#Mins Game - Week Three

Three weeks in, and it's only now starting to get difficult.

And by difficult, I mean only slightly so. It's not hard to walk through my apartment and still be overwhelmed by all the clutter and junk we don't really need piled up around me. Each day this week, though, I've had to be more thoughtful about what I could remove, what area I could go check to find excess.

See, I haven't really been attacking any one area each day. I kind of wander back and forth, room to room, counting things as I go. "Okay, that's five. I still need thirteen more things. Oh, great, here we go, I don't need this thing any more. That's six. Alright, find twelve more things."

There's really no rhyme or reason. But maybe that's why this game has been truly fun for me. Typically, when downsizing, you focus on one area at a time. Today, I'm going to clean out my closet. Tomorrow, I'll clean out the kitchen. This has been different. It's more like a mad, fast-paced search to find stuff- anything, anywhere- that I can eliminate from our home.

And were's what I eliminated this week:

Day 15, I decided to gather all my scrubs that don't fit (which was all but two pairs). My new job doesn't require scrubs, and I still carry a lingering hope that I won't have to work in healthcare much longer, so I didn't see the point in keeping them.

The hardest part in this game so far happened on Day 15, though. Below, you will see my all-time favorite fall boots and my favorite Nikes.

My favorite boots. Oh, how I long for fall, just so I can wear them. When paired with a nice scarf and a PSL, nothing is better. But perhaps if you zoom in, you will see how the sole of my favorite boots has detached. You'll see how the vinyl has stripped away. Wearing them now means achy feet and soaked socks, because with the gaping edges, I might as well be barefoot.

The same goes for my favorite pair of Nikes. They're black, so they go with anything. They were the first good running shoes I ever got, but I've used them up. There are holes all in them, and the soles have been worn down to almost nothing.

As hard as it was, it was time to say goodbye.

Day 16 was far less emotional. I found a ton of brochures and local magazines I'd accumulated after a trip to the Huntsville Visitors Center when we first moved here.

I'd gleaned all the information I needed from them, so into the paper recycling bin they went.

Day 17 involved books.

Books I've read and don't care to re-read. Books I tried to read then gave up on. Books I was saving for future homeschool curriculum. *sigh*

Also out on Day 17? Some old reading glasses, a glasses case, a cheap wallet, some ineffective holistic medication, and a sample of skin exfoliator that I'm too fearful to use on my delicate skin.

Day 18. Lots of gross towels.

Not sure why, after a mere two years of marriage, we have so many nasty towels. But anyway. There are three stainless steel shakers from the popcorn bar at our wedding that have been sitting empty and untouched ever since, a used up candle I was saving for a craft project (lol), a whole pack of birthday candles, a yoga block (another lol), a benefits guide from Matt's job in Missouri, and several gift bags we were holding onto to regift(?).

Day 19.

This one is a little personal, perhaps, but yeah, there's the corset I purchased to wear beneath my wedding dress. I paid well over $60 for the thing, then when I removed the tags to try it on under my dress, the corset stuck up above the back of my dress. So, I couldn't wear it, but lingerie websites don't take returns (I mean, I don't think anybody really blames them for that...). I've been stuck with it ever since. But it's literally never been worn, so I sold it on eBay for $35! Whoop whoop!

Also removed on Day 19: a lone sock with no mate, a wooden charm from our wedding, more socks, some too-small sexy panties (not sure what to even do with underwear like this...trashing them seems so wasteful, but donating them?!?), duplicate colored pencils and crayons, slippery cloth napkins with an odd pattern, some gross raspberry tea, and another gross towel. 

Onto Day 20.  This one's a really random assortment, from why-do-we-even-have-this to the deeply sentimental.

Let's see. Birthday hats. An entire pack of plastic coffee stirrers, which we bought for our very first yard sale in Missouri, on a chilly October morning, when we thought we'd make extra cash from selling hot coffee and cider to our shoppers (we had zero takers, btw, and had alllll of our coffee stirrers leftover). A completely unreliable, inaccurate temporal thermometer. More too-small clothes. Some ugly Christmas cards. A book I'm finished with.

And my sentimental item. Let's discuss this one for a moment. My best friend of nearly 20 years gave me this silver Friends Forever picture frame around age 13, with a photo of us. Over the years, I've changed out the photos as we've matured. But for the last few years, the childish frame has been tucked away in a literal Box of Memories, not displayed, containing a picture of us together as teens.

After probably way too much deliberation, I decided to remove and keep the photo, then get rid of the frame. The sentiment of the frame rings true; we will likely be friends forever. We're grown women and we're still best friends, despite living several states away now. I don't need this frame to remind me of that. However, there might be a twelve-year-old girl out there somewhere, who, when shopping at my yard sale, would be excited to find this and gift it to her own BFF. That idea made me happier than keeping the frame stored away in a box on a shelf.

Day 21. Soooo many cards.

I got these blank note cards in the Target bargain section years ago, when these bright, cutesy, cheap patterns appealed to me. Now, as a somewhat sensible adult, this stationery feels a bit too silly and girlish. There's also a hole punch that makes unexpectedly tiny, useless holes, the remnants of some horrible ribbon, some self-addressed Christmas card envelopes with our apartment address on them, and a plastic storage container that I've emptied during this game.


After writing it all out, I feel like I grew up a little this week. As I've described giving up sentimental childhood picture frames and girlish stationery, this line from 1 Corinthians 13 ran repeatedly in my head:
...when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Perhaps I'm reading a bit too much into this all. But maybe not.

Certainly, growth does take place when we finally see things for what they are and decide to let them go, like my favorite ratty boots. Or when we let ourselves get rid of something we received as a gift, because we realize that the relationship with the giver is the only thing that matters, that this cheap, store-bought item is not even a representation of that relationship. It's just a thing.

And it's okay to let go of things.

It's been a pretty enlightening three weeks. 21 days, 231 things. Still a lot more to go.

In case you missed it: 

1 comment

Lacey said...

You are seriously inspiring me to try this! I recently decided I want to get rid of more crap but don't have the inspiration to start yet. Using this format seems helpful and like it would make it more fun, like you said. I'll either start in August, or catch up all at once for July, lol.

Good work, though! It feels so good to dumb useless stuff, and oddly satisfying when it IS sentimental and you can let it go.