I ran across an interesting challenge this week. I suppose you’ve figured out I’m into simple living, downsizing and making life work for you instead of the other way around. Because of that, I find this challenge especially interesting on a personal level. I’ve included an excerpt below.
What is the 100 Thing Challenge? David Bruno explains it: The 100 Thing Challenge is my little way to personalize my efforts to fight consumerism.
What would possess people to eliminate such a large chunk of their belongings? It’s the same motivation found here in a comment from Time:
Living small is hardly a new concept. Henry Thoreau tucked himself into a 150-sq.-ft. house on Walden Pond in the 1840s, and the city of San Francisco built some 5,600 earthquake cottages for survivors of the 1906 temblor. But over the past decade, dozens of architects and builders have begun specializing in tiny-house designs. And home buyers–motivated by the desire to simplify their lives, use fewer resources and save money–are falling in love with the little things.
I think the 100 Thing Challenge would be a prerequisite for anyone considering microhousing. Also, I would have to lump my books together under one thing called a library just as David did. Books are not optional for me, and many of them are related to my goals on the internet. However, just looking around my study, I can see where benefits might be clear.
I’ve often thought about microhousing. Indeed, if I were single, it would be a done deal. However, my husband is a large man and the idea of the two of us in 150 square feet is quite painful and humorous. Still, we have curbed our desire for “bigger and better,” content with our 1187 square feet, and we are careful about what we add to that space. It’s a start for him, and normal for me.
This following quote sums up David Bruno’s purpose for the challenge:
Well, I am just an average person. Yet sometimes I have listened to the siren-craft of branding consultants and imagined myself to be someone very special. And I have sometimes behaved and consumed as if that were true, as if I were a celebrity and a genius and rich and sophisticated. Which is another way of saying that I have worn certain clothing brands and expected the world to listen to all I think and gotten myself into debt and made a fool of myself.
Then also, I have been a critic of American-style consumerism. I have become indignant with the cheapness of Wal-Mart and Costco, whose prices are slashed on the backs of labor, manufacturers, and suppliers. Equally, I have become offended by the sumptuousness of Nordstrom and Banana Republic, whose expense is visible on strapless prom dresses, thousand-dollar shoes, and always-changing fashions that demand always-purchasing humans.
But I have shopped at all those places. (Except Wal-Mart, yuck!) Even in the midst of my 100 Thing Challenge, I have ducked into a Banana Republic store to browse the sale racks, but sneak peeks at the full-priced extravagance. Perhaps American-style consumerism has been and in many ways still is my problem.
I just do not see any solution to any problem until I am willing to ask myself and ask others to honestly assess me, “Am I the one responsible for this?”
The 100 Thing Challenge is many things. I have some hopes and fears for what I might accomplish before it is all done. At its most fundamental level, though, the 100 Thing Challenge is an attempt to answer the question about my role in American-style consumerism.