100 Things Challenge

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
Has anyone done the 100 things challenge
Essentially you live with no more then 100 personal items.

I would like to know your experiences

Are there any set rules? I couldn't find any.

I started taking inventory of my things to see where I stand in all this. I will be moving soon may as well get started on reducing my possessions.
 
Last edited:

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,595
3,574
Atlanta, GA
The blog won't load for me. I just get the header, and that's it. No text.

So I don't know what the 100 things account for. Does each plate count? Each fork? Each USB cable? When you start getting down to it, 100 things is not much. If I was single and straight out of college, then possibly. At 39, 9-years married, with a toddler…no chance.
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
The blog won't load for me. I just get the header, and that's it. No text.

So I don't know what the 100 things account for. Does each plate count? Each fork? Each USB cable? When you start getting down to it, 100 things is not much. If I was single and straight out of college, then possibly. At 39, 9-years married, with a toddler…no chance.
I fixed the link
http://www.100thingchallenge.com

Thats exactly what I was wondering if I count just the items in my kitchen I am above that for sure (I am single and in college)

This is why I wanted advice do people really count each USB cable and what not?
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,784
5,167
vertical
Thats exactly what I was wondering if I count just the items in my kitchen I am above that for sure (I am single and in college)

This is why I wanted advice do people really count each USB cable and what not?
I linked to the book on Amazon. You can read reviews and see what they say. You can also get a preview of some parts of the book.

Example review (1 star):
I picked up this book because I thought the premise was interesting: a man gives up everything except 100 items, and tries to make it through the year. Well, if that is what you are expecting from the book, then you will also be disappointed. When determining what he will keep for the year, he decides that anything that is part of the "family" is fair game (which literally includes just about everything in the house-- pots, pans, sheets, all of it!!), as well as anything he directly shares with his wife, etc. Oh, and all of his socks **combined** count as one item. All of his t-shirts **combined** count as one item. You following me here? He basically has decided to give up HARDLY ANYTHING!!!! What a joke. ...
or this one (2 stars):
This should never have been a book--just a pamphlet or blog post with updates, as I guess it began. For someone who rails against consumerism, he bought and discarded several things, or bought inferior items to replace what he regretted getting rid of. Get from your library and skim this one. Don't be a consumer and waste your money on it. I am not usually so harsh, but this was a waste of paper and reader time. 2 stars only because there was a good message under all of the filler.

The book was published in 2010, and my local public library has it. Yours might, too.
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
Based on the quoted reviews, it looks like the person who proposed the 100 challenge, hasn't done the 100 item challenge.
True I find the concept a great idea.

But the other of this book is a complete idiot. You can certainly live with less but just 100 items is not much.

I am sure we could start a list of bare essential things and surpass 100 in no time.
 
Last edited:

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,154
3,453
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
According to his rules, I not only managed to do the 100 Things Challenge, I obliterated the challenge. I can get by with only 10 Things: 1) House (and everything in it) 2) everything shared with Wife (including cars, laptops and phones), 3) shirts (all of them), 4) Pants (all of them), 5) socks (all of them), 6) Underwear (all of them), 7) glasses, 8) my camera (including all the lenses count as one, right?:rolleyes:), 9) Shoes (my single pair that I wear with everything :p), 10) My very 007 pair of USB cufflinks.
 

And

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2009
389
1
92 ft above sea level, UK
Herein lies the problem, what is an 'item'. Even the keyboards we are using probably comprise of several hundred separate components. Even if you argue the keyboard is one item, I have to add 3 batteries to my wireless one to get it going, are they separate items? Where do you draw the line; arguments based on 'common sense' don't wash with me, I'd like to hear a definition. Any takers?
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
Herein lies the problem, what is an 'item'. Even the keyboards we are using probably comprise of several hundred separate components. Even if you argue the keyboard is one item, I have to add 3 batteries to my wireless one to get it going, are they separate items? Where do you draw the line; arguments based on 'common sense' don't wash with me, I'd like to hear a definition. Any takers?
This sums up the questions I have.

In my case I counted the whole keyboard as one item. Then counted the batteries I have around not in use but ignored to count the batteries in items like my keyboard and trackpad.
 

And

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2009
389
1
92 ft above sea level, UK
This sums up the questions I have.

