Playing the Minimalism Game Month #2: The Outcome
In February, 2017 I decided to play the Minimalism Game. I wanted to use it as a tool to declutter some of my stuff. I had a loose plan of the categories of things I wanted to address. So, I gave it a go!
The sweet thing about the game is that it gives us momentum. It breaks the inertial state. And it provides a sense of progression. You start slow, with one item, and you comfortably go adding one more item to the previous amount until you reach day 15. Then things start to get more challenging. But you’ve prepared for it, you’ve been training and so you put your fears aside and continue on the quest for more items to let go.
When I finished the first month, which were 28 days, I looked at my stuff and saw that there were more items to purge. I was not done with my plan. It was natural for me to go for a second round.
The second month of purging: March, 2017
My plan was to declutter the following categories of stuff:
- CD’s — data/backups;
- Old Printed Photos (needed scanning);
- Kitchen utensils;
- Business cards;
- Old Medical Exams.
Some of these things have been on my to-do list for years. I could never take the first step to start dealing with my old printed photos and backup CD’s. It was a task that was time consuming and needed some preparation, such as: sorting thorough the stuff, verifying what I still wanted to keep, digitizing or making a digital copy and throwing away the rest.
It turns out I digitized the selected photos (using PhotoScan), I copied to the cloud the selected data from my back-up CD’s and recycled everything. I didn’t feel the need to keep any of the printed photos. I simply let go. And it felt good.
During the last few days of the game I was worried I wouldn’t be able to finish it. I made a huge effort to keep going, since the digitizing task was laborious and time consuming. But I kept the focus and the goal in mind. I discovered it was easy to go on and learned that we should never underestimate the amount of paper we accumulate!
And that’s it! I finished this second month with 496 items less in my life! And if I sum up with the February challenge, it was 902 items in 59 days.
It’s amazing how this exercise builds a “letting go” muscle inside of us. I caught myself leaving the “just in case” mentality to embrace what brings value to my life. The challenge helped me go through old memories that I thought were attached to the material possessions I kept, when in reality, the memories were inside myself.
I am grateful for this journey! It gave me the discipline to keep going! I would like to thank the accountability groups on Facebook The March Minimalism Challenge and Minimalism.org: Online City that supplied daily inspiration and strength :)
Now I’ll stay low for a while to evaluate what to do with the empty space that resulted from this purging and enjoy the process!
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.