for most posts on the 40 bags in 40 days challenge, click here
for a free printable gameplan for your 40 days, click here
This post has been a long time coming.
It seems like everyone is talking about stuff (here, here, and here). Well I like to jump on bandwagons! 😉
I love stuff. But I hate what it’s doing to our home. We have too much stuff.
I hold back from taking pictures of my kids because there is stuff in the way.
I put projects on hold because of stuff.
I’m too busy buying stuff I don’t need, when I should allocate those funds into much needed renovation (like my ugly bathroom).
Holding onto stuff can be good, case in point our shutters, but where do you draw the line?
(I think a basement full of decorating crap “on rotation” is past that line)
We don’t need all this stuff. I only want to keep what we need and what matters to us. No more buying stupid decor items because they were on sale and fill a spot.
I don’t like this painting, but it was only $5. Why do I have it?!
Yes these little things are cute, but do I need them?
I’m so concerned with reusing, that I’m having a hard time letting go.
(Upcycled VHS Tape Wreath)
Do we really need all of this stuff?!?!
No. We don’t.
The cute birdcage that was $1. The bins that keep everything oh-so-organized. Those kids’ books I got for a STEAL at 10 cents. Ten pairs of maternity jeans. The lamp on sale at Target. The light fixture for FREE from the ReStore. The brand-new frames from Target at Goodwill for a steal. The stockpile from the Dollar Store for those “one day I will do ____” crafts. The Pottery Barn rug from a garage sale that doesn’t match any room in my house but was only $10. But MOOOOOM! it was from POTTERY BAAAAARN!
We don’t need it.
I’m getting better, I’m letting go. I took the plunge and sold this bookshelf and the inevitable clutter surrounding it.
and although I am happy with the results (and my 40 bucks), I still have a looooong way to go.
(Sticks in a vase? Really? Why do I need stupid sticks in my house?)
Sarah at Clover Lane (the first blog I started reading regularly) did something called “40 Bags in 40 Days” for Lent and as if she didn’t have enough bags last year, she’s doing it again this year.
Here are all of her posts regarding the challenge, here is where she got the idea.
I think she sums it up best when she says (in reference to decor):
Use what you love, purge what you don't!
I want my home to be warm and loving, full of purpose and meaning. I don’t need things that I don’t love. I don’t want to be consumed and burdened with stuff. I’m making a commitment and instead of reaping the benefits of my favorite stores, I’ll be having a garage sale, donating, and purging.
Does this mean I will stop thrifting? No. The kids need clothes, I don’t like to buy new, and it’s a fun hobby. But I’m going to do so with some HEAVY editing…
Less garage sailing, less accumulating, more living.
I’ll be starting next week (Ash Wednesday!), posting about progress weekly, and even made a fancy button for the sidebar.
I’d love to have you join me! I’ll need that encouragement. I’ll even make a fancy linky party if you need the motivation too. Please join me?? I promise, we really don’t need all that crap. 😉
Dying laughing. I found your site via Becoming Minimalist's Weekend Reads and sat down for a Saturday morning read. I literally just asked my husband on his way out the door if he could pick up more sticks in a vase because our cat destroyed the last batch. Perhaps we should be asking why we need these stupid sticks in a vase.
Two and a half years ago, my family of 6 moved to a house with very limited closet space. Since there are so many of us, it's perfectly normal to take several bags of donations out per month. But my downstairs living room has become the closet this house is missing. It's my constant battle. I've been tackling it at least once a month since we moved in, and it's winning. At the moment, there's a desk in the garage that will replace a table to provide more storage and hopefully allow me to better organize my school work and household records. A few months ago, I moved really big heavy bookshelves to the opposite wall. It looked halfway decent for a while. Then, last month, my husband helped me move the file cabinet out of the garage so that he would be able to get in and out on the passenger side of the van while it is parked in the garage. Now I'm that much farther from figuring out how to manage. It's depressing. I actually hung curtains at the bottom of the stairs so that guests coming in the front door wouldn't see the downstairs living room. I do my school work online surrounded by this giant, half-organized closet. I can't let my younger two kids come downstairs because I'm scared they'll get into something or hurt themselves. It's so stressful. I'm constantly feeling like I should have it done by now.
Designs By Pinky
I came over from your SIL's blog to tell you I LOOOOOVE this idea!!! I started on closets today and have one bag filled so am going to try this!!!! Thanks for the idea!!! XO, Pinky
"Use what you love, purge what you don't!"Absolutely!Kelly
I LOVE this and yes I have STUFF taking over everything. I am going to join you in ridding my home of 40 bags o'Stuff
Wow, 40 bags. I'm a hanger-onto-er of stuff, and letting go is hard, but I'm going to try. Not sure about 40 whole bags, but I actually threw out a large, torn sofa slipcover this morning before reading about this challenge, so I'm going to take it as a sign that I should do my best. Count me in!
More living is the essence of the post - and I think that I often choose against going out to buy something when I think of the time it wastes when I could be really doing something.
