The thing-a-day challenge

I am so inspired by simple, spare spaces – the kind I want to live in, the kind I had in mind when I started this blog and began getting rid of my stuff.

Photo by Tineke Triggs from

photo from

These are the kinds of spaces that inspire me, but still I find that my own house has pockets of chaos, days when it feels like a cluttered mess. It’s better than it was a year ago, to be sure. So much better. Every drawer in the house closes without my fighting it, things don’t fall on me from the higher shelves in the closets, and there are even bare surfaces on tables and bookshelves, where there used to be stacks of paper and greeting cards and goodness knows what else. It is progress. And I need to keep working at it.

I had a moment of genius, a small epiphany about how to re-inject some steam into minifying my house. After all, the novelty of paring down has worn off, and I find stuff creeping back into my life. So I thought to myself, I will issue a challenge: I will get rid of one thing each day. I will call it…the thing-a-day challenge. And I will blog about it.

And then I thought…perhaps someone else has already had this idea.

They have. They even gave it the same name. Ha! Good thing I googled and didn’t just claim that this was an original ProjectMinify initiative…that could have been embarrassing. So with no further ado, I give you the not-as-original-as-I-thought, still promising and exciting, thing-a-day challenge 2.0. Today, the very first day of the challenge, I got rid of…a plain white dish towel. So what if I’m starting small? I’ll build momentum. Also, my philosophy of “you can never have too many dish towels” is in direct conflict with the broader life philosophy of minification that I decided over a year ago to embrace (and continue to strive towards, even on the days that I just want new stuff, because I’m tired of my old stuff, and still a little suckered by the work-spend treadmill).

The only thing you can never have too much of, as it turns out, is love. And time – time is the one natural resource we can neither hoard nor squander – it runs out at its own pace. Which is why I’d rather not spend my finite, precious hours acquiring a bunch of unnecessary stuff, or carrying more stuff than I need through this life with me. So here we go: the thing-a-day challenge. I’m going to try to post a list of all the things I get rid of, for as long as I can stick with it. Anybody else feeling inspired to take the challenge and join me?


4 thoughts on “The thing-a-day challenge

  1. Nice post..! For me, I’ve just started to live without papers.

    For years, I’ve been keeping papers (invoices, bills, receipts, etc) ‘just in case’ i might need them. These papers are piled up in a paper-holder. They are then transferred to a drawer when it’s full. When the drawer is full, they are transferred to a big plastic bag and kept in the storeroom. The cycle continues…till about a month ago, when i decide ‘enough is enough’.

    Wanting to adopt a minimalist lifestyle, i decide to live with less papers.

    Now, i use my iphone to photograph all new incoming papers. These photos are uploaded via DropBox app. I will keep the hardcopies for about 1 month before they are thrown away. I also subscribe to paperless credit card statements from banks whenever possible.

    Now, I feel ‘freer’ with ‘less things’ to take care. ‘Paperless’ living is possible with help from technology.

    All the best in your journey..!

  2. Great post! I can totally relate to the dish towel issue! I was raised with the mentality that you do not get rid of something unless it is totally used up. So, even if I get beautiful new dish towels, I have a hard time letting the old ones go. They are like my “back up”. I find I have this problem with everything! If I get a new improved coffee maker, I feel compelled to stow the old one away because it still works, and what if the new one breaks?! It’s horrible! :) I have been working hard at letting some of those things go. You have just inspired me to let some of my towels go! Excited to hear all about your “thing a day” venture!

  3. Pingback: The Wellness Challenge | Project Minify

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