Give it Away — Donald DeSantis Pares Down to 300 Belongings

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Give it Away — Donald DeSantis Pares Down to 300 Belongings

Photo: Mike Folden

As the holiday dust settles and 2014 finds its footing, more than a few of us have looked up only to find ourselves drowning in STUFF! Whether that stuff is left over wrapping paper that you think you’ll use again but never will, gifts you never really needed (“Thanks Great Aunt Esther, I love you but really, you shouldn’t have”) or simply an accumulation of things that are threatening your sanity, the New Year is always a good time to pair down. But how exactly?

This dilemma presented itself to Donald DeSantis, a recent New York City transplant, designer, writer and co-founder of HighTower, a commercial real-estate start-up. Inspired by the “100 Things Challenge” popularized by Dave Bruno and left in awe by Andrew Hyde’s “15 Things Challenge,” Daniel decided to pursue a “less ambitious” but no less intriguing challenge that he calls, simply, 300 Things.

Jacket DDS

Get yourself some! "Waterproof, breathable REI jacket. Great color - the photo doesn’t do it justice. Awesome jacket, but I have another just like it that I prefer to wear."

Get yourself some! “Waterproof, breathable REI jacket. Great color – the photo doesn’t do it justice. Awesome jacket, but I have another just like it that I prefer to wear.”

Donald has set about paring down his possessions the fastest and simplest way he could think of – giving it all away to whomever wants it. “I have a hunch that having less stuff will make me want less stuff,” Donald writes. “And even if that’s false, I’m only going to have 300 things. So at least I’ll have an arbitrary constraint to keep my footprint from growing.” With that goal in mind Donald has been posting items to give away for close to a year now. As he says, “My eccentricities could be your gain. Check back each day for three new things that I’m giving away for free.”

Planet Bicycle bike light. "No mounting hardware, but that can probably be ordered easily from these guys. Super bright, strobe and steady modes."

Planet Bicycle bike light. “No mounting hardware, but that can probably be ordered easily from these guys. Super bright, strobe and steady modes.”

After hearing about his experiment, we reached out to see how it was going. We got a hold of Donald after he had just landed in New York after a move from Seattle. “A year in, and yes, the project is still underway,” Donald explained. “I just moved to New York City with 8 boxes (including books), a duffel bag, ski gear and two bikes. Close, but not done yet.” Now is your chance to help. Check out Donald’s site and see what might fit in your life — just make sure you keep those possessions under control and remember, giving is always better than receiving!

 
  • debdarby

    I’ve made it a practice for a long time that if I haven’t used something in two years, it’s given away. I have started especially with clothing to put some of the ones with a really nice unique fabrics into my fabric box for making pillows et cetera. I also follow http://www.MySimplerLife.com she has a great decluttering calendar which gives tips and ideas about how to go about it.

  • Vanessa Londono

    Same here! That’s an added bonus of having cabin fever. Let me know if you have any tips. My kitchen cabinets and closets will thank you.

  • debdarby

    possibly. I have been in the process of eliminating a lot of clutter.

  • Vanessa Londono

    We have! Donald took a mini-break from giving away. He’s gearing back up to downsize some more.

    Would you do the 300 belonging challenge?

  • debdarby

    have you been in touch with him? Doesn’t look like he’s giving anything away recently.