Less Stuff, More Happy

How to pare down when you have too much stuff The other day, I learned about this guy who only owns 39 things. As one of my favorite sites, LifeEdited, recently pointed out, most of us probably couldn't live with only 39 belongings. But most of us could live with less stuff. In fact, most of us could get rid of, say, 1,000 things without really feeling much pain.

I love a good challenge (and I live in a smaller home, which means the question of "too much stuff" is something I think about often). So when my mom, who also reads LifeEdited, told me about her plan to rid her home of 1,000 belongings, I jumped on the bandwagon. One month, 1,000 things, and one lighter, happier, easier-to-clean house. Sounds like a deal to me.

When you look around a room with an eye for what you really use (and what you really don't), it's amazing what you see. All of a sudden I couldn't stop noticing things I could easily part with, mostly stuff that clutters open spaces or takes up precious storage space that could be used for things I actually use and need. Go ahead and try it -- give yourself five minutes in whatever room you're sitting in, and see if you can find five things you could get rid of. I bet you can.

So, over the weekend as I prepped for out-of-town company, I assembled a pile destined for the thrift store. A random sampling of what I culled...

  • A dozen wine glasses
  • An extra bath mat
  • Two duffle bags
  • Two candle holders
  • Three curtain panels
  • A paper bag full of clothes
  • A stack of cook books

Twenty-five things down, 975 to go. 

Are you up for a challenge? Join me! Here are my very loose rules:

  • Sets count as one "belonging"
  • Getting rid of extraneous bath/toiletry/kitchen products counts -- as long as they're not merely empty containers of something that I plan to replace
  • Items already set aside for selling or thrifting don't count...
  • ... and moving things to off-site storage doesn't count, either

So, are you game? One month -- let's check back in with each other on Nov. 17. I'll be providing some regular updates along the way...