Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Lessons Learned from Another Round of Mins Game

Another round of mins game is almost over - I have just 30 things for day 30 to get rid of, and I should tackle that either tonight or tomorrow.  If you're curious what I got rid of during days 1 through 29, it's highlighted on my Instagram stories.  And stay tuned to see what day 30 ends up being.

If you missed me talking about this earlier in the month, the mins game is simple - get rid of 1 thing on day 1.  Get rid of 2 things on day 2.  Up to day 30 (or 31, depending on the month - it's easiest to start with the 1st of a month so you remember the days), when you get rid of 30 things.  At the end, you will have gotten rid of 465 things, which is a huge amount.  It's not the first time I've done this, but it's not always my go to method of decluttering.  Sometimes I just like to get everything out at once, rather than a little each day.  But since my life is naturally busier as the weather gets nicer, taking little pockets of time to find things each day allowed me to keep pace. 

Since I hadn't done a really big decluttering (not 465 items worth, for sure) since we moved into this house, I thought it was finally time, even if I wasn't quite sure if I could manage all the items.  Turns out, I could!  Here's a couple lessons I learned in the last 30 days:

There Will Always Be More Stuff

I think everyone was surprised that I could even take on this challenge, and assumed I didn't still have 465 things to get rid of.  And if I had stuck to only my own items, and only actual belongings (as opposed to the times I had empty bottles and boxes, which I found many of), I probably would not have.  But I still would have gotten close, because stuff never stops coming in.  You have to try so, so hard to have nothing new come into your home - it's amazing how it can just collect, even for someone like me who hates stuff.

The Game Gives You Motivation

Well, for me anyway.  I'm very externally motivated.  If I tell myself I'll do something, it will not happen.  But if I tell other people, or participate in something with other people (Betsy did this round with me), I'm much more likely to do it because I'm competitive and I don't want other people to see me quit anything.  Which gave me the motivation to keep going through the end of the month.  But it was also motivating to just get me started - I had been eyeing things for months that I was planning on donating, but didn't want to bother because I figured it was just 5 or so items and I wasn't going to the donation center for 5 little things!  Gathering it all up though, it was over 100 things for donation.  Finally had the reason to get it done and out of my home.

You Have to Dig Deep, and That's Good

The first couple weeks were easy, but you get up over 200 items and it starts to get tougher.  I had to root around for expired stuff in the kitchen cabinets (finally, my bad!) and be honest about unused cleaning supplies.  I even made an effort to use up all the things that had been teetering on the edge for awhile, just so I could count the empty bottles.  Now, I didn't want to get rid of things just to get rid of them and meet the goal (although, actually, I pretty much did), but I wanted them to be things that really needed to leave, no regrets.  I had planned on stopping before the 30th day but I still find things so close to the finish line, so I decided to push through.  I'm glad I did.

You Have to Get It Out

Once you decide to part with an item, remove it.  Directly to wherever it's going - trash, recycle, donation.  Do not look through it again and definitely don't let your family.  John's mom offered to donate my stuff when she took her own, but I knew better.  She would open everything and pull stuff back out that she thought was useful.  Except, how useful is it really when she didn't even considering needing it before seeing the item?  Get it out of the house, and do it yourself.

So I am very happy I (almost) managed to get all 30 days completed!  Day 30 to be posted to Instagram very soon, of course.  My home looks better, in my opinion, being 465 items lighter.  Anyone want a house tour - inside cabinets and drawers and everything?

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