06 March 2014

One Bag: Simplicity One Day At A Time

Today was the first day of the 40 Bags In 40 Days project. I have to tell you there is an incredible private group on Facebook that is super gung ho and supporting each other on this project. Pretty amazing. It's amazing how many people have gone through really tragic circumstances that have led them to have a bit of a clutter problem. I find it amazingly inspiring to people pulling themselves up by the bootstraps in the lives as a result of this project. Just one small bag each day has become a gateway to monumental change and healing in their lives. It's beautiful to see people really stepping up to support each other in this group and creating such a positive energy.

I have gathered three grocery store size bags of thrift store donations from around the house the past couple of weeks. One item is a horrible pair of pants that I thought I loved. I haven't work them for a while, pulled them out and thought "These are the ugliest pants I've ever seen." They immediately went into the thrift store bag.

Monday night I stayed up late reconsidering how I am using our storage space. We have this somewhat ridiculous broom closet next to our ridiculously narrow and deep pantry in the kitchen. I remembered that night that I had built some very simple MDF shelves to fit inside the poorly organized kitchen cupboards at an apartment I lived at a few years ago. I realized for less than twenty dollars I could build three shelves that would fit perfectly in that lame little closet and then use it as extended food storage. The broom, mop and saved plastic bags can be easily moved to the front hall closet a few feet away. Wondering why I didn't think of this before. It's amazing that as organized as I have tried to live in this apartment, I keep finding ways I could use spaces so much more effectively.

I also ordered another over-the-door organizer to put on the door of the front hall closet. I realized it would be a great place to store all the cleaning supplies and laundry things. Bingo. Several shelves cleared and all that stuff out where we can see it and easily find it. Love it.

Last night for my first day of 40 Bags In 40 Days I cleaned out a three-shelf cupboard in the hallway to The Bug's room. I had been keeping small home decorating items, candles, vases, etc. in there. I also had a few of The Man's things I'd stuffed in there last year. I pulled everything out, Then I filled a bag of thrift store donations, put The Man's things together so he can go through them tomorrow and I put the things I am keeping in a box to find a new home for them. I knew it won't take much to find a small place to keep these things. They might fit into the craft dresser I will be cleaning out soon.

Now the three-shelf hall cupboard can store The Bug's toys. So out of sight. I am so happy about that. It will also relieve a lot of clutter in her room and in the living room. We will probably get a few small boxes or baskets to store the toys in inside the cupboard. Tomorrow we are going to go through the toys and thin them out. That is going to be a struggle to get her to let go of anything. Fingers crossed on that.

The other big project I tackled over the weekend was cleaning out my email inbox. I went from 56 pages of emails down to one page. I already had my folders all organized, but at some point I quit keeping up with it on a regular basis. That was exhausting. But now I'm committed not to let it get beyond three pages ever again. Whew.

If any 40 Bags folks visit, say hello in the comments below. Have a great day everyone!

image via mca

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