The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Minimalism

Minimalism 2018 in 2018

A bit of a diversion from weightloss and veganism but I thought I would do a little update about my ongoing quest to be a minimalist (or at least get rid of a high percentage of my uneeded stuff).

After discovering the minimalists back in 2016 (and having read zen habits and becoming minimalist for a year or two), I took part in a very intense first round of the mins game and got rid of over 1000 things. Way more than required, it’s supposed to be one thing on day one, two on day two etc. Then I signed up to a Facebook group at the end of 2016, first of all to get rid of 2017 things in 2017, and now 2018 things in 2018. In 2016 I only managed a pitiful 680 things which took my total up to 1680.

This year so far I am at 1371, taking my ongoing total to 3052! That shocks me to even type! I was not a hoarder, although that number makes it seem from the outside like I was, although apparently an average American house has 300,000 items, I can’t find a similar statistic for UK but I can’t see it differing too much. I did  however have an issue with the what if’s, the I might need this one day, the just in case. My mother was very like this too, she had multiple versions of pretty much everything she owned, and then barely used any of them. When she died I was left to deal with with wardrobes full of new clothes with the tags on. I don’t think I was extreme as her, but clearly there was some kind of issue. I know I was very stressed out with my house. I found that I barely ever reached proper cleaning, most of the time I had was spent putting stuff away.

You may wonder what it is these 3052 things have been? A whole variety of things such as –

Clothes, books, dvd’s, cd’s, videos, games, games consoles, shoes, toys (so many toys), fridge, washing machine, tv, computers, laptops, cables, connectors, decorations, a bed, shelving units, chairs, ornaments, odd socks, tickets, photos (I scanned them and saved them online), drawings the kids did (I took photos of them too), a breadmaker, punch bag, skin care products,a rowing machine, old makeup, jewellery, fancy dress outfits, clothes that are too big, plates, mugs, forks and knives, cameras, camping equipment, a microwave, artwork, and even a car.

What have I gained? A level of peace regarding my house that is better than it has ever been. Today I was feeling on edge, I’m not good with clutter, (I have no idea how I managed years ago, in fact, I didn’t, I was severly stressed and had extended bouts of depression). I’m on another push to get rid of more things, and when that happens there tends to be piles or bags of things around the place. I set a timer today and got my house to comfortable within 90 minutes. That may seem a long time but I don’t have a lot of opportunity to clean during the week, and that included doing washing too, for me this is great.

What did I do with everything? I gave a lot to charity, some I sold and the rest I binned. Not very minimalist to bin things, but I am comitting to not replacing these items, if they are of no use to anyone else then I just want them out of my house.

What is my end goal? I’m not sure. I doubt I will aim for a specific number of belongings, and I doubt my house will ever look typically minimalist. Minimalism for me may be different that minimalism for others. Add to that my husband isn’t totally on board (although isn’t completely against it). However, the less things I have the more content I seem to be. I’m not against spending money, but for me it should be well spent, not frivolous, I want to make sure I really want something before I buy it. Add to this we are in the process of both attempting to buy a house and paying off some minor debt, and really, every single purchase I make must be justified to myself.

I would recommend minimalism to every single person reading this. I don’t know enough about capitalism to say I’m against it, and I’m sure it has done great things for the world, but I feel that across the board people focus too much on stuff, how much stuff they own, how much it costs, how that looks to others, their status in society. I may be called naive, but I feel we would be in a lot happier world if instead of focusing onstuff and status we took a step back and saw consumerism for what it is, an industry aimed at us getting to spend money, not in any way to make us happier.

New Years Resolutions/ Reflecting on 2017

Reflecting on 2017 | A Successful Year

It’s that time of year where you look back at the year that’s passed and begin to make new plans for the year ahead. I would say that 2017 for me has been a pretty good year! I got a full time graduate developer/IT job which I enjoy and I got a new car which isn’t completely falling apart, that has released a lot of anxiety and stress I used to feel.

Last year I set the word simplify as my word of 2017, along with some tangible goals which I will recap:

  • Simplify my diet/Eat more plant based
  • Simplify my exercise/Run a 10k
  • Simplify my house and routines
  • Simplify my waste/Recycle

When it comes to simplifying my diet and eating more plant based I did pretty good! The plant based simple menu I came up with in January last year was pretty much followed, nearly every single week (although we’re all a bit fed up with tomato pasta!). I definitely ate more plants, however I did feel we ate a lot more takeaways. I’m putting this down to the new job (being out of the house from 7:30 am – 6:00 pm takes its toll) and having more money. This is something I’m going to address next year.

