99 Things

Last updated 2016-10-16.

This is everything I own. I have plenty of space in the Babybox for more things, but I find that the less room my possessions take up in my mind, the more room I have for the important parts of life.

I started doing this on March 25, 2012, because cleaning all your stuff after having bedbugs sucks, moving with a bunch of junk sucks, and I'd read Life Nomadic, in which Tynan points out that having a tiny number of things rocks.

Some other amigos have also started doing their own 99 things lists and are even more minimalist than me.

* Eldritch Artifacts Laptop - Retina Macbook Pro 15" (2013) Monitor - 30" Dell 3008WFP Monitor - 30" Dell U3014 Phone - iPhone 7+ iPad - iPad Pro with keyboard and pencil Headphones - SteelSeries Siberia 840 Gaming Headset Headphones - Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Speakers - AudioEngine A2+ Flash drive - Xporter XT 32GB DVD drive Boosted board Helmet - Triple Eight Gotham, Orange Rubber Chromecast Projector Sphero PlayStation 4 Oculus Rift Mousepad - Corsair Gaming MM300 Anti-Fray Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad, Medium Mouse - SteelSeries Rival 300, Optical Gaming Mouse * Containers Backpack - The North Face Big Shot Backpack - Tessel JetPack, silver Water bottle - 64 oz black Hydroflask Water bottle - 25 oz blue Camelbak Wallet - mywalit small credit card & ID holder, black/black Healing box - Mini first aid and sewing kit * Soporifics Sun alarm - Philips Wake-up Light Eye mask - Bucky 40 Blinks Bag of earplugs - Hearos Bobblehead Chloe - Custom Shapeways Mixee-Me mini-Chloe figurine * World Delimiters Chair - Herman Miller Embody chair Desk - Sitting/standing motorized desk from ErgoDepot Pillow - Memory foam Exercise ball - Blue Couch - Black leather lounge couch from MoveLoot * Documents Letters - Folder with Chloe's letters Checkbook Passport Diploma - Oberlin College Birth certificate * Societal Hobbles Nail clippers - Seki Edge Razor - Braun 790cc Toothbrush - OralB Deodorant Towel Keys * Tomes & Stationery Bundle of pens Small notebook - Black, graph paper Box of extra business cards - Skritter, CodeCombat, and personal * Plants Rubber plant * Morsel Transport Bowl - Ceramic from Ben Franklin store in Oberlin Spork - Light My Fire titanium Spork - Caesna, from Crate & Barrel Cup - Steel, from Cups Company * Fetters Shoes - Blue, merino wool Chloe got for me Leather Shoes - Brown Romeo Vulcanizado from Camper, with a pair of Darn Tough socks in them Hiking shoes - Merrill Moab Mid GORE-TEX XCR Business shoes - With business socks in them; you know when I'm down to my socks it's time for business--that's why they're called business socks Sandals - Earthrunner Circadian M9 Bundle of backup socks - 3 pairs Darn Tough, 1 pair sock liners, wrapped in rubber band * Raiments Wedding ring - From Chloe! Jeans - Calvin Klein Relaxed Straight Leg 29x30 Deep Water Jeans - Calvin Klein Relaxed Straight Leg 29x30 Deep Water Shorts - Dockers that Chloe got me, brown Dark gray pants - tailored in China Light gray pants - tailored in China T-shirt - Blue Uniqlo XS AIRIsm Crew Neck T-shirt - Gray Uniqlo XS AIRism Crew Neck T-shirt - Dark Blue Uniqlo XS AIRism Crew Neck T-shirt - White Uniqlo XS AIRism Crew Neck T-shirt - Dark Gray Uniqlo XS AIRism Crew Neck T-shirt - Blue Uniqlo XS Crew Neck T-shirt - Black, Columbia T-shirt - Navy CodeCombat from Custom Ink T-shirt - Cranberry CodeCombat from Custom Ink Polo shirt - Blue Uniqlo Premium Cotton Polo Shirt - Blue-Gray Uniqlo Chambray Shirt Shirt - Blue casual shirt, tailored in China Shirt - Red and white check-patterned casual shirt, tailored in China Shirt - Blue and white check-patterned casual shirt, tailored in China Shirt - White dress shirt, tailored in China Shirt - Blue dress shirt, tailored in China Shirt - Striped light blue dress shirt, tailored in China Hoodie - CodeCombat Fleece Hoodie from Vastrm Sport jacket - Blue, from Nordstrom's Speedo - Blue, hilarious Briefs - Wolf, hilarious Boxers - Smartwool merino wool, grey Boxers - Smartwool merino wool, blue Boxers - Smartwool merino wool, black Boxers - Smartwool merino wool, graphite Boxers - Smartwool merino wool, dark gray Boxers - Smartwool merino wool, brown Pajamas - Blue, silk Chloe got for me Suit - Black, three-button, two-piece, tailored in China Suit - Grey, three-button, three-piece, tailored in China Tie - Green, from my wedding Hat - Tilley Gym shorts - Blue, Chloe got for me Necklace - Alcor cryonics necklace * Shared Stuff That's Mostly Chloe's Bed - IKEA (shared with Chloe) Sheets - Fancy (shared with Chloe) Large skillet - Thermolon Small skillet - Le Creuset Knife block - Wüsthof Measuring spoons - Steel, magnetic Measuring cups - Steel, nesting Can opener - EZ-DUZ-IT Withings scale Table - extendable, with leg extenders Pot Food containers Blender Ice cream maker Peeler Myotape Wedding photo album Slow cooker - Crock-Pot SCCPVL610 * Upcoming - Those barefoot sandal things - Those barefoot dress shoe things from Chronology - New jeans * Purgatory - More clothes - Diploma (scan and put in wedding album or something?!--actually looks like a bad idea) - Backpack - Old jeans * Destroying - Those old dress shoes - Old headphones? - Gym lock - Blue, Master Lock * Adding - Chronology dress shoes - V-neck shirt Chloe got me? * How to count...? - old iPhone and iPads for testing - these binocs - Chloe's bathrobe - juggling balls - bag of electronics junk - the robot - bag of Cricket junk - * Things To Buy - New phone - New rMBP when it comes out in a couple months * To Give Away

