100 Thing Update

I’ve been living with the 100 Thing Challenge for about three weeks now. I thought there would have been more to write. My expectations included at least a couple of update posts by now. However, my life hasn’t actually been affected all that much. My day-to-day routine hasn’t changed any, except that it’s easier for me to make decisions regarding what to wear for the day.

There are a few things that I’ve noticed

Even though I’ve made a few changes to My List, most of the things discussed below are more observations about how I use the things that I do have.

  • I’ve only worn one of my motorcycle jackets, so I removed the other from the list (and it means it is time to sell it).
  • I put my pocket knife away and have only been using the one on my keychain. I haven’t missed it so far! Removed it from the list.
  • My running shoes were falling apart. So I wore then while white-water rafting and then tossed them afterward. I thought it would be nice for them to go out with one last horrah! Removed from list.
  • I think I’ve worn a single dress shirt one time so far. I like having them, however, and wear them more when I’m not spending so much time in the art studio.
  • Brr… it can get cold on the motorcycle. I’ve managed to layer up and stay comfortable, and can go still colder with what I have on the list. When it gets around to winter time, however, I’ll have to dig out the cold-weather gear. Added some items to the list for that.
  • Apparently I’ve switched back to shaving in the shower, so I haven’t been using my brush, soap, or brush stand. I tend to do this in cycles, however, so I’m leaving them on the list.
  • My initial idea was to list each individual dish, and then just hand-wash them after each meal. That hasn’t happened, so I’ve replaced that portion of the list with a single item: dishes.
  • With the dishes, now that I’ve been paying attention, I realized that I only use 3-4 out of the cupboard. A mug for coffee, a juice glass for juice, a glass for water, and a second glass for water when the other one’s in the dishwasher. And really, the second glass isn’t necessary. Why do I have a whole cupboard full again?
  • I’ve realized that I use more of my art supplies at home than I thought. I prefer to bring my projects home from school to work on, instead of staying in the studio there. So it’s handy to have two sets of some things so that I don’t have to carry everything back and forth with me.

I think it’s interesting to realize how little I actually use on a regular basis. Furthermore, I’ve been surprised at how little my day-to-day life has changed upon undertaking this challenge.

An Easy Challenge

The main reason that this has been easy for me is because I’ve built up to it slowly. During the Minimalist Experiment, I eliminated much of the stuff that I didn’t use on a regular basis. This preparation allowed me to get everything in place in less than two hours. Because I didn’t get rid of anything but only stashed it away, I have no fear that I got rid of something important to me or that I would need. Since I’m only focusing on my personal items, nothing that my wife and I share or jointly own, I eliminated much the stress of having to include someone else in my decision making. Perhaps most importantly:

What I’m doing is not obvious

Unless someone reads my blog, the only way that they would know I am undertaking this challenge would be to notice that I’m only cycling through a handful of outfits each week. But I did that anyway! If you walked into my apartment, you still couldn’t tell that I’m only using 100 things. You *might* notice that my side of the dresser and my bedside table have less stuff on them than my wife’s (for the first time ever!) but those would be your only clues

This fact is comforting. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to explain the experiment to everyone I know (not that I’d mind, just the repetition of having to do so over and over would get to me).

So that’s my update for the first two (official) weeks of the challenge. Not a lot to report, other than the discoveries about my habits. I’m happy with that, however. I would be worried if I’d realized that I needed twice as many things just to get by on a daily basis. So far so good, and onward we go!

2 thoughts on “100 Thing Update

  1. Rebecca Burgener says:

    I knew you wouldn’t have a very hard time with this challenge, and you’re already deciding what to let go of permanently instead of just packing it away.

    After this challenge, I’d like to know how much “stuff” you get rid of for good.

    • Matthew says:

      I didn’t expect it to be terribly hard, but I did think that I would notice something different.

      I’ll certainly post a follow-up about what I decide to keep or not.

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