Watch The Minimalists' TEDx Talk: A Rich Life with Less Stuff

The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Day 3: Packing Party



(UPDATE: Read Ryan’s full Packing Party story here.)

Today is the day you take action. Real action. Massive, immediate action.

The Packing Party concept is simple: pretend you’re moving on a whim and you have only one day to pack all of your stuff.

Why a Packing Party? We wanted to transform this difficult undertaking into a “party.” Everything’s more exciting when it’s a party, right? Invite some friends over to share the fun.

We took eight hours and packed everything in Ryan’s kitchen, dining room, living room, family room, and all three bedrooms, including several cluttered closets (pictured above) and overflowing junk drawers in each room. (N.B. Ryan lives by himself, but his condo has a family room and a separate living room, as well as three bedrooms, two of which he now realizes are utterly unnecessary).

For items too big to box, we covered them with sheets, making them unusable:

The idea is to pack everything, including the things that you know you will use (e.g., your toothbrush, deodorant, kitchen utensils, etc.) and then unpack only the things you need during the next week. So, if you need your toothbrush later today, you’ll unpack it. Need your shampoo and conditioner and moisturizing bodywash in the morning? Unpack it. Need some clothes to wear tomorrow? Unpack them.

After a week, you’ll still see the vast majority of your stuff packed away in boxes. That’s when it’s time to make some interesting decisions: trash, donate, sell.

At the end of our party, we had one room filled wall to wall with boxes and trash bags and big blue storage bins. More importantly, we had a bunch of empty rooms and empty cabinets, allowing us to move on with our lives, allowing us to focus on what’s important.

Go back to day 2 of your journey

Move on to day 4 of your journey

Go to the main page: Our Journey Into Minimalism: 21 Days That Changed Our Lives