    Want to minimize your stuff but don't know where to start?

    The point of the 99 things isn't the number 99, it's the idea of forcing oneself to keep only good and useful things. I (and almost everyone else I know) have a tendency to accumulate stuff, usually with the idea that it might come in handy later or is slightly handy now. This tendency ignores the costs of having so much extra stuff: it takes up physical space, it takes up mental space, it takes up emotional space, and it dilutes the other good stuff you own.

    Example of dilution: my apartment got bed bugs from a bird in the chimney. We had to clean everything. There was so much junk! After doing many, many loads of laundry, I just gave away 80% of the clothes and was instantly better dressed than I had ever been. Same thing with my dishes, my cables, and the things in my wallet.

    Every time I subsequently got rid of a thing, it was hard to do, but immediately afterward I felt great, and I haven't regretted expelling anything yet. This is a nice consequence of getting rid of many things: you realize that every single borderline ohhh-should-I-really-get-rid-of-this is actually an obvious yes-ditch-it-now.

    I don't think you have to pick a number; you just need some system of forcing yourself to get rid of things in those borderline cases. If you do pick a number, it doesn't have to be 99; it just needs to be motivating. And you don't have to count things strictly; if you can't do it while still counting books, clothes, and skateboards, then count everything except books, clothes, and skateboards. I don't count consumables, I don't count some of Chloe's kitchen or cleaning things, and I count most things that are always bundled together as one thing (like a first aid kit or a bundle of backup pens).

    If you decide to do a get-rid-of-stuff purge day, I think it will be great if you make three categories: keep, cull, and purgatory. Things in the third category--things you aren't sure about purging--get put away in your dungeon for a set period of time, like three months. If you didn't go and pull the thing out to use it during that time, then at the end of it, you cull it. I would also set the purge day to recur once a year, or do smaller, targeted purges more frequently (clothes this month, dishes next month, etc.).

    Consumable things don't count. Food, toilet paper, candles, etc. Things that are always physically connected count as one thing. A bundle of backup pens is one thing; a mini travel first aid kit is one thing. (The loose pens that are on my desk each count as another thing.) Stuff Chloe owns doesn't count, even if I use it. Stuff Chloe and I co-own only counts if it's really my thing (I would keep it if we had to divvy up possessions). As of 2014-11-24, I don't count cables any more, because I found it was taking too much of my attention to keep track of them, and the point is to free up attention.