Conquering the Clutter: 31 Day Minimalism Challenge with 1500 Days

Back in August, I was decluttering like a champ.

I was inspired, motivated, and crushing J$’s declutter challenge.  I successfully eliminated one item per day for an entire month. My house was getting lighter and lighter by the minute.

Everything was going swimmingly, until… well, life got in the way.

We had some friends come into town, we went out of town, and I started a major endeavor for my company. Needless to say, decluttering just went out the window.


A Podcast’s Influence


Then last week I listened to one of my favorite podcasts and my motivation returned.

On last week’s episode of the Bigger Pockets Money Podcast, Scott and Mindy interviewed Anthony Ongaro from Break The Twitch.

From listening to Anthony’s story and then hearing about Mindy’s desire to purge some items in her house, I decided I too needed to get my act together.

I had a crazy thought.

Mr. Wow and Mr. 1500 had previously had a fun weight loss challenge last year, but the women had never gotten into the action.

Here was our chance.

Since we both want to do some major decluttering, why not challenge ourselves to do The Minimalism Challenge?

I mean, decluttering one item the first day is easy, then two on the second day, and three on the third… no problem. But come the end of the month, we will be doing 31 items on the last day, I know it is going to way harder by that point.

I have definitely tried this challenge before and failed miserably, so I knew I needed a partner in crime to hold me accountable.

And in the end, we would be purging 496 items in total. That’s nuts, but well needed on my end for sure.

Fortunately, Mrs.1500 was on board, so starting December 1st, we both jumped on the declutter bandwagon.


My Loot So Far


The results so far have been nothing crazy since we are still within the first few days of the month.


Day 1: candle holder from our wedding that we haven’t used since that day



Day 2: 2 pairs of leggings



Day 3: 2 giant pitchers and an Oscar Meyer Wienermobile keychain



Day 4: a stuffed bull from Pamplona, a beach dress, t-shirt, and hair pins that I do not use



And I am trying to convince Mr. Wow to do it as well.  He somehow snuck out of it for the first day, but on Day 2 I stared at him until he reluctantly got rid of 3 items. Day 3 he came up empty handed again, but Day 4 he was back in action.


And the Winner Is…


The winner for most random item so far goes to Mrs.1500 for her contribution of the frog enclosure, a device that never even got the chance to enclosure a single frog and one that she had possession of for nearly 6 years.

I reckon my emergency underpants might have given the frog camp some competition, but that was done away with back in my first round of decluttering at the end of the summer.  Gonna have to come up with something good to even compete with what Mrs.1500 has come up with so far.

Needless to say, I am super excited to see what else we find during our rummaging.


Who Else Wants In?


I know there are some of you guys that have been wanting to declutter your houses and this is the perfect excuse.  We’d love to have some of you play along with us as we conquer the clutter.  Free feel to email or tweet at me with your loot and I’ll be sure to include you guys in my write-up.

Oh yeah and Mrs.1500 and I also created instagram accounts so you can see our purging in action everyday throughout the month.


Follow Mrs.1500 here: OfficialMrs1500

Follow me here: wafflesonwednesday


Who’s ready to conquer the clutter with us?


PS – The Annual FIRE X-Mas Video is out… take a look you might recognize some folks!


  • Ask the Readers: Who's Up For A Challenge? - 1500 Days to Freedom December 5, 2018 at 7:39 am

    […] (Here’s her article about the Minimalist Challenge.) […]

  • Mrs. 1500 December 5, 2018 at 7:42 am

    Whoop whoop! Thanks for the inspiration. This is getting good. And foreshadowing: I have LOTS of random crap to toss. I’ve got twice as many people in my house, two of whom are CHAMPION collectors of random unnecessaryness.

    • Mrs WoW December 6, 2018 at 6:20 am

      I’m gonna have to step up my game if I’m even gonna stand a chance… Keep up the good work Mrs.1500, we’re killing it so far

  • Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto December 5, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I wondered why you were posting wierd pics on Instagram, now I know. 31 by day 31?? Wow, that’s a serious challenge, will be fun to watch on Instagram! Gotta love the 2nd annual Christmas FIRE video, LOL at your waffle faces. Great tradition!

    • Mrs WoW December 6, 2018 at 6:20 am

      Right? What a strange way to start an Instagram account, but hey what else would you expect from us ;o). OMG the video is AMAZING! I reckon I’ll be watching it everyday until Christmas and then prolly afterwards too.

