Minimalism & Zero Waste | Carisa Hendrix | Award Winning Magician, Circus Stunt Girl & Fire Eater | Calgary & Edmonton

Minimalism & Zero Waste

The Game Begins, The 100 Thing Challenge Part 2

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in 30 Day Challenges, Minimalism & Zero Waste Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I posted an article about the “100 Thing Challenge” (a yearlong experiment to live with only 100 personal items) and my desire to try it out for myself.

Just in time for spring cleaning the ‘100 thing challenge’ was exactly the kind of personal experiment I needed. The challenge would allow me to shrink my suitcase down to the essentials for the sake of my new travel lifestyle; as well as explore my interest in larger issues related to stuff, such as minimalism, hoarding, and environmental impact. I buckled down and meticulously sorted through my various possessions, making detailed lists, hard decisions and giving a lot away. Going through and questioning the nature and uses of every possession was eye opening. I never realized how many things I kept for sentimental or odd reasons. For example, I found it difficult to give away things I had never used (and likely never would) because I felt I hadn’t gotten the value of them yet. It was a hard process but my lighter suitcase and mind are more than worth it.

The following are my rules and guidelines for the challenge.

Rules and Guidelines

  1. The number 100 is arbitrary; you might pick 200, or 50 items. It’s entirely up to you. Just make sure the number is realistic but still challenging. The goal is not to lower your quality of life. If you can’t make it to 100 items without making your life more difficult, then change your number.
  2. You may wish to count some groups of items as ‘one set’ if they are important for you to keep and would otherwise take over your list. Dave Bruno, the author of the 100 Thing Challenge book, uses the idea to count his huge library as ‘one library’ since reading is very important to him.
  3. This challenge is a personal one. Resist the urge to pressure friends or family into throwing away their junk, it’s not nice.

My Exceptions and Item Sets

  1. Show Biz Items: Props, AV equipment and costumes will not be counted since they are for work.
  2. Underwear: A pack of 12 will be counted as one set.
  3. Socks: A pack of 12 will be counted as one set.
  4. Consumables: Items such as toothpaste, shampoo and food will not be counted.
  5. Items with accessories (ie cords, covers, plugs) will be counted as a single item.
  6. First Aid & Repair Items: Anything from a needle and thread to duct tape will be put into one kit along with Tylenol and bandaids and considered as a single item. (The First Aid & Repair kit)
  7. Records and Files: Each file box or portfolio will be counted as one item. Digital files do not count.

After ample tossing and sorting I have finally arrived at 97 items, which means I have 3 items of wiggle room. Success!

My 100 Items


  1. Sun Glasses – Clic Googles
  2. Hat – Fedora
  3. Hat – Fox Tuque
  4. Belt – For Pants
  5. Belt – For Dresses
  6. Shirt – Warm Weather / Spaghetti Strap
  7. Shirt – Warm Weather / Spaghetti Strap
  8. Shirt – Warm Weather / Spaghetti Strap
  9. Shirt – Warm Weather / Tank Top
  10. Shirt – Warm Weather / Tank Top
  11. Shirt – Warm Weather / Tank Top
  12. Shirt – Warm Weather / T-shirt (Fightlinker)
  13. Shirt – Warm Weather / Red Jacob T-shirt
  14. Shirt – Warm Weather
  15. Shirt – Warm Weather
  16. Shirt – Warm Weather
  17. Shirt – Button down
  18. Shirt – Cold Weather / Invader Zim
  19. Shirt – Cold Weather / Black
  20. Shirt – Cold Weather / Black
  21. Shirt – Cold Weather / Black and Grey Striped long
  22. Shirt – Cold Weather
  23. Shirt – Cold Weather
  24. Sweater – Lulu Lemon
  25. Sweater – Long & Grey
  26. Sweater – Work Out
  27. Vest – Leather
  28. Pants – Jeans
  29. Pants – Pin Strip Black Formal
  30. Pants – Lulu Lemon
  31. Pants – Lulu Lemon
  32. Pants – Work Out
  33. Pants – Work Out
  34. Pants
  35. Pants
  36. Pants
  37. Shorts
  38. Leggings
  39. Leggings
  40. Skirt – Long / Red
  41. Skirt – Long / Blue
  42. Skirt – Long / Partnered
  43. Skirt – Long / Black
  44. Skirt – Short / Black
  45. Skirt – Short / Grey
  46. Dress – Evening
  47. Dress – Sun
  48. Dress – Cocktail
  49. Suit – Grey Pinstripe
  50. House Coat – Kimono
  51. Socks – 12 Pair
  52. Bathing Suit – Polka dot one piece
  53. Bathing Suit – Bikini
  54. Bathing Suit – Bikini
  55. Underwear – 12 pairs
  56. Shoes – Flats
  57. Shoes — Converse
  58. Shoes – Heels
  59. Long Coat


