Donate and Declutter

Yesterday was the first day of Lent. If you subscribe to – or were raised in – a Christianity based church or other religious organization, you are no doubt familiar with the practice of giving something up for the forty days preceding Easter. As kids, giving up candy or dessert was popular. It seemed a generous sacrifice and made our parents (and our dentists) happy. But as adults, we often try to think of something that will make us better people: Or, perhaps, something that will benefit others. Even if you are not following in Jesus’ footsteps, this can be a good thing, right?

Yesterday, I missed being in church for Ash Wednesday because I was sick. However, I had lots of time to think about our Lenten traditions. For example, we tend to eat fish & chips on Fridays during Lent. This works for me, since I’m not much of a meat eater the rest of the liturgical calendar. Not much sacrifice there! 

Instead, I am going to take the Forty Day Challenge. Maybe you’ve heard of this, or some variation of it, or you might have seen it n Facebook. My challenge is this: Every day, I will find at least one item from my home to throw away and at least another, to donate to a worthy cause.

I have seven rooms in my house, if you count the bathroom and the basement. If I find three things from each room to donate and three more to throw away, I will meet the challenge with two to spare. Yesterday, I started in the kitchen. Sorting thru my canned goods and other non-refrigerated food items, there were lots of things to satisfy the throw away part. There are also some things that we just won’t use. In the cupboards, we had more mugs than two people could ever use. They’re going to the donate pile.

Looking ahead, I think I’ll tackle the living room next. We’ve got a large cabinet that’s full of “stuff” and badly in need of emptying. I’ll bet I can make a quick job of finding things to toss as well as things to give away. If not, there’s a basket filled with magazines that need to be recycled and some DVDs we don’t watch, hiding in the television stand.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about this. Our lives are less complicated when we declutter, leaving us time for what’s really important. And those extra things we accumulate, whether canned goods or soft sweaters, will be a Godsend to someone in need. It’s a no-brainier! Even if you fall behind because you skip a couple of days, it should be easy to catch up! 

I just might fill forty bags! I hope you’ll join me!


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