It starts out easy – day one, get rid of one item. Finding one thing in your house to get rid of is really not much of a challenge. By the end of the month, you might be feeling differently. I’m talking about the Minimalism Game, a challenge to get rid of one item the first day, two items the second day, three the third, and so on. Anything can go. By the end of the month, you’ll have cleared out 465 things that were cluttering up your house (and your life).
I challenged myself to do this challenge, knowing there are plenty of unnecessary items in my house. It was an easy thing to start – I have clothes and miscellaneous household items that have accumulated that I don’t need.
Making the Minimalism Game Work for Me
The game works best when you adapt it to work for you. I didn’t count anything that I would have thrown away or recycled anyway in the course of a day. I only counted things that were already in my house – piles on my desk or junk in my kitchen drawers were fair game.
The original rules say the item has to be out of your house by midnight each day, but that didn’t work for me. Some nights after work I would go around looking for my items and find them all by 9:30pm. Those items (and I) are not leaving my house after 9pm. I chose to lump things by week. It was definitely tricky in the challenge when I got a few days behind, because that would mean I had some serious catch-up when I missed a few days, but I did it!
Later in the game, I was finding things in my kitchen like bottles and containers I had saved that I didn’t need, stacks of papers and documents that were just cluttering up my desk, or old grad school textbooks I hadn’t looked at in 5 years. I looked through toiletries and found old lotions and things I was just hanging onto because I didn’t want to waste them, but in reality I was never going to use them. One day of the challenge I cleaned out a kitchen drawer, and found lots of rubber bands, bread bag ties, plastic forks that came with takeout food who knows how along ago. This is the type of drawer I never would have just thought to clean out on my own, but is unnecessary clutter!
How the Minimalism Game Went for Me
During the month of the challenge, I got rid of my items in a number of different ways. Some things went in my trash and some in my recycle, some went to goodwill, some went up on my Buy Nothing Group, and some went to family and friends. I even was able to grab a bunch of small toiletries and give them to a neighbor who was putting together kits for a homeless program.
I am definitely a person who hangs on to things because “it’s still usable” or “maybe I’ll use it one day”, so this challenge was a very freeing way to let some of that go. Yes it’s usable, but maybe donating it means it’ll be used by someone else.
The minimalism game is a great challenge for anyone to take on. It’s a good thing to declutter your life, and allow your stuff to be useful to someone else. Maybe you don’t have too much to get rid of, and that’s okay too. Go for as many days as you can! It all still adds up and makes a difference.