Hopefully you don’t have actual crap in your house. If so, this post may not be quite as helpful as you had hoped. I’m talking about reducing the number of un-needed items in one’s home. That sort of crap. It’s spring. It’s time for spring cleaning! That’s coming, but first, we need to de-crapify our domiciles. Please join me!
I was inspired to create a plan for getting rid of some clutter by the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge. The 40 bags plan is based around lent. Not lint. I have plenty of that. Lent. Frankly, that’s where my ability to follow the plan falls apart, because I don’t really know what lent is except it starts with pancakes and flashing one’s bosoms for beads and ends with Easter. I have nothing against pancakes, boobs, or Easter. I just can’t schedule my de-cluttering around that stuff or it will never happen.
So here’s my idea. From now until the end of the month, get rid of at least one thing per day. It can be one single thing, or it can be a bag full of things. I don’t care. As long as you feel good about clearing that space, it counts. Throw some of it away, donate to a charity, recycle, give to a friend, whatever!
I’m 20 miles from anywhere that takes donations, so I have to keep things around long enough to get into town to officially be rid of them. For this de-crapifying challenge, I’m keeping a box for donations in the trunk of my car. Anything that will be going to the charity donation place is taken directly to that box so it cannot be re-assimilated into the household. Trash gets bagged and taken out in a hurry so the kids can’t spot their broken Happy Meal toy circa 2010 and try to wrestle it from my discard pile.
That’s a reasonable plan, right? It’s not complicated. Just pick up something each day and get rid of it somehow. I feel like this plan needs a really good name. Something motivational. Suggestions?
Here’s my first project – the dreaded shoe trays. We put these two large boot trays in our front hallway to contain the constant tangle of shoes that result from 5 kids coming in and kicking off their current pair at least 30 times per day. Really, we just wanted their muddy or wet shoes to go there. Because, you know, it’s possible to put regular shoes away in one’s room. But no. Every shoe that has ever touched their feet ends up here. And stays. Forever.
Today’s task was to sort all of the shoes by owner and make sure they all had matches. The 3 single shoes were discarded. Two outgrown pairs with giant holes in the toes, also discarded. Three outgrown pairs taken to the giveaway box in the car. That’s a grand total of 6.5 pairs of shoes out of the house.
This project also made it obvious who the shoe problem is when it comes to the trays, and for once it’s not me! I’ll own the shoe mess in my closet, but on the trays, it’s my beloved eldest. She had at least 8 pairs of shoes in the hall!
After sorting the shoes, I had the boys take the trays outside (after picking up the random toys and socks that had fallen beneath the shoes) and dump the dirt out of them. We swept underneath the trays, replaced one or two pairs of shoes each that are worn regularly for chores or school, and called it a day. I was tired and did not take an after picture. Imagine no dirt on the tile and about half the shoes in that picture. Now line the shoes up neatly on the much cleaner trays. There’s your after picture!
Would you like to join me? Let me know in the comments! Feel free to share the vast quantities of things you’ve de-cluttered, too. Let us rejoice in having less crap to clean around! If you’re feeling brave, send before and after pics of your sparkling clean, crap-free rooms to firstname.lastname@example.org.