I’ve written before about how, in the last two years, I have been on a journey to simplify our life. Specifically, that has involved the amount of items in our small house.
My husband has always been a minimalist at heart. He loves to keep things simple and since he moved frequently after high school and even into our marriage, he tried to keep only the amount of stuff that would fit in his small car. This worked great until he suggested that we only needed our backpacking kitchen gear in our first apartment together as a married couple. I was not so keen on the idea…
I am not a hoarder, by any means, but I certainly was never a minimalist, either. I like having the comforts of home around me. Even while backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail for months at a time, I liked to nest in our tent every night. I liked to feel at home and the things that surrounded me played a part in that. They still do…
However, the more kids I have, the more I have found the need to simplify. And the more I simplify, the more I feel a sense of peace in my home. I have yet to find that perfect balance of stuff – every time I get rid of stuff, I still feel like there is more to let go of, so the process continues…
That is where this challenge comes in.
This is a challenge that many bloggers and YouTubers have done in the past. I first heard about it a year ago. The month long minimalist challenge is simply to get rid of the same number of items as the day of the month. So, on November 1st, that is one item, the 2nd is two items, all the way until November 30th at 30 items. In all, after the challenge, I will have gotten rid of at least 465 more items in my home.
That might sound like a lot, or it might sound like a little. It really depends on you and the amount of items you are comfortable with. Since each time I declutter, I have gotten rid of hundreds of items, I know this will not be too hard at our house. Kids bring in clutter. All. The. Time. It’s crazy how much stuff accumulates with kids – especially school age kids!
I also want to clarify that an “item” can be as large or as small as you want it to be. It could be a really large item like a piece of furniture, or it can be as small as a piece of paper you don’t need, or anything in between.
I am not a rule follower by nature – I like to mix things up, so I will most likely NOT be doing the exact number of items a day as the day, everyday. I will be counting up my items as I donate, discard, or recycle them and try to hit at least 465 items for the entire month. If I break it up by week, this is
- Days 1-7: 28 items
- Days 8-14: 77 items
- Days 15-21: 126 items
- Days 22-28: 175 items
- Days 29 and 30: 59 items
Suggestions of things to go through to donate or discard:
- Clothing/shoes – I will especially be going through my T-shirt, underwear, and sock drawers again.
- Cabinets – especially the bathroom cabinets, but the kitchen is another great place
- Pantry – Old food? Old party stuff? Plastic food containers?
- Toys and children’s books – if you have kids, there are likely many, many toys that your kids just don’t play with anymore. I know the kids toy shelf and book shelf is ready for me to go through it again.
- Laundry room/linen closet – old blankets (great to donate this time of year), old cleaning supplies, junk that accumulates (my laundry closet is a magnet for junk!)
- Books/DVDs – old books, DVDs, or movies that you just never read or watch anymore.
- Office – piled up mail, old files, pens, papers, excess office or craft supplies, expired batteries
- Kitchen – extra dishes (especially kids dishes and plastic cups – these seem to breed), expired spices, excess dish towels and rags, nasty stuff in the refrigerator…
- Garage/car – I could easily find 465 items just in the garage (and we park our cars in there every night, so I know we have less stuff than most our neighbors). My car is another 100 items easily – junk accumulates faster than I can clean it out with 3 kids! (My husbands car, on the other hand, is spotless – go figure!)
- Digital clutter – don’t even get me started on the number of emails in my inbox. Let’s just say that 465 items would be nothing compared to that! Thank goodness for the “Search” tool!
So, anyone want to join me on this crazy venture? I know I already have a few friends who are game! Make sure to follow me on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with my progress. And I’d love to follow your progress as well, so make sure it tag me on Facebook or Instagram in your posts – @amylovesnature
By most hardcore minimalist standards, I still have a LONG way to go, but I’m happy to say that I’m making progress. Life is getting simpler one donated item at a time…