Yesterday marked the first day of Lent. I’m not a practicing Catholic so I don’t typically give up anything. I have a few friends who are taking a Facebook/Social Media break for Lent. As a blogger, I can’t imagine doing such a thing. But there are other ways to unclutter and rejuvenate.
And yesterday someone happened to share on Facebook the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. Seemed like a good idea to me, so I decided to go for it.
I’m a person who has a lot of stuff. Living in a 2-bedroom apartment, “stuff” isn’t exactly your friend. And in a social media world, it’s super easy to let stuff accumulate. So here is how I’m starting my first days of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge.
Facebook. I love Facebook. I’m on it almost every day. It’s on my phone. I check it when I wake up and right before I go to sleep. And I have a lot of friends. Most people I know and met in real life, friends from high school, family, other bloggers and people who know from my blog that want to be friends. Yesterday, I spent some time deleting some Facebook friends and removing myself from groups. It needed to be done. Facebook is my personal, productive and somewhat private space. (I know, I know nothing is “safe” if it’s online but still.) I took a long hard look at my friends and asked myself 2 questions: Do I know them in real life? and How often do we interact on Facebook? Based on those questions, I made the decision on whether or not we should remain friends. I know there are filters and privacy settings but who has time to keep that up. I want my feed to be filled with a community of people who want to engage.
Email. I have more than one email account. Altogether I probably have about 5 email accounts with 3 I check regularly. I hate it. I hate seeing unread emails and have a hard time letting go of junk email. (Not sure why.) Today I tackled my personal email address that had over 200o emails. I narrowed it down to 4.
How did I do it? It took me a few hours. First I deleted by groups, like all of “Facebook notifications.” The emails, I wanted to keep (for now) I separated into folders by year. Who knew an empty inbox would feel so good.
Books. As an English major and writer, I have a lot of books. Text books, classics, old time favorites, chic lit and autism parenting books. There are books in every room. Books I’ve read and don’t like. Books I know I’ll never read. And multiple copies of books that are meaningful to me. But I don’t have the space. So this weekend I’m going to box them up and pass them on with the hope they will inspire someone the way they’ve inspired me.
Clothes. This is the one that will take a while. And may be the hardest to do. Harder than passing along my books. I have a sentimental attachment to some items of clothing. I have clothes in sizes I haven’t been in years. I recently purchased the ebook – How To Organize Your Closet – by my friend, Jai, of Mami’s Time Out. It’s a helpful book and it will motivate me to get it done.
Paper. Having a child with special needs, you tend to accumulate tons of paper. I have piles and folders and bins of paper. Honestly I don’t need all of it. I need to take an afternoon and go through all of it. I’ll need 3 piles: keep, scan and shred.
I think this a good place to start. How about you? What will do to lighten your load over the next 40 days?