The #MinsGame ~ Want to play?


Some of the items released in the October round of the #MinsGame.

A few months back I shared the story of my sister and I playing the #MinsGame  (created by The Minimalists and formally known as the Minimalism Game). The basic premise of the game is to compete against yourself or others in releasing unneeded items from your life.  In playing the game in October, my sister and I each released 496 items from our respective homes, resulting in not only a win for each of us, but extra breathing room and large tax deductions for the donations we made.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the #MinsGame is quite simple to play.  A new #MinsGame starts on the first day of each month.  On the first day you release one item by donating it, throwing it away, recycling it, giving it away, etc.  The idea is to get it out of your house and out of your life.  The second day of the month you release two items.  The third day you release three and so on.  So, if you release the agreed upon number of items each day of the month, you’re a winner.  Even it you don’t make it all the way to the end of the month, I think you’re still a winner because you most likely succeeded in releasing more than if you had never played!

At the end of my earlier post I mentioned I may consider playing again because I got so much out of the experience. I know a couple of you contacted me and stated you might want to play next time, too.  Well it looks like that time is now! My husband and I were in the storage area of the basement this weekend and the topic of the #MinsGame came up. I told him I wasn’t sure we had another 406 items to release in our house. He assured me we did and I think he is right.

Therefore, our next round will start on February 1. February is the perfect month to play for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s cold outside and you’re looking for indoor activities
  2. Having less stuff will open you up to new possibilities come spring time!
  3. You’ll be releasing 90 fewer items in a 28-day month than in a 31-day month. What a great way to ease into the game!

If you’re interested in playing along let me know by posting a comment below or by contacting me via email. If you agree to play, I’m inviting you to share status updates with me via email – both your wins and your challenges. In March, I look forward to sharing the results of how many items we were collectively able to release as a group.

Game on!


26 Responses to “The #MinsGame ~ Want to play?”

  1. Andrea January 27, 2015 9:23 am #

    It’s only 9AM and I’ve already heard from three of you!

    One of you is in the midst of a whole house decluttering and hopes to clear 32 items per day!

    Another of you will be out of town for a couple of weeks and will therefore be “doubling down” for two weeks to meet her goal.

    The third is already making a list of what she’s planning to release!

    To all of you I say, AWESOME!!! Way to go accepting this challenge. I know you’ll be glad you did! I look forward to hearing from you regarding your progress.


    • Sandy February 3, 2015 3:08 pm #

      This sounds great. I am only a few days behind, so I can catch up! Ready to try this!

      • Andrea Sharb February 3, 2015 5:01 pm

        Sandy, So glad that you’re ready to try this. Catching up won’t be a big deal at all. Please feel free to let me know how you’re doing!

  2. Seana Turner January 27, 2015 9:35 am #

    What a fun idea, Andrea! I don’t think I can win this game, as I’m such a minimalist anyway. I think I’d end up raiding my teenager’s room:) But I think this is a very fun way to encourage people to shed the unnecessary, which always leads to a higher quality of life!

    • Andrea Sharb January 27, 2015 11:40 am #

      Seana, Thanks for dropping in and commenting! I couldn’t agree with you more that shedding the unnecessary leading to a higher quality of life! You raise a great point with respect to living minimalistically. Some of us don’t have a lot of excess stuff sitting around. When folks are more minimalistic, I encourage them to look past the more obvious “clutter” and consider other areas of their life. Some examples:

      • Go through your recipes and let go of ones you cut out years ago, but still haven’t made (I let go of one of those recipes last night in fact.)
      • Go through your computer files and delete those you no longer need.
      • Go through your photographs and release those that no longer hold special meaning for you, like the one of you 20 years ago with a bunch of people whose names you can’t even recall.

      I know one of the areas I will attack in February is a pile of articles from ADHD magazines that I’ve accumulated over the past couple of years. I’m sure that upon a second reading, most of those will go. I also plan to go through the “junk” drawer in the kitchen and get rid of a bunch of pens, pencils and the like that have accumulated there.

      Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share how this game can work for the more minimalistic individual!

  3. kim January 27, 2015 11:19 am #

    Great post! glad to share it on my lifebalance facebook page! kim

    • Andrea Sharb January 27, 2015 11:41 am #

      Thanks Kim. I’m so glad you appreciated it and thanks for sharing on your Lifebalance Facebook Page, which I encourage folks to check out!

  4. Cindy January 27, 2015 12:50 pm #

    I’M ALL IN!!! Think of the breathing space! Think of the weight loss!! 🙂 Cindy

    • Andrea Sharb January 27, 2015 1:18 pm #

      Cindy, Thanks for commenting and I’m so glad to hear you’re all in! I promise the weight loss will be incredible!

      For those of you who are wondering what we’re talking about, I’m coaching Cindy around clearing some clutter in a couple of areas of her home. When I visited with her last week, we decided to weigh all of the stuff she was releasing before putting it in the car for donation drop-off. In a period of about 90 minutes, Cindy was able to lose 68 pounds of stuff! We both wished all weight loss was that fast!

  5. Linda Samuels January 27, 2015 2:11 pm #

    Love this idea so much! Whether you choose to “compete” against yourself or play with others, it builds in fun and accountability. Congratulations to you for all the releasing you’ve done so far and for the letting go you plan on continuing. It’s impressive and inspiring.

