You’ve probably seen this game making the social media rounds. I know that as someone who tries to live as minimally as possible, it has certainly caught my eye and been a topic of conversation in my circle.
For those of you scratching your heads let me explain. The 30 Day Minimalism Game was designed by The Minimalists, set to help you and your friends or family members break-free of your cluttered, over-consumptive lifestyles. The rules are simple, each day you get rid of excess items in your life: day 1 = 1 item, day 2 = 2 items, and so on. You can imagine towards the end of the month it can get quite challenging. In total you’ll vettisen 465 items from your life.
Now I know what you’re thinking, there is no way that you have over 450 items in your life that you can get rid of, but when you actually take the time to look around you’ll be surprised at how much clutter you have. And it wouldn’t be a game if it didn’t get tricky towards the end.
But why do it in the first place?
Modern day lifestyles centre around mass consumption. From the food we eat, to the Netflix we binge, to the ten white t-shirts we have in our wardrobes - we’re conditioned to spend and consume. This satisfies us initially however it’s actually not beneficial in the long term. Not only does this type of mass consumption impact greatly on the health of our environment (according to the Food Wise campaign, Australians throw out $8 billion worth of edible food every year!), but can create feelings of anxiety, depression and guilt on a micro level. By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you’re not giving up material possessions or ever buying anything again, it’s about building your life on a more conscious level, making smart choices and having a sense of freedom that can come about through owning less physical possessions.
So, where to start?
We recommend before starting the game to have a good look at your lifestyle. What areas of the house seem to feel cluttered? A common place people over consume is their wardrobe. It can be hard to part with certain items as they could have sentimental value or perhaps cost you a lot and you feel you haven’t worn the item enough. It’s time to get realistic about what is in your wardrobe. I am not suggesting you chuck it all out and wear the same outfit everyday, but see this as an opportunity to really ask yourself if holding on to this item is bringing you any joy. Especially if it doesn’t fit you anymore, there is no point holding on to it for a day when it might - you may also end up associating this item of clothing with feelings of anxiety and guilt.
Another tip is not to limit yourself to just fashion. Furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. It can all go! You’ve got over 450 items to eventually get rid of, you don’t want to limit yourself.
What to do with your items.
Limit the number of items being sent to landfill as much as possible. While your items may not be beneficial to you anymore, it could be what someone else needs. Take as much as you can to your local second hand store or arrange a collection. Another great way to shed some of your things (and to also make a little money) is to host a market stall. While you won’t make bank for your things, it’s a great day out socialising with your community while also opening up the possibility of your things finding a new home.