Do you feel like you will never finish decluttering your space?
Do you wonder when you will feel fully decluttered?
Do you wonder why you continue this process?
When I started the process of living a minimalist lifestyle, I had no idea how long the decluttering process would take. I thought it would be easy peasy and quick.
Now I am laughing at this thought. Decluttering your possessions to only necessities is a true challenge of personal strength and determination. At this point, I have been through my possessions once. I have examined every item I own and made the choice of keep, toss, or donate. Upon completing this, I realize I have even more I can let go of, but I wanted to try a different approach.
Not only do I want to take my decluttering process to what I hope is the final step, but I also want to incorporate mindful exercises to this challenge. I am seeing the benefit of minimalism through downsizing my possessions, but I also want to feel the benefits I’ve heard so much about.
This challenge will not purge every space in your home. My intentions are to revisit the areas of concern and apply mindful exercises as an experiment to see if this enhances the process. I am also going to try new things during this challenge in hopes of finding a new exercise that will continue after the challenge is complete.
As an added bonus, the picture above was made to fit an iPhone background, so you can take this challenge wherever you go!
Details About This Challenge
The challenge I have created includes decluttering and mindful exercises.
Day 1: 5 items // Find 5 items you can toss or donate. I am going to keep a box for the entire challenge of donate items. If an item needs tossed, I will do so instantly.
Day 2: Countertops // Clear your counter tops of everything, wipe them clean, and add back only what is necessary. Everything else needs a new home, tossed, or donated.
Day 3: Meditate for 15 Minutes // I read the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris, and learned about the benefits of meditation. I am a skeptic, but I wanted to give it a try anyways. The instructions I have read for beginners include: concentrate on your breaths, focus on the in and out motion, and if you find yourself drifting, bring yourself back to your breath. I thought this would be great to try before bed, to help unwind from the day.
Day 4: Junk Drawer // We all have them, but why? It’s time to break up with the Junk Drawer for good! Find a place for everything by giving a new home to the item, tossing, or donating.
Day 5: Clothing // Time to cull your wardrobe! I am trying a capsule wardrobe for first time, and loving it! I started at the beginning of October, but I feel after some time there are pieces I don’t wear. It’s time to find these pieces a new home!
Day 6: Digital Cleanse // Turn off all electronic devices for one day. Take this time to enjoy the company of your family, time outdoors, reading a book, etc. I realize this is hard for a lot of people [myself included], but I am really excited for this day’s challenge!
Day 7: Accessories // Time to clean out jewelry, hand bags, belts, scarves, etc. Just leave the shoes for another day. I did this one about a month ago, and I should have gotten pictures of the before and after. It was amazing what I was able to let go of. That being said, I still feel like I have a few things I can part ways with.
Day 8: Shoes // Time to purge shoes! Another hard one for me. While I don’t have a lot of shoes, I still have more than I probably need. Until recently, I had my old cheerleading shoes from 2002! They are still in great condition, but they had ran their course. Now I just need to decided on everything else.
Day 9: Pamper Yourself // When was the last time you took time for yourself? Today is all about you! Enjoy a nice soaking bath, an all natural face mask, or maybe even go get a pedicure/manicure.
Day 10: 10 items // Find 10 items to donate or toss! I’m sure over the past few days there have been some things that have stuck out to you. Grab them up and give them a new home.
Day 11: Social Media // Social media is designed to help people connect through multiple platforms, but how many of these people only post negative posts, do you actually know that person, and why did you follow that person to begin with? If a person isn’t adding anything to your life, it is time to defriend them. Don’t worry, they won’t be notified. You should only follow or friend people who add something to your life or make you happy.
[Added bonus: Clear out and sort your emails. Unsubscribe from all promotional emails. You have much more important things in your life than to delete multiple promotional emails everyday. Even if you feel you can’t do without a certain store’s promotions, unsubscribe! Give it a try and see if you miss it. I didn’t! Plus, if you do miss it, you can always resubscribe.]
Day 12: Find a product to use up // Is there a lotion you have just a little left in, or a sauce that is about to expire? If so, take today and use it! Today you will gain some space!
Day 13: Pantry // Look through everything and check expiration dates. Throw out anything expired or you will not use.
