Last year something amazing happened.
Our basement flooded from a faulty dishwasher, and we ended up having to throw out a couple of damaged boxes from our storage. Not the most exciting of events it would seem, but inside one of those boxes was something I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with for years!
MY CHILDHOOD TROPHIES!!!
The bane of all minimalists! Haha…
By the time we noticed the leak, the waterlogged boxes were full of waterlogged trophies with mold starting to grow on them (wooden bases), and just like that the decision was made for me – out in the trash they go!
It was one of the most exhilarating – and freeing – things that’s happened on my path towards minimalism. I suck at the more sentimental stuff, and a part of me wished that flood continued through our entire house for even more forced freedom! ;)
Sadly/fortunately, however, life doesn’t work that way, so it’s up to US to do something about our long desired goals, and after a few months of dragging in this area, I decided to up the game and see just how close I can get to that elusive #6 on the List of Hardcore Goals. Which is why last week I started doing something that’s been amazing so far!
I’m getting rid of at least *one* thing a day, for the next 30 days!
And you should join me! It’s been about a week so far (wanted to make sure it would stick before announcing it to the world!), and I am more motivated than ever right now.
Here’s the list of everything I’ve chucked/donated so far:
- Book: The Intellectual Devotional – Modern Culture
- Half broken lamp (worked sometimes, not others)
- Bag of candy (out of site, out of my tummy!!)
- 6 old Zip disks (remember those???)
- 4 old Floppy disks (Or these?? ;))
- Un-installed three apps on my phone
- Never used Bluetooth headset
Some days have been harder than others (those un-installed apps were done in my bed late one night when I almost forgot – hah!), but by and large a few minutes of walking around the house has done the trick just fine.
And when all else fails, you can always hit up your miscellaneous drawers! ;)
That’s what I’ve done with some of my desk drawers so far, and wow did I hit the jackpot! Because here’s the thing – when you give yourself a WHOLE DAY to find something, you have plenty of time *and* energy to pore through some of these harder items once and for all. Ain’t nobody wants to scan a dozen old storage disks from 1997, but when you’re not rushed and can enjoy going through your long lost files, you get a little entertainment from it too! ;)
I’ve come across old resumes, mp3s, pictures, spreadsheets (the boring ones – not $$$ ones), college essays, software programs, graphics, and all kinds of other non-treasure treasures. I even stumbled across a ubiquitous AOL CD from back in the day – hah!
(I’ll spare you the sound that goes with this ;) )
Point is, finding just ONE thing a day to get rid of is super achievable. And if you can make it through 30 days, I’m willing to bet you can make it through an entire year and maybe even turn it into a habit at the end. Which is really the ultimate goal! Can you imagine having less and less stuff over the years vs continually accumulating?!
I’ll shoot you another update in a month to see how it’s going, but wanted to throw this out there real quick in case you’ve been needing a little nudge yourself.
You may not have the desire to live out of a suitcase, but we all have stuff that’s not adding any value or purpose in our lives anymore. And being able to better identify these items over time will not only give back more time/energy/money, but also prevent more nonsense from coming into the house in the first place!
As fellow blogger Joshua Becker likes to say,
“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”
Now who’s with me?!
UPDATE: Mission complete!! Here’s the full list of everything I gave away, and what I learned in the process (there were some surprises in there!): 48 Days of Getting Rid of Stuff
Astute readers may notice I am now doing two daily challenges concurrently: tracking what I spend on *wants* every day, as well as getting rid of something new each day. But hey – you gotta strike while the iron’s hot, right?? And they very much go hand in hand! :)
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Today I am donating my Lazy Susan to the charity shop!
I’m SO in!! I’ll make sure clothing doesn’t count because I have to start clearing an entire box of my husband’s. OK so one day of non clothing related item = easy peasy.
What’s an AOL? Is that like Betamax?
Why can’t clothes count? And why isn’t your husband not cleaning it out?? Haha…
I was thinking the exact opposite, that I could do one item a day only out of the closet.
That works too! No rules as to *where* the items come from, so long as it comes from your house :) (or cars, work spaces, etc…)
I’ve been selling my old CD collection and video game on eBay the last few weeks.
We’ve also cleaned out a closet of toys and clothes we aren’t saving for future children. We also asked grandparents and relatives to stop buying us “stuff” but you can assume how that request had gone.
