It has been a little more than 4 months now since I started on my 100 thing challenge, and I think it’s time to give an update on how it’s going.
What’s the most difficult thing?
When I started out on this challenge, I was excited to see how it would be to live with only 100 things. I thought it would be tough at times, and I thought there would be several things I would miss.
There are a few things I miss (I’ll get back to that) but I have been surprised at how easy it is.
I have found the difficult part (for me at least) is not to live with 100 things. The hardest part was definitely to get rid of the stuff.
It takes a lot longer than you would think to downsize your stuff to a minimum. Some things you just need time to let go. Some of the last things I got rid of was the stuff of sentimental value.
I realized I had a lot of stuff with sentimental value, that I almost never took time to look at. So I decided to take pictures of them, instead of keeping them. This way I still have a place to go to for the memories, but they don’t fill up space anymore.
The picture above shows two things I decided to keep as digital pictures. To the left is a letter from my old Grandma (died last year at age 105!) and to the right is a print of my hand and foot from 1986 when I started school.
How much stuff do you use regularly?
If you go through your day you’ll probably also find, that you don’t use many of your belongings even on a yearly basis.
Most of the things I tossed I haven’t missed at all including clothes, books, DVDs etc. I really enjoy not having to sort through piles of clothes every morning. I only have jeans, t-shirts, and shirts that I really like. Awesome!
I think most people actually live with only a couple of hundred things, but they own thousands of things.
All the stuff under our beds, inside closets, in the basements etc. are out there for a reason. We rarely use them, so why not let go of it and get more open space (I love open spaces) or maybe move into a smaller space?
The 100 things I own
The stuff I have missed the most
My plan was to get rid of my books, and every time I wanted to re-read one of them, I would simply purchase an e-book version instead. I know this costs some money, but then I’m good to go for the future, and I also like being able to do word-search inside my books (digitally).
The challenge in this is, that I didn’t realize not all books come as e-books – especially older books.
Another benefit to physical books is that sometimes it’s just nice to put the computer away and read. When I go to sleep I try to not use my computer and iPhone for the last hour.
I spend so many hours in front of the screen, as I work online, follow blogs, write blog posts etc., so it’s nice to go offline at night time.
It’s nice to relax with a good book, so I will probably add a book or two to my list. But I can still pass them on to a good friend after reading. I guess I’ll have to add a kindle to my 100 thing list, or maybe an iPad can do the trick.
What to wish for at Christmas
I had a lot of fun with my friends and family all asking me what to give me for Christmas. The question is:
What do you give the man who has everything (he needs)?
I decided it was time for me to get a better stereo. I have been using an old hi-fi system I got from a friend with speakers that didn’t play too well. So I did a little research to find a good small stereo, that would also run a long time on battery, as I knew we are going to travel a lot during 2014 and forth.
I told Maria to coordinate with everybody to get me a Jawbone sound system.
It’s an awesome little stereo with great sound, and as a music lover, I really appreciate (finally) being able to listen to music on a good stereo. It can hold battery for 20 hours, and it’s very small – perfect for traveling!
So I traded two speakers for one new item – not so bad :)
Will you stick to only owning 100 things after the challenge?
This is a question I get quite often. To be honest I don’t know. At least it’s not a clear “No!”.
I really do enjoy the simple life with significant less stuff, and as we plan on traveling more and more, I think I will stay around 100 things. We are moving quickly towards geographical independence, as we are able to work online from anywhere.
So as we are shifting into a more nomadic lifestyle, it doesn’t really make sense to own a lot of stuff.
I think I will own a few more musical instruments, and I might also stock up a little on travel gear, but aside from that, I think I will stick to my 100 things. So my best guess would be to land around 120 things.