30 Bags in 30 Days

Ugh. I’ve been saying that a lot about our home lately. Blame it on the dreary winter months, having a sweet newborn who kept me pretty close to our couch, cabin fever, or being a work-at-home-mom—everything house-related has been getting a very critical eye from me these days.

Yesterday, I reached a tipping point. Both boys were napping, our living and dining rooms were disaster zones and I had a hammering headache. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch (and tweet about it, naturally). So I did both.

That lasted for about 10 minutes. My exhaustion was part mental, part physical, and I knew that my brain wouldn’t get a rest until the mess in our living room was cleaned up. It took only a few minutes, and it made a world of difference, but I still felt like there was so much stuff. Junk. Clutter. Things I didn’t really like anymore.

I’ve been considering doing the “30 Bags in 30 Days” challenge, and I think it might be an excellent way to ease my cluttered home (and mind), so I’m going to spend the rest of April and a few days in May picking a new area that needs attention and addressing it. Cleaning it out, sorting it, determining where it actually belongs, etc. I’ll keep a log here so I can track my progress. At the end of a month, either we’ll donate it all or we’ll hold a garage sale—it kind of depends on what we find!

Here are this week’s project areas:

1. Hall closet
2. Entry table
3. China cabinet
4 and 5. Bathroom shelves (this gets two days)
6. Junk drawer in kitchen
7. Cabinet with baby/kid food supplies

Ultimately, here’s what I want from this challenge:

  • “White space” in our home and in my mind.
  • A renewed spirit of thankfulness for what we have.
  • Perspective on what we have too much of and how our things became a problem.
  • Clearly defined homes for some of our “problem areas,” namely the stacks of papers (bills, magazines, letters, etc.) and a home for the things we need to keep (receipts and timely but not important documents).
  • A list of what we need to function more smoothly as a family and what I need in order to work from home more efficiently. This ties in to the point above; I can already tell I need a filing system and a mail-sorting system that’s functional and attractive. And I know that I buy some things that I like that I don’t love and don’t work for us. I want to reign that in, too.
  • Simplified housekeeping. That one speaks for itself.

 So, I’ll be back soon to let you know how things are going and what progress I’ve made. Have you ever tried something like this? How did it go? What did you learn?

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