This is great. Just last night I pulled out a bag or so of clothing I haven't worn this winter. That is going! Now onto bag 39 today! We all have stuff, it's the American way and I think people are realizing it's not what's important. Great post and so encouraging!
I am joining in!
Love it!! I have been doing major purging and decluttering at my house too! 🙂
mel @ the larson lingo
I just found your blog today & I am now following..I LOVE this post! When Sarah did this last year, I was inspired to do the same, but didn't do it last year because we were in the middle of moving. Well, this is the year...I am going to join in! Less is MORE!!!!!! Thanks for your awesome logo, I am going to use it (if that is okay!)
I am totally going to join in on the 40 bags in 40 days!!!!! I need the accoutability and motivation!!!
I add this to my favorites, because I love LOVED it -- and I didn't have the time to comment then.You took the words right out of my mouth! I don't want anymore stuff! NO MORE STUFF! NO MORE STUFF!
Girl, I had to laugh when i read what you said about your bathroom...I have 2 hideous bathrooms that could've had new vanities and floors had I just stopped buying c*ap at Homegoods and Kohls. I hear ya. I am up for the challenge for sure. Great, timely post.
Parents of a Dozen
Ann Marie,I am going to try and do the same. Having so many people in one house you have to thin out all the time, especially with a new addition in the house. I need to clear out my stash of decorations also. I think, I will waite until we are done with the new floors and decorate. Anything unused is going to have to leave.
YES! Me too!!
I'm totally in!
I think I will do this and I know that I can fill 40 bags. The challenge is ON!!
Amanda @ Serenity Now
I could have written this post myself...you took the words from my mouth! 😉 An excellent, honest post. I loved it!!!
Ann Marie, You are a girl after my own heart. I have been going through one drawer/cabinet/shelf at a time for a couple of weeks now. We are preparing to have about one third (our huge living area and our master bedroom) of our house emptied so the floors can be ripped up. As "the date" has gotten closer, the panic has hit me that I don't have anywhere to relocate our bedroom and living room furniture to, because of all the other "stuff" that is filling up my dining room and upstairs bedrooms. I do encourage you to make this a weekly link, as I think that all of us collectors could really benefit from it. Also, you are absolutely welcome to link this post to my Favorite Things Friday party tomorrow(link goes up tonight around 9pm central time). Carolantiquetexan.blogspot.com
Erin @ The Little Apartment
Now I don't know if I could fill up forty bags. We don't have a ton of room to hide stuff that we are not using in our little apartment, but I know I DO have some excess. And I'm totally in.
I have the same picture-taking problem! I think this is a great idea. I don't like letting go of stuff that I might re-use, but we just don't have much spare room for it.
This is EXACTLY the motivation I needed! I recently moved to a much smaller home and the stuff is overwhelming! It needs to go. I too have trouble passing up a bargain and have equal trouble letting go of something I got a great deal on or had grand plans for. But...I want what little space I have to be enjoyed by my son and me. Tripping over things has gotten a little old 🙂 Great idea!
OMG... as I was reading your typed words I started to cry real tears and laugh hysterically at the same time. You just gave voice to my exact thoughts and feelings about my own issues with collecting and saving things we intend to use "someday." I admit it too. I've allowed Stuff to invade my home... its swallowed walkways, halls, the living area, my den, attic - even my kids rooms for goodness sake!! My shelves I got at a thrift store to *organize* my beloved hobbies and good finds... wtf?? They're enablers, giving me false security in organization. Every time I look at them, I cringe and feel so guilty. Because I know the truth. And the truth is, I've enabled myself. I know I CAN use them correctly, if I could really discpline myself to ONLY buy what I need... And so here's to a TRUE attempt at this. I am vowing it right now, with you, Ann Marie. I'm with you on this. I am ready to purge. I can't thank you for your honesty and candidness about this. Ready to REALLY live, Rita Stachowiak
I couldnt agree with you more,Ann Marie. Ive been doing the same thing. I change my furniture around ALL the time so our attic looked like another HOME full of stuff(stuff I rotated in and out but really? Am I that discontented with what I have that I need to be taking up valuable space that we could make into a livable 3rd floor of our home? I dont think so!) My mom just had breast cancer surgery yesterday so things have been a bit different around here but my biggest goal to finish this week is to get through my girls' TOTES of clothing, try everything on them to see what still fits and then sell the rest. They dont need TOTES full of clothing for one season. Its just too much. Can you tell Im passionate about this? My comment is now almost longer than your post:)XO,SarahHandbagsnPigtails.blogspot.com
i have gotten much better at editing and selecting in recent years...for a long time i was accumulating for the day when we would have our 'it' house...now we do and so much of the stuff has gone b/c it wasn't really wanted or needed. i must purge occasionally b/c i will never stop loving flea markets and tag sales...:)good luck as you spend the next 40 days getting rid of all the superfluous stuff!blessings,alisonstuff and nonsensep.s. i would love for you to share this post on my fridays unfolded linky tomorrow @ http://stuff-and-nonsense.net