It’s no secret that I like my handbags. I have lots of them. My husband might argue I have too many, but let’s think about this honestly – can you ever have too many?
My answer would be yes. I literally do have too many bags. And shoes. And generally I have too many clothes. My answer: I need a de-cluttering session. In the far future, of course. It might even benefit me to sign myself up for the famous 100 Thing Challenge.
Not heard of the 100 Thing Challenge? The founder of the movement, Dave Bruno, says that the goal of the 100 Thing Challenge, or 100TC for short, is a ‘way to stop participating in irresponsible consumerism and start living a more meaningful lifestyle that is economically secure and that blesses people.’
So how do we, the Average Over Spenders of the World stop filling our lives with meaningless ‘stuff’? The 100TC follows three nice and easy steps:
First things first this means getting rid of some of your stuff. Not wearing a bunch of old clothes and waiting for the day they’ll fit you? Think again. If they’ve been sitting there waiting and you wishing, they’re better off in another person’s life. Either give them away to another person or donate them to a charity. Books that you’ve read making your bookshelf look pretty but not doing much else? Get rid. With things like children’s toys you should seriously think about doing an inventory of toys. Make a list of all toys, tick off a few loved favourites and ditch the rest. Donation, donation, dontation. Oh yes and a little note: do not take out items of clothing and reminisce over memories if you’re serious about giving these things away. You’ll only get emotionally involved and this isn’t a time for hanging onto ghosts of the past.
(Image: One parent from the 100 Thing Facebook has had a major clear-out of their children’s toys.)
This one is perhaps the most difficult. Refusal is taken offensively in Western culture. This won’t be easy, but the best route is to be relaxed with people who try to give you ‘stuff.’ Don’t preach. Just calmly explain you’re having a bit of a clear-out of stuff and you really don’t need whatever this person is offering. If they are really insistent then think of someone who would benefit from whatever you’ve been given and donate to them. There is always someone who will benefit from the things you’ll never get around to using or don’t really need.
I suppose this sounds easy and as a last step you should be well on your way to your de-cluttered nirvana, but readjusting your thinking and habits you’ve acquired over your life time are not going to be easy. Take this last step in small increments. Don’t make it an all or nothing scenario. But question little day time habits;
Do I really want to spend money on snacks that I could have easily prepared at home?
Should I walk more rather than rely on my car?
How can I cut down on my weekly food bill?
Make it fun and if it helps, remind yourself with visuals as to why you’re trying to achieve this balance in your life; a photo of your family or loved one or even a photo of yourself when you were at your happiest.
The best thing that the 100 Thing Challenge has created is the self motivation in others. They want this change, too, for their own very personal reasons. And living in a World where borrowing and buying on credit is increasing I can’t help but think we’d all benefit from adopting some of the 100 Thing Challenge principles in our life.
As one person on the 100 TC Facebook said;
Quote of the day: Too many people spend money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.
For myself there are happily not a lot of changes I need to make; de-cluttering is my only issue. Debt isn’t a feature in our lives and we are more than aware of our incomings and outgoings. We don’t make huge spends on worthless items we’ll rarely use and barely need.
How different would our World be if credit cards didn’t exist? If debt was never a consideration? I see so many people around me getting into debt when they really can’t afford too; the truth is that you can never afford debt so you shouldn’t make it in the first place. Let’s all start living within our means. Let’s plan and prepare for the future rather than party in the present. Let’s take care of our basic needs and think about our wants more carefully.
Ponder this article. Question if you’re giving your life purpose right now and ask yourself if things could be different for the better if you did something a little bit different, every little day.