Simplifying my exercise and running a 10k. Well that was well and truly smashed. I ran the 10k in October, never did I really think it was possible. I’ve barely ran since, weather and time, but as soon as the weather improves I’m getting back out there. I also went back to swimming and rejoined the gym for when I can actually make it.

Simplifying my house and routines was more mixed, I took part in 2017 items in 2017 and failed miserably, only getting rid of 680. However added to my 1000+ from November 2016 I think that’s not too bad. I still have a lot I want to get rid of so I’m back in for 2018 in 2018 and determined to complete it this time!

Simplifying my waste didn’t really go anywhere, I am recycling more but this is something I want to look at again.

Losing weight wasn’t a goal I set myself last year, I knew that while I was trying to lose I had to focus on other things for a while, but I’m over 20 pounds down in the year without focusing too much. That though will be different in 2018 but more on that early next week.

Overall I would say a successful year. The highlights have been getting the job and running the 10k but overall it has been good, my family are well and healthy, animals are fine (17 year old cat is still going!), I’ve met and spent time with great people old and new and I will look back on 2017 with fondness.

I also just wanted to say a massive thank you to anyone reading this! I can see from google analytics that some people are actually coming here to read what I say which is kind of scary considering I mostly talk/type rubbish, but it is really appreciated. I have been quiet on Instagram for a while, in all honesty I just needed a break from weight loss as a whole but with the New Year approaching I’m feeling re energised again and would love for anyone else on this journey (or any!) to give me a follow/send me a message.

You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit.

I hope everyone has a lovely New Year and I will see you on the other side!

Mins Game Round Two Week Four Progress

It’s finally the end of week four, although there are still three days left in this month, and for my year long challenge of 2017 items there is still a long way to go. I’m now sitting at 406 items this year, leaving 1611 to go, and if I’m honest, at this moment in time I think I may struggle to reach there. I still have a lot of stuff, but I’m beginning to reach a point where I look about and most of what I see I still use, or want to keep. I think as the year goes on I’m really going to begin to challenge how I think about what I really want, and see the difference between what I think I want to keep and what I actually need. I’ve began tackling the harder things now, a lot of my upcoming items will be photographs and paper, I have nearly all of my dad’s paperwork from his whole life, ranging from primary school reports from the 1930’s, to payment slips from the 80’s, right up to all of his paperwork before his death in 2015. While I will undoubtedly keep a lot of it, I don’t need to keep all of it. Most of it has no meaning to me other than being cool, and obviously makes me think of my dad, but I don’t need paper taking up space to do that.

The same goes with photos, my mum and dad photographed so much of our lives, my plan is to first of all get rid of photos which have no meaning to me, for example duplicate photos, photos of places I have no idea where they are, photos without people in them, but eventually I will begin scanning in some of the others and get rid of the hard copies. I would like to end up with a few photo albums of special photos and the rest kept digitally, I have a feeling this will take up a lot of my remaining items.

I’m still really enjoying the minsgame, and the benefits having less stuff is giving me, my house is still tidy and clean, it doesn’t take long to maintain, plus everything I buy I think about carefully. Discovering the minsgame really has changed me, and my life, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me, I still have a long way to go but I’ll persevere until I get there. Remember you can find information about the minsgame here, or can find me on facebook, twitter and instagram and join in.

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Mins Game Round Two Week Three Progress

This is my Mins Game Round Two Week Three progress report, whew what a mouthful of a title! Initially, I thought this week was going to be really hard, I found some days in week two difficult, but it seems, as first time round the minsgame, it gets easier as I go on. I have got rid of so much stuff since starting this, 1700+ items, but still I feel as if we have way too much. I’m not sure how I managed to live in the house pre beginning minimising. I know I was very stressed out attempting to tidy it all, never getting to cleaning, just attempting to put too much stuff into not enough space, continually inwardly saying we need a bigger house. It’s funny, while we do need another bedroom for the kids, I’m happy with the actual size of our house now. I’m guessing that is because there isn’t as much stuff rammed into it.