In my case I counted the whole keyboard as one item. Then counted the batteries I have around not in use but ignored to count the batteries in items like my keyboard and trackpad.

That doesn't work as an argument. A previous poster just said 'the items are in my house, so it is just one thing'. I think the 100 item challenge is doomed :)
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
That doesn't work as an argument. A previous poster just said 'the items are in my house, so it is just one thing'. I think the 100 item challenge is doomed :)
It just needs a universal definition of what an item is. By using the definition below. The challenge holds no ground.


noun
an individual article or unit, esp. one that is part of a list, collection, or set: the items on the agenda | an item of clothing.
• a piece of news or information.
• an entry in an account.
 

And

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2009
389
1
92 ft above sea level, UK
It just needs a universal definition of what an item is. By using the definition below. The challenge holds no ground.


noun
an individual article or unit, esp. one that is part of a list, collection, or set: the items on the agenda | an item of clothing.
• a piece of news or information.
• an entry in an account.
That doesn't help. A keyboard could be an individual article, but of course each individual key is too. I think maybe the second part to do with a list is in fact the answer, the challenge would have to simply define what they consider to be an item for the purposes of the challenge. It would need to be fairly exhaustive so as to account for the range of items that people encounter in their day to day life. Maybe there's a list in the book!?
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
This is a great read. According to the article the author has counted absolutely everything in his place and arrives to a total of 288 things. He doesn't however provide a full list for discretion purposes. Here's a picture of his place. Probably doesn't give the whole picture I assume he has a pantry a bathroom and maybe a kitchen table.

Here are other pictures of the apartment.



Ultimately I just want to reduce the number of things I have to move when I move out.

It would be great if I could move out with only a suitcase with all my cloths. A backpack.

My computer (iMac) in its box and my speakers.

Right now this is in no way feasible for me but as long as I reduce.
 
Last edited:

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,784
5,167
vertical
Herein lies the problem, what is an 'item'. Even the keyboards we are using probably comprise of several hundred separate components. Even if you argue the keyboard is one item, I have to add 3 batteries to my wireless one to get it going, are they separate items? Where do you draw the line; arguments based on 'common sense' don't wash with me, I'd like to hear a definition. Any takers?
I suggest reading a different book first, then coming back to "The 100 Item Challenge".

Maybe there's a list in the book!?
You could read it, then post an answer.
 

And

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2009
389
1
92 ft above sea level, UK
I read this, this year (the book, not the link):

http://business.time.com/2013/06/22...r-two-years-to-save-money-during-grad-school/

The emphasis is on getting debt free rather than living minimally, although as you might imagine there is some correlation between the two lifestyles. It might be worth a read. On kindle, of course :D

I lived from a suitcase for 18 months (and my Powerbook 1400cs, which I still have and still works btw!). Fortunately there was a shared kitchen with lots of abandoned plates, cutlery, etc. which helped and the place I stayed in had a common room with a tv. But just living means you end up picking things up, cds, more clothes, books, etc. You also have to buy things which you intend to abandon (a cheap pan or two). I ended up acquiring a freebie IIci and struggled to get back with everything. I recall having to make difficult decisions about what to abandon.
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
I read this, this year (the book, not the link):

http://business.time.com/2013/06/22...r-two-years-to-save-money-during-grad-school/

The emphasis is on getting debt free rather than living minimally, although as you might imagine there is some correlation between the two lifestyles. It might be worth a read. On kindle, of course :D

I lived from a suitcase for 18 months (and my Powerbook 1400cs, which I still have and still works btw!). Fortunately there was a shared kitchen with lots of abandoned plates, cutlery, etc. which helped and the place I stayed in had a common room with a tv. But just living means you end up picking things up, cds, more clothes, books, etc. You also have to buy things which you intend to abandon (a cheap pan or two). I ended up acquiring a freebie IIci and struggled to get back with everything. I recall having to make difficult decisions about what to abandon.
Great article. I just cleared my debts a few months ago. It's a great feeling. My understanding is that consumable items like food and soap aren't included. Frankly everything is consumable. Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

