Have you ever thought about how wonderful it would be to live the simple life of a minimalist?
The life our forefathers enjoyed when things were uncomplicated and life was to be savored each day? Or are you busy running around trying to accomplish as many of the tasks on your to-do lists as possible, and wondering where in the world your time has gone?
With this 40-Day Minimalism Challenge, the simple life of your grandparents is within your grasp. Take up this minimalism challenge to live a meaningful and intentional life filled with more joy, attention and time for those that truly matter – yourself and your loved ones.
The caveat for this challenge? Do at least one challenge a day, in any order you like. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss one, just take a deep breath and resume. I know you can do it 🙂
#1 Set your Goals
Identify the most important goals in these categories: finance, family, health, lifestyle etc.
Write down: What do you want out of them? Why are they important to you?
It doesn’t have to be super long. These notes are to remind yourself what you really care about. For example, I want to be financially free because I value a financially stress-free life.
#2 Set Aside a ‘Me’ Time
Set aside a quiet time of 10-15 minutes for yourself sometime during the day.
It’s better if you can do this first thing in the morning when you awaken, as this sets the tone for your day. Don’t dwell on any negative thoughts.
Instead, focus your mind on something pleasant. It can be anything you like. It can be a joke or a favorite song.
Don’t worry if your mind is unruly at first and dwells on an unpleasant thought. Switch your thought as soon as possible.
#3 Tackle your Digital Overwhelm
Decide to tackle your digital overload.
Simplify your digital life by removing unwanted emails and files. Organize your files into folders.
Unsubscribe from emails that don’t add any value to your life. Delete unnecessary apps.
Removing cached data from your smartphones will help speed up your phone.
#4 Organize your Work Area
Tidy up your desk. Recycle unwanted paper and set aside paper that can be reused. Consolidate your stationery in a tray.
#5 Remove Unwanted Subscriptions
Check all your subscriptions and cancel them if they’re unnecessary. These can include magazine subscriptions, newspaper subscriptions and gym memberships.
#6 Attend to your personal care items
Sort and organize your skincare, hair care and beauty collection. Look for those items that have expired and trash them. Recycle empty containers if it’s feasible.
Spend 15 minutes on cleaning different areas of your house on a daily basis.
#8 Social Media Control
Refrain from getting onto social media for 2 hours.
Now I know that this may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. But try it anyway.
Even if you manage to do it for half the time, give yourself a pat on the shoulder and increase it by another quarter of an hour another day.
Note 5 things you’re grateful for today. Think of one person who has been pleasant to you. It need not even be a person! It can be your pet dog or the neighbor’s cat!
#10 Your laundry
Spend 10 minutes sorting and putting away your fresh laundry neatly.
Most folks are so busy these days, they simply hurl clean laundry into their closets without a second look.
#11 Your Closet Collection
Have a look in your closets. Where are those clothes that you haven’t worn for 6 months?
Put them to one side and if you still have no reason to wear them after half a year, you really need to sell them, give them away to friends, or donate them.
#12 Your Forgotten Areas
Set aside a day to tidy up the garage, basement or attic. They’re wonderful storage places. The problem is you’ll eventually run out of space like I did.
#13 Your Lounge
Tackle your lounge. Cast a critical eye over your furniture and home in on things that take up too much room.
If they’re not much use, remove them. Try out different arrangements so that you maximize your living space.
#14 Your Habits
Declutter your habits. Think about what you do that can be made more efficient.
For example, if you’re on your way from one part of the house to another, can you accomplish more tasks?
For example, when I’m on my way from the bathroom to the kitchen, I’ll grab a hand towel that’s needed.
#15 Your Finances
Automate your finances. Are there any bills payments that can be automated?
But make sure you check regularly though for any discrepancies. You can also automate your savings too, each time your paycheck gets entered into your account.
#16 Bank Payments
Put aside time to look for any regular deductions from your bank accounts. Make sure you are not making repeat payments.
#17 Unknown Time-Waster
Think about one area in your life that you’re spending too much time on, but which adds zero value.
Brainstorm how you can delete it from your life or drastically limit it.
