The Simplifying Game / by Rachel Nordgren

If you're stopping by Our Yellow Door for the first time (in which case, HELLO! I'm SO glad you're here!!), you should know that one of my biggest passions - and, consequently, something I write about a lot - is simplifying.

I am all about clearing the clutter (physical and mental!) and eliminating the excess in order to focus on the essential. While it's something that pumps me up, I also know it's very intimidating to a lot of people. With good reason! Simplifying is an exercise in focusing on what matters most, and that can be a daunting task.

So, let's play a game to make it more fun :)

(This is entirely based on this article from The Minimalists)

A few days ago, Hans left me a sweet note before my quiet time. He waxed poetically about a bunch of romantic, sappy stuff that I won't write here, but he closed with this:

One journey I've especially enjoyed with you is our simplifying gig. As you know, we've successfully ridded ourselves of a PILE of things (and that's all they are), and this pile is to be sold starting in 11 days at our garage sale. So, today I want to challenge each other to get rid of one item. Tomorrow we will add two more items each to the pile. We will continue in this fashion every day until the sale, building our way up to 11 items each the day before. Are you game?

Of course I am :)

If we stick with this, we will clear out 348 items 132 items (348 was my original calculation...clearly, Rachel can't do math) in 11 days. They can be as significant or inconsequential as we want them to be (I literally got rid of a pen yesterday), but the point is to let go of stuff.

Here are our rules: 1. You have to get rid of the specified number of items each day. 2. Anything goes, big or small! Clothes, office supplies, books, kitchen stuff, candles, etc. 3. Things can be sold, donated, or reused. For example: I purged an old t-shirt yesterday by cutting it up and putting it in our rag box. 4. You can't get rid of the other person's stuff ;)

While it could be several years before Hans and I roundhouse kick the American Dream in the face by moving into a tiny home, we want to start the minimizing process now. Even though we have hundreds of square feet in our current home, we want to live as simply as possible in preparation for living in less than 200 square feet.

This is a game best played in pairs (your spouse, a roommate, friend or family member will do!) so you have accountability and motivation. Want to raise the stakes? Make a bet! Frozen yogurt, a back rub, doing the other person's chores for a month...whatever. Make it a competition to see who can last the longest!

If you had to get rid of five items in your home RIGHT NOW, what would they be?

Under Grace, Rachel

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