It’s been two weeks since I issued the challenge to myself and the nearly 200 people who joined my Facebook group: remove one bag of excess “stuff” from your home over the 40 days of Lent. Two weeks of sorting, purging, and donating. Two weeks of reflecting on what belongs in the home, and what doesn’t. Two weeks of wondering how so much stuff got in this place in the first part.
So how is it going at this point?
I. Am. Tired.
It takes a lot of work to break old habits, and even more work to start new ones. After all, there’s a reason we’ve let certain rooms or areas of our homes accumulate clutter — it’s just easier than dealing with it. It takes a concerted effort to set aside time every day to tackle these problem spots, and trying to do that on top of managing the usual responsibilities of work and family life is proving difficult. If only there was some kind of “pause” button for life that we could press so we could catch up and start fresh!
Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works — I think our group members are all starting to see that we got ourselves into these messes, and we’re going to have to dig deep to get ourselves out, and do things differently to stay out in the future. The process is difficult but the rewards are great: a simpler life means more time for the things that matter. Fewer items to organize, clean, and launder. More breathing room for ourselves.
This week I asked the group about the strangest thing they’ve uncovered and gotten rid of in their decluttering. In my case, it was a milkshake making machine I didn’t even know we owned, and certainly did not purchase since I am lactose intolerant! One member found a 10-year-old folder of paper items labeled “Throw Away.” Another found gingerbread house kits from when her teenage kids were toddlers. Still another tossed out a boyfriend she’s realized was cluttering up her life. That’s some serious work!
So two weeks down, several more to go. Many bags of clutter gone, and many more to go. Who knows what else we’ll get rid of along the way!