why i’ll never own just 100 things

livinglagom.com - why i'll never have 100 thingsIn the minimalist world, owning 100 things (or less) is the Holy Grail.

The 100 Thing Challenge was created by Dave Bruno. The idea is to unburden individuals from the confinements of consumerism, so that they learn what’s really important in life.

Some minimalist and lifestyle bloggers have their “lists” posted on their blogs.

When I first read about it, I thought maybe one day I could aspire to get to that level.

I almost fell for it.

fun with numbers

I have a confession to make. After reviewing the lists of these bloggers, I bought a . . . Moleskine notebook. It was on almost all of their lists! So even though I already owned a perfectly acceptable notebook, I felt like I needed a Moleskine.

Luckily, I’ve learned a few things since that time. Now what I see from these lists is a lot of “creative accounting.”

Things like socks, underwear and books are each grouped together as one item.

My sister almost stopped breathing when I told her about living with only 100 things. She only exhaled when I told her some people grouped items, like books. She said if she did it, she would group her shoes together.

How could I argue with flawed logic, when I was dealing with flawed logic?

I’ve worked in retail in the past. When you count inventory, you count everything.

Other items that don’t appear on the lists are shared items. This includes such things as dinnerware and furnishings.

But what if you’re single? Do these items still get exempt?

Even if you’re part of a larger unit, I imagine you still have your own plate, your own pillow and your own clothes hangers. And what about those hangers . . . they always seem to get forgotten.

how low can you go?

It almost seems like there’s a bit of a competition to see who can live with the fewest items.

I would almost call it peer pressure.

This seems counter intuitive to me. Isn’t this what we are trying to get away from when we look to live a more simple life?

Do I now have to rebel against people telling me to live with too little?

Minimalism is important to me, but so is the environment. I have no plans to get rid of my reusable travel mugs and containers or my enviro bags or my stainless steel straws, just so I can knock some items off of my list.

I don’t even have a list.

With my obsessive-compulsive personality, I don’t think counting would be such a good idea anyway. Heaven forbid I should end up with 66 items.

the spirit, not the letter of the law

I do agree with the premise behind the 100 Thing Challenge and its original intention. Most of us would benefit by having less.

However, I don’t agree with the extreme, competitive form that’s been taken by some. Nor do I agree with the fuzzy logic that’s used by others so that they can say they’re at that magical 100.

One size doesn’t fit all. It never has.

So maybe I’ll never be considered a true minimalist – not sure who decides this. I’m cool with that.

I’m more interested in living lagom.

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein

For the record: I’ve written about Courtney Carver’s Project 333 on this blog in the past. Some might question why I mention it if I’m not into counting. Project 333 focuses on a single category, clothes. It also has rules and exceptions that are more clearly defined. But again, you’re not really dressing with just 33 items. At the end of the day, if these projects and challenges help you to reduce your clutter, even if you never get down to the prescribed number, then go for it. It’s just not for me.