100 Thing Challenge: Living With Just 100 Items in Your Life

Dave Bruno looked around his San Diego home one summer and realized just how much of his family's belongings were cluttering their lives. So he decided to do something about it, in a project he called The 100 Thing Challenge:

By my thirty-seventh birthday on November 12, 2008 I will have only 100 personal items. I will live for at least one year (God willing) maintaining an inventory of only 100 personal things. This challenge will help me "put stuff in its place" and also explore my belief that "stuff can be good when it serves a purpose greater than possession alone."

Lisa McLaughlin of TIME Magazine covered this story:

Excess consumption is practically an American religion. But as anyone with a filled-to-the-gills closet knows, the things we accumulate can become oppressive. With all this stuff piling up and never quite getting put away, we're no longer huddled masses yearning to breathe free; we're huddled masses yearning to free up space on a countertop. Which is why people are so intrigued by the 100 Thing Challenge, a grass-roots movement in which otherwise seemingly normal folks are pledging to whittle down their possessions to a mere 100 items. [...]

"It comes down to the products vs. the promise," says organizational consultant Peter Walsh, who characterizes himself as part contractor, part therapist. "It's not necessarily about the new pots and pans but the idea of the cozy family meals that they will provide. People are finding that their homes are full of stuff, but their lives are littered with unfulfilled promises."

Check out Dave's progress his blog, guynameddave: Link


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DCer simply drips with ignorance. Counting 64 crayons as 64 separate items is ridiculous; they came in one box, and they all work together to create art, thus acting as one item. Also, a computer with the cables count as one item, as they mean to work in tandem; try firing up your PC without anything connecting it to the wall outlet! Perhaps if these posters actually read what they were criticising perhaps they wouldn't have responded with such a knee-jerk reaction.

One thing I do dislike about Mr Bruno's list is how he lumps together socks and underwear, as well as not counting shared items.
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I think the point of this idea is not to really only have 100 items, but to challenge yourself to look at your space. Dave wrote, "stuff can be good when it serves a purpose greater than possession alone."
Just look at this sentence and the word "possession". The issue is that most of us allow our "possessions" to "posses" us.
We keep a lot of things because they were gifts, or because they remind us of a special time. If you let that item go, will you forget that special time?
If you do, then the time must have not been too special.

Years ago people easily lived with less than 100 items. Of course I'm not saying lets live like cavemen, but the fact that we can't is what holds us back from growing to our highest potential.

DCer said his kids each have a box of 64 crayons. Why? Can't they share one box?
If they aren't able to share a box of crayons how do you think they'll be sharing, not just material things, but thoughts, ideas and feelings in class, home or even when they grow up in the work place?

As for me I don't limit myself to a number, but try to go by if something comes in, something else goes out. Or every few weeks/months I have a closet clean-out (I did this yesterday). It's easy to clean out my closet because I don't have so many clothes or shoes. It's also easier and more pleasurable to get dressed because I don't have to go through tons of clothes to choose the one I want to wear.
And I do agree, if you haven't touched it in 12 months, let it go.
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I think it is a good idea but am trying it in my house and allow for 100 things per person. there are 5 of us so im hoping to get it down to this number excluding the car and things belonging to work(which I try to leave at work anyway).
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I think it's a good idea to really take a look at all the stuff that we have laying around cluttering our lives and spirits to get rid of some things. But realistically 100 things would not work with my family of four.
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