I am so happy with the progress that I have made having just completed my first 30 day minimalist challenge. I recently posted about the first 15 days of the challenge. I have now officially completed all 30 days and have decluttered my home of 465 items!! It feels AMAZING!! Yet, I still feel like I have so much stuff. So does this mean a round two is coming? Absolutely!!
I spent the majority of the first 15 days focusing on just our spare “junk” room. I tried to stick with that room for the remainder of the challenge, however, it got to a point where I needed to venture out into other areas of the home. I struggled a little when I hit those 20, 21, 22 item days. I thought for sure that there was no way I would be able to find 30 items on that last day to get rid of. But low and behold… I managed to find all items… PLUS some!
Day 16: (16) shirts; closet cleanout
Day 17: (10) bras, (7) shirts; closet cleanout (10 bras!!! Seriously?? And I still have 8)
Day 18: (2) old mattress pads, (5) expired cat medicines, (11) misc. items from “junk”
drawer in the kitchen
Day 19: (17) old cat toys/supplies, (2) expired boxes of drink mixes
Day 20: (14) pairs of shoes (this should have counted as 28! :)), (6) random household
Day 21: (21) random items from spare room and closet
Day 22: (22) items from a box where I threw all of my stuff from a desk that we gave
away. The box had been sitting in the spare room for over 2 years
Day 23: (23) random items from around the spare room, the pantry cabinet and closet
Day 24: (24) random items from around the spare room, the pantry cabinet and closet
Day 25: (25) random items from around the spare room, the pantry cabinet and closet
Day 26: (21) random items from spare room, (5) old kitchen utensils
Day 27: (27) old or unused kitchen utensils
Day 28: (28) old or unused kitchen utensils
Day 29: (29) old or unused kitchen utensils
Day 30: (15) old or unused kitchen utensils, (15) random items from the coat closet
Before I jump into future challenges, I wanted to give myself time to go over what I just accomplished in the first 30 day challenge. I know for some, parting with this much clutter may not be a big deal. I am NOT one of those people. I have a hard time letting go. I’m not a hoarder and don’t keep things that clearly need to be discarded.. but I do have a slight shopping addiction (which I am working hard on controlling in the new year), so I have things that have been sitting around for awhile because I purchased them with good intent, but never actual got around to wearing or using what I bought. But to get rid of it is a struggle. I suffer from the “what if I need it one day” syndrome. In reality, I understand that if an object has sat around for 2 years untouched, that the chances of me needing it down the road are probably pretty slim…. and even if I do need it two years from now, will I remember that it’s even there? Shoved way back in a closet or cabinet someplace? Most likely not. I still struggle with the “what if” though and tend to hold on to things. As an example, part of this first 30 day challenge I went through this storage cabinet we have (7 drawers total) that was FULL of kitchen utensils. 4 spatulas? Really? Why would I ever need 4 spatulas. Even if I was cooking up a storm and working double handed, I only have two hands! So 2 spatulas would be more then efficient. Those 4 spatulas had been in those drawers for at least 5 years. I have one particular spatula that I use to cook with ALL the time that sits out in a utensil holder near my stove. I never go to these drawers to pull out a different one. So why I am taking up space in my home storing these items that I just don’t use or need? That my friend is a very good question. A question that I cannot answer just yet, because I have yet to figure it out.
Learning to let go of “stuff” is not easy. The “keeping up with the Jones” is just part of our culture and I have fallen into that trap for many, many years. I just feel like there is so much more to life then having a bunch of “things”, or driving expensive cars, or living in big fancy houses. Those things are just becoming unimportant to me. 15 years ago if you asked me if I would rather have $1,000 to spend on a fancy designer purse, or use the money instead to take a trip and make memories, I would have DEFINETELY gone for the purse. I am not the same person I was 15 years ago. Now I just want to go out and make memories.. traveling and having adventures. I think this 30 day challenge has made me realize that I’m actually happier without “stuff” then with it.
*Disclaimer… I by no means will ever be able to call myself an extreme minimalist. Although I am taking a new approach to having “things” and making a more conscious effort to really think about things before I purchase them… I’m still going to purchase some “things”. Granted, at a smaller pace and in smaller amounts, but my life will never consist of bare walls and empty closets. I am clearly a work in progress.