It seems like everywhere I look lately different people are talking about “clearing out”, “de-cluttering”, and “living with less”. Maybe everyone is in the Spring Cleaning state of mind or, it could have to do with people seeing how much mental space is cleared when crap isn’t in the way…?
I mean, have you ever thought about how high-maintenance crap is? All those material objects need to be bought in the first place, then arranged, cleaned, maintained, and if you’re anything like me, there’s a layer of guilt thrown in there too for buying the object in the first place, and then there are all the considerations of so now, “Should I return it?”, and the mental chatter and conflict goes on and on for pretty much, forever.
When I did the Spending Fast I learned how much mental space material objects take up. I was shocked that all that stuff I had been buying pre-fast wasn’t just jacking up on my wallet but also my mind. Who knew, right? During the Spending Fast I found that my mind was so much clearer and I found that I had so much more time! I knew my over-spending habit was costing me a lot of money but I never realized how much time it was taking up too.
Very, very slowly, material objects have started to accumulate in my house again and to be honest, it’s making me nervous. I don’t want to fall back into my old spending habits. I don’t want that old way of life back. Plus, it was hard enough to get out of debt in the first place so, I definitely don’t want to have to do it again!
There’s something I really love about moving — not the actual packing and unpacking (that sucks) — but the clearing out and starting fresh that is a result of moving. During a move it’s easy for me to be cutthroat with my items and look at them in an objective way — something that I can’t seem to do as easily on the spot when I’m going through life day-to-day. Usually, I find that I put lots of stuff in the Junk Drawer or in the Craft Room. The “Craft Room” has slowly started to become the room version of the Junk Drawer. It’s really the catch-all, “I’ll deal with that later room.” Stuff accumulates and never gets tossed because, “I just might need it” and “You just never know! That could come in handy!” I’m so over thinking like that.
I want my mind to be clear again. I want more of my time back. I want less stuff to take care of. I want less. A lot less.
So since we’re not planning on moving anytime soon this is where The Minimalist Challenge comes in. I found out about the challenge on The Minimalists website where they discuss what they call The Minimalist Game. (They also have a new book out called Everything That Remains. I haven’t read it yet but I would love to, and seriously, what a great title! I’m bummed that I missed them when they came through town to promote their book back in April. Hoping they come through again…)
Basically, you start on Day 1 getting rid of 1 item. Then, on Day 2, you get rid of 2 items. You keep going like that, ideally to 30 days and see how many items you can get rid of. When I brought up the idea of doing The Minimalist Challenge to Aaron, he was ALL ABOUT IT which did not surprise me one bit considering that he usually says we should get rid of stuff and I know he thinks I would be a Hoarder if I could be (I wouldn’t).
I calculated it and if we each do the challenge this month we’d each be getting rid of 465 items throughout the 30 day period. For a grand total of 930 items getting freed from our lives!
Holy crap, that’s a lot of crap!
This is how The Minimalist Challenge is gonna go down:
– I’ve got 2 storage size containers. One is labeled with DONATE and the other with SELL. I’ll have another category of TRASH, and all of that stuff will just go into the trashcan right away, obviously;). Right now I’m thinking that I’ll wait until the end of the month to sell and donate stuff so I can consolidate my efforts. Maybe I’ll have a yard sale and whatever doesn’t sell I’ll bring right to the thrift store (and get myself a receipt for tax time;).
– If I have a hard time deciding if I should get rid of an item or not I’m going to evaluate every item with these questions: “When was the last time I used this?” (if I haven’t used something within the last year I probably won’t use it the upcoming year), and I’m going to ask, “Does this item add value to my life or take away value (time) from my life?”
– I’ll take pictures of the stuff I’m getting rid of each day and I’ll post an update on the blog once a week-ish to keep you posted on how things are going. (I will, for sure, be documenting my progress on the blog but I don’t know if Aaron will be documenting his progress here or not. I hope so! But can’t say for sure quite yet.)
– My plan of attack with be the high-junk concentration areas like: our basement storage area, the “Craft Room”, my closet, office, and the junk drawer. I started getting rid of things yesterday since it was the 1st but you don’t have to begin on the 1st of the month (first update coming tomorrow)! Just start with whatever day you want and go for 30 days.
I would love for you to join me! Are you in!? Let’s get rid of some shit together! Say yes! Say yes!