I found it on Facebook. Someone posted something about it in a group about Mindful Parenting and was looking for people to participate. You have to get rid of one additional item every day for thirty days: one thing on the first day, two things on the second day – right through to thirty things on the thirtieth day. I thought that was a great idea.
I’ve always liked getting rid of things. You accumulate stuff so quickly – it's takes less time keep things than to clear them out. So they build up over time even though you’re not necessarily materialistically inclined.
I was attracted to the challenge because it gives you a structure. There’s a clear task with individual steps and a finishing point. That makes things simple. And it’s easier not to have to do everything in one day.
It wasn’t about having as little as possible at the end. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist in the sense that I want to reduce everything to the absolute minimum. But I’m not a hoarder either. I just find it stressful to be surrounded by too much stuff – I have to take care of it, tidy it away, keep it in order, wash it, use it: I’ve always realised that having too many things wears me down.
Up until the tenth day I found it very easy. The things you get rid of can be extremely small. It’s easy to find a shampoo sample or something like that. And at the beginning there aren’t so many things to get rid of each day.
To be honest, I gave up around day 15 – though it wasn’t because I found it difficult to find things to get rid of. The reason was that it takes time to pick things out, think about them, make a decision – and then maybe keep them after all. At some point I no longer had the time on top of my work and kids. It was a pity, because I would like to have seen the challenge through to the end. And I do genuinely believe I would have found things to get rid of right through to the last day. By the time I dropped out I hadn’t even got to the basement.
It’s nice to free up space – it makes room for other things that are more pleasing or more relevant to your life. And you're not just deciding to throw things out – you’re opting to keep things, too: you realise that some things are important to you. So I felt it was less about getting rid of baggage and more about keeping track – being aware of what I own and getting a sense of having my household “under control”. I found that to be very positive.
Yes. Maybe I’ll do the challenge again in the future.