Wednesday, February 18, 2015

40 Bags in 40 Days

Today is the official start to Lent. Lately I feel like I'm getting buried in clutter and an infinite to-do list. It takes all of my energy to do the day-to-day things. Granted, I admit that I spend a lot of time blogging, on Facebook, and reading rather than deep cleaning or filing papers. There are so many things I think about doing or know I need to get caught up on, but I'm swimming in laundry, dishes, toys, and children.

I am beginning to feel so overwhelmed. Jesse is nagging me to do tasks that normal people would have no problem doing, but he doesn't get that doing that one task requires a whole chain of other tasks. I have a growing pile of papers on the counter I need to address, but I can't just shuffle things around because they require further action. Phone calls. Payments. Sorting. Donating. So they keep piling up because they aren't immediate needs.

Insert 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. The point it to break things down into more manageable daily tasks, so you can eliminate one bag of trash or donations each day. Of course there will be days where we don't get an entire bag, and other days when we have multiple bags. One of the key things is to go through all areas of the house, leaving nothing untouched. Everything should be examined, then kept, donated, or thrown away. We unknowingly got a head start on this when we change the dining room and playroom over Christmas break. Our biggest eyesores are the attic and office closet. Then there are dozens of little things that have been neglected. Some of the items on the list are more clerical, such as scheduling appointments and addressing accounts that have been neglected for years. (Yes, I actually said years.)

The idea of taking this season of Lent to declutter, simplify, and reprioritize is definitely appealing. I can manage one spot a day. I'm sure there will be some days when I'm especially motivated and cross off several items, whereas I might skip a few days. Either way, I hope sorting through the physical items that have taken over areas of our house will help provide mental clarity and allow me to shed some literal and figurative baggage.

In no particular order, here's the list:
  1. bedroom closet
  2. his/her dressers
  3. under the master bed 
  4. master bathroom closet
  5. bathroom closet/medicine cabinet
  6. Jack's closet
  7. Jacks's clothes (dresser and under the bed storage)
  8. office closet (craft)
  9. office closet (pictures)
  10. linen closet
  11. trio's closet 
  12. attic (purge baby items)
  13. attic (Bonnie's school items)
  14. attic (Christmas decorations)
  15. attic (put everything back neatly?!)
  16. entryway closet
  17. downstairs toy chest
  18. cloth diaper storage
  19. cat closet
  20. top kitchen cabinets
  21. baking cupboard
  22. bottom cabinets and drawers
  23. refrigerator/freezer
  24. pantry
  25. ceiling fan, light fixtures
  26. garage (workbench)
  27. garage (shelving)
  28. display family yearbooks
  29. gift bags/cards
  30. van
  31. car (middle console and glove compartment)
  32. counter space 
  33. cancel/cash in life insurance
  34. cancel Wells-Fargo account
  35. set up student loan payment/pay off
  36. find new doctor/schedule physical
  37. schedule appointment with OB/GYN
  38. create binder with youth group/session/CE team
  39. print youth group photos, place in album
  40. ask about whiteboard, update bulletin board
First task crossed off the list!

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