New Years Minimalism Challenge Wrap Up

Have you ever had too much on your plate? Too many things on your list? Said yes more than you've said no?That's how I feel right now.In an effort to find out exactly what I want to do with my life in the next few years, I'm trying everything I can. And there is a lot to try. But the only way to find out what I like and what I don't like is to try it.Yeah, yeah, and what does doing too much have anything to do with minimalism?Remember what I said in the first post about the New Years Minimalism Challenge? I'm not getting into minimalism to become a monk or to make myself miserable with limitations. I'm diving into these ideas to simplify my life, make it more manageable, and do more of what I want to. Now that I've said it, it sounds like a really lame excuse for why I haven't posted my week 3 and 4 updates for the New Years Minimalism Challenge. Can I say I've taken a minimalistic approach to posting? No, that sucks too.Well, here we go. Even though you haven't heard from me in a couple weeks, I've still been busy organizing and moving things out the door.Here's what I've gotten rid of these last couple weeks.Mug

So those are my items from Week 3. Week 2 I started to do 9 instead of just 7 because they 9 looked nicer laid out on my page.

Week 4 is where things really started to get interesting. Believe it or not, most people will have enough stuff to last them right through to week 3. I've already been through 2 big cleans and a move in the last 6 months and I STILL had enough stuff for 3 weeks of clearing out.This is why 30 days is a good length of time for minimizing. During the last week you really have to make a concerted effort to keep on the task at hand and it becomes that much harder to even find things you are willing to get rid of.You will start to look at things differently after 30 days of getting rid of things. Now I look at things and think not about what I would gain if I kept it but what I would gain if I got rid of it. The piece of mind, increase in spare room and cash that comes with getting rid of things is worth 100 times more than the convenience of possibly, maybe, eventually using something. It's not even close to being worth it.Week 4 was the hardest week yet in the Minimalism Challenge but I still manage to find more than enough things to get rid of.Here's my list:

Along with these 7 things from the last week, I managed to get rid of 16 more items of clothing! It was tough but there is a secret to easily getting rid of all these things.

Hide them in boxes. Pack them up. Hide them away. Don't look at them for at least 4 months. I didn't try less than that but 4 months seemed to work very well. I pulled the boxes from the closet and my default reaction for every single thing I pulled from those boxes was to get rid of it. I hadn't worn it for the last 4 months. And the very reason they went into the box in the first place was I didn't wear them for a while before that. Some of these items haven't been worn in 2 years. Why I still had them, I have no idea. I might need them in the future? Sure didn't.A Big ThanksA special thanks to Rik from The Dutch Minimalist who really took this challenge head on. Make sure you check out his latest post on the challenge. He dives right into Week 5 of The Minimalism Challenge!Also a big thanks to Greg from Live it With Less. He's embraced the challenge with a passion and has done very well for himself. Make sure you take a look at his Week 3 of the Minimalism Challenge. I hope he doesn't start slacking there and is able to finish the challenge!And of course, we can't finish this challenge properly without the solid effort from Dave from The Minimalist Path.  Dave was moving while the challenge was going on and still managed to participate and make a few video posts to boot. Check out his latest video post on the Minimalist Challenge.

The Next Step: Project M-31

If you are looking for ways to continue simplifying your life and decluttering your spaces, but need a bit more guidance, make sure you check out Project M-31 from the Minimalist Path. It's basically an easy to follow, no bull, step by step guide to attacking the spaces that collect the most junk and actually get it out of your house and out of your life. I'm working through the chapters as we speak and already it's making a difference in simplifying my life.

New Years Minimalism Challenge Week 2

If you're just joining in, make sure you check out the Minimalism Challenge Intro and Week 1.This weeks pile is another load of clothing. I've also added more bonus items to make sure I actually get rid of everything I can. I bet I can do 2 things each day the rest of the challenge. Can anyone else take me up on that challenge?

As you can see I'm trying to get rid of as much clothing as I can. So you know, I've been donating the clothing and everything I can to the a thrift store in Nanaimo that supports the local women's shelter. Nothing is being thrown right into the garbage. If you're throwing away good things, think about where it's going and try to get it to someone who can use it. If it is actually garbage, yes, throw it in the garbage.Some of the things I got rid of this week are prime examples of what I'm trying to not get stuck with. I caught the black shirt on Jan 23rd at some concert and even though it was too big for me, I kept it hoping I would get bigger or it would get smaller. Neither happened, and yet it was taking up space in my closet and my life. That is no longer! The concert prize shirt has been donated and I'll never have to think about it again.Others participating in the challenge are killing it as well. Greg at Live It With Less needs to be careful he doesn't get rid of his kids!Only 2 more weeks to go and we'll have made our goal of 30 days straight of getting rid of something! That's something to be proud of.What did you get rid of this week?

New Years Minimalism Challenge Week 1

It's been one week today since the New Years Minimalism Challenge started and I'm doing very well. I moved into a townhouse 3 months ago and, coming from a much larger house before, had a ton of stuff that had to be taken care of. Since then I've drastically minimized the things I own but there is still too much.My focus for this challenge has been the lingering items that have been hiding in boxes since the move. One of those is clothing. I've got way too much. More than my girlfriend in fact. I used to keep things around so that when I destroyed some article of clothing I'd have other things to wear. That was a long time ago and I still keep things around but never destroy anything.Right now I've got 2 boxes ready to be donated and here is the first of it.