This week I have began to move onto some of the smaller stuff, jewellery, makeup etc. A lot of this was left by my late mother, while she was not a hoarder in the traditional sense, she had a loooot of stuff. Her house was immaculate, but also had stuff hidden throughout it. Every cupboard, box, under the floor area, attic, it was full of stuff. Her wardrobe (wardrobes, she had three) were full of clothes, a lot of it unworn. She had bags of jewellery, a lot of it with the tags still on, so much makeup she could never  have been able to use it all, even I would never be able to use it all and hopefully I’ve got many years left. I have got rid of some of this before, but now I’m getting into the area of things I kept in the first purge. I keep reminding myself that my mum never even used most of this, I never will, a lot of it isn’t my style, I don’t wear a lot of makeup (I do wear a little every day though but not this type/colour) or jewellery unless it’s a special occasion/the mood takes me. I do feel a little emotional tug getting rid of this stuff, but I remind myself again, my mum is not in these belongings. She never even used this. I’ve kept a few lipsticks she did use, and I still have more to get rid of, but it gets easier. There are many things of hers I will never get rid of, unused makeup and jewellrey should not be the things I hang on to. This week I reached 231 items for this year so far and I’m still going strong into week four. I’m sure it will get harder, after all I need to do this at least four and a bit times, but I’m committed to the 2017 in 2017 challenge.

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Mins Game Round Two Week Two Progress

I’m finished week two! How has that went in so quickly? So now for my Mins Game Round Two Week Two Progress Report! – I had a couple of hard days during week two actually, near the middle I was really struggling. I also minimised an entire king size bed that was horrendously broken but somehow holding itself together (probably all the boxes, most of which were empty underneath it). It’s a mattress on the floor job until we get a new bed (or thinking about palettes). Once I got over the mid week though it flew in, I missed one day and did two at once.  Some of the other things I got rid of, 6 sets of broken Christmas lights, broken boxes from under the bed, clothes, books, DIY supplies that have been in a cupboard unused for 6 years, a large knife, a sandwich maker, and way more. The total for the year is now 105 items. Here is my post about week one progress, my new round, and my original round. Also you can find information about the minsgame here and the link to our facebook group 2017 in 2017 here, feel free to join, it’s a good group of supportive people!

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Mins Game Round Two Week One Progress

Well, as per my New Years Resolution, I’m back to the minimising, and this is my first update in round two of the Mins Game.

During week one I have got rid of 28 things, pretty straight forward so far. I’m already seeing the changes in the house, my last minsgame round had massive consequences for our house and my cleaning routine, plus my whole thought process around the house which was great, I’m hoping round two and the 2017 in 2017 challenge are going to make even more differences.

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That’s it for my Mins Game Round Two Week One Progress report, as you can see I still have lots of random stuff in my house! I’m sure that week two will be quite straightforward too, later in the month though may be harder!

You can follow me on instagram, facebook or twitter or you can find the facebook group 2017 in 2017 here.

Minimalism in 2017 | Simplify for 2017

In the spirit of my word of the year, simplify, this post lays out what I am doing regarding minimalism in 2017. As I’ve previously covered, my desire to move towards a minimalist life is driven by a few desires, one of these is using less time to clean, organise and generally think about my house, plus to cut down on the stress associated with it.

My scenario a few months ago, I was tired, swimming uphill, my house was always messy, not the end of the world messy, but messy enough for me to look about daily and inwardly say “Why is it like this? How do I spend so long tidying and it never gets any better?” The door would knock, my heart would pound, I have fairly bad anxiety attached to the house and other people, and the door knocking would send me into an inward frenzy. Don’t get me wrong, it was never awful, but the untidiness added to my anxiety meant it was bad enough for me to know I had to do something about it. I had implemented many cleaning routine, a timer, flylady, the app unfuck your habitat, breaking every task into a time limit and doing one hour a day, every day, massive weekend cleans, roping in the kids, I had tried pretty much everything, nothing worked. My house was still messy.

Why did nothing work? Because even with my good intentions, I had too much stuff. It is impossible to keep your house tidy and clean with too much stuff (unless you are willing to spend many hours doing this, which I wasn’t, and even then I think it’s impossible really). I would spend all my time moving things back to their “place” and when I got there the place was usually full, so the offending item would pile on top of other offending items. Cleaning? The surface cleaning happened with regularity, but when you have so much stuff, deep cleaning is once in a blue moon.

