I’m ready to commit: 40 bags in 40 days. I can do this.
My word for 2018 was SP-ACE. The untraditional spelling signified two distinct meanings. First, I wanted to create more space in life. This incorporated a goal to discard items that no longer served a purpose, a need to eliminate negative thought patterns, and a desire to free up time on an overcrowded calendar.
In addition, the “dash” was inspired by the Dash poem which focuses on the time between our birth date and our death date. I wanted to remind myself to live life to its fullest and take nothing for granted.
While I made some strides in positive thinking and mindful living, I did very little downsizing. I reorganized and delivered a few bags of books to the half price shop within the first two weeks of January, but nothing else.
But as they say… better late than never.
When I saw this challenge offered by White House Black Shutters, I knew it was time to make a dent in the four decades of stuff we have accumulated. Not only do we have our personal “collections” – but we also have inherited items from both sets of parents as well as left-behind items of three children. The house is overflowing and it is time to start the diet.
While my husband is not scheduled to retire for another 2-5 years … I do not want to procrastinate. I feel if we start slowly now, it will be easier to downsize later.
In addition, I find comfort in doing an online challenge. I feel a higher degree of accountability – to do what I say I’m going to do – if I know others are struggling to do the same. I don’t necessarily plan to be an active participant in the FaceBook Group, but I may visit every once in a while for a dose of inspiration and encouragement.
Where to Start?
The Official challenge comes with a daily schedule. The idea is to declutter each room, closet, and drawer of the house in forty days. I am taking a different approach.
I plan to focus on three rooms: my “nook” which includes my books and craft supplies; the Master Bedroom where I will focus mainly on clothes, shoes, and make-up; and the Paris room which houses more books, crafts, and miscellaneous items.
I feel confident I will find more than forty bags of discards and giveaways.
Should I have more time, I will tackle the kitchen cabinets and the family room bookshelves. I will leave the basement for another time.
Baby steps are the key, as always. I don’t want to burn myself out. I have no time constraint. I simply want to release items that no longer serve me and free up some breathing room.
Plan of Attack
I have delayed this process because I fear saying good-bye to cherished items. My mother’s old cookbooks – my library of unread thrillers and mysteries – my rubber stamp supplies for all those greeting cards I hope to make one day (that day hasn’t come in over a decade)
But I’ve decided I can honor those items in three ways.
First, I plan to take pictures of the items that truly have sentimental meaning. I don’t need the entire cookbook, just a photo of the cover and perhaps a recipe with Mom’s handwritten notes. Eventually, these photos may become a cherished scrapbook.
Second, I know these items will find a good home. As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. My willingness to release the object will bless others as well as myself.
Lastly, focusing on this activity during the Lenten season will give me an opportunity to reflect on the Lord’s provision in my life. Rather than bemoan the accumulation of junk, I will give thanks for His abundance.
Forty bags will not make a dent in our need to declutter, but it is a good start. And who knows… I may have so much fun that I will want to extend the party another forty days. Anyone care to join me?