Dietize Your Life: Six Items or Less


A recent article I read about taming the “urge to buy” tugged at me this morning as I opened my closet and was presented with nearly twenty-five shirts, ten pairs of jeans, and about eight pairs of shoes. As I buttoned up my shirt, I thought to myself, “there isn’t much taming going on here.” The same can probably be said for all but a handful of Americans, as most of us have enough clothing for a small army. It is precisely this tragedy however, that inspired two friends to institute the official Six Items or Less web challenge.

You may be thinking, this can’t possibly be a challenge in which people choose six items of clothing and pledge to wear only these six items of clothing for an entire month. Oh yes, you guessed it. As a disclaimer on behalf of Six Items or Less, the exceptions are undergarments, swim wear, work-out clothes, work uniforms, outer jackets, shoes, and accessories. So you germaphobes aren’t off the hook.

The purpose of the experiment isn’t described as ruthless a demonstration against consumerism as you may have expected. Though it was founded in light of over-consumption, founders Heidi Hackemer and Tamsin Davies intended for the experiment to inspire participants to uncover the power of what we don’t wear. One-hundred people committed themselves to the challenge from Los Angeles to Bangalore and for many different reasons. Some committed just to see if they could, some for the sake of creativity, others to cut-back on spending, others in protest of consumerism, and some for the environment and the clothing industry’s impact.

Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, one of these perspectives probably resonates with you. While others may consider the proposition downright crazy, the principle behind the challenge begs the question: What in your life should or can be dietized? In light of the fact that your wallet is most likely shrinking in today’s economic climate, what habit can you dietize in order to cut back, gain control, and spend less than you earn?

Just as Heidi and Tamsin commissioned their one-hundred diehard participants to illuminate the amount of clothing they never use, we commission you to take one step back and look for an area in your life where you can cut waste. Like participants in Six Items or Less, you just may find that creativity will sprout from your frugal habits, both saving you money and putting a giant smile on your face.

  • Hismrsfinnegan

    This wouldn’t be hard for me, I hate to shop for clothes, I have a closet full of clothes that don’t fit me and I only get dressed up once a week for church.  I never wear anything other than one pair of sneekers at a time and the last time I bought a pair of dress shoes was when I was pregnant with my 13 yr old. 

  • Bobbi

    oh wow what a challenge this will be. im so bad bout the clothes issue. last count i had 57 pairs of jeans. 162 pairs of shoes, 73 purses, etc….im really gtting excited to see what i can do. shopping for clothes is the one thing i truely enjoy. this certainly will b interesting. cant wait to think of other ways. will keep in touch.

  • Jennifer~Lee

    ha i were the same jeans, shoes, and jacket everyday anyways… so i can suvive on Six items or less anyway… i win!

  • ScotIrishPirate

    Shorts, Cargo pants, socks, boots, pullover- yeah can do it.

  • Weaverjsnw

    i can do that with even less

  • Tbabe_904

    Underwear and bra. Im good.

  • Mike Rash

    I have one pair of shoes I use and a spare in storage (steel-toe tennis shoes are hard to find to begin with!) some pants and socks and undies and work shirts not including the company provided ones so yeah I am under the limit I think.

  • freedomfe

    But that means I have to buy 6 new items so I can make sure I have my staples… will that work??

  • Swefin

    I don’t have a lot of clothes so I don’t think it would be difficult to accomplish!

  • Cfree87

    my car, bra, underwear, jeans, shirt and my phone 

  • Imhofflisa

    Just as long as I have one pair of jeans, seven pair of underwear, two bras; black and white, a few t-shirts, and a dress or two…just got finished getting rid of three big black garbage bags of clothes recently that I have outgrown.  Slowly adding to my wardrobe.  I also use the $10 Kohl’s cards I get in the mail to buy “free” stuff there!

    • Carlaj722

      I do the same thing with the Kohl’s cards I get in the mail. I gave 4 bags of clothes that I could not wear anymore or didn’t like to the Goodwill the other day.

  • penguintamer

    Does this mean wearing the same underwear all month?

  • Gregory

    would not need much..just my phone, car , and my wallet with about $10,000 in it,,that would lasy me for wuite a while simnce i am frugal and do not need clothes since they are so restricting anyways

  • teebaby

    Bra,underwear,cut dwn on food and spendin money

  • :]

    i wear the same items everyday less than 6.. havent been shopping in 3 years. guess i win lol