Haha yup… one year I did convince them to give $$$ towards college 529 plans, but seems everyone “forgot” the following years and went right back to toys again :)
I guess I am lucky, my dad is still all in on putting money into a 529 for his grandkids. Of course he also does it for the $1000 state tax credit every year too.
As far as giving something away every day. Do I have to do one item each day or can I do 30 items one day? If so, I’m 50% there already
Hah – nice! The ultimate point is to get rid of everything you don’t want/need anymore so on that regard you’re killing it, but if it doesn’t become habit over time and accumulates back up, then it doesn’t count ;) That’s why I like the *one a day* type idea – in theory it should become a *habit* over time!
I’m in :) This will be hard… 30 days is 30 things! That’s a lot of crap!!
… that you won’t miss!
AOL Dialup (Ca-Chong…Ca-Chong), Floppys, Zips….Yesss!!!! Love it!
I did a huge spring cleaning purge a couple of weeks ago and just felt so much lighter and happier. I just gave our neighbor two huge bags of baby clothe. Things pile up quickly without us even realizing it!
Totally! And good idea with giving it to a neighbor in case you need ’em back later if another baby shall make an appearance ;)
J, you have to stop roping me into these things LOL…..Yes, I am in!
I have a basement full of stuff that could be better used. I think the fun part of this challenge is winning over my family to join me. I think we have a toy store and old computer shop down here. It would be nice to free up this space. :D
Oh man, if you figure out how to get your family involved please let me know!!! All I get is eyerolls over here when I bring it up! Haha…
Just one? Lol. There are groups online dedicated to getting rid of 2018 items in 2018, themes like that.
Baby steps :)
I’m in! I led a Minsgame last year and got rid of over 500 items! It was loads of fun in a group. Thing is, I never got to the part of Minimalism where you’re vigilant about what comes INTO the house. So at this point you’d never suspect that I have minimalist ambitions… Time to start again.
Olivia, it happens to the best of us! That’s where the true minimalism comes in, not letting new stuff in. We’ll get there!
Oh yeah – same problem here haha… on the plus side, it should help with always finding something new to give away, eh? ;)
Oh, I’m so with you! I love this challenge! Done and Done! Today, right now I’ll clean out my purse and get rid of old business cards that I’m NEVER GOING TO USE!!! Tomorrow will be easy b/c I have a 2 large garbage bags of stuff in my car that I need to drop off at Goodwill. If I wanted to cheat I could just call that an entire months worth (b/c it’s probably more than 30 items) but I won’t cheat! :)
p.s. AOL, zip file……FLOPPY?!! Dude, you’re telling your age. (which is only 2 or 3 older than me so cut it out!) :)
Awesome!! Glad to have you on board!! And good job not cheating already on day #1 :) I thought about counting each floppy and zip disc as one, but that felt like cheating too so just lumping them together as one. I think as long as I can be conscious about this stuff once a day and look for stuff – whether it’s one or 100 – then I’ll know it’s working. And so far so good!
I’m way ahead of ya’ on this one, J. I’m moving to a new state next month, and that forces a person to purge a lot of unwanted and unnecessary things. I’ve gotten rid of plenty of clothes, kitchen items, and books within the last few weeks…and it’s awesome! :D
I bet!! But I still think you can do one more a day until you move ;)
I might even get a group of friends to do it with me!
Maybe you can even meet in person once a week to discuss and help each other out, along with drinking some glasses of wine? :)
…Excellent idea, J. Money.
I get such a high whenever I throw things away. At my dinky apartment, I only have one fork, one spoon, one knife, one bowl, one cup, and not even a plate.
Okay, YOU WIN haha…. No plate??!!
We are moving in 4 months into our new “being built” house and I am not taking a lot of the stuff I have with us. Thanks for giving me a step up to get this done. XOXO
A perfect time to put this into action :)
I love this idea! starting today!
Excellent! Welcome to the fun!
I do this every time I go to my parents’ house. I get a trash bag and try to fill it with junk. Then I leave it in the basement keeping my ear to the grindstone in case someone complains about missing something. If no complaints, then I’ll toss it in the trash next time I visit.
If they ever move or pass away (knock on wood), they and my siblings will thank me for getting rid of so many things ahead of time. I mean, they would thank me if they knew I was doing it. =D
Now that’s hardcore, haha… you are braver than I!