    I am SURE that I have things to release. On a regular basis I release what I can be it email, junk mail, or other “found” objects that are no longer used, needed, wanted or loved. There are also specific times of year where I’m more intentional (like change of seasons with clothing.) It’s very satisfying to escort the extraneous out, which in turn leaves more physical and mental clarity and space.

    • Andrea Sharb January 27, 2015 2:41 pm #

      Thanks Linda! I appreciate you emphasizing the accountability piece and especially the FUN piece. It’s easier AND more fun to take on something like this when you know you’re doing it with others. People hire professional organizers like us so they don’t have to go it alone (the accountability piece) and then discover along the way that the process can really be a fun one, with more positive benefits than they imagined when they called us!

      As for your stuff, I challenge you to release away and see what’s possible in February! ; )

  6. Jim Smith, PCC January 28, 2015 10:48 am #

    I am reading this post in a completely different mood versus October. Back then I thought, “what a cute idea.” But now I am immersed in plans for a new house, and starting to think about what it will be like to have to MOVE all this STUFF in 18 months, and I get the heebie-jeebies!

    I’m going to play. I may have to start with smaller stuff like recipes to get my GetRidOfIt muscles in shape. I’m inspired by the number — 406, eh? Game on!

    • Andrea Sharb January 28, 2015 11:11 am #

      Game on, Jim! Amazing what a move can do when it comes to shifting perspectives! I think you’ll be surprised by the perspective shifts that will occur as the month goes on. You’ll begin to look at everything as something that might help you reach your goal of 406!

      You also have the added bonus of looking at everything in your house from the perspective of someone who’s moving: everything you let go of is one less thing you have to pack, one less thing you have to pay someone to move and one less thing you have to unpack and find a home for at your amazing new house. Considering all of those extra steps and money you can save might make the process of assessing and releasing stuff easier.

  7. Carol Martyn - Dr DeClutter January 29, 2015 7:51 pm #

    Hi Andrea, what a brilliant idea and thanks for sharing! This game really resonated with me and I’m in! With your permission I’d like to share this game here in Australia via my social media, as would be great to get as many people on board! Don’t laugh, but I’ve already found my first item ready to move on!

    • Andrea Sharb January 30, 2015 8:06 am #

      Carol, Fantastic to hear from you and awesome to think that folks from the other side of the globe will be playing along! Please share away! I look forward to hearing from you with updates as to how the releasing is going “down under”. As for laughing at your already finding your first item, no worries. I’ve been identifying things for a few days now. It will be interesting to see on Sunday what that all important kick-off item will be. Have a great weekend!

  8. Ellen Delap February 1, 2015 4:45 pm #

    You are getting tons of buy in here! I am ready to let go of lots more and this will keep me decluttering through the month. There’s always more to release than what we think.

    (I “released” my recipes last week and that should cover the month of January 🙂 )

    • Andrea Sharb February 1, 2015 5:56 pm #

      AWESOME, Ellen! Glad to hear this will support you in the decluttering you’ve already started. Recipe release will definitely be a focus for me this month. I released my first item today, a bonsai tree I’ve been nursing for the past two years. It dropped its last leaves a week ago, but even leafless I didn’t let it go, hoping it would sputter back to life after some fertilizer and some time under the plant light. Letting go of it today was like giving up, but then I realized the minutes I’d be reclaiming each week not nursing it. Another participant, Mary, emailed me earlier today and shared that some focused time in her mudroom yielded her entire first week’s worth of items to release. Lovin’ the buy in!

  9. Cindy February 1, 2015 9:09 pm #

    February 1st – I’ve gone through 3 big boxes in the basement – I think I’ve got the first week covered. Does each empty box count, too?

    • Andrea Sharb February 2, 2015 9:04 am #

      Way to go Cindy! You and Mary are ahead of the game, which is great. As for the empty boxes, I can’t see any reason why they wouldn’t count as items. I know when my husband and I tackle the crawl space next week (which houses any number of empty boxes) those boxes are definitely going to count. Have a great rest of the week and keep up the great work.

  10. Carol Martyn - Dr DeClutter February 2, 2015 12:48 am #

    Day 1 of the #minsgame and I FINALLY let go of a beautiful old desk that was left behind from the previous owners – that was 6 years ago. It’s been cluttering up one of my rooms and today I let it go. It felt good – someone else will no doubt french polish it and give it pride of place in their home. Added bonus is I feel lighter as a result. Thanks for setting me on this path Andrea!

    • Andrea Sharb February 2, 2015 9:15 am #

      Carol, that is wonderful to hear! Five or six years ago I let go of a beautiful walnut pump organ. I wrote a posting about letting it go on my previous blog. I think I’ll go find it and repost it here this month, as it was a powerful experience. I understand what you mean about feeling lighter. Keep in mind, that is after just one item. Imagine the lightness available to you by the end of the month!

  11. Cindy February 7, 2015 6:24 pm #

    Hi, Andrea – week one of the challenge – Collected things throughout the week and escorted them out of the house today. 28 items and 40 more pounds gone – YAY!!! Items included blouses/shirts, a mini trampoline, my cross-country skis (I used to have so much fun on), ski poles, a bike rack, an apron, some knick-knacks and empty boxes!! Looking forward to Week 2. Cindy

    • Andrea Sharb February 8, 2015 9:26 am #

      Cindy, Sounds like you’re on a roll! I love that you’re releasing things that “used to be” but aren’t now. That is a strategy for decluttering success! Honor who you are now, or who you want to be, not who you used to be be.


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