Having toyed with minimalism previously, and having got rid of a lot of stuff before I still hadn’t made much headway, it always seemed to creep back in somehow.

So last year I took part in the minsgame, I got rid of over 1500 items. To the normal house this may leave you in an oasis of calm and emptiness. Not to my house! It’s still full, granted a lot less full than it was previously. I actually managed to get through Christmas and New Year without household chaos, and keep the place reasonably clean and tidy. We also bought the kids a lot less this year, my son an xbox and daughter a starter laptop, but not loads of small, space consuming presents. My husband, not full on board, said on Christmas Eve, there is no big things, we should have got big things. He felt uncomfortable with the amount there was there, I felt joy. Glad I had made it to Christmas without caving. The kids were over the moon with what they got. Everything has been used, nothing discarded in the living room.

So overall it was a good Christmas season, I am evaluating every single object that comes into our house, and I’m back on the getting rid train.

For 2017 I have joined a facebook group of lovely supportive people called 2017 in 2017. The aim, as the name suggests is to get rid of 2017 items in 2017. I’m pretty sure I can manage considering I got rid of 1500 in November 2016, however this 2017 is going to be considerably harder! I have tied it into a new round of the minsgame for January, giving me a fairly slow start. Some people in the group have already got rid of hundreds of things, myself I have got rid of 10 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4). I will keep going though with my quest to minimalism. It’s worth it. My cleaning time is already far lower than it was and I’ve implemented a new cleaning routine I’ve now followed for a month, and my house (and head) is thanking me for it. We even had a friend over the other day and all it took was a 15 minute going over.

That’s minimalism in 2017 for me, a simple goal, rid myself of 2017 items. Continue to clean my house. Be happy and spend more time on the important stuff. If you think you’d like to join in, please join the facebook group and use the hashtag #2017in2017out on social media.

New Years Resolutions/ Reflecting on 2017

New Years Resolutions | Word for 2017

New Years Resolutions and my Word of 2017

The Christmas season is drawing to an end, and for me this year it has been a good one. I missed my mum and dad a lot this year, my mother in law couldn’t make it over due to illness so it was just myself, husband and kids, which made not having my mum and dad a little more raw I think, but despite that we still had a great time, completely overindulged and enjoyed the period. For New Years Eve we stayed overnight at friends, they have a little girl, so we took our kids and dog too. Said friend made a delicious meal, some of which was especially vegan, which was much appreciated!

While we had a lovely time, I’m glad for some normality to return. I do usually make some New Years Resolutions, but its 50/50 whether I manage to finish them, although I believe in the past I have made them a little open ended, which doesn’t help with completion. Really, you must aim for a finish point to be able to say you succeeded. (Last year my daughters was to go through an automatic car wash for example, very random but we completed it in the Summer).

For 2017 I have decided to use a word I would like to motivate my year, and additionally i have two completable new years resolutions which tie together a lot of other areas I would like to focus on.

My word for 2017 is Simplify.

Simplifying for me means making changes in my life to cut out unecessary thinking, decisions and time. I feel I spend too much time thinking, and doing tasks and jobs that with a little work could be cut significantly, leaving time and thought process for more important areas of my life, that I would like to succeed in.

Simplifying my diet is my number one simplifcation. I’m moving to a more plant based whole foods vegan approach. Less processed food, less oil, less bread, less sugar, more whole plants, fruits, legumes, wholegrains. I love big portions and food in general, but big portions only work when food is low in calories, big portions of processed, sugary, salty food makes me (and I’d imagine others) gain weight. I love vegetables, I feel food when I eat them, so that’s what I’m going to do. I doubt I’ll be perfect, but losing weight is a massive priority for me, and I think moving to whole foods will be an amazing step in the right direction.

Simplifying exercise comes in next but is also tied to diet. One of my new years resolutions is to run a 10k race. This is a resolution that can be gained with work, it has an end point. Simplifying my exercise for me means a focus on walking and running, and not overthinking it too much, just to get out and do it. Even if it’s a walk/jog. I have my gym membership but I’ve not used it enough, so fitting in the gym and treadmill are on my list of priorities.

