Jun 122011

This blog would be remiss if I didn’t mention at least once, “The 100 Thing Challenge”.  Created by “a guy named Dave” a few years ago the 100 Thing Challenge is exactly what it sounds like.  Reducing your personal possessions, the stuff you need to get through life, to a total of 100 items.  Actually the number is arbitrary.  It can be 200, 500, or 50.  It is what ever you are comfortable with.  But it sets a goal for you to achieve in a minimalist lifestyle.

The less stuff you have, the less you have to worry about.  You don’t need extra space to store extra stuff, you don’t have to worry about maintaining extra stuff, you don’t have to worry about losing all that extra stuff.  By reducing your possessions down to a set amount, you only keep the stuff you actually use.  You get more value out of the stuff you have because you use it more.  And if you are like me, you can replace any of it in a day or two without losing a step.

Again the number can be whatever you want, but it does set a limit on what you have and forces you to make some choices on what to keep and what to get rid of.  For most people, 100 things is an impossibility.  A good example is my neighbor who is moving out as I am writing this post.  She rents a small rv similar in size to mine, about 29 ft. long.  Yet so far, it has taken 4 truckloads to move all of her stuff.  And they are not done yet.  Seriously, how much do you really need to live?  If you like to move around a lot, travel, or just like to keep the clutter down, then the 100 Thing Challenge is something you should take a stab at.  See how far down you can reduce your stuff.

So, yes, I have reduced down and I am about to give you my list of stuff.  This list is limited to personal items, that is, stuff I would take when I move to the next adventure.  Not included are things like toiletries, soaps, shampoos, etc., towels, wash cloths, bed clothes, blankets, sheets, pillows, dishes, eating utensils, and appliances (which I have none of my own).  Also not included is my vehicle, which may be gone soon, nor my two cats, who are just part of the family.  Tools count as 1 as in a small bag of tools to repair my bicycle.

So, here is my list.  Keep in mind I also live in a very warm climate so I can get by with way less clothing:

  1. laptop computer with charger
  2. ipad with charger
  3. tracfone for travel (got rid of the iphone to save some money, and the ipad duplicates most of the iphone functions).
  4. wifi gadget
  5. cd player for laptop
  6. laptop bag
  7. backpack
  8. neat receipts scanner
  9. digital camera
  10. small bag for papers
  11. folder for business papers
  12. wide brim hat
  13. sunglasses with reader lens
  14. floating sunglass holder
  15. eyeglasses
  16. spare glasses (at my age, yes, I can justify 2 pair of glasses)
  17. fishing shirt
  18. fishing shirt
  19. fishing shirt
  20. long sleeve shirt
  21. long sleeve shirt
  22. long sleeve shirt
  23. long sleeve shirt for summer
  24. long sleeve shirt for summer
  25. long sleeve shirt for summer
  26. long sleeve shirt for summer
  27. shorts
  28. shorts
  29. shorts
  30. shorts
  31. shorts
  32. shorts
  33. shorts
  34. shorts
  35. 1 pr briefs (boxers)
  36. 1 pr socks
  37. 1 pr jeans
  38. 1 heavy lined shirt for winter
  39. belt
  40. pair deck shoes
  41. pair deck shoes
  42. bandanna
  43. bandanna
  44. rain coat
  45. wallet
  46. passport wallet
  47. left handed scissors (trust me, if you are lefthanded you know why)
  48. fishing rod
  49. fishing tackle (small box)
  50. bicycle (probably be replaced when I move)
  51. dry bag
  52. navigational chart upper keys
  53. navigational chart middle keys
  54. navigational chart lower keys
  55. navigational chart Florida Bay
  56. dry box
  57. dry bag for phone
  58. wetsuit
  59. neoprene gloves
  60. wet shoes
  61. personal floatation device
  62. divers knife
  63. Tools for bike repair (about a dozen wrenches, sockets, and screw drivers)
  64. cat litter box
  65. cat water dish
  66. cat food dish
  67. cat carrier
  68. cat carrier
  69. bicycle lock and chain
  70. drivers license
  71. bank card
  72. bank card
  73. captain license
  74. divers certification
  75. TWIC card
  76. towel ( a good hitchhiker always knows where his towel is)

Items 48 through 62 are business related and may or may not go on the next move.   I should also note I have a small amount of winter clothing stashed at my mother’s place up north so I don’t have to bring any luggage when I fly up to visit.  But none of that is needed where I live now.

So there you have it.  All the things I need at the moment to get by in life.  I suppose you could nit pick and break it down into individual items like each and every cable, adaptor and what not but I think you get the idea.  The nice thing is just about all of this stuff fits in the back pack except for the captain stuff, the bicycle, and the cats of course.  Nice and simple.  And I honestly do not want for anything over and above what I have at the moment.  Sure, there are nice things out there that make living a bit easier.  But I don’t need any of it.  And more importantly, I don’t want any of it.  I am simply living simply.  No stress, no worries.  Make up your list and see what your number is, then try to reduce it.  You can do it.  It’s just stuff.

The Fritter