Small Challenges to Change Your Life

photo credit: click here

If you have made the decision to be more with less, you have a lot of work to do. Working towards:

  • no debt and more savings

  • less stress and more health

  • less stuff and more time

  • less obligation and more joy…

will take time. If this is truly going to be a lifestyle change, it needs to be approached with purpose. While the process may be slow, the reward is great. Mini-Missions are assignments or challenges that you can implement immediately, so you can enjoy some immediate gratification during this adventure.

Mini-missions are often one step things that you can do to improve your health, bank account or wardrobe. I am going to add a special page just for mini-missions so you can add them as needed or if it seems like you aren’t making much progress to be more with less, you can go to the mini-mission page and make immediate change.

Last week your Mini-Mission was to drink water. Today….

Five in Ten

Earlier this week, I posted about How to Simplify your Closet. If you haven’t started yet, then start with the Five in Ten Mini-Mission. This task will take less than ten minutes. Go to your closet and pull five items that you haven’t worn in the past six months to a year. Put the items in a bag and put them in the back of your car or by the door so you will will take them on your way out. Drop the bag at a local clothing drop center for donation.

Letting go of 5 items in 10 minutes is exhilarating. This simple step will help you gain enough momentum to Simplify your Closet.

You can apply this 5 in 10 Mini-Mission to any drawer or clutter filled area. Let me know how it goes! I think you will feel challenged to stop at five.

For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.


  1. says

    Hi Courtney,
    Your post couldn’t come at a more perfect time! My house went on the market yesterday – gulp! Scary in a good way…. On my shopping list for the weekend is to buy those big black garbage bags and go through one closet at a time!

    It’s going to feel so good to get rid of things I no longer need or wear.

    thank you!

    Great mini-mission.

    Have a good weekend.

    • anna says

      Hello Courtney,

      Out of my closet and of the closet of my children I have chosen 5 pieces of clothing. I haven’t brought them away but am selling them on the internet…. Just waiting for a buyer :)

      This is my first step.


  2. says

    I love the concept of 5 in 10. I seem to do this naturally with my clothes every season and sometimes monthly (small closet) with the convenience of having a Goodwill just a few blocks from my house whic his hard to ignore. I’d love to do this with everything else including my sons clothes and toys, my books, kitchen gadgets, etc.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the gentle nudge!

  3. Courtney Carver says

    Angela – what an exciting time! Keep me posted on the house (and the closets!)

    Belinda – I know what you mean about kitchen gadgets. Do I really need more than one soup ladle? Somehow, I had collected five! (Now, down to two and heading for one or none!)

  4. says

    This is the 5th blog that I’ve come across that is talking about minimalism. I think I might have to try this challenge even though I don’t have a problem letting go of my possessions. Thanks for posting

    • Janet says

      Ralph – Hi, I have only been using the internet for two months, I never realised before that I am a minimalist through and through and have been for years now. There must be thousands out there. Granted, I have been married twice (12 years and 15 years)adding up to 30 years of 247365 relentless housekeeping.

      Running two completely different homes, the first, a farm with amazing hoardage space. Fun while it lasted but I guess I just got really tired of the high maintenance that comes with owning uncountable possessions. Believing too, in good stewardship – If you own something take good care of it. Starting a Blog soon “Living My Choice Life Now”. It wasn’t about “letting go of my possessions” – I have odd moments of nostalgia – and then burst out laughing!!! more like regaining my freedom to choose.

  5. says

    I love the concept of 5 in 10. I seem to do this naturally with my clothes every season and sometimes monthly (small closet) with the convenience of having a Goodwill just a few blocks from my house whic his hard to ignore. I’d love to do this with everything else including my sons clothes and toys, my books, kitchen gadgets, etc.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the gentle nudge!

  6. says

    I love this idea. Someone else told me to put what I think I can’t give away in a closed box in the basement. If I haven’t missed it in 6 months then give it away. Resist opening it to see what’s in it at all cost;)

  7. says

    Even though this is old, I wanted to let you know how much this post inspired me. I used to have enough clothes to fill two closets and more shoes than you could count. During my pregnancy, I realized that my obsession with things was not something that I wanted to pass on to my son. More than that, I realized that I wasn’t happy living the way I currently was. I have now cut my clothing collection to just over 60 items, and I am hoping to minimize it even further. I have taken multiple trips to our local charity and words cannot express how much better I feel. Thank you for this little bit of inspiration for my day :).

    In Christ,
    Anne Marie

  8. Ruth says

    I recently found a gread idea in a magazine for clearing closet clutter. Take all the clothes that are hanging, and turn them around so the hooks are facing out. Then, as you put clothes away after washing them, hang them with the hooks facing in. After 6 months there will be clothes that are still hanging with hooks facing out, a sign that you have not worn them at all and its time to let them go. I was amazed at how many things in my closet I didn’t touch for 6 months or more, and having that visual in my face every day was great motiviation.

  9. 1Vikinggirl says

    @Ruth – Great idea!!
    @Courtney – Thanks!
    I am just finishing my “wear everything I own” challange.
    (Use, wash, iron, put it to the side. Use something else. Repeat. Mend/fix or give away.)
    Everything! (except socks, underwear and sheets)

    I didn’t think it would work out but with some adjustments to my normal way of dressing it did!
    (I have been seen in skirts and dresses! IN PUBLIC!)
    It has taken seven weeks and I obviously need no clothes shopping for a long time!

    I am amazed what I can do with myself when I allow myself to change. :)

  10. Ed says

    After weeding out the garage and doing a first pass on my closet this weekend, I took your 5 in 10 challenge on my closet this AM, and it went great! It is a great way to force me to donate some items I was hanging on to for all the wrong reasons.


  11. says

    My wife and I went a little extreme on this one tonight. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but we have 10 garbage bags full of clothes and one box of shoes we’re going to donate to those in need. It certainly took more than 10 minutes, but it feels soooo nice to have all that stuff gone!

  12. Brenda Leus says

    I did this when we declutter our room when we had our newborn. It’s been more than 1 year and I think I will be doing this again soon. A lot of clothes are stuck in my cabinet and they’re taking too much space. Thanks for reminding this to me again. It feels great to see your closet clean and neat.

  13. says

    Bought your book, found your website. Very inspiring! I struggle with keeping the desk in my office uncluttered. I tends to create piles of paper and books… all on its own!
    I’m off to the clothes closet now for ten minutes to look for 5 items. Thanks again 😉

  14. Anna Hoener says

    Love these mini-missions. Have you considered putting them in an app. Or having some way of posting them to a personal FB page when somebody has accomplished one?
    Cheeers, and Keep up the great content :-)

  15. Evelina says

    I just found your site and it couldn’t have been at a better time. My house is just chaos and by time I’m done in the evening or when the weekend comes I’m just too fried to get anything done. And the housework and clutter are overwhelming. I just applied your 5 – in 10 mini mission to my dining room table which was full of the debris of my life. I tossed much more than ten items and have a handful to put away in my upstairs office.

    As I count down to retirement I’m de cluttering and simplifying my home and my life. I think I found just the right site to guide me through it. Thanks!