The minimalism game

UPDATE: I made it as far as day 25. There are still many things that will get discarded in the coming weeks, but there was no way I could come up with 140 more items in 5 days. Life goes on outside of this game and the things I now have to sort through require more thinking then the time I had available.

I still allow myself to call this a success; we didn’t have much extra stuff to start with so this was a nice reminder of how important it is to keep questioning our purchases. It also made me more mindful of what brings value into our lives and what just clutters it.

Before leaving, we spent over six months storing, donating, selling, recycling and throwing away stuff; making sure we only kept the things that we really cared about or couldn’t replace. A few years later, some of that stuff is only starting to come out of storage and, while some discoveries are very exciting – mostly things we brought back from our travels – not everything we decided to keep had been missed.

Recently moving into our somewhat-permanent house, we had to buy a lot of the things we originally sold. I don't regret getting that new couch, that full size fridge, that induction stove or that oh-so-amazing dishwasher – the therapeutic effect of hand washing dirty dishes is quite overrated – but there was a point around Christmas at which I started getting uneasy about owning so many things again. We are intent on staying “portable” and while we want to be comfortable in our off-the-boat life, bringing more stuff into the house got me concerned. Were we building a new anchor for ourselves? The perspective of spending another six months throwing away perfectly good things before we can go again is not one I'm willing to consider.

What’s the plan then? I’ve recently watched the movie Minimalism a documentary about the important things and it got me thinking. One simple and easy thing to start with, is the 30-Day Minimalism Game.

Here’s how it works: every day for thirty days you need to get things out of the house. One thing on day one, two things on day two and so on. By the end of day thirty, 465 things will have walked out the door! Will I find this much stuff to remove from the house? Maybe not as we’re already quite lean, but it’s worth a shot.

If you’re planning to sail south in a few months, this could be a great way to kick start the project and let you spend more time with the boat when the weather turns nicer.

Let us see how far I can take this! I'll be posting picture updates on Instagram: #minsgame.