Tag Archives: Reverse 100 Thing Challenge

Reverse 100 Things – How did it turn out?

I’ve thrown out a lot of very ordinary stuff – reams and reams and REAMS of paper, to start with – in the last month, but there have been some oddities, too. (How many decades has it been since Bandaids came in metal boxes??)

Anyway, we’ve come to the end of the Reverse 100 Thing Challenge. (Actually, a few days past the end.) How did it turn out?

Very well – though mostly as a jump start for later developments. The basic idea was to throw out one thing a day for a hundred days. Not a bad idea, but if your home is already pretty tidy, you’re probably doing that much and more anyhow. If, like me, you have the usual stack of junk mail coming in day after day, throwing out just one item a day would leave your place even more cluttered than it was when you started. It certainly wouldn’t make a seriously messy house look much better than before.

But I didn’t confine myself to only one item a day even at the start, so I was making halting progress. Then, about a month ago, we found out just how bad a house can get when you’re overcome by age and illness. Those problems will catch up with all of us one day, but I’ve become strongly motivated to minimize our clutter while I can. I never expected to say this, but I’ve become a cleaning fanatic.

So where am I now? Half of my house – the “public” part – is as cleared out as I want it to be, ready for anybody to walk in at any time.  It’s proving pretty simple to keep it that way too – look it over every day or so and put things away or throw them out, and actually clean about once a week. (I know, I know – this is kindergarten stuff, but I never went to kindergarten.)

Piles of books as high as my head, on their way to book sales

Piles of books as high as my head, on their way to book sales

And I didn’t even clean up that first half by shoving things in the other rooms to get them out of sight. The rest of the house is still messy, but not as messy as it was before, and getting steadily emptier. Some categories of Stuff, like books and yarn, will take a while to clear out, but even there, I’ve at least learned not to go out and buy more for now.

Do I recognize this new person, Sharon the Cleaning Fool? I can’t say that I do, but I think I can put up with her!

Reverse 100 Things: Three-quarters done

I haven’t mentioned the Reverse 100 Thing Challenge since last month, and here we are at the end of March. But I really have still been working on it, with the goal of throwing out something or other every day for 100 days.

Mostly it’s been glass or paper or plastic to be recycled and books to be given away (more than you see here, but how many photos of old books and piles of paper can you look at?) –

Reverse100ThingsEvenMorePaper Reverse100ThingsMorePaperbacksbut there have been a few unusual odds and ends –

Reverse100ThingsObsoleteMemoryAndStaticBagObsolete computer memory
and antistatic bags that old computer parts came in

Reverse100ThingsPepperGrinderA worn-out pepper mill

And now I’m 75 days into the challenge – three-quarters of the way through.

Reverse 100 Day Challenge: 40 days and counting?

Counting? Not really. Getting rid of things, that’s what I’m doing. (For an explanation of the Reverse 100 Day Challenge, look here.)

The project is going well, except that it may be taking over. Two days ago, I wrote up a schedule intended to get the whole house (well, except for the basement) cleaned up by the end of March. Oddly, so far – yes, for two full days – I’ve been keeping at it.

I’m not going to give a day by day diary this time, though. Just a summary: mostly what’s getting recycled, given away, or once in a while thrown out has been books and piles of papers – no surprise, since that’s what we have much too much of in this house. And then there were the oddities, like the pants hanger – I have no idea how it wound up with its handle sticking off to the side at a forty-five degree angle, but it’s no use to anybody. Trash! 😀

Reverse 100 Things: Three and a half weeks in

Still emptying out my house, a little at a time…what have I disposed of since my last “Reverse 100 Things” post?

Reverse100ThingsLotsaPaperThursday January 24th, piles of paper to recycle.


More paper on Friday the 25th.


Reverse100ThingsPrinterCartridgesSaturday the 26th, old printer cartridges and some of the packaging from the new ones to recycle – and a bit of packaging that can’t be recycled and has to be thrown away.


Reverse100ThingsOldSunscreenSunday the 27th, ancient sunscreen to throw out. It’s so old it doesn’t even tell you if the bottle is recyclable. Away it goes.



Reverse100ThingsRecyclingAndAPieceOfTrashMonday the 28th, more paper and the case a memory stick came in to recycle. And a name tag that appears to be just plain trash.


Tuesday the 29th, another week’s accumulation of glass and plastic containers.

