At the beginning of March, I heard about this challenge to focus on 40 areas in your home over the 40 day period of Lent. The idea was to remove 40 bags (or boxes, or items, or storage totes) of stuff from those spaces in order to declutter and spend a little time each day to focus on the goal of shedding excess. These proverbial bags were to be re-homed, donated, thrown out, or otherwise removed from a place where they didn’t belong.
I was super gung ho about this. For about three days. And then, as always, I became tired and forgot and just let things get off track.
And then, I took two days off work to clean and paint my house. Oh my goodness, did I have a terrible internal project time management clock. I thought I could get at least two rooms painted AND have curtains made in two days. This is very, very false unless you are a super human who does not require sleep (or, as it turns out, fine motor skills after 20+ hours of household manual labor).
Day one of operation “Re-Do The House” found me decluttering in my bedroom for eight hours. Eight! Hours! A full day’s work spent removing probably the whole 40 bags that were meant to have been spread over the entire period of Lent. My basement has an ever-increasing garage sale pile, and my bedroom makes me happier with less clutter, though I was not able to get it painted.
I did, however, get the kitchen and dining room painted, which included 8 more hours of labor from me and my mom on Day Two of my “vacation” and an additional 5 hours on top of that of me finishing the dining room because I couldn’t bear to let the weekend end without having completed at least one part of my project. I’m determined. Or maybe stubborn. But I will call it determined.
I may not have been able to stick to my 40 bags in 40 days challenge, but I am making slow progress in this phase of the cycle of minimalism (the one where suddenly your minimalist existence is full of stuff again, what’s up with that?).
How are my redecorating schemes fitting into my budget? I am trying to be as frugal as I can, using coupons, buying things on sale, etc. While I really admire that some people can go to a