Minimalism Day 15

I am halfway through my 30-day minimalism challenge, and wanted to give an update on my progress so far!

At the start of the month, I chose to embark on a 30-day minimalism challenge.

In an adapted version of The Minimalists’ Minimalism Game, I wanted to get rid of 465 things over the course of one month—getting rid of at least one thing every day.

And at this midpoint check-in, I’m surprised (and mildly concerned) with how quickly I have reached that number.

What have I gotten rid of so far?

For physical items, my options were to donate, sell, recycle, or toss (in that order). And for digital items, my options were to delete or unsubscribe.

  • 561 physical items (everything from clothing and shoes to old magazines and expired medicine)
  • 21 apps
  • 1,216 photos on my phone
  • 18 email subscriptions
  • 160 text conversations on Messages
How do I feel?

These numbers are ridiculous. In my original post, I mentioned how 465 things seemed like a “monumental” amount. However, I have far surpassed that number in less than 15 days.

It is unsettling that after letting go of nearly 600 physical items, I feel like I have barely made a dent.

I can’t show what deleting 1,216 photos on my phone looks like, but this picture will give some sense of the hundreds of physical things I was sorting through in my bedroom. And this photo doesn’t even show everything, because my drawers, bookshelf, and bathroom cabinet were full as well.

What dumping four suitcases and a closet full of your possessions on the floor looks like

Clearly, I did not take an organized KonMari Method approach this time around. Instead, because I wanted to unpack and clear out my room in 24 hours while jet lagged, I took more of a “toss everything on the floor and sort through it” approach. It may not have been a pretty sight, but the chaos motivated me to create order.

What challenges have I faced?

Getting rid of large quantities at once can be tiring. It took lots of time and energy to tackle the mountainous situation above, and I still have two boxes and a desk left to sort through. Not to mention, sorting through digital clutter is mentally draining. Scrolling through thousands of photos, for example, is tiring for my eyes and my mind.

Moreover, it can be tricky to balance not wanting something with not wanting to waste it. For example, what do I do with bottles of half-used shampoo or makeup that I no longer use but can’t bear just tossing out?

On top of that, how do I dispose of expired toiletries, medicines, and cosmetics in the most environmentally friendly way? It can be really difficult to remove and safely dispose of leftover product from certain types of packaging!

After seeing how difficult it is to recycle toxic consumer products, I will most definitely be considering how convenient it is to responsibly dispose of a product beforehand. In fact, I recently bought some trial-size shampoo and soap bars from Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company which come wrapped in paper. Hopefully, I will enjoy using these bars so that I can shift to these zero-waste shampoo and body wash alternatives!

What am I looking forward to?

All in all, I feel lighter being free of things that did not add value or joy to my life. But I also know I have much more work to do beyond the end of this month, which is somewhat daunting.

In particular, I have so much digital clutter on my devices and the Internet that I would love to streamline and simplify. As I begin WWOOFing on a farm next week, I am looking forward to focusing on these digital files. Here’s to hoping that I will even organize my study abroad photos into cohesive albums!

New here? Welcome! I invite you to find out more about my 30-Day Challenges here.

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