I got the idea to try the 30 Day Minimalism Challenge from a couple of guys who call themselves The Minimalists. The idea is that you get rid of one item on the first day, two items on the second day, three items on the third day and so on for a total of 30 days. You either donate, sell or throw away the items.
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30 Day Minimalism Challenge
Last year, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo , and it inspired me to get rid of a lot of stuff. (If it didn’t “bring me joy”, it was gone!) I thought since I had already gone through my stuff many times that this 30 Day Minimalism Challenge would be tough…the scary thing is, it wasn’t.
I made it through the 30 days surprisingly well — and I still have more to get rid of!! I’m not a hoarder by any means either…there are just so many places things can live in a house that you don’t even think about — drawers, backs of closets, the basement, the garage.
It’s crazy how much stuff one person can accumulate over a lifetime.
When I clear my physical space I find that my mental space gets cleared too.
Donate or Sell?
All of the items I included in my challenge either got thrown away or donated to a friend or Goodwill. Many of the items I donated were in good condition, and many had some value to them. I probably could have made some money by selling the items instead of donating them.
But, that takes time and effort and I really don’t have much of that to spare right now. So instead of spending time and effort to sell an item to recoup a small portion of what I paid, I just donated it.
I like to think of the person who will end up with one of my donated items and the joy that item will bring them. That makes me feel good. Don’t get me wrong…there is nothing wrong with choosing to sell versus donate! I just chose to donate because it was easier and quicker.
Take pictures of sentimental items and store in a “Things To Remember” album with your digital pictures. That way, you can remember the the memories an item carries without the physical item taking up space.
My Top 3 WTF Items
During the process of going through my closets, drawers and storage bins, I came across some interesting stuff. Some of it was pretty cool to see — my original college portfolio, a letter my dad wrote, old sketchbooks.
Some of it was taking up space with no redeeming value — checks from a 17 year old account that was closed over a decade ago, 2 kitchen graters (I don’t like cooking and these were my EXTRA graters!), old Rolodex files sans Rolodex (not that it would be much better WITH the Rolodex…)
There were a few items that were really just totally absurd. I don’t know why I have been dragging these things around with me for 10-30 years. Each time I ran across one of these all I could say was, “What The Fuck!”
So, here are my top 3 WTF items:
A Portable CD Player Owner’s Manual:
Yeah, you read that right – a discman manual! WTF?! I think this was from the one I had in college (this were pre-iPod days). So, while it wasn’t crazy to own this in the late 90’s, why the hell did I keep the owner’s manual? The actual CD player is long gone. It’s crazy to think I have been carting this around with me for almost 20 years.
My High School “Writing Manual”:
I remember we got this in high school as a writing reference. OK, fine…but I kept it. I think I brought it to college with me “for reference” (what a nerd)…but I still kept it after that. WTF? In addition to being totally outdated and completely useless, I still held on to it for over 20 years.
An Oak Ridge Boys Concert Program:
This deserves a WTF for buying it in the first place (although that blame would have to go to my parents since I was 4 at the time). This is from the first concert I ever went to…yeah, the Oak Ridge Boys (keepin’ it classy). It was the eighties, what can I say. But, I kept it! WTF?! I don’t even like the Oak Ridge Boys (ok, ok, so their Christmas album is really good). This has been in my possession for over 30 years! Holy Shit.
30 Day Minimalism Challenge – Resources
For further reading and watching, check out these books and videos – they will inspire you to declutter your life, get rid of the excess and put your focus towards the important things.
From The Minimalists:
From Marie Kondo:
PIN IT FOR LATER