Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Smith 150 Thing Challenge

This probably won't come as a shock to most of the people that we know, but my husband and I are minimalists.  We actively try to keep our possessions to a minimum, sometimes to the confusion of my mom (more on that later). For the last few years this has been a pretty easy task to accomplish because we moved every six months or so.  Each time we would move, Justin and I would make three piles of stuff:  stuff to keep, stuff to donate, and trash.  I sort of thought I would not feel the urge to reduce our stuff since we aren't moving for a few years.  Boy, was I wrong!

This morning started out innocent enough.  I decided, after months of indecision, that I would try to find new homes for all of the books on my bookcase that could be replaced through library ebook rentals or outright ebook purchases.  I managed to clear out 26 books off the bookcase!  Most of them are going to my mom.  She turned me on to the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey almost twenty years ago, so I thought I would give her first dibs on that series.  I'm excited to have something to talk to her about, reading-wise, that isn't Twilight.  Of course, let me know if you're interested in the rest of the contents of this box.  I'm going to drop them off at Goodwill (or the post office) this week.

To the heart of the title of this post, sometime ago I stumbled upon the 100 Thing Challenge.  Justin and I have been talking about it and have finally committed to reducing our belongings, in the spirit of the challenge, to 150 things.  As a combined family unit, 200 things seemed like too many and 100 didn't seem quite right given that we share quite a bit.  Also, we've modified the rules of what counts as a "thing" to fit a little better with our idea of minimalism.

Our Rules:

  1. Disposable items, such as paper towels and toiletries, do not count as items.
  2. The cats and all of their belongings count as one item (Cali made me include this.  I think she's afraid that I'm going to "declutter" her.)
  3. Groupings that occur naturally will be counted as one item.  This means that school books/supplies and work/study stuff counts as one item each.  This also helps with counting silverware, dishes, and undergarments.  
  4. Non-fiction books are counted individually.
  5. Furniture is not a "countable" item.
I'll update our rules as we come up with more.  Also, I think a future post will show our inventory and what we decided to part with.  Until then, happy decluttering!

P.S. "Decluttering" is the best euphemism I've run across in a while.  :)


  1. Gene would say decluttering is a dirty word! I just took 5 boxes of clothes out of one closet and donated to Goodwill. I hate clutter but I'm afraid we live in it. Looking forward to seeing what you get down to!

    1. My mom is a lot like Gene. I think she fears that one day I'm going to declutter her house, but to be honest I don't have that much energy. I'll keep you posted on our decluttering progress, although I think you already know that we don't have *that* much clutter as it is. There is a Goodwill trip in my future, but hopefully not 5 boxes worth. :)

    2. I always tell Amanda that to me minimalism is being well-practiced in 'letting go'. That is, accepting the destructive nature of the universe and trying to enjoy life as it passes. I'm the first to admit I have a lot of room to grow in this respect, but we're getting better every day!