A Month of Decluttering

In September, I attempted The Minimalist’s 30 Day Minimalist Game.  Here’s how it works:  on day 1, you select 1 item to get rid of.  On day 2, you select two items, and so on until day 30 when you declutter 30 items.  When you do the math, the challenge works out to a total of 465 items out the door.  You can see my daily progress on Instagram.


In the beginning, the hardest part was limiting myself to only decluttering the number of items that corresponded to the date.  This challenge starts s-l-o-w.  As things got rolling though, I managed combine a few days to get rid of some chunks that were bothering me.  For example, Days 13, 14 and 15 I re-homed 42 Scentsy bars and sprays.  In all, I followed the rules through day 20.  On day 20, I was working on a shelf in my closet and had a pile of old punch cards and business cards that came out of various wallets.  I counted 20 towards the challenge, then decided that I was frustrated with the counting and limiting.  For the last 10 days, I tossed (and donated where possible) with reckless abandon.  I would be at work and remember a random thing I have in a cupboard (a bag full of wine corks, for example) and I would get home, dig it out and toss it.


The sheer amount of stuff I had was surprising to me.  I always considered myself to be a minimalist.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I would have anything left by day 10.  But after years of moving every year, which creates a built in declutter fest, we’ve lived in our current house for eight years.  Stuff piles up if left unchecked for eight years!


I’ve decided to revisit the challenge in six months, March.  I will definitely be doing it at least annually going forward but I’m thinking I’ll need to check in before next September just to see how I’m doing.  I feel about a ton lighter, now.  And I’m glad to have this feeling of contentment going into the holiday season.  I will be able to focus on gratitude knowing that I still have way more than I need.  I will also be able to view the gift-giving season with a fresh perspective on consumerism.


When was the last time you challenged yourself to live with less?


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