That's all for this week. Lots coming for next week. Post links to what you've gotten so that everyone can see!
Greg from Live It With Less has posted his first weeks update and Rik has his post up on the Dutch Minimalist .
David Damron from TMP has been going all out with updates. Check out Day 1, Day 2, and Days 3 - 5.
Great to see people joining in!

New Years Minimalism Challenge

So it's not even the middle of January and everyone's forgotten about their New Years Resolutions? Right?Wrong! I hope you haven't either!How many of you said you wanted to get rid of things? Pare down? Clean out your closet and your mind? Have you started?Do it! Join Dave from The Minimalist Path and I on a Minimalist Challenge this month.In? Good.

The Challenge

From January 15th to February 15th you're going to be getting rid of one thing every day from your kitchen, closet, computer room, bedroom, car, work. Anywhere that is accumulating clutter and things you don't need. The purpose here is not to become a minimalist Zen Monk, (if you want to though, give 'er) but to remove things from our lives that don't matter.The idea for this is not to get rid of everything. Yes, this would be very minimalistic to be sitting on a bare floor eating with your hands. Not very practical though. You want to remove things from your life that have little value and leave the big things that mean a lot to you. All those little things take up time, space and money. Wouldn't you rather spend those on things you love?Rules1. You have to plan to get rid of something every day of the challenge. You can take the stuff to wherever it's going to end up, dump/friends/recycling depot/ shelter, once a week if you like. I understand it's hard to go every single day.2. Update your blog/website/doc/wave with things that you've thrown away. Try to make an update post somewhere of what you let go every week. Comment here with the link. If you don't want them cluttering up your blog, email me.3. Things that can be recycled or donated, have to be. Don't just throw them in the garbage. People can benefit from used stuff.4. Check out what Dave has to say about the Challenge on The Minimalist Path.That's it. That's all you have to do. After 30 days you might just create a new habit of getting rid of things you don't need. Now get minimalizing![Update]If you've started a little late, check out the update from Week 1 to see how everyone is doing.

1 Week Into My Minimalism Challenge

1 week into my minimalism challenge and I'm still on track. Sort of.I've made a list of things that I will get rid of and what I've actually gotten rid of. I've gotten rid of a weeks' worth of stuff. I'm falling behind though.I have to admit it's hard to stay on track with the things I want to sell. They sit around like I haven't gotten rid of them. Another issue I've run into is actually getting the things out of the house. I'd rather not make a special trip every day to get rid of one bag of things. It just seems like a waste of gas.I began this challenge just as a way to pare down all the "stuff" I've accumulated and simplify my life. It's turned into more of a necessity now that I'm moving to a new place and really don't want to carry all of it from one place to another. The fact that I'd have to pay for(in time, effort and gas) to move my junk around really puts things in a different light.So here is what I got rid of for my first week.1 bag of clothes.3 bags of booksAn stereo receiver that I was hoping would start magically working again.A printer that I hadn't used in a year.30 magazines that I had touched in over a year. Who looks at magazines again anyways?A pile of computer parts that were laying around. IDE hard drives definitely aren't coming back. Recycled!

Recycle It!

I had a hard time convincing myself to make the effort of recycling these things. Wouldn't it be much easier just to hit a dumpster and toss everything? Yes. But when I thought of all the electronics and computers in landfills these days I couldn't help but cringe at what we are doing to the environment. Don't place a heavier burden on the environment but just throwing things out. Sell them. Donate them. Recycle them.Stay tuned for the next installment of my Minimalism Challenge this week.Also Check out #5 33 ways to start your day.

My 30 Day Minimalism Challenge

IMG_2327I've been reading a lot lately about minimalism and how it can greatly benefit your life and that of those around you.The whole idea is that you live your life with what you need and nothing else. Everything else that you hoard and keep and have to push around all the time is just wasted space, money and time. Basically we waste our lives buying and organizing "stuff". Yes they might have a use at one time or another but do you really need that amazing doohickey that sits on the shelf most of the time. Or do you really need to spend $200 on that brand new thingamer for your computer?Save up the money that you don't spend and go travelling or on an adventure or buy something you really use all the time. Use all that time that you get to read, hang out with friends and family, or do that one thing you've always wanted to do but put off.Dave from The Minimalist Path has just put out a great into eBook, 7 Steps to a Simple Life,  if you are interested in the subject but are unsure of where to start.To kick off my experiment in minimalism, I'm going to give myself a challenge.Every day for 1 month, 30 days, I'm going to take something from my bedroom or computer room( both of which are full of things I don't need) and get rid of it. Getting rid of it entails selling it, giving it away, recycling it or just plain throwing it in the garbage.I've set a few rules for myself to keep things interesting. 4 articles of clothing count as one "thing". I could spend 2 months getting rid of clothes but abiding by this rule will make sure the most never re-appears back in my closet. Being busy during the day, I'll allow myself to go out on the weekends to actually get "rid" of these things. 4 Magazines and 2 books also only count as one thing.What do you think about it? Could you do this for a month?