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[personal profile] fenchurch
Last week, just before it started, I stumbled across 40 Bags in 40 Days. The basic idea is to remove one bag of stuff from your life every day for 40 days... it doesn't have to be a big bag and you don't have to just toss it in the trash, but can donate it or recycle it if you can.

Since I hadn't had a chance to do any planning at all (I found this challenge the day before it started), my first day I headed to the garage and found the stash of shipping "air pillows" we had saved. We'd accrued quite a few before Christmas to use for mailing out presents... and they were very handy to have around for that, but at this point, we really don't need to be keeping them. So, I popped them all and ended up filling a plastic grocery bag with the remains. Day One down and it felt good!

The second day was a bit of a cheat, but I decided to count it since I didn't want to give up so quickly. I took a small bag of magazines from the last two months with me to the Troop Support group to be put into the boxes we were filling to send out to our troops still stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yeah, it was a bag that I got out of the house, but it's something I do on a fairly regular basis already... so, a definite feeling of cheating, but still technically qualifies. Also, for some reason I ended up completely reorganizing the utility closet in the hallway, so now we can find stuff again. It was actually related (I was trying to find stuff to get rid of, but everything there was stuff we wanted to keep... it just needed to be arranged better so we could find what we were looking for), but still not at all what I'd planned.

Day Three - I was looking at the bookcase next to my desk and realized that we had a lot of various size boxes that we really didn't need to be keeping (e.g. the box my FitBit came in, boxes from various computer components, that sort of thing), so I started working at rounding up as many as I could find, which yielded a respectable bag of trash and another bag of cardboard for recycling. By that time, the bug had apparently bitten me, though, and I ended up completely cleaning off my desk (something I've been meaning to do forever), tossing even more things in the recycle bin and going so far as to dust everything and then wiping down the desk (it really needed it). I'm really liking all this desktop space! Going to have to work hard to keep it this way.

Day Four - I decided to tackle the bookcase next to the door in from the garage. It mostly holds shoes, but has also become a catchall for things as they first come into the house. Mostly, this involved going through a lot of different papers and figuring out what needed to be kept and filed (very little), what could be recycled and what should be shredded. And because I was using the kitchen counter to sort through everything, I decided to go through all the stuff we had piled up there, as well. Wow! Lots of stuff gone (a few grocery bags worth on this day, between recyclables and trash) and only four days in. At this point I'm starting to wonder if I'll run out of things to get rid of before the end of the 40 days. And then I just laugh.

Day Five - Back down to the bookcase next to the door to go through some of the shoes... and then the two bins of shoes we have out in the garage, now winnowed down to one bin (mostly older shoes that we wear while doing yardwork or shoes that are only worn during times of the year that aren't now), which leaves us with more space on the storage shelves in the garage to potentially store things we take out of the house later and a bit of empty space on the bookcase in the house. Also, when did I become the sort of person to own this many shoes?!?!? I used to own two pair, maybe three if you counted my old combat boots. Vibram and Vivobarefoot have been my undoing. One of the pairs of shoes I finally parted with was the first pair of Vibram Fivefingers I ever bought... definitely time to let those things go.

Some interesting things I've found, so far:

Once I get started, I have to work really hard not to expand my efforts well beyond my original daily goal. I'm working on pacing (this has been my downfall in the past when it comes to decluttering).

I hadn't realized that I'd have an emotional attachment to shoes (see above re: previous lack of interest in shoes). It wasn't like I had to force myself to toss those Vibrams, but I did find myself hesitating... for no other reason than that they were my first. I suspect there are going to be other things I come across where I have the same problem.

I already knew this, but it's nice to have the reminder... I really do feel better and I'm more productive when I'm not surrounded by too much clutter. Hopefully this whole challenge will get me on the right track with it. If not, well there's always next year!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

Date: 2017-03-06 05:14 pm (UTC)
scripsi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] scripsi
I've found that when onestarts getting rid of things, it gets easier and easier. Good luck!

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Fenchurch

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