  1. Small Jewelry and Costume Pieces (12 items)
  2. Make Up Palette – Mac Palette
  3. Make Up Brush / Grooming Kit
  4. Hair Straightener
  5. Hair Brush
  6. Hair Clip
  7. Hair Clip
  8. Comb
  9. Toothbrush – Electric
  10. Face Cloth
  11. First Aid & Repair kit

Office and Electronics

  1. Laptop – Macbook
  2. Video Camera – Flip
  3. Camera – Point and Shoot / Canon Cybershot
  4. Phone – iPhone
  5. Hard Drive – 500 GB
  6. Hard Drive – 100 GB
  7. Thumb Drive – 10 GB
  8. Headphone – Roots
  9. Podcast Microphone
  10. Battery Charger
  11. Label Maker
  12. Notebook – MoleSkine
  13. Filing Portfolio


  1. Book – Non-fiction
  2. Book – Fiction
  3. Bike – Hampton Cruiser

Every Day Carry

  1. Keys
  2. Money Clip (Bulldog clip)
  3. Water Bottle – Nalegeen

Travel and Repair

  1. Passport
  2. Suit Case – Carry On
  3. Suit Case – Blue, Air Canada, Medium Sized
  4. Suit Case – Day Pack / Hydro pack
  5. Sewing Kit

Home Decor

  1. Comforter and Sheet Set
  2. Painting – Original
  3. Painting – Waterhouse Print

Resources for this article:
Dave’s original post that inspired his later book
The Times’ Article About the 100 Thing Challenge
The Zen Habits’ blog article

Spring Clean Like a Minimalist – The 100 Thing Challenge

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in 30 Day Challenges, Minimalism & Zero Waste 2 Comments

Spring cleaning is trending on Twitter which means the nice weather is just around the corner. I have a deep love for the spring scrub and purge ritual that stems from childhood. Working together as a family to de-clutter and downsize, wash and scrub is a cherished memory. Opening all the windows and doors to get the staleness of winter out and bring in the smell of spring always gave me the satisfying feeling of a fresh start.

People just need to reboot now and again and have a chance to feel free and clear of all that built up mental and physical junk. In high school and college, the semester breaks cut your educational career into manageable chunks and I think we can use spring cleaning as a way to break our lives up in the same way. Every year around this time I make a big deal of getting everything under control; laundry, home repairs, the closets, the fridge, everything.

This year I thought, why not shake things up, why not do something a little more interesting, fun, and introspective? Why not narrow my personal things down to 100 items and get rid of the rest?

The idea first came to me from the Zen Habits article on the 100 items challenge, which sparked my interest and sent me on a wild Google search for others who had challenged themselves to this practice in radical minimalism. Low and behold, Dave Bruno, the originator of the idea, had written a book on the topic. In the spirit of minimalism, I bought the Kindle version and started to read.

I love the idea of the 100 Thing Challenge and want to try it out for myself, so I will. As of the end of this month, I will own no more that 100 items. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be narrowing my worldly possessions down to the bare essentials. If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing yourself I recommend you check out Dave Bruno’s wonderful book The 100 Thing Challenge

How I plan to explore this challenge:

  • Read Dave Bruno’s 100 Thing Challenge book
  • Find & read other books and resources about the human relationship with stuff, consumerism, minimalism, and hoarding
  • Go through my things and reduce to 100 items
  • Check up on my 100 items periodically to see how I’m doing
  • Explore the effects on my life and my happiness

Resources for this article:
Dave’s original post that inspired his later book
The Times‘ Article About the 100 Thing Challenge
The Zen Habits‘ blog article