Just about everything in the world that I own is currently in use.
I keep just a few things in storage – one suitcase, a couple boxes to store my space heater and humidifier once spring comes, and a bunch of plastic bins and containers I use when I move. One bin holds the second half of my shoe shelf that I no longer need and my modem and router that I don’t need to use right now.
That’s it. Everything else is a functioning piece of my everyday life.
Let me tell you how this came to be.
I completely agree with the concept of minimalism. I see it as a way to only fill your space and life with things you need or things that bring you joy. Plus, a clean and organized space clears my head. But sometimes I struggle to do this because of my conflicting – but totally natural – nesting habits.
I wanted to start the year off fresh and clear of junk. So, I challenged myself to do the 30-Day Minimalism Game during the month of January.
While doing this challenge, I had to consider how every little thing I have – scattered throughout my apartment, tucked away in drawers, and hidden away on the highest shelves – is useful or makes me happy. My goal is to have only essential and functional items that will last a long time. Or things (not that many) that make me smile when I look at them because they remind me of a special person or moment. Ok yes, I tend to be a little sentimental sometimes.
But, I mercilessly rid my apartment of all the excess stuff.
I sorted through every drawer, cabinet, shelf, and bin until I had a pile taller and wider than my couch. I even cleared out my email inbox and unsubscribed from an embarrassing number of promotional newsletters that I never read.
Before finally getting rid of everything, I let some friends sift through the donations pile and take what they wanted. My Goddaughter (only about 2 ½ years old) took a purse and an old toiletries bag off my hands! She’s been really into packing for trips lately. Whether she’s going to the grocery store down the street or with her mom to visit family in Michigan, she always packs a bag with her essentials. How adorable is that?!
To do this challenge, I was supposed to remove the same number of things as what day it was. So, on January 1, remove one item, on January 2, remove two items, and so on. The Minimalists suggest doing the challenge with a friend to see how far each person can get – once you reach the end of the month, you have to get rid of 30 or 31 items!
I challenged just myself, though, and I completed it over just one weekend. From top to bottom, I sifted through my apartment one Friday night and all day Saturday in early January. On Sunday that same weekend, I filled Beyonce up (my 1995 Subaru Legacy wagon) and dropped all the excess off at Goodwill and the recycling center, and called it a day.
I know what you’re thinking… This girl knows how to party. =)
Here are all the things I purged from my house in January:
I successfully purged 465 things (at the very least) from my apartment!
- backless kneeling chair
- bars of soap I no longer use
- stuffed animals
- expired medicine
- purses I haven’t used in over a year
- unused full-size toiletries bottles
- pairs of sunglasses – broken or give me headaches
- scarves I no longer wear
- pairs of shoes I haven’t worn in years
- old makeup brushes
- old pens/pencils
- takeout menus
- pairs of pants
- hair accessories that I don’t use anymore
- food about to expire, probably won’t ever use, or had been in the freezer for too long
- duplicate books and books I’ll never read
- old, tattered/stained shirts
- email newsletter subscriptions that I never read
- pairs of tights and socks
- old makeup I don’t use anymore
- various electronics/household items (old chargers, extension cords, lamps, etc.)
- samples of stuff I’ll never use from the medicine cabinet
- folders with old documents
- extra clothes hangers
- tourist maps and brochures from vacations
- old, unnecessary receipts and documents
- rusty, chipping bobby pins
- broken/unmatched/old pieces of jewelry
- junk drawer items: various small bits and pieces, old lip balms, dried up ink pads, etc. (way more than 30 actually)
Starting the new year off this way was refreshing. I find it easier now to part with non-essential things right away. I take immediate action so things don’t sit around for long. Plus, I have absolutely no desire to go into a store unless I NEED something. And I stick to buying only what I went to the store for in the first place – no more desire for impulse buys!
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Are you up for a challenge like this? Do you think you could clear your house of this many things all at once? Tell me what you think in the comments below.
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