Lent is a season for discipline and introspection (not necessarily sacrifice, though it can be.) I did this during the Lenten season. I had accumulated too many clothes and got rid of 40 items (for the 40 days of Lent). I haven’t really missed them either. The first 30 were a breeze, the last 10 were a little more difficult, but in the end, I gained closet space. The local thrift store gained donations that help needy people in our area. I’d say it’s a win-win whenever and however it’s done. BTW- used trophies sell quickly in the thrift stores around here!
You know, I did contemplate for a hot second whether or not to donate or recycle parts of the trophies, but I knew that the more I waited the more chance I’d hold onto them for another 30 years so I quickly dumped them before I changed my mind, haha… Very cool that thrift stores can re-sell them okay though!
And YES to Lent challenges… In fact, I’ve done a majority of mine over the years attached to Lent too: Stopping shopping for 40 days, stopping cursing for 40 days, stopping *complaining*, drinking soda, eating candy, and even drinking alcohol (so far the hardest, haha…). Each one has completely shifted my habits for the better!
Love this! I’m in. Since we’re traveling for a month or so in August I’ll ditch two things per day until we leave ;) and then resume when we come back!
YAYYY!!! Loving all over that!
I’ve been working to conquer my paper tiger for over a week now. I deliberately get up early to spend 20-30 minutes tossing out paper/junk that I haven’t used. Magazine articles that I “meant to read”; coupons; old bill statements, etc. etc. So far I’ve run across hidden jems like my sisters’ birth certificates and have managed to toss bag after bag of crappity crap. My landlord remodeled my kitchen — two. years. ago. — and I packed stuff up then that is still waiting to be restored or dumped. It makes me furious when I think about how much junk I’ve carted from one apartment to the next when I should have just let that go. And don’t get me started on the books that are piled everywhere. Process is slow for me but rewarding.
Hey, you’re in good company here!! What matters now is that you’re finally going though it all to save Future You even more hassle! Keep going!!
I’m in. Today I donated my Harman Kardon receiver, Mission speakers, and Monster cables to a not for profit organization.
I’ll try to keep a list for the month and report back in.
Oh wow – that’s killer! Yes – please track and keep me updated, would love to see what it looks like in the end!
about to retire…
I am purging my closet of work clothes and donate to charities as I count down. If I wont wear it again due to a change in seasons- its gone!
for every piece of clothing I buy, recreational or leisure, I have to donate two going forward
Excellent set of rules – I concur.
Way back in the early days of the blog, we rocked this same goal. It was a great feeling, so I’m in!
It’s a classic man! Never gets old! :)
I remember AOL, floppy disks, and all that junk. I’m in for this challenge so long as I can get my wife to go in on it too. Thanks for the nudge.
Why does your wife need to be in it too??? You fixing to get rid of her stuff? ;)
I did this last year for 6 months, one thing a day…anything! Time to start again.
I am in:)
Also, anytime I bought something new, I had to get rid of something “old”.
6 months – impressive! Let’s see if you can make it to 7 now! :)
I’ve tried to get the kids to toss broken toys and such and I also resorted to bagging up some of their stuff. They ALWAYS figured out what was missing and most times, it was too late. It went out to the trash already. I still feel badly about it as I trashed some Bionicle containers and now those things are worth a nice penny. So, I’m trying to buy them back from ebay. Just for the containers.. Am I bad?
Haha… only means it’s time to come up with some new tricks ;)
I’m in! New flooring and countertops has forced me to see how much stuff is in the nooks and crannies of my house! Need extra motivation to clear it out before we put everything back.
Oooh very cool! Great way to separate the stuff that brings you joy vs the stuff that doesn’t!
My favorite excuse for decluttering and tossing/donating things: moving! Every single thing I find a new home for (or finally trash) is one less thing I have to pack and lug to my new place!
I’m in. Maybe it will jump start my goal of reducing my “stuff” down to 2 totes worth..
I would buy you a beer if you can pull that off, sir. And it won’t be a Pabst! ;)
I have been decluttering for almost a year and still find at least one item every day. In the past week I have added one extra umbrella (still have 4); a decorative wall shelf I have no space for, 4 chairs I gave to my daughter years ago who gave them back this weekend. Find a Habitat for Humanity Resale shop for donations and they will love you.
It’s amazing how much you find doesn’t it?? Especially as more comes in over time :)
This is so fun! I started doing a purge last week. We have tons of stuff cluttering the house and I’m sick of it. I listed a lot of stuff on Craigslist so we can turn a little profit. Heck, I was able to buy groceries last week “for free” using Craigslist money. Not bad, eh? :)
Even better! Maybe that should be the 2nd part of the challenge – go and try selling it all after the month’s over :) (Provided you’re placing things in a box or something and not getting out of the house ASAP – half of which I’ve already done just to make sure 100% they leave, hah!)
