31 Bags in 31 Days

Years ago I did a challenge called 31 Bags in 31 Days.  The premise was a simple one, get rid of one bag of junk from my home each day for the month of March.  The challenge worked out great for me, and I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff that we no longer needed, clothes that could be donated or handed to a friend, toys that were either broken or were no longer age appropriate for my kids, and so much paper.

I did that challenge back at the beginning of 2015, when Lucy was just a few months old.  But, it seems over the years I have let the amount of stuff we accumulate in the home get a bit out of control.

Cultivate simplicity.  That is what I want for you and for me, and so to continue to allow the amount of things into the house that we do is not sustainable, and it is driving me a wee bit mad if I do say so myself.

In order to cultivate simplicity, you always need to be aware of what you are allowing to fill the space, whether it is in your physical space, or in the emotional space you keep.

Clutter will affect both your mental state and the state of your home.

When you see so much clutter around your home, what happens?  Do you get overwhelmed and not know where to start?  Do you go on a rampage and just try to get rid of everything?

I experiment with both of those extremes.  Partly you want everything put away nice and neat, and partly you want to become a minimalist.

Where is the balance? 

As homeschoolers we have a lot more time to be in and around our stuff than most people do.  I’m not saying that homeschoolers are the only ones that deal with clutter, absolutely not.  But, we are the ones that deal with everything being clean for about five minutes until another project needs to be worked on pretty much all day every day.

The number of art projects you can have drying on the counters at any one moment can fill up all the space leaving no room for appliances or a spot to chop vegetables for dinner.  Or the sheer number of books that are on one of the kids desks...it can be overwhelming.

The first step in all of this is to change your thinking. 

We live and work in our homes on a daily basis, and that means that the items that we have on our shelves, in the kids’ rooms, in homeschool rooms, art bins; they will all be coming out repeatedly in a given week.  Even if you leave your home every afternoon to run errands, go to extracurricular activities, or a co-op, the bulk of your day will still be at home.

It took me a long time to realize that difference, and to be OK with it.

When you are a stay at home mom, you often feel pressure to keep up appearances of a beautiful space, whether they are outside pressures, or they are internal pressures. 

I have gone through stages of trying to keep my house always “hospitality ready” and let me tell you, it is impossible.  If you show up at my home, there will most likely be dishes in the sink, and toys on the floor, and please don’t even go upstairs into my kids’ bedroom (or mine for that matter), but I will have coffee and tea, and probably muffins.

Challenge accepted - Get rid of 31 Bags in 31 Days

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the challenge.

Why 31 bags in 31 days?

I went back and forth as to whether we should attempt challenge for Lent.  Honestly, I have spent so much time over the past few months getting rid of stuff that I wasn’t sure we would have enough to get rid of.  But we have a lot of stuff still, and it is still very visible (mostly because of the lack of closets), and so, we decided on a March challenge again, and hope you will join us.

Each day, starting on the first day of March, your goal is to get rid of one bag of stuff.  It doesn’t need to be trash (although that would be a great place to start).  It could be a donation bag.  In fact, donating as much as you can is probably the best option.  It keeps stuff out of landfills, and gives it a second life.

The bag can be any size you want, a grocery store bag, a trash bag, or one of those huge leaf bags, each day can be different, as long as you are trying to get rid of one bag each day.  That is the goal; to release the pressure of taking care of so much stuff can have on your life.

I am going to be posting my progress on Instagram with the hashtag #31bagsin31days – so I would love for you to join me! 

Do you struggle with clutter in your home?  Have you been able to let go of the feelings of “not tidy enough?”

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from my readers and try to respond to all comments either here or through e-mail. Thank you for taking the time to comment!