Monday, January 25, 2016

The Year of Less: My February Purge

Since the start of the year, I've seen many posts from fellow bloggers about their one word mantra for 2016. It's always interesting to hear the word that others choose and how they go about turning that one word into action. After thinking about it, I decided that my one word for 2016 is lessLess saying yes to things I don't truly want to do.  Less feeling guilty about saying no to things I don't want or truly need to do.  Less accumulation of physical possessions.  Less worrying about things that are out of my control. Hopefully by focusing on less, I will make room for more. More time to invest into the relationships that matter most to me. More time to invest in the hobbies that bring me joy. More of a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment. Throughout the year, I plan to share how I am incorporating my one word into my everyday living.

Sometimes these one word mantras are a bit philosophical and not exactly measurable. But there are aspects of my one word mantra that are measurable - like looking around and seeing less physical possessions. Which is why my focus for February will be on possessions. I've moved quite a bit over the last several years which always results in a purge when I begin the packing process. But I look around my small 1 bedroom condo and know that more can be done. Then earlier month I was listening to The Minimalists podcasts and they mentioned a minimalism game. Here is how it works:

"For a month, you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash."

Sounds a little bit extreme, right?  But also kind of fun if you are the kind of person who is looking for a fun and unique way to get rid of possessions you don't need. I decided that February is going to be my month to play this game. If I make it through the entire month, I will have shed 435 items.  I told another friend about my plan to do this, and her and her husband were so excited by the idea of this that they started that very day and are now on day 14. It's nice to know another person that is doing it as we've talked about the kind of things we are going to get rid of and she's talked about how good it feels to get stuff they don't need/use out of the house.

I've already had a couple of people tell me that this is so extreme and impossible and that no one, besides a pack rat or hoarder, has 435 things to get rid of. Anyone who has been to my home can attest to the fact that I am not a pack rat or hoarder, but I still think I can come dang close to finding 435 things to donate or throw away.  So in February, I'll be checking in mid-month and at the end of the month to share what exactly I've gotten rid of.

I'm really excited to take on this challenge. I find that the older I get, the less "stuff" I want and this will provide an organized way to get rid of some of that stuff.  If this has sparked your interest, I challenge you to join me!  Maybe you won't make it through all 29 days but at a minimum you'll end up getting rid of some things.

Where do you stand on the accumulation of things? Do you find yourself wanting less as you get older or is the opposite true for you?

24 comments:

Caroline said...

That sounds like a really cool challenge! And I love your word "less" for 2016. I've been really wanting to do a big purge of clothes but I haven't actually put in the time to do it yet.

Charbelle4 said...

My 2016 word is expectant. I've already seen big things this month so I'm excited for what the rest of the year holds! You already do a good job of keeping tidy and organized but I know how easy it is to accumulate things!
I purged my closet once at the beginning of the month. I'll go through it again when I switch out for Spring. I recognize I hold onto clothes and shoes more than anything else. I know I've gotten way better then a few years ago! :)

Marisa A. said...

That does sound intense but I think people often underestimate the amount of things that they actually have. Like I immediately thought of the things in my closet and currently around my house, but we have half a basement of stuff in storage and stuff in the garage. I'm pretty positive we could find 435 things to get rid of. Best of luck! I can't wait to hear the results.

Marlys said...

I know I could easily come up with over 500 things to get rid of in the house, especially my cupboards and closets! Some stuff just sits there year after year and never gets used anymore, but one thinks that I may need them in the future so best save it! I know I have clothes in my closet that are never going to be used again so I should start there. Good plan!

Raquelita said...

This challenge sounds intense, and I'm looking forward to hearing about how implementing it goes. I probably have that many things I could get rid of -- old containers of eyeshadow I hang on to and use once a year, items of clothing that don't fit any more or are incredibly worn out, etc. Generally, I buy and accumulate less than I did a few years ago, but I do tend to have a category that I buy more than I probably need/should at any given time. A few years ago it was clothes, but now I live somewhere where the clothes shopping is generally less appealing and it's shifted over to academic books.

Nora said...

I'm all about getting rid of things! I'm sure that we have at least 200+ things that we could get rid of, between clothes that aren't worn, decorations, books that aren't read, knick knacks, pens (we have so many pens) random things in our junk drawer, etc. I suspect some people focus on getting rid of big things, but it's not about that, small things count when you purge!

We have definitely been getting rid of things over the last year, donating/trashing and selling. It's such a freeing feeling. I know we have lots more stuff that we can dump, so while I may not do the minimalist game, I will certainly make an effort to get rid of things! We are doing a no-spend month in February so maybe purging/selling at the same time will be a fun thing to attempt? :)

missris said...

