Friday, April 14, 2017

Lenten Practice: week 6 1/2 update and wrap-up

As I mentioned in this post, I've committed, during the season of Lent, to finding 10 things a day, Monday through Friday, to get rid of.  I've posted updates every week throughout the process, and today I wanted to wrap up and say a few words about this project.

On Wednesday, I grabbed some cracked sand toys and broken sports cones out of the sandbox.  Total number of items: 12

On Thursday, (as I was putting laundry away), I got a little fed-up with Hubby's too-full and disorganized sock drawer (I'm sure he knew where everything was, but as the person who most often puts things away in that drawer, I felt a need to organize).  In the course of reorganizing it, I found some socks that had holes in them, so I threw them away (shh...don't tell Hubby).  Inspired, I decided it was finally time to throw out some of the older lost socks in my orphan sock basket.  I also threw away a pair of my socks that had a hole in them.  Total number of items: 14 holey and/or unmatched socks.

On Thursday night, I made a quick sweep of the house for any straggling clutter to count toward Friday, since this post will be published early Friday morning.  Amazingly enough, there still is some.  Total number of items: 47
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • another pair of holey socks (it hurt to toss this pair...but now I'll have room in my drawer when I finally find those cookie monster socks...)
  • 8 magazines
  • 29 coupon inserts
  • 4 random pieces of paper with random information written on them
  • noise maker--I don't know why someone at a school would give this obnoxious thing to my child as a reward, but they did, and I managed to hide it away long enough for him to forget about it
  • bracelet
  • keychain

Total this (half) week: 73

Six and a half week total: 634

When I started, I had doubts as to whether I'd be able to keep up.  I tend to declutter as I go.  If I come across something that is broken, or we don't use anymore, I throw it away or put it in the donate pile right then.  I knew I'd be able to find some things by digging deeper, but I was less than confident that these items would amount to 10 per day for the 33 weekdays of Lent.

As you know, if you've been reading along, I have found plenty of items, almost double the 330 to which I committed, most of which I had forgotten about (or my children had decided to put somewhere, anywhere, instead of throwing away--I'm looking at you, gum wrappers).  The commitment I made gave me the motivation to dig deeper than I usually go in my day-to-day life in search of clutter.  I even braved the storage room. It is amazing to me that we still, after all these years of constant evaluation and decluttering, have things that are no longer useful to us.

During this time, I also learned not to assume I know what's in a box, bag, or container.  There were many times when I thought I knew what was contained in something, and since those things were not things that I wanted to declutter, I didn't need to check those containers.  But I decided to check anyway--like the bag of pinecones that I thought was tulip bulbs.

I have to tell you, it wasn't easy, especially this last week.  I ran out of steam and enthusiasm for the project right around the time that I had achieved 330 items.  When you start a project, it's easy, because it's new and exciting, but finishing has never really been a strong point of mine.  I don't know how many times I have started a project and then stopped just short of completion.  It was important to me to see this through--to maintain the discipline for the prescribed amount of time.  I am so proud of myself for finishing.

So.  Life lessons learned through this year's Lenten practice?

Dig deeper.  Don't assume.  Never give up.

Happy Easter, y'all.

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