The minimalism challenge

A couple of things.

Happy new year! I took January off. It was either totally accidental or entirely subconsciously deliberate. I started the year with intentions to write this and to write that. New years are sacred to me. They come to us so pristine and perfect and I find that I like to relish that. Often, when I relish, I do so privately. Some things are too intimate to be shared. For me, new years happen to be one of those things.

It’s the eve of February. Holy, right? I’ve basically been in a bit of hibernation, a bit of regrouping, a bit of quiet time. Lately, I’ve started feeling like stretching my muscles, nurturing my creative ideas and kicking off a real (and public) new year.

On the weekend, my friend Melinda posted on her Facebook page that she has been on a giveaway frenzy so far this year, that she was getting readying herself to take on The Minimalists’ 30-Day Minimalism Game and that she wanted to know who was interested in joining her.

Hmmm. (My immediate response was to raise my hand – compulsive joiner over here!)

I clicked to find out more.

Find a friend or family member: someone who’s willing to get rid of their excess stuff. This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

It’s an easy game at first. However, it starts getting challenging by week two when you’re both jettisoning more than a dozen items each day. Whoever can keep it going the longest wins; you both win if you can make it all month. Bonus points if you play with more than two people.

Minimalism has always intrigued and attracted me. I’m not convinced that I’m cut out for the full commitment, but my collection of *STUFF* could use a little attention.

Last year, I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. For Barb, it’s created a whole new way of living. For me, it was a better read than it was a practice. (Ultimately, I’m not so good with rigidity. It turns me off. Like, instantly.) Barb’s house is organized from top to bottom and evidence shows that her habits are rubbing off on her family members. Trust me, I’ve seen her junk drawer and its tidyness puts most regular drawers to shame.

Amy is meticulous with this stuff. She knows what she needs (and more importantly, what she doesn’t), she knows exactly the moment when she no longer needs it and she’s able to get it out of her house and her life forever. Me, I’m more of a collector. She is deliberate and she is coordinated. I am scattered and a little bit all over the place. If we took a minimalism quiz, she’d be a minimalist master, I’d be a minimalist monkey.

This game, though? It seems doable.

So, I’m jumping in (and I have a work friend joining me – we’ve been talking forever and a day about decluttering and organizing, etc.) and committing myself to the 30-Day Minimalism Game with a couple of tweaks.

  1. I’m starting on Wednesday and I’m doing it for the duration of February. That’ll only amount to 28 days. (But still 406 things!)
  2. I’m not committing to having everything out by end of day, but I am committing to decide which things will go, to getting them out as quickly as possible and to not looking back once the plans are in motion.

Some of the people who joined in with the group that’s tackling it decided to work backwards. They’re getting rid of 28 things on day one, 27 on day two, etc. Not me. I’m easing into this baby.

Right now, I’m feeling really enthusiastic and ideas of things to turf are flowing through my mind several times every day. Here we go! Join in if you’d like! I’ll be posting daily updates on my Facebook page and recapping weekly here.

Have you ever taken on a minimalism project? Was it successful? 

2 Comments

  1. Melinda Gill

    Thanks for the mention! So glad to have you joining in the fun. I’m working backwards because I find instant results motivating and this way the hard part is over earlier in the month. I will be posting my results publically too, as this helps to motivate me to keep going.

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