31 Day Challenge Update

Ahh, its about time I pump out this update.

Before the new year started I decided that I was going to participate in the minimalists’ game. The challenge was set to start on January 1st, and go until the 31st. The idea? To eliminate 1 item the first day, 2 items the second day and so on. To my surprise but joy, Mr. Roamer decided he would participate too. In essence doubling the amount of items we would have to purge.

Before the Challenge

Our closet. Looking exceptionally unkept.
Our closet. Looking exceptionally unkept.
A side of our room
A side of our room, boxes abound

Per our pictures you can see some of the stuff that has accumulated in our apartment. I’m kind of bummed. I really wish that I would have gotten some more before pictures. These 2 will have to do.

Before this challenge I had already participated in a few clean out days. My method before was to allocate 2 hrs on the weekend to go through old papers     (the biggest offender) and any other random items.  Stuff just seems to spawn in our house and I have to constantly keep on top of it.

 

Now… how best to present our results? I will be straight up and tell you that Mr. Roamer did not photograph any of the items he removed. Still we ended up with quite a few pictures and I thought doing a day by day review would just extend the length of this post excessively so instead I grouped similar items together.

Mementos

A little bit of this and a little bit of that.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

About the hardest thing to get rid of when you are trying to clean house is stuff that has “meaning”. From best friends necklaces, to keys of our old house growing up, to the ticket stubs, of all the movies my dad had taken us to while growing up. I had a habit with collecting things. Like I said, I have gone through purging cycles before and these items have kept getting saved…

NOT THIS TIME

The 31 day challenge really pushed me to be more critical.  But it was also a book on Buddhism and impermanence that made me realize how silly it was to keep these thing. With that I had an epiphany and developed a mantra.

Let go now, or let go later, at some point you have to let everything go. (really its just a matter of time)

Pictures, stuffed animals, and even memories.Time has a way of deteriorating everything. It’s not a question of will you let go. Its just a question of when. So I found myself asking , If its going to happen anyway, why not today?

So out they go.

Baby Stuff

Items for a soon to come baby. Not mine, but a coworkers.
Items for a soon to come baby. Not mine, but a coworkers.
Clothes
1 yr old boy clothes. It served my son and daughter well.
Baby
Month by month pamphlets that I got back in 2008 when my son was born.

I had been keeping baby items because of the possibility of growing our family. But with how many clothes we’ve been gifted by coworkers and the discovery of craigslist I was able to let items go. With 2 kids, I don’t have the miss conception that babies cost butt loads of money. So now I don’t feel like I am potentially wasting money in the future by gifting, selling or donating still good clothes.

Happily I was able to sell the boy items pictured plus another 9 to earn my first side hustle dollars of the year. Another upside of minimizing is cashing in on any valuable products that sit unused in your house.

Electronics

Does anyone still use this model?
Does anyone still use this model?

Do recognize these items? An old Xbox, and how about these? An old Sega Genesis. These are just a few items that occupied a gray bin. Inside were floppy disks and more items that we wouldn’t be able to access. Due to how old they were.

Good times... over umm 15 years ago.
Good times… over umm 15 years ago.

The initial goal had been to put at least these gaming systems up on craigslist and see if anyone collected antiques.  🙂 But instead these item were removed from the house and put into storage.(Not mine, we don’t own one). Someone in the extended family just didn’t want to get rid of them. At first I was a bit upset but then I realized I should just be happy that they are no longer in the house and that now I have an empty bin to use. As long as the items stay out of the apartment I consider them removed.

Random Stuff

Stuff

Books

From crumbled blush, to an expired pregnancy test sometimes things just get lost in closets or cabinets. More random items that got removed included school paper work from our now 1st grader.

During this challenge I also finally took steps away from my dream of “owning” a library. I have always been fond of libraries but I always wanted to have my own, so books were another of those things I gladly collected.  It was a big change in mindset. Bye Bye books.

So are you going to take on the minimalist games in the coming month?

Some tips

Ask yourself a few questions.

  • What is this item for?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Why am I keeping it here?
  • Do I really want to keep it or do I feel obligated?

Asking myself these questions and just repeating my mantra to myself I was able to remove items I had previously chosen to keep.

Let go now, or let go later, at some point you have to let everything go. (really its just a matter of time)

This motto has help me clear out stuff. Specially when it comes to mementoes.

Before and After

As I mentioned before I wish I had captured some more before pictures. The area by our sink is doing so much better. Though we still have some boxes and storage bins to go through we were able to parse down quite a bit.  People always say pictures speak louder than word so here are side by side comparisons.

Some improvement.
2 boxes cleared out. Mr. Roamer thinks I should work on my staging skills.
More room to walk in the closet.
More room to walk into the closet.

Finally items that still need to get the boot. These toys all reside in a bin and are just waiting for someone to come rescue them on craigslist. If there are no bites then they will get donated. ( More toys then just items pictured).

We are just a little old, we're still good, we're still good.
We are just a little old, we’re still good, we’re still good.

So Are you joining in the games this coming month? Leave me a comment and tell me what is that one item you hold on to even though it just sits in storage?

The Roamer traveling wallet

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8 thoughts on “31 Day Challenge Update”

  1. I like that mantra of let go now or let go later. So true. I still have old concert ticket stubs from back in my 20’s. That’s a tough one to let go of. Overall though I’m fairly clutter free. Living in a small apt helps with that. 🙂

    1. I totally get that Tonya, The movies was the way my dad liked to spend time with us so lots of memories… Really its about us being intentional right.. Asking the questions and if the answer is yes, then the answer is yes I am going to keep it.

      I will say I do think people should push outside of their comfort zones though.

    1. Eliminating waste/inventory/ clutter is something I do in my day job I can completely come prepared with some systems. 🙂 hmmm I wonder if I could make that a side hustle, traveling garage cleaner will work for…. what do you think is a good price ?

  2. We are currently working on de-cluttering our house as we prepare to put it on the market. I have been digging through lots of blog articles on de-cluttering and this one really spoke to me. I am actually enjoying the process of de-cluttering but am having a hard time with the “emotional items”. Seeing this:
    “Let go now, or let go later, at some point you have to let everything go. (really its just a matter of time)” is exactly what I needed. What an insightful response. You have given me the courage to tackle all the cards we received for our wedding and engagement (there are stacks and stacks)!

    1. I’m so happy you found that helpful. It really was an eye opener when I had that realization. It can be a sad realization but also freeing.

      You know I heard an easy way to start with card is to get rid of all the generics where people just sign their names. That ones with actual written messages from the giver are more precious. I can get behind that for sure. Also just pick a number and keep only that many… Again at some point those might also get purged but its a start.

      Year books are the bane of my existence. . I can’t seem to let them go…. I feel silly just saying it.

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