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  • Caitrin McElroy

The Minimalism Game | A Gratitude List

We’re on Day 23 of the Minimalism Game, and every day I wonder if this will be my last day participating.

I feel like I’m running out of things to give away. There’s a huge donate pile taking up prime real estate in our small studio apartment, so even though we’re getting rid of things, I’m still looking at clutter every day. I’m getting rid of stuff that I really like but know deep down I don’t need. I’m having tough conversations with myself daily. I ask myself with every tally of things, “who are you trying to be, and what are you trying to prove, by hanging onto this stuff?” And it’s a tough question to answer, especially when I have moments when I don't feel like justifying keeping a cute shirt or fancy lotion that I use once a month.

In short, I woke up downright grumpy today, and—in a moment of weakness—I found myself questioning what the point of all of it is.

My husband is very good at talking me down off of my grumpy ledges. I’ll grumble and cuss and scowl and cry like a petulant child after work some days, moaning and groaning about what stressors I put up with. And he’ll listen. And he'll ask questions. And then...he’ll put his hand on my knee and tell me to think of the big picture. He’ll remind me that all of this that I’m going through now will be the last thing on my mind when we go on our next big road trip, buy our first home together, or when our future children take their first steps.

So, today, in my own attempt to focus on the big picture, I’m acknowledging all the good this game/practice/process does for me and then letting the feeling go.

If you’ve thought about doing the Minimalism Game, but just didn’t know what purpose it would serve for you besides one big Goodwill trip, here’s all the good it’s done for me:

  • Less shit to dust! (I hate dusting)

  • Noticeably less clutter

  • The things that we kept aren’t fighting for space; our organizational spaces have room to breathe

  • Our space looks cleaner AND feels cleaner

  • I found books that I forgot I owned (that I still really want to read)

  • Mindfulness of my time

  • Mindfulness of what I spend my money on

  • A new bonding experience with my husband

  • A reminder that donating is a win-win for everyone

  • ...and for the stuff I sold, I made $230

  • For the sentimental items I kept, I found joy in reminiscing

  • Actively practicing minimalism gave me a reason to get back to writing

  • I found joy in talking to others about the Minimalism Game

  • I felt gratitude for all the messages I got from others saying they were inspired to clean out their old junk

  • Feeling humbled by seeing how other minimalists live their lives

  • A sense of community

  • Motivation!

  • A sense of purpose

  • A chance to realign myself on my priorities in life

  • The undeniable feeling that a weight has been lifted

What good has minimalism brought you? Tell us in the comments below!

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