In October 2018 I saw a Facebook post about the Minimalism Game. If you haven’t seen it, in this game on the first day of the month you get one item out of your house. On the second, two items, and so on for thirty days. If you complete the “game” you have rid your home of 465 items at the end of the month. My husband and I chatted about it and decided to give it a try.
We did not expect this game to be so addictive! We were finding things left and right to get rid of. We sold some items, donated and tossed a great deal. We did not complete the month’s challenge, but did rid our home of 352 items. We were hooked on the results so decided to keep going, just being diligent about decluttering, not really challenging ourselves to a certain number per month. Here we are in April of 2020 and we are still playing the game!
- October to December 2018: 551 items
- January to December 2019: 791 items
- January to March 2020: 259 items
That is a lot of stuff!! We are not hoarders (my husband might disagree when it comes to my craft room) and we have been regularly releasing items throughout our marriage. But what is really happening here?
We are living intentionally, holding more loosely to material things. Do we like nice things? Yes we do. But we do not need a lot of things or constantly to have newer things. I want to spend less time caring for belongings and more time building relationships. I love the peace I have knowing that my home almost always is “company ready”. When we are able to entertain again, I will not be in a panic if the doorbell rings unexpectedly. If I find out someone has a need and I can fulfill it, I am not emotionally attached to the “stuff” but ready to meet the need.
I also believe that this urge to simplify and declutter is part of the preparation for the new season God is preparing for us. It is impossible to reach for the future and gain ground if you are held to the past, and that includes the stuff our homes are filled with. When God says, “Now”, I don’t want to be weighed down or held back by concerns of material things.
I am sentimental about family heirlooms. I love that connection with previous generations and their legacy. I spent some glorious time with my cousin looking at china and glassware from generations past. Did I bring some pieces home? You betcha. Just a few. Really, the joy was in the looking and the story telling and the time spent with someone I love. Those pieces will be used, as they were intended to be. Tea with a friend using delicate china cups and saucers makes the friend feel loved in a way no dollar store mug can do. So , I let go of some mugs to make room for what is precious and lovely.
Memory over memorabilia.
Having less and being surrounded by things that have purpose or that I enjoy looking at has brought peace to my soul. When my husband and I married we wanted our home to be a refuge. A cozy, comfortable place for us, family, friends or strangers. We’ve never had a full blown clutter problem, but now with extra space, it is like breathing room for the soul.
So we will keep playing the game. Letting go of things and taking hold of hearts. Making our corner of the world a relaxing place, a loving place, a place where God is present with us.