40 Bags in 40 Days: Virtual Clutter, Virtual Trash

As I move through this 40 day de-cluttering project, I’m noticing more and more what weighs me down. I’ve stopped cussing so much when I open the closets and cabinets. The dresser drawers are a less full, and it feels like there’s a little more room to breath.

That’s when I started noticing something that still made me roll my eyes and mutter every morning: email. Precisely, the 395964820 promotional emails I get every.single.day.

Sure, when I was reading Anna Karenina with Oprah, it made sense to get the daily newsletter that highlighted each week’s reading selection. But after I was done with that book, I never unsubscribed.

It made sense to get those Travelocity fare watcher emails when I was looking for plane fares last summer, but we’re not flying this summer.

And while I love looking at all Groupon offers in the midwest, I don’t need to see all of them every day (I’ll probably end up saving a lot of money, actually).

I won’t notice not getting pizza, oil change, and clothing deals every week.

I should save a little time every day not doing a massive delete, I’ll let go of the nagging “I should really click through and read this”, and I’ll avoid getting crazy ideas like “yes! I should totally by 24 widgets to  get 6 free”.

I stopped short of taking a screenshot, but it’s true — I unsubscribed from over 40 different subscriptions today. 28 days down, only 12 more to go!

40 Bags in 40 Days: Bags 6 through 14

Counting down the days of Lent via bags of things going out of the house has been an interesting experiment this year. I find myself eying everything now with the questions of, “Do I love it? Does it mean something? Do we use it? Do we need it?”

Bag #6: This is actually not a new bag, but a bag that’s been packed for awhile but not delivered. I delivered it, so I counted it!

Bag#7: Conquered the bathroom vanity while the boy took a bath. Expired ointment, dried out tubes, and old toothbrushes be gone!

I did finally start in on the closet of doom, the one under the stairs that is the catch-all for the entire first floor of our home. What happens is that we get tired of the clutter in the living room, so we stash it in the closet. Things tend to go in, but never come back out.

Bag #8: The first bag from the closet of doom was actually a box — a box of infant and toddler toys is ready for charity!

Bag #9: A bag of broken crayons, used coloring books, and dead markers vacated the closet of doom.

Bag #10: Sorted through of box of papers from the closet of doom, the recycling bin was filled to the brim this week!

Over the weekend, I took a break from the closet of doom and focused on the bedrooms.

Bag #11: Dead electronics mad there way to the electronic graveyard in the garage, soon to be delivered to the recycling center

Bag #12: In cleaning out the boy’s dresser and getting it ready for spring, I got a bag together to pass on and a bag for charity.

Bag #13: More toy cars and some more toddler toys went out the door.

I  finally did get back to that closet. Instead of doing it on the sly, I started it today, while MaM is home with a cough and the Fox is here too. We basically emptied everything, and then started sorting. It was interesting in what caught their attention and what really didn’t. I was able to actually start a trash bag while they were within mere feet of it — something I didn’t think possible.

Bag #14: a bag of trash, broken pieces, toys that frustrated the heck out of at least one child, and books too well-loved to pass on. I also added to the bags in the garage that will be passed on to friends and charity.

Tomorrow is Day #15 — Lent is 1/3 of the way over, and I don’t think I’ll be running out of clutter anytime soon.

40 Bags in 40 Days: The First Five Bags

As I explained on Ash Wednesday, I’m working on ridding our house of 40 bags (varied contents) this Lenten Season. My plan is to post every so often on how the project is coming along.

Bag #1: MaM and I went through the her dress up drawers and a box in her room, and came up with a few things to pass on to younger kids. We also decided to retire a ripped poster, and a shedding feather boa.

Bag #2: I attacked a cabinet in the living room that had become catch-all for random papers, kids art work and the like. I filled a gift bag full of papers to be recycled, and tossed a few things in the trash.

Bag #3: I attacked the kitchen, focusing in on the travel mugs, water bottles and kids cups. I filled a shopping bag with “extras” we never used.

Bag #4: Technically, BgK made the pile, but I’m the one who put the old clothes in the shopping bag and brought them to church today, along with bag #3.

Bag #5: After doing laundry, I went through all of our towels. Ten years of marriage and two children later, we have a lot of them from random things. We can only keep so many for puke patrol/rags, etc. The rest are going to Goodwill.

Interesting development: I am finding it super easy to do this one bag at a time. I’m not seeing a huge difference in how our living space looks yet, but I am confident it will come. And the lack of cussing when I open the kitchen cabinet that was purged in the filling of bag #3 is a noticeable improvement!

Next up: I really do need to tackle that closet full of toys the children have long forgotten.