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Simple Challenge Week 1

Image: by ohn Kasawa FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Simple living and minimalism … really intentional living, is about habits.  We choose the way we want to live, we practice it, and it becomes a habit.  And a good (intentional) habit is a powerful and amazing thing!

In both my simple living journey, and in what I want to share with you, I want to do more than declutter… I want you to make simple living practices a habit.

With this in mind I am going to try something new with the Simple Challenges.  Starting this week each of the 4 weeks of the month will have a different challenge theme. I will post on the theme every Monday for that week.  The themes will be the same every month but the challenges will change as you simplify and grow.  Hopefully we will all make some great habits together :)

Ready for the first challenge?

Week 1 is for Trash (or Recycle), and Giveaway

This week, could you set a goal for trash and giveaway?  For the trash, this isn’t everyday trash, this is stuff in your house that you don’t need… and no one else can use either.

Need some ideas?

  1. Since the year just ended, what about going through old files and shredding documents from last year you didn’t need?
  2. Put away Christmas decorations yet?  Do you really need to keep them all?  How about donate the ones that don’t hold the place of ‘love’ in your collection?
  3. Old towels or old cloths (might go for trash or giveaway depending on condition).  These are both areas new things may have been added to in the last few weeks.

On a personal note, Christmas decorations don’t hold much space in our house.  I love Christmas, but the decorations for it are something that sits in storage for 11 months out of the year… and I have almost no space for storage.  Because fake trees take up tons of space and I don’t like the idea of real trees we have tried out different tree options in the past few years.  Our Christmas decorations include a few indoor strings of lights, some bead strings, stockings for the kids, and some special family decorations.  It all fits in a small box that can slide into a corner.

Could you go through your things and find 4 bags full (maybe 2 bags for trash and 2 bags for giveaway)?

Extra points if you can find ways to (giveaway) recycle some items that would usually be seen as trash.  Make the final stop at the garbage can and a donation spot so 4 bags are out of your house for good.

… or you can do more, just set a goal and go hunting :)

(I did 3 bags giveaway and 1 bag trash last Sunday right before we left town.  We are currently in Minnesota for Bryon’s work and will be here for a few more weeks)

On a side note, if you have read my Simple Living -30 days to less stuff and more life, would you consider reviewing it on Amazon?  I never used to do reviews, but now that I am an author I have realized that the reviews are so important.  Thanks so much!  Click here to get there :) 

23 Comments

  1. I just cleaned out my drawers, closets and loft. I threw away 2 bags worth of stuff and have created a pile for a carboot sale (flea market like in UK). I always feel better about having more space and slowly getting the hubby to part with his things but if it says Collector’s Edition forget it! But he is coming around.

    • great! I love the feeling of having more space too :)

  2. We need to go through and declutter our basement (where we are living in the winter). I think finding some stuff to purge will make cleaning it go much faster!

    I’ve found decluttering to be an ongoing process. We’ll get things where we want them, then have to go through and do it again, a couple times a year. These “touch-ups” are never as time consuming as the initial decluttering, though.

    • Yes, I totally understand. When we first were decluttering it seemed like it was all I was doing. Now we go through stuff every few months and it takes way less time. With the challenges I am hoping to mix decluttering with other simple living habits so everything gets done several times a year :)

  3. Lorilee, I am so grateful for your blog and your books. As much “minimalism” as I’ve adopted over the past year inspired by your blog and books, in the past two weeks, I’ve gone through and been able to take things to a whole other level. It feels so good to have margin in my schedule and my space.

    Thank you!

  4. Lee

    There are clothes collection bins in my city in the Netherlands, but most of the clothes seem to get re-sold in second hand stores or used as recycled cloth. Instead, I’ve been collecting “give away” clothes for the last two or so months for a charity that takes them to Albania; it makes me happy to add a warm scarf or extra sweater and know that someone there will be enjoying it. Yesterday I had three bags full when the bus showed up! Plus today I carried two bags of recycle stuff to the drop off and tossed out a bag of trash too. So I think that counts for the challenge :) (The only problem is that I’d rather make one big trip than several little ones, so it looks like I’m a huge hoarder as I lug so many bags out of my house!)

  5. I just went through the kids toys today to do a post-Christmas de-stash. We will be donating some old toys they no longer need to our church nursery. I have a bag of clothes I want to consign and a box of books I want to donate to the library, so this will be my motivation to actually get all of this stuff out of the house/car!

  6. jboyzmom

    I am a beginner minimalist. I hope to master it by the end of 2013. I think the weekly challenge is a great idea. I sent four bags to the mission thrift store today. Your book is one of my resolutions for 2013 :)

  7. Zoe

    I’ve decided your challenges are just what i need! I always have a bag for the charity shop and 2013 has brought hubby on board too *happy dance* so i’ve already taken one bag to the charity shop, have another and a big box to go now too. Well done me. Keep being so inspiring Lorilee!
    Zx

  8. Kay C

    Fell short on week one. Hope to do better with week 2 challenge. I did take 2 bags and 2 boxes to Goodwill but I had those pretty much ready before the challenge. I did throw away some old clothes and started an new box for Goodwill. I have decided to get rid of all my VHS tapes and some old towels. I did go through the pantry and pitch everything out dated. I’m keeping my counters clear and it is a great motivator to keep the dishes done…no dishwasher to load to hide them…lol. I’ve never enjoyed doing dishes more!

    • Kay, sounds like you have been making great progress :)

  9. akamillie

    This is coming at a perfect time. Every year, after Christmas, I feel suffocated by the things that seem to pile up around my house. I’ve always loved the tradition of boxing day and successfully purged a few bags on New Years but I still feel like I could purge more. Thanks for the challenges/ideas they are just what is needed!

  10. Kim

    Yes, I am starting late in the game here, its been a tough start to the year so I am behind on EVERYTHING.
    Today I took out 2 bags of garbage and one bag of donation, so far. I am sure I will have at least one more bag out the door before the weeks end and I move onto Week 2. Just getting the 3 bags of stuff out of here so far has been rewarding and I loved the feeling of finally getting something done. I’m on a serious mission now. At the end of December one of my dogs became very ill, after 5 weeks of going back and forth, better then worse and so on, he lost his battle to cancer. Its been very hard and quiet in this house, he was such a big part of this family. We still have one dog who has been getting some serious spoiling to keep him from getting depressed. Working harder on my goals of minimalism has been a great way to redirect some of my feelings after losing Taz. I’ll be updating as I go with you all, I’ll just be a few weeks behind ya! Have a great week :)

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