Simplifying my house and household routines via minimalism is very important to me. I took a huge step last year getting rid of over 1500 things in November that I didn’t need or use, but I still have a long way to go until I reach a level I am happy with. My cleaning routine is faster now than it ever has been, and additionally, my house looks cleaner than it ever has. Funny how those things tie together. There is still a way to go though. For January I am back on the minsgame challenge, but for the year as a whole I have joined a facebook group to help me reach New Years Resolution number two, get rid of 2017 things in 2017. I don’t expect this to be too hard, and I would like to have it done well before the end of next year, but I think 2017 will be the year where I start to really put my money where my mouth is, and take minimalism seriously. We had successes at Christmas, our kids still got many Christmas presents, but less than previous years, and they were over the moon with what they go. They have used what they got, there isn’t endless piles of pointless stuff still lying around the living room. I know stuff is not the answer.

Additionally, and I guess tying in to the last simplify, I would like to simplify my waste. I can’t see me reaching the dizzying heights of zero waste any time soon, but waste is bad for the planet. I’m already doing a good job on the planetary front with veganism, but another area in my life I am interested in targeting is waste reduction. I recycle already, but could recycle more. I am looking for shops in the area where you can buy with less packaging, and if eating whole foods there will be less anyway. Additionally, I am looking into composting leftovers indoors, I don’t have a garden sadly, but that shouldn’t stop me.

There are many other things I am looking to continue throughout the year, bullet journalling, blogging, meditation and yoga, these all help me keep a healthy mind. I also have big changes on the horizon, I am in the early stages of setting up a new education business, this will require much concentration and work, and a large part of simplifying other areas of my life is so that I can give my business the focussed time it needs without many other distractions. I know the new business is massively important, but I need to clear space in my head (and home) to give it the time it deserves. Simplification does this.

So there are my aims for the year, run a 10k, get rid of 2017 things and simplify. What are your aims for the year? I’d love to hear on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Mins Game – 2 Weeks Later | Minimalism

I decided to make a little post about the Mins Game – 2 weeks later, so that any visitors I have who are interested in minimalism and may have followed my posts (here, here , here and here) about playing the mins game can have a little update on any changes that have occurred due to taking part in the Mins Game challenge.

So, for those who are new, what is the Mins Game? It was created by The Minimalists and the aim of the game is getting rid of stuff. You pick a month, on the 1st of the month you get rid of one thing, on the 2nd, two, 3rd, three, 30th, thirty. My house was overflowing to the point of driving me insane so I decided to break it into three areas, bedrooms (2), hall – bathroom – cupboards, and we have an open plan living room – dining room – kitchen. I was intending to go with x3 until day 10, but I actually managed until day 20.

Mins Game - 2 weeks later

That is a picture of all the stuff I got rid of, over 1000 items when I attempted to count it up.

It’s safe to say that the Mins Game for me was a massive success. I knew that I needed to get rid of a lot of my belongings, I knew that a huge amount of it was unused, but continually in my peripheral mind. I knew that when the door knocked I would go into an inward meltdown. I knew that every single weekend I would waste my time cleaning/tidying for hours, with little to no change in our house, missing out on relaxing with my children and husband.

I also knew I had a house inspection, a standard occasional event in which our landlord sends someone around just to make sure we’ve not burned the house down. A normal occurrence for normal people, not for me! For me this was the most stressful, anxiety ridden event of the year! I also knew a large part of why I never felt satisfied with how the house was could be down the fact that there was just too much stuff, everywhere. Every unit, surface, anywhere there could be stuff, there it was, usually pushed in/on and overflowing.

I jumped into the Mins Game fully, and it was one hell of a month. And in all honesty, it was one of the best things I did all year. I hope this doesn’t sound melodramatic, but since completing the challenge, my life has changed, not only that my mindset has changed.

