I thought I’d write today about how to go about having a more effective approach to the Forty Bags for Forty Days (FBFFD) challenge. As with most things in life, a good way to start is to plan what you want to accomplish during this Forty days. Here’s how I typically begin:
1. Gird my loins and take a stiff drink.
2. Send the husband and kids away for forty days so no one sees what I’m getting rid of.
3. Sit back and hire someone.
I know the areas of my home that steal my peace, so I didn’t need to spend time evaluating where needs work. If you spend any amount of time in your home, you know exactly which areas make your blood pressure increase. My heart attack inducing area is the basement.
As you can see, chaos reigns in this section of the house. Luckily for me, I don’t have to go down there that much. But, I still know it’s there, haunting me like a bad burrito. So, it is on my list, but I can’t start in this area. It’s like running 5Ks before you try a marathon. You gotta build up. Maybe girding my loins and taking a stiff drink might not have been a bad suggestion after all.
My plan of attack is to start with the toys. My nemesis, toys. Everywhere I turn are toys, even in the bathroom. They are more insidious than dust bunnies. Now, everyone’s method for starting this FBFFD is going to be different, and I encourage you to do what works for you. When I start with toys, my preferred method is the FedEx approach. I pick a toy group, like hot wheels cars. I gather them all in one spot, then I sort and purge. If you are feeling democratic, you could involve your child in this. Explain that other kids don’t have any cars and that your family really has more than you need. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. I have a pretty good handle on which ones are my kids favorites, and I use extreme prejudice when sorting them.
Sometimes I don’t have time or the energy for the FedEx approach. That is when I employ the smash and grab approach. In the smash and grab, I just make a quick judgement on items that have the unfortunate luck of crossing my path. This is a good way to go with the items that end up on the kitchen counter for weeks, or the whatnot that has been on the bottom of the toybox since 1989.
As you start to fill bags, you will find it easier to let things go. Remember, if you are donating the usable items, you are blessing someone else. And finding peace in the process. It’s a win-win.
Are you ready for tomorrow?