As a recovering perfectionist, it’s hard for me to admit this. I’ve failed. Again. For the past two months, I’ve attempted the #MinsGame Challenge as a way of confronting the clutter that continues to plague my closets and home. For the past two months, I’ve failed. In September, I failed spectacularly, in October, a little less so. While I never thought I’d write this, there are some pretty outstanding benefits to failing.
I Create the Consequences
In September, I was pretty distraught when I realized I wasn’t going to meet this goal. I tried to check in with myself and my blog readers for a little boost, but by the end of the month, it was obvious that I wasn’t going to meet that goal. Despite taking a more singular focus in October, I still failed. And guess what? The consequences, the doom, the gloom, the dread, the pit my stomach, they really only exist internally. No one took my blog away. No one took my stuff (please come take my stuff!). I haven’t been banished to the outer reaches of society. Aside from what I impose on myself, there is no other consequence. As someone who played life entirely too safe out of fear of consequences (don’t you dare tarnish my 4.3333/4.0 GPA…from high school), this realization is incredibly liberating. I am free to attempt the #MinsGame as many times as I would like without worrying about any external punishment. Trying and trying again is important. It is even more important to do it without fear.
It Encourages Creative Thinking
Another perk of attempting this challenge multiple times is the fact that it’s forcing me to think outside the box (or inside the closet, as the case may be). Remembering how positively impossible it felt to come up with 31 items to get rid of the last day of September, I took a different approach to this October. I planned ahead for the big roundups.
Still, after getting rid of well over 100 items in September, it wasn’t like I had 100 shoes left to donate (Seriously, clap for me you guys. Remember I used to own over 200 pairs!) Instead, I found ways to wrangle clutter like diapers that were unused but no longer in their packaging and wire hangers that I absolutely despise. In both cases, I can happily say that none of them wound up in the trash. Instead, I found ways to pay it forward and reuse the items. The biggest win of all is that the items are being used and reused in someone else’s house. Less clutter without creating extra trash! I like it.
Progress isn’t Perfect
In life, there is no one path to anything. At least, that’s certainly been true of my journey when it comes to finances. Decluttering is proving to be much of the same. When I first started decluttering two years ago (two years, I sound like such a failure), I worked really hard at it for a month or two, realized I had a bunch of clutter left, and essentially gave up. I figured I failed. Minimalism wasn’t for me. Having clutter was.
Guess what? That’s simply not true. No one is destined to a life of expired coupons, unworn shoes, and a wedding dress stashed in their son’s closet.
Even though it may not look like there are leaps and bounds less in my closet, it doesn’t matter. Some months (like when I’m doing these challenges), I might be highly motivated. There might be donation pile after donation pile on our front porch. Other months, it might just be one or two items getting tossed. Or maybe I toss nothing, but I also refuse to let anything else come in. There doesn’t have to be an avalanche of change in order for progress to take place.
Rather than attempt the #MinsGame for the third month in a row, I’m going to continue to declutter at a slower pace. It will allow me to be less frantic and escape the feeling that there is a huge backlog to deal with. Rest assured, though, if I really feel my progress start to stall, I’ll be back for a third round of the #MinsGame.
PS – Want a sneak peek at the insane amount of stuff that’s still in our house? Looking to see if I’m really telling the truth when I say that I parted with a ton of my shoes? Check out my Instagram account where I’ll continue to document this in my Instagram Stories.
PPS – I should have decluttered 465 items in October if I were going to count the #MinsGame as a success. Instead, I re-homed 277 things.