100 Thing Challenge

One of the things I love about Twitter is that you can get to know people before you purchase, read or recommend their product.

As you may have noticed, I like reading and recommending things from good people. I started following Dave Bruno, the author of The 100 Thing Challenge last summer. I gravitated to his easy going nature, honesty about consumerism, and exciting project of living with less than 100 things.

Note: I do not live with less than 100 things, but do live with less than 33 in my closet.

It was only natural that I ordered his book. I am genuinely interested in living with less and I wanted to support the work of a good guy.

Why I almost didn’t read the book: I thought it was going to be about how to do the 100 things project, and I can figure that out on my own. Instead of being about a project though, it was about a man and his family and their lives. It was about more happiness and less stuff.

The 100 Thing Challenge is one of those books where you know after the first chapter that you will finish the book in a day or two. While I love reading about minimalists like Nina Yau, traveling the world with just the stuff on her back, I could use Dave’s lessons because we have a similar lifestyle.

Things I have in common with Dave Bruno

  • I am married with children (child)
  • I used to want more
  • I have pets
  • I’ve felt “stuck in stuff”
  • My perfect day requires minimal consumer accessories
  • Now I want less

Maybe you have some of these things in common with Dave too. If you are wondering how to simplify with young children, an extensive American Girl Doll collection, and grandmothers who love to give gifts, this book is for you. If you are business person making more only to want more, this book is for you too.

Dave has taken a little heat for his rules. He explains why he created the 100 Thing Project and explains why he chose to include his library of books as 1 thing. He doesn’t apologize for the rules but explains them in such a way, that you’ll learn how to modify the project to fit your lifestyle.

The book was entertaining, but also soul searching for me. Dave suggests that he bought stuff to patch up the past in order to make a fantasy future. Don’t we all do that? Here is where the soul searching started for me…

“Faith is not an option for humans. I like what Wendell Berry says about it: “Our instinct for faith is like a well-bred Border collie, who, lacking cattle or sheep, will herd children or chickens or cats. If we don’t direct our faith toward God or into some authentic ‘way’ of the soul, then we direct it towards progress or scientce or weaponry or education or nature or human nature or doctors or gurus or genetic engineers or computres or NASA.” To his list, let me add, “or shopping.”

We do put a lot of faith in shopping and stuff.

I have had faith that:

  • a new dress would make me look skinnier.
  • a luxury vacation would make me stress free
  • a bigger house would make me feel secure

Clearly my faith was misdirected because none of those things happened. Since I cannot say it better myself…

“Real faith cannot be bought at a store. We cannot pay money for it. Faith is the means by which we take our incomplete and imperfect lives and do something marvelous with them. We cannot use a credit card or even cash for something so wonderful.” – Dave Bruno

The 100 Thing Challenge does outline the rules and offers suggestions for incorporating them into your own life, but the powerful story of an entrepreneur that realized his American Dream didn’t need to be defined by so much stuff is why I recommend the book.

While I got to know Dave through Twitter, I fell in love with his wife, Leanne through his book. She is smart and sassy, and says loving, wise things like, “Bloom where you are planted.”

I laughed, cried and identified with Dave’s challenges. While I am not signing up for the challenge, I am more determined than ever to let go of stuff and redirect my faith. My happiness is not at the mall or in a daily deal, so I’m not going to look for it there anymore.

If you are starting a blog or want to take your blog to the next level, check out The Art of Blog Seduction: How to Draw Subscribers to Your Awesome Blog. It is the next A-List blogging bootcamp starting March 6th. When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to learn from the best, like Mary Jaksch and Leo Babauta. I’ve been a member ever since and continue to learn and meet amazing people. You can read more about what the bootcamp offers and let me know if you have any questions about my experience.

As a special bonus, if you join The Art of Blog Seduction, I’ll send you a copy of The 100 Thing Challenge.


  1. says

    I love that more and more people are embracing minimalism as I can’t imagine being happy without it. Things stress me out, and it is inspiring to read Dave and your(Courtney’s) stories.

    Thank you.

  2. says

    Ditto, ditto, ditto and ditto. I can’t type enough dittoes to express how much your review and feelings about the book (and Dave himself) echo what I think too. It’s a great book to refresh the minimalist senses and I have a feeling I’ll be reading it again in a few weeks to refresh some of his ideas in my head.

  3. says

    Oops, I looked in the wrong post. Does your 100 thing Challenge special bonus offer still stand? I enrolled for the A list boot camp starting Sunday. Super excited!

    Keep up the good work.


  4. says

    I love this idea. Clutter equals stress. The more clutter the higher your stress goes. Yet most of us are frogs in boiling water, only it’s been happening gradually so we haven’t noticed the heat rising.

    Yes, cleaning out is the best thing to do. Understanding what works for you is another key factor. I just cleaned out my garage and my house for anything I haven’t used in the last few months. Held a yard sale and now have much more space. Love the feeling.

    You can also check out my website for tips to helping you get organized.

    Great post, thanks for sharing!


  5. says

    What an interesting concept! I love the idea of getting rid of stuff, and downsizing. We have done that to fit into our Motorhome. But to have 100 things??? With four boys and one hubby who collects things just in case – interesting. I am so going to look out for the book.

  6. Dennis "Bondo" says

    I’ve had a stirring inside me for over 18 yrs. to live this life style and only started a year ago. I knew I’d feel freer but didn’t realize how much of a reward it was that less truly equaled more. I am happier and mentally, spiritually & emotionally healthier than In my name have ever been. I’m single, no children, 51 yrs. Old, own my jeep, a motorcycle, and paid off 5 credit cards worth of debit with a salary of less than 20,000. It can be done, but you have to move past the fear and peer pressure that tell you not to go that way!