Initial thoughts on the 100 Thing Challenge

Dogs are anti-depressants.

In my attempts not to accumulate too much stuff, I do my best to resist purchasing too many needless knicknacks. But as an American, sometimes I just can’t resist. In addition to useless but pretty things, I am, according to Zach, prone to bringing home gadgets and supposedly purposeful items that I will be lucky to use once.

Examples that Zach might cite: a cold brew toddy coffee system, a dry-cleaning system for the dryer, bandanas for the dogs, a pair of ill-fitting (but adorable!) Puppia harnesses for Scooby, a silicone contraption that is supposed to make it easier to remove canning jars from the hot water bath, an ornate pie plate, a holographic metal etching of Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach. The list could go on.

Admittedly, I’m not quite ready to go on the 100 Thing Challenge. But I do like the tenets of the philosophy I recently learned of that is espoused by author/blogger Dave Bruno. His motto: reduce (get rid of some stuff), refuse (to get more stuff), rejigger (your priorities). That all sounds a little wayward in a way that I like.

I think I am on the right track, too. I already do a lot of my shopping secondhand — and as clothing goes, it’s mostly swapping with friends. Even most of the items in the ill-fated list above came from rummage sales. So did the piece of refrigerator magnet wisdom up there, which happens to be a piece of original art created by a volunteer at the Kansas City, Missouri, animal shelter. And the money I paid for it benefitted Friends of KC Animals, the organization that has helped us with our foster dog Machete. Plus, that handmade magnet was a gift for my Corgi-owning mother.

So, that must mean it counts toward her 100 things, right? Or maybe it’s a charitable exception.

How do you resist impulsively buying things you don’t really need? Can you imagine living your life with just 100 possessions?

About Crystal K. Wiebe

I live with two formerly wayward dogs, and helping other dogs find new homes is my passion. I recently founded the company Beer Paws to help celebrate the relationship between people and pets.

Posted on October 19, 2011, in Awesome, Projects, Random Life, Wayward Living and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. It is hard to resist those impulse buys. I’ve adopted a new strategy which is simply to leave the store and promise myself “I can come back and buy it tomorrow”. You would be surprised how many times you will come home, sleep on it and then realise you don’t need it/it’s took expensive/you’ve lost interest (or sometimes you’ll forget about it completely!). It totally works!

    I think the problem occurs the moment you first see the item in the store and pick it up (aka the “danger zone”). It’s like our hunter/gatherer brains are hard-wired to seek out appealing objects and our instinctive response is “ooh, I must grab that”. (Probably made sense back in our caveman days when resources were scarce and it was all about survival, but our brains haven’t evolved yet to handle the fact that in the modern world we don’t need to collect every thing in sight that appeals to us!). If you can successfully remove yourself from that initial situation your chances of success are probably 95%.

  2. I like your take on things. I practiced your strategy over the weekend and managed to NOT come home with a sparkly, pretty but ultimately unneeded collar for one of my dogs!

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