If anyone needed a sign as to how fast this year is speeding by, Lent is already upon us (feels like the last one was only a few months ago! Wasn't it JUST New Years Eve?!)
Whilst there are many aspects to Lent, for most of us it is the process of self denial, or the giving up of things for forty days. Between March 1st and April 13th people all over the world are giving up on things such as sugar, smoking, pizza, buying new clothes, coffee etc.
You name it, somebody somewhere will be giving up a luxury as an act of self denial. It's meant to provide people the opportunity to give up things as an act of penance. Many people now see it as a chance for an individual to reflect or test their will power.
This year I decided to do something a bit different - this year I am going to try to give up something that will not only benefit me, but my whole family AND some charities too - I'm going to try to give up hoarding!
Yes it may sound strange, but hoarding and impulse purchasing is something I’m terrible for - I buy things all the time, usually every couple of days, that I don't really need. I spend so much more money than I need to and I end up filling the house up with more junk than is necessary, things that usually end up unused or barely touched anyway. I am terrible for spotting a "Bargain" and not being able to walk away even though I really don't need or have any use for the item!
So for Lent this year...I am going to challenge myself to a) not buy anything that we don't NEED for 40 days (I will still shop for groceries, easter eggs and birthday presents for the children...but that will be all I buy during Lent!) and to b) de-clutter every room in the house and donate 1 black bag full of things to charity every day for 40 days.
With the amount of "stuff" in this house, I already know that this will be an easy target to reach....which is telling of how much of a hoarder I am!
I've decided to use my friend Organised Jo's Working Mum's De-clutter Plan. Basically, the plan goes through each room in the house at a time and breaks down what needs de-cluttering. For 15 minutes, per day you focus on organising, and de-cluttering part of the chosen room working through the house. It could be the knife drawer, under the sink, or in the cupboards for the kitchen. Your wardrobe, or under the bed for the bedroom etc all get the same treatment where needed. The key is you spend no more than 15 minutes per day doing this, so the task is split in to bite sized, non daunting chunk - read Jo's blog above for more information on how she does this and why it works so well for busy parents!
I'm going to be ruthless with this challenge...No excuses of 'I might just need that old saucepan', or 'I have a sentimental bond to that one bookend'. No. If it's not being used, or is no longer useful to us, it goes.
At the end of the 40 days, we hope to have a far less cluttered house and to have done some good.
If you feel like sponsoring me during my 40 bags in 40 days and Zero Impulse Shopping challenge, you can donate through a 'Just Giving' page I have set up (All proceeds will go to Christian Aid) or alternatively why not challenge yourself to give something up for Lent? To find out more about how you can get involved, visit Christian Aid