40 Days of Decluttering

By ERIN TURNER

I’m so excited about this new challenge which tackles all the “stuff” that seems to accumulate around the house!  In fact, I had another whole blog for this week but when my sister-in-law posted the link to this idea on Facebook, I scrapped my original blog in order to share this one with you.

We all do it.  We all collect stuff and after a certain amount of time it gets in the way.  Sometimes it gets in the way physically by consuming too much space but more often it gets in the way emotionally and spiritually by binding us to those “things.”   You know that feeling…go look in your closet, towards the back, that dress which is two sizes smaller than you wear but you’re keeping it because “one of these days, I’ll drop this weight and be able to wear it again.”  Yeah, that’s the feeling/attitude I’m referring to.  Really?  Will you actually lose the weight?  Maybe.  If you do, will you actually wear it?  Probably not.  Why keep it, why let it continue to consume space in your closet and your mind??

We hang onto things for the memories and that is what makes de-cluttering such a difficult task.  In order to be successful in de-cluttering, we have to remove ourselves emotionally.  Just turn off the flood of memories and look at the item to decide if it is staying or going.  It’s tough and I have to take advantage of those moments when I’m tired of the clutter and am in a totally unemotional state.  It occurs and that’s when you need to strike.

Tonight when I explored this concept of 40 Bags in 40 Days, I felt the motivation to de-clutter heighten.  I love planned challenges!  My kids always roll their eyes when I announce yet another challenge, but what I love about challenges, especially ones online, is the support of others.  It’s so fun to read comments about how people are succeeding and it’s helpful and reassuring to read comments about people’s failures…because then I don’t feel so bad about my own shortcomings in the challenge.

40 Days of Decluttering

This is the first area of my house which will bede-cluttered!

This de-cluttering challenge is timed during the season of Lent which for me is great.  I am always more focused on emptying out the unnecessary clutter in my home, life and heart during these 6 weeks compared to the rest of the year.  Whether you are religious or not, this is a great time of the year to step up and clean out. It’s spring after all!

Starting this past Wednesday, the idea of the challenge is to de-clutter one area of your home each day until Saturday, April 19th.  (Don’t forget to take Sundays off!)  The website or Facebook page has a formal calendar for you to follow, which is a helpful plan and a good reminder.   I like that she says each person’s “bag” is going to look different.  Some people may have huge garbage bags while others may just remove a sofa.  But the idea is simple:  remove unnecessary “stuff” each day.  Purge.  Simplify.  If you get stuck on an item, save it and move on.  Don’t give up.  Every little purge is freeing and gratifying.  Now, we are 4-5 days behind the start of the challenge but that doesn’t matter.  Go ahead and just dive in and start today.  That’s what I’m doing and I hope you’ll join me in this “clutter cleanse.”

This challenge allows you the opportunity to be generous and even earn some money.  Once you’ve collected all your “bags”, you can donate them to local charities or you can hold a garage sale and convert those things which only collect dust into cash. The reward of giving or the reward of earning some cash for something special is great motivation for staying faithful to the challenge. But the end reward really is the freedom of less and that is priceless!

Imagine being able to open a closet door without everything falling out or actually being able to find a matching lid to a container for leftovers within seconds.  The less “things” we have to clutter up our houses and our lives allows us more time and energy to focus on the important things of our lives…like our families, our passions, our friends and the things which fill our hearts with joy.  I hope you’ll join me for the next 35 days as we regain our freedom back and put “stuff” in its place…NOT in our home!

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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