of the house, starting with my little tool closet in the basement.  This will help my family on our trek to a clutter-free and more minimalist lifestyle.  Hopefully, it will also help me build a year-round habit of being thankful for all the blessings in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

follow me on Twitter @cabbageblog

follow me on Pinterest


Now, a word from our sponsor…My app! Half Hour Hank. It’s the productivity app you didn’t know you needed, but soon won’t be able to live without. Click the button below to begin the journey…

0. App Icon


  1. If they ever make an award for funniest personal finance blogger, you’ll be in the running! I laughed out loud with the rant on your football team, sorry…sensitive issue.
    While I don’t have your spreadsheet chops, it is such a good idea to assess all the ‘stuff’ we have that clutters up our lives! The tool closet can certainly be a scary one!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s