100 things

Over Sunday brunch a couple of weeks ago, as some dear friends contemplated moving, they dreaded the prospect of having to pack their stuff.

“What would it be like to have just 100 things?” one of them asked.

Our conversation lingered on the topic: Would small items count? And what if you had multiple copies of a book … could you count them as a single title?

I joked that I was going to count my house—and everything in it—as “Thing #1.” But deep down, I was intrigued.

I’ve always had a minimalist streak. I feel suffocated if I have too much stuff, and I can’t stand clutter. So the idea of paring my belongings to the true essentials really appealed.

“I can get down to 100, no problem,” I thought as I drove home.

I didn’t even get through my closet without hitting that mark. Never mind my stacks of books, my old CDs, the little rocks and sticks I’ve gathered during my travels, my hoard of discontinued cosmetics …

In the end, I pared only a dozen or so items from my closet. But since then I’ve noticed a change: I love looking in the closet and seeing only my favorite things.

Paradoxically, having less stuff has helped me appreciate what I have.

I’ll likely never get down to 100 things. But I hope to succeed in at least reducing my stuff by half. After all … someday I may want to move, too!

Want to give the 100-thing challenge a shot? There’s an excellent post at Zenhabits to help you get started.


  1. Moving to another place and just taking with me a 100things? Maybe a hundred boxes with all my things in it! I can’t possibly leave my other precious things that I have accumulated with hard work through all the years. I will never plan on moving. Not in so many years.

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