The Minimalist Challenge: #ELminimizes

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Join the Experience Life team’s 30-day experiment to minimize clutter — inspired by the Minimalists.

My husband has a lofty goal to retire early, and he’s convinced that by smart investing, careful budgeting, and putting less value on “stuff,” we’ll be touring the United States in our Airstream by our mid-50s (yes, please.) While searching the Web for tips on how to simplify our lives, he stumbled across an intriguing blog called “The Minimalists.” It’s written by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, a couple of friends who seemingly had it all in their 20s — six-figure salaries, big houses, expensive cars, and lots and lots of stuff — but gave it all up to unravel the mystery of why none of it was making them feel happy or satisfied. Theirs is a brave, inspiring story, and when we discovered they’d be speaking less than 2 miles from our house this summer as part of their 100-city book tour, we dropped everything to go see them.

Josh and Ryan were down-to-earth and funny. You can watch their TedX talk to get the gist of their presentation. The best part? Before they bid us farewell, they invited us to play the 30-Day Minimalism Game, a fun little contest that goes like this:

  • Find some friends who are ready and willing to jettison some of their excess stuff.
  •  On the first day of a new month, donate, sell or trash one item that has overstayed its welcome in your home.
  • On the second day of the month, unload two things. Three items on the third day, etc.
  • Whoever keeps it up the longest wins. (Personally, I think anyone who plays, wins.) If you make it the whole 30 days, you’ll be liberated from 465 nonessential possessions!

The subject of decluttering comes up a lot around the Experience Life office. We’ve done tons of articles on it and I had a hunch it’d pretty easy to find some coworkers who’d be up for the challenge. I was right.

@TheMinimalists: “Love people, use things. The opposite never works.”
 Starting this Monday, September 1, several ELers are gonna clean up our acts, literally, and we’d love it if you joined us. We’ll be posting pictures of the stuff we deep-six on social media to keep ourselves accountable and would love to see what you cast off, too.

Minimize with us at:

Instagram: @experiencelifemag

Pinterest: @explifemag

Twitter: @ExperienceLife

Tumblr: @experiencelife

Don’t forget to follow The Minimalists, too!

Be sure to tag your all your social media posts with #ELminimizes and let us know if it’s making a difference in your life. Don’t worry if you miss the start date, you’re welcome to join anytime!

Follow along!