Day 14: Pots & Pans // A hard day for anyone who cooks a lot. Be honest with what is your favorite to cook with and what pieces you neglect. A tip I have seen is to see if lids fit more than one pot/pan. If so, you can let go of a few lids, and free up some space.
Day 15: Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier // Wish you had more time in your day? Waking up just 30 minutes earlier can help you achieve a more successful day. Use this time to finish up some cleaning, write in your journal, take your time getting ready, etc.
Day 16: Linens // The truth is you only need 2 sets of sheets per bed. Everything else is only taking up space. You could repurpose the extras into reusable paper towels, toss them depending on their condition, or donate them. Towels are the same. I’ve seen some minimalist only keep one towel per person; however, that will not be the case for my husband and I. To each their own, but be sure you find new homes for what doesn’t fit in these means.
Day 17: Cleaning Products // Do you hoard cleaning products like I do? It’s time to be honest with what products you use and what you are holding onto just because it’s a cleaning product.
Day 18: Journal for 15 Minutes // One thing I have always wanted to make a habit is writing in a journal. Take 15 minutes to write down whatever is on your mind. Who knows, we might all be surprised at the end of this exercise.
Day 19: Skin Care // All cosmetics have an expiration date. Most are 1-3 years. Purge the expired and then see what’s left. From here, purge anything you haven’t used in over a month. If there is anything else left to question, it goes. You will be left with what you use and works best for you. Who knows, you may even develop your skin care system.
Day 20: Make Up // Same rules apply as did on Day 19. In addition, if it isn’t your color, purge it.
Day 21: Go for a walk // Enjoy today by taking a walk outside.
Day 22: Medicine // Purging the expired medicine may rid you of more space than expected. Remember to dispose of medicine properly. If there is more left than expected, see if there is any medicine you have that doesn’t work for you and dispose of it.
Day 23: Mail/Paperwork // This is probably my least favorite day. I don’t have as much as some, but I have enough to make this task a pain. It is something that has to be done, however. Only keep papers needed to pay your current bills and papers needed for tax purposes. Everything else can be shredded.
Day 24: Guilty Pleasure // Probably my favorite day of this challenge. We’ve all been working hard and need to enjoy ourselves from time to time. Today, we have the opportunity to take an hour to enjoy a guilty pleasure. This can be anything from enjoying dessert before dinner, watching reality TV, etc. I will probably use my time to read a book I’ve had my eyes on for a little while.
Day 25: Crafts // We all have those projects we said we would do, and they are still waiting for us. Time to push the guilt aside and purge these crafts. Only keep things you plan to make within the next two months. Everything else can be tossed or donated.
Day 26: Keepsakes // If you have followed my posts, you know I have purged my keepsakes. However, I feel by the time I reach day 26, I will have a new found hope in finding more I can part with. Keepsakes are extremely hard to purge, because most people tie memories to items. It is important to remember the memory, but not attach it to things.
Day 27: Evaluate Priorities // Make a list of everything important to you at this time. Arrange each item from most important to least. We may find some adjustments are needed.
Day 28: Phone Apps // How many of us have applications on our phone we don’t use? Time to uninstall! One thing I have previously done is uninstall Facebook from my phone. I found I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook for hours, and only finding myself mad and aggravated when I decided to stop. Since uninstalling it, I probably get on Facebook once or twice a week to check my notifications for event information from friends and family that aren’t local. For the applications you cannot delete, group together so they don’t take up so much screen space. This will declutter your phone and declutter your mind when you use your phone.
Day 29: Contacts // Are you like my husband, who still has contacts from 10 years ago? Do you still talk to that person? Do they have the same number? If the answer is no or I’m not sure, it’s been long enough, and it’s time to delete it. A cleared contact list will save you time and distraction from thinking of the past. You are meant to live in the present, so let’s clean that contact list up a bit!
Day 30: Reflect on the Past 29 Days // Take time today to think of where you started and how far you have come. Do you have more space? Is your space less cluttered? Have you discovered things about yourself you didn’t know before this challenge? How did you enjoy the mindful exercises? Did you develop new habits?
If you have any questions, let me know! I want to encourage all of you to join me in this challenge in taking our minimalist journey to the next level.
Please comment below if you decide to participate and share with me which day you are most excited and least excited for!
For daily updates, find me on Instagram: @awelderswife_erin and if you decide to participate, let’s connect by using #awwlivingsimply