March 1st, 2017

Decluttering through Purging – 40 Bags in 40 Days

Last year, my friend Tami stood up in her church to announce for Lent that she would give up 40 bags of stuff in the 40 days before Easter.  Well, she proudly achieved her goal — plus so much more! And in the process, Tami discovered it felt so good to purge that she didn’t want to stop!

Tami starting by making a list of 40 areas in her home that she wanted to tackle. To make this daunting task workable, she modified the list to do just one thing every day. For example, a dresser drawer counted as one area.  Here’s the list she came up with:

  • Easter décor
  • Bags paper and plastic
  • Christmas décor/ornaments
  • Halloween décor
  • Office software/disks
  • Office electronic/cords
  • Office supply closet
  • Books in office
  • Shoe boxes of receipts
  • Her desk area and shelves
  • File cabinet 1
  • File cabinet 2
  • File cabinet 3
  • Games and puzzles
  • Family room armoire
  • Family room table drawers
  • Tablecloths
  • Library closet
  • Books in library
  • Piano music
  • Kitchen drawers
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Magazine clippings
  • Her son’s closet
  • Her daughter’s closet
  • Her daughter’s college brochures
  • Her dressy clothes closet
  • Her casual clothes closet
  • Out of season closet
  • Master bedroom dresser
  • Linen closet
  • Master bathroom cabinets and drawers
  • Powder room vanity cabinet
  • Framed pictures and mirrors in basement closet
  • Old Christmas Cards
  • Craft supplies
  • Ribbons and wrapping paper
  • Bags of decorating supplies
  • Attic – area 1
  • Attic – area 2
  • Garage
  • Tools and hardware
  • Car trunks – 1,2,3
  • Car glove compartments – 1,2,3

While Tami found that the project required discipline and perseverance, she discovered it to be “a nostalgic, liberating and exhilarating journey.” And her announcement in church had a snowball effect, leading others to try to do the same. People started telling her how much fun they were having doing it and that they felt like they were really making progress in eliminating clutter from their homes.

Tami’s purge went on longer than the committed 40 days because she didn’t want to stop. In the two month period she worked on it she:

  • Sent over 40 bags to her church rummage sale
  • Filled up her recycling bin 5 times
  • Threw out multiple bags of trash

This strategy worked so well for Tami and had such a positive outcome that she’s decided to do it every year to help keep her home free of clutter.

Are you inspired? Can you commit to 40 bags in 40 days?  Get started and let Altogether Organized know how its going— we can’t wait to hear about your results!

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