My January Minimalism Challenge Part II

I recently wrote about my decision to embark on a minimalism challenge during January.  At that point, I had reached Day 9, having identified 45 items to pass on in some way.

Today is Day 15.  I should by now have identified a further 75 items to go (ie 10 items for Day 10, 11 for Day 11 etc).

So here is my latest collection of stuff to be moved on:


In this picture it does not look like much, but I am working on the basis that every little counts.  For the record, you can see:

  • 10 spare hangers, liberated after sorting out my wardrobe before Christmas;
  • 15 pairs of tights:  nobody needs this much hosiery;
  • 25 CDs that I no longer listen to;
  • 24 pencils with animal erasers:  these used to live in a vase on the windowsill of my creativity room (aka The Buttery).  Over time, the erasers have become faded and brittle from being in the sun, so I have decided that the pencils themselves are perfectly useable and can go to some young person who will enjoy using them;
  • one pile of papers I no longer need:  I decided that it would be churlish to count each page towards my overall total, so I am counting this bundle as one item.

I am finding this process absolutely fascinating.

It has always been liberating to find things to get rid of.  But this has previously been on the basis of having a sort-out from necessity – for example because I needed to rationalise the amount of space being taken up by clothes; or because I had decided that I could not see the wood for the trees with some items, such as my yarn stash (see my previous post about donating yarn before Christmas).

Undertaking this challenge turns all of this on its head.  I am actively looking for things to get rid of, with a view to identifying which of my possessions no longer adds value to my life.  As I sweep around the apartment like the Eye of Sauron, I take in the view from a new perspective:  which of my belongings are useful and/or, yes, spark joy.  With a nod to Marie Kondo, I allow myself to keep things I really need or want.  Those things that I merely like, or which have past their time as useful objects (if there ever was such a time) go on the hit list.

By the time of my next update, planned for 22 January, I will ideally have identified a further 133 items to go.  My main focus will be on my jewellery box (plenty of costume jewellery there that I no longer wear); and two storage boxes of craft materials and related ephemera.  How many embroidery kits bought over 20 years ago do I really need to keep…..? 🙂

29 thoughts on “My January Minimalism Challenge Part II

  1. It is funny how much we keep and we don’t realise that we don’t use it. This is a hard challenge and I don’t think I could do it, but it does get rid of a lot you don’t need and use. Well done so far Liz, I admire you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can see that once started, one has to go on and I suppose it gets easier – like rolling down a hill! 😉 I think by now I would be lying on the floor, sobbing. I admire you for taking this on and I am pleased you are feeling empowered by it. I edit my belongings in stages as I find the process quite traumatic. Each object has a ‘life’ of it’s own – so I have to take time to reason with myself about its usefulness etc.

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    1. It’s interesting – during the week, I asked myself whether I should simply accept that I would be writing a post this weekend about how I had decided to stop the challenge because it was getting harder to find ‘low hanging fruit’ to get rid of. But I reminded myself of my wish to take with me when we next move (whenever that may be) only those things which I really need and/or want. Much easier to work on this gradually, before I am forced to think about it! 🙂

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  3. A huge cheer from DownUnder. Yes, it gets harder but, like you, I am now actively seeking things I can safely eject (as the computer terminology goes). Today I re-homed an item which I have been trying to decide what to do with for 15 years. It had great sentimental value but no practical use in my house. As I gave it away, I realised what a wasted resource it has been all these years. The person I gave it to was so delighted to have it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mandy. It is so interesting, isn’t it, when you find yourself looking at something/things and wondering why on earth you have kept them all this time! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You’re doing so well! I just wanted to break into song with “…. and a partridge in a pear tree!”

    More seriously, January seems a perfect month for this type of challenge. Though February has fewer days…. If I give it a try some time, I’ll start on Feb 1st!

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  5. I look forward to your updates on your adventures into minimalism. It is a lifestyle change that takes on an internal voyage of discovery. Our attachment to inanimate objects go well beyond our need to collect more “stuff.” Memories are tied to what we hold in our closets and cupboards. For example, hosiery. For me, hosiery connects me to a career that I left behind. A career where I was able to create and connect, that took me to board rooms, conventions, team projects. Those moments are no longer. Now I am creating a new and brilliant next stage. But there are times, when I put on my jeans and head out with my camera, that I remember the hosiery and business attire that once was a part of my life. I have kept a couple of suits, but most have gone the way of the minimalist journey. I wish you all the very best as you continue…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Becky, you are so wise and perceptive. Like you, my well-stocked collection of tights derives from my position as a full-time professional working mainly in offices. It’s fascinating to notice things changing that one might not otherwise have predicted. Even when I attend a corporate meeting these days, I have a totally different, and happily more relaxed, approach to what I wear. I am glad to have you along on this wonderful journey we call life 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re on a roll! As long as it keeps being fun and liberating, I say go for it. If you get to the point where you’re getting rid of things and feeling conflicted or remorseful, then it’s time to stop, for now at least. I’ll look forward to seeing what this next week brings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kerry – and you are of course absolutely right. This is not about stress, deprivation, anxiety about shedding beloved items, but about finding ones freedom and happiness in life, without being weighed down by stuff that is neither of use or emotional value. Glad you are enjoying the journey – it’s great to have you along! 🙂


  7. Hoarding stuff is too easy, clearing it gradually is something people don’t think to do, I may start doing this with some of my books…after review of course!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Isn’t it interesting how much clutter adds up? Now the papers and pencils can be used rather than collecting age and dust. Before tossing/donating CDs consider downloading the songs on them in the computer, so that you may still always enjoy them at your leisure without having to carry a physical reminder. I recently let go my collection of cassettes that I found in the trunk when I bought my ’99 Chrysler in favor of keeping digital copies instead.

    Liked by 1 person

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