I Decluttered 150 Things in Less than a Month by Playing the Minimalism Game

published Apr 22, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh

My family and I are moving soon and I’m deep in decluttering mode. Our interstate move is very much a new beginning, and as I’m getting ready and packing, I’m thinking a lot about what I do and don’t want to bring in to our new life — so when I found out about the Minimalism Game, it resonated strongly with where I am right now: paring down to the essentials, getting rid of anything extraneous that weighs us down, all the good stuff.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the Minimalism Game is a 30-day challenge to help you minimize your stuff. The basic premise is that you get rid of one thing on the first day of the month, two on the second, three on the third, and so on. By the end of a month, if you’ve done it by the book, you will have gotten rid of 465 things!

Of course, you don’t have to complete the challenge; in fact, I know I won’t hit the goal of 465 things. Still, I’ve gotten rid of 150 items in less than a month and I’m feeling so good about it! By incorporating small decluttering moments into my day-to-day, I’ve been able to get rid of hundreds of items relatively painlessly! It’s the “small drops make an ocean” decluttering strategy with an impact.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far from this challenge:

Decluttering sometimes require a little external motivation.

Participating in the challenge motivated me to stop waiting and just put some bigger items on Facebook Marketplace. I stopped hemming and hawing about price and priced the items to sell — I had to check off my boxes, after all! 

Decluttering doesn’t have to be an event.

We often think about decluttering as being an event, something that might take a couple hours or even an entire day. But during the challenge, I found myself decluttering little things throughout the day. For instance, I tossed my old makeup brushes and the expired cosmetics samples I had in my makeup drawer while I was getting ready for the day. Just that two-minute cleanup allowed me to add 12 items to my decluttering list!

Decluttering snowballs (in a good way).

It can be emotionally difficult to get rid of things that you’ve spent money on or that hold some other sort of value. But, once you decide to get rid of one item, say that sweater you haven’t worn in three years, you will suddenly “see” more things you can let go of. For instance, once I started looking for clothing to get rid of, I ended up donating around 20 pieces that didn’t fit or that sat unworn for other reasons. 

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: I Got Rid of 150 Things in Less Than a Month by Playing the Minimalism Game