40 Bags in 40 Days:: Update #1

I am so happy.  Who knew cleaning out our laundry room would bring such joy?

Mr. Rosey jumped right in and sorted through the Girlies’ shoe baskets.  It had been waaaaay too long since I sorted and weeded through their shoes.  We had a humongous bag of shoes that went to charity.  There will be some more happy little girl feet in the world.  How great is that?DSC03241

I attacked the pile of who knows what on the laundry room counter.  I was shocked at what had been sitting there since forever.  A ton went into the garbage and some things were donated.  So happy that the machines and counter tops are clear.  I can’t even tell you.  Can you give a loud alleluia?  Alleluia!!

Next I tackled the winter hat, gloves, mittens, and scarves bin.  Let’s just say… there are more happy (and warm) little girl hands, heads and necks in the world.  Woohoo!

Lastly, I opened the cabinet doors and pantry and purged, sorted, wondered, straightened, questioned, organized, closed the cabinet doors and pantry and smiled.  Not a little Mona Lisa smile.  A big ol’ show-all-those-teeth-my-cheeks-hurt smile.  DONE!

Do you want to see a before picture?  Please prepare yourself and don’t go screaming out the door.  Please.DSC01797Whew!  You survived.  I survived.  Let’s see a glorious after picture.

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Each time I walk in the laundry room, which is about 500 times a day, I’m happy.  Happy happy happy.  Counters cleared – check.  Bins sorted – check.  Wrapping paper in one spot – check.  Aprons hung – check.  Cabinets and pantry organized – check.

Now that all the gunk is gone, I can start to think about how to make it pretty.  You know.  If I’m in and out of that room 500 times a day, don’t you think it should be pretty?  The 1980’s fluorescent light (that makes all the pictures yellowish -sorry) – gotta go.  The ugly beige, yellow, always looks dirty linoleum – gotta go.

I knew you’d agree with me.  Pretty it will be.  Stay tuned for pretty.

And if you want to know more about 40 bags in 40 days and my Lenten commitment, click here.

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40 Bags in 40 Days – My Lenten Commitment

DSC00152It’s winter and the Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday.  I’ve been thinking about what I want to do or not do for Lent this year.  For those who may not know, Lent is the 40 day period before Easter and reminds us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.  Lent is about prayer, sacrifice and almsgiving all in preparation for the Easter celebration.

As a child, I would give up something each year as my way of sacrifice – television, (That was really hard, because no one else in my family did it with me.) chocolate, soda, etc.  With a child’s perspective, I didn’t think giving up tv or soda was positive, when in fact it was.  So as a teenager, I started trying to do something that was hard and positive.  In my mind,  making my bed every morning, emptying the dishwasher every time, washing all our family’s clothes for 40 days was positive.  I felt like I was doing something good and it was hard for my teenage self.  Now as an adult, I can see how giving up and doing something positive and hard are all similar shades of Lenten commitment.

I recently came across the concept of 40 Bags in 40 Days on The Larson Lingo blog.  I’d never heard of 40 bags before and started to do some research and found a lot of people loading up 40 bags for 40 days.  Then I found more information on the Simply Catholic site.  Hmmm…. I kept thinking and wondering… Could this be my Lenten commitment this year?  Can I do this?  I’d sure like to do this.  Hmmm…. more pondering.

What is 40 Bags in 40 Days all about?  For 40 days during Lent, I’d clear out, throw out, organize and donate 40 bags of stuff that I don’t need in my house or in my life.  M-a-j-o-r spring clean. The idea is to sacrifice some time to de-clutter my home, de-clutter my mind (because I’m not looking at the pile of stuff on my desk and wishing it would organize itself), and donate what’s worthy to charity and open some space in my mind and heart for prayer.  Sacrifice.  Almsgiving.  Prayer.  Yes, I’m still pondering.  Are you, too?  Pondering I mean.

DSC03148How do I make this Lenten commitment successful for me?  I’m a list girl.  Yes, I know.  Shocking.  I made a list of areas to tackle like 1) laundry room  2) linen closet  3) junk drawer, etc.   I would clean until I reach 40 days and 40 bags.  I tried to make my list realistic, by only listing 31 things, so I can add more time if needed for a certain spot.  Plus spring break also falls during Lent and we’ll be out of town.  Ya know, I can’t clean my freezer when I’m in a different state.  My list is manageable and achievable (I hope), because I’m motivated and these spots are driving me coo coo.  Very coo coo.  But I know life happens…The kids get sick, Mr. Rosey is out of town, so I sleep poorly and I’m pooped the next day, I have a ton of laundry to do…  you get the idea.  I will give myself some grace.  I will give myself some space to do what inspires me that day.  The point is to keep working to de-clutter… to open space in my home, mind and heart.

Commit!  I do think I can focus over the Lenten season and get rid of stuff we don’t need.  De-clutter.  Simplify.  Donate.  Breathe.  Pray.  Rejoice.  It would be great if someone else wants to do this with me.  Are you still pondering?  Wouldn’t it be fun if we could tackle both our homes together?   To support, to share.  I’m hoping Mr. Rosey and the Girlies might jump in and help a little bit too.  So that’s my plan for Lent – starting today it’s 40 bags in 40 days.  Goodbye junk.  Hello Easter.

The 3 R Song

Jack Johnson wrote a cool song called the 3 R Song.  It’s a part of the 2006 Curious George Movie soundtrack.  Anyway it goes kinda like this “We got 3 R’s we’re gonna talk about today… Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”.  This is a common phrase heard around our home and said by mwah.  If a light is left on and no one is in the room, “reduce, reuse and recycle” means turn off the light please.

Here’s another way to reduce, reuse, recycle.  On Christmas Eve after Santa has left all the goodies, the tree looks like this… pretty!

2011 Christmas tree

After unwrapping presents, we this.  Not so pretty.

So instead, reuse the wrapping paper.  Into the paper shredder it goes and there is a pretty pile of this.  Woohoo!

Use the pretty paper shreds to pack the Christmas ornaments until next year.  

It can also be used as packing for a birthday gift in a shipping box instead of the styrofoam pellets.  My girls like to pretend it is snow, because we haven’t gotten any yet or at least not enough to have a snowball fight or go sledding.  Note to self – it does make a big mess, so have the paper snowball fight outside.

Here’s a little of Jack Johnson singing the 3 R Song.  Enjoy!