The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Tag: freedomfromstuff

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.

Mins Game Round Two Week Three Day15Mins Game Round Two Week Three Day16

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mins Game Round Two Week Three Day 17Mins Game Round Two Week Three Day 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mins Game Round Two Week Three Day 20Mins Game Round Two Week Three Day 18

 

 

 

 

 

Mins Game Round Two Week Three Day 21

 

 

 

 

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!

Mins Game Round Two Week Two Day 8Mins Game Round Two Week Two Day 9

 

 

 

 

 

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Mins Game Round Two Week Two Day 12 and 13

 

mins game round two week two day 14

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.

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 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.

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