The Minimalism Game: Declutter Your Home in 30 Days

The Home Buddies community is starting the new year with a clean slate. How about you?

The Minimalism Game: Declutter Your Home in 30 Days

The Home Buddies community is starting the new year with a clean slate. How about you?
Photo by Frances Cabatuando

The new year calls for a clean slate in every aspect of our lives. Naturally, that includes our homes. And now, we found a way to do it while helping out our fellow Kapitbahays

Discover the Minimalism Game, an initiative started by Mayora Frances. This productive “game” lets us practice mindful minimalism daily. Here’s how it works: On the first day of January, you dispose of one thing. On the second day, you dispose of two. On the third day, you dispose of three. And so on, until the end of the month.

And how has it helped our Kapitbahays? Whether or not Mayora intended it, the Minimalism thread has become a space for buying and selling. One Kapitbahay’s trash can be another’s treasure, so goes the proverb. You, too, can participate! 

Day 1: The Art of Letting Go

Ika nga nila, the first cut is the deepest. If you’ve got a sentimental bone like most of us, it’s not as easy as it looks to get into the mindset of letting things go. But you’ve got to start somewhere. Scout your bedroom for old pieces of clothing, or look around your kitchen for a redundant gadget. 

And, in the great tradition of Miss Marie Kondo, thank it for serving its purpose in your life. This action, simple and corny as it sounds, can encourage a shift in your mindset. It’s all too easy for us to think: Magagamit pa ‘to. But when you’ve come to terms with outgrowing certain things, it’s easier to let them go. (Make of that what you will, whether at home or in your relationships. Eme!)

Day 2: Doubling the Impact

On the second day, the odds get higher. One thing is manageable enough. Two things? It might sound like you’re about to throw away your whole home! 

You could look at it that way, but on the other hand, you can make it a more liberating experience. Who knew you spent so much money and space on things you’ll never look at again? Now is the perfect time to acquaint yourself with the process of elimination — and think about what truly adds value to your life.

Days 3-30: The Full Minimalist Journey

Each day, the number of items to dispose of increases incrementally. Do the math: By Day 30, you’ll have released 465 possessions from your home. Hala, that’s way too much! What if you’re not ready for this game?

Let’s put this into perspective. First, it’s a lot, but that’s the point! When you declutter, you don’t just eliminate ten to fifteen things. Otherwise, parang wala lang nabawasan. Second, we’re pretty sure you’ll find a way to still be budol-ed. So while you will get rid of a few things here and there, you’ll likely still add new purchases to your home. Plus, you’re not expected to play religiously, anyway, so settling on a more comfortable number is fine if you think 465 is beyond you.

You may not realize it, but your budols contribute a lot to your quality of life. Yes, we’ll continue to be willing victims of buy-and-sell agendas. But hopefully, this process keeps you on track so it doesn’t get out of hand. Don’t let yourself go “one step forward, three steps back” (in the words of Olivia Rodrigo, poet of our generation).

Tips to “Win” the Minimalism Game

Photo by Aly Manapil

No, you don’t get a prize or a medal, but you get something worth showing off: a clean home. We’re sure of it — the minimalist lifestyle will make your friends go “Sana all” the moment they step into your clutter-free household. Here’s how to beat it.

Start Small

As we’ve said, you’re not expected to play the Minimalism Game religiously. Para sa’yo din naman ‘yan. So, if 400+ is more than the amount you’re expecting to say goodbye to, then don’t commit yourself to this extreme. Start with a more manageable number. As long as you establish a rhythm, you can gradually increase the challenge as you become more comfortable with the process.

Categorize Your Items

Even in decluttering, may organization pa rin? Well, yes! Focus on specific areas each day, such as clothes, books, kitchen items, and even sentimental possessions. This way, you can tally which ones you’ve been releasing too much of and which need to be sorted out more.

Sell, Donate, and Recycle Responsibly

Do you realize that your decluttering efforts may have an environmental impact? Everything you throw away has to go somewhere. Minimize waste on your end by selling and donating usable items instead. 

Good for you if you can find a trusted buyer in the Home Buddies community. Otherwise, don’t feel hinayang over not selling it. Instead, look for local, trusted charities, so that the things that once gave you joy can serve another purpose. May matutulungan ka pa

If some things can’t be repurposed at all, make sure that you dispose of them responsibly. This way, your commitment to minimalism aligns with environmental mindfulness. Oh, ‘di ba — double effort in making a positive impact, both within your life and beyond!

Reflect on Your Progress

At the end of the day, we know that this 30-day journey is no walk in the park. We know it’s a lot to do — from the sheer act of letting go, to the tediousness and chores involved in releasing hundreds of items. But look how far you’ve come! Celebrate your progress so that you can continue having this positive, minimalist mindset. Hopefully, you’ll continue to carry the Minimalist Game as a monthly habit, too.

On to Better Living with Home Buddies!

Embracing this as a lifestyle can be transformative. That’s why the KonMari method was all the fad in 2020, right? It served as a genuine guide to improve people’s quality of life. Aside from an organized home, you’ll also foster a mindset towards intentional living. 

Are the mechanics clear enough? Then press play and start your minimalism journey! Share your progress (and possible decluttering budols) with your neighbors at the #HBMinimalismGame thread.

This article has multiple parts
Read Part 1
Read Part 2
Read Part 3