Tuesday, March 29, 2016

On Valentine's Day I began a 100 Thing Challenge. The idea is to clear clutter from our lives and environments.

As I began the 100 Thing Challenge I was motivated by a Ted Talk I watched from a Dave Bruno who says it is best to live a life free of clutter. He says we need to move towards simplicity. That old adage, "Less is more." Excess does not have to mean success.

Here is the link to his speech:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7VUpYpTwI8

Bruno has scaled down his own life to only owning 100 things. He says if we can't do that to make up our own 100 Things Challenge, so I did. I decided to get rid of 100 things I did not need.

I picked up a garbage bag and opened a few drawers and cabinet doors and soon had the bag full of 100 things. That went so well, I move on to the next 200. Long story short, I was soon headed towards 500 items cleared from my house.

It sounds like I must have been a hoarder, but no. Clearing 500 items only filled 5 trash bags. The kinds of items I am talking about are broken coat hangers, boxes, broken jewelry, a handful of twisty ties, jars, nearly empty bottles, tubes and cans.

Along the way I got rid of 3 bags full of clothes and shoes pieces of fabric I no longer need for my hobby of sewing.

By the time I had thrown out 800 items, I decided to donate food I had in storage that my family would not longer eat due to our switching to a low carb or no carb lifestyle. A local food bank was happy to get the 100 items of food and I was happy to count that as 800 to 900.

I am currently working on the final 100 to reach a total of 1,000 items gone.

The model of excess is not something I want to follow. I do not need more, more, more in my life. I need less, less, less (accept for plants in my yard).

One of the best things that has happened with my project is the way my behavior has influenced others. Several people have told me that after they read about what I was doing, they got busy throwing out items from their houses. Each person discovers that this makes us feel sooooo much better.

For my final 100 items, the list begins here:

901-paint can
902-908 dust rags
909-911 3 jars
912-932--books to kids in the neighborhood
933-934--2 pairs of pants
935-937-2 catalogues
938-948-sold 10 books
949-tee shirt given to a pal
950-960-10 hair curlers
961-963-3 random socks that do not match
964-965-2 cassettes
966-one plastic case
967-968-2 blouses
969-970-2 bags Christmas decorations (donated)
971-975-4 random cords
976-978-3 shirts cut and used as rags
979-981-3 pieces of random lumber from my closet
982-985-4 small plastic storage containers
986-990-4 plastic plants containers
991-995-6 pillow covers
996-1,000-4 notebooks
SUCCESS!!!!!  I have cleared 1,000 items from my house.

All in all, the entire amount of items removed from my house would fit inside a 6'x4' space or in 12 trash bags, other than the food items. In other words, most of the items were small and when packed in boxes did not take up that much space.

I feel so much better and my house seems cleaner although the items I threw out were not visible as most were inside drawers, closets, cabinets or storage boxes.

I plan to continue with my project. Could 1,000 grow to 1,500? Not sure, but I will keep being aware of the need to toss things out instead of saving for a rainy day.

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