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Week 20: #Waves4Change 2020 Sustainability Challenge: Try the 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Why Take This Challenge?

The Minimalism Challenge was developed by The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. It is a slightly easy way to remove clutter from your home and life.

The premise is simple:

  • Each day for 30 days, you get rid of that number of items.
  • Day 1 is 1 item, Day 15 is 15 items, etc
  • Items can be anything from kitchenware, clothing, furniture, the one sock whose mate you were convinced you’d find but never did, and anything else that you aren’t using.
  • By the month end, you’ll have removed 465 items!
  • Items can be anything from kitchenware, clothing, furniture, the one sock whose mate you were convinced you’d find but never did, and anything else that you aren’t using.
  • It will start off easy, but will get progressively harder as you go through the month and have to get rid of dozens of item each day.

Pro tip: Find a space in your home and gather a collection pile of items you are ready to part with. Dedicate some time to go through your things and pull out anything you don’t want and put it in the pile. That way, when it comes to each day, you have a pile to pull from rather than having to scour your house each day for items.


How Does This Challenge Benefit Me?

We are living in a culture that promotes consumerism and the next best thing to buy. Sometimes we forget that those items won’t always have a space in our lives and that it’s okay to part ways. Whether you donate, repurpose, gift, sell, or throw away your items, it’s important to do so responsibly.

Not only does this challenge make space in your home, but also in your mind. Decluttering your physical space has been noted as a simple way to feeling less stressed and decreasing anxiety.

Take some time to consider which items aren’t adding any value to your life and remove them or make them into something that will add value.


What If I Already Did This?

It’s possible you took on this challenge in your own way at the beginning of the pandemic when we were all staying at home. If you’re like me, you had every intention to do this, but so many other projects took precedence (sourdough bread!) So now, it’s time to challenge your family and friends! The easiest way to complete this challenge is to do so with others. You can keep each other accountable throughout the month and make it a fun competition as to who can last the whole month. Even better, make a betting game out of it and whoever wins gets to choose an organization to donate the winning pool to!


Prep This Weekend for a More Sustainable Week

  • Invite your family and friends to join you in this challenge
  • Choose a start date and create a calendar if need be (always helps to start on the first of the month so you don’t forget what number of items you are purging)
  • Establish guidelines:
    • Does 1 paperclip count as 1 item?
    • Can you trade items with someone else?
    • How do you support each other as you go through sentimental items that are harder to part with?Is there a winner? If so, is there a prize?


Even if you don’t have time and desire to dedicate a full month, consider two weeks or even just a weekend to this challenge. The end result is the same: you will have removed items that are taking up space in your life, which will allow for more value to be added. Most importantly, be patient with yourself and the items you’re parting with. You may have more of a connection than you thought.