One hundred items only.
The 100 Item Challenge is being introduced to the UK by Jonathan Welford and Rob Hardy, they had their attention grabbed by American Dave Bruno, who set the 100 Thing Challenge in the USA and wrote a best selling book on the subject.
Jonathan and Rob, looked around their home and decided they had too much ‘stuff,’ wardrobes filled to capacity with clothes that were never worn. it is a fact that 20% of your wardrobe is worn 80% of the time, so they decided to start on that. In honesty a man only really needs 17 shirts, a combination of work wear and casual wear, Rob’s was hitting over 50! some of which had never been worn. By setting the challenge, they are now wearing clothes that were allocated for best and disposed and re-homed the worn or unloved items. The 100 Item Challenge is not a principle to stop spending money on expensive items, in fairness it would be better to spend more on something that will be used and will last a few seasons rather than cheap clothes that are worn a couple of times and relegated to the back of the wardrobe because it has lost the shape or look.
Jonathan admitted he was a previous shop-aholic, every time he went out he wanted to have something to come back with, along the lines of the caveman ‘hunter and gatherer’ instinct. Shopping had become a hobby, instead of spending times with friends and family, a trip around the shops was a replacement, the heady trip of picking, taking to the counter and getting a new bag with your purchase replaced other more wholesome pursuits. Since embracing the challenge Jonathan commented ‘In Mainland Europe the shops are closed on Sundays, and yet the streets are full of people meeting up with friends and family and enjoy time together, I want to get back to that type of feeling’
They have not included kitchen equipment and furniture in the challenge, as these items are used daily and they are not resolving to live like monks, far from it! Although some of the useful ‘must have’ gadgets and complicated coffee machine that requires a Phd to use it have been re-homed. The 100 items challenge is the personal possessions, DVDs, CDs, Books and clothes. The boxes of endless photographs have been scanned in and digitally stored. The creator of the 100 Thing Challenge works for a university and uses his books frequently and it was a passion, so the books were classed as one, a library. Some people may think this is cheating, however the purpose of the 100 Item Challenge is to set priorities to your consumerism. Jonathan and Rob have focused their attention on spending time with friends and family, so much so in September they are booked up every weekend with activities with friends and family up until Christmas. Rob says ‘It’s made me realise that the best thing to spend money on is experiences and shared experiences at that, a trip to the theatre, a walk in the countryside with friends. Even kicking back in a coffee shop with friends chatting together, I am feeling so much more full-filled’
Jonathan and Rob have set up a website 100itemchallenge.com to chart their progress through this experiment, so far so good, they have written about issues about sorting through a box of items belonging to a Grandparent that passed away, the items had sentimental value to the grandparent, but a year later looking at the china and other knick knacks the question had to be asked ‘Will I use or display any of this in my home?’ the answer was no, and the decision to either keep a boxed sealed in a cupboard all their life or find a new home for it. It’s an emotional journey, but a thought provoking one.
Rob a self confessed ‘gadget boy’ who always loves to have the new technology has taken a look at his boxes of goodies that he bought, played with for a weekend and then boxed up again, never to been seen again. A camcorder bought out and used once and then relegated to the box again. Rob was impressed and had the gut feel ‘must have’ for the new ipad, however he held off, calendared the thought for a month and then went back to it, after a play with it in a shop he decided against it as he’s just replaced his laptop and it did the same job. This is the key principle to the 100 Item Challenge, it allows you to think ‘do I want it?’ or ‘do I need it?’ Conversely if you have not used something for a year and it’s been boxed away not touched or even thought about, it’s time to chuck it out or find a new home for it.
Jonathan and Rob have been ruthless, DVDs and CDs have been sold on, there are websites out there that will buy them off you and even collect from your home. Gadgets have been pared down and sold on. However charity shops are crying out for items to sell on, so with Christmas just around the corner embrace the 100 Item Challenge, donate unwanted items to Charity. They are actively asking Charity shops to display the 100 Item Challenge in their windows to raise awareness and increase donations. Take on the 100 Item Challenge, change your life and make other lives benefit by.