My 2-4-1 challenge.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately of minimalist blogs. This entry from Born Again Minimalist really inspired me. Like the strange woman on youtube whose husband was giving her $1 for every pound of stuff she got rid of (you can hunt for that yourself) I liked the idea of challenging myself to achieve a specific goal when decluttering. I’m learning rapidly that I am personally motivated by specific and restrictive goals, especially when they’re made public, as this makes me accountable.

So, can I get rid of 100 things between now and February 15th 2014? Well, originally I thought it would be a fun challenge, but then I counted the number of things in the box waiting to go to the op shop right now. There are 44 things in the box. And those 44 things made barely a dent in the junk in our house. It wouldn’t be so difficult for us to get rid of 100 things, there is no challenge in it. We have too much stuff to begin with. Caitlin, of Born Again Minimalist began the challenge as a person with very little stuff. So we need to get to that point first.

How can we get there? Well, here is the challenge I’m setting for myself.

For every new thing that comes into the house two go out.

At the moment this is easy. I mean, I found 44 items to send to the op shop in the last three weeks. I send large boxes and bags of things to the op shop about once every two months.

Where does this junk come from?!

This is a problem we’re already addressing with Buy Nothing New. Next step, shifting the stuff we don’t need out of here. In the last week I’ve been able to pass on some baby items we have doubles of or no longer need to a variety of people who are expecting at work. That was doubly satisfying as it meant we were able to help out some new parents in the way we were helped before Little Fearse was born. I have also managed to pass on three excess baby items through Freecycle. I have previously mentioned op shop box ready to go and another box of items ready to list on Ebay. I feel good about this, but also a little anxious about what happens when we’ve shifted the easy stuff and it starts getting sentimental.

I’ll keep you updated.

10 thoughts on “My 2-4-1 challenge.

    • Thanks for your comment, Caitlin. It’s a fascinating challenge, I think, because I can actually track my mindset about ‘stuff’ changing as I go. It amazes me that I brought half this stuff into my home in the first place, or allowed it to be pressed on me. I hope, one day, I will be able to look around me and feel peace about the amount of stuff in the house. I have a LONG way to go! I don’t think I’ll ever have as few books as you, though.

      • No, it doesn’t feel like clutter. I don’t really read it much, but it’s nice to know that all my favorites are right there for me to read. The funny thing is that I have hard copies of my favorite books because I couldn’t part with them, even though I have the Kindle.

        My boyfriend gave it to me as a gift and loaded it with every book he already had, so it came as a full library. As I find new books I’d like to read, I just buy them for Kindle, so I can read them on the Kindle or my phone.

  1. So, um hate to get all finicky on you, but what happens when it’s your birthday?? (that last bit needs to be said like ‘it’s YOUR BIRTHDAY’ in an excited singing voice). During the year I love finding pressies for my mates & relos when I’m in the big smoke. They have their own little pile on my dresser. (Yours has now multiplied into 2 piles). Are you going to have to get rid of 2 things when you get a present?? Awwwww…. this hurts my morning Saturday brain.

    • It’s okay, beautiful girl, I have written down a heap of things I’ve already got rid of as a cheat for any such occasion. I am currently 7.5 items ahead of myself. I’m bringing so little in that I’m sure it will be fine. You know I love my parcels from the country. Unfortunately your birthday parcels rarely compare!

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