Minimalism for Messy People: The Minimalism Game

If you're unsure where to start on your minimalist journey, a great way to dip your toes in the water is the minimalism game. Here's how to play.

If you’re unsure where to start on your minimalist journey, a great way to dip your toes in the water is the minimalism game. Here’s how to play.

The minimalism game is a challenge that asks you to throw out an increasing number of things for a month. So, on the first day of the month, you get rid of one item. On the second day, you toss two more. On the third, another three – and so on. In a month with 30 days, you will end up getting rid of 465 things from your home!

I don’t think I even own that much!

Honestly, that was my first reaction, too. It’s entirely possible, depending on your living situation, that you don’t actually have enough things to play until the end. Yet, if you feel compelled to participate in this challenge, you certainly feel like you have too much of something. So I dare say you will benefit in any case – even if you have to stop after 20 days because there isn’t anything left to toss!

However: If you count everything, and I mean everything, including all your underwear, socks, books and kitchen utensils… it may well be that you do own a lot more than 465 things. I think we tend to underestimate how much stuff we have a lot of the time. We only notice when our possessions start crowding us out that maybe we don’t need all of them.

Are there any rules on what has to go?

Nope. Anything is fair game, from teaspoons to books, from socks to that fancy home trainer you bought and only used twice. You don’t necessarily have to throw everything away. Donating, selling, or gifting items is okay too. The only rule is that the items have to have left your home by midnight every day.

If you’re living with a partner, roommates or kids, it may seem easier to focus on what they no longer need. Don’t fall into that trap. This is about you getting a grip on your own possessions and making conscious decisions on what you do and don’t want to keep around. Focus on you!

When you get stuck, remember why you’re doing it

In the beginning, the game is easy and fun, but in the second half of the month, things can get pretty tough. That’s why it’s a good idea to define your personal WHY. Why are you playing this game? Do you feel like your stuff is owning you? Do you have a big move coming up? Or maybe you just don’t know where to store your art supplies anymore and the clutter is crowding out your creativity? If you’re starting to have difficulties with the minimalism game, remember that big personal WHY – it’ll give you the extra motivation you need!

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If you're unsure where to start on your minimalist journey, a great way to dip your toes in the water is the minimalism game. Here's how to play.

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4 Comments

  1. Considering this is the major stress factor in my life… Waking up to just worry some more, tossing and turning doesn’t help alleviate the pain which I am quite used to… The clutter or bust I am not… My house is riddled with “Recycyle-Reuse-Repurpose!” overflowing boxes, containers (meant to contain and confine the ugly until it is pretty) lol…. I kid you not, I am queen of making a plain old box beautiful, so as it sits there in my way, holding contents of a soon to do project, (when in the real world, the project itself would have taken less time to create than the shuffling of the collected for how ever long… than the upkeep itself ) it is at least pretty! just shifting and manuevering it all is a job in a day. I get frustrated.. Bonkers at times..because it seems that if I just stack it all in the closets, sure enough, as soon as I do, somebody needs something that is **over there**… I keep telling myself to just toss it all, I don’t live in a big old Country Farmhouse anymore, with a basement and attick for mass storage. I continue to keep everything for the most part because it has taken me 5+ years to save it all again… From nothing.. Long story short, trusted and believed in the wrong person for 25+ years… Selfish person.. I keep it all to make treasureswith my GrandBabies, now 11 & 9 …. Raising them is exhausting at times, the mess that is supposed to be fun stuff for us is becoming unbearable… So here I am… 4 am on a Sunday Morning, reading your article, thinking it must be the magic I desperately search for, why else would it have been the one thing that practically jumped off my phone screen at me at first glance when I woke?

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