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Minimize in May – My Mindful Decluttering Challenge

May 8, 2018
Minimize in May - My Mindful Decluttering Challenge | Tiny Ambitions

Happy May! If you happen to be on my mailing list (which I highly recommend for semi-regular, semi-coherent emails), you already know what this post is about. But, I thought I would share it here on the blog too – so everyone feels included!
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, it’s (probably) spring – hooray! And, I don’t know about you but I’ve been feeling very purgy for the last couple of weeks. I don’t love the term Spring Cleaning (more on that in a future post), but that’s definitely what I’ve been feeling lately.
Maybe it’s because I live in a seriously cold place, but, something about the warmer weather and promise of spring makes me want to clean out my closet (and obviously not replace anything. I am a minimalist, after all).
To make things a little more fun for myself and because I don’t want to go it alone, I’m starting a tiny challenge for this month. I want you to Minimize in May (I can’t say no to an opportunity to alliterate, #sorrynotsorry).

Minimize in May - My Mindful Decluttering Challenge {Pin} | Tiny Ambitions

More specifically, I’m going to challenge you to donate, sell, or recycle three items in your home that you don’t need anymore.

Why three?
No specific reason. Three sounded better than one and won’t be as difficult as five. There is an added level of difficulty for this challenge though. I don’t want you to just drop everything off at your local second-hand store. I think it’s really important to be mindful of where our stuff goes after it leaves our lives. By and large, the majority of the ‘stuff’ I accumulated in my life before becoming a minimalist, I accumulated in a very mindless way. I don’t want to continue the mindless streak just because an item doesn’t fit into my life anymore. I believe I owe my stuff more than that.
Need help getting rid of your items in a mindful way? See if your town/city has a local Buy Nothing Group or even a Buy/Sell group. My city has both on Facebook. You could also post your items for free (or for money if you prefer) on Buy/Sell apps like Kijiji, Craiglist, Carosell, Letgo, etc.
Since this is the time of year when people are cleaning out their garages, basements, attics, etc, you might even find a local recycling event in your area. There was one in my city this past weekend for textiles, clothing, tires, and electronics. You can bet I was there with a bag full of stuff!
Check out some of the local charities in your area and see if they are collecting for a specific item. There is a shelter in my city that is always looking for warm articles of clothing and blankets – so you know where I’m going to take those items!
If you have any items of a desirable brand or any items in good condition, you could also consider consigning them with a local store. My local vintage shop just started accepting new items for the next season, so I will be checking that out for the higher end pieces of clothing I don’t wear anymore but have been holding onto.

Is minimizing in this way going to be more work?

Yes.

Is it worth it to do what you can to make sure an item will be used to it’s fullest potential?

You betcha (IMHO).

I still struggle with the wasteful aspect of minimalism that can arise from dumping all your stuff onto someone or something else. If I can find a meaningful home for an item, I’ll do it.

So, that’s it. Minimize three items from your life this month and do it in a mindful way. Easy, peesy.

Because I love hearing from you guys, I want you to let me know what you’re going to minimize from your life this month. Comment on this post and let me know or share photos on Instagram with #minimizeinmay. I’ll reshare my favourite ones!
Obviously, I’m going to do this challenge too! Here’s what I’m going to minimize in May:

  1. A pair of boots I purchased a couple of years ago that really hurt my feet.
    • Will be recycled (they are a mismatched size (7 and 7.5), so they would probably be trashed if I tried donating them somewhere else.
  2. Five athletic headbands that I’ve never worn (they make my head look funny).
    • Will be donated to a local yoga studio.
  3. Three phone cases that I can’t use anymore because my old phone kicked the bucket.
    • Will be posted for free in a local Buy/Sell group.

I can’t wait to see what you guys are going to minimize in May!
P.S. If you missed last week’s episode of Tiny Bites, all about what I’ve been grateful for lately, you can listen to it here.

P.P.S. I’m starting a productivity group with the Flipd app (which I’ve spoken about a couple of times here and in Tiny Bites). If you’d like to spend more time off your phone and more time being productive, please take my two-question survey to help me learn a little more about your productivity habits (i.e. when you would like to be or when you are the most productive). Thanks!

Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions

  • Stephanie May 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    I think this is a great idea! I’m always minimizing, I could definitely think of 3 things that I need to finally make a decision on and get out of my life.

