I have succesfully removed three black garbage bags of trash and taken four big boxes to the DI. It is a liberating feeling being able to free yourself from the past.

I came across a box of old childhood memories that I have been hauling around with me for years. I haven't looked in this box for at least 10 years.

I finally opened the box and went through everything inside. There were old school assignments from kindergarten, birthday cards, stories I had written as a child, even news paper clippings from our local newspaper from events I was a part of.

Most of this box was junk. There were piles of birthday cards from when I was born from people I had never heard of. Copies of newsletters from school. School assignments I completed that mean nothing to me now.

I did, however, come across things that did mean a lot to me still. One thing specifically that I loved reading was my mom's maternity journal she wrote in while she was pregnant with me. There were only a few entries but it was fascinating to read how she was feeling and what she was thinking while she was pregnant with me.

Long story short, if I enjoyed looking at the item from the box, I would hold onto it. If not, it went in the trash. I only saved about 25% of that box.

I know making exceptions to my 100 items goal kind of defeats the purpose, but I feel I need to make this exception:

Memories box only counts as one item.

 
 
I recently read a book called, "The Art of Non-Conformity." It was given to me by a close friend who knew I was struggling with the feeling of being stuck. I wanted to branch out and experience something new but felt like I had too much to lose. The idea of having a house full of stuff was bumming me out but for some reason I couldn't do anything about it. As I was reading this book, it mentioned something called radical exclusion.

"Radical exclusion is the process of eliminating things that are unnecessary or even stepping away from almost everything for a set period time."

People are comforted by their stuff. They buy a home and naturally want to fill it with new stuff. The idea of not having stuff makes them uncomfortable. I would even go as far as to say they value this stuff more than life experiences. It's not necessarily intentional, it just happens.

How many memorable things could we have done had we decided not to buy that flat screen TV? A backpacking trip to Europe? Getting certified to solo skydive? Fly to Alaska to see the northern lights?

Because I would like to enjoy more life experiences and less stuff, I am challenging myself to only own 100 things.

I do have a couple exceptions:
My socks and underwear don't count.
My camera equipment doesn't count.

I don't know if I'll make it to 100 items or not but my efforts will definitely eliminate a large amount of my stuff, prevent me from gathering more stuff, and allow me to have more life experiences.

"You'll regret the things you didn't do much more than the things you did do."