Ways my life has changed :

  • The door can knock and I don’t freak out
  • I had the house inspection without a nervous breakdown
  • I played cluedo with my daughter at the weekend, twice! All free of guilt and other “I should be doing something else” thoughts, and I wasn’t focusing on how long it was since I hoovered, it had been a day
  • I steam cleaned my huge laminate floor for the first time in 3+ YEARS
  • I built my sons new bed, there was room to do it, I had been putting it off for months because I couldn’t get moving in their room
  • I implemented a reasonable cleaning schedule, a different room each day for around 30 minutes
  • My house looks the cleanest (and tidiest) it has in years
  • I’m still getting rid of things now
  • I am refusing entry to anything that isn’t necessary

These things are huge, the changes are huge. There is still so much more stuff to go, and I’m intending on playing the mins game again in January. I’m not sure if I will ever reach the levels of minimalism others do but for me it is about freedom of time, and mind space. Living a life less about stuff. I’m so happy with the changes brought about by the Mins Game, I can’t recommend it enough. The momentum is key, 1 thing one day is easy, 5 things is easy, even 10 things was easy, but one day I got rid of 60 things! Surprisingly, it was still fairly easy, the end of the month was the hardest, but the momentum you build up carries you through.

In conclusion, the Mins Game changed my life. It continues to change my life. I welcome it, it is what I needed, and I knew deep down it was reachable, I just needed a push in the right direction. If you are thinking about playing, stop thinking and just start. What have you got to lose?

Mins Game – Complete – Minimalism

If anyone is reading, I can only apologise for missing the weekly posts about my Mins Game status, life has been getting in the way a bit recently, and I had to spend quite a lot of time getting rid of stuff (or I’ll use that as my excuse!).

Hooray, I completed my first ever round of the mins game! I didn’t think I was going to make it for the last few days. I really began to struggle around day 26, I was late due to being out one day, then I missed out day 28 and 29 but determined to finish on day 30 I did all three.

1000+ objects liberated from my home. Some of it was junk, and a lot of it went to charity and I really hope that some of it has found it’s way to a place and person that needs it. I certainly didn’t need it. Not one thing have I thought, “Oh, why did I get rid of that?”. In fact, I can hardly even remember what most of it was. Scary, but what I suspected may happen.

So what has playing the Mins Game done for me? Well, on the outside not a lot I guess. My house is still cluttered and a bit messy. Although believe me it is a whole lot less cluttered. Some areas in it actually look *gasp* normal?! Although I dream of full on minimalism, I know deep down I’m not quite there, and this is a process that must be worked on. Additionally to this my husband is definitely not there, so many shouts of “Don’t get rid of my stuff” rang out over the month. I only minimally liberated his belongings, clothes he didn’t like, books he agreed upon.

Inwardly though, that is where things are beginning to change. I feel better about the house, no longer as horridly embarrassed and almost shameful. I realise that this was more than likely an over the top feeling to have about the house but this month has definitely alleviated it somewhat. My shopping habits have always tended on the side of minimal (other than with food!), but I am really seriously stopping and thinking now about any purchase, or even desire I have to buy. Do I really need this? Will I use this regularly? Is this going to seriously enhance my life? If it’s a no, not only do I not buy it, I give myself permission to stop thinking about it.

Practically, there is definitely less tidying up to do. This is one of my main motivations to take part in this challenge, I feel I spend a hell of a lot of time either tidying up, or thinking about tidying up, and never really reaching a point of proper cleaning, always paddling water hoping the door doesn’t knock. Over the next couple of weeks I am sorting out the chaos left behind after the mass exodus of belongings, and I hope by the time my Mother in Law comes to stay at Christmas the house is at a much more manageable state. It already feels better.

Inspired by this, I am recommitting for Mins game Round 2 in January, although I’ll be playing as planned, 1 on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd etc, rather than x3 for 20 days (how did I even manage?!).

Here is the final picture of all of the things I got rid of.

Mins Game - Complete

That is a lot of stuff! Some of the harder items were:

  • The bread maker – I had dreams of freshly baked bread every single day when I got this 10 years+ a go. It was a fairly expensive purchase and that led to me keeping it in a cupboard for years. I must have used it at most 20 times in ten years, and the bread, while nice, was difficult to cut thinly enough. I always thought oh, if I had a better knife. One pointless thing leading to another!
  • My daughters bike – this was purchased for her by my deceased mother and my mother in law, and I struggled getting rid of it even though my daughter is now 8 and this was bought when she was 4. I struggle with anything that was purchased by my parents, with them both being dead there is a real sense of an object holding a lot more purpose than it really does. But realistically, this is way too small for her and it was taking up valuable hall space.
  • Books – I’m a little bit of a book hoarder, I generally found any books hard to part with. Ironic as that is probably up there as one of my most purged items. I’ve learned over the month that I really won’t look at these again, and I can either cart them about for my entire life not looking at them, just in case, or I can accept that I won’t look at them and hope someone else does. Any I was particularly in a quandary about I took note of on my phone, and if I really miss them I can repurchase. I know I never will.

