Minimalist Challenge Update / 02

DAY 3 minimalist challenge

I’m excited to share this week’s Minimalist Challenge update! It’s crazy to realize all the random crap that I’m been mindlessly accumulating. Oh my word… It’s kind of sickening but awesome at the same time to be taking action to end the problem!


Since I didn’t realize how much junk we’ve I’ve been “collecting” I think I want to try to do this Challenge every year. It’s turned out to be such a great opportunity to clear out all the un-needed crap, and I love the idea of lightning up our load in the springtime.

So, I started the challenge with just pulling all the obvious items that were just hanging around out in the open and got a pretty good amount of stuff to get rid of by using that method. Soon though I’m going to have to tackle the  more densely populated junk areas if I’m going to be able to make it through The Challenge.

Oh! And Aaron is participating too but he’s not taking pictures of the things he’s getting rid of so at the end of the 30 days we’ll have a big ol’ garage sale to try to make some cash off this stuff! So for most of the items when it says SELL that’s what I mean, that I’m going to try to sell the items at the yard sale first and then if it doesn’t sell, depending on what it is, I’ll either try to sell it elsewhere or I will donate it.

Today I’m going to give you the Day 3 through Day 12 progress report so with these items the total number of things I’ve been able to get rid of has risen to: 78! 

Day 3, Get rid of 3 things:

  • SELL – Name badges with lanyard
  • SELL – Empty capsules. From that one time when our doula encapsulated my placenta in our kitchen and then I ate it. Lol. TMI, much?
  • TRASH – Paint color swatches

DAY 4 minimalist challenge

Day 4, Get rid of 4 things:

  • DONATE – Bag of soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. We’ll be donating these to a women’s domestic violence shelter.
  • TRASH – Empty yogurt container with a lid. I usually save these things for random projects or leftovers but they seem to breed like rabbits. We constantly have 5 or so on hand so, yeah don’t need it.
  • TRASH – Party hat print out. If/when I ever need to make a party hat I’ll just Google it and print it out at the time I need it.
  • TRASH – Print out of questions to ask kids as they grow throughout the years. Yeah, too much clutter to keep for 18 years!

DAY 5 minimalist challenge

Day 5, Get rid of 5 things: (I can’t count apparently;) so there are 6 items in the picture)

  • DONATE – Salmon fillets. We were generously given these after Henry’s birth in November and I think that if we were going to eat them we would’ve done so by now. They’ve been frozen the whole time so we’re going to see if our friends or neighbors want them.
  • SELL – Tea boxes x 3. I really like the idea of tea but I don’t like drinking it, turns out. I do know, for sure, that I like the idea of drinking coffee since I do that everyday so I’m gonna go ahead and stick with coffee and let my tea drinking dreams drift away.
  • TRASH – Large bag of used powdered sugar and large bag of used cinnamon and sugar. From that one time I made biscuit donuts (they were amazing and so easy! I used this donut-making tutorial in case you’re interested in getting in on that donut-y goodness).

DAY 6 minimalist challenge

Day 6, Get rid of 6 things:

  • TRASH – Dark chocolate bar with almonds. Again, this is one of those things that I like the idea of more than the reality of. Just give me the milk chocolate! I’m not eating that dark chocolate (I like it in certain situations just not this one;)! I bought that chocolate bar for $2 from a girl doing a fundraiser and I’ve been struggling through trying to eat that dang thing for the last 6 months now.
  • SELL – Bandana. Never wear it. Don’t need it.
  • TRASH – Rotten banana. Aaron doesn’t think I should be able to count this towards my items total but I’m doing it anyway. (Actually, I ended up not throwing it away but freezing it to make a banana smoothie.)
  • SELL – Travel coffee mug. Got this from my old job’s Lost and Found box. It’s served me well but I just don’t need it anymore.
  • SELL – Water bottle x 2. These breed like rabbits too. Coloradoans are ALL ABOUT their water but we really don’t need as many water bottles as we have so these two are outta here!

DAY 7 minimalist challenge

Day 7, Get rid of 7 things:

  • SELL – Boots. These are actually the boots that I bought right after the Spending Fast ended. I dreamed about getting new boots and then I got them and they were disappointing. I actually don’t think I’ve even worn them but once or twice since I’ve owned them. I can tell you that I got way more joy out of doing the Spending Fast and paying off my debt than I EVER got out of those (or any other) boots! Lesson learned!
  • SELL – Books x 6. These awesome books should be loved by a new family.

DAY 8 minimalist challenge

Day 8, Get rid of 8 things:

  • SELL – Clothes x 7. Ill-fitting or don’t feel good in these.
  • DONATE – Sweater poncho. Have never worn it.

DAY 9 minimalist challenge

Day 9, Get rid of 9 things:

  • SELL – Vintage blanket. I LOVE this blanket — the color, the vibe, all of it! — but we have never even used it! Not even once! :(
  • GIVE TO FRIEND – Large mirror
  • DONATE – Shampoo, conditioner, gel, makeup remover pads, and travel-size toiletries x 3. Giving these to the women’s shelter too.

DAY 10 minimalist challenge

Day 10, Get rid of 10 things:

  • SELL – Baseball hat, fuzzy socks x 2, sneakers, heel boots, belts x 4, scarf. Don’t use these things anymore.