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach December 5, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I go in waves with decluttering so I understand how life gets in the way. Roll with it when you get the motivation! Be in LA sooooooon! See you Sat!

    • Mrs WoW December 6, 2018 at 6:21 am

      Ain’t that the truth! So far so good, 25 days to go! Excited to see you!

  • Josh Jensen December 5, 2018 at 11:05 am

    This is inspiring. Tonight, I think I will de-clutter five beers out of my fridge. Then tomorrow it will be six beers, and so on!

    • Mrs WoW December 6, 2018 at 6:23 am

      Oh I love this idea! Might be a little tough towards the end of the month, but then just have a few friends over and it will be a piece of cake. Speaking of which, you could definitely throw some cake in the too!

  • familymoneytravel December 5, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Day 31 would be hard! But love the idea of the challenge

    • Mrs WoW December 6, 2018 at 6:23 am

      Yeah, It’s going to be hard, but together we’ll get through it. I mean, a challenge isn’t really a challenge if it isn’t hard right?

  • Cathleen Cooks Stuff December 5, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Saw Mindy’s post- I think this is a great challenge! Followed both of your on instagram, but won’t be posting any of my get-rid-ofs…I have a “food instagram”… and don’t know how to manage 2 accounts at once.

    • Mrs WoW December 6, 2018 at 6:25 am

      You can send some over via email or direct message if you want. Would love to see what you are purging too.

  • Dave @ Accidental FIRE December 6, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Cool, Joel can sing! I’m definitely going to show this video to the gardener on my private island. Maybe the butler and cooking staff too!

    • Mrs WoW December 6, 2018 at 6:26 am

      I completely agree! The video was really well done. Let us know if you ever leave your island and come hang out with the common folks again ;o)

  • Team CF December 6, 2018 at 3:09 am

    Oh that video is priceless!
    Great job by the way on the decluttering, we also have been busy trying to get rid of even more stuff. Slow but steady progress (like our investments!)

    • Mrs WoW December 6, 2018 at 6:27 am

      You are totally right! Decluttering is just like investments. A little here and a little there can go a long way in the end.

  • wendy December 6, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Waffles AND BEER on Wednesdays!? Is there fried chicken on that?

    I’m up to day 7 on the decluttering/purging… I’m finding it’s easier to do a chunk at once than one actual day at a time

    • Mrs WoW December 7, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Awesome Wendy! The first couple of days were easy, but now it’s getting harder. I think I might be doing a big sweep this weekend to prepare for next week’s purging.

  • FIRECracker December 10, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Decluttering is always fun! Even though we travel the world with 2 backpacks, I’m surprised that I’m still able to eliminate things from time to time. I think having a small amount space helps, because it forces you prioritize what you buy so you never end up accumulating in the first place. But back when we were decluttering our rental prior to retiring, I found it deeply relaxing and really helped declutter my mind as well. Funny how fixing things in certain areas of our lives bleeds into other areas.

    • Mrs WoW December 10, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      It truly is amazing because I already did a massive round of decluttering a few months ago and I am still finding way more in places I didn’t look before. I am literally using the mentality of “if we move into an RV or a backpack to go travel the world, do I need [insert random item here]. Let’s just say that most of it isn’t making the cut. Curious: do you guys have any items that you left in boxes somewhere before you left or did you get rid of pretty much everything except for what you have with you?

  • Mrs. Groovy December 10, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Great job! Can’t wait to see what you compile on Day 31.

    So who’d you give those underpants to?

    We purged a lot prior to our move and then put all our worldly possessions into a 10 x 10 storage unit. Yet as I unpack I’m still dumping and organizing items to donate. It’s amazing how many kitchen doo-dads I’ve added to my collection (and how many tools Mr. Groovy added).

    • Mrs WoW December 10, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      I’m sure. I’ve gone through these areas before I am still finding more and more to get rid of. It is crazy. I’ve gotten to the point now that I think before getting something if it truly is something that I want or is it something that I will just have to purge later.

      P.S: The underwear receivee is a deep dark secret ;o)

  • Doctear April 6, 2019 at 4:08 am

    Hey, Mrs. Wow! It always feels great to declutter. I made it a habit to get something out of the closet whenever I buy something new, that is a 1:2 ratio; when a new shirt gets in, 2 should go. And everything that has been unused in the last 6 months should also go.

  • Turning the Page – Waffles On Wednesday July 10, 2019 at 7:32 am

    […] GOD we didn’t live in a huge house, and thank God, Mrs Wow had gotten into a purging battle with Mrs 1500 twice in the past 6 […]


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