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Could you live with just 100 things?

Photo courtesy of Dan KernDan Kern has had enough. In fact, he thinks most of us have had enough, we just don’t realize it yet. Over the course of 31 days, Dan is going to eliminate all but 100 possessions from his life.  Can he do it?

Dan’s story begins with Britney Spears.  No, he wasn’t there with her when she famously shaved her head. But he understands what she was going through.  He points to Mark Morford’s article about the cleansing power of cutting off your hair and the other dramatic actions we do during a life transition.  If hair holds memory and shaving it off can give you a clean slate, how much more powerful can it be to do the same with your possessions?

“Trim it. Paint it. Rearrange it. Burn it honor it love it remember it and then, maybe, shave it. Shave it all. See the bare, lumpy, gorgeous scalp underneath. Then regrow at will. What, you have something more important to do?” ~ Mark Morford

Dan is giving himself 31 days to bring the number down to 100, and he’s blogging about the process.  You can just feel his sense of freedom growing with every post.  He reminisces about some items, and easily discards others.  He must feel like he’s lost weight every night when he goes to bed.

(I should point out that Dan is a great writer. I met him last year via Twitter during the 3-Day Novel Challenge and have enjoyed reading his take on life ever since. If you are on Twitter, you can follow him @obsrvationalist.)

Dan’s plan is to leave Winnipeg at the end of his project and head south for a new life and new adventures.  He makes a very valid point when he says:

“The more you have, the less you do.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I’m going to continue following Dan as he winds down his last few days with all that stuff.

If you had to get rid of all but 100 things, what would you keep?  Once you make your list, think about the items that didn’t make the cut.  How are those things serving you (or not)?

You may enjoy reading about a few other people who have taken on similar challenges with their possessions:

  • Baker over at Man vs. Debt keeps a running total of his family’s possessions as they travel the world.
  • GuynamedDave was the original inspiration for Dan’s project.  Dave’s challenge only involves personal items, not things like the household furniture. If you are not a traveler, this may be more to your liking.
  • Angela at My Year without Spending just finished a year of The Compact, in which participants pledge to buy nothing new except essentials like groceries. In all other things they barter, buy second hand, or go without.  Her experiment was such a success that she’s continuing a “Compact-lite” lifestyle this year.

UPDATE: Leslie just reminded me of George Carlin’s terrific act on “stuff” and I found it on Youtube. Enjoy!

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