In October, Courtney Carver at Be More with Less created the Reverse 100 Things Challenge; the aim is to reduce your personal objects by 100 items by December 15. An interesting challenge that I immediately forgot about until it reappeared in my Flipboard feed yesterday.
Do we have 100 things left to declutter?
Colleen started her one thing a day quest in January 2010, and almost a thousand things have left our lives over the last three years. Could I even find 100 more items to move on to a new home?
I grabbed a few items that had been earmarked for removal, rummaged through the cupboards and drawers, and found about forty things that had so far escaped Colleen’s decluttering zeal.
OK, that’s a start but were can I find another sixty things that we no longer love or need? Now I found myself on a mission to complete the challenge but I only had 24 hours to finish it.
An indecisive minimalist
Although I am 100 percent behind Colleen’s quest, I have procrastinated over every one of my personal items that left our home over the years. Some of that clutter had followed me all over the world for 33 years, and I felt comfortable with them sitting on shelves or more often in boxes. Sending them to new homes, or to my horror the trash, never came easy to me and I looked at each item a dozen times before it made the cut.
Why the indecision?
Some reminded me of past glories on the Rugby field. The shelves of books displayed in our living area showed the world I am well read and educated, and my collections reflected the diversity of my interests. To give up many or any of these items meant giving up a part of own psyche, my being and my raison d’être.
Turning indecision into action
Colleen has enjoyed the slow journey but I am more at home in the deadline crunch. My professional training enables me to analyse complex situations and continually adjust the variables to achieve our objectives; the response time to a problem is measured in minutes and often seconds. Give me a week to make a decision and I research, ponder and just plain old procrastinate until you demand the answer. With less than a day to complete the challenge I did not have time to worry and my process became ruthlessly efficient.
Every item passed through my hands once, and I quickly assessed it against three keys questions:
- Have I used it this year?
- Will I use it in the next three months?
- Do I love it?
If I answered any answer with ‘no’ that item went into the donation pile. A couple of hours latter I had a small mountain of stuff sitting in the donation pile, over 100 items ready for a new home.
Two questions I did not ask myself:
- Was this a present?
- What did I pay for it?
A lot of these items should have gone a long time ago; Windows software (we are an all Apple house now), broken watch (a present) and numerous excess tools and knick knacks that have haunted my spaces for years. Most of them will go to the Thrift Store, a very few went into the bin and the easel will be offered to a young artist but none of them will be missed by me.
It felt good to met the Reverse 100 Things Challenge, and it has helped me to focus on the important parts of my life; my family, travel, motorcycles and work. Now if I can just convince Colleen to reduce everything to fit into one carry-on bag each then we can start vagabonding across the world.
The 100 Decluttered Items For Today
Eco Tip for the Day
When the time comes to replace any of the appliances in your home choose energyefficient and or water efficient models.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something you got for free. In the photo above you can see a baseball park giveaway, a coffee mug from an aeroplane manufacturer, various toiletry items from a recent international flight and a souvenir from a foreign military establishment. Some of these have been around for quite a some time while others have infiltrated my clutter defences just recently. Hmmmmmm!!!