Do you have too much stuff and want a fun way to declutter and organize your home? Try this awesome 30-day minimalism game challenge.
Don’t let the word minimalism scare you. Minimalism can look however you want.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is the intentional lifestyle practice of living with less. We keep what truly adds value and purpose to our lives. This can look like having very few material possessions. For some, this might look like having just one cup, one bowl, one plate and one piece of cutlery per person.
Others, like myself, prefer to go the Minimalist Lite route. I choose to be very careful with my consumption and purchases. I practice essentialism by prioritizing the essentials in life, yet I maintain supplies for my hobbies like gardening, cooking and baking. My house is not completely sparse, but we do only keep what we need, use or love (like artwork).
What is the 30-Day Minimalism Game Challenge?
The 30-day minimalism game was invented by those crafty Minimalists Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn. They developed this game as a great way to jump-start the decluttering journey.
The minimalist challenge is easy. On the first day of the month (or challenge, start any day you want!), declutter 1 item. On the second day, declutter 2 items. On the third day, declutter 3 items. On day seventeen, declutter 17 items.
After all the compounding, this fancy math reveals that when you’ve completed this minimalism game by the end of the month you will have decluttered 465 items!! That is awesome!
Getting Started with the Decluttering Challenge
The best way to start this simple 30-day minimalism challenge is to get prepared:
Grab 4 boxes and label them:
donate (I like to donate things that are still useful and are in relatively good condition)
sell (I only sell things that are valued over $30 because I don’t want to spend too much time or energy on selling. I also like to sell things for between 10-20% of what I paid for them)
recycle I recycle whatever I am not donating or selling (check your local municipal rules around recycling)
garbage If it can’t be donated, sold or recycled, it is likely garbage. I know, it’s not fun to throw things away, but remember if it’s garbage, it’ll be going there eventually…why not now?
Now you could wander around each day looking for new things to declutter, but I like the idea of having a strategy. Perhaps you start with a to-do list or you have a specific goal of where to start and what path you want to take. For example, you might start with the junk drawer, and then move on to some paper clutter.
I like to ask these questions when I’m deciding what to keep:
Do you like the item? This is a good question for artwork and the like. If you have a bunch of ornaments that were gifts from a well-meaning family member, but you‘re not in love with them, consider letting some (or all) of them go!
Do you need the item? You know what I need? My kitchen knives. Ok, I CAN live without them, but I don’t want to. They seriously save me a tonne of time and energy. They help me chop up my veggies for my salads to stay healthy.
Do you use the item (wear it? use it? enjoy it?) Do you have multiples of the same item? This is great for clothes and things that we tend to keep yet never wear.
Is it a unitasker? These are things that can only do one thing. Great for decluttering things in the kitchen (or even your craft room)! Do you need an avocado scoop? MAYBE you do! Perhaps you have arthritis and it helps you out. SOME unitaskers make sense (you can take my toaster from my cold dead hands).
Weekly tips for the 30-day Minimalism Game
This month-long challenge is great, but be aware that it does get a little harder as the days of decluttering go on.
The first week
You might be like “This is not going to accomplish much” as you declutter 1 thing, then 2, then 3, but use this as a great opportunity to begin honing your decision-making skills. At the end of the first week of your 30-day minimalism game, you will have decluttered 28 items.
The second week
Now you are cooking! You might be moving onto different living spaces like the living room at this point.
If you come across some sentimental items, this is a great time to practice deciding what to do with them. Peter Walsh states that TRULY sentimental “treasures” should all fit on your dining room table. He explains that quite often we attribute sentimental meaning to trinkets, or worse to malignant items that bring back bad memories.
By the end of this week, you will have decluttered 77 additional things for a total of 105 items! Go YOU!
The third week is when things start picking up
You are spending more and more quality time decluttering. You might need to come back here for some blog posts to help you remember how amazing the minimalist lifestyle will be!
As you work through your physical possessions, you might run into some resistance. Resistance is when our brain thinks “This isn’t fun and I don’t want to play this minimalist game anymore!”
PUSH THROUGH! You can do this! This is about the positive impact that decluttering this item will have on you.
During these 7 days, you will have decluttered an additional 126 items for a total of 231 things!
The fourth week–the final stretch!
You can do this!! It can be hard to even find more things that are easy or are little things. A good idea is to head into the kitchen or garage. An area where there are more items to choose from.
It can get hard, but by the end of the challenge (it’s actually 9 days for a total of 234 items!) you’ve decluttered 465 items!
Benefits of the 30-Day Minimalism Game
The benefit of the challenge is that we ramp up slowly. You get a feel for how to declutter and how to work through the questions.
As you move through the challenge, you might notice that you spend less and less time deciding what to keep and let go of.
You also will declutter a large number of items quickly, even by the 14th day of the challenge.
Decluttering your home from unnecessary clutter can have an enormous benefit to your physical and mental health.
Each item in our home takes up mental space in addition to physical space. The weight of these items can cause increased stress and make it harder for us to relax (especially women) because we can feel like the work is never done.
Living with fewer things in a decluttered home can make for a more peaceful daily life and this minimalist game helps you get there!
Challenges and Overcoming Decluttering Obstacles
Some challenges in doing this game can include trouble finding unwanted things, meeting the correct amount of items each day, and getting tired.
Here are some tips to make sure you keep you’re hitting your specific number of items each day and you reach your goal!
Consider adding a social media challenge into the mix.
Sure, it’s ideal to take care of all of the physical items first, but if you’re on day 22 and getting tired and overwhelmed, tackle some digital files.
Maybe declutter some photos or some emails!
Grab your mobile phone out and delete some old text messages. I realized that my phone’s storage was full of photos in the old text messages and saved myself a tonne of room!
Ask a family member for help
If you’re coming up against some pretty strong resistance, ask a trusted friend or family member to help you find a few more items to declutter.
Get a shredder and have fun!
Paper is a GREAT thing to get out of the way and to get a big bang for your decluttering buck. AND it’s also a great way to get older kids to help (supervised of course). I like to ask my son to shred a pile of paperwork. He doesn’t hate it (he’s 14, so you know…) And it gets it off my plate!
You may come up against some tough times, but keep going. Don’t give up. You can find what you need to do and think about how amazing you feel after an entire month of decluttering!
I did this challenge way back in 2020, and for the first few days, I was kind of bored. I wanted to really get in there and get ‘er done, but in NO time, I realized I was getting a lot done.
I started where I always start, the gold ol’ junk drawer. By the end of the week. I had a good number of things in my boxes, and a tidy junk drawer with way less stuff.
And yes, I did struggle during some points. I remember counting single pens that were dried out, but I kept going. I was VERY happy to have decluttered 465 items!
Beyond the 30 days
Once you’ve decluttered, you will likely want to ensure you’ve got a plan to keep clutter at bay in your daily life.
Perhaps you pick it up at the end of the day. I like to keep a box in my garage and bring it to the donation centre every month or so.
Looking for other decluttering strategies? Check out this video