DAY 11 minimalist challenge

Day 11, Get rid of 11 things:

  • SELL – Magnetic clips, foam foundation, nail polish, sunglasses, hair pick, nail-polish remover
  • RETURN – Eyeshadow set. I got this set from Sephora when I was feeling splurge-y and like I wanted to be adventurous with my makeup. I’ve only used it about one time so I’m going to try to return it. They seem to have a good (read: lenient) return policy so might as well give it a try!
  • TRASH – Bar of used soap, probiotic tablets, receipts
  • DONATE – Travel-sized shampoo

DAY 12 minimalist challenge

Day 12, Get rid of 12 things:

  • TRASH – Disposable shower cap, broken pin
  • SELL – Teasing comb, top knot “donut”, travel-size hand cream, perfume, bag of hair ties, face cream, hair styling creams x 3, sunglasses

My SELL and DONATE bins are already filling up fast and it feels so good!


Read the other posts about The Minimalist Challenge intro and the last update.

Are you doing the Minimalist Challenge too? If so, how has it been going for you?

P.S. Looking to declutter and minimize? CLICK HERE to learn about the Fearless Minimalist Guide


30 thoughts on “Minimalist Challenge Update / 02

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  1. Caitlyn

    Your project inspired me. I started on the first couple days, but I soon realized that the way it was set up wasn’t realistic for my lifestyle. I’m running a new business on top of my job so I have small spurts of time here and there, but some days there isn’t a spare second of the day. So after a few days on and a few days missed, I was starting to feel let down with the whole idea. So last weekend I just went for it and purged probably an entire month’s worth of stuff (I didn’t stop to count individual items, but 3 bags full of clothes, 3 boxes full of random stuff, bag full of books). And then I actually donated it (that’s the huge part for me, I am terrible about actually getting rid of the stuff once I sort it).

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Mary

    Such great progress! I am planning to take part in the challenge in July. My husband will be gone for work the whole month so I can purge without him trying to save each item ;)
    Also, unrelated, where did you get the blanket in day 9? I LOVE IT! If I lived anywhere near you I would come to your yard sale just to buy that one item!

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Hey Mary, Love that you’re going to do the challenge when your husband is out of town!;) Gotta do what you gotta do, right!?

      About the blanket, one of my sisters gave it to me. I believe she got it from an estate sale. It is such a gorgeous blanket!

  3. Sandra Manley

    This is excellent! My boyfriend just moved in with me, so the two of us are also in the process of getting rid of a lot of things we don’t need.

    I’m a notorious collector of hotel soaps/shampoos. You’ve inspired me to collect for our local domestic violence shelters- thank you so much!

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      It’s hard to let those little shampoos and soaps stay at the hotel, right?! A reader actually made the suggestion about donating the hotel shampoos and soaps to a women’s shelter, and I’ve wanted to a make a donation ever since. Such a good use for them (and it feels good too)!

  4. Lindsay

    thank you for sharing this challenge and what you are giving away. I’ve made huge sell piles before but I often don’t get around to selling off clothes on ebay. I’ve had pretty good luck using these two websites – they send you a bag, you return it (the postage is already paid for) and they give you $ for your clothes and shoes. Twice ( takes women’s clothes. ThredUp ( takes clothes, shoes, and kids clothes.

    I look forward to checking out your future posts on this project.

  5. Katelyn

    I’m doing something similar.. I ran out of my favorite perfume about 5 months ago, it just so happens that I have two other (expensive, mind you) bottles of perfume hanging around… I’ve banned buying any more of my favorite perfume until I’ve used up both of my other bottles. Having multiple perfumes was fun, but really unnecessary when it comes down to it. I’m better off sticking to my one true love! :) I also ran out of shampoo and conditioner and used up all of my free hotel travel size stuff before buying new full size bottles. Got rid of all my makeup that was a good idea at the time, but was just collecting dust. I love getting rid of “stuff”, it’s my favorite thing to do!

  6. Brennan

    Sephora has a great return policy. I’ve returned things after a year of not using them, and gotten in-store credit. I obviously didn’t hold onto those receipts, but they’re super cool about it.

  7. Chrystal

    This is awesome. I actually already have a few boxes of items in a spare room that were waiting for me to donate and/or have a yard sale (I just didn’t have enough items to make a yard sale up yet). So maybe I’ll have to do this challenge and get the boxes filled up and host one this summer!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Danielle

    You might also consider donating hotel soaps, perfume, (tasteful) makeup, jewelry, fabric, blankets, and fuzzy socks to a local nursing home. Those ladies like to feel warm and pampered, too!

  9. Tessa

    You know who loves empty yogurt containers? SCREENPRINTERS! ha! My husband runs a screenprint shop and my whole family saves them now for him. Any big container like that he loves for ink storage. Maybe a local print shop can use them if you save enough?

  10. Mallory

    If no one buys the running shoes, take them to a local run specialty store or sporting goods store. A lot of the time they’ll have a donation bin where you can leave the shoes and they’ll go to someone in need or be recycled. Plus, they almost always give you a store discount or perk for the donation.

  11. Candice

    Thanks for posting, Anna! Especially all the photos. It makes me feel good to know that I’m not the only one accumulating so much “stuff!” I just finished up grad school and am in the process of moving…I’m keeping only what I can fit inside/on top of my SUV, so I’m definitely up for the minimalist challenge! I’ve donated SO MUCH already, and plan on selling/bartering larger pieces of furniture. It’s so much nicer to be surrounded only by things you absolutely LOVE!

  12. Keeley

    Question: Where do you sell your goods? A consignment shop? Online? Everything I end up getting rid of seems to end up at Goodwill and I know some of it could be making me some cash!

  13. Bethany

    How do you sell used combs or hair ties, face cream, makeup etc? Do people actually buy those used? I would probably just throw stuff like that away or give to family members, but if I can sell stuff I would rather do that!

  14. MHarper

    Good posts and the number of items to get read off were really challenging. I’ll be coming back to check for new updates on your challenges. Good luck!


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