#18 Declutter Your Pantry
Watch out for clutter in the pantry. Organize the items in it. In this way, you’ll easily find what you’re looking for, and therefore minimize frustration.
Place items that are closer to their expiry dates nearest to the doors.
Cast a critical eye over the items in your pantry. Are they healthy food or junk food?
Decide to reduce unhealthy foods and drinks like soda. Instead, fill your pantry with healthy snacks.
#19 Declutter Your Kitchen Area
Remove all clutter from your kitchen bench top and wipe it clean. In this way, you’ll have a nice work space to prep your healthy meals.
#20 Holiday Planning
Get out your diary and decide which times of the year you need your breaks.
Planning your holidays ahead does wonders for your soul and frees up your emotional and mental stress.
You can do this on your phone too, if that works for you.
#21 Trim your Hair Accessories
Remove excess hair accessories, combs and hairbrushes that clutter your drawer. This is a good time to give the drawer a nice wipe.
#22 Kitchen Sink Area
Declutter and organize the space below the kitchen sink. Get rid of clutter and unneeded bits and bobs.
#23 Declutter Your Vehicles
Remove dust and rubbish from the inside of your cars. Give them a good vacuum and wash the floor mats if needed. It feels more relaxing and pleasant when you’re in a tidy vehicle 🙂
#24 Slow Breathing
Practice mindfulness by using slow breathing. Even 5 minutes each day helps you to slow down and feel much better.
#25 Social Media
Look through your social media handles and be brave to either unfriend or unfollow. Reduce your social media time.
#26 Clear Mind
Clear your mind and think of nothing for at least 5 minutes. Relax in a couch, close your eyes and focus on the sounds you can hear.
#27 Don’t forget these items
Set aside time to declutter your DVDs, CDs and books. Sell or donate those you are unlikely to use.
Make a note in your diary to watch a favorite DVD, listen to a favorite CD or read a favorite book. Even if it’s for 30 minutes, you’ll feel happy.
#28 Set aside time to do this for yourself
Sit down on a comfortable chair and slowly sip your favorite cup of coffee or tea.
#29 Odds and Ends
Walk around your house and pick up any odds and ends lying around. Discard or put them away where they belong.
For example, bread tags, loose thread, bits of tape, newsletters etc.
#30 Meals with Minimum Effort
Plan bulk meals using less than 6 ingredients. Freeze the extra portions for weeknights.
#31 Maximize Relaxation
Set aside a lazy morning, preferably a weekend morning where you can get up at any time and do some slow stretching.
Remember to turn off the alarm the night before!
#32 Laundry Area
Tidy up the cupboard below the laundry tub.
#33 Declutter the Vertical Surfaces
Remove clutter from your walls, including paintings, art pieces and so on. Relocate or hang only those that bring you joy.
#34 Your Fridge Doors
Remove clutter such as fridge magnets and reminders from your fridge doors and only let important ones remain. Give the doors a good wipe too.
#35 Fridge and Freezer
Declutter the contents in your fridge and freezer. Remove expired food and drinks. Use up those that are close to expiry.
Clean all the inside surfaces of your fridge and freezer.
#36 Extra Devices
Take this time to think about whether you really need more than one of the same device? For example, more than one computer, more than one phone?
Sell these unneeded stuff for cash!
#39 Cleaning products
Streamline your cleaning products. Can you make do with one general cleaner instead of one cleaning product for the bathroom, another for the bathroom mirror and so on?
#40 Control Spending Habits
Choose an specific area to focus on, for example, your wardrobe. Note how many items had not been crucial purchases.
Give careful thought to how we can minimize our spending on unnecessary items.
Doing this is an important step we need to take, as the onslaught of adverts is relentless.
Using the 30-Day rule has helped me save more money in the long run. Choose two items in your wardrobe and see how they would have done under the 30-Day rule.
When you have accomplished your 40-Day Minimalism Challenge, you will find that this is not just about decluttering your physical, mental and emotional world. It’s about looking after yourself and your family well.
You’ll also reap the benefits of living in an organized home for everyone to enjoy. Ready for the challenge?
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