The game is over. Time to take a step back and see how it all turned out. (Actually, it ended August 31 and this post languished in my ‘drafts’ folder for a month! Stuff happens. We move on.)
First, I want to point out that the sheer act of removing almost 1000 “things” from your home in 31 days is liberating. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, it doesn’t result in a spartan residence. Instead it left me with a strong sense of accomplishment.
I set a goal to do this, with my wife, and we did it. We finished an entire month of the #MINSGAME. If you missed our startup of this little game, you can read all about it here.
Our Instagram feeds are now stuffed with pictures of stuff that we no longer have. Well, I need to be completely honest on that point. We do still have some of the stuff, however, its in a box or a pile that has to be transported to either the local Habitat For Humanity ReStore, or taken to our neighborhood Thrift Shop.
N.B. As of publication of this post, all of the stuff really has left our abode.
Someday I’ll include an inventory of what has moved on, but suffice it to say we have a lot less stuff that hasn’t been touched in 5+ years.
I say that the process left me with a sense of accomplishment. True, but during the month, I will say that I did experience periods of elevated stress. Primarily toward the later half of the month when each day meant identfying 20, 21, or even 25 separate things to get rid of. With two of us doing it we had to make sure we didn’t overlap.
And then the inevitable “You’re getting rid of that?!
I can use that for . . . <insert future potential project idea here>”.
We worked through it. Much of the give and take we’ve been practicing the last few years. If something new comes into the house, then the same number of somethings old must leave the house. So it went with our #minsgame items. If I longed for one of the items in Carol’s pile on any given day, I had to replace it with something from my pile, which means I then had to find something else to add to my pile.
Fair is fair – even in #minsgame.
The stress was mostly self imposed – after all, isn’t most stress self-imposed? – and a daily conversation with myself about purpose and goals helped me settle down and get back in the rhythm of decluttering.
It’s kind of ironic that I am nearing the end of a web development project for a client in NYC offering lifestyle coaching and personal decluttering. As I begin to add more of her actual content to the website, I find myself reading her words and getting caught up in the mindset of cleansing – not so much from a body perspective, but more from a personal environment point of view.
Experience a cleansing of your personal space and reduce the stress associated with too much stuff. After all, how many times do I need to walk past that laptop shipping box from 2010 sitting in my office before I just put it in the paper recycling bin. Too many times; but no more. It’s gone, and with it the daily “I really don’t need to keep that box, do I?” question. There, one extraneous bit of self-doubt and internal judgement gone. Thank you #minsgame #day25.
Truth be told, I would do it again. Probably wait until after the first of the year though; I have enough going on right now.
But . . . the Christmas season is approaching. Do you think there’s anything we can get rid of in 27 years of accumulated Christmas decorations 😉