Mar 29, 2011

The One Hundred Thing Challenge

100 thing bookI've followed Dave Bruno's blog, off and on, for two years or so. While he wasn't my introduction to simple living, counting the number of physical items in my possession, or the idea that I could have a full life with less stuff, I resonated with his philosophies more than I did with other minimalists.

When his book The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul first came out a few months ago, I was one of the thousands of folks who picked it up - in my case, for the Kindle app on my phone. Over the past few months I've been dipping into it while eating lunch at work, and have come to love his philosophies about stuff even more.

Unlike most folks who count their stuff, Dave has a very open-minded view. He counts all his books as one thing, for example, doing the same for his undies and his socks. He takes into account the amount of items in his home he shares with his wife and children, and is honest about what he uses versus what they all share - the beds, table and chairs and dishes aren't counted, in other words.

Overall, he takes an incredibly modest approach to how he lived his year with 100 things, and his book reflects this. Instead of being a how-to guide for participating in your own challenge {although he does offer a few thoughts on this at the end of the book}, the majority of his words are spent examining his complex relationship with the things he kept, the things he gave away, and how he views his life differently having lived with so few possessions.

I consistently come back to the idea of owning less than 100 things. Being a knitter - even a minimalist knitter - means I may never reach that number, but the desire to be more conscious about what I own and use has served me well in the last year or so. Thanks to the words of folks like Dave, I've managed to pare down my clothing to around 50 items used on a daily basis {pajamas included, undies and socks counted as groups}. I've managed to pare down my book collection to those books I know I'll want to read again, and have taken up reading library books and Kindle books instead of buying paper copies to store.

And now that we're expanding our family, I've thought long and hard about the amount of stuff we truly need for our little one - in a culture that deems it important to have every little gadget, we're looking at only procuring those items our little one will truly NEED.

Not interested in living with less? Then this book isn't for you. Curious how others do it, but unsure if you want to take the plunge yourself? Check this one out from the library. Looking to put verbage to your burgeouning philosophies, and hopeful to find some direction as you pare down in your own life? Add this one to your permanent library for sure!

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