40 Bags in 40 Days

The wonderful thing about places like Facebook is that sometimes, completely accidentally, I stumble across something that is just what I need.  The other day something popped up on my newsfeed called 40 Bags in 40 Days. The premise of this project is to pick 40 areas of my home that need de-cluttering or organizing. Each day I clean and then subsequently toss one bag of stuff that I no longer need. The size/type of the bag is not important - it's the idea that I'm getting rid of garbage and stuff that is not necessary and freeing up space in my home. Our house is not big, so it gets cluttered very quickly and starts to feel really claustrophobic - especially in the winter when I can't spend the whole day outside and pretend that the clutter doesn't exist.

The woman organizing it has a blog called White House Black Shutters and apparently she has done this since 2011. She provides a printable worksheet to help you map out the 40 areas in your house that you want to "decrappify" (her word, not mine - but I love it!) and they even have a Facebook support group. How cool is that!? I have a tendency to start things really enthusiastically and then slowly lose my drive and quit. Having a group of people going through the same thing that can support one another is such a good idea and a great way to keep people motivated.

Free Printable from White House Black Shutters
Yesterday, I spent the morning washing the walls in my living room, hallway and kitchen. My boys thought it would be a good idea to colour on the walls with pen. When I started washing the spots they had redecorated I started seeing how dirty the rest of the walls were and just kept going. I don't think I've done that since I've had kids. I mean, I've spot cleaned areas that were dirty, but I hadn't done everything top to bottom in one shot in a long long time. And by the time I was done, I realized that even though I had spent about two hours cleaning something that the average person wouldn't notice, I still had this amazing feeling of accomplishment and… freshness. I can only imagine how much better I'll feel after I finish this.

The challenge starts tomorrow on March 5th. Each Sunday is given to you as a day off from decluttering. I'm itching to jump right in and start today, but I think I'm going to use it to make my game plan. I have a few ideas of where I need to start. I think location 1 will be our great big hutch that has turned into a catch-all for junk we don't want sitting around on the table. It's so bad that trying to get a recipe book out of the back requires ninja skills if I don't want to cause a full on avalanche.

Ground Zero - The Hutch
This forty day challenge has potential to roll over into other areas of my life too. I started thinking that after I finished this decluttering challenge, I might attempt a 40 day deep cleaning challenge. Imagine how easy it will be to clean without having to move all the clutter around? Will you join me in this? Take the challenge and see what happens!
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