As I’ve been talking to people about giving stuff away, they’ve been giving me some interesting leads on other similar efforts. You’ve probably already heard about the book, The Power of Half and how the Salwen family decided to downsize their lifestyle by half including selling the family house to move into a home half the price. I am inspired by this but am not ready to take such an extreme step. I thought you might be interested, however, in other ways that people are simplifying their lives. Some are creative, some are fun, some are just plain weird. For example, have you heard about:

  1. No Impact Man Colin Beavan began the No Impact Project in November 2006. He committed to live for a year making no appreciable impact on the environment. Of course he wrote a book on his experience and now there’s also a movie about it.
  2. 100 Possessions A guy named Dave seems to have started this challenge by pruning his total possessions to 100 items. Read about it also in the New York Times.
  3. 6 Items or less The goal is to refine your wardrobe to wear no more than six pieces of clothing for a month (not including underwear). It’s a challenge to mix and match items so as not to bore your co-workers or yourself. I don’t think getting rid of your other clothes is necessary. It’s more of a fashion challenge than a simple lifestyle movement.
  4. The Great American Apparel Diet involves not buying any clothes for one year.
  5. 10 pieces of furniture – I couldn’t find a website for this one but a friend sent me information about a person who was trying to reduce the pieces of furniture in her home to 10 pieces.
  6. Tech fast for a day/week/Lent – this is not an original idea but one I’ve promoted in which a person/family decides to not use any technology (computer, cell phone, TV, radio, video games…) for a given period of time.
  7. Energy fast – This is a variation of the tech fast but involves not using anything that takes electricity for a given period of time. It’s like camping but indoors with candles. It can be nostalgic or romantic for an evening or a day, but after that it gets hard and perhaps unrealistic for many.

Some people voluntarily are choosing to simplify their lives and possessions. Some don’t have a choice.