The 100 Things Challenge

How much stuff do you really need?

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Comments (17)

(17) Louis, November 4, 2015 5:59 AM

Wow that was really great. I've never thought of things that way. In this world the more you have the more you want

(16) SusanE, February 23, 2015 8:40 PM

I'll let you know. 100 Things

Having an auction sale this spring. Selling Grandparents stuff, Parents stuff, my stuff, inventory from my Antiques shop stuff. Back to basic bed, table, chairs, sofa, lighting and TV Computer, and clothing. It is scairy but the kids are going to help. They have already received what they want to keep. Can't wait. I can promise it won't be just 100 things but it will be pared down substantially. Thanks!

(15) Anonymous, April 4, 2014 6:16 PM

100 Frum Things

Lori, I don't believe for a minute you only have, or could have 100 things. Just counting things like Shabbos candlesticks, a tzedaka box, menorah, seder plate, nigel vassar cups -- not to mention separate sets of dishes, flatware, glasses, pots and pans!!! Really, Lori?

(14) Bina, March 29, 2014 8:40 PM

As a start, I plan to get rid of 100 things.

...then a hundred more next week, and then a hundred more! Thanks Lori, I may eventually get down to100 things, but I doubt it. But I think losing 100 at a time is a good idea. I started by losing 20-25 shoes to the donation box on the corner. Next will be a box of 20-25 dishes to the GoodWill. Then clothes. Then ...Wish me luck !

(13) Sidney, March 28, 2014 3:52 PM

It Was Mrs. Necha (Annie) Golding

Not your fault as almost everyone uses the male pronoun.

In truth however everyone should know that the visitor from America was Mrs. Necha Golding of the Upper West Side and Tannersville, NY.

Please everyone from now on relate the story correctly. Thanks.

(12) Rochel, March 28, 2014 12:19 PM

As a frum person running a normal home-impossible!

As frum pple, we need a lot of stuff. Look at the difference between a weekday dinner and a shabbos table. Yes, we have a lot of stuff to beautify the shabbos- candle, becher, challa board, challa cover,nice dishes, white tablecloth, shabbos clothing...i dont think we should be disposing of all that! I'm sure all items above is already 100 items! And that's just one small pc of our life! Don't think this can work for a frum family unless god forbid there was some extreme life situation having them live at poverty

(11) Anonymous, March 28, 2014 2:42 AM

Thanks Lori. I really liked this message and found it both powerful and down to earth. Thank you for sharing this wisdom. Have a good Shabbos!!

(10) Harriet Wolpoff, March 27, 2014 9:33 PM


At this time of year it seems we need at least 100 pieces of stuff just for Pesach. Can kosher people get a dispensation?

(9) Anonymous, March 27, 2014 8:47 PM

one hundred things ( of less) is all we need.

Add one or two books to our one hundred things... It is a wonderful commentary on life today..Unnecessary ' things' do weigh us down.. Thank you so much for that reminder... LOVE it and will pass it on Charlene

(8) David S. Levine, March 27, 2014 6:40 PM

A Richard Pryor Routine

Decades ago I watched a Richard Pryor special on television and he played his televangelist preacher character. A spoke about a caller who called him saying that he didn't need his limo and yacht. Pryor had his character answer, "How do you know, do you have these things?" The "clutter" we accumulate may be excess to one person but to the person who accumulates it it's something dear. I have many books I've purchased over the years and articles I've saved. I seldom refer to them, but when I do, I'm glad I have them. I couldn't imagine life without them. Although I haven't purchased much clothing lately that which I have causes me to watch my weight, ha ha ha. So, what one accumulates in one area may be useful in other areas of one's life.

(7) chava, March 27, 2014 5:30 PM

I LIKE my stuff.

I have lots of stuff that I don't NEED, but I want. These things make the difference between managing and living. Yes, I could get along without a lot of things, but I enjoy them. Someone else is making a decision for me that I can't enjoy my things? Many things have a story about them, & those stories are my memories. You walk into a hotel room, & it might me nice and uncluttered, but it's not personal. It's cold. Please, don't make me feel guilty over my stuff.

