You may recall that Gerry and I (Shannon) started the Minimalism Game January 1st. If you aren’t familiar with the details, catch up on this blog post.
Essentially, we competed against each other to see who could make it the furthest through the month- getting rid of items each day for that specific day of the month. For example, on the 9th, the challenge is to get rid of 9 items, 10th, 10 items, and so on. We both made it all the way through- all 30 days. Sure, January has 31 days in the month, but it’s not called a 31-day challenge. 😉 In the end, we got rid of a grand total of 930 items. Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t even know we had 930 items. It. was. jaw-dropping.
So, how did we do it? Well, being pretty minimal ourselves, it was a tough challenge; we’re not going to lie. We thought we would make it only part of the month, but we looked forward to the opportunity to declutter some of the things that had accumulated in the last year. That stuff sneaks up on you!
Here are some tips and tricks that helped us along the way:
- We opted to go room by room. First starting with the bedroom closets and drawers. This is where the loner socks were chosen to get rid of. Also, clothes we hadn’t worn in the last year, or that were torn or damaged went bye-bye.
- Bathroom– wow! What a goldmine! We found medications that had expired, makeup that I no longer used and/or expired (yes people, these things turn into petri dishes when they are old. Hellooooo bacteria!)
- Hall closets– old jackets, gloves, scarves, hats, and even some random things like extra lunch totes we never used. Outta here! We also found ribbon, string, and just really off the wall items that we didn’t know we still had.
- Kitchen– yowza, another goldmine. Expired spices lasted us through 2 days of items. We also found a few cups that trickled their way into the house from games, concerts, etc. Who needs them? Not us!
- Living room– again, we live minimally, so I didn’t think anything could come from this, but we have cloth bins where pens, notepads, paper clips, USB cords, and frankly, just crap accumulates. There were enough items to get us through another few days.
- Spare bedroom– we had some old Christmas decorations that did not work from last year, we couldn’t use this year, so they were pitched. Ger also found some items in a box that he had been holding onto, like greeting cards, old ticket stubs, and just some other memorabilia that he sorted through to reduce the collection a bit.
- Laundry room– our house has more of a nook for our laundry area, and Ger also keeps some utility items in there like tools, and guy stuff. He was able to sort through those items and get rid of some things that we just never used, nor will use.
- Cars– towards the end, mainly in the 20’s, we started really grasping, running out of clutter (a good problem to have!) so we resorted to our cars. If you haven’t taken a glance in your glove compartment in a while, I encourage you to do so. There is a plethora of items, like years of car registrations, receipts, and CDs that you may or may not have listened to in years. Who needs CDs these days anyway? Get rid of them!
- Pet items- Our Betty White lives pretty comfortably. She has a large amount of toys, and items we have had for her in the past, such as ointments, old medications, etc. Going through her items presented plenty of material to get rid of in the Minimalism Game. Bonus- she didn’t even notice!
If you want to see all of the items we purged from our lives, check out our Instagram highlight for our Minimalism Game.
What did we do with all of the stuff? We donated what was still useful, recycled what was appropriately recyclable, gave some items to a non-profit group that upcycles by using broken items to make art, and trashed the items that did not fit into either of those categories. We are proud to say, there were only a handful of items that went into the trash. Yay for us!
All in all, we are super proud of ourselves. It really put things into perspective again for us. When buying items we need, or event want, because if it brings joy to your life, then have at it, we want to make better decisions. Quality items are not only just better, but they reduce the items that go into the landfill. Sometimes, the cheapest item isn’t always best. We thought we knew that, and practiced it, but seeing the items we threw out or donated, it was obvious that we need to get back to basics when it comes to not only living minimally, but wisely when it comes to the actual purchases we make.
Did you try out the Minimalism Game, or want to try it out? Let us know how it goes!