It has been a while since I have posted specifically about the 100 Thing Challenge and the simple living process it advocates. So I thought I would take just a few moments to write up a quick refresher.
Over and over again when I talk to people about the 100 Thing Challenge I tell them the same thing: It’s not about the stuff! The value in living for an extended period of time is not figuring out what things remained on your to-keep list. The value is not marveling at your to-purge list. The value is not even decluttering or creating efficiencies by keeping multi-functional things. Those are some fringe benefits, to be sure. But the most important result of living an extended period of time without much stuff is breaking free from the confining habits of consumerism. Once free from consumerism, there’s a lot of exciting life to be lived.
A while back I came up with the three R’s of the 100 Thing Challenge. Reduce. Refuse. Rejigger. If you are bogged down by stuff, you’ve got to start getting yourself free by reducing the amount of stuff you own. Plain and simple. And if you have gotten yourself bogged down by stuff, then even after you reduce your stuff, you are going to have to refuse to get more stuff, because you are in the habit of getting more stuff and unless you force yourself to refuse more stuff, you are going to end up back where you started, namely, stuck in stuff. So you have to reduce and refuse. So let’s say you do. Now what? Rejigger! Rejigger is just an r-word that is more fun to say that rearrange or reorganize, which is what it means. And what are you going to rejigger? Your closet? Your garage? Well, probably. But more importantly, you are going to start rejiggering your life. You are going to rearrange your life so that your priorities are not centered around stuff.
Reduce. Refuse. Rejigger. And you have to do it in that order. I know of no one who has managed to break free from bad consumer habits by rejiggering without first reducing and refusing. I know of some people who have done a big purge and reduced a lot of their stuff but then didn’t follow through and refuse to get more stuff. Needless to say, those people never got around to rejiggering. 1) Reduce. 2) Refuse. 3) Rejigger. That’s the way you’ve got to do it.
Living simply is so much better than living messy. It’s so much better to think about rejiggering your life around meaningful pursuits instead of dwelling on the next purchase at your favorite store. Three steps to simple living. Not easy ones. But you will never regret living simply.