I *love* purging and getting rid of things. Seriously, nothing is safe in my hands. Because of that, I'm not sure I could get rid of 435 things without tossing something I truly need and use every day, but I'm excited to follow along with you on your journey ;)

Erin said...

Lisa--I LOVE this idea and really need to do it. Our house is filled with "stuff" and I often look at it and think about how it could be providing use to someone else instead of laying around taking up space in our home. I'm really going to try and participate because I need this motivation!

I love your word for the year.

I think my word for the year is going to be "Begin." I need to give myself permission to initiate, create, do, undertake all the things that our own my list :)

Stephany said...

Ooh, I really love this idea and I may join you in the mission to purge! I don't really have a lot of stuff as it is (I purge constantly), so I am not sure I have 435 items, but I am sure going to try my best! (I'm probably going to surprise myself, too, haha.)

I love the theme of less. Yay for less!

Jeanie said...

I'm into the please-less mode. I almost think I could start this. But I don't think I could finish. 29 things in a day would be overwhelming to me. Especially after the first 28 days! But you never know. It didn't say if large or small!

San said...

woo, that is ambitious. But I think, even though we purged before moving, too, I am sure I could find more things to give away. Good luck with this project this month! Can't wait to see if you meet your goal. :)

Cherry Blossoms said...

Good luck with this project. and I am sure it will be rewarding feeling in the end. I am such a sentimental person and the older I get the more I find myself filing my house with things that have meaning to me/us as a family. If they don't, I no longer feel the desire to keep or purchase as I want my life to tell a story.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Ooooh, I love this idea!! I'm going to talk to Christopher to see if this might be something we could do in our house in February. I think he'd be very in to this idea!

I'd love to see a picture of all the things you get rid of ... if you take photos of your purge along the way :-)

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I love this challenge! I tried to do something in December where I purged 3 things a day, but I find I'm just better at big purges rather than having to do something daily. I definitely think i could get rid of 400+ things though. I can't wait to hear how it goes for you!
Also, I love your word/mantra for the year!

Jenny said...

In the past I was fairly brutal at purging and more recently I've been upgrading broken and worn out things with a Buy Once philosophy. I am guilty of hoarding jars though and have a cupboard full of them - I should probably recycle them.

Gracie said...

Quite honestly, I do not have more than a dozen things I could give away without feeling it. We have no storage, so we own nothing extra! I do make an effort to sell clothes and shoes on Ebay when I replace them, and I use my Little Free Library to keep us from being overrun by books, but otherwise, not a lot sitting around the house unused.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I could probably purge 435 pieces of paper from my office hahaha.

Leigh said...

I just went through my bin of workout shirts and got rid of at least ten of them! I need to go through my workout bottom bin too as I know there is a bunch I can get rid of. I've found since having Amelia, I've been trying to pare down what we have in the house as kids come with so much stuff!

suki said...

I want to do this! Only we've already started our purging, and it's been many items, rather than 1, then 2, then 3... :P

26dishes.com said...

Getting rid of things is one of my absolute favorite things, it's so cathartic. I definitely tend towards minimalist and as I get older I do find I want less and less things. Who knows, in few years I may be as minimal as Phil!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I always do a New Years purge, but have been slacking this year, so I may try it! However, I think it will be a Jan - March purge and will hopefully still amass the same number of things. And..even if it's not the 400+, it is still good to get rid of some things at least! When I moved, I took several bags of stuff to Goodwill and I have one right now ready to go with probably a dozen or so things in it, which I will totally use towards my count! A coworker asked me if socks counts as two things... what are your "rules"?

Amber said...

I love this! I think that's an awesome word for you for 2016 and your purge is the perfect way to start. I just did a big clothing purge in September but I know I am due for another one at the end of the winter. Anything I didn't end up wearing this winter season has to go. Obviously I don't like it enough to wear it regularly so why hold onto it! I also think that getting rid of 435 things won't be as hard as it sounds. Think about all the small things in your home that are tucked away in junk drawers and etc.

Good luck, I'm excited to hear more about how this purge goes for you!

Elizabeth said...

Very cool---love this! Now that I'm back to having the house to myself there are lots of things I can "purge" or change. I'm a minimalist who is a nester, so I like layers but not a lot of "stuff" in the bigger picture. Although I definitely have WAAAAY more than I actually need. Sometimes I miss the old days when I just lived in a studio and how wonderful it was! (Although I can't imagine two dogs and a cat in a studio :)). Can't wait to see what all you post and how you feel about it halfway in! I'm in cleaning mode, but hope to get in "purge" mode by next week sometime!

Linda said...

I try very hard not to have so much stuff. When I was laid off and now that I'm only working half time, I haven't really spent money on any THINGS. In fact I think I went to a handful of weddings wearing the exact same thing. I think 5 weddings in one year! And the dress is 6 years old. Ha :)