The word “minimalist” has become such a hot word lately and it carries many different meanings. My personal view on minimal living is about quality over quantity. I find that, along with myself, my family, becomes overwhelmed and distracted by lots of “stuff”. We can lead a more focused, productive and happy lifestyle by getting rid of all that crap and keeping only what we need.
The goal with this challenge is not just to help you lose the clutter, but to create lifestyle changes that will last. Consider this a 30 day transformation to get you ongoing results months and years down the road and to help you live a more inspired and fulfilled life!
DAY 1: PLACE ONE ITEM PER DAY INTO A DONATE BOX FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS,
Designate a “Donate” box in your home, hold a meeting to have all family members aware of the location and purpose. and place one item into this box every day.
DAY 2: ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR “JUNK DRAWER” BY GETTING RID OF THE JUNK.
Today you will empty the junk drawer and eliminate the need for one. (You all know where it is!)
DAY 3: RECYCLE ONE ITEM THAT IS NOT REPAIRABLE.
Whether it’s a plate that has received one too many chips over the years or an old couch that is missing boards, springs, and is filled with mold – recycle one item today that is not repairable.
DAY 4: REMOVE THE ITEMS YOU’RE STORING IN YOUR GUEST ROOM.
Your guest room is a room meant for guests, remove the items you’re keeping in there for storage. No guest room? There must be a closet storing this crap somewhere in your house!
DAY 5: DONATE ONE BAG OF CLOTHING TO THOSE IN NEED.
Any clothing you haven’t worn in the last year can be added to this bag. There is no reason why I need to keep the size 0 jeans that I wore in college!
DAY 6: CLEAN UP YOUR MAIL.
Choosing paperless billing will reduce the amount of bills you receive. You can choose to receive an email or text message from most companies if you’re worried you will forget about the bill. Shred those that you’ve taken care of.
DAY 7: DE-CLUTTER YOUR DRESSER.
Our dressers are meant for clothing but sometimes sentimental items, paperwork, and other miscellaneous things find their way in. Today, spend some time removing the items from your dresser, except clothing. My dresser has everything from movie gift cards to old reward cards to junk earrings where I can’t find a match. The list of items on my dresser is endless!
DAY 8: PICK A CORNER.
Remove the items that do not belong and enjoy the space.
DAY 9: OPT FOR A DIGITAL PICTURE FRAME.
You can simplify the amount of photo albums and picture frames you keep by opting for a digital photo frame. Now all your pictures can be proudly displayed at all times, without all the clutter!
DAY 10: TAKE AN HOUR FOR YOURSELF.
Spend an hour away from electronics (TV and cell phones included) and use that time for yourself. Reflect on your accomplishments and set goals for tomorrow!
DAY 11: CLEAN OUT THE TOY CHEST OR CLOSET.
This includes all the toys in the home (pet, child, etc). Work with your family members and sort through items you may no longer need. Donate to a charity.
DAY 12: DONATE ITEMS YOU’RE HOLDING ONTO “JUST IN CASE”.
Today we are going to donate all the items we have purchased in the last year that we are holding onto “just in case”.
DAY 13: OPT OUT OF STORE EMAIL OFFERS.
Let’s clear out our inboxes so we spend less time sifting through the “sales” and more time getting to what really counts. Unsubscribe from all emails that are not from your “Top 5 Stores”.
DAY 14: TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A PLACE OF RELAXATION.
Remove the clutter from your bedroom (on top of your nightstand, the foot of your bed, etc). An hour before bed disconnect from electronics to allow yourself time to calm down for the evening.
DAY 15: SLEEP ON IT.
If you’ve found an item you think you want, weigh the pros and cons of spending the money. You may find you don’t want or need the item.
DAY 16: TACKLING SENTIMENTAL ITEMS.
There’s a few things you can do with sentimental items, such as creating a T-Shirt quilt! If you’re not ready to part with the item this is a great way to turn the item into something you can use on an everyday basis, while still holding onto the memory. Here are 11 tips to help with decluttering sentimental items.
DAY 17: DECLUTTER YOUR SHOE COLLECTION.
Donate or recycle one pair of shoes you no longer wear. I finally realized I wear the same 5 pairs of shoes and there is no need to keep 5 totes of shoes!
DAY 18: VIRTUAL DISCONNECT.
It’s important to disconnect from the computer and internet from time to time. Let’s use this day of virtual disconnect to work on ourselves – stretch, rest our eyes, and spend time with friends and family. You may find you will become more social!
DAY 19: MINIMIZE YOUR DIGITAL DEVICES.
Learn what you need and stick with it. Do you really need 4 computers, 2 iPads, a kindle and an iPhone? Know what you need and sell the rest!
DAY 20: USE A SMALLER BAG, KEEP LESS IN IT, AND CLEAN OUT EVERY WEEK
If you’re like me and tend to throw everything inside the dreaded black bag, consider using a smaller bag and eventually break this habit. Less room = less stuff!
DAY 21: KEEP ONLY THE NECESSITIES IN THE KITCHEN.
Tackle your kitchen and remove items you never use. Donate these items, or recycle items beyond repair. There is no reason to have 12 of the same plastic storage bowls, or fine china that I received for my wedding gift 20 years ago, that has never been used. Get rid of the duplicates and free yourself from the bowls falling out of cupboard when you open the door!
DAY 22: CLEAR YOUR FLOORS.
Spend some time going through the rooms of your home and clearing the floors. Floors are for walking on – not piling!
DAY 23: TAKE YOUR TIME.
This evening take your time – with everything. Once you relax for the evening it’s time to turn off the mental checklist. Spend the evening in slow-mo mode, instead of racing around the house like a maniac!
DAY 24: FOCUS ON YOURSELF.
While you’re making your way through your journey, don’t forget to take some time to work on yourself. Get out and exercise, eat a healthy meal, and don’t forget to smile! This is a complete transformation – home, body, mind, and soul.
DAY 25: DE-CLUTTER THE UNUSUAL SPOTS.
Today we’re going to tackle the “unusual” places where junk accumulates. This includes under your sink, and even behind the couch.
DAY 26: TACKLE YOUR ELECTRONICS.
We are not only decluttering physical items (DVD players, CD players, iPods, old Wii’s), we are also going to declutter the items we store on our electronics. Remove songs, pictures, videos, etc. from your hard drives that you are no longer using. If you’re like me the “out of storage” notification is a regular visitor.
DAY 27: EVERY ITEM HAS ITS PLACE.
Every item needs a “place” in your home. When not in use, return the item to its place. Organizing your remaining items is a great way to create a system, while keeping the items off your floor.
DAY 28: LET GO OF TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS (ONE AT A TIME).
There is no space for negativity in your life. Quality over quantity. Let them go.
DAY 29: TRY SOMETHING NEW.
You’ve almost completed a 30 Day Minimalism Challenge! Take some time to reflect on your time. What did you learn? What would you do differently? Are there things you would tweak? Are you ready for your next challenge?
DAY 30: WRAP-UP.
Congratulations! You have hit the end of the challenge. On Day 1 we asked you to place one item a day into a Donate Box. Today, donate the box. If you’re hesitant to donate the box, you can instead place it in a closet or spare space temporarily. Take items from the box only if you need them, but replace any item taken with a new item to be donated. After a month, items still in the box should be donated.
Optional Day Thirty: This challenge is about building a better future, stronger ties with loved one, stepping away from “things,” and discovering who you are. That’s a lot to ask for in 30 days. Still have too much stuff? Go ahead and complete the challenge for a second time. Ready for a new challenge? Find it here!