Towards the end of January I was tagged by my friend Cherry to take part in a February declutter challenge. She proposed the Minimalism Game, the idea being that each day you remove the same number of items from your home as days in the month. February is a good month to take part, because with fewer days the final goal is a little more achievable - although by the end of the month an incredible 406 items will have been decluttered!
I must admit that I did bend the rules slightly. You are supposed to remove items from your home immediately, but it just isn't practical for me to make a trip to the charity shop every single day, so the clutter stacked up in bags until I was able to remove it. I was away from the 14th - 19th February, so that was 99 items that I needed to declutter in advance, and I also pre-decluttered earlier on for some of the higher numbered days towards the end.
I decluttered all sorts of things, from earrings to a fireguard, old glasses to a breadmaker. I found at least five pairs of my trousers with a hole in the knee, as well as several pairs of shorts that are no longer decent, even for the beach. Many of the items were children's clothes, toys and books that they have grown out of - at least with small children there is never a lack of things to be passed on - and I hope that they will have found nice new homes via the charity shop.
I was amazed at how easy I found it. I like to consider myself fairly decluttered, but I think the pressure of actually listing out my decluttered items forced me to consider getting rid of things that had survived previous decluttering rounds.
It has made an enormous difference. I noticed it in particular when I was packing for our holiday. I could grab pants, vests and socks from the children's drawers, and knew that all the ones I had picked up would fit them and that they would wear them. It was also an opportunity to declutter further - when packing for Harry, among his minimal collection of clothes I discovered another 7 t-shirts that no longer fitted him! I've managed to fit all my paperwork into my filing cabinet, when previously I had papers piled up on top of it, and I now know exactly what craft supplies I have, inspiring me to pick some of them up again.
The challenge has freed up cupboard and drawer space that I can use to store things in temporarily instead of having them lying about the house. I feel lighter emotionally, and I like to think that I've done some good by donating good quality items to the charity shop.
In fact I've enjoyed playing the Minimalism Game so much that I'm planning on carrying it on into March. I don't know whether I'll get to the end - with a further 90 items to find the 31 days of March will require a massive total of 496 things to leave the house - but decluttering is a continuous process and even if I just manage a few things a day it will still make a difference.
You can read a blog post written at the beginning of the challenge by another one of my fellow players here - Fresh for February from The Vicar's Wife.
You can also read an update from me here - Playing the #MinsGame - An Update.
Photo credit for main logo - Cheryl Winn-Boujnida via Unsplash.