Challenge Yourself: 3 Minimalist Challenges to Clean Out Your Closet
30 Day Challenge: The thirty- day challenge is one of the most efficient methods for downsizing and adopting minimalism that you can find. Minimalists such as The Minimalists, Dalton Scott, My Sanger, and Anuschka Rees have all done their own version of the challenge and inspired many others to try it out for themselves. There are several ways to complete the thirty- day minimalism challenge, but in this case, you are going to do the simplest version. Buy yourself a good wallet like these from Kisetsu.
Get rid of ten things a day.
Rid yourself of ten things every day for thirty days. This may sound easy, but you will come to realize how attached you are to material things within the first week of this challenge. At first, choosing ten things a day will be simple; we all have at least a dozen little things that we wanted to get rid of but never did. As you progress through the challenge, the task of finding ten items will become more difficult. By the time you have completed day thirty, you will have gotten rid of three hundred items in your home.
The most comforting element of this challenge is that you can get rid of anything you want: clothes, garbage, pens, whatever you want. On YouTube, when you search for other people’s thirty-day minimalism challenges, you will see others throwing away markers, donating clothes, or selling their televisions. There are no guidelines or rules when it comes to what you can keep and what you can get rid of.
Why it Works…
This challenge has helped other minimalists find success in the lifestyle because it slowly helps you declutter while coming to realize how much stuff you actually have versus what you truly need. Sometimes, it is so difficult to let go and realize that less really is more. We become so obsessed with having the best and the most stuff that we forget that we don’t actually need it. This challenge, in particular, makes the individual realize that there is a huge difference between want and need. Letting your wants motivate how you spend money sabotages you from investing in your needs. Even worse is the circumstance that so many people find themselves in, when you put off your needs to fulfill what you want instead.
30 Things or Less
This challenge is exactly what it sounds like. You simply get rid of everything you have until you only own thirty items or less. Except it does not sound simple at all, does it? Some of the most dedicated minimalists live with less than thirty things; and in the most extreme cases, only what they can fit into a backpack. This challenge is designed for anyone who is ready to just dive into minimalism with both feet and make a drastic change in a short amount of time.
Or… this challenge can be utilized if you are already a minimalist and are not sure how you can downsize further. Sometimes, you just run out of stuff to get rid of and do not know any other methods to simplify your lifestyle further. In the case of this challenge, you can take an opportunity to reevaluate how you are living and see if there is any way you can take your minimalist lifestyle to the next level. If you feel as if you have already simplified your life to the point of living with only the basics, then this challenge will put a new perspective on your lifestyle.
Live with only thirty things.
Try living with just thirty things in your life. Observe what items you use every day compared to things that you may not use for weeks. Is there anything that you decided not to get rid of in the past, but you may now feel differently about?
Why it Works…
Minimalism can prove to be more difficult when you feel your journey of transitioning has come to an end. There is nothing wrong with getting to the point of ridding yourself of all your material items. But if you are looking to further push your lifestyle to the point of the bare necessities, then the thirty things or less challenge is perfect for you. There is a lot of stuff we avoid getting rid of because we have formed sentimental attachments to them. Of course, you shouldn’t throw away photo albums or your grandmother’s brooch she passed down. But, there may be things that you once valued but do not anymore because your perspective has changed.
This challenge truly puts life into perspective because you realize how much you didn’t need. You come to understand how reliant you were on buying new things and all the money you spent trying to create a lifestyle that you did not even want.
A Simple Year- Buy Nothing New for 1 Year
This method was made famous by an American family who set out to release themselves from the ties of a consumerist-driven society and live as minimalists. Kerry and her family kept detailed journal entries about their mission to not buy anything new for an entire year. Her blog gained a large audience and inspired thousands of people and families to try her challenge. Although Kerry is no longer the focus of the blog, the legacy lives on as each year a new family takes on the challenge and documents their experiment on the website. For five years, this challenge has lead followers to adopt the minimalist lifestyle and live simply.
Do not buy anything new for a year.
This challenge is exactly what it sounds like: for one year, you do not buy any new things. This includes clothes, cars, phones, computers, shoes, etc. Obviously, there are cases in which you will need to buy something that you need. Of course, if you absolutely need something, then you should buy it. This challenge is not meant to be a game of survivor as you only live with what you own. If you really need a shirt for work, or your shoes have holes in them, then you should visit a second-hand store and replace the things you need.
This challenge is perfect for saving money and detoxing yourself of the urge to buy every little thing you have an interest in. Too often we get carried away with a new gadget that comes out or cute clothes we see in the store and end up splurging when we do not actually need those things. What you have now is just fine, and nothing bad will happen if you don’t buy those items.
Why it Works…
In reality, you have everything you need to live already. There is no reason you have to spend money every time you leave the house. Your friends, the media, and everyone in between will try to persuade you to treat yourself to something new, but you don’t really need it. You will save money and come to appreciate all of the great things you already own. This challenge is great for minimalists who have already limited themselves to the bare essentials, and for new minimalists who are unsure if they want to get rid of everything they own just yet. We are all addicted to buying new things: it makes us feel good and we feel as if we have gained something. But we are actually losing out on money and weakening our willpower when we make needless purchases. Challenge yourself to not buy anything new, and you will see an amazing change in the way you spend money and value the things you own.