How to Do 'The Mins Game' Decluttering Challenge — This Method Makes Your Home Look More Organized

Watch your home transform as you remove excess items with this declutterng challenge that will grant you a clutter-free space

A symmetrical living room with a colourful rug
(Image credit: Daniella Cesarei. Design: Tollgård)

As you enter the second hour of frantically looking for your keys, you let out a sigh at the cluttered state of the home surrounding you. You want to improve the space – that goes without saying – but when disorganization has hit such a level, where can a person even start?

Learning how to declutter your home properly is something that anyone can do, and there are so many methods out there to help you get started. One such method is ‘The Mins Game’: a decluttering challenge that will see a person remove an astounding 465 items in total if they see it through until the end. As the challenge is incremental, increasing in difficulty day by day, you’ll begin gaining momentum before you know it.

To introduce you to this decluttering method, we spoke to experts in the fields of minimalism, essentialism and organization. If you would like to learn whether this challenge could be for you, read on!

What is 'the mins game'?

a laundry room with clean linen in

(Image credit: This is Evolved)

The principle of the mins game is simple. Every day for four weeks you remove items from your living space: one item on day one, two on day two, and so forth. Many people embarking on the challenge find it easy to incorporate into their lives as a starting point for organizing a room with too much stuff as it doesn’t take up a lot of time at the beginning.

‘The starting point is easy — just one item — and it gradually trains your brain to assess what you really want and need,’ says Barbara E. Tanaka, Strategic Interior Design Advisor at Real Estate Bees. ‘A participant can feel accomplished from day one, while the increasing sense of challenge helps maintain momentum.’

Di Ter Avest, Professional Organizer at Di Is Organized, adds: ‘The Mins Game is an appealing approach to decluttering because it offers a structured, gradual method, making the process feel more manageable and less overwhelming.’

How should I approach the challenge?

A decorated living room

(Image credit: Decluttering apps 2023-Astrain Scheldt Architects. Photo credit Richard Chivers)

As the challenge increases in difficulty — twenty items on day twenty, twenty five items on day twenty five — people can begin to struggle. For this reason, it’s important to consider two main factors from the offset: whether it’s your goal to get to the end of the challenge or to just go as far as you feel comfortable with (stop when you’re only left with what you need, use, and love), and whether you wish to go through this challenge in chronological order.

Perhaps on day seven you’re free from work and have time to find twenty items instead. We encourage you to work through this method however best suits you as, after all, The Mins Game is meant to assist you. ‘The idea of a game is great if the game helps, but a person needs to ensure that the game itself doesn’t become the focus as opposed to a means to an end,’ says professional organizer, Andrew Mellen. ‘It’s not about checking something off of your list as much as it is leveraging the structure of the game to move you forward on a goal that you already had – to declutter and organize your life.’

We discussed further the importance of thinking about your 'why' and core values before you approach how to start to decluttering. Why do you want to try out The Mins Game, why do you want to get organized, and what are you hoping to gain from the experience? Haphazardly throwing things away isn’t the way to go. It’s about mindfulness, evaluation and doing all you can to curate a life in keeping with your goals. Andrew continues: ‘It’s very important that you don’t get rid of anything before you’re ready so there’s zero regret. If there is regret, then it perpetuates the idea that a person should never let go of anything in case they need it or want it back.’

Decluttering is an ongoing journey

a modern bathroom vanity

(Image credit: Nate Berkus Associates. Photo credit Christopher Dibble)

Decluttering is something that should be done for you and your greater good. It doesn’t have to be about a set aesthetic, getting rid of things because they are no longer 'trendy', or removing items of comfort from your space because you feel like you 'should' have outgrown them.

‘Decluttering is a personal, ongoing journey focused on improving quality of life and mental health,’ says Di. ‘It doesn’t mean getting rid of everything, believing it must look the same for everyone, or viewing it solely as an aesthetic pursuit. Start small with your decluttering projects, stay positive, and avoid perfectionism. Minimalism is not about deprivation but instead about prioritizing what brings value.’

Barbara echoes Di’s sentiment, adding: ‘Decluttering and minimalism are often used interchangeably but are vastly distinct concepts. You don’t need to get rid of 90% of your belongings to achieve mental clarity. Keep items which spark joy — as spoken by Marie Kondo in her KonMari Method, but give them a designated place to avoid clutter, and be mindful of quantity.’

If you're looking for things to let go of in order to have a more organized home — find a new place for them. Your excess items could go to a number of places. Goodwill or any thrift store, to friends or family, shelters in need of donations, or in the case of larger expensive items they could be sold online.

Just do all you can to get them out of your home when you feel ready – leaving lingering bags along your hallway means the clutter has only been moved!

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Ciéra Cree
Contributing Writer

Ciéra is a writer and regional laureate with particular passions for art, design, philosophy and poetry. As well as contributing to Livingetc, she's an Editorial Assistant for Design Anthology UK and a Contributing Editor for Homes & Gardens. When not writing about interiors Ciéra can likely be found getting lost in a book, charity shop "treasure hunting", or getting excited about Christmas regardless of what month it is. Previous commendations of hers include being Highly Commended by The Royal Society of Literature and receiving a prestigious MA Magazine Journalism scholarship.