Love this! Rich and I did something similar a couple of years ago. Every weekend, we each ditched 4 things. It worked because it was a small enough amount that it was achievable rather than being some large and daunting task. We still do it every now and then. I love how clutter-free spaces make me feel!
Yup – exactly!
I’m in but be aware…last time I did it and got rid of stuff in a garage sale, my significant other got a little too into it. Back in the house had to go our only vacuum cleaner, our only coffee maker and artwork off the walls. LOL
Haha… I like that guy already ;)
This is going to be amazing! I already have a bag to donate going out today. Can’t wait to find things daily!
Good! Glad you’re joining us!
Day 1: two pairs of ill-fitting shoes, a shirt that became too big, and a dog collar too small for either dog. Four items with no heartbreak at all!
See that :) Good sign to keep on going, even though it will get harder probably by day #7 :)
I agree that one of the best motivators to purge is moving. I tend to go through stages where I feel I have to purge – go through all the storage nooks and bins and get rid of things no longer needed. Not a minimalist but starting to feel like what I own is what I need and I’m not hanging onto a lot of extra stuff. I pared down office supplies last year only to realize a year later I still hadn’t touched most of what was still on the shelf. Cut it down by half a couple of weeks ago and donated the extras to my local humane society. I’m no longer allowed to shop the back to school specials! Although I’ve been paring down, I’m sure there’s still more stuff in this house I don’t need/use – I’m in!
Love to hear :) School supplies are hard for me too – I love some good pens!
My wife and I recently played the minimalist game, for 30 days. 1 item on the first day, 2 on the second day, 3 on the 3rd day so forth and so on for 30 days. We set up a table to photograph the loot we gave away each day.
Just checked it out – so cool!! Love that you photographed it all – it’s fascinating!! (And did I see a coin there in that first picture towards the bottom left in that purple card?!)
I’ve been trying to clean up my old digital files. I just today removed 800G of old TV shows/movies from my DVR. More to go…
Wowwwww nicely done!!
I think next you should just get rid of the DVR entirely ;)
What an interesting project! And because it’s only one thing a day, very doable. I’m fairly minimalist already, but there’s ALWAYS something that needs to go. Challenge accepted.
Great!! Minimalists unite!
Piles and piles and piles of old magazines. All neatly tied up in bundles with a string carry handle :-) LOL
This crapola has even moved house with us. Why? Because I figured as a freelance writer they could be useful reference stuff. D’oh…
So they’re going out, one bundle at a time. And the space I’m reclaiming is wonderful.
So I’m in too.
Welcome to the fun!!!! It’s like getting rid of *20* things a day for you and those bundles! :)
This is perfect timing! I have been assisting my parents in purging as they are getting ready to move/downsize but I have been gaining some things in my house. I’m totally in. Thanks for the motivation.
Haha yeah – going through parents houses you always find more stuff to take home – whether your own from the childhood days or stuff your parents lightly push on you ;)
Minimalism is something that I has taken my heart (but not in reality) the past few years, and then took over my life when I started moving a couple months ago. I realized how much crap I had, I had no clue I had accumulated so much junk. Getting cut-throat with my stuff was far easier than I thought.
One thing that I can now focus on is putting money towards my entrepreneurial goals rather than purchasing and storing things. But I am fortunate to have mentors around me to talk to and ask advice, but even with that you can still do better. The Lurn Summit is happening July 28th and 29th with keynote speakers like Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) and Bob Proctor (You Were Born Rich). Invest in yourself rather than things.
Yes to all of this! Investing in yourself is always > stuff!
I’ve been decluttering for a while now. One thing that has really helped me was to count stuff – both things that go OUT and things that come IN. The goal is to have a lot more OUTs then INs. One year (when we moved) we managed over 2000 OUTs – so one item per day.
It is even better if you can make some money with the things you no longer use or want. We’ve already made over 1000.- $ this year with stuff we sold online.
Haha yup – more OUTS than INs for sure. 2,000 in one year is impressive!
Ha, I think I have my old AOL CDs somewhere. I used to be excited when a new version of AOL came through the mail. I was anticipating what new features they would have in the new version. Gotta love 56K speed!
Have so many magazines, DVDs and books over at my parents house. I need to declutter them so they can have more space over there.
