Recently in the news, David Bruno’s “The 100 Thing Challenge” has been getting a significant amount of airplay. What’s the one hundred thing challenge? Well it is, quite simply, what it sounds like. It’s a challenge to live with a hundred things or less. David Bruno himself has done it, and if you read his blog you’ll see that he’s found it, like most things, to be challenging at first and then increasingly easier.
We’re not going to suggest for even a minute that the solution for all (or even most people) in the struggle to unclutter is to reduce your entire catalogue of items you own to a hundred or less. After all, we embrace the mantra that the satisfaction of enough can mean a little or a lot and it’s each individual’s role to establish what it means for them. However. We do think that there are some lessons to be learned from David Bruno’s simplified living pattern. Who knows? Reducing to a hundred items may be right for you. Either way, here are some steps we’d suggest you take.
What haven’t you used? Go through your home (and yes, that includes your closet and your storage units) and place a red tag on anything that you have not used in over a year. Then look at the red tag items. Do you really want those? It’s clearly not a matter of “need.” If you haven’t used something in over a year, you clearly don’t “need” it. Many of those items will have memories attached to them, however, which is fair. And some of them will be items that are used in specific activities. However, from those red tagged items, you should be able to identify a significant number that you can simply get rid of and recycle.
Set a Goal. Perhaps you don’t want to reduce everything you own down to a hundred items. Let’s be honest! It’s most likely that you don’t want to reduce everything you own down to a hundred items! That doesn’t mean that you can’t set a goal around how much you’d like to reduce. Perhaps it’s only five percent. Maybe it’s as high as twenty-five percent. Whatever it is, sometimes it’s easier to work against a goal than to just try to decide what or how much you should get rid of.
Put Limits on Buying. There’s no use de-cluttering if you’re simply going to fill the space back up with things again! Similar to the move to set a goal for how much you’d like to get rid of, set budgets and limits on how much you want to buy during a given month. We strongly advocate the twenty-four hour rule – when you see something you’d like to buy, make sure you put it down and then wait twenty-four hours to make a decision about whether you really want to buy it or not.
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