Open Your Eyes

How much stuff do you have?  How much stuff do you really need?

Lately I have been really intrigued by the 100 thing challenge, where people commit to whittling down their total posessions (including apparel, books, electronics, vehicles, cooking & eating utensils – virtually everything) down to just 100 things.

After watching The Story of Stuff, I took a quick inventory of my things.  I have at least 100 books alone.  I have a dream one day of having a home with reading room filled with an entire wall of books.  But then I began to think, is it better to continually haul around these books year after year, or should I donate them to someone who doesn’t have access to books?

Today, I’m wearing eleven things on my body and have six things in my purse.  This one day would represent 16% of my total allowance of things on the 100 thing plan.  I live in a pretty small space, where only about 2 people can eat dinner comfortably, but I have glasswear and plates for 20.  Why?  All this stuff thought reminded me of a Mass Consumption exhibit I saw in Boston earlier this year.  The artist name is Chris Jordan – check out his photos and be sure to read the captions.

Chris Jordan – Running the Numbers

At the end of The Story of Stuff, they offer some ideas for breaking the cycle.   They include recycling, detoxifying your home, and not driving as much.  Pretty simple, small things!  I’m going to try to only use what I need, and not stockpile stuff.

What do you think you can do without?



2 responses to “Open Your Eyes

  1. Preston November 10, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I didn’t expect a new posting from Bella, but happy to see one. 100 items only in my life I don’t find reasonable. I just counted the items up for cycling that I have and I feel like I need and I got to twenty. I’m guessing if I counted up all my gear for just hobby’s, my 100 item allotment might leave me with only one pair of skivvies and socks.

  2. Meghan November 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I don’t find it totally practical either, especially living in a colder climate. If you could wear the same clothes year-round, and don’t work in an office where you have to look professional then it might be easy to cut some things out. Most of the people I’ve found that are doing this project are writers or work from home, so they can totally live out of two pairs of pants. The whole idea is to get you thinking about what’s really important!

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