Ahhh there’s nothing like the feeling of failure to get you going…
In December 2017 I decided to challenge myself and take on The Minimalist’s 30 Day Minimalism Game. The rules of the game are easy, on the first day you get rid of one thing, on the second day you get rid of two things etc. If you make it to 30 days you would have gotten rid of 465 items. The only other rule of the game is that the things you are getting rid of must be removed from your home at the end of each day.
I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I made it to day 5 before I threw in the towel and only to day 2 before I started cheating. Even though the shame of failure crushes my little minimalist heart, I wanted to share the reasons why I failed in the hope that you all do better than I. This game could really change your life so I wanted to share where I went wrong and what I would recommend you do to avoid making the same mistakes!
// 1 //
The Time Commitment
Dedicating time every day to find something to get rid of became bothersome. After a long day at work, I was not really in the mood to spend my evenings looking for things that I wanted to get rid of.
By scheduling a set amount of time each night to the task, you will have ample time to find things you want to part with (it is unlikely you will need the whole 30 minutes). Google calendars would be a fantastic tool to keep you on track!
// 2 //
Daily Extraction of Items
Having to remove the items from my home each day was a challenge in itself! As someone who is really trying to live sustainably, I wanted to try to rehome my items in the best possible way. This meant avoiding the trash and donation of items where possible, seeking in the first instance to sell or gift the items. This made it difficult to remove items from my home each night (which I stopped doing by day 2).
When you start the challenge, create yourself a ‘Sell’ and ‘Donate’ box for the items that don’t need to be thrown out and put your items in these to tackle at the end of the challenge. No one wants to be running out to the donation bin each night or trying to sell something online every day.
// 3 //
This was not my first declutter
As someone who has already downsized their life drastically, it was exceptionally challenging finding enough things each day that I wanted to part with.
There are often things that we don’t think about when we declutter so you may still have some areas that you can tackle. Check out that second drawer in the kitchen full of weird utensils, your nail polish bag with crusty shades and your Filofax full of old papers.
// 4 //
I didn’t have a plan
I think to go into this challenge you should really have a plan of attack. I did not. I approached each day without a plan and would wander around wondering what to get rid of.
By preparing a list of problem areas in your home and things you know you want to declutter in advance, you will be more likely to make it further into the challenge. For example, in the early days, think about what larger, singular items you own that you want to get rid of. As the days increase, think about the smaller things – perhaps the kitchen would be a good place to look (who hasn’t got a thousand Tupperware containers without lids?!), and then towards the end, perhaps look at your old paperwork and emails.
// 5 //
The Timing Was Off
I picked a really busy month (December) to take on this challenge. Not only was I dedicating a huge amount of time to the blog (behind the scenes) but I had so many events and distractions that kept me from wanting to keep this challenge up.
Pick a month that you know you don’t have too much on. Knowing what I do now, I would probably pick February to take on this challenge. It’s a great way to keep your motivation going into the new year, but it’s usually a much quieter month in general (at least for me).
So there you have it, the reasons why I failed at the 30-day minimalism challenge and how you can do better. Good luck and remember to subscribe to The Chic Identity email list or follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram to know when new posts go live xxx