Minimalism tempts me. It has for years. I see photos of uncluttered homes and think they are beautiful, but then I look at my house, filled with our stuff, and I love it too.
Do you know what I mean? Are you there too?
My Minimalism Challenge
Recently, I found myself, quite accidentally, in the midst of a simple minimalism challenge.
It didn’t start out as a challenge. It was simply something that needed to be done. We were going to be moving, but our house was full of stuff. Lots of stuff.
Since we were getting ready to sell our house and we needed to make all of the rooms look roomy and uncluttered. In order to make our bedroom roomier we moved an antique china cabinet that I used as a jewelry cabinet into storage.
That was when my minimalism challenge began.
The day I moved all of the jewelry out of the cabinet, I put all of the jewelry away in different drawers throughout the bedroom. Since all of the jewelry wouldn’t fit into one drawer, I put them in small organizers and set them in different drawers.
I was wearing a pair of dangling style earrings that day. I put them on my nightstand that night.
The next morning, those were the only earrings in sight. I didn’t go searching for any others. I just put them on and wore them all day. And the next. And the next. In fact, I wore them that whole week, until we decided to go fishing on day 6.
That day, when I started to put on those earrings, I decided that dangling earrings might be a little silly for fishing. I began searching through the drawers for the organizer with my earrings. They were in the bottom drawer of one of the dressers; in the drawer with my workout clothing. Hmmm… That just happened to be where they ended up.
I looked very briefly in the organizer and selected a pair of simple post style earrings for the fishing trip. I wore them that day. And the next. And again the next. And so on. For all of the next week, I wore those simple earrings. At night, I took them off and set them next to the dangling earrings that I had worn for most of the first week.
Toward the end of this second week, I had a presentation to make and the simple post style earrings didn’t seem quite right. I didn’t really want to wear the gold colored dangling earrings from the first week either. I wanted something silver. So, I went back to the drawer for a third pair of earrings to add to my tiny, minimalist earring collection. I selected a pair of silver colored hoop earrings. They were great for the presentation and the next several days.
Now, it was week 4 and I had 3 pair of earrings on top of the nightstand.
I wore those 3 pair of earrings through the entire week. I just picked out one pair each day and went with it. There wasn’t even any desire to look for a different pair to add to the collection.
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Results of the Minimalism Challenge
In all honesty, I loved this Minimalist Challenge. I didn’t have to choose from 50 pair of earrings each day. There were 1 pair, then 2 pair and finally 3 pair to choose from – that’s all.
Yes, there were more earrings in the drawer, but once I started it, I wanted to see if this simple little Minimalist Challenge would be difficult.
Would I miss having a nice variety of earrings to choose from each day?
This experiment proved to me that less is simpler. Less is best! At least for earrings. Having just a few earrings to choose from each day, was freeing.
The challenge was a success. I will be sorting through my 50 plus pair of earrings (in the workout clothing drawer) and getting rid of a lot of them. My goal is to start with getting rid of 1/3rd of them.
Do you crave a Simple Life?
As the name of this blog implies, I believe that living a simple life is a gift. I really want a simple life and I am constantly looking for ways to simplify our lives that I can share with you.
Do you want a simple life too? Starting with something so simplistic as earrings is a great beginning.
Simplifying any area in our lives, helps us have more time for the things that are most important to us.
How can you try this Minimalism Challenge?
Are you like me? Do you have more stuff than you really want to have? But, you have a hard time letting the excess go.
If so, this challenge may be just what you need. It can be tried with so many things in our homes.
Maybe you love having a variety of earrings to choose from. That’s okay. There are a lot of things that I am not ready to part with. For me the earrings are easy, for you it could be something else.
If you’d like to try this challenge, start with any item you want.
What do you feel you have too much of? If you want to reduce the amount of stuff in your home, give this simple Minimalism Challenge a try.
By the end of one month, you may find that you are ready to let some excess of that item go.
The Minimalism Challenge in a Nutshell
- Choose 1 type of item in your home (earrings, necklaces, rings, T-shirts, dresses, bowls, coffee/tea cups, etc.)
- Select 4 of them (your favorites would be good choices)
- Use those 4 only for the next 4 weeks
At the end of 4 weeks, consider which of the following best describes how you felt during the 4 weeks:
- I loved the simplicity of only having 4 to choose from.
- Having only 4 of these items to choose from was limiting. I would have preferred to have some additional choices.
- I hated this challenge. I want to be able to choose from all of my items.
The Next Step
If #1 describes how you felt during the month, go ahead and cull your number of that item down. Start by getting rid of one-third of them. Be sure to keep your favorites and get rid of some of the rest (see getting rid of stuff below). If you are unsure about really letting them go, put them in a box and store them for a couple of months to be sure you are pleased with your decisions.
If #2 better described how you felt during the month, add 4 more items to your selection and try the minimalism challenge with 8 items next month.
If #3 is how you felt, that’s okay. It may mean that having less stuff just isn’t what you want at this point in your life.
Getting Rid of Stuff
If you’ve decided to get rid of some of your items, here are some easy ways to do this:
- Donate to a thrift shop or a charity
- Sell on ebay, let go, craigslist, or offer up
- List your items on facebook marketplace (for sale or give away)
- Have a Yard sale
- Repurpose it (if you have a need for the repurpose item)
Are You Serious About Decluttering?
Are you really serious about decluttering in your life, and you don’t want to start with one simple challenge. If so, I have found a wonderful resource that will help you declutter your home. This updated 21 day Bootcamp from Tracy Lynn will walk you through decluttering every area of your home and life. If you are really serious and ready to take the leap, this is a great guide to help you purge, clean out and organize your home.
Or if you want just some daily encouragement, this Decluttering in Minutes program from Tracy Lynn is wonderful. It provides you 12 months’ worth of great daily activities for reducing your clutter.
Are you ready?
Why not jump in and try the minimalism challenge for one month and see if it simplifies your life in any way?
Let me know what “item” you try this challenge with and what your results are. I’d love to hear from you.
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