Lastly, I would like to give some times for anyone thinking about taking part in the minimalism game. Whether you are there, or you’re just starting out, when you are looking at your belongings, what helped me was thinking what a waste it was for something to be sitting completely unused, when it could be benefiting someone else. Additionally, that item, even subconsciously is taking up thought in my head. Most things I occasionally think of when I see, or when I can’t see I sit and think about the “big messy cupboard”. This stress makes me feel guilt for my house, which locks me into inaction. I do some cleaning and it never is enough. I feel guilty and spend time focusing on the unimportant things, rather than the things that are actually important to me, my family, my health, and recently my new business venture.

Minimalism for me isn’t a crisp, empty environment, the long term dream maybe but for the moment for me minimalism is trying to only have what me and my family really need. Not spending unecessary money on things that will not bring me happiness or fulfillment. Focusing on what truly matters, rather than on stuff, the care of stuff, the purchase of stuff, and mainly the guilt about stuff. This month has really set me on a path and I’m excited to see where it leads me.

For anyone interested in the minsgame, you can check out The Minimalists website, and twitter. They retweeted my pictures a few times and honestly, it made my day! Great inspiration. I listen to their podcast, and found another few over the month that have made it into my listening schedule, the Slow Home Podcast and A Slob Comes Clean are both recommended.

Feel free to reach out to me on social media, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter if you are interested in further discussion on the mins game!

Week Two – Mins Game – Minimalism

Week 2, Week 2, Week 2, you have nearly killed me! Well not quite, but spurred on by my successes, and feeling that I wasn’t getting rid of enough, I decided this weekend to really go to town on my kids room. They have to share unfortunately, and my son has long outgrown toys, and to be honest my daughter isn’t far off either (apart from the soft, cuddly ones), but somehow the room was still jammed with them. Everywhere. Under the beds in boxes, in units in boxes, inside a cloth wardrobe in boxes. You see the pattern here? All hid away in boxes. Some untouched for 6 years. Literally since we moved in here my son has dusty lego filled boxes of random parts. I wouldn’t even dare root around in them in case there were spiders!

So the first half of the week went as expected, but the last two days have been a major clear out. There is still a long way to go, even in their room, but I freed us from a broken bed, a large coffee table, a microwave, multiple boxes of toys for charity, multiple boxes of toys for the tip, 4 bags of clothes, and more Ridiculous! Keep and eye on instagram and twitter for my pictures, next week I start out at 42 items per day.

Week Two - Mins Game Day 7

Day 7 – Books, Plates, Random Stuff – 21 Items – Total 89 Items

Week 2 - Mins Game Day 8

Day 8 – Bags, Toys, Off Alcohol, Clothes (The Dog Stays!) – 24 items – Total – 11 Items








Week 2 - Mins Game Day 9

Day 9 – Notepads, toys, shoes, bag (The dog on his back legs) – 27 items – Total 140

Week Two - Mins Game Day 10

Day 10 – Clothes, books, toys – 30 Items – Total 170 Items







Week Two - Mins Game Day 11

Day 11 – Cups, Headsets, toys – 33 Items – Total 203 Items

Week Two - Mins Game Day 12

Day 12 – This is where it gets crazy, no exaggerating this is hundreds if not thousands of items but I’ll be conservative and say 300 – Total 503 Items

Week Two - Mins Game Day 13

Day 13 – Way more than needed, clothes, units, hangers, I’ll say 50 – Total 553 Items

So that is how I got on this week! Pretty damn good if I don’t say so myself. To see my week one progress look here, or if you would like to learn more about the challenge take a look here.

Week One – Mins Game – Minimalism

I know I’ve only done 6 days so far but Sunday is the day of the week I have the most time to make a post so for the first week six days will do. Week One of the Mins Game has gone unsurprisingly easily. When you have a house with so much clutter as mine does it’s not easy to find items to rid yourself of. I am actually finding every day easier.

