As you may have seen on my social media pages I carried out a 40days40items challenge for Lent and I just wanted to share my thoughts of what I felt during and following the challenge.
I would often say I would give up chocolate or something else for Lent (but hardly ever followed through – I love chocolate!!!) so this year I thought I would challenge myself to something which would benefit me, my family and my home. So I decided to carry out a decluttering challenge, 40 days seemed ideal. All I had to do was find one item each day that was not used or wanted.
The aim was to donate, gift, recycle or find another use for an item.
So the items were really random, from nutcrackers, cheese knives and hair bands, even a coat which didn’t fit the dog, to the usual clothes, ornaments, books and jewellery.
There were a few days where I wasn’t sure if I could find enough items for the 40 days, but it actually became easier as I went along. It’s amazing what you can actually see when some clutter is removed, whether this clutter is in plain sight or hidden away in a cupboard or drawer.
So what went, as we were coming to the end of winter it was an ideal time to let go of clothing that I didn’t need any more. Be honest with yourself, does that jumper or dress fit, does it fit your lifestyle and does it suit you. Leaving items in drawers and wardrobes which will never be worn leaves feelings of guilt.
We also had a number of items that I had kept after my parents had passed away, initially keeping the items for sentimental reasons, but realising that the memories of my parents were not defined by keeping a paperweight or ornament. By donating, you give someone else the opportunity to use or the love that item.
My husband also had a large DVD collection but hardly watched them any more. We had a good sort through and were quite ruthless. Many of the films are accessible on Netflix or Sky now, we just kept some stand-up DVDs and some of our favourite films which we will watch again. He also agreed to let go of a large CD collection, everything is on iTunes anyway, again we just kept a few that we would keep for the car.
We were able to donate some thick sofa throws to the local kennels and doggy day care business we use, they took up so much space in the cupboard and I had started to use different throws so these were rarely used. I also had some old duvets which we will donate to the local rescue centre when we can travel, which didn’t even manage to make it onto the 40 days list, showing that when you start to declutter, it gets easier to keep going.
At the moment many of the items are boxed up ready for charity shops to open but I have also booked collection or postal services for clothes, jewellery, DVDs and CDs, other items have been passed on to family and friends (only if they need or want them)
I found that letting go of clutter was actually an incentive to revisit little used items. I have really made the effort to use products that I’d not used in a while, lockdown was the perfect opportunity to try different hair and makeup products, if they didn’t suit, then out they went.
Just getting in the mindset of letting go of items that really don’t work for you becomes easier as the days go by. Benefits can be seen quite quickly, use that feeling of achievement to carry on with your goals. If you wanted to do a similar challenge you could choose any length of time, 40 days, one month, one week or day, you could even choose to declutter a certain number of items or items from a particular area in your home. Whatever is best for you, the biggest step is getting started.
So what did we let go of;
- 2 bags of clothes
- Cuddly toys
- Monopoly game
- Sofa throws
- Table runners
- Dog ornament
- Cheese Knife
- Another random knife
- Dog coat
- Collection of hairbrushes
- Trinket box
- Another set of nutcrackers
- Hair product that didn’t suit my hair type
- Spare hair dryer that was never needed
- Collection of takeaway menus
- Curling tongs
- Body moisturisers
- Hair band
- “Devotion” ornament
- Framed Egyptian papyrus
- Folders and notes
- Glass tankard
- Glass “Cat & Mouse” ornament
- Kitchen knives
- Duvet sets
- 2 pairs of never worn Ugg boots
- Selection of scarves
- Set of Shakespeare books
- Griddle iron
- Another hair band
- Diffuser found which fitted the donated hairdryer