    • Britt May 27, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks, Stephanie! I think three is a perfectly reasonable number for most people. The worst thing about decluttering is getting overwhelmed in the beginning because of the enormity of the project. But, most people have no problem having a couple things they don’t need in their lives anymore!

  • Am I Making Room for My Priorities? May 14, 2018 at 7:01 am

    […] Passing. You know what is even better than the MinsGame that I keep losing? Minimize in May! Britt at Tiny Ambitions put together an awesome challenge that I am all about. I sold a pair of shoes and a pair of sunnies on Poshmark. I also have a few […]

  • Penny (@picksuppennies) May 13, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    I have been thinking about this since you posted! Added it to tomorrow’s blog post 🙂

    • Britt May 13, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      Yah! Can’t wait to read it. 😊

  • Lisa May 11, 2018 at 3:51 am

    I thought this was a great idea for May when I saw your newsletter email, Britt. I think I’m about ready to declutter a few more items. We’ve decided to move (yet again) in October so until then I’m going to really try and focus on getting rid of any excess (or at the very least not acquiring any new items) before the move. Three items definitely sounds doable, and I like the added challenge of doing it mindfully. 🙂

    PS. I saw that you did a guest post on Cait Flanders – can’t wait to read that this weekend!

  • Linni May 10, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Britt! Just discovered your blog through Cait’s blog and it’s so awesome! For the month of May, I will be travelling to Montreal for a whole month. So my goal is to only travel with a carry-on luggage and live with the things that fit inside that bag.

    • Britt May 11, 2018 at 7:00 am

      Thanks, Linni! That is so kind of you. I love the sound of your carry-on only for a month! I’m sure you can totally do it. Welcome to Tiny Ambitions!

  • Tread Lightly, Retire Early May 10, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Minimizing this way is exactly why it’s been taking me so long. It’s so easy to just trash / randomly donate stuff, but I’m working on sending my stuff to real homes instead. It’s hard. But worth it.

    • Britt May 10, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      That’s awesome that you’ve been decluttering in a mindful way. The beginning of my journey definitely didn’t look like that so kuddos!

  • Erin | Reaching for FI May 9, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Yay I’m so in! Not sure what my items will be this month, but I have pleeeeenty to choose from!

    • Britt May 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      Yah! I’m so glad you’re in. We can do this together! I also have a bunch of stuff I could choose from (this is what happens when you become a minimalist, you constantly find new things you can live without), but the three I chose are things I’ve been holding onto for far, far too long. Thanks for reading, Erin!

  • Jan May 8, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Just started following you today after reading your guest post on Caitlynn’s blog. A taller friend was the recipient of 3 gorgeous pairs of pants that I purchased in Montreal and have been loathe to part with since. I don’t know why I anticipated a growth spurt at my ripe age, but I got real after reading this post this morning. A few other select items did go to the Salvation Army.

    • Britt May 9, 2018 at 7:13 am

      Hi Jan! Welcome to Tiny Ambitions! I’m sure your friend appreciated the gift. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with donating to places like the Salvation Army, sometimes it’s only place for certain items. Thanks for participating in Minimize in May!!!

  • Penny (@picksuppennies) May 8, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I am so here for this, Britt! You know that’s my biggest justification/excuse for hanging onto things too long. I don’t want to just “mass donate” (aka ask Goodwill send to a landfill for me). Love, love, love this!

    • Britt May 8, 2018 at 11:40 am

      Ya! Welcome to the challenge, Penny. Its awesome that you are mindful of that – most people wouldn’t be!

  • marilynmalara May 8, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Hi! I’m new here.

    This is a great idea! I think I’m a new minimalist because no matter how much I purge or declutter or donate, I feel like I have so much stuff. I’ve been on the ‘living simple’ road for over two years now, and I stopped shopping over six months ago. I live abroad right now and am moving back to the U.S. in just a few short months, so on top of my own slow process of letting go, I will join in on this challenge! The three things I will try to mindfully declutter are… 1) a space heater 2) a drip coffee maker and 3) 2 winter coats (I’m originally from Florida, lol)

    Thanks again for the post!

    • Britt May 8, 2018 at 8:32 am

      Welcome to Tiny Ambitions! I think there is a perpetual state of decluttering that comes with being a minimalist. It sounds like you are on the right track! A long distance move is a good motivator for decluttering that’s for sure.

      P.s. I’d love to get rid of my winter coats, but that’s not reasonable considering I live in northern Canada 😂

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.

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