Extreme 30-Day Minimalist Challenge: 1 Item Per Day For 30 Days

Samurai Matcha
by Samurai Matcha

Hi, I'm Aki, a schoolteacher living in a small village in Japan. Recently, I started a 30-day minimalist challenge to become an extreme minimalist. This challenge was inspired by the movie, My Stuff. The man in this movie put all his belongings in a storage unit. He took one item out each day for a whole year. I will be doing this challenge for 30 days.


1. Kimono

When I started this challenge, I started thinking about which item should be the first thing I would choose. I picked a kimono for the first one. A kimono can be worn as both top and bottom. It can also be used as a towel or as a blanket at night. 

Obi for a kimono

2. Obi

For the second day, I chose an obi. I thought I could go outside, but I realized I didn't have my shoes. Running in the morning with my bare feet can only be called hell.


3. Sandals to cover my feet

When I woke up this morning on the third day, I felt terrible. For breakfast, I ate frozen bread that I had thawed at room temperature. It tasted like ice and it was the worst. At noon I wore the sandals that I chose, and went to pick blueberries with my students.


4. T-shirt

You can wear the same clothes for three days, but any more than that, it gets sweaty and stinky. I thought I needed new clothes, so on the fourth day, I chose a T-shirt.


5. Shorts

On the fifth day, I chose shorts that match the T-shirt that I chose yesterday.


6. Mattress

On the sixth day, I did a video editing job at home. I wanted to at least use a cushion if I worked for a long time like this. I chose a mattress. I can finally sleep happily and in peace on the mattress tonight. 


7. Toothbrush

For day seven, I chose a toothbrush. Without a toothbrush, I could polish my teeth with my fingers, but I couldn't remove the fine stains. No matter how I think about it, a toothbrush is better. 

Travel bag

8. Travel bag

I went on a hot spring trip with my friend for two days so I needed a bag.


9. Underwear

I also brought along new underwear for the next day.


10. Tenugui towel

For day ten, I chose a Tenugui. Tenugui is a traditional Japanese towel. It's small and super lightweight, so I would recommend it for minimalists. It can be used as a bandana or a cleaning cloth too.

Hand-carved chopsticks

11. Hand-carved chopsticks

Today, I had a woodworking experience with my students. I made chopsticks, so I decided it would be the item I get for day eleven. I can eat food with my fingers without chopsticks, but I felt more human eating with chopsticks.

Deodorant spray

12. Deodorant

Yesterday one of my students said to me, “You are stinky.” So on day twelve, I chose deodorant spray.

Electric shaver

13. Razor

My beard has grown considerably in thirteen days. So on day thirteen, I picked a Philips shaver and shaved my face. I felt so much better.

I didn’t choose anything new for a couple of days.

Minimalist 30-day challenge

16. Another change of clothes

I managed to get by with just a kimono and a set of clothes, but it's safer to have different clothes to choose from. I chose a button-up shirt and linen pants and underwear for day sixteen.

From this point on, I didn't feel a strong desire to choose a new item each day. I was kind of content with what I already had.

Minimalist challenge

Items needed to make and eat hot food

20. Items needed to make and eat hot food

On day twenty, I was tired of cold food, so I decided to choose items so I could cook. I chose the stove, frying pan, wooden bowl, and bamboo cup since I hadn't chosen anything for a few days.

Foldable chair

21. Foldable chair

On day twenty-one I chose a foldable camping chair. It’s light and easy to carry. You can also lean back if you want to take a break. 

Nail clippers for grooming

22. Nail clippers

If you don't cut your nails for 22 days, your nails will become long and annoying, so I cut them with a nail clipper I chose as my item for that day.


23. Refrigerator

I found that food can be stored for a few days in the underground storage space but it's better to store some things in the fridge than to have them rot by mistake. I thought it would be better to have one so I chose the fridge on day twenty-three.

Washing machine

24. Washing machine

I got used to washing clothes with my own hands but it's easier to use a washing machine than to wash my underwear every day. So, I chose a washing machine on day twenty-four. It’s so much easier. 

Sleeping bag

25. Sleeping bag

Recently, it has been raining and cold. So I chose a Snow Peak sleeping bag for day twenty-five. Of course, I can sleep more peacefully with a sleeping bag rather than using a kimono blanket.

All-purpose knife

26. All-purpose knife

On day twenty-six I couldn't think of anything that I wanted, so I chose an all-purpose knife. 

Cutting board

27. Cutting board 

The next day I decided to get a cutting board.

Biwakofukin cloth

28. Biwakofukin

It’s better to have something besides your fingers to wash the dishes with so on day twenty-eight I chose a Biwakofukin. This is a cloth, made in Japan, that was developed to avoid using detergents.

Electric rice cooker

29. Rice cooker

I forgot about the most important electric appliance that Japanese people need. It's a rice cooker, so I chose it on day twenty-nine. Now I can eat rice.

30-day minimalist challenge

30. Bamboo bike

It's finally the last day. It’s not necessary, but I wanted my bamboo bike.

30-day minimalist challenge

My 30-day journey of becoming an extreme minimalist is now over. I have learned that if you possess only a few things, you will develop the skills to adapt. I also learned that there are only a few things that I need to live contentedly.

This challenge was miserable for the first few days, but I highly recommend this 30-day minimalist challenge because it is a way to find out what is considered important in your life.

What 30 things would you need to make it through a month of extreme minimalism? Let us know in the comments.

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