Tuesday, March 29, 2011

40 Bags in 40 Days: Update

Woo-hoo! I'm up to 22 bags!

I really should be taking before and after pictures, but I haven't been. Too busy getting rid of stuff. I'm sure you really want to be looking in my linen closet and under the guest bed, haha. I've always liked those beds that have drawers under them. So practical - no wasted space! Or... is it just a place to store more junk?

In my cleaning throughout the last 2 weeks, I have...

1) ...shredded a TON of paper. Yay! Paper breeds. It turns into books, and notepads, and piles. Piles, piles, piles. I believe the trick is to NOT begin a pile. Then it can't grow. :) We ordered a really nice file cabinet in February from an A.mish store nearby. It will be finished late April or early May. I can't wait! I'm really going to try to get all the paperwork down to the number of drawers in the cabinet. We have a big desk in our "office" which will have to become a nursery if we are blessed to conceive or adopt. The file cabinet could stay in one corner and would't be too cumbersome. The desk will have to go. I haven't figured out what to do with the computer yet though!

2) ...gotten a. lot. of. VHS tapes ready for recycling. There's a place I can mail them for recyling, and I'm planning to do that this week. And, as we no longer have a TV that works with a VCR, they might as well be thrown away. [*Note: The library no longer accepts VHS donations. I called and asked. :)] I wrote down a list of the movies in case we want to replace them.  (Actually, we did replace the Star Wars ones already. My husband found a set at a Bor.ders going out of business last week. I've resisted watching them, other than the first one, which is the fourth, but I don't think I'll be able to avoid it any longer. Ha!) Also note- the Star wars DVDs came in those SLIM cases!! Thank you for being considerate, movie packaging people. Who needs fat cases?

3) ...gotten rid of 12 pairs of shoes. Really? Yes, 12. 6 are donations, 6 are throw-aways. I have this great pair of black boots - I really should have purchased 2 pair, because they are super comfortable and don't squish my toes - but they are worn out. They're practically embarrassing. Anyway, I won't let myself buy a pair to replace them until they're gone... so... they're ready and waiting for the trash. :( May they rest in peace. They were sure a good pair of boots. We had a great life together.

** Question - one of the "donation" shoes are the sandals I wore at my wedding. Of course I'm saving my dress and veil! Am I right to get rid of the shoes though? If we have a daughter some day, is she going to want to try on the dress and the shoes?

4) ...amassed an incredible amount of recycling. Old and empty shoe boxes. :) Other random empty boxes in my closet, the empty VHS boxes and packages. Old school notes, and empty CD and DVD cases (broken ones).

5) ... assembled a big bunch of photo frames that can be donated/thrown away. I had an entire box of frames. I saved the photos, but got rid of the frames. I don't have a place to display them! I'm not a huge fan of displaying photos in frames, although I do have a few. But again, only a few - because that's all I have room for! :)

6) ... started cleaning out the old dresser in our "office." It's an old dresser, particle board, that Mr. Wonderful had, but I use it for cards, stationary and other assorted office accessories. It really is a great way to organize it all, but it. is. falling. apart. I have one bag of trash from it already.

7) ... cleaned out our medicine closet. I don't know what else to call it. It's more of a linen closet, but we have 2 of those in the hall upstairs, and one is linens, and the other... well, it contains the guest towels, but also the stock of tissue boxes, medicines, dental supplies, soaps, lotions, travel things - like a small hair dryer, our travel toiletry cases, the iron and light-bulbs. It's kind of all-purpose! I got rid of old make-up, expired prescriptions, and a host of other things that made their way into it. I guess when it's all-purpose, anything can happen, haha.

8) ... wondered - how does one count computer files? I've done a bit of trashing there too. I haven't included it in my totals, but as I've been working on those photo books, I'm finding duplicate photos stored all over the place. I've made sure I have at least one copy on the desktop, but have gotten rid of the duplicates. It's backed up on the external hard-drive, and that's all we need. Plus, the best of the best are now stored on Shutt.erfly!

Whew. I feel so good about all of this. I should really do it more often. Doing so has definitely made me think about what I buy, what I accept, and what I bring into the house. I have a ton of "accepted" books when it comes to teaching. I can't count the number of times someone has said "Oh, my insert-name-here took piano lessons, but doesn't anymore... take it off my hands! could you use this?" One time recently I was able to decline politely. It felt REALLY good. And boy did she ever try to get rid of it! I should really not even pick whatever-it-is up when they try to give it to me. Haha. I've started a bag to be donated to a local music teacher's organization that holds a music swap at meetings. I still have more to go through; then I'll add it to my total.

OK... it's time for lunch. And now I have the urge to purge even more! :-D


  1. You are being really conscientious about getting these things to the right destinations - if I don't know for sure that the stuff will be accepted by my local Goodwill or would be wanted by a friend, I'm putting it all straight in the trash. I'm sure I could do better with recycling and donating, but I feel as though if I add one more challenge, the throwing-out process won't happen at all. (And I am not nearly as far as you are, and I really should be - 'cause when and if we hear from the bank, we have 21 days to pack, get all the inspections and paperwork done, get our landlords to let us out of our rental, and move!) Your diligence is something to behold.

  2. Holy smokes, girl! You are on a roll. 22 bags- my goodness. I wish I would have started the 40 bags in 40 days at the begining of Lent because I need to do what you're doing. I know you will feel so much better about your house and stuff when you have less of it. Keep up the great work- you're inspiring me to do more of this. You could always take a picture of your shoes to show your daughter if you decide to get rid of them.


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