Saturday, 21 February 2015

40 bags in 40 days

Yesterday marked the start of Lent in the Christian calendar. 40 days of trying your hardest to abstain from something. Usually I have to confess that I don't give up anything and continue to gorge on life's delightful treats. This year WAS going to be the same as ever until yesterday when a good friend posted a link on Facebook to decluttering, to be precise chucking out a bag of rubbish everyday for 40 days.
Yep, that's it! What a good excuse to declutter my life. Thinking of it as 'Spring cleaning' :-)

Now for some of you that might be a difficult task. Not for me! Although I wouldn't say I am a hoarder, I do have a very large stash of everything, far too much. So this year I am going to attempt to ditch a great deal of it.
You would think that with two family house moves in the past three years, the amount of unwanted clutter might be at a minimum. No! Unfortunately that is not the case. As a home educating mother and father figure and self confessed craft addict, anything and everything has a potential use. So it's stashed away for the moment in life when the light bulb is on and it materialises into something beautiful......well that's sort of how it is intended.

So, a quick read through the idea of the challenge and I'm off...inspired to throw away.

Day 1: The shed.

Just one hour in my lovely little shed and 5 (yes 5) boxes of rubbish are recycled and given away to friends who can make good use of the items no longer needed here. Oh this feels good!

Day 2: A rainy day so indoor decluttering.

Embarrassed and shamed myself by exposing the interior of kitchen cupboards and drawers. could you live like that??
2 drawers and 2 cupboards cleared out :-)

This is obviously a before photo. It actually wouldn't close properly due to all that clutter. It does now though :-) :-) :-)

Turned on computer to discover that I have almost 8000 emails in my inbox. RIGHT, time to clean up (this challenge is about cleaning up all areas of my life). Manually deleted just over 4000 emails then discovered 'Roll up' through a friend which helps to eliminate subscriptions. Subscribed and am not free of 65 subscriptions. Wooo hoooo! Doing well!

I'm wondering if I shall be able to sustain this level of clean up for 40 days? Will I have anything left at the end of it?

Day 3:

I've woken up and the first thing on my mind is 'What am I going to clear out today?'.....
Fearing my clear out is becoming an obsession!
There are so many areas that need sorting and the temptation is to dive in and do it all at once. That may well be a quick fix to the 40 bags but will not be sustainable over 40 days and both go together as part of the challenge. So, I'm having to restrain myself and tackle small areas of the house at a time.

Tackled the dreaded larder cupboard today. One whole bag of rubbish easily disposed of due to resident weevil infestation in my flour. I blame the kids for that for spilling the contents all over the cupboard! Apparently you can help prevent weevils by freezing your flour for a few days as soon as you can after purchase. Hmmm the thought of frozen weevils is not in the slightest bit more appealing!
I'm finally throwing out all the out of date jars that have festered at the back of the cupboard waiting to be eaten. They were there last time I tidied and are still there so obviously no great urge to eat the contents. Good bye rubbish!!


Ta dah!
I've had a little move around too :-) 
Yes I know, that top shelf is never going to look tidy but it's all okay and as neat as it can be!

I got quite carried away today and tackled one under bed drawer too throwing out old creams and lotions that didn't smell too pleasant.

2 bags!

There was also a strange moment today. The Little Lady discovered that a bunch of tunes that I had purchased from Amazon years ago, were present on our Kindle. I got listening to them and found a lovely track that I downloaded to play to the children way back in the days when we sat by the hearth singing and engaging in moments of loveliness. Now nothing too weird about that hey. But when I was clearing under the bed I found the written lyrics to the song! Just that one song - VERY weird! I haven't looked at that for years. Hmmm??
Mind now puzzles at the likelihood of a coincidence or some hidden message?

Here's the song......

'Land of the silver birch
home of the beaver
Where still the mighty moose
wanders at will

Blue lake and rocky shore
I will return once more
Boom diddy aahh da boom diddy aahh da boom diddy aarr da boom arr ar'

There's more.....but you'll have to look it up yourself.

Day 4: The study/larder/laundry room

My 40 day challenge was not the first thing on my mind this morning you'll be glad to hear.
I had planned on taking the kids out for a hike on this (unbeknown to me)  beautiful morning. I saw a little note on the local information site advertising the walk which crossed the local Roman road twice. Wow! Amazingly enough the threat of leaving the children with family for the morning whilst I enjoyed the blissful scenery by myself was enough to insure promises of good behaviour and no complaining.
Everyone seemed to want to talk to me this morning (as seems to be the case most mornings when I'm in a rush to get out) so my plans to arrive on time were scuppered and I found myself in a half dressed state running to catch up with the last walker just as they disappeared along the footpath and out of site. I must have looked a bit of a plonker with one gaiter on and the other in hand!
Walking through the peaceful countryside is just what was needed. It's amazing how nature works to clear your mind of clutter. It's so good on so many levels. Exercise, fresh air, socialising and in this case learning quite a bit about the history of the local area. What's more, if you take a buddy for the youngest child it seems that they complain far less and explore more. So returning home, I had four tired, happily aired children :-)

This was an old healing well. Inside you could see the spring bubbling away. Folk used to walk to this well via an ancient avenue of Ash trees and bring their sick to this well for healing. Apparently there used to be signs of use right up until fifteen or so years ago. Folk used to leave remnants of the suck child's clothing attached to a nearby Hawthorn tree.

This afternoon on day 4 of my 40 day challenge, I embarked on The Study. Well we call it that. It's a little room at the back of the house that triples up as a utility room/larder/study (and at the moment - common dumping ground). Oh those drawers and that filing cabinet have been crying out for a bit of tlc for months (okay, years). Everything had got into such a muddle with paper and things literally spewing out of the drawers and piles of unfiled paperwork. Jee whizz! This clear up business is not for the feint hearted. But I'm determined, so I sauntered on.
There's always that moment where the whole place looks a whole lot worse when you're trying to tidy up. That moment when you remove everything ready to sort it before putting it all away again.

This is that moment!

Looks like a bomb has gone off!

I've taken great pleasure in throwing a whole bin bag of paperwork away and sorting all those drawers :-) It still looks a mess though as I am yet to clear the main of the room. Today's clear out was a good one. I found several early examples of the children's artwork which made me smile and some lovely photos too. Plus I found an old birthday card from Tim. He wrote inside that he loved me very much. I always knew that he did :-)

Tomorrow is a 'no tidy' day. The challenge allows you a day off! How will I resist the temptation?

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