Several bags down….40 Bags in 40 Days update

I don’t exactly know how many bags (or boxes) I’ve accumulated so far. As you saw on my initial post about the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge, I already had a pile to take to the porch for a non-profit group to pick up. I didn’t count the number of bags that day. There were several boxes, bags and loose items still in the pile in the basement, and I got most of that boxed up and moved to another space for the meantime, last night. I also finally got caught up with my laundry.

Oh, the laundry. It has been my nemesis for a few years now. I hate doing laundry, so I’m a pro at procrastinating until the pile is so big, it is no longer manageable. That was before life got crazier. It’s a major example of how bad habits become even worse habits when life gets hard….so work on your bad habits when things are GOOD.

Let me be vulnerable…when I say the laundry was bad, I am understating it. I got way behind after we went on a camping trip May, 2011. I was newly pregnant, and SUPER nauseous. In fact, the first nausea I experienced was on that trip, so the smell of campfire only brought horrible waves of it back. So I kept putting off putting away the camping gear and doing our laundry, to avoid vomiting. And then a couple weeks later, Andy had a stroke. It was a very small stroke, and it was finally deduced to be due to a migraine headache and a clotting gene mutation. While his recovery was fast, he was still EXHAUSTED, a major symptom following stroke of any severity. So he was tired, and I was also pregnant-tired and nauseous. Housework spiraled out of control, including laundry, which generally became wash-enough-to-get-by, or wash-it-all-but-not-get-it-put-away and then it just takes over again.

It ebbed and flowed until we moved and right before Jak was born I grew to be in MAJOR nesting mode. He was a week later than Gideon, and that last week I became obsessive about being caught up with the laundry and clean bathrooms.  Then of course, he was born, and chasing a toddler and nursing an infant took up most of my days and nights, and laundry got crazy again.  And those bad habits. Ugh.

The massive laundry pile-up, while we STILL have lots of clothes to wear, has become a revelation to me. WE DON’T NEED THIS MANY CLOTHES. Period. It has been a major factor in this huge desire to downsize our clutter. Because less STUFF means less TIME managing it (or it managing me), and more TIME to spend with my kids and blessing others.  I have been trying to whittle down my wardrobe to a manageable capsule wardrobe, which means parting with things that don’t fit a need. Maybe I’ll post on capsule wardrobes later…but let’s face it. I can use fancy fashion words like “capsule wardrobe” as much as I want, but it doesn’t make a fashionista. I’m the farthest thing from it. So you may not have much to glean from me on the subject. But it has been a fun challenge, actually.

Anyway…many of those bags I’ve filled to donate have been filled with clothes, shoes and coats that I don’t wear any more or that don’t fit into my plan for my edited wardrobe. One of the upcoming projects is to help my husband pare down his HUGE collection of jeans and t-shirts.  We need less clothes. Period. We’ll see what this does for our laundry chores!

photo 1So last night, I finally got the massive pile out of the play area of our rec room downstairs, and we now have a functional play room! It is by no means “decorated”, so I don’t post this pic to show off a PRETTY room. But it’s fun to have a new space to play.  The boys weren’t keen on playing down there in the past, but this morning they were like kids in a candy store. I want to rearrange a few things when time permits, particularly after we move Jak into Gideon’s room (SOON!)…I have plans for that extra bedroom! I couple things may migrate up there.

photo 2Now, the OTHER side of the room is another story. It houses Andy’s board game collection and game table, as well as what WAS his computer desk. But he made himself a new desk out of a kitchen table, and it is now in our bedroom (he did such an awesome job!). So we have some rearranging and decluttering to do on that side of the room. I’ll post a pic when we get that done!

Andy's new, uncluttered computer desk! Didn't he do a beautiful job? I think we paid $30 for the table and 6 chairs...he replaced the white tile center with stained plywood and painted the frame.

Andy’s new, uncluttered computer desk! Didn’t he do a beautiful job? I think we paid $30 for the table and 6 chairs…he replaced the white tile center with stained plywood and painted the frame.

P.S. Don’t you just love the floral couch and chair with the non-matching pottery barn stripe pillows??  We are SO in a one-step-at-a-time season.

Is anyone else doing a decluttering challenge right now?