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Thread: The Less is More Challenge

  1. #1

    The Less is More Challenge

    My family and I moved last week. We downsized from 3,600 to 1,100 square feet. We've done this by choice, not because of any outside circumstance. We think we will be happier in the long run with less space and less stuff.

    During this process we've had to part with about two-thirds of our possessions. It sounds awful, but really, it has been awesome. I estimate that we've parted with at least 8,000 lbs of yard sale worthy possessions. And we're not hoarders. We're just average folks that have been slowly filling a big-ish house.

    Why do you care? Because I have a challenge for you; a challenge that might free up some space in your house, and perhaps change how you look at your belongings.

    I challenge you to get rid of one thing today, two things tomorrow, three things the next day, and so on. Donate, toss, sell, burn... whatever gets rid of the items is fine. I challenge you to post the stuff you get rid of for the entertainment of everyone. The items must be things that you don't consider to be disposable.


    I'll go first.

    DAY 1: A philodendron in a ceramic pot. It's a plant that I've owned for 10 years.
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  4. #2
    That's going to be a hard challenge for me to contemplate, because I am a hoarder, but only of ridiculous stuff that I'll never use. But someone else might.

    Rob

    p.s. Where's your philodendron? I could do with one of those or I know someone who might. I could collect it from your compost heap tomorrow, and does it come with the ceramic pot?

  5. #3
    Day 1: A set of 4 3-jaw pullers I've had for years. Used one of the pullers once and it broke, and have never used any of the others. Won't miss them a bit.

    We actually got rid of a whole bag of stuff today, but I really have no excuse for keeping those garbage pullers around as long as I did.

    I have a really nice, hardly used Deuter Kid Comfort II I'm going to list for sell tomorrow. Forgot I even had it so I won't miss it either.

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  7. #4
    Today I threw out a red Colman cooler that I have always hated. The lid never stayed on. I'm so happy I never have to use it again.

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  9. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Slot Machine View Post
    I challenge you to get rid of one thing today, two things tomorrow, three things the next day, and so on.

    That's just crazy talk....

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  11. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob L View Post
    That's going to be a hard challenge for me to contemplate, because I am a hoarder, but only of ridiculous stuff that I'll never use. But someone else might.

    Rob
    We need a real hoarder to post on this thread. I feel like I'm hosting an AA meeting without an honest-to-goodness alcoholic. @Rob L, will you be our alcoholic, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    That's just crazy talk....
    I do hope that you play along @Iceaxe. I imagine your yard sale items to be more interesting than most.

    (I'm not suggesting you get rid of any medieval weapons or Bud Light memorabilia. Regret is such a horrible feeling... )

    ____

    Day 2: Two baseball caps that I've never worn. Donated. (My Climb-Utah cap is my daily driver, I'm keeping that one)
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  12. #7
    I like the concept, my first challenge would be commitment to the challenge. I'd have to write something down for each day to try and get rid of, and I hate making journals or calendars. That would be my first challenge, but this is a great idea.

    I've got a bamboo ceramic plant container with a dead bamboo plant just sitting out in my garage, I bought it when that kind of thing was a cool office decor like 15 years ago ha ha. I'll trash that and get back with ya.

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  14. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sombeech View Post
    I like the concept, my first challenge would be commitment to the challenge. I'd have to write something down for each day to try and get rid of, and I hate making journals or calendars. That would be my first challenge, but this is a great idea.
    The commitment is tough. But once you get started, it is tough to stop. The sense of relief is greater than we imagined. I also hate journals and calendars. Perhaps think of this as a "group support activity".

    I first heard of this challenge a few weeks ago. It said to go an entire month. 1+2+3....+30+31= 496 items if you complete the month of January. But we had so much stuff that following the schedule was silly. We just pitched/donated/sold 2,000 things as fast as we could.

    My wife Steph, is @Simple. Together we'll try to part with 992 more items by the end of this month.

    Tony @Absolute Gravity, is buried in stuff, so he seems happy to join. Shoot, he might make it to the end of February! (1,770 items)
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  15. #9
    I am about as far away from being a hoarder as you can get, but getting rid of stuff for the sake of getting rid of stuff seems foolish to me. If you don't need something, and you never will then, sure, get rid of it. An exponential curve of going out of your way to waste something every day seems counter productive to me. Everyone is different, and this may speak to you on some level for you what you have going on in your life right now and I get that.

    Personally, I don't believe that happiness comes from focusing on material objects. In my opinion, the focus here is still on material objects and although each of our lives may benefit from some additional decluttering, I think we'd better off remembering the old adage of "waste not, want not".

    My belief is that most of us would do better to spend more effort away from our phones and more effort to spend time with our loved ones. So I am going to adapt your challenge from disposing of things, to disposing of wasted minutes. My commitment is to follow the same scale this month toward spending time with my kids, instead of throwing things away.


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    "My heart shall cry out for Moab..." Isaiah 15:5

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  17. #10
    Great post DiscGo.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscGo View Post
    I am about as far away from being a hoarder as you can get, but getting rid of stuff for the sake of getting rid of stuff seems foolish to me.
    It's not foolish until my wife and I start throwing away things that we actually need. I'm pretty sure (based on the past three weeks) that we can get rid of stuff for one more month. It would blow your mind how much stuff we fit into our house, and it was only 50% full.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscGo View Post
    If you don't need something, and you never will then, sure, get rid of it. An exponential curve of going out of your way to waste something every day seems counter productive to me.
    I disagree. It seems like a great way to get people started throwing junk away. It is gut wrenching at first. I think the acclimation process is necessary for a lot of folks.

