2,218 things later, I have (almost) successfully completed my first 30-day challenge, the 30-day minimalism challenge.
Turns out, being on a farm has not been conducive to getting rid of more stuff. Though the farm life has encouraged me to live with fewer things (it is not a glamorous lifestyle), it has not helped me minimize the number of items I already own.
Instead, picking blueberries, hanging out with the other WWOOFers, continuously making food, and learning to spin wool have diverted my time and attention away from my 30-day minimalism challenge.
Since my midpoint check-in, I have only deleted 241 more photos and one more app on my phone. So, without internet connection or the vast majority of my possessions on the farm, I failed to get rid of at least one thing every day.
Therefore, my downfall was consistency rather than quantity. And consistency is vital for habit-setting (something to work on next month).
Even so, I ended up getting rid of a total of 2,218 things:
- 561 physical items
- 22 apps
- 1,457 photos on my phone
- 18 email subscriptions
- 160 text conversations
2,218 is a pretty staggering number.
When I decided to get rid of 465 things in a month, I did not have a tangible sense of what 465 things looked like (which is partly why I counted digital items as well as physical ones).
In retrospect, my goal might not have been ambitious enough—particularly considering the overabundance of digital clutter in our twenty-first century lives.
30 days later, I feel simultaneously lighter and more overwhelmed. I am glad that I only kept items that brought me joy. Still, the quantity of physical and digital things I own is a lot to take in. 2,218 feels merely like a drop in the bucket.
Things accumulate and accumulate and accumulate—especially in the digital realm. I can’t even begin to comprehend how many websites I have subscribed to over the past several years of my online life.
As a whole, this month’s challenge has put my minimalism ambitions into perspective. It will take a continuous and conscientious effort on my part to decrease the quantity of possessions I accept into my life.
Thinking ahead to my next few months of 30-day challenges, I want to emphasize consistency despite the spontaneous ebbs and flows of life. Plus, focusing on month-long challenges will continue to inspire reflection, highlight areas to work on, and even spark some new interests!