Being LDS, I generally don't pay much attention to Lent or really any of the "holy" days surrounding Easter other than Easter itself. Lent is more or less ignored in Mormon culture, which in many ways I think is kind of sad. But that's another topic entirely.
Many years, I choose to give something up for Lent, despite my religion's non-involvement. I like the idea of sacrificing something to draw closer to Christ. That's part of the idea behind the monthly fast Mormons participate in. I've given up a variety of things over the years--fast food, soda, ice cream, chocolate (NEVER again). Generally food items because I'm an emotional eater, and sacrificing those things really is a big deal to me. And it's a good experience (except for the chocolate). I actually enjoy making that small sacrifice (except chocolate) and thinking about the sacrifice my Savior made for me.
But after Easter, I mentally jump up and down and think, "Woo hoo!!!!" and go right back to my horrible eating habits. There hasn't been any permanent change. It hasn't really had any lasting effect on me or on my home (other than 40 days of cranky, cranky chocolate-less Laura).
Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Lenten season. I was mulling over what I was going to give up this year and was falling flat. I wanted to DO something, not just agonize for the next 40 days about how badly I want chocolate. I wanted to do something that would benefit myself as well as my family.
And then I stumbled across this on Facebook....
....and I thought, "Ding ding ding! We have a winner!"
Now, I'm not a hoarder or anything. When we moved in November, I got rid of a TON of stuff (at least it felt like it). But it's March now, and the amount of crap in my house really bugs me. It's difficult to keep clean. So much still hasn't been properly put away/boxed for long-term storage. I can't find anything, which means we're spending money buying hygiene items I KNOW we have somewhere. The kids get into stuff that has been left out, creating an even bigger mess. I can't really use my craft room, because it's the default drop-zone, and has so much STUFF just dropped in there right now that I can barely walk through the room.
So, enough is enough.
I'm not just giving up something, I'm giving up STUFF. And a lot of it. If I were a gambling woman, I'd wager I can easily fill up more than 40 bags. But I've accepted that I will never be organized while my house is full of STUFF.
I'm not putting pictures up (mainly because I'm embarrassed at the state of my house). I'm not doing daily posts because they get boring for the writer AND the reader, and really, it's just one more thing for me to try to remember to do. But I AM going to whip my house into shape.
I know my home will be more pleasant to be in when there's less crap in it. My house will never be immaculate. Two toddlers plus one mama who really detests cleaning more or less ensures that. But the mess can be manageable. It can be pick-up-able. And it will be. 40 days from now.
Come join me! Don't think you have 40 bags worth of stuff? That's okay. The point is to get stuff you don't need/want out of your house. Throw stuff away. Recycle. Donate. Have a yard sale. But if it's not being used, get rid of it. When in doubt, throw it out!