Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

What I Learned From Playing The Minimalism Game

For the month of October I decided to play The Minimalism Game. It's a "game" where on Day 1, you get rid of one item, day 2 - two items, day 3 - three items, and so on for the entire month. By the end, participants will have gotten rid of almost 500 items! What I expected was to get rid of a lot of clutter. What I didn't expect was that I'd learn quite a bit about myself. So what did I learn?

The way you clutter can say a lot about other areas of your life. When people visit my home, it looks fairly neat. But that doesn't mean I don't have clutter. Far from it. My clutter is hidden. I keep things looking pretty pristine, but there's a lot going on under the surface. My personality is similar. I have a tendency to put on a good face, even when I'm struggling. I have difficulty asking for help. I'm not always good about sharing when things AREN'T so good. I'd never made the connection before, but going through the challenge brought this aspect of my life to the surface. I'm thankful.

Getting rid of old clothing is really hard, and not in the way you think. Did you know that 80% of our discarded clothing ends up in landfills or overseas? Did you know that the clothing that ends up overseas has, in some cases, destroyed local garment industries? I didn't either until I started the game and looked into the best ways to get rid of used clothing. Fast fashion is terrible on two fronts - paying garment workers horrible wages to work in despicable conditions, all while creating clothing that will be gotten rid of in short time got it...dumped into landfills or into communities that really don't need it. And while textile recycling does exist, it can be expensive for the average consumer. One company I looked at charges over $100 to send you a box to fill clothing with and send back to be recycled! The best solution right now, it seems, is to do a clothing swap with friends, or sell old clothing to places like ThreadUp, Crossroads or Ebay. Then as I make purchases in the future, buy high quality and/or secondhand.

Things don't really get interesting until they get difficult. The real challenge of The Miminalism Game comes when you have to start asking the tough questions, which didn't begin to happen for me until closer to the end of the game. Things like: why am I holding onto this? Do I keep it because it supports and image of myself that I want to maintain? Is that image still serving me, or is it time to let it go?

Playing the game truly does bleed into other areas of your life. I'd always heard this happens, but I never quite believed it. I was wrong. The Minimalism Game has led to some pretty interesting changes in my life, mostly centered around money and shopping, for the better. Seeing how much I have, and how little of it I actually use and need, was pretty humbling. Since starting the challenge, I've been spending closer to my values, and my interest in shopping is down, particularly on the stupid little things I used to purchase. Being forced to look at your money patterns, and how much you've wasted over the years on things that you don't want anymore is...yikes.

The Minimalism Game has been really eye opening for me, and I absolutely love the new sense of calm in my home! I'm by no means what I'd call a minimalist, but I'm moving towards finding a balance that feels right for me and my life. I plan to analyze my space periodically to make sure that I'm happy with the state of things.

Have you ever played The Minimalism Game? What did you learn?