Today is June 8th, so it is well past the scheduled last day of my January MinsGame challenge. As I mentioned in my personal goals post, I am picking a monthly challenge to complete each month this year (though I have definitely missed a few months – okay, I’ve missed more months than I’ve done… whatever…). January’s challenge was to complete the Mins Game as defined by the Minimalists. However, I didn’t actually complete the full 31 days of the challenge before the end of January.
I posted updates along the way… First was days 1 to 10, which saw 55+ items leave the house. The second update was days 11 to 18, which brought the total up to 170+ items. My third update was days 19 to 22 which brought my total up to 250+ items… And then there was blog silence… I mentioned briefly that I was behind on the MinsGame, but all was not lost. I slowly worked on the last 9 “days” of the challenge and can now say that I have completed it! So, let’s quickly go over the end of my challenge…
Some of these photos (like this one) were taken a very long time ago now… It’s hard to remember what all is in the photo… 2 box decorations that I used for our house warming party when we moved in (get it “house wine” – ha ha ha!), 2 empty bottles of cider (they were favours at my friend’s wedding in the fall), 2 of those closet hanging shelf things that hang from the clothes rack, a bottle opener shaped as an airplane (a favour from a different wedding, but we already have one of these hanging on the front of the fridge), a bunch of greeting cards from this year and last year and the year before and probably the 4 years before that (I’m saying that there are at least 12 here)… a hello kitty mobile phone dongle (that I bought in Hong Kong and have now given to my friend that likes hello kitty for his birthday that just past), a cloth bag that was given to me for a donation to charity along with the accompanying magazine, a rewards card that I have never used and a gift box.
I borrowed some items from my husband for this day, and also went in to my closet and bathroom… My husband got rid of 3 shirts that he no longer needed, I got rid of 2 shirts that I don’t wear, and 3 necklaces, 2 pill bottles with expired medication, 1 pack of expired allergy medicine and 1 tube of expired Polysporin, 3 candles with 3 candle holders (that counts as 6, right?), 3 scarves and 2 skirts that were hand-me-downs from my grandmother (I am going to give these to my sister to put in the costume box for my nieces) and a cloth bag.
I found 4 of those clips that hold on table clothes to picnic tables when I was pulling out the Super Bowl decorations back in February and have no need for them (the don’t fit our tables and would scratch them if they did), and then the rest of this day’s count comes from giving away 22 little jar tealight holders from our wedding decorations. (I gave them to a coworker who is helping to plan her son’s wedding.)
The rest of the jars that held the candles at our wedding are going in this group. (I believe there were about 20 of these bigger jars. And if you are wondering if I did the crafting of these jars, I did not. I actually bought them with a bunch of other wedding stuff from one of my other coworkers when his wedding was over.) Then I found an old pair of jeans that could no longer be called decent with the number of holes in them, a single soccer sock that lost its mate a long long time ago, 1 reflective safety vest that I don’t use anymore (took that to work to give to someone else who needs one), 1 oven thermometer, 1 mini whisk, 1 small knife.
What a random collection of things this is… First is my headpiece from my wedding (I gave this to a friend who is getting married this summer), a few pieces of jewelry, a teapot that seems to have developed a crack, a bag of yarn, some knitting needles, and a knitting book that all went back to my mum, a basket that was donated to a fundraiser, some greeting cards, some samples from some renovation selections, a passport holder that I never used, a measuring cup and a flipper of some sort… oh and an empty shoe box. It adds up to around 27 items… especially if I count each greeting card and the earrings individually…
More randoms… A collection of calendars (not sure how we accumulate so many calendars in our house), a couple magazines and maps, a sunglasses case, a bunch of baggage tags, a few Christmas decorations, my old hiking boots that I have determined hurt my feet and contribute to the shin splints that I had a while back, and some random pieces of electronics…
I feel a little bit like I cheated on this day… I have 4 jerseys that were in my basement from my field hockey club, but when the equipment manager and I went through the inventory, these don’t match any of the jersey sets, so we decided they could go… Then, a while back, I bought a stash of washi tape from someone on VarageSale, but it turns out that this type of washi tape (not sure I can even call it that) isn’t what I would like, and isn’t very good quality. So I will never use it… And there is lots of it… So, I will give it away, and maybe someone else will find a use for it. So, with those items, I am well over the 29 count required, but I added in a couple things that were actually around my house so that I felt better… A random box, a random card, and some small Dakine bag thing (not sure what this was intended for, but I’ve never used it).
I found another box of knickknacks in the basement to go through for this one. My bedroom growing up was so full of little figurines… I’ve got a black cat, a rainbow cat, a mini red cat (I like cats, okay?), a fluffy sheep, a mouse, an owl, a dog snuggling with a cat, a shiny rock, a bear with an accordion, a mushroom, a parrot and a creepy skull made from tinfoil… And then a bunch of papers, including all the extra programs from our wedding (that’s at least 20 or 30), a bunch of print outs from when we assembled our invitations (I am still so happy with how cute the graphics my friend made turned out), some random greeting cards, a map book for the Danube (returning this to my parents – it’s their book), and a wine guide from the BC liquor store (I had some idea that I would learn about wine… never happened).
And for the final day, I cleaned out a box that had some more random bits from our wedding… this included a stack of invitations that we didn’t need, a bunch of bingo daubers, and a gift from one of our friends that I never used (corkscrew and wine stopper – who doesn’t finish a bottle of wine when it’s opened? kidding… sort of… ), I also found a stack of greeting cards from a few Christmases ago, and a stack of post cards that my grandparents had sent me as a child that my mum had kept for me (but gave to me as soon as I had room to store them myself). I also found a stack of old emails that I had sent my mum while I was away at various times in my life. She had apparently printed them out to read them and stored them for me. I read them all, it was fun, but I don’t think I need to keep them anymore… Back in the basement again, I found 2 adorable Bunnykins figurines that I think were originally my sister’s, or maybe even my aunt’s, so I’m going to see if either of them wants them. And I also found a little painted clay jar with my collection of plastic animals that used to come on Bellini’s at restaurants. Not sure why I was collecting them, but I think I can get rid of them now…
So, now that I have finally officially completed this challenge, and managed to get rid of 500+ items from my home, how do I feel about it? What was the best part? The worst part? The easiest part? The hardest part?
One of the high points is that it has emptied out space in a couple cupboards and on some shelves. I also feel a lot lighter and less stressed when I think about the things that are hiding in the basement… (where the majority of the things came from…)
But I do feel some sadness in letting go of some things that were part of my past, and part of the “me” that I had ideals of becoming at one point. The realization that I will never be that person can be a bit hard to take, but if I can get over that and enjoy who I am now, I’ll be better for it.
The easiest part… Well, that definitely had to be when I found groups of things that I could get rid of… Things that I got rid of to give to others that would enjoy and use them (like the candle holders of day 25 & 26).
The hardest part was actually finding the time to go through all the boxes to find things and then actually keep track for the challenge. If I didn’t have to keep track, it might be easier to just go through things and get rid of them quickly.
Would I recommend this challenge to others? Definitely! In fact, I may come back to this challenge at a later time in the year and revisit it. Maybe I will actually complete it within the month… But, I almost think I’d rather just keep track of the things that leave the house, sort of like Barb & John do over at Decluttering the Stuff. They just get rid of things as they find them, and add them to a count… Hmm… I smell a new monthly challenge… Perhaps July?
Have you done the MinsGame challenge before? Did you actually complete it within the 30 or 31 days?