40 Bags for Lent

Clutter multiplies. Here, my sons' shoe pile.

Clutter multiplies. Here, my sons’ shoe pile.

This year I’m taking up a challenge for Lent.

Well, kind of.

I’ve never really celebrated Lent, being from a non-denominational church. But I think Lent involves sacrificing something I like.

And I must like clutter because I keep stepping over and around it.

So I’ve joined up with Anne Marie’s group at White House Black Shutters to de-clutter. She has chosen the 40 days of Lent. I am all right with that. It’s not exactly spiritual, but then again, perhaps it is. For I will be casting out personal demons of sloth and negligence.

You won’t find me hauling out a giant garbage bag each day, although I surely need to. This is about small, consistent, daily victories.

I write 500 words every day. I organize one small area at work or home every day.

Easier said than done, I know. But I am determined. Today, for example, I cleaned out one desk drawer. Victory!

And now I can put a nice X on the calendar.

Want to come along? There’s even a Facebook group for support.


11 thoughts on “40 Bags for Lent

  1. Gayle Mills

    No way I’m gettin’ on that train, sista! The last thing I need is more guilt to carry into the Easter season. Wishing you well though. Especially with the writing part. My personal motto on the other is: Cleanliness is next to loneliness. I’ll take the clutter as long as I get the kid. The years are so short.


  2. Laura Hile Post author

    LOL, Gayle. Love that motto.

    But ours is a small house, and I am weary of living with the stuff I will not deal with.

    Small steps. In my case, very very small. And if I’ve got group momentum, I can last the 40 days. Or so I tell myself.

    The garage? Another story. Cue the scary music …


  3. Candy @ So little time...

    Hi Laura! I read a different post today about de-cluttering; it was a 30 day one. I didn’t join, but shortly after reading it I found myself organizing a bookshelf and putting stuff in my donation box. Yay! I am tired of the clutter too, or at least I want to find a nice out-of-the-way spot for it. πŸ™‚


    1. Laura Hile Post author

      Because my sons are now grown—and moved back home with their own boxes of stuff—I am feeling better about releasing the “just in case” junk. Good for you, Candy, for stuffing that donation box. Quick, put it in your car and dump it! πŸ™‚

      Gayle wants before and after pictures, but my small areas of organization won’t be that impressive. I’m going for a cumulative effect, right? Momentum.


  4. Robin Helm

    Some of what I get rid of will be thrown away. I have way too many empty boxes in my garage. Sometimes I will put something in the donation bag. When it’s full, I’ll take it to the appropriate charity. Some days I will organize a shelf or a closet. I think the main point is to do one thing a day. I gave away about 20 bags of donations last summer.


    1. Laura Hile Post author

      One thing each day is where I’m at, Robin. I have no intention, for instance, of mowing through everything in the garage. Part of the trouble is that we need appropriate shelving in there. That won’t change anytime soon. And not everything belongs to me … two of our adult sons live here. But I can clean and organize my end of the garage (where the washer and dryer are). This will be a gigantic accomplishment.

      I will also make several passes through my closet. I tend to hoard clothes, although most women would laugh at how many clothes I do not have. For the size of my closet, I have too many. Every time I toss a few items, I do not miss them.


  5. Susan Kaye

    I’m with Gayle in that this all sounds great but that failure to keep up casts too long a shadow for me at the moment. Besides, I planned to clean the bookcases after the new year, got around to it last month and have a donation box that is gradually filling with my hit-or-miss method. I’m still trying to keep up with 500 words a day.

    That being said, be blessed in your de-cluttering. πŸ˜‰


    1. Laura Hile Post author

      The 500 words is sometimes a mere exercise in keeping limber, like right now. I’m propped up in bed with the laptop, my eyes sting, and I’m absolutely done. But I wrote almost 600 words, more in the form of free writing than for the novel. But I can put the X on the calendar for writing. Some days, keeping limber is all I can do.

      These challenges are good for us, getting us out of ruts and moving. Besides, you are much better at dealing with clutter than I am. Truth to tell, I jumped on the Lent 40 because it started today. πŸ™‚ I figure that if I can have drawers and kitchen cupboards and under-sink areas slicked up by Easter, I will be miles ahead.



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