Could You Keep It to a Hundred?

Tammy was married, working for an investment management form and earning about $40,000 a year. But she and her husband had racked up lots of debt then realized that all of the things they had purchased just weren’t making them happy.

So she came up with a shocking idea!

They started giving away their stuff. Nearly all of it. She gave away clothes, pots, pans, their television. They sold their two cars. And they moved from a two-bedroom condo into a 400-square-foot apartment.

And with inspiration from a grassroots website, she managed to pare her belongings down to just 100 items. Her story is told here.

Could you get by on 100 things?

Well, wait a second…don’t answer that. We all know the answer to that question: of course!

Would you want to? If you’re like me, probably not, although the idea of getting rid of things that I don’t need is getting more and more attractive. Seven years ago, I moved from South Carolina to Virginia. I boxed up a ridiculous amount of stuff — an embarrassing amount of stuff — and took most of it with me. Some of it never got taken out of the boxes.

Nearly four years later, I moved back to South Carolina. And although I think I had slightly less stuff that time around, there were still boxes of things I’m pretty sure had been sealed since the move to Virginia…a sure sign that those contents can go.

In this day and age, unfortunately, you can’t safely throw out boxes blindly, because any financial paperwork that you’d forgotten you put there could, in the wrong hands, cause you serious financial troubles. That means actually opening those boxes, going through the contents, berating yourself about why you bought this or acquired that, then throwing it away.

Have we been so brainwashed by our society that the idea of living with just 100 things is really that intimidating? I guess the answer is an unquestionable “Yes!”

Would you take on a challenge like that?

1 Comment

  1. I would love to. My husband would kill me. So, I guess not. 🙂

    In all seriousness, I do keep stuff I know I don't 'need', but if I threw away the letters and genealogical info my mom collected my family would be angry, and if I threw away the historical stuff like that of my own, I'd be sad.

    Having said that, I've watched older people do this sort of thing and found that it is really meaningful to receive something that used to belong to a friend who thought it was 'just right' for me. What a great way to fill your house with memories!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.