Tuesday, 1 February 2011

100 Things Challenge

There is this challenge on  http://zenhabits.net/ to pare down your belongings to a specified number. It could be 100 or 50 or 42 for fans of Douglas Adams. Or it could be more if you have lots of stuff like my mum. I thought it was interesting and worth pondering to make you consider every item you own and ask yourself do you love it, I mean really love it or can it be taken to a charity shop/ sold on ebay/ freecycled? William Morris the great leader of the Arts and Crafts movement once famously said: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

Why go through the challenge?
A few reasons:
1.   To help you declutter your home.
2.   To make you realize whats necessary, and what you love, and what you dont need.
3.   To free yourself of the burden of possessions.
4.   For fun. (Spiderman would say Hmph to this)
      5.   To force you to stick to the limit, even if you get new things.

It got me thinking about numbers and counting in the OCD way I like to do. How many of this, how many of that do we own, etc. It is driving Spiderman round the twist. The challenge has very vague and fluid rules (I suspect this is at the heart of what is annoying my beloved) in that you decide about how to count. If books are counted separately then we are definitely over 500 possessions, but if collections count as one then we are still okey-dokey. Look here for official guidelines: http://zenhabits.net/minimalist-fun-the-100-things-challenge/

Just on the thought of furniture:  Presently we own 17 pieces of furniture (sofa, table, chairs, 2 small tables, wardrobe, dresser, clothes rack, beds, desk and 2 sets of chest of drawers) but in the old country (back in Louisiana) we had 6 pieces of furniture just in the living room alone--and that included 3 decorative tables that were just used to pile junk on. We also currently own  9 sets of bookshelves, but to be fair one holds spiders, one holds cooking things like appliances and baking pans (my kitchen is teeny tiny) and 2 hold ongoing projects and craft materials. But that still leaves 5 holding books.

Think about what you have and what you need to be happy. Can you get by with less? Will you take the 100 Things Challenge?  We already are pretty low but I am examining every item and my heart to see if there is anything we can get rid of. Beautiful or useful, that is my mantra.

PS When Gandhi died, he had less than ten possessions including a watch, spectacles, sandals and eating bowl. Now that is simplicity!

1 comment:

  1. Poor Spiderman..........tell him I'm on his side! And, if you compare me to SweetJames, I'm small potatoes on the number of items I own. His must be in the gazillions. (He's very close to being a hoarder). I am considered the tidy one, practically a minimalist, in this couple.