Being a college student means hanging in limbo. You are between school and the “real world,” between young adult and adult, between home and dorm. It is this last one that annoys me most. Just in case my life isn’t unsettled enough, let’s just leave my crap EVERYWHERE.
This past winter, I went home to, once again, live in my unfinished room (after my family moved, we didn’t quite get around to setting up my room…”You’re never here anyway; we need somewhere to put the boxes,” said my parents). The clear solution to me not having somewhere to put my things that I couldn’t take with me to New York was obviously to throw away a lot of said things. So, on a weekend when I had little else to do, I set myself up in my room with my alternative rock, two large garbage bags and my trusty helper, my mom. Our mission was clear, our resources ready, our determination strong. There was only one problem.
I have a lot of stuff.
Random stuff. Stuff that I didn’t know I had kept. Stuff that I wouldn’t think about if I hadn’t kept. Stuff that NO ONE needs. Stuff like DVD covers and Uno cards and .5 lead and notes that people wrote to me in high school and post-it notes with unrecognizable phone numbers on them and plastic water bottles and old jewelry boxes and flash cards with spanish words on them and tons and tons of Time Magazines and chess pieces and old spiral notebooks and old phone chargers and old photos of everything and…you get the idea. Mementos.
Things that you don’t need (that no one needs, really), but things that are a little bit difficult to throw away. My mementos were mainly from my high school years; even in high school, I probably didn’t use them every day but I never had a need to throw them away because I had the luxury of my room to keep them in. Who really thinks twice about Spanish flash cards anyway?
I thought it would be difficult to find a place to put all these things. But it wasn’t. I put them in the garbage. I threw those things away so fast it was like I was shoveling snow; in fact, my mom had to stop me from throwing away awards that I had won and my high school diploma, basically anything that was laminated. Everytime I threw something away, I felt like my soul exhaled a little. Now I know how Dave Bruno feels.
Dave Bruno, the creator of The 100 Thing Challenge, has a simple goal. Unlike my mission of cleaning out my closet, his aim is to clean out his entire home until he is left with 100 things that he deems essentials. This is including everything: clothes, kitchenware, decorations, photos, books, everything. So you can’t have all of your shoes count as one thing.
Dave Bruno is basically a modern-day backpacker. Which is awesome. If he succeeds, he will be able to easily have an inventory of everything he owns, keep track of it, add and subtract to it as he wishes. He will never have to worry about losing things, cleaning out boxes, making space for things that he just can’t get rid of, etc.
Besides being physically organized, I’m sure Dave Bruno’s brain is significantly less cluttered than mine. He doesn’t have to try and figure out why he decided to keep that diary of his from when he was 11 or worry about having too many ties. He can focus on more important things. And though it’s nice to find your old softball mitt from when you were on the team for four days, you probably would not have thought of it at all if you hadn’t seen it.
Though I don’t think I’m ready to take on the 100 Thing Challenge (I don’t know if I can limit the amount of t-shirts I own), I am definitely ready to throw away the things that I would not miss if they weren’t around.
Thank you, Dave Bruno.