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As consumers, we spend so much time on the hunt, never satisfied with what we have and constantly searching for that next material high. Culture Trip’s 30 Day Minimalism Challenge aims to focus on one aspect of our often over-complicated lives each day, stripping back what we deem necessary and examining whether our habitual consumption is in fact essential.
1. Purge your wardrobe
Start the month off with a good deed by donating unwanted items to charity. This is also a good opportunity to ‘shop your wardrobe’. Try on clothes you’ve forgotten about, and rediscover that outfit that used to make you feel fabulous.
2. Empty the contents of your handbag
How many receipts, packets of chewing gum, and loose change has accumulated since you last inspected your handbag? Tip it upside down and watch the dust and debris shower down. This might be a good time to give the inside a quick hoover and wipe down.
3. Throw away worn out socks and underwear
We’re looking at you, emergency underwear and socks who’s partner has long been lost in the laundry.
4. Purge your digital devices.
How much storage are you wasting on apps you don’t need? When was the last time you played Angry Birds or made a Dubsmash? Clear your WhatsApp history and delete photos from your device once they’re in digital storage. And don’t forget to clear your desktop too. It makes your computer run much quicker.
5. Empty your wallet.
Throw away half-stamped loyalty cards, and donate those copper coins.
6. Write a list of personality traits that you admire in others
Take time to evaluate the qualities you look for in people you choose to surround yourself with.
7. Write a list of personality traits that you admire in yourself
List things you’re good at, what you like about yourself and pay attention to self-love. It will make you grateful for the non-material things you have to offer the world.
8. Journal for 20 minutes
This is best to do first thing when you wake up, or last thing at night. In the morning, writing a stream of consciousness will empty your mind and help you focus on the important things as you go about your day. If you do this at night, you will also be able to offload stress, making for a better night’s sleep without your mind whirring with anxiety.
9. Donate books you will never read again
Keep those life-changing favourites, but donate those class-assigned texts, that poolside read from three summers ago, or that intimidating classic you have been planning to read but probably never will.
10. Go without make up for a day
Simply learn to love yourself.
There are lots of apps that can help you with this. It’s all about taking time to be calm and present in the moment.
12. Spend time with loved ones…without your phone
When was the last time you had dinner with friends without absentmindedly scrolling through your Instagram feed mid conversation? Suggest a meal where everyone puts their phones in a box and practices the art of uninterrupted conversation, listening and eye contact.
13. Make a gratitude log
This will bring to light the things in life you appreciate, whether it’s friendships, the roof over your head, or your ability to buy lunch.
14. Evaluate your last five purchases
The glittery lava lamp? That emoji cushion? Those unicorn slippers? The Star Wars ice cube tray? That limited edition lipstick that is exactly the same as the nine other nude shades you own but in Cinderella packaging?
15. Stay offline for a day
You’ll notice how everyone else is always plugged in. And then you will feel pious and superior as they stumble along, heads buried in their phones. Hey, it’s nice to look up and not down for a day.
16. Don’t spend money for 24 hours
You’ll discover different modes of transport (walking, cycling, skateboarding), different routes, and activities you didn’t know existed. What are these museums you speak of?
17. Don’t complain all day
When making the conscious effort not to, you’ll realise how much you complain, and how much you have to be grateful for.
18. Go out without your phone
It might feel like you’ve lost a limb for the first couple of hours, but push through it and you’ll feel liberated, carefree and lost in just the right kind of way.
19. Venture outdoors
Get out of the city, get into an open green space, and appreciate earth in its purest form.
20. Create a relaxing space
You don’t need to buy anything to achieve zen at home. With a candle, a couple of cushions and a cup of herbal tea, you’ll have a distraction-free location in which to wind down. What you choose to do here is up to you!
21. Re-evaluate your to do list
Whether it’s a date with an old school friend or a trip to IKEA, think about why exactly you need to do it. Is it necessary, or are you inventing needless tasks for yourself?
22. De-clutter your storage
Store things out of sight. Do you need your shower products to be on the ledge of the bath? Do you need pencils on your desk? Put them in cupboards and drawers and your room will feel less cluttered.
23. Empty you junk drawer
The screws, the spare buttons, half a stick of glue, a piece of string, old elastic bands, dried out pens and expired coupons. Chuck it!
24. Turn off notifications
Turn off alerts for emails, push notifications, news (it’s not like anything pleasant is going on today anyway). You should be in control of when you check your social media, not your phone.
25. Batch cook your meals
Take the stress out of cooking every night by bulk cooking a few meals that will last the week. Then you’ll be able to enjoy cheaper dishes without the stress of food shopping or meal planning.
26. Get all your errands done today
Instead of spreading your tasks out over the week, get them all done in a concentrated amount of time so you can enjoy your week without life admin getting in the way.
27. Eliminate a toxic relationship
Whether it’s unfollowing someone on social media, unfriending people you haven’t seen since high school, or even letting a negative person in your life know that you don’t want to hang out with them anymore.
28. Clear out your make up collection
Empty your make up collection into one place and evaluate everything you have. Get rid of duplicates, smashed bronzers and dried out lip glosses. Remember, mascara shouldn’t be kept longer than three months, and foundation shouldn’t be kept longer than a year.
29. Say no to something you don’t want to do
Be true to yourself. This isn’t saying no to new opportunities, it’s saying no to something that you feel obliged to do that wouldn’t be good for your mental, physical and spiritual health.
30. Re-purge your wardrobe
Having lived a mindfully minimal life for the past month, re-evaluate your wardrobe and see if you can get rid of anything you might have missed the first time round. If you haven’t worn it in the past month, this might be a good indicator that it can go!