Life

Life Stripped Bare: Channel 4’s latest show sees millennials try to survive for three weeks with no possessions

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Harriet Hall
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Could you live 21 days without your television? How about without your phone? Or a mattress? Or, how about… clothes?

This is the premise of Channel 4’s latest programme: Life Stripped Bare.

Life Stripped Bare sees three households take part in a “life changing experiment.”

According to research, the average Brit owns 1,000 items and checks their phone a staggering 200 times a day. Additionally, around one in three of us have enough unused possessions to fill an entire bedroom.

So, naturally, Channel 4 producers asked themselves: “What do we really need to be happy?”

On a quest to discover the answer to this age old question, they decided to conduct a social experiment in which three households were stripped of all their material possessions, which were then put into storage. The group were not allowed to beg borrow or steal any items (apart from food and drink). Think Marie Kondo's tips for living a cleaner life, but without getting to choose. 

The programme will see, over three episodes, how the group manage to cope in their day-to-day lives without things. They will be continuing to work and attempt to maintain their relationships and social lives.

Six millennials: Tom, Andrew and Georgia from Cardiff (who own 2,000 items between them and are dedicated socialisers); Jon and Laura from Manchester (photographers with all the mod cons); and Heidi from London (a self-confessed social media addict), agreed to take part.

Over the course of 21 days, they were allowed to retrieve one possession a day. But there was a catch: they had to retrieve it themselves from a locked storage container on the other side of town.

The programme saw the group running through the town, and navigating life without things. On the first day, when they had not so much as a shirt on their backs, the group had to run naked through town to select just one item of clothing to cover themselves.

The group were forced to decide which items they most needed: from underwear, to a bed to sleep on, or their mobile phones.

At one point, Heidi relies on the kindness of two strangers, who decide to help her carry a mattress back to her home, so she can get some sleep. The struggle is real.

The first of three episodes aired on Tuesday 5 July. You can catch up here, and see how the group manage over the next three weeks. 

Images: Channel 4