My Lenten Promise: 40 Bags in 40 Days

My Lenten Promise: 40 Bags in 40 Days
My first draft.

I love the idea of making a Lenten promise and I love the idea of spring cleaning. I don't actually like to follow through on either of those things. However, put the two things together and I feel like we're cooking with gas.

My friend Melissa linked to the White House, Black Shutters blog on Facebook. They're implementing a 40 day challenge (that not-so-coincidentally happens to coincide with the start of Lent tomorrow). The challenge is that every day for 40 days you must get rid of one bag full of stuff. The bag can be an industrial-sized garbage bag or a snack-sized Ziplock. It doesn't matter, as long as you remove (at least) one bag of clutter from your life each day.

Here's why I love this:

  1. It's not overwhelming. My big issue with house stuff is that I never have enough time to do everything at once. This challenge gives me the freedom to do a little bit at a time -- clean a closet here, clean a drawer there.
  2. I'll have to do most of this in the presence of 3-year-old Baby Cookies. Reducing my spring cleaning to one task a day means I'll probably be done with what I have to do before she gets bored, whiny, or destructive.

I've already filled out my schedule for the month (you can download your own blank sheet for free at the White House, Black Shutters page, which I linked to above). Here are some things I figured out:

  1. Walk around your house first and write down every little thing that needs to be cleaned out -- drawers, closets, bins, shelves, whatever. Count everything up and then divide the tasks into 40 days, buddying up some of the smaller jobs.
  2. Think about your schedule -- Which days are busiest for you? On which days do you have more free time? Assign bigger tasks on the freer days (like Thursday, for me) and smaller tasks on the busy days (i.e. Wednesday and Friday).
  3. Consider what to do with the unwanted stuff. Personally, I'm hoping to donate most of the stuff I don't want. I'll recycle what I can. I could save it for our block's summer yard sale, but then I'd just have to store it in my garage until July and I just want all this crap gone now. I'm planning to clean out the garage on the very last of the 40 days (hopefully it will be warm enough by then, ohmygod it probably won't be). I'll just load up the car after that and drive it to Good Will or something.

Since I'm so gung-ho, I'm kicking off tomorrow with something I haven't cleaned out in, oh, forever. That would be the junk drawer under my bed. I have no idea what I'll find in there (there may be an envelope full of the notes my BFFs and I used to pass to each other back in high school; there also may be an envelope full of my dead dog's hair), but I'm sure I'll be able to get rid of some of it. I'll be back tomorrow with before and after pictures.

What do you think? Are you going to declutter for Lent?

Related post: Here's Day 1 of my 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge

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Tags: Lent

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