    And it is only counter-productive when they start throwing things away that they actually need.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscGo View Post
    In my opinion, the focus here is still on material objects and although each of our lives may benefit from some additional decluttering, I think we'd better off remembering the old adage of "waste not, want not".
    I think "waste not, want not" is an outdated notion. In the pre-depression area, wasting stuff could mean the difference between life and death. Today you can get anything you need, most things for next to free, in minutes. Wasting time wasting not is rarely worth it in 2015. Many times the space in people's homes (or storage units) is literally worth more than the items themselves.

    For me, there is an emotional weight to owning a LOT of things. It is a stress that I'm very happy to get away from. Being free from that stuff gives me options and leverage. Once we sell our house, I'll NEVER own another one (another angry rant for another day).

    For other people, having lots of stuff is very comforting. To each his own.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscGo View Post
    My belief is that most of us would do better to spend more effort away from our phones and more effort to spend time with our loved ones. So I am going to adapt your challenge from disposing of things, to disposing of wasted minutes. My commitment is to follow the same scale this month toward spending time with my kids, instead of throwing things away.
    ^awesome^
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  18. #11

  19. #12
    This thread reminds me of the guy that found Jesus and now he can't figure out why everyone else isn't hopping on the bandwagon.... or the alcoholic that went to his first AA meeting and now thinks everyone should stop drinking......


    HHHhhhhmmmmmm..... now I'm suddenly thirsty for a beer.....


  20. #13
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    This thread reminds me of the guy that found Jesus and now he can't figure out why everyone else isn't hopping on the bandwagon.... or the alcoholic that went to his first AA meeting and now thinks everyone should stop drinking......


    HHHhhhhmmmmmm..... now I'm suddenly thirsty for a beer.....

    You're right - people should find Jesus and should stop drinking ;) ;)
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  21. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    This thread reminds me of the guy that found Jesus and now he can't figure out why everyone else isn't hopping on the bandwagon.... or the alcoholic that went to his first AA meeting and now thinks everyone should stop drinking......
    Bah, says I. You are totally going to read about the junk I throw away every day. You wouldn't listen to the other folks for two seconds.
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  22. #15
    The idea is based on creating time. I am sick of cleaning out a garage when I could be playing with my kids. I am sick of cleaning four bathrooms instead of teaching my son his ABC's. The challenge is a call to simplification. Free yourself from stuff that you don't need or use so you can spend time doing what you love; playing with your kids, hiking, canyoneering, camping, or just having a glass of wine and a movie with your special someone. Does our small family need 3600 square feet? No. It is an endless parade of time lost fixing, upgrading, maintaining, and cleaning. We only have so much time, how will we spend it? I prefer to spend my time with the ones I love, so if that means throwing out the stuff in the way, sign me up! When I'm dying, I'm not going to wish I hadn't thrown out that red cooler.

    Day 2: I donated a hoodie and threw away an old harmonica.

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  24. #16
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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  25. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    This thread reminds me of the guy that found Jesus and now he can't figure out why everyone else isn't hopping on the bandwagon.... or the alcoholic that went to his first AA meeting and now thinks everyone should stop drinking......

    Sometimes I agree with iceaxe...


    ...now is one of those times.

    So did Christmas this year include a trip to the landfill?

  26. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Simple View Post
    The idea is based on creating time.
    Now I see the flaw in this strategy so far as I'm concerned.... when I want more time I just buy it by hiring someone to clean my house, mow my lawn, do my yard work or fix the shit that is broken.

    If I really wanted more time and a simple life the first things to go would be my wife and kids... but that kind of defeats the purpose so I think I'll keep them.

  27. #19
    Disclaimer to those with severe cases of cognitive dissonance:

    We aren't saying you NEED Jesus, AA, or The Less is More Challenge. We are simply sharing an idea that might prove beneficial to some, and doing it in a fun way.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockgremlin View Post
    So did Christmas this year include a trip to the landfill?
    Landfill trips are for people that don't know about church dumpsters.

    Over the past 5 weeks we have filled 10 of the large curbside trash cans. I estimate that they weigh 300 pounds a can on average. We've sold or given away anything that is big enough for a landfill run. The 'FREE' section on KSL is an awesome way to get rid of stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    Now I see the flaw in this strategy so far as I'm concerned.... when I want more time I just buy it by hiring someone to clean my house, mow my lawn, do my yard work or fix the shit that is broken.
    If you make a lot of money (per hour) this is a pretty good argument. But you still must go to work to earn the money to buy the time you speak of.

    I've hired lawn guys and yard guys and handymen. Often times they are more of a pain in the ass than they are worth. I'd need a personal assistant to manage those guys if I was completely "hands off".

    The guys that are REALLY expensive are roofers, brickmasons, tile guys, contractors and plumbers. Ever replaced a roof? Or chimney? Kitchen or bathroom? I have, and the time and money that goes into those events are significant for most folk. We've wasted THOUSANDS of hours on those things.

    Not worth it to us. YMMV.
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  28. #20
    did tis when we moved from a 2500 sq ft house to a 1600 sq ft house with no lawn, its nice to have less stuff.. Extra tools got donated to a local tool lending library.

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