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100 Things

Updated: May 10, 2023

My son Andrew Glover owns 52 things. He used to own 100 things but found his life to be too cluttered with 100 things so he has whittled it down to 52 things. His new goal to own only 50 things is very achievable if it weren't for the Zippo lighter and the tent.

After recovering from hilarious laughter, I asked Andrew why he only wants to own 100 things and he directed me to The 100 Thing Challenge written by Dave Bruno. "It's not important to count your stuff. Challenges like these allow you to determine what you really need (and don't need) to be happy. It's an inspiring, invigorating guide to how we all can begin to live simpler, more meaningful lives"

Andrew said that he loves his Zippo lighter because he has owned it since he was a child. He told me he has not used it in years but he has such an emotional attachment to this thing that he is having a hard time getting rid of it. This one thing and the tent that he never uses, but also adores, is keeping him from his new 50 item goal. (I think if Andrew's Zippo lighter makes him happy he should definitely keep it! Don't you?) 

Let me just say, I own more than 100 things. I haven't actually counted my stuff and junk. I'm not sure that I will ever be so fanatical that I would create an inventory list of my possessions. But I am resonating with the concept of living free from the entanglement, expense and maintenance of owning too many possessions. I'm also in love with the idea of saving money because I don't have the space for whimsy purchases. For example, we ate at Cracker Barrel the other day. I love to browse around in the gift shop and always seem to find an item that will enrich my life. However, I left the store empty handed and told Grady that RV living is going to save him a ton of money because I don't have room for one more thing. He liked that. A lot.

The 100 Thing Challenge - Rules

Apparently when you accept the challenge you create your own rules for this challenge. Rules like:

  1. All my underwear counts as 1 thing.

  2. An electronic device and its power cord count as one thing.

  3. A tool box counts as one thing (no matter how many tools are in it.)

I have only 2 rules.

  1. Create the list of categories comprising my needs.

  2. Create the perimeter for the items and stay within those bounds.

Example of Categories:

  1. Shoes: Flip flops, Dress shoes, boots, Tennis Shoes (or sneakers if you're from Boston)

I have a designated amount of space for each of these categories. I didn't include a photo of my boots because they are stacked side by side in the bottom of my clothes closet and I couldn't get a good photo. However, as you can see, my bin for flip flops is full. I do LOVE my flip flops. What you see is a fraction of the number of pairs of flip flops that I used to own. But now if I want to buy a new pair of flip flops I have to get rid of a pair of flip flops because there is simply no room. I have a space in my clothes cupboard for these bins and I always, always put them away in the bin when I take them off. This keeps our space tidy and clutter free all of the time.

Here's what I have to say about my shoes. I know I still have too many. I'm working on it. Yesterday one of my favorite pair of flip flops that I bought in India broke. I started gluing them back together but stopped myself and threw them in the trash. Survival of the fittest, right? This might sound silly, but it felt liberating.  

Here's another example.

I have a label maker and use it all the time! See my bin of flip flops on the top shelf? Next to that is a bin of long leggings, capri leggings, and short sleeved shirts.

Then down a shelf to long sleeved shirts, tall boot socks, short socks.

Then down a shelf to bras and shorts and a bin with a manicure kit.

I get to determine what I need, determine the amount of space needed to accommodate that item and then remain within the perimeters of that space. If I need a new one I have to get rid of an old one. This keeps me from keeping less than perfect items, like the broken flip flop. It keeps me from hoarding clothes and from spending money on items that I don't really need. And this makes Grady happy.

We have a long way to go. We have been married for 43 years and you would be amazed how much you can accumulate in 43 years. My Dad gave the best advice when he said, "We should treat our possessions like drops of water on our finger tips so when God calls us to a certain position we can simply shake our hands and they are gone and we are free to go."

Be unfettered and Go with God.

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