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.

Ideas for 2011

I’m not calling them resolutions, and I’m getting a little intimidated by calling them goals, to be honest. But I do have some ideas about what I’d like to see happen in 2011.

1) First and FOREMOST I’d like to see this here house SELL. We decided one year ago this week that we were bound for a more roomy abode. 12 months later, we are living a slightly less cluttered life, but we’ve also paid for almost a year of storage.

2) I’d like to have a better handle on our grocery/household supplies bill. I’ve started tracking what we spend and when, and hope to see some patterns I can amend. Because wow, do I really need to spend $10 a week on granola bars? Seriously.

3) It’s time to get back to exercising. We’ve belonged to the gym now for about 8 months. We seem to go through spurts of either feast or famine, turbo charged exercise or nothing at all. It’s time to either use it or drop it. And since I’d like to drop some pounds, I don’t think dropping the gym membership is the way to go.

So I’ve been trolling the Internet, really searching for houses I could see us living in, and figuring out what our real price range will be. This, in turn, will help determine what our bottom line price will be on this house. I’m willing to do what it takes to be in a new house by the time school starts in the fall for MaM.

I’m tackling the groceries week by week, keeping track of what I buy and what we use and where the best price may be at the stores I frequent. I am hoping to make some real progress, which will only help our bottom line.

I’m also adding the gym to our regular routine. I started doing this in November – the days I go to work*,  I pick of MaM and then head straight to the gym. This month, I’m adding a day, and committing to hitting a few group fitness classes. That, on top of planning for a half-marathon in June should keep moving.

Those are my ideas for 2011. What are yours?

P.S. If meal-planning is one of your “ideas” for 2011, check this week’s Savvy deal…$16 for 6 months of meal planning from Relish! Could be a good thing to have!

*Yes, I have a part-time job! More to come on that in a bit…