Reverse 100 Thing Challenge: 368 Things Decluttered

The Reverse 100 Thing Challenge is well on its way to 400!

The 100 Thing Challenge is about simplifying your possessions and getting down to just 100 – perfect for full-time travelers and digital nomads. On the other hand, the Reverse 100 Things Challenge is better suited for those of us with full closets and full junk drawers – the challenge is to get rid of 100 things.

I started this Challenge as a New Year’s Resolution and surprisingly breezed by the 200 mark in September. Now I’m up to 368 things I’ve donated, thrown away or simplified.

I thought I hit a plateau in September, but then I started thinking about the six boxes sitting in my closet. Those boxes are filled with photo albums, postcards, letters, yearbooks, childhood keepsakes and all kinds of odds and ends. No, I didn’t get rid of those mementos. I did, however, pull out:

  • Camo pants (2) and jacket
  • Baskets
  • Old sweatshirts, t-shirts
  • Graduation mortarboards (why did I have two?)
  • Jewelry box
  • Pot and lid
  • Gavels (2!)
  • Kentucky Derby memorabilia
  • Wool scarf (too scratchy, never liked it)
  • Baseball cap
  • Sign (It says “Zutritt Verboten!” meaning “Entrance Forbidden!”)
  • Books
  • Halloween decor
  • Christmas decor
  • Plastic container
  • Postcards
  • Compasses (2, which aren’t doing me any good stowed away in a box)

Those things will find new homes soon and I suddenly have two empty boxes and more closet space!

Doing a Reverse 100 Thing Challenge makes me wonder how in the world I could possibly get down to just 100 possessions. I’d really have to be living out of a backpack, although some people doing the Challenge don’t count their furniture, books or diaries, for example.

But now I’d really like to get up to a cool 400 before the end of the year and I wonder if I have 32 other things I’m not using in my home. My desk and the kitchen could be simplified more, maybe a few more things in my wardrobe. I can hardly believe, though, that I had 368 things sitting around being unused or unvalued.

It feels great to simplify. To look at each item in my home and to know that I’ve chosen to keep it and am willing to value it, while thinning out those things that don’t provide usefulness or value is like a breath of fresh air.


Photo credit: Daniel X. O’Neil

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