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Whew!  What a week!  Bear turned nine, everyone got sick, we had an unplanned trip to urgent care with Baby, and, even with all of that going on,  Momma was a decluttering machine!  Unfortunately, my husband was so anxious to get the boxes out of the house before I changed my mind, I didn’t manage to get any pictures of all the stuff that left this week!  The second he found them, he scooped them up, and out to the back of his car.

I’m rather proud of how things are going so far with this 40 bags in 40 days challenge.  On Day 1 (Ash Wednesday), I decided to start off fairly easy with our bathroom linen cabinet.  I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get a whole box, so I was a little worried.  But, oh my!  Let me tell you, my worries were TOTALLY unfounded.  There was so much stuff up there.  The first day, I only got through the top shelf!  I found all kinds of nice things (like a never-used table cloth meant for a circular table…ours has been a rectangle since I moved out of my first apartment).  There were 5 different place mat and napkin sets with 4 settings each, along with 2 four piece napkin ring sets…that won’t go very far in this house!  Along with the nice things, I found 3 (THREE!) tattered old mattress pads.  Why would I keep those???  Day one, and off to a good start.

As Day 2 of 40 bags in 40 days dawned, I was excited.  I was going to tackle the rest of the bathroom cabinet.  We had sheets, sheets, sheets, and more sheets.  I didn’t make a huge box like I did the first day (and there wasn’t anything there that was worth donating…but hey, at least I’m getting it out of the house), but I had no problem filling up a jumbo-pack size 4 diaper box (mom’s-you know what that looks like!).  I had several full-sized sheet sets that were full of holes…so those went away…along with 4 mattress pads (also full of holes) for a crib-sized mattress.

It is sooooo nice to be able to see what I have in that bathroom cabinet now!

Day 3 is where things started getting tricky.  I had originally planned to tackle the boys’ room, and do the girls’ room on day 4.  But Day 4 was also Bear’s birthday…and she didn’t want to do her room on her birthday.  So, since birthday wishes do come true, and I really didn’t care which room we started in, Day 3 was spent in the girls’ room.  I plan to do several rounds in both kids’ rooms.  They have so much stuff!  So, we did the first round of a toy purge.  Not quite as painless as days 1 and 2!  Bear was ready.  I think she was almost as happy about it as I was.  Lizard was having a lot of trouble with the ordeal…understandably.  But, she perked up when she realized that someone else would be able to have fun with the things she was giving up.  It was really sweet.  We managed to find a small box of toys that both (older) girls were willing to part with.  We also cleaned out 1 kitchen-sized trash bag worth of trash.  It seems that packrat-itis runs in families.

Day 4 of the 40 bags in 40 days challenge was Saturday.  My husband was home, and he had a different project in mind than I did.  He had just finished up our second bookshelf for the living room.  Homeschoolers need a lot of bookshelves.  So, the new plan: move the new bookshelf into the living room, move the girls’ old bookshelf out of their room (it was falling apart), move the old living room bookshelf into the girls’ room.  Did you follow all of that?  Of course, with all of that bookshelf moving, came a lot of bookshelf unloading.  What better time to do a little decluttering?  So, the boys’ room would wait for Day 5.  Most of the removal came from the bookshelf in the girls’ room.  There were 2 bags full of loose paper projects wondering around, along with 2 boxes full of used up coloring books.

On Sunday, we rested.  

Day 5 was Monday, and we went back to resume the plan…so on to the boys’ room we went!  We removed a bag of trash, and several toys with a large footprint that no one played with anymore.  At that point, I moved the toys we had taken out of the girls room into a bigger box, and put all the things that we took from the boys’ room with them.  I don’t think it’s cheating really.  It was a huge box!

On Day 6, we moved back to the girls’ room to tackle the closet.  I am truly astonished at how much stuff they had crammed into the closet floor!  We didn’t even make it to the rest of the closet.  We just worked on the floor.  There was a whole bag of paper trash that they had stuffed in the closet, and we boxed up a bunch of dress up clothes to save for Baby when she gets big enough to enjoy them.  

The next day, we had to make an unscheduled visit to urgent care with Baby.  She had an ear infection that even made the doctor say, “Oh Wow!”  That’s never a good sign.  So, we lost pretty much the entire day.  But I wasn’t going to let that derail my efforts on the 40 bags in 40 days challenge.  I pledged to make up our lost day on Day 8.

Yesterday was Day 8 of the 40 bags in 40 days challenge.  We went through all of the kids’ dresser drawers to get rid of all the things they don’t wear, or are worn out, or too small.  Again, I was amazed.  My girls had both been stashing “treasures” in their dresser drawers.  Some of them were more treasure-like than others.  I cleaned out half a bag worth of trash from each set of drawers, making one bag of trash (paper, and broken toys mostly) total.  I let them keep the things that were truly worth keeping.  We pared down their clothes collection so that they each got a drawer they can use just for their “treasures”.  Of course, I made them promise not to stuff it full of crumpled up typing paper again!  Bear kept nearly all of her clothes, because, as the oldest, she just doesn’t have very many.  Lizard had been keeping a lot of clothes hidden from me that she wanted to keep even though she had outgrown them.  I found a few 4T sized clothes in there…y’all she wears size 7!  There was a box of clothes to donate and a box to keep in the shed for Baby.

To make up for Day 7, I also cleaned out the boys’ dresser drawers on Day 8.  There was a full box worth of clothes to donate, along with a box of clothes that were too small for anyone.


So, at 8 days into our 40 bags in 40 days challenge, here’s the count:

  • 5 boxes to donate
  • 3 boxes into storage
  • 10 boxes/bags of trash (unless I miscounted)

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