15 July 2021

Can I pack all my clothes in one suitcase?

The other day, Sharmila and I were hanging out with some friends and I was gently chiding her about all the clothes and shoes she has – that she never wears. I do not remember most of the rest of the discussion (no, she did not hit me on the back of my head causing me concussion) but I remember how the ladies agreed that they do not want to be seen twice in the same dress. I am sure, in the past, it was possible to abide by that rule and still wear a dress twice if the people to be met had not seen the dress before. Today, of course, with any party getting memorialized forever with obligatory pictures in social media – that wiggle room has gone right out of the window.

However, what I remember most is that Sharmila immediately retorted “You have lots of clothes in the basement too”. I brushed her comment aside chalking it up to be a defensive reaction from her.

But later, I did reflect upon those discussions and got stuck at that comment. While I certainly have far less clothes than her, it is true that I have a lot of clothes. I am defining “a lot” by stuff that I wear only a few times in a year.

That drove me to an uncomfortable realization that I probably suffer from the same challenge that I ridicule others about. Why do I have so many clothes? Why do I need 5 running shirts when 2 should be enough? Why do I have so many office shirts when 4 should be enough? (Even that, in these days of work from home, I am not sure I need all 4).

Lest it be ever said that I lack the capability to go from an awkward realization to a crazy decision faster than you can cry “Uncle”, I managed to conjure up my next personal challenge.

Can I live my life out of a suitcase?

Not all my stuff, mind you – for, it would be difficult to fit my motorbike in any suitcase – but at least, all my clothes, shoes and those stuff. Anything I wear. And if I buy anything new, one compensatory item has to go out.

No doubt I will be ridiculed for this clothes project – if not for anything else, for insisting on thinking inside the box only – but then again, I get ridiculed no less for my choices in what I wear anyways.

Have any of you ever tried such a project? Shridhar and Suzanne, I think you have some experience in this kind of minimalist living, right? Any tips on how to plan, what mistakes to avoid etc?

First thing first. I have to call dibs on the biggest suitcase we have in our house now!


Posted July 15, 2021 by Rajib Roy in category "Musings


  1. By Avijit on

    Very well said Rajib ! I bought a shirt in December 2019 when I went to India for official purpose. Although I haven’t worked from home a single day since then, still it’s packed . On the other hand, my better half can’t find decent clothes to wear in a party, and if a saree is once worn it can’t be worn again. Because it a was in a photo on Facebook !!! Also those Indian clothes are not suitable for donations as well…

  2. By Rajib Roy (Post author) on

    There is Shakespeare on one side “Clothes maketh a man” and then there is Rabindranath on the other – “জুতা মানুষকে বড় করে নাই”

  3. Pingback: Phase 1 of 4 completed – Rajib Roy

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