This documentary popped up on my Netflix this evening as I settled in to do some Christmas knitting. The movie broadly focuses on two men, dubbed “the minimalists” and their message of doing away with material goods and leading an intentional life.

An easy to watch, feel good movie that reinforces my desire to seriously reduce the amount of random crap that I own. However, this movie didn’t really give me anything beyond the core message. It lacked factual information/statistics on consumption as well as any real suggestions to curb this problem. If you want real ideas and solutions you are going to have to turn elsewhere.

I would instead recommend a documentary I watched years ago called No Impact Man which follows the narrator through his year long quest to progressively reduce his environmental footprint. I also recommend one of my favourite books, Zero Waste Home. It provides a strong message to simplify life by reducing material goods.

About 2 years ago I bought a book in an Italian airport called A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon. Whenever I think of minimalism, I am reminded of this fictional novel. The protagonist, after struggling through major life changes, decides to downsize her life. Her rule is that she can only bring 100 special items with her to her new apartment. Everything else has to go. I have always thought this would be an interesting challenge (okay maybe just the thought process of selecting 100 items) that I should try.

If you had to pick just 100 things you own to keep, and the rest you had to toss, what would you keep?