7 Minimalist Challenges—Fun Ways To Declutter + Simplify

With spring around the corner, now is a great time to declutter and simplify your life. If you’re feeling motivated, here is a collection of fun minimalist challenges that will help you get started.

OK, friends—some of you may know that I live in the Southern Hemisphere (so spring isn’t technically around the corner), but there’s still something special about this time of year. The change of seasons always motivates me to refresh my home and life. 

If you’re feeling the same way, then here are some fun ways to experiment with the minimalist lifestyle. These simple challenges offer a bit of a structure, and I find this always helps me when I’m trying something new. (In fact, one of these challenges was the *spark* that led me to minimalism over a decade ago.)

"7 Minimalist Challenges—Fun Ways To Declutter + Simplify" with a wicker basket, a white piece of fabric, and a white cabinet in the background.

What Is A Minimalist Challenge?

A minimalist challenge takes one or more areas of your life (like your wardrobe or shopping habits) and provides you with a fun way to switch things up. Because it’s a short challenge, it feels more like a game—which will help you build strong habits and feel more motivated to do demanding tasks like decluttering

It’s been shown that your information and skill retention increase by as much as 40% when work is gamified. So if you want to make a lifestyle change that actually sticks, why not have a bit of fun doing it?

Why You Should Do a Minimalist Challenge

Minimalism is a mindset, and it’s also a skill that you build up over time. It can be difficult at first to envision this new way of living. If you are used to doing things a certain way, a challenge can be the perfect way to get unstuck and shake things up. 

Even if you find that you don’t continue with all the new habits you practised, you’re likely to learn valuable lessons that you can take with you into the future.

7 Minimalist Challenges For You To Try

Project 333

If you have the classic problem of a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear, then you need to know about Project 333. This was the first minimalist challenge I undertook, and it’s no exaggeration to say that it completely changed my life. What started as a minimalist fashion experiment eventually became a new way of living. 

The basic premise is you choose 33 items of clothing and wear them for three months. For more information, including the full challenge rules and a peek inside my closet, check out my experience with Project 333.

The 30-Day Minimalism Game

If you’ve heard of minimalism, then you’ve probably also heard of Joshua and Ryan from The Minimalists. Their minimalism game also is super popular, and the premise is pretty simple. 

Find someone else in your life who is interested in living better with less, and see who can last longer in the game. On the first day, you will both get rid of one item, two items the second day, three on the third, and so on until you reach 30 items on the 30th day, or as long as you can both continue. The person who can continue the longest wins the challenge.

Tip: If you’re new to decluttering, the minimalism game will probably bring up some strange emotions. You’ll likely find there are some things you struggle to let go of, such as sentimental or expensive items. If you get stuck, check out these decluttering tips or subscribe below to get your free decluttering guide.

Decluttering Bingo

OK, I love this one because I adore bingo. When I was a teenager, I used to play at a local fire station, and it was always so much fun!

You can have the same fun (from the comfort of your home) by playing decluttering bingo. There are existing bingo sheets on the web (these look pretty cool), or you can create your own. If you need some ideas, check out these decluttering checklists. Just pick a few ideas and create a bingo sheet—just don’t forget to think up some clutter-free prizes to reward yourself.

The 30-Day Do Nothing Challenge

Embracing minimalism also means adopting a minimalist mindset. Slowing down and doing nothing can be very challenging, particularly if you’re goal-oriented and enjoy ticking things off your to-do list. 

If this sounds familiar, then a 30-Day Do Nothing Challenge might be just what you need. The rules are deceptively simple—take five minutes out of each day to do nothing—but I think that many of us would be surprised by the challenge.

Try a Shopping Ban

There’s no point in decluttering your home if you’re still buying more than you need. (Trust me, as a reformed shopaholic, I know this all too well.) This is why I included a shopping ban on this list of challenges. It might not be fun … but having some structure and rules might help you make a change, even if you’ve struggled in the past. 

If you’re looking for inspiration or guidance, I recommend checking out Cait Flanders. She talks about her one year (turned two year!) shopping ban on her blog and her book The Year of Less.

Related Post: 4 Reasons Why You Can’t Stop Shopping + What To Do About It

A wicker basket and a white piece of fabric with a white cabinet in the background.

A 30-Day Minimalism “Lifestyle” Challenge

If you are looking for a fun way to explore minimalism as a lifestyle (which means experimenting with more than just decluttering), then this challenge by Anuska Rees is a great option. 

She’s created an easy-to-follow chart with 30 new activities for 30 days. A few of the tasks are about decluttering and getting rid of items, and others are more about how you spend your time and energy. Altogether the challenge will allow you to reflect on some of your ingrained habits and think deeply about how you can live more intentionally.

Related Post: How to Live A Minimalist Life (A Complete Blueprint)

10 x 10 Challenge

I’ve included a second fashion challenge in this round-up because, in all honesty, I know that decluttering your closet and dressing with a minimalist wardrobe is liberating. 

Yes, I know it’s just “clothes”, but I learned a long time ago that the things we wear reflect our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. Letting go creates space in your mind as well as your closet. 

If you want to give it a try, the 10 x 10 Challenge is a fun, low commitment way to start.  Simply choose ten items, style them for ten days, and see what happens.

Tip: If the thought of dressing with only ten items overwhelms you, learn more about creating a personal uniform first.

How Do I Start a Minimalist Lifestyle?

If you’re inspired by these minimalist challenges but need more support to get started, check out these helpful posts about decluttering and minimalist living:

Will you be giving any of these minimalist challenges a try? Let us know in the comments!

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1 thought on “7 Minimalist Challenges—Fun Ways To Declutter + Simplify”

  1. Thanks for the great round-up of challenges, Jennifer. I think the beauty of these challenges is that they are a great way to “taste” a new change in your life without committing to a “forever” change. It’s one thing to hear people talk about the benefits of simpler living or a pared down wardrobe, but it’s completely different when you can experience them yourself. And then the change becomes something you choose to continue, rather than force yourself to.

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