The Gains. The Lessons. The End.

Today, I took the remaining items to Goodwill. All but two of them, that are currently listed on eBay (sorry, but it’s almost impossible for the stubborn salesman in my blood to pass on $50 I’ll get for those items if I leave them up for a few more days.) Honestly, it feels GREAT to be rid of the items, and even more so, the mental clutter they were causing me.

I’ve said before. Everything ‘fit’ in this house, but there was no space. I’ve gained some empty shelves, drawers and less stuff taking up counter space (because it fits in the cabinets) and there is still much more space in this house to recover. The entry way; used to have school bags, swimming bags and a nightmare of jackets; now, the swimming bags fit in the closet and since I can see that there are only three jackets and school bags there, it actually looks clean. The bathroom counter, used to have six zillion toothbrushes, hair products and contact stuff constantly on it; now, all of that has ample space in the medicine cabinet and the counter looks SO empty. My office, still needs some work, however, the closet has some free space in it to lay out what I still need to go through. The bookshelf looks awesome, organized with the books I love, that will be read.The kitchen is my favorite, the other day, I actually thought an appliance was missing from the counter and tried to figure out what it was…quickly realized that the missing ‘appliance’ was all the coffee, formula, cereal, etc. that used to be stored on the counter and is now in the cabinets. I can’t believe how much less ‘picking up’ I’ve had to do since the Happy Meal toys headed north. Space. You get the picture. I really, really, really LOVE space.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this is how ridiculous my programming was on “stuff.” I’ve completely reprogrammed. At the beginning of this, I got rid of things I’ll clearly never use again, by the end it was super easy to get rid of things that I might need or may use again. If the chance I’d use it was less than 50% — out with the item. Really, if you do the math, if I get rid of twenty items, and need ONE of them sometime in the future, I’ve still been 95% correct on what to get rid of.

This project was supposed to be a challenge; by the last week, I was SO surprised that there was nothing challenging about it! I still have enough extra stuff could HONESTLY do the entire ‘The Thirty-One Day Minimalist’ project again; maybe twice. (I will continue to purge; however, it is quite time consuming to find items every night past day seven, so I will probably not pursue this method again.)

Then there is the new stuff, there will always be stuff I need. I went to Target last week…and only bought the five things on my list. All of the impulse items, seemed to annoy me a bit. After selling a bunch of stuff off. I’ve also become much more interested in buying used (on some items), than I ever have been. There is a TON of money to be saved, and honestly, so many people have so much extra ‘stuff’ it blows my mind what you can get out on the pre-owned market.

And finally, the blog. I don’t know when or why I decided to blog about this; but the blog was critical to my completion of the 496 items in thirty-one days. It held me accountable to the items and forced me to reflect on what I was doing and why. Naming the project and framing out the days made purging interesting; I was not expecting to enjoy writing it as much as I did. “The Thirty One Day ‘Minimalist'” blog had over 1,300 visitors in three countries at the time that I write the final post…the comments and feedback were so encouraging. I hope the blog was as much fun to read as it was to write.

Four hundred and ninety-six items, thirty-one days. I am ‘The Thirty-One Day Minimalist.’

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