My (new) friend Amber, who I met this fall in ECFE, put a challenge up via Facebook to take part in a January purge of possessions in effort to simplify our homes and our lives and (hopefully) bless others in the process. She was looking for 20 people to commit to get rid of 10 pounds of stuff each day for 10 consecutive days sometime during the month of January. That is 100 pound per person/household for a total of 2000 pounds between the 20 of us. I knew finding time to take part in the challenge for 10 consecutive days might be tricky, but I was excited by the idea and knew that finding 100 pounds of unnecessary stuff in our house would (sadly) not be hard at all.
Here is a short recap of my experience ::
Day 1 :: I went through the kitchen and weeded out excess coffee mugs (I think those things multiple in the cupboard!), water bottles, vases, etc. for a total of 11.8 pounds.
Day 2 :: I had Bible study that morning. One of the girls in my Bible study has a sweet 8-month-old girl, so I pass down Sara's outgrown clothes to her. Before I left, I found 2.8 pounds of stuff to pass along to her. When I got home from Bible study my mom and I tacked my hall linen closet, which is a catch-all for things with no home! We took out ever last thing, wiped down the inside (actually my mom did those steps while I was at Bible study, since she was at my house watching Sara for me) and then only put back things we actually use or need and got rid of 17.9 pounds of stuff from in there that we did not need or was expired/ruined/worthless.
Day 3 :: I cleaned out my stash of craft stuff and came up with 21.8 pounds of stuff I didn't need or wasn't going to use. I plan to bring most of it to ArtScraps in St. Paul.
Day 4 :: Books! I went through our books and ended up with 28.4 pounds. I took some of them to Half Price Books (actually, Kirby did that) and got $10 out of the deal. Some I added to our Little Free Library and a few I passed along.
Day 5 :: 21.8 pounds of clothes from Rebekah and Lydia's wardrobes. Outgrown, ill-fitting, not their style, excessive (does she really need that many t-shirts? nope!).
Day 6 :: 17.4 pounds of clothes from the 2 boys.
Day 7 :: 13.4 pounds of clothes, mostly mine with a few pounds worth from Anna (most of her outgrown clothes get saved for Sara).
Day 8 :: 37.4 pounds of stuff. Some more clothes, some misc household things, a couple more books, some decorative pillows (we have more than our share).
Day 9 :: I tackled the bathroom on day 9. I took every last thing out of the medicine cabinet and wiped it all down. Then I only put about 1/3 of the stuff back in there. We had lots of expired medicines/creams/stuff in there. I also cleaned under the sink and in the drawers of our vanity. There also was a box full of kids jewelry (think beaded bracelets made with much love -- and not much visual appeal) that I tossed. The total that day was 8.7 pounds. My only day under 10 pounds . . . but I believe in averaging things out, so when I finished the bathroom, I didn't try to make up 1.3 more pounds of stuff and just called it good.
Day 10 :: 13.8 pounds of games and toys. We also re-organized ALL. THE. LEGOS. Which was a huge (but VERY worthwhile) undertaking. School was cancelled for our kids due to the crazy cold temps, so they helped me out. I think having them so well organized will lead to more desire to build with them! We cleared off the whole train table, so there's plenty of room to build!
So, my 10-day total was 195.2 pounds. I'm so glad I made the commitment and took part. Our home is more organized (although I still have plenty more areas that I could tackle . . . and probably still will, just not as formally -- no weighing in and daily purging) and we hope that the things we are no longer using will go to good use, and be a blessing in someone else's life.