(6) Anonymous, March 27, 2014 5:00 PM

I'm a pack rat

I'm guilty of having too much stuff. Being in the military we often had to fill the dumpster we didn't want to take to our next base. I don't recall missing some of it (well, maybe the washer and drier) until we got our own house and could retrieve the things we had stored. Didn't take long to pile it up again. I'm going to try and weed out all that stuff I don't use after reading this article. I can't guarantee I won't be overloaded with possessions again - very soon.

(5) BP CPA, March 27, 2014 4:15 PM

100 Things

If Lori thinks we don't need a washer & dryer, why does she need cutlery and dishes let her eat out every meal too. This idea is stupid because it cost a lot of time & money to eat out every meal as well as doing your laundry at a laundromat in the middle of a rain or snow storm since you only have one set of clothing. You need to have at least 9 sets of underwear, shirts and socks because of the 9 DAYS, and 2
pairs of shoes, for a change if a pair gets wet.
Women don't need more than 8 pairs of shoes and don't need so many pieces of jewelry !! Kids don't need so many toys.
Constantly buying things costs money and causes Sholom Bayis.problems.

(4) Nancy, March 24, 2014 1:45 PM

I completely agree with the commenter who said that one size does not fit all. It is fascinating to analyze what we truly need vs. what we want and can perhaps live without. However, I do not need a "movement" to dictate this philosophy to me. Of course we are all just passing through, but no two people are traveling on exactly the same road.

(3) SusanE, March 23, 2014 11:49 PM

Great Idea

Lori, How many things have you gotten rid of since you first heard the Rabbi story? My dinnerware counts for 40 and glasses 10 and Grandmas silverware another 63. What could l feed my friends on? The Shabbat table alone commands several settings. Yes we need a set of sheets to keep our mattress and blankets clean. Toothbrushes, floss, soap, towels and washclothes. One is not enough. Clean clothes enough for at least a week. Boots, sneakers, dress pumps, and a daily change of socks. I traveled for a month throughour western Europe with one over the shoulder pack and did very well. (I had money to buy what I needed) But didn't have to cook and clean house. I am just now paring way down on my thngs, I have many beautiful items, family photographs, ancestry papers, Grandmas china and silver, my camera and art supplies. Family jewels. My books! Most of it will be sold at auction and with that there is no turning back or replacing. ---------- This is making me anxious just typing the words. Let us know what you kept and what you discarded and how that might be working.

(2) Alan S., March 23, 2014 8:40 PM

In theory this seems good, but...

Yes, in theory, this project sounds good. But this type of ‘minimalist’ thinking has been around for decades. It is true that most people have way too much stuff. And donating re-usable things always is the right thing to do. This really is a variation of the age old argument of how many material things do we need. Which then begets the old ‘slippery slope’ question of who decides it should be limited to 100. Do we use the blade part of the Swiss army knife to open a can of paint – then clean off the blade, and bend it back into its base, to again use this same Swiss army knife to pull out the fork or spoon part to eat our food? Not exactly hygienic. We surely do not really need to have a washer or dryer in our homes. We could all go to a laundrymat to wash and dry our clothes. I just hope this doesn’t put too many salesmen out of work at Sears. A night table lamp on each side of the bed, one for him and one for her? Really, how much light does one couple need?
Do we need to beautify the walls of our homes with art work, or even pictures of the family? Will one picture or painting be enough? Does each door’s mezuzah count toward the 100 things? How many siddur’s do we need in a house?
I am not trying to be silly. We all know people, including ourselves, that purchase or get things that are not truly needed. Or, maybe even worse, buying or getting multiples of the same item, when clearly only one is needed. A red and blue blouse? Brown and black shoes?
Most rational people buy what they need and plan to use. Not everyone’s list of what is important in their lives can neatly fit into a list of 100. The list can not serve people if it includes, well, one pair of socks, or even one car, because after all, one can always call a cab. We’re all just passing thru, but some people need to have a few more things, and some fewer things, than others might. One size does not fit all.

(1) Brian, March 23, 2014 12:13 PM

How true

My wife and I are currently cleaning out our home of STUFF we don't need. It amazes me that we are three months into this project and we still find things that we just don't need. We are not pack rats by any means but stuff keeps surfacing. So, if we are carrying all this stuff around in the physical, how much are we carrying around in our spiritual lives? Thank you Lori.


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