What is minimalism?
Minimalism is the new lifestyle sweeping the country. It has been around for years and is just now getting real publicity and it is mostly thanks to “The Minimalists,” two men who took their lifestyle around the country to share in the positive attributes it can bring to people’s lives. The main concept of the minimalistic life is living with less, decluttering your life, and having Joy within the items that you do have.
There is a documentary on Netflix on the Minimalists; they follow these men through their lifestyle, going city to city, sharing the ways of minimalism. It’s a great way to get the general idea of the lifestyle. I, on the other hand, learned about it through social media. I have a few friends through Instagram who I follow that started playing the “Mins Game.” Search: #minsgame on Instagram and you will get a slew of pictures of other people playing this game.
How did I get involved?
My friend was in her Second month when I started the Mins Game for the first time a few months ago. The concept is to give away or throw away the number of items that the day is; for example, on the first of the month you get rid of one item, on the fifteenth of the month you get rid of fifteen items, etc. In total, you should be ridding yourself of 465 items in 30 days! That’s a lot!
The first attempt…
The first attempt I made with this game was not successful. I started with enthusiasm and I felt that this was going to be an easy challenge to complete. I started out strong, knowing exactly what I was going to get rid of. I flew through about seven days before life caught up with me and I couldn’t get everything done. I would wake up struggling with what I should get rid of day after day. Or I would go to sleep and realize that I had completed forgotten to finish that days task. I ended up scratching the idea for that month, hoping I would get back to it in the near future. The whole concept is to rid your life of clutter and unneeded things. I wanted that. I wanted a stress-free, clutter-free home-zone.
My second attempt…
About six months later I finally started up again. For the month of October (2017), excluding the 31st, I was to play the Mins Game. Why leave out the 31st? I wanted to give myself a little wiggle room, just in case….so, I committed to 30 days total. After all, I couldn’t get through two weeks the first time I attempted this challenge and now I was going for the full month. I needed all the help or wiggle room I could get!
I started off strong, doing all of the “gathering of items” on the designated days. However, once I hit day 10 I could not keep up going day by day. I didn’t want to give up because by that time I knew I was going to fail my Hot Yoga monthly challenge and I wanted to keep up with at least one of the challenges, but that’s another story.
I decided to start grouping the days together and putting together my pieces the day before they were due. So, on the fifteenth, I would gather sixteen items for the Next day, and so on. If I knew I was going to have a busy weekend, I would also compile all of my items up before the weekend even started, take my pictures, and then post them on the respective days. On the other hand, there were a few days where life did get away from me, again. But this time, I pulled myself together. I collected all the items that I needed from the missed days and posted groups of photos for all of the days I had missed. Life happens, and this time I didn’t let that get me down.
I completed the 30 days, but still with struggle. Now that I was able to keep up with posting and had a system, the issue was now that I didn’t know what to get rid of! I went through my clothing in the first week or so, then moved on to shoes, belts, etc. Hair care and beauty products were all sorted through, as well as my blankets and bedding. But I still needed more items!
That is when I realized that I have a kitchen. I sorted through the whole kitchen and I had enough items for at least three days (in the “teens”), there were about thirty items that I found in one hour in the kitchen! But I wasn’t done yet. I then found the junk drawer, my jewelry box, and, surprisingly, the Front of the refrigerator! Yes, the front of my fridge was stocked with so many old cards, magnets, and stickers! I had enough magnets for a day in the 20’s! I also went through my clothing again and found even More items to give away!
By the end of the month I was contemplating going for “Round 2!” As I got to day 30, I realized that if I tried to go for a second round, it would not be successful. It was Tough to get my last 28, 29, and 30 items.
Would I do this challenge again?
Yes, yes I would! I loved this challenge, even though it sucked at times. I loathed giving away certain items, but I realized that it was necessary in some cases. When going through items, I looked at it, held it in my hands, and asked myself if I would truly use it ever again. If I said no, I trashed it – even if I had some sort of sentimental value tied to it. I believe that was how I was able to get rid of so much in my closet.
What was the hardest part?
One of the hardest part was storing all of the things I was getting rid of! I didn’t even think about it while throwing things into bags, but those bags have to go somewhere! I ended up putting everything into my car (where they still sit on November 2nd). That was the only place where I could put things and they would be somewhat out of the way.
What was the best part of this experience?
The best part of this challenge was the feeling afterwards. I finished this challenge with a somewhat clean apartment! It was no longer cluttered, that’s for sure! My refrigerator was a surprising difference within the kitchen. It had been filled with magnets, notes, pictures, etc. Now it’s clean, with only my scrabble tile magnets on the front and a few recipes on the side. The “look” of the kitchen has changed completely and it looks so much better!
I really enjoyed this challenge and I would recommend it to anyone who is even slightly interested! Email me if you would like more information!