“100 Thing Challenge – Living With Just 100 Items in Your Life” – this headline caught my eye the other day, but I didn’t take the time to read the article at the time. Later, I couldn’t remember where I saw it, so I decided to google it and found a few articles relating to this idea.
A man looked around his San Diego home and realized just how much “stuff” was cluttering not only their home, but their lives. He decided to try to limit his possessions to 100 things.
Could you do this? I mean, it might be easy to throw or give away the first 1,000 or so items, but to get it down to just 100? Seriously, I think I could probably get rid of 1,000 items pretty quickly if I tried. I admit it – I have a lot of stuff.
The three reasons given for “collecting,” were: 1) It would be wasteful to get rid of it; 2) I might need it someday, and 3) It has sentimental value.
It WOULD be wasteful to just throw it away. If it can’t stay at my house, then there must be somebody, somewhere, that could benefit from all the useful things I have accumulated. And this just might be where I get the “collector” trait from, but I don’t know how many times over the years I have heard my Dad say, “But I might need it some day!” And for him, it’s true. His “collection” has come in pretty handy over the years. My Mom will throw things away and my Dad will see it in the trash and bring it right back in. And the times when he has actually gotten rid of some things – well, there usually comes a time when he could have used that item. But, they live on a farm and have way more places to store things than the average person. (I don’t want to give the impression that they have tons of stuff piled up all around – his is an organized “stash,” and he usually knows where everything is.”) And lastly, the sentimental value of an item. I like the “connection” that certain things give me to people I have loved that are no longer here. In the past few years, I have actively tried to find ways to get those items out of the boxes and displayed throughout my home.
So, now that I have stated that I can fully understand all three reasons to keep things, can I see myself getting my possessions down to just 100 things? (Since I’m married, that means we can keep 200 things right?)
What would make my 100 list? Just off the top of my head, and in no particular order, would be my computer and a back up system so I could store all of my genealogy work and photos, my car, Bible, my wedding and Mother’s rings (although how much room do they really take up, so maybe those don’t qualify), camera, the set of china my grandparents gave me for a wedding present, clothing, a couple of sets of dinnerware … I guess I would have to keep financial records. (If they were all in one box, would that qualify as one item?)
As I sit here at my computer desk and just look around the room I am in, I see a large framed photo of my grandparents sitting above the shelf that has several Cubs memorabilia on it. The picture would stay, but the way the Cubs have been playing lately, I think I could easily get rid of that little collection! Just in this room alone, I might have a hard time getting rid of things.
I liked two sections in the two articles that I read:
“… Now go stand in front of a mirror and, speaking out loud, convince yourself that you might need it some day. Liar, liar, pants on fire. Get rid of the crap.”
“One thing is for sure. If you use these three justifications to keep loads of stuff, at the end of your days you are going to have, well, loads of stuff. Do you want the end to be filled with crap? Purge the things that are messing up your house and dominating your material and spiritual space. Then go live a joyful life that blesses others.”
The AmVet truck is coming next week – one of the organizations that takes books, clothing and small household items – maybe it’s a good time to try this challenge …