Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here. Now that things actually feel like they’re in the works, I decided to get active again. Not that anyone is reading this other than myself.
Last year, I read about a blog started by a guy named Dave and his efforts to reduce his possessions to just 100 physical things.  He actually lists each item, including each shirt and pair of pants.  A suit actually counts as two things which I found pretty strict.  Like most, I started mentally counting my stuff, and quickly realized that I could get past 100 things in a single room.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that like most things in life, it’s about the journey and not the destination.  This challenge is about a personal battle against materialism and consumerism.  It’s a response to the need to own more stuff in order to make us feel happier.  Tyler Durden from Fight Club conveys this idea best… “The things you own end up owning you”.

I saw a significant parallel to this concept and traveling.  Most people have too much stuff that weighs them down like an anchor to their current frame of reference.  I realized that reducing my stuff was a key component to achieving my dreams of long-term travel.  Not to mention, it’s very practical as it will save you a lot of money in storage costs.  Over the last several months, I’ve been conducting my own 100 Thing Challenge and reducing my possessions.  I had a massive yard sale, donated eight carloads of stuff to VOA, and sold several things through Craigslist.  I haven’t counted, yet, but I’m guessing I’m down to probably a couple hundred things at this point.  This is counting my furniture, decorative art, and area rugs (which Dave didn’t count).  I even reduced my books from around 300 to 30, donated several bags of clothes, and sold some stuff I never thought I would.  Some stuff is hard to see go, but within a week, you forget about it and later realize you never needed it and feel better.  Logic is key to the 100 Thing Challenge, not emotion.

As I look around my house, it feels very sparse now, but incredibly freeing.  I have this greater sense of control of my life.  There’s nothing I own that’s so important I need to stick around in one place and watch over for the rest of my life.  I want to collect experiences, not things.

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