If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that in June I challenged myself to the 30-day minimalist game from The Minimalists. By the end of the month, I was meant to get rid of 500 items from my house. I’ve been decluttering since last Christmas, so finding 500 things to throw away really sounded like a bit of a challenge. But… I wanted a bit of a boost. And the motivation to go through areas of my house I had been procrastinating about.
How does the challenge work?
So, on the 1st of the month, you get rid of 1 item. On the 2nd of the month, you get rid of 2 items. On the 3rd you get rid of 3. Until on the 30th, you get rid of 30 items. I must admit that I didn’t quite do it this way. So say for example that I opened a drawer on the 1st and found 3 tops I wanted to get rid of, I wouldn’t just take one and forget about the others. I’d take the 3 and make a note of them. I carried on every day, making notes of the items I got rid of… And so here it is.
What did I get rid of?
You’re about to read a massive list here. I don’t expect you to read it all, but in all its glory and randomness, here it goes:
- 1 empty bottle of bubble liquid – why was it there in the first place??
- 1 unidentified plastic object – I promise you I had no idea what it was. It looked like it was part of something, and normally I’d keep it for The Husband to look at (or retire it to his space in the garage), but it honestly looked like… nothing! So it’s gone now. Let’s hope we don’t live to regret it!
- 1 broken fridge magnet.
- 1 empty box of chocolates (why did I store it on top of the kitchen cabinets?)
- 1 old packet of (gone off) sweets.
- 2 toys.
- 2 house plants that had definitely seen better days (anyone else forgets to water their house plants?)
- 2 boxes of rocks (yes, rocks!) that I found on top of the fridge (one belonging to each of my eldest children – because rocks are a collectable item, right?)
- 2 pairs of old socks with holes!
- 3 apps from my phone. Ok, you may call this cheating, but digital decluttering is as ‘real’ as physical one in my books!
- 6 magazines/leaflets that we no longer needed.
- 9 children’s hangers.
- 13 items of clothing belonging to The Husband.
- 21 brand-new plug protectors for childproofing your house (never used).
- 21 various items from the toiletries family – old, half-used soaps and shampoo that had been left for years etc.
- 23 items of clothing belonging to me, including 4 pairs of shoes.
- 30 plastic containers plus lids
- 32 books and DVDs sent to Music Magpie – this didn’t just free some space up for us, but it also earned me £11 hassle-free (yes, I know, I’m rich now!) Plus, I used an old box I found in the garage to ship them, so that’s an extra thing gone. And they pick the package up!
- 37 items of children clothing (including 2 pairs of shoes).
- 163 cards. I went through our old wedding, birthday, new baby cards, and although I enjoyed the trip down memory lane and kept A LOT of them, I also enjoyed filling the recycling box!
- 366 pieces of A4 paper with my eldest son’s artwork from Year 2 – ok, this sounds mean, but I have also kept loads to make him a nice scrapbook for the year. More on that later, I promise!
So if we add them all up (including cards and pieces of paper/’artwork’), we have a total of 737 items.
Did I take before and after photos?
I didn’t take many, but to be fair, picking a few things here and there didn’t make a massive visual difference. Ideally, you’d pick a room or a particular cupboard/drawer/area and tackle that. If you do it that way and take the before and after photos, you’ll definitely see a difference. I only took a couple – one of my eldest child’s artwork (366 items on the right), and one of the cards I went through. And yes, cards and drawings aren’t massive items, but to me they count anyway. I got to get rid of clutter that had just been sitting there. And that feels great.
I think I’ll give myself a little break over the summer and probably do the challenge again in September. To get the numbers up at that point, I’ll be forced to look through my admin drawer, and THAT will be the real challenge, as I keep discussing with Professional Declutterer and Organiser Zoë Short from So Sorted.
Eventually I know I’ll get this done. When I stop procrastinating. So watch this space.
What about you? How have you been doing with your decluttering efforts lately? Do you think you’ll try the 30-day minimalism game? What’s the area that needs decluttering the most in your house?