And

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2009
389
1
92 ft above sea level, UK
Great article. I just cleared my debts a few months ago. It's a great feeling. My understanding is that consumable items like food and soap aren't included. Frankly everything is consumable. Thoughts?
I'm not sure there was a distinction made about food and soap not being included. The guys aim was to be debt free, and so he just had a small chunk of cash to spend and rigorously stuck to it. He had to buy everything he needed from it. If memory serves I think he bulk-bought a lot of food at the start of a semester, and supplemented with fresh during the semester. IIRC, I think he got sick from eating mouse poo, after one got into his supplies :eek:

I am relatively debt-free too, just the mortgage to go. I have had to be fairly strict with myself too, but it has been worth it. The other important thing has been to save for things in advance, like house insurance, car insurance, buying a new computer, new car, etc. Once you work out the things you will need to buy over the next 4-5 years and stagger the cost over each month, it is eye-opening to realise how much less 'spare' cash you have. Cut your cloth accordingly and it makes a bit difference. I realise however we are straying away from the initial direction of conversation, minimal living, but I think there are correlations between the two lifestyles. Minimalism is the aim of one approach and a direct consequence of the other.
 

Don't panic

macrumors 603
Jan 30, 2004
5,541
696
having a drink at Milliways
Great article. I just cleared my debts a few months ago. It's a great feeling. My understanding is that consumable items like food and soap aren't included. Frankly everything is consumable. Thoughts?
interesting concept, but i reads some of the links from the links above and a lot of these 'minimalists" that own less then than 100 'items' do not count the majority of the items they use, because they don't 'own them exclusively'. e.g. the house is rented with furniture, thus nothing of that count. the cutlery is shared, doesn't count, etc. so it seems an exercise in semantics more than in minimalism.
Can my kids claim to live on less than $1 a day, since me and my wife buy anything they need?
as far as the original 100 things list. i would like to see the actual list, but couldn't find it on the blog, and I am certainly not interested in buying the book (assuming it's even there).

as far as what should be considered an "item", i think it should be a functional definition. anything needed to carry out a specific function.
for example a keyboard is a single item, and should include whatever powers it, IMO. a house is an item, but what it contains are separate items. a couch is an item, including its cushions. a fork is an item, but a set of forks is multiple items. each plate or glass is a separate item

disposables are more tricky, but i think they should be counted as one item per "class"
for example pasta, salad, fruit, bread, meat, toilet paper are six items, but if you have bananas, apples and oranges, those are 3 separate items (no matter how many of each you have at any given time). "Salt" is an item. tap water is not, but bottled water would be
and if you always eat at restaurant it is kind of cheating, IMO, as the whole idea is to live a simpler and less consumeristic life.

i seriously doubt anyone with a 'normal' life can use less then 100 items, when you count everything.
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
interesting concept, but i reads some of the links from the links above and a lot of these 'minimalists" that own less then than 100 'items' do not count the majority of the items they use, because they don't 'own them exclusively'. e.g. the house is rented with furniture, thus nothing of that count. the cutlery is shared, doesn't count, etc. so it seems an exercise in semantics more than in minimalism.
Can my kids claim to live on less than $1 a day, since me and my wife buy anything they need?
as far as the original 100 things list. i would like to see the actual list, but couldn't find it on the blog, and I am certainly not interested in buying the book (assuming it's even there).

as far as what should be considered an "item", i think it should be a functional definition. anything needed to carry out a specific function.
for example a keyboard is a single item, and should include whatever powers it, IMO. a house is an item, but what it contains are separate items. a couch is an item, including its cushions. a fork is an item, but a set of forks is multiple items. each plate or glass is a separate item

disposables are more tricky, but i think they should be counted as one item per "class"
for example pasta, salad, fruit, bread, meat, toilet paper are six items, but if you have bananas, apples and oranges, those are 3 separate items (no matter how many of each you have at any given time). "Salt" is an item. tap water is not, but bottled water would be
and if you always eat at restaurant it is kind of cheating, IMO, as the whole idea is to live a simpler and less consumeristic life.

i seriously doubt anyone with a 'normal' life can use less then 100 items, when you count everything.
I agree. This is more an exercice in reducing possessions I dont use often.

Here's a good read on the just in case items. I know I can tone done the number of charging cables I have to one of each type but as it stands I have about ten 30 pin usb cables alone.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.