If you haven’t heard of minimalism, its essentially a lifestyle in which people have less material possessions and focus on living mindfully.
You’ve probably seen examples of minimalism on social media, but influencers often misconstrue the true meaning of the word. You don’t have to throw out all of your personal belongings or live in a tiny house in order to incorporate minimalism into your life.
If you’re interested in minimalism but don’t know where to start, you can try out this 30 day “challenge”. You can follow it in any order you choose, and make whatever adjustments you want to make it better suited to your daily routine.
Day 1- Set three goals for the challenge: Take a few minutes on the first day to think about what you want to accomplish at the end of the 30 days.
Whether you want to focus on decluttering your home or becoming more mindful, you’ll benefit from determining these objectives at the start.
Day 2- Purge your closet: Our closets are usually some of the most cluttered spaces in our homes, so its one of the easiest places to start the challenge.
Start by taking out clothes that you no longer wear and want to give away. After that, turn all of your hangers so that they’re facing the same direction and each time you wear a piece, rotate the hanger. At the end of the 30 days you can also donate the clothes you haven’t worn the past month.
Day 3- Create your own mindful morning routine: Your morning routine sets the tone for your entire day, so incorporating mindful practices can be very beneficial. If you want to see my slow and sustainable morning you can find my article on that here.
Day 4- Stay off social media for the day: Everyone knows that social media can be harmful with extended use, but you won’t realize how big of an impact it really has until you stop using it.
If you have trouble staying off those apps, see if your phone has a “screen time” section in your settings where you can make the apps unavailable to you for a set period of time.
Day 5- Delete unwanted photos from your phone: If you’ve ever gotten that annoying message about your storage running low, its most likely because of your pictures.
Going through your photos every once in a while allows you to have more space on your phone and keep it less cluttered.
Day 6- Choose five things in your home to donate: It shouldn’t be too difficult to find five things to donate, and if you’re able to, try to donate as many things as you’re willing to part with.
Day 7- Read for 30 minutes: I love reading now, but there was a period of time where my attention span was so fried from endless scrolling through social media that I wasn’t able to focus on a book for more than ten minutes at a time.
Whether its a book, online article, or magazine, reading is always beneficial even if its just for half an hour.
Day 8- Organize one space in your home: Trying to get your whole house organized is overwhelming, but taking some time to focus on one space makes it much more manageable. If you want to continue doing this after the challenge you can plan out a different space to work on in your home each month.
Day 9- Throw out or reuse single socks: I often keep single socks hoping that eventually I’ll find its pair, but I rarely do. If you don’t want to create waste you can check out the article I’ve linked from Insider that shows you a few ways you can repurpose lone socks.
Day 10- Go on a walk or hike: One of the main ideas of minimalism is taking in your surroundings in a time where most people are moving too quickly to notice them.
Going on a walk without any distractions allows you to see things you normally wouldn’t and develop an appreciation for your environment.
Day 11- Clean your desk or workspace: As I mentioned in my article on the benefits of minimalism, a cluttered space makes it harder to focus on working. Keeping your workspace tidy is a great way to reduce stress and increase productivity.
Day 12- Analyze a few of your recent purchases: Purchasing items has become such a common practice in our lives that sometimes we end up buying things we don’t actually need.
Going through a few of your past purchases can help you determine if you’re buying out of necessity or just out of habit.
Day 13- Meditate: If you haven’t meditated before you may find it difficult to sit still for the whole time. You can start with short guided meditations on youtube and eventually it will become easier to focus for longer periods of time.
Day 14- Set up a donation box in your home: Often times I find myself keeping items I don’t need, just because I’m not sure where else to put them. Setting up a donation box in your home and making monthly trips to drop items off is an easy way to ensure you aren’t holding onto unnecessary items.
Day 15- Clean your car: If your car is your main mode of transportation, it probably gets messy pretty quickly (or maybe that’s just me). Keeping a bag in your car for garbage can help you avoid the accumulation of clutter.
Day 16- Journal: Journaling is something I’ve started doing daily over the past few months and it has made a huge difference in my mindfulness. If you’re not sure what to write you can try one of these prompts from Positive Psychology.
Day 17- Lend a friend an item so they avoid a purchase: Recently a friend of mine was talking about how she was going to buy a polaroid camera. I offered her mine, which I only use occasionally, and she ended up saving a lot of money and avoided an unnecessary purchase.
Day 18- Throw away expired makeup and skincare: Its easy for expired products to accumulate if you don’t get rid of them right when they go bad. As you go through your products, notice what you didn’t use and keep that in mind the next time you’re shopping for makeup or skincare.
Day 19- Write down five things you’re grateful for: Another significant aspect of minimalism is practicing gratitude. Its common to feel pessimistic about things, but reminding ourselves what we have to be grateful for is a great way to boost your mood.
Day 20- Purge your social media: Social media isn’t always bad. However, when your feed is filled with influencers who have seemingly perfect lives or are constantly trying to sell you products, it can effect your mental health.
Take some time to scroll through the people you follow on your socials and try to only follow people who will add something positive to your feed.
Day 21- Go through your books and movies: Now that most movies are on streaming services and many books are available as ebooks, you probably don’t need to keep a lot of physical copies.
While I still prefer paper books rather than digital, I try to only keep books that I have the space for and I usually go to the library so I can borrow instead of buying!
Day 22- Have a self-care day: Nowadays self-care has become commodified and we are often presented with the idea that we have to buy things in order to treat ourselves or relax.
However, self-care is unique to everyone and you don’t need to buy candles or bath bombs in order to wind down. On my self-care days I like to read and have tea, but you can also watch a movie, journal, or do anything that helps you relax.
Day 23- Go screen-free in the evening: For a lot of people going screen-free for the entire day is unrealistic, especially if you have kids or use your phone for work. However if you put your phone away in the evening, that’s still a few hours you can use to avoid electronics and spend time with loved ones.
Day 24- Clean out your junk drawer: I think everyone has at least some variation of a junk drawer in their home. Mine had lots of office supplies that were never used, and while it still gets re-cluttered now and then its much easier to keep it organized after the initial cleaning.
Day 25- Cook a meal at home: Whenever I have a particularly busy week, I always find myself resorting to fast food rather than making meals at home. While its totally okay to eat out occasionally, cooking can be very therapeutic and it reduces waste from fast food packaging.
Day 26- Borrow something instead of buying it: If there’s a book you’ve been wanting to read or a piece of clothing you only need to wear once, borrowing is a great way to avoid a purchase.
Day 27- Do some yoga: Yoga is one of my favorite ways to exercise because while its not always easy, its much more low-impact than other types of workouts. If you don’t have an in-person class to go to you can follow a youtube video or simply lead your own.
Day 28- Have a no spend day: This is a great way to notice what you might have spent money on, and determine whether or not its something you actually need. Going forward, try to treat each day with this same mentality and you’ll save money while also keep unnecessary items out of your home.
Day 29- Clean out your purse or bag: Because purses and bags get used almost everyday, its easy for them to become messy or cluttered. Cleaning out your bag once every couple of weeks is a good way to make sure it stays organized.
Day 30- Reflect on the past 30 days: Have you learned anything throughout the challenge? Did you accomplish the goals that you set in the beginning? Take a moment to evaluate which aspects of minimalism fit your lifestyle, and which parts you don’t want to incorporate.
I hope you’ll choose to try out this challenge, and if you do let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thank you for reading, having a lovely day!