Friday, 11 November 2016

Let's Play A Month-Long Game

It's difficult to find like-minded people when you're a Minimalist living in a Western World that pins too much of its hopes, dreams, hard-earned cash and even time on material possessions. So where to turn to find a place to feel at home when you just need someone to understand you? A Minimalism group on Facebook of course. Facebook is home to all kinds of types of people and all types of things so it was the logical place to search for someplace to discuss the lifestyle as well as ask for tips (and give them too) and encourage each other on in our quest to find our 'Enough' point. Truth be told, however, even Facebook is lacking in this particular field! I eventually found just two Facebook groups about the subject that seemed worth a second look and joined both. They have a different outlook on Minimalism but I tend to be the type of person to find things out, experiment, then make up my own rules to any game. And speaking of games, today's entry is all about the game that helps to set you free. Yes, I did make up that phrase, but truthfully it does help make you feel just that little bit freer once you get (or rather if you get) to the end of the game without a hitch.

I'm talking about the Minimalist Game, as featured on The Minimalists. You may find the link here: http://www.theminimalists.com/game/

It's very simple really. You must find to discard or give away one item on the first day of the month, two on the second, three on the third, and so on and so forth till you get to day 30 or 31 which will be your last day of the game. It is not the aim to remove anything that you believe still fulfils a function or which you still would like to keep. Rather, the game aims to help push us in the right direction when it comes to those maybes.


Some of the discarded items.


I started out my entry with a mention of two Facebook groups that deal with Minimalism and I am currently playing this game with some other members from one of the groups. Through a private group chat on Facebook, we all of us daily post a list, photo or both, of what we have come up with that is leaving our home. Doing this in a group gives you the incentive not to skip days or give up, as it makes you feel accountable for your side of the story. In my case I find it helped rid me of the really old pop socks that I truly hated but kept not to reduce on my number of pairs, as well as some ancient woolen pairs of socks that make my toes itch. Why I'd not gotten rid of them before? Well, a mixture of 'what if I need them?' and reluctance to part with anything still in working order (even if just about!) But the game is making me look high and low, in cupboards that are hard to get to, and ridding me of those items that I hate on sight but never had enough reason to discard. Suddenly that pesky t-shirt that makes me feel like a grandma hit the 'to give away' pile because the guilt of parting with it was outweighed by the necessity of carrying on with the game. This said, it is never a bright choice to give up on stuff that you actually need or want but deep down, we all of us know there's also tonnes of stuff lurking in corners of our home that could do with moving on from our lives, whether to the landfill or else to another home.

I now must off to take a pic of today's rejects, bringing up my total items for now to 66. Maybe you should try it yourself come the first December? Isn't it the perfect time to rid yourself of the old to find space for the new? Or maybe try it in January, when a good life spring-clean is just what the doctor orders after the flashy Christmas season. Or maybe whenever else you are ready to face your things.

2 comments:

  1. Good post. It reminds me that I too keep a lot of stuff that I don't need and have been piling year after year. I have old CDs of games I used to play in the 90s. There's a whole wardrobe of clothes of various sizes which either I don't like or won't fit; drawers with a lot of garbage I once thought was worth keeping; old school text books out-dated by a couple of versions; old holey shoes which I still keep because if not I could give the shoe-shelf too. If I could throw/give away people, I know a few who I'd be gladly to part with, including family members.

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    1. I started living a simpler life a few years ago when I was going through a bad time in my life. Somehow reducing on worldly clutter helped keep me sane and try to find myself again. At the time Minimalism seemed scary, as I kept reading about living in empty homes with no TV and only four plate serving sets! However in time I stumbled on the more mainstream kind of Minimalism that focuses on living life surrounded only by what you love and that worked wonders for me. One very specific side-effect of minimising was that I now open cupboards without risking stuff falling out and actually can find anything much more easily. I'm a long way from having a totally uncluttered life and living in a family means I need to respect the other family members and their ideas too. However personal things like my wardrobe have been drastically altered by me new lifestyle, most of the time for the better.

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