We tried the 30-day minimalism game and would do it again

I threw out and donated 351 things and am so glad I did

white sofa in white minimalist living room with coffee table and shelves
(Image credit: Furniture And Choice)

We tried the 30-day minimalism game, and 100% recommend it. Whether a house move's on the horizon or you just know you've got too much stuff.

I try out a lot of hacks and organization ideas, but the 30-day minimalism game – originally conceived by The Minimalists (opens in new tab) – is the best yet. Real Homes' Ecommerce Editor, Annie agreed to do the challenge with me, and we nearly made it to the end...

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

(Image credit: Alamy)

The 30-day minimalism game

For 30 days, you and a partner get rid of personal belongings. You each throw out one item on day one, five items on day five – for up to 30 days. Place a bet, like $10 or a meal out, then start clearing out those cupboards. 

It starts out easy but amps up as the number of items grows exponentially. It's perfect if you're decluttering a bedroom right now, or your entire home. 

I reached day 26, and Annie got to day 24. We got rid of plant pots, underwear, books, ornaments, vases, paperwork, birthday cards, notebooks, T-shirts, magazines, earrings, a yoga mat, and a gigantic saucepan that was too big from the moment I walked out of Argos with it years ago.

items to give away as part of the minimalism game

Annie's pile of clutter to donate on day 23

(Image credit: Future)

Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus say you must get the items out of your house before midnight every day. This was impossible for both of us – we couldn't be making daily trips to the charity shop. 

Instead, I did one big trip with 5 bags and left things out on the 'magic wall' in our front garden. Some things I threw away, and I also passed books and cleaning products on to friends.

The process has made me value every square meter of space I have, and I'm now way more conscious about what I bring into my home. My bedroom storage is no longer bursting at the seams.

plant pots

Annie's collection of plant pots for donating on day 8

(Image credit: Future)

'It has made me now think when I buy anything new – or before I chuck anything out (can I reuse or repurpose it?)' says Annie. 'It was a struggle to donate some things that I didn’t use but that are slightly sentimental.

But overall it has definitely made me think twice when buying into fast fashion,' Annie adds. We could not recommend you try the challenge enough, and our top tip is to ask yourself if every item in your home is really earning its place. 

If the house burnt down, would you replace it? If you were moving to your dream home, would you take it with you? Don't be scared of empty space, and don't hold onto gifts out of guilt. 

With 351 fewer things in it, my small London flat feels infinitely happier.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.


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