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.
.  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.
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
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.
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
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?”

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