As mentioned in this post I have split our house into three main areas, the livingroom/kitchen/dining area, the bedrooms, and the hall/bathroom/cupboards. I was intending on keeping these areas separate only until day 10, when I initially thought it would be too hard to rid my house of so many belongings at one time. However, I am now open to extending this for the full month, meaning that we would be rid of over 1500 items as opposed to the initial 500+. I haven’t fully decided, I am scared of the end when it is 20+ items from each area a day, however, realistically this is what I, and my house needs. We will see as the days pass whether this is realistic and achievable. Following I will share my pictures from instagram and twitter for each day.

Week One - Mins Game - Day One

Day One – Old Diary, Broken Chair, boxes, unused toiletries and jewelry – 8 Items

Week One - Mins Game - Day Two

Day Two – Child’s desk and seat, mini deep fat fryer, sharpening stone, book, remote – 6 Items – Total – 14 Items


Week One - Mins Game - Day Three

Day Three – Old boxes, makeup, shower gels, broken globe, empty lynx cans – 9 Items – Total 23 Items

Week One - Mins Game - Day Four

Day Four – Old shower gel, toys, dvd’s, candle – 12 Items – Total 35 Items















Week One - Mins Game - Day Five

Day Five – Books, Watches, Old Toys, Toiletries – 15 Items – Total – 50 Items

Week One - Mins Game - Day Six

Day Six – Rubbish Mini Hoovers, Books, Broken Clothes Horse, Book –  18 Items – Total 68 Items








So there you have it, week one and I have rid my life of 68 Items. The scary thing is how much there is still to go! Onwards to week two! If you haven’t see the minsgame already check it out here at the Minimalists.

Minimalism Game – Minimalism

Minimalism has been a heading on my blog since starting, but past stating my desire to live a more minimal life, I’ve never really fleshed this out. Here is a very short description and an introduction to a challenge I am taking part in for the month of November.

Minimalism to me is a way of living which I crave to experience. I hate stuff. I frequently bemoan my owning of much stuff. However, contrary to this, I have lots of stuff. And when I say lots, I mean lots! My house is jam packed. Not in a hoarder style way, but in a family, slightly overcrowded way.

This stuff, as opposed to making me feel calm and happy actually makes me feel the complete opposite. It is impossible to organise. I am what I would consider an organised person, but when you have too much stuff it is impossible for everything you own to have it’s own special location.

Above and beyond the stuff, I am pretty anti-consumerism. Don’t get me wrong, I am a consumer, I do buy things, but I really try to only buy what I need. I don’t get excited for a new phone, tv, car, makeup, anything like this (apart from fitbit’s, I actually love fitbit’s, although I have a mid range model as opposed to top end). I prefer to buy only what is necessary.

Another aspect of minimalism I am interested in but have never really managed to get far enough too is the minimising and simplification of life itself. I crave this, and truly wish to work towards it. There is just so much stuff (hah) in the way!

Anyway, the purpose of this post is getting lost. I listened to the Rich Roll Podcast today featuring Joshua Fields Millburn from The Minimalists . I have visited this website previously, and along with Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist and Leo Babauta and ZenHabits, my interest in minimalism and a minimalist life is at an all time high.

The minimalism game was mentioned in the podcast and after some reading I have decided to take part for the month of November. The concept is simple. Day 1, you get rid of one thing, day 2 you get rid of two, day 3 three and so on. Eventually, on day 30 you get rid of 30 things. All together I believe this is around 500 items. This isn’t enough for me I’m afraid. After hearing in the podcast the average family has 300,000 items, I believe we must be near, or even above this. So, for the first ten days at least I am taking it a little further.

For day 1 – 10 I am splitting my home into three areas, bedrooms, hall/bathroom/large cupboards and living room/kitchen/dining room. I will get rid of items from each of these rooms, ultimately getting rid of 10 items from each on day 10. Then, I expect to drop down to 11 from the entire house, and from day 11 to 30 this will continue. I am going to really give it my best as my house get’s me down! I love it being clean but in all honesty I spend too many hours tidying, never really cleaning enough and stressing out about it. Plus, this stuff, I never even lay eyes on most of it, it is hidden, just, spilling out from cupboards, annoying me.

It would be great to have someone to do this with, however in reality I don’t actually know anyone who would join in! So, I will be doing this via instagram. I will photograph the items I get rid of. Most days these may be small, but small and steady wins the race. Occasionally they may be better, I already have a few things in mind!


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