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.
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.