|Nightstand light with marbles powered by a 9 volt battery|
The Minimalist Game
Find a friend or family member. Someone who’s willing to get rid of some of their excess stuff. This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day of the month. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.
It’s an easy game at first. However, it starts getting challenging by week two, when you’re both jettisoning more than a dozen items each day. Whoever can keep it going the longest wins. You both win if you can make it all month. Bonus points if you play with more than two people.
via the minimalistsLike it says in the description, it's easy at first, until it gets really challenging during the second week. I think it was somewhere around day 8 where I started thinking, oh shit, all the easy stuff is gone, I'm going to have to fall back on what I was "saving" for the end (old clothes), and I'm barely just beginning. The funny thing is, each time I got to a point where I didn't know what I was going to get rid of next I looked around and really thought about it and I could always find stuff I didn't really need. Sometimes the hard part was just figuring out how to get rid of it. If there was a decent monetary value to the item that's when it got tricky. I typically strayed away from those items since selling things on craigslist takes more time and one at a time was not going to get me far with my daily goals.
I had a hard time throwing out the art supplies that I intended to make something with. So for this challenge, I counted the items that I used as things that were purged from my house even though they did not completely disappear. As seen in the picture above, I made a nightstand light made out of a cigar box and marbles, the box is filled with a hard resin coating so the marbles and the light inside cannot move. It is all powered by a 9 volt battery that is hooked to a switch that I fixed to the side of the box. Technically the marbles did not leave my house, but the bottles that were holding the unused resin were thrown out after so that counted as a purged item. When I started that project (years ago) I didn't know exactly what I would fill the box with, just that I wanted a light and a resin coating. I think the motivation of throwing out (and wasting) my supplies was the trick I needed to finally putting it all together.
I still have a couple of items that I am counting as purged even though they are still technically in my house. I have a fish tank along with fish supplies that is awaiting a donation pickup.
What Did I Learn?I learned pretty quickly that there's a lot of stuff that I have that I just don't need. And most of it is stuff that I never needed and could have done without to begin with. I think that this game was a real eye opener for my consumption habits and I hope that because of this I will think about it more in the future when I am considering purchasing things.
I also have a hard time getting rid of things that I think I may use in the future. For example, I had an entire drawer dedicated to miscellaneous cables for electronics, perhaps 2 times in the past 8 years that drawer has helped me out, but for the most part it's just a place for stuff that I could have gotten rid of a long time ago. From now on I'm going to think before I store stuff for unknown periods of time.
I also learned that I when it comes to clothes I have a hard time throwing things out. If it still fits and it doesn't have major holes in it, I will keep it because I can still wear it. What was once about 3.5 drawers full of t-shirts has been reduced to 2 drawers. This doesn't count the multiple drawers of "undershirts" that I have acquired for my work wardrobe over the years. I also came to the realization that each year my parents will buy me new undershirts whether I need them or not, and since I don't throw things out if I can still wear them... I had waaaay to many of them. This has been cut in half too.
In case you were interested in what all I got rid of here is the full list:
|Finally retired the Tron Costume|
I highly recommend trying this game. Even if you don't make it a full 30 days it's a very eye opening experience on your personal consumption. To see what you've spent money on that is no longer necessary in your life is very interesting. Even if you only make it 2 weeks you will probably see how much clutter you don't need in your life.
So how about you? Do you have a lot of stuff in your life? Will you try the minimalist game? You don't need to complete it to win :)