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What I learned by playing the 30-Day Minimalism Game

Before Christmas last year I came across a documentary, The Minimalists: Less is Now with Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I have always been the type of person where every few months I declutter and get rid of things. Drawer by drawer, room by room, closet by closet I would find items to donate, recycle or throw away. We had been living in our hose for 2 ½ years at this point and I was feeling like things were getting a bit cluttered again and it was causing me feelings of overwhelm and irritability. So, when I came across this Documentary, I instantly felt drawn to it.

I absolutely loved how they use the simple question, “Does it serve a purpose”? when deciding if you are to keep or get rid of an item. If you know me, you know how important living into my purpose is to me, however I never looked at the things in my home as having a purpose. From this Documentary I decided to participate in the 30-Day Minimalism Game. I connected with a few friends to see if they would like to join, and we started!

Here’s how it works:

Find a friend, family member, or co-worker who’s willing to minimize their stuff with you next month. Each person gets rid of one thing on the first day of the month. Two things on the second. Three things on the third. So forth and so on.

Anything goes! Collectables. Decorations. Kitchenware. Electronics. Furniture. Bedding. Clothes. Towels. Tools.

Whether you donate, sell, or trash your excess, every material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

It’s an easy game at first. Anyone can purge a few items, right? But it grows considerably more challenging by week two, when you’re forced to jettison more than a dozen items per day. And it keeps getting more difficult as the month progresses.

Whoever keeps it going the longest wins. You both win if you both make it to the end of the month. Bonus points if you play with more than two people.

This game was incredible! Not only did it show me how much shit I had that I didn’t need, but it also allowed me to look at the items in a different way, did it serve a purpose. This one simple question made it so easy to get rid of items. And man, it felt good. I was able to give away, donate or throw out 465 items, and yes, I still have stuff in my house.

This simple question, “Does it serve a purpose?” helped me get rid of items easier but I still use it today when I am going to buy something. Before purchasing items, I ask myself this question and most times I don’t end up buying it!

We have been consumed by “stuff” in our society and it seems like the more you have the happier you will be but trust me when I say it doesn’t matter how much stuff you have, if you aren’t happy on the inside no amount of stuff will make you happy.

I challenge you to step back and try decluttering your home and your life and see how you feel. I challenge you to do the 30-Day Minimalism Game and if that feels to big or overwhelming for you then start small. Start with 1 drawer, 1 closet, 1 room and as you go through your stuff ask yourself, “does this serve a purpose?” And if it doesn’t, add it to one of three piles, throw away, donate, or give away.

Excessive clutter is often a symptom and a cause of stress and can affect every facet of your life: from the time it takes you to do things to your finances and your overall enjoyment of life. Clutter can distract you, weigh you down and in general it invites chaos into your life. When you stay consistent and stick to decluttering on a regular basis you will find yourself less stressful and a lot happier as you’re surrounded by a lot less clutter.



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