I realize in the hustle and bustle of life this past spring / summer, I never finished updating you on our 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge that we had started long ago. With all the busy-ness around, it must have completely slipped my mind! Regardless, I think it’s fair that you all get to hear how it went (because I promise, we definitely didn’t quit!). While these blogging habits may have not gone over so well throughout the summer, our minimalist habits certainly did!
30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge
This challenge is a great chance for us all to declutter our minds and our bodies. Erin did a great job of introducing why this challenge is so very important when she wrote her guest blog titled Declutter Your Life, Reach Your Debt Free Goal (Click HERE to read this post). Erin shared how minimizing your lifestyle can help you to save money and get out of debt quicker (isn’t that what we are all about anyway?).
Minimizing means simplifying your life to enjoy a higher quality of living. As a result of living a minimalist lifestyle, people feel more attuned to their emotions, they are more present in their everyday lives, they are happier, and their wallets are more full. As someone who has lived with clutter for most of her life, I’m ready to simplify. I’m pumped to see the results of this challenge! Are you?
30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge Update: Finished
Now, on April 1st I probably would have guessed that we would get through the challenge and be happy, but that would be about it. In fact, I think I guessed that we would get rid of about 500-600 things. I know that I had a goal of 600 to beat another friend of mine who had done the challenge and that was about all I had.
Honestly, when we started the challenge, I had no idea how much it would change my life. I also had no idea how many things I had in my house. If you would have said I would have gotten rid of as many things as I did, I would have laughed and responded with something similar to “there’s no way I have that many things in my house!” Boy, was I wrong.
Favorite / Least Favorite
My favorite part of the minimalist decluttering challenge was the stability – I love having a schedule to work with and that definitely kept me motivated to keep going with this challenge. We got rid of so many items because we felt like we had to and we are definitely a competitive pair.
My least favorite part? Well… That’s a little more hard because I loved many parts of this challenge – I loved making my space feel more open, finding room to breathe, getting rid of items we didn’t need, learning about myself, figuring out how much we actually had versus how much we actually need, and the list could go on, but there is one part that I really didn’t enjoy…. That was dealing with things that have a sentimental value. That was rough.
Pictures, toys, knick-knacks, etc. all that had been given by certain people with a specific purpose. It was hard to say goodbye to some of these for the minimalist challenge – even ones that were broken. Now, I don’t mean that I got rid of all of them (I wouldn’t even say that I got rid of a good chunk of them), they mean a lot to me and it’s hard, but I had to choose which ones had the most meaning.
When I was 12 and my father was in the hospital I remember wearing these horribly uncomfortable shoes. I had had them for a long time – forever, and so they were really worn out and weren’t any good any more. I remember my mom asking why I had brought them, but I misheard her and thought she asked where I got them. So I said that dad gave them to me. She responded “not everything he gives you is so important that it needs to be kept forever.”
Coming from someone who is a little bit tighter when it comes to keeping things (she keeps a lot), this statement has stuck with me. There are certainly keepsake items that I will keep for a long, long, long time, but when they stop bringing you joy, that’s when it’s time to say goodbye and keep the memories. I’ve come up with a few ways to help with that, but I’ll share those on another day!
Number of Items Removed
So, how many things did I get rid of?
While I don’t have the full list here with me, I do have the number – it was over 1,900 items! You read that right – 1,900 items that we didn’t need.
The worst part is, this isn’t the first time we’ve decluttered. In January / February we did a big purge of many items for spring cleaning – we took at least two car-fulls to Goodwill and probably more, plus we brought out 10-15 bags of garbage – just for our spring cleaning!
Before that, just a month or two, we had to do a purge to get rid of things that were infected by the mice (yuck) and got rid of a ton of our belongings.
With all that, I assumed that we didn’t have enough left to get rid of many things, but as you read above, we definitely did – our minimalist challenge in April got rid of over 1,900 items – wow.
Of course, we have a long way to go, but this challenge definitely put us on the right track!
One Thing I Learned
The fewer things I have, the more I have – more life, more happiness, more joy, more excitement, more space, more breathing, more time, more money…. MORE. I think that’s the most important lesson that I could learn from this challenge and something that I have needed to take to heart. It’s all about living in the now – living life to the fullest, which as you all know is my motto, but the more things you have to take care of, the less time you have to do that.
30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge Update: Finished
The minimalist decluttering challenge was certainly one for the books and hopefully one that I will revisit again in the future (perhaps this January?). The best part though, is we have done even more minimizing since the challenge ended – getting rid of even MORE things (though we aren’t exactly counting anymore) and our house is getting less and less cluttered. We have minimized our work spaces, our home, and more! Of course, sharing about those is for another day.
Until then, let’s keep minimizing!!!
Have you ever done a Minimalist Decluttering Challenge? If so, what was your favorite / least favorite parts? What did you learn? How many items did you get rid of?
Let us know in the comments below!
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