Thursday, November 20, 2008

The 100 THINGS Challenge

Photo credit: Mokihana Calizar

We live in a kitchenette, and are building VARDOFORTWO on a 12 foot trailer. There are two of us, and yes we'll both be living in a space that is less than 80 square feet. How will we do it? Good question. Today begins the newest cycle of productivity and forward movement. The three day `ole cycle is over ... and the longest night (the Winter Solstice, Dec 21st) is a month away. It may be a wierd time to consider writing this post, and then again it's probably the best of times to keep my attention on loving the minimalist life we do have. Living with multiple chemical sensitivities makes shopping and purchasing anything an exercise in discernment to say the least. Buying things that won't make me sick is part of the every day. Learning what things are important is the golden ring, the take-away, the blessing.

Pete and I have moved fourteen times in fourteen years. If you've read our twin blog samandsally, you know the fictional flight of the two dears in that story. With very few modifications, Sam and Sal are Us. Each time we moved, stuff was left behind. Each time we moved the emotions involved were multiple/complex/stressful. In zen fashion each move set the stage for answering the question: 'HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?' Recalling the moves I smile as think of the pieces of furniture that now live with my brother and sister-in-law in Waimanalo; I wonder who is playing my old conga drum in Hilo; does that little boy in Manoa Valley sit on our favorite tiny chair?; does the bamboo and crane screen give Collette joy? I stop myself here and look around the kitchenette ... a few of our favorite things still travel with us and that is the purpose for today's post, the 100 THINGS CHALLENGE.

What are the 100 things I need to live in VARDOFORTWO? If you're up for the challenge, and would like to have some 'minimalist fun' here's a place to start:

1. Take INVENTORY. With a note pad and a pencil and walk through your stuff. If you have lots of stuff, you might want to start one room at a time.

2. MUST HAVES. List all the things you feel you must have. At this point numbering them is up to you. If it scares you, yikes!! to see that the numbers pass '100' don't worry this is your list and no one's watching.

3. GIVE AWAYS. List the things you know you don't need or don't want any more. Clear a place for these things. WHAT A PERFECT TIME TO sort through things that might be great recycled presents.

4. BORDERLINE STUFF. This is the list of 'I can't decides.'

Here's the beginning of my LIST OF 100 THINGS:

(I see this list is a winter list)

1. Austin Air Filter

2. Heater

3. socks

4. socks

5. socks

6. long underwear

7. long underwear

8. long underwear

9. tee shirt

10. tee shirt

11. winter coat

12. warm pants

13. warm pants

14. turtle neck

15. turtle neck

16. turtle neck

17. nebulizer

18. glutithione

19. eye drops

20. sweater

21. sweater

22. warm hat

23. warm hat

24. tea pot

25. favorite mug

26. sweat shirt

27. crockpot

28. toaster oven

29. stove top burner

30. futon altar (my bed)

31. sheet set

32. sheet set

33. silk comforter

34. soup bowl

35. soup bowl

36. soup bowl

37. soup bowl

38. silverware for 4 (it's my list right?)

39. chopping knife

40. chopping board

41. glasses for 4

42. Vitamix

43. waffle iron

44. toothbrush

45. Tropical Traditions Organic Soap

46. baking soda

47. I Can Breathe Masks

48. laptop

49. cotton throw rugs

50. portable c.d. player

51. rechargeable batteries

52. battery charger

53. digital camera

54. hair brush

55. reading lamp

56. reverse osmosis water system

57. bath towels

58. cellphone

59. warm gloves

60. moon calendar

61. meditation tapes

62. prescription sunglasses

63. flashlight

64. comfy robe

65. cloth napkins

66. pillow

Pause ... this is my start. I'm giving myself the month to do this. That'll take me right up to the Winter Solstice on December 21st. If you'd like to join in, let me know how it goes, and we'll see where this takes us.

Here are two links to The 100 THINGS CHALLENGE for inspiration or just for fun:


Anonymous said...

I find the 100 things concept fascinating. I have lived smaller than I do now but I find it tends to "outsource" more items/services. While we don't all need a washer, drier, car, and one of every other thing we have many things are essential to a homesteading life. Some of these things can be shared, but no all.

We need a barn and tools and good kitchen with food storage and a garden. Otherwise I'm just looking to other people to provide my food and other needs. So it's a conundrum to live life lightly and trust that others will provide or to go the self sufficiency route...


VardoForTwo said...

Anonymous "EJ" it's great to hear from you, and love knowing that your essential homesteading life inclues "barn, tools, kitchen and garden."

What is essential differs for all of us, and "some of these thing can be shared" is just where we wish to be. This exercise puts my hands on everything I 'own': that includes things, life skills and being able to live the give-and-take of relating. Trust is the key! Thanks, Mokihana