Simple Living 300 Items Challenge PT2


Courtesy of Robert Benner

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this subject so thought it about time I gave a much required update.

One of the challenges on my Life Ticket is to own less than 300 things because I want to have a more simple lifestyle.

Why simple living?

I’m still working towards a simpler life.  A life of less commodities and goods and one with more meaningful things like time, space, the ability to clean our house in less than an hour every week.  In fact that’s just the icing, there are 100’s of reasons why having less is actually better.

On a personal level I just want to feel more connected to the things I do keep and be more concious in future about the items I go out and buy.

What does 300 things look like?

I’m still aiming for the 300, as described in my previous PT1 post.

My wardrobe certainly likes the look of less items in it.  I’d managed to reduce it by three big carrier bags which after storing away in another wardrobe (ironically) – just to make sure I didn’t need any of the clothes – they were deposited in the clothes bank last month.

There was a slight gasp as I watched the sheer amount of clothes dropping into the metal container and feeling a pang of sorrow (and some weird guilt) but it lasted no more than 10 minutes after which feeling of happiness descended.  Not in the “great I’ve not got more room to buy new clothes” happiness sense, but “great I did it, I’ve reduced my wardrobe.  Now what else can I reduce?” sense.

Next Quest – Media

After clothes my collection of CDs, and DVD’s are a big chunk of my personal items.  Time to work on them.

There are two great reasons I can see for reducing both of these.

  • We have bought furniture in the past just to house all these items and yet neither of them are ever used.  I can’t even remember the last time I opened the cupboard door to reach for a DVD.
  • Most of the DVD’s are available on-line with a subscription, to which we are paying every month and all music can be put on-line.

And you’d think it would be as easy as that to reduce the media items in the house wouldn’t you but of course nothing is ever simple, or at least not when feelings come into play.

The Plan

However I go back to my original plan.

Do I want the space back and still have access to my CD’s and DVD’s, or do I want to keep them all just for the sake of having the physical format of both?

The answer to both is yes, because of sentimentality.

But if I was to name 10 DVD’s sat in the cupboard right now could I do it?  Nope, so clearly DVDs were the best place to start.

I’m by no-means the biggest collector of DVD’s in our household and my ones came to 56 in total.

Of the 56 just ten were to be found on the subscription.  And yes instead of just giving those away to charity they found themselves in the loft.  So now I’m left with 56 DVD’s that I still don’t watch but as soon as I went through all their little cases, looking at the colourful covers and reading the descriptions it brought back a sense of…well I suppose a sense of familiarity that I’d lost.  So 46 are now back in the cupboard.

Moving on to the music cupboard and this was even worse!  I’m not into paying for a music subscription at the moment and this is interesting in itself. Even though I listen to a lot of music I’d still feel guilty paying for music on a monthly basis, notably because we have very limited equipment to play it on.

I can’t possibly reduce my CD collection without having some form of back up, and right now that’s impossible to do and even if it weren’t I’m thinking that’s a big job for a Sunday afternoon.

So I guess the CD’s are staying where they are for the moment.

Then I’ve decided to move onto the magazines of which there are lots.  Gardening, computing, photography, writing and lifestyle are all there, having been kept for many years.

Of course it’s so much easier to sort through other people’s stuff isn’t it?  I can happily filter away someone else’s magazine collection and yet mine are still there!  As soon as I take any of my magazines off the shelves I have to sit down, look through them, and try and justify why I’d want to get rid of them because:

  • They might be worth something
  • I might need to refer to them at some point (in this millennium or last?)
  • Where can I get rid of them anyway?

And yet the need to do this fall to

  • I need more space, or the space could be better utilized
  • I don’t look at the magazines, ever.  In fact I hardly ever buy magazines any more.
  • What is the point of having them sat around if someone else could make good use of them?

Everyone of the magazines could just be put up into the loft…again!  This really does defeat the overall object though.

This challenge is proving to be more than just de-cluttering and becoming more minimal.  It’s about learning why I want to do this and the heavy influence these particular items have over me.  Personal items are that much harder to sort through than clothes and house bits.

So for the time being I’m kinda stuck in a no-win situation at the moment.

I’ll get back to you…

Cover photo courtesy of Dave Crosby


9 responses to “Simple Living 300 Items Challenge PT2

    • That’s not a bad idea. It’s not often you have to sit still for any length of time without a smartphone these days but both Dr’s and hospitals you have to. Let me know how you get on. 🙂

  1. I hate making waste and filling landfills.. for this reason I have let everything build up in my home for the past five years. I have made life so complicated for myself. Now I’m donating and clearing it all out. Theres clutter and hoarding going on in every corner. I found that I cant just stop at mess, there’s so much I just dont need. I’m heading back to a simpler life and it feels great! Why do we even think we need all this stuff to begin with eh? Last night we had dinner at the table, which used to just house washing and letters.. Now that was needed. 🙂

    • That is so good to hear. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job.
      There has to be a balance between living well and living ethically. I bet a lot of the stuff you kept could be recycled anyway so don’t feel bad about chucking it. Recognising you don’t actually want the stuff, less need the stuff any more is a huge step 🙂

  2. My biggest issue is books. Somehow, reading a book on a hard plastic screen just doesn’t have the same appeal. There’s no book “smell” and it’s hard to curl up in my recliner with a laptop.

    • Oh goodness me, I’m not looking forward to books….I’m just like you, I love my books. I can’t imagine getting rid of any – novels, atlases, doesn’t matter they are all special to me. I have yet to use an eReader but I can’t say I’m going to rush out and get one because I think physical books are so much nicer to look at.

  3. I’ve winnowed my belongings a couple of times and every time I do I find that I hit an emotional reason I had for building up ballast in my life. The easiest way to let go I found was to look at the particular pile of stuff and ask myself, ‘what’s the worst thing that will happen if you let it go?’ That seemed to separate the things I honestly knew I’d feel sad about giving up and the things that had just ‘been there for years’. 🙂

    • Hmmm…good idea, I like the sound of that. Shall have to give it a go. There is a lot of chaff in my personal belongings but most are still there because of the history and memories they evoke.
      Thanks for stopping by and reading the post 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Forget-me-Not’s 1st Anniversary and the 100th Post | The Forget-me-Not Cultivation Blog·

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