Reverse100ThingsRagWednesday the 30th – once it was a dishcloth, then a cleaning rag, and now it’s past being useful for anything. Trash. Also assorted old clothes past their useful days.


Thursday the 31st, a pile of my Mom’s junk mail to recycle.

Reverse100ThingsKleenexBoxFriday February 1st, yet more paper including an empty Kleenex box.


Saturday the 2nd, still more paper to recycle.

Reverse100ThingsRoughDraftSignSunday the 3rd, recycling rough drafts of a food bank collection sign.


Yes, there’s a pattern here – far and away the biggest category of junk in this house is old paper that needs to be sorted through and recycled. At least I’m making a start on it, and getting rid of freshly used-up paper right away before it spawns new piles…

Reverse 100 Things: Any progress?

Eleven days ago, I started the “Reverse 100 Thing Challenge”, or a modified version of it. (The “100 Thing” concept asks people to live with only one hundred possessions, subject to various exceptions. The original “Reverse 100 Thing Challenge” asked people to choose a hundred things to recycle; the – oh, call it the “Revised Reverse 100 Thing Challenge” calls for you to spend 100 days throwing things away, or recycling them, or giving them to charity.)

I got a bit derailed by getting sick around the same time, but I have been plugging away at removing something from my home (or someone else’s) daily through most of the past week and a half. Let’s see how things are going –

Reverse100ThingsMiscPaperMonday the 14th, I sorted through miscellaneous papers and recycled a small handful.


Reverse100ThingsPlasticGlassRecyclingTuesday the 15th, we recycled an assortment of plastic and glass containers (though I’m not sure if this should count, since it’s already routine).

Friday the 18th we visited my mother, and I recycled a foot-high pile of junk mail she had received (no photo, alas; there was enough of it to be slightly dramatic in a will-the-whole-thing-collapse-onto-the-floor  kind of way).

Reverse100Things3BooksSaturday the 19th, 3 books – one to donate, one to recycle because it’s falling apart the way old paperbacks do, one to recycle because it’s horrible. (And I think I’ll count one of the three for the 16th and one for the 17th; those two days I spent either coughing or reading.)

Reverse100ThingsMiscPaperAndCoughSyrupSunday the 20th, more paper to recycle. Including the box for a bottle of cough medicine, which I emptied in the course of a week.


Monday the 21st I threw out things that were overage in the refrigerator; be glad there aren’t any photos. You don’t want to know.

Tuesday the 22nd, more glass and plastic for recycling

Reverse100ThingsOneBookand today, Wednesday the 23rd, another book to donate – this one actually isn’t bad a paragraph or so at a time, but it’s fatally easy to put down and not pick up again. And it’s not like we’re short of things to read. Maybe someone else will enjoy it more.

I can’t claim that the house is suddenly spotless, but progress is happening. I even cleaned my dusty computer cables yesterday!



Reverse 100 Thing Challenge: Day 2

What’s the Reverse 100 Thing Challenge? Well, it seems to have started here at Be More with Less as a variation on the 100 Thing Challenge. The original idea was to find 100 things to donate – not a bad plan, but I suspect we all have possessions that are no use to anyone, including ourselves. I prefer this version, from January to December, that asks you to donate or recycle or throw away something every day for a hundred days.

I’ll admit that this particular Challenge isn’t going to make much of a dent in the excess stuff lying around my house, but it’s a way to remind myself to keep at it.

So what’s today’s winner?

100Days002TShirtI liked this T shirt once. Actually, if I hadn’t liked it, it would probably still be fit to wear…but I have to admit, it’s no longer even good enough to use for grubby projects inside the house where nobody will see it! Time to say good-bye.

Reverse 100 Thing Challenge: Day 1

Beverley over at January to December has a good description of this one – “Instead of living with only 100 things you need to remove 100 things from your home. It can be anything, anything at all. It can be clutter that as been waiting to be removed, it can be things for recycling, or things to be given to charity. You also need to remove one thing per day for 100 days.”

Well. That seems to fit in nicely with my current project of Getting Rid Of Excess Stuff. So I expect to be posting the discard of the day for the next several months – that will mean more than one post if I have something else to say; oh well.

100Days001HandfulOfPensWe have a lot of miscellaneous pens and markers in the junk drawer, so I got them all out and tested to see which ones could still write. The good/bad news is that we have about two dozen things that can be used to make marks on paper (so I’m keeping those). But I did find a handful that are past being useful. Out they go, and don’t ask why I didn’t throw them away long ago when they stopped working. 😉