This experiment has really been the result of wondering whether if I had less stuff and consumed less in general, would it help my financial life?
The challenge is structured by doing one task a day — things like taking your credit card information out of autofill and only eating at home — tasks that help you push through your boundaries, and hopefully help you create habits that create real change. Here’s how I structured my minimalist challenge:
The Minimalist Challenge
1. Purge your wardrobe (get rid of at least 10 things)
2. Journal for 20 minutes
3. Clean out your fridge
4. Find 10 things you’re grateful for
5. Clear out your phone
6. Clean out one of your closets
7. Purge your kitchen cabinets
8. Empty your junk drawer
9. Clean the apps on your phone you don’t use
10. Do something you have been putting off
11. Clean out your old makeup
12. Make five goals for the next six months
13. Take out your credit card information out of autofill
14. Clean under your bed
15. Don’t spend money for 24 hours
16. Sort through your mail
17. Meditate for 20 minutes
18. Download a helpful app
19. Eat at home
20. Sell five items to a local thrift store
21. Clean out your email inbox until it hits zero
22. Unsubscribe from email marketing
23. Write down five things you are grateful for
24. Purge your household cleaning items
25. Toss out old socks
26. Leave a whole day unplanned
27. Let go of a goal
28. Declutter your work desk
29. Empty your wallet
30. Repurge your wardrobe (get rid of at least ten things)
Here’s what happened this week:
15. Take your credit card information out of autofill
I took my credit card information out of my Amazon account. I also realized as I was taking out my information, that I hadn’t updated it since December (since my card had expired in January). But taking out the card information felt like the final move… of something. No idea what! I also realized then that I didn’t have my credit card information anywhere else. I hate online shopping so this was not a huge surprise to me. But still. Probably one of the easiest challenges I have had to do thus far.
16. Eat at home
I ate dinner at home and brought my own lunch to work (#savingallthemoney). My partner cooked for me and a friend and it was so good. Tbh this did not feel like a part of the minimalist challenge because the food was so tasty. Sometimes eating at home, hanging out with a friend, and just having a good time feels like a luxury because it’s so nice.
17. Clean under your bed
My bed is lowish to the ground so you cannot fit anything underneath it. In all the time I have spent in my apartment, I have never cleaned it before and let me tell y’all it was disgusting. I honestly don’t even want to go into it, that’s how gross it was. I’m so glad that I was able to Swiffer under the bed and get all the hard reaching places that, when I am vacuuming, I usually miss. It made me want to deep clean the whole house immediately. And, like, take a shower. Seriously, look under your bed and you too will be completely grossed out.
18. Toss out old socks
I went through my sock bin and sorted out everything. It was pretty easy to decide which socks to get rid of since they were all stretched out and very old. Most of my old running and dance socks are, naturally, pretty beaten up. They went into the trash. I made a mental note to buy some more of my favorite socks.
19. Repurge your wardrobe (get rid of at least ten things)
For the first time in my entire life, I have formed a minimalist habit. Unlike all of the other challenges (besides clearing out my emails because I have so many emails), I have done the challenge once and then not thought about it again (besides cleaning under my bed #gonnahavenightmaresforweeks). But I have, this entire month, been setting aside clothing that doesn’t feel like me anymore, naturally purging a little bit each day. It has gotten easier and easier to let go of some things since the first purge. Not only have I been able to get rid of stuff that just is not me anymore (literally shedding a layer that I had outgrown) but I also have been able to form a habit. This is the value of doing a 30 Day Challenge (as opposed to a week or a day). You can truly feel and see the results.
20. Meditate for 20 minutes
This one was a little unplanned. I woke up at around 4 am and could not for the life of me fall back asleep. I considered getting up and moving around, maybe drawing for a bit to calm down my brain, but instead I meditated. I think I meditated for around 20ish minutes before being able to finally fall back asleep. Sometimes when we have a lot of our minds, we think working out or doing something creative will help solve the insomnia pains. But most of the time, slowing down is really the answer.
21. Let go of a goal
I will never be perfect. For instance, since my phone is usually so cluttered, I am still clearing it out. Progress, however slow, is still progress.
I’ll be back next week for my final week, along with some takeaways, so be sure to check back to see how my journey finishes up. And make sure to read about what happened during my first week at it and my second week.
All Images: Courtesy of Sophia Randazzo