New Years Minimalism Challenge Wrap Up

Have you ever had too much on your plate? Too many things on your list? Said yes more than you’ve said no?That’s how I feel right now.In an effort to find out exactly what I want to do with my life in the next few years, I’m trying everything I can. And there is a lot to try. But the only way to find out what I like and what I don’t like is to try it.Yeah, yeah, and what does doing too much have anything to do with minimalism?Remember what I said in the first post about the New Years Minimalism Challenge? I’m not getting into minimalism to become a monk or to make myself miserable with limitations. I’m diving into these ideas to simplify my life, make it more manageable, and do more of what I want to. Now that I’ve said it, it sounds like a really lame excuse for why I haven’t posted my week 3 and 4 updates for the New Years Minimalism Challenge. Can I say I’ve taken a minimalistic approach to posting? No, that sucks too.Well, here we go. Even though you haven’t heard from me in a couple weeks, I’ve still been busy organizing and moving things out the door.Here’s what I’ve gotten rid of these last couple weeks.Mug

So those are my items from Week 3. Week 2 I started to do 9 instead of just 7 because they 9 looked nicer laid out on my page.

Week 4 is where things really started to get interesting. Believe it or not, most people will have enough stuff to last them right through to week 3. I’ve already been through 2 big cleans and a move in the last 6 months and I STILL had enough stuff for 3 weeks of clearing out.This is why 30 days is a good length of time for minimizing. During the last week you really have to make a concerted effort to keep on the task at hand and it becomes that much harder to even find things you are willing to get rid of.You will start to look at things differently after 30 days of getting rid of things. Now I look at things and think not about what I would gain if I kept it but what I would gain if I got rid of it. The piece of mind, increase in spare room and cash that comes with getting rid of things is worth 100 times more than the convenience of possibly, maybe, eventually using something. It’s not even close to being worth it.Week 4 was the hardest week yet in the Minimalism Challenge but I still manage to find more than enough things to get rid of.Here’s my list:

Along with these 7 things from the last week, I managed to get rid of 16 more items of clothing! It was tough but there is a secret to easily getting rid of all these things.

Hide them in boxes. Pack them up. Hide them away. Don’t look at them for at least 4 months. I didn’t try less than that but 4 months seemed to work very well. I pulled the boxes from the closet and my default reaction for every single thing I pulled from those boxes was to get rid of it. I hadn’t worn it for the last 4 months. And the very reason they went into the box in the first place was I didn’t wear them for a while before that. Some of these items haven’t been worn in 2 years. Why I still had them, I have no idea. I might need them in the future? Sure didn’t.A Big ThanksA special thanks to Rik from The Dutch Minimalist who really took this challenge head on. Make sure you check out his latest post on the challenge. He dives right into Week 5 of The Minimalism Challenge!Also a big thanks to Greg from Live it With Less. He’s embraced the challenge with a passion and has done very well for himself. Make sure you take a look at his Week 3 of the Minimalism Challenge. I hope he doesn’t start slacking there and is able to finish the challenge!And of course, we can’t finish this challenge properly without the solid effort from Dave from The Minimalist Path.  Dave was moving while the challenge was going on and still managed to participate and make a few video posts to boot. Check out his latest video post on the Minimalist Challenge.

The Next Step: Project M-31

If you are looking for ways to continue simplifying your life and decluttering your spaces, but need a bit more guidance, make sure you check out Project M-31 from the Minimalist Path. It’s basically an easy to follow, no bull, step by step guide to attacking the spaces that collect the most junk and actually get it out of your house and out of your life. I’m working through the chapters as we speak and already it’s making a difference in simplifying my life.

6 thoughts on “New Years Minimalism Challenge Wrap Up”

  1. You were too busy watching the hockey!The Challenge was a lot difficult than I thought. My Week 4 items are posted up, and in a couple of days I be going into a bit more detail on the whole experience.CheersGreg

  2. I’m really interested in the structure of your challenge. I’ve been trying to implement a rule of ‘new thing in, old thing out’ with my family — any time someone buys something new, we have to get rid of something else. It’s hard — especially when not everyone is as committed to the idea as I would like, but there is a surprising amount of stuff that collects in the back of closets that we can get rid of.

  3. @Karol I thought taking pictures would be kind of silly at first but it proved to be very enlightening. Not only did it encourage getting rid of things because I had to post on the blog but it also motivated me to get rid of more after counting how many pictures I had taken. 24 things sounds like a lot more than 1 box!@Greg Haha, Greg, you got me. I definitely was watching Hockey and what awesome hockey it was(especially since Canada won gold :D) . I’m excited to see your final post! Thanks so much for joining in.@Thursday Good to see you here Thursday. I’d highly recommend getting yourself in order first. After 30 days of trimming down your own belongings you’ll be much more helpful to those around you. The very concept of “stuff” changes after you try and get rid of everything you can. And there is nothing better than “Ready, Fire, Aim” when getting rid of things.And remember “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exuper

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