Day 9: Minimalism

I’ve already failed at limiting my social engagements.  My husband pressured me into going to dinner and drinks with his coworkers after my Crossfit class.  I had exactly 15 minutes after my Crossfit class ended to get home, shower, get dressed and leave for dinner.  I’m not really spacing my activities.


I’m exhausted today…

Day 8: Minimalism

When I first thought about reducing my time committments, I thought it was a silly endeavor.  I enjoy my life.  Yes, I’m tired and can be grouchy, but isn’t everyone?

I read Dear Busy Person at Northwest Edible Life, and I get it.  I don’t have to be tired.  I don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the dishes in my sink or my undone laundry.

For this week, I’m going to allow myself the freedom of doing nothing.  I won’t feel guilty about sitting on the patio drinking tea because I should be vacuuming.  I will crawl in bed early with my puppy and read a book without having a to-do list running through my head.

Even as I type this out, I know this is going to be difficult for me.  I’ve always been an overachiever.  A varsity athlete through college.  A straight A student.  Every minute of my day is planned.  It’s not something I’m proud of, but I’ve felt it’s necessary to reach my goals and make the most of my day.

Day 7: Minimalism

I’ve worked my way through our apartment.  I’ve thrown away, recycled or donated bags and bags of my possessions.  I don’t feel any lighter.  I don’t feel any less stressed.  Did I think reducing the number of items that I owned would reduce stress caused by other external factors?

I plan to continue sorting through my possessions every day for the rest of the month.  I’ll dedicate at least 5 minutes in the evening to reevaluate whether I need 3 ice cream scoops.

Starting tomorrow, I will be focused on reducing time commitments.  Any recommendations or advice?  I’ve always over scheduled my days, and I can provide a breakdown if anyone is interested.

Day 5: Minimalism

5 days in. Countless items purged. I still feel overwhelmed by my possessions.

I have clothing ranging in sizes 2 through 6.  I’m unable to let go of clothing too small because I feel I would be giving up on losing the weight I put on in grad school. I also don’t want to get rid of my clothing that’s too big because I hate shopping when I’ve put on weight; I will continue to wear clothing that is too small. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth.

How do you reconcile your insecurities with minimal possessions?

Day 3: Minimalism

The closet clean out was difficult! I managed to make a huge pile for donating, but my wardrobe is still large. I have five dresses that I rarely wear because I work in a very casual office/lab. After reading this post about getting rid of items that cost less than $20 and take less than 20 minutes to replace, I settled on keeping them. I’ve slowly acquired these dresses, and I feel professional and polished when I wear them.

Two days of purging hasn’t made an impact. If I’m serious about minimalism, I will have to continue purging during weeks 2-4.

Day 2: Minimalism

This week I’m focusing on possession reduction. I’ve broken my apartment into zones to make the purge less intimidating. I won’t be a contender in The 100 Thing Challenge at the end of the week, but I will reduce the amount of stuff in my life.

Day 1: Bathroom (details below)
Day 2: Closet
Day 3: Dresser
Day 4: Kitchen
Day 5: Guest Bedroom + Donation Trip
Day 6: Bathroom, Closet, and Dresser (again)
Day 7: Guest Bedroom, Kitchen, and Guest Bathroom (again)

My bathroom clean-out went well yesterday. I used three paper bags labeled G (garbage), D (donate), and R (recycle) to quickly sort items. I threw away old make-up, recycled empty bottles, and tossed expired medication/sunscreen. I also have a bag full of jewelry to donate on Saturday. I made two trips to the recycling bins and one trip to the garbage dumpster.

Lessons learned from day 1:

I will add a put away bag (P) to my GDR bag set-up to organize/clean while purging.

The first round of items felt great. The next round will be more difficult, but I have so many items that I haven’t used in months.  I’m also not looking forward to creating a donation list, but the tax write-up will be a nice boost next year.

I sorted through my husband’s things in the bathroom, but he didn’t have many. The closet and guest bedroom will require his input to be successful.

Day 1: Minimalism


min·i·mal·ism  – Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature, or design.

Why minimalism?

We have too much stuff.  

I share a 1,200 square foot apartment with a puppy and my husband.  Due to insane rent in our area, we are contemplating moving into a one bedroom apartment (~800 square feet) in 2014. I’m approaching minimalism as a way to avoid renting a storage unit.

My Approach

I’m going to approach becoming a minimalist for a month using a condensed version of  the post “The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life” by Becoming Minimalist.  I will focus on each of the 4 categories for 7 days with the remaining 3 days left for reflection.

  • Reduce Possessions
    • Sort through items for 10 minutes/day.  
    • Donate, recycle, or throw away unnecessary items.
  • Reduce Time Commitments
    • Keep schedule simple.  
    • Allow plenty of time for relaxing  
  • Reduce Artificial Ingredients
    • Track food
    • Avoid junk
  • Focus on the moment, not the screen
    • Limit TV viewing
    • iPhone/iPad use

Image by Stephen A. Wolfe.