How Many Possessions Do you Own?

Tonight I came across the 100 Thing Challenge. One man’s challenge to rid his life of unnecessary possessions. His ultimate goal is to own no more than 100 things. Over the last few years I have made extraordinary progress towards eliminating unnecessary objects from my life and home, but I can not imagine owning less than 100 things.

My purge did not begin voluntarily. Truth be told I owned a cat that would not stop spraying. If I left any items laying out and about he would nuke them, so the first few possessions went directly into the garbage. The next round of stuff went out before the cat could destroy them. This included anything that was not in a sealed container or dresser drawer. After the cat sprayed the dresser, the dresser went to the trash and most of it’s contents went off to charity.

The more I purged from my life the lighter and freer I felt. As I looked around my house I quickly realized that I actually used very little in my home. I finally said goodbye to old books that I’d been hanging onto since college, outdated clothes that I hadn’t worn in ages and lots of knickknacks that I was tired of dusting.

I have no idea how many items I actually own, but I can tell you the number is far greater than 100. Actually when I first read about this challenge I considered counting my possessions, but than I worried that a little OCD might kick in for me and I’d rather not go crazy. Heck in my kitchen alone I must own a few hundred possessions. I have stacks of plates, glasses, pots, pans and mugs, not to mention cutting boards and silverware.

I do like the idea behind this challenge and although I don’t intend to whittle all of my possessions down to a specific number I would like to take a glance around the house again this month to see what else I can do away with. I plan to start in the kitchen where I’d be lucky to whittle things down to 100.

6 thoughts on “How Many Possessions Do you Own?”

  1. i probably own a hundred pieces of clothing! and way over that many individual photos!

    I am as close as i will (hopefully?) ever get to owning less than 100 things; i rent a COMPLETELY furnished (read: down to the linens and cleaning supplies) apartment in a foreign country so everything i own fits in 3 suitcases and a backpack. I also have 3 rubbermaid bins of valuable or sentimental 'stuff' from my childhood at my parents' house.

    but that's it. It is scary and also freeing to not be tied down by possessions.

    your cat sounds like a holy terror!! good for you for finding the silver lining.

  2. I'm trying to simplify and minimize too, but it's a challenge. I've already gotten rid of 70 items (I have a get rid of stuff Sunday goal) and I feel like I haven't made a dent! Slow and steady wins the race though, right?

  3. We live very minimally, I just can't stand "stuff". Don't get me wrong-we have lots of things, but I try very hard to stay organized and not collect things I don't need. My mother is a compulsive Goodwill/garage sale shopper and constantly buys me stuff, the kids toys, etc. I have learned to be gracious and stick it in the donation box as soon as she leaves. (And she has never repurchased an item, but has said I saw one at goodwill just like the one I bought you! lol)

  4. I'm desperately trying to pare down my belongings but it seems like my 'number' never gets any smaller! I recently just sent 4 full shopping bags to Goodwill but now I'm at a standstill with closet purging. Sigh.

    Seems like I'll never be able to live a truly minimalist life… I love having options. Haha. >__<

  5. I like the concept that is expressed and enjoyed reading your slant on it. However, after reading the original article you referenced, I have to admit I was quite disappointed. It all seemed very contrived for a book contract, and more like an article on sophistry than simple living. The author goes into excruciating detail enumerating each piece of outerwear he owns, but then seems to dismiss most of the possessions in his life either by counting them in groups or claiming they fall into exceptions. The list of stuff he got rid of mainly just looks like a bunch of old clothes and nick-knacks – a good effort for a Saturday afternoon, but not really a game-changer.

    Let's use the author's system, and take me as an example. I know I have too much stuff. My house is very cluttered, and our garage is full of junk. I've occasionally written about how I'm gradually trying to do better in this area. Yet by the author's standards, I've practically already arrived! First, I don't have to count anything in the house that is "shared". OK, that eliminates about 85% of things for me. Next, I don't have to count work related items and tools. Finally, I can group together a few things I really like and only count the groups. So I'll choose books (like the author did) and also music. There. Looks like I'm really down to only a few items, yet here I sit with all this junk.

  6. @sense — three suitcases and a backpack that's amazing! I haven't lived like that since I was in college. Of course, back then I only owned one cup, one fork, one knife and one spoon šŸ™‚

    @me in millions — slow and steady is my motto too. I've been purging the items from our house over months and years. Sometimes I box things up and wait a month to see if I need them again. If I don't they go to the good will.

    @followmedown30 — I totally agree with the no clutter rule. I don't own any knick-knacks or other items that collect dust. I know a lot of people take pleasure in this, but to me it's just a waste of money and a lot of work to keep clean.

    @elleandish — Even after I purge everything from my closet I go out and buy more things. I don't know how many people can get by without a lot of clothes. If nothing else it helps me avoid the laundry.

    @s.b. — I tend to agree. I was super excited when I heard about the idea and majorly disappointed when I saw the list. Nevertheless I like the spirit of the minimizing my possessions. One day I'll take a crack at counting the items in at least one room.


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