My January Minimalism Challenge

Over the years, Hub and I have got very good at doing ‘life laundry’ – filleting out stuff we no longer need or want to give us both head space and actual space.

It is not surprising then that I very much enjoyed listening to a reading of The Minimalists’ book of essays before Christmas.  This is a collection of thoughts from Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus on ways to live a more intentional life.

One idea I thought it would be fun to have a go at is their Minimalism Game.  On the first of the month, you pick one item to get rid of; on the second, two items etc.

Now, I did not have a mass of things just lying around to be swept up – my last clear-out was just before the holidays, when I donated a load of stuff (books, clothes, DVDs, shoes etc) to the British Heart Foundation…


Nevertheless, it seemed like a good way to start the year.

I must admit that I have not followed the Game to the letter – specifically, I have not jettisoned each day’s items on the day itself.  I figure that as long as I am working within the spirit of the Game, that’s ok.  I am 100% confident that the items I have identified will actually leave the apartment.

So, it’s 8 January – how have I got on so far?

By now, I should have found 36 items.  In fact, I am a day ahead, because I have got 45 things to go out:

Day 1: a large box full of out of date medicines and unused/unwanted toiletries;
Day 2: two books I enjoyed reading last year but am not likely to read again;
Day 3: three different bags/cases which are all very serviceable but which we don’t use;
Day 4: four assorted items to be donated, found while sorting out the stuff for Day One’s box;
Day 5: five black tops with necklines that I don’t like;
Day 6: six cake forks which we never use because they are for right-handed use and Hub is left-handed;
Day 7: seven pink and purple items (more tops, an evening bag, and a glass ashtray which belonged to by Nan – I’ve kept this for a long time because of the association with her, but have realised that I already have the memories and don’t need this object to invoke them);
Day 8: eight dishcloths we don’t need because we have plenty more;
Day 9: nine plastic shoe boxes, now empty because of my pre-Christmas sort-out.

Here’s what all this stuff looks like.  I am very happy that we will no longer have to store this table-full of stuff we don’t need and/or want….


By the way, you may have spotted that there are, in fact, two lots of three items: the cases, and also three pink make-up bags.  I obviously miscounted when I was putting everything out, so there’s a bonus three things to go with everything else.

If I manage to get to the end of the month, I will have found a total of 496 things to get rid of.  I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to manage that, but hey, let’s just see how things go! 🙂



35 thoughts on “My January Minimalism Challenge

  1. Good for you! Funnily enough, I watched a documentary on The Minimalists only last week. Good luck with your challenge – you’ve inspired me, I feel a bit of a new year clear-out coming on!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good grief, Liz, that is impressive! How are you with jars of spices? Any mileage on something like a jar of juniper berries you used once on a day that turns out to be scarily long before the best-before date? So long as you don’t then count each individual berry of course 😉 Seriously it is amazing how ruthless you can be if, instead of thinking “do I want this any more?” You think something like “Woukd I regret it in a year’s time if I got rid of this now?” It helps to change perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is totally amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it! Actually, we are pretty good on the food-out-of-date thing, but it’s a great suggestion – every little helps!! 🙂


  3. Isn’t it a relief to embrace the act of living without the need for things. As Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes indeed – a total relief. I feel like I can breathe more and more air, the more stuff we pass on. And thanks for that perfect quote – definitely one to remember! Hugs 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hooray. That’s a substantial collection of ‘stuff’. It always astounds me how much we can find to ‘throw’ out even when we do life laundry fairly regularly. As you know I have joined you in the challenge. I have been good about getting stuff out of the house each day but I have decided to combine today’s stuff with tomorrow’s stuff because that will mean one less trip to the second hand store. If I manage 496 things I will probably have to buy something to celebrate. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is amazing what comes out of the woodwork when you really start looking! It’s been great to see your efforts with all of this too – such an inspiration! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love clearing out my home. Our little town has its own recycling center and we can bring everything there. Coming home from a trip there, I always feel so much lighter!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your post made me want to go home and get rid of stuff, which I do all the time anyway but I just love it! The feeling of driving away from the charity shop or recycling centre with an empty boot, bliss! Although, I find I’m great with clothes, ornaments, etc, but rather less good sorting through old paperwork, being bothered to shred bank statements, etc. My other problem is my teenage daughter often adopts some items I was going to get rid of, just transferring the junk upstairs and not out of the house!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! I know exactly what you mean about paperwork etc – in fact I have a big pile on the side, which I have sorted out in recent days – stuff that goes back ages! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great idea. I just finished reading a blog about how much we throw away each year, it’s mind boggling! I know I have accumulated waaaaaaaaaaaay more than my share of “treasures” during my lifetime.
    I think I am going to try this. I could get rid of 496 things by just cleaning off my desk!!
    Good luck!! Can’t wait to see how you do, great beginning!

    Liked by 1 person

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