A while back I took on a challenge set by Courtney at Be More with Less. This was called the Reverse 100 Thing Challenge. Rather than adopting some people’s challenge to live with 100 things, (of which there are many exceptions to the 100 things you can have and not count…Huh?) this was a challenge to eliminate 100 things from your home by December 15th. Yep, I’m a little late again in actually sitting down to see how I did.
I wasn’t sure if I could come up with 100 things to eliminate from my home, but it gave me an opportunity to stop and think about the items I still held on to and to do a little decluttering at the same time, I’d love it if someone could tell me where paper comes from. I’m not out shopping, don’t get much mail, but I found lots of paper scraps needing to be dealt with in the purge.
Here’s a list of what I removed from my house during my challenge:
- Paper, paper and more paper.
- Two stainless steel pans with lids. I held on to these while I tried to decide if I would purchase a hot plate to cook on. After a year and a half, I still haven’t decided if I want a hot plate. I gave these to my son and his wife who needed a couple of sauce pans.
- Plastic tray for holding my silverware in the drawer, not sure if I can count this as I replaced this with a bamboo box for storing my silver.
- Four books
- One large framed poster.
- Seven DVD movies I didn’t want
- handful of dried out children’s markers
- several pens which drove me crazy writing with as they would suddenly stop working
- Three completely finished coloring books, into the recycling they went.
- Tea bags I didn’t care for, some flavors weren’t worth trying and storing them hoping one day to use them one day had turned into several years of storage.
- Three cans of paint, used it up rather than tossing it out, but it’s still gone.
- Items belonging to a friend which included 3 small clay pots, and a sander.
- I cleaned out my patterns. I had more than I would ever be able to finish in this lifetime or the next. Those I no longer saw myself working on I passed on. If I had to guess I’d say close to 40 patterns were eliminated.
- Three magazines, not sure why they were still here.
- Two plants I couldn’t save. Having dead plants makes my home feel unloved, so it was time to give up on these two plants and move forward.
- Couple of paper decorations for autumn. See more paper.
- Over-sized lamp. This lamp never really worked, I tried painting it, which helped but it was a large table lamp which took up the entire flat surface next to the couch eliminating a spot for guests to set down a drink.
- TV remote. I had given the TV to a friend, but somehow overlooked the remote, it was in my desk drawer. Shows you how much I used the TV if the remote was buried in a drawer.
- Old Cell Phone. This was my last cell phone which my son asked me to give back to him, we kept forgetting to exchange it, but with the challenge I made it my mission.
- A family heirloom which I will be gifting to my eldest son and his wife for Christmas. No, I’m not burdening them with something unwanted, they want it very much!
- Finally a plastic cup that was left here by my grand child on a visit. No plastic dishes/cups are wanted here.
Did I hit 100 things? Probably not, but I am happy with the uncluttered spaces I found as a result of the challenge. I have more room in the cabinet under the counter, and my desk drawer is much neater as a result. Thank you Courtney.
Time to consider another challenge.
Did you notice my first ever button on the side bar? It took me a while to figure out how to get the button there (yep I’m really that bad) but I can’t figure out how to get a link to work when you hover over the button. Anyone able to help there?
I have decided to challenge myself to have a no-spend month for the month of January. I have plenty of no spend days and even have a few weeks of no spending throughout the year as shopping isn’t really my thing, so the idea of a month of no spending is the next logical step. Thanks to Happy Simple Living for the inspiration.
I did end up going over my budget for Christmas this year. Not by much, and all of my shopping was done with cash not credit cards (I can’t imagine the stress people find themselves with when the credit card bills arrive from Christmas shopping). But it’s the principle of it for me, why set a budget if I’m not going to stick with it.
Then there is the other side of the issue, if I spend more on someone one year are they expecting the same next year. I don’t think it’s fair of me to not be consistent. Have you ever noticed that people try to spend the same amount of money for gifts for you based on what you spend on them?
What better way to start the new year than to stop spending for a month.
This means I will not shop or purchase any thing except absolute necessities. My one downfall is while shopping for groceries, that’s when I find myself purchasing that candy bar at the checkout, or an occasional newspaper rather than reading the story that caught my eye online instead.
Why take on this particular challenge? Well for one it will remind me to think twice about those little things that add up so quickly. I want to see what kind of a difference those little things have on my savings. But more than anything I want to see what kind of pull marketing ploys still have on me. I don’t see many ads, commercials or things like that, but the displays in the stores are just as bad, maybe worse.
I’ll post from time to time in what ways I was tempted to buy something that wasn’t a necessity, and by the end of the month will share with you what kind of savings I had for the month and whether I would do it again.