Awesome challenge J!
I used to work for a flood cleanup company and it’s ridiculous how much useless stuff we cleaned up that no one used for years! Floods can be the worst… or in this case the best ;) Congrats on getting rid of stuff and I hope they dried out everything okay for you.
Maybe this movement will kick that Hoarders tv show to the curb and you can create a show called the “Minimalists” :)
HAH! The boys from TheMinimalists.com blog actually already came out with a Documentary on minimalism if you wanna check it out: https://www.theminimalists.com/films/
But we can always see more of it, of course! :)
We recently downsized from a 3000 sq/ft home to a 1100′ apt (empty nest). Did a lot of purging and I really don’t miss the old place,or stuff (AKA “junk”). Getting rid of stuff is very satisfying….
I recall a quote from somewhere “Clutter is nothing more than delayed decisions”; this was my mantra while doing the move/downsizing.
Oooo that’s good, I like that.
I’d love to join! I’ve been purging the past two weeks and hit a recent roadblock where I’m having a hard time deciding what to part with next and I think it’s because I’m trying to bite off too much at once.
I feel bad throwing away something that might still be useful. Thankfully FB private free item groups are full of people happy in my area willing to take items off of my hands!
Good luck to all!
Good! Join us!
No one said you had to throw anything out – I’m donating 90% of my stuff around town! Feels great to put them back into use again! :)
30 things in 30 days? Pffft – too easy.
I’m in the middle of packing/decluttering hell at the moment so I’ve been on a tear for months now. We’re leaving behind a massive family home and moving to another province into our modest ’empty nest’ retirement home. Since we’re moving, the kids, who recently moved into their own places, couldn’t leave stashes of stuff behind with us. Even better, we’ve been gifting them with things we no longer have a use for. Having to pay by the pound to ship stuff makes the process of deciding what to take with us much clearer.
I would say so! Haha… well done.
wow, this article was written for me. my basement flooded 3 days ago. all within an hour before discovered. had the water risen by one more inch, my 30 year vinyl collection would have been ruined valued at 20k. all i do is stress over this collection. i often wonder if i own them or they own me. this might be the kick i needed to start selling some off
ACK!! Yes! Excellent sign that it’s time to start doing something about them, whether selling or gifting or enjoying more/etc. Gonna be a process for sure, but I bet you start feeling better the second you start working on it :)
Yeah, I’m not ready to join you just yet, but I know I should… Once we get ready to move out of my father-in-law’s I’ll take the 30 days prior to move-out date to do this.
Since you spared everyone the dial-up sound, I thought I should add it: https://youtu.be/gsNaR6FRuO0
Haha…. I’ll admit to clicking that – thanks for the reminder ;)
Count me in!
I tend to get rid of things in fits and spurts, but creating a daily habit of it would be cool. For sentimental stuff like trophies I’ll take a picture with it before I get rid of it. The next question is how long until I get rid of the picture…
Exactly right my man, haha… But baby steps! I’ve been snapping pics of a lot of the stuff I’ve been shedding this week too – def. makes it easier :)
I have been doing this declutter approach for about two months now. But, instead of throwing it away, I have placed them in boxes designated for our city’s annual citywide garage/rummage sale. Make a little extra cash and try to save the Earth-well at least I won’t be the one throwing it in the landfill or burning it.
It actually feels good to be able to declutter. The house gets lighter after each purge!
YUP! No one said you had to trash it all – just “get it out of your house!” Haha… My box is overflowing and ready to be donated any day now – and we’re only a couple weeks in :)
If I get to count every article of clothing, every old CD or computer disk, and each individual essay from college/high school, and each old textbook than I can probably do 30 items a day for 30 days and probably not even notice anything missing.
Looks like this is the perfect challenge for you then ;)
Amazing idea! I’m starting today. I can’t stand clutter and useless crap.
GOOD!! MAKE IT HAPPEN!!
i did this a while ago. photographed my progress on instagram to keep me honest. my approach was slightly different as i got rid of 1 item on day one and then 2 items on day 2 until eventually 30 items on day 30. this was really hard and at about day 8 i could no longer find more than 8 things to get rid of. i live a fairly low footprint life already, so this was tough, but got me to seriously review why i keep certain things around.
Haha yeah – that’s def. much more hardcore than just 1/day ;) And looks like you still got the main takeaway by the end anyways, even if you did stop at #8! It’s all about paying attention more and re-evaluating!