Four hundred and six things were purged from our lives during the month of February. I started with one thing on day one, two things on day two and I progressed throughout the month all the way to twenty-eight things on day twenty-eight. It’s probably obvious that the start was easier than the finish and it certainly did get more challenging along the way. By the end of it, the Rebel in me (check out the Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin if you haven’t already) was so tired of the daily commitment (I don’t do well with routine and doing the same thing every day so that made it an even bigger victory for me) that I guess I forgot to write about the final week (days 23 through 28) and the process as a whole. (Hahahaha. Two whole months later…)
In week four, I got rid of a mish-mash of one hundred and fifty-three items from all areas of the house including:
- sports equipment
- baby gates we’d used to separate the cats when we moved in together
- writing utensils
- old remotes
- cat scratching post
- Easter baskets
- board games
So. Now that it’s over, would I do it again? I can answer that with a solid MAYBE.
Things I learned:
- I’m actually much less of a packrat than I thought. I don’t feel bad about the number of things that I have no matter how minimalists try to shame people like me for it (and minimalists looooove to shame people for their opposing habits.) My stumbling blocks are sentimental: cards, letters, photographs, souvenirs. But, borrowing from the Kon Mari thinking and keeping things only if they “spark joy” I was justified in hanging onto the things that I do.
- I am not a minimalist. I don’t get satisfaction out of having less and I don’t feel a great charge from getting rid of things. Do I like having less clutter around? Yes. But I also like having some well-chosen clutter, too.
- This would be a great annual exercise or pre-moving routine. When I talk to people who live in single family homes or who have not moved for a long time, they often talk about how daunting it would be for them to have to leave the place that they’re in. This is a good way to practice and not get overwhelmed. Doing this over several successive months would have a HUGE impact on a large house that has sat collecting *stuff* for decades.
- I could use this someday is a tough habit to break. I’m not super hung up on this in all areas, but in some (ahem, craft supplies) I am sooooo guilty. Again, this is something that I hear a lot from people and listening to others and sharing advice on just letting go is real motivation to come home and do some more of that yourself!
Doing the minsgame definitely helped us prep for moving and it certainly helped me get rid of a number of things that I’d probably already carried around for too long. I’ll pencil another in for next spring and maybe then you can join me. 🙂
Take a look back at my weekly reports:
- Week one: days one through seven
- Week two: days eight through sixteen
- Week three: days seventeen through twenty-two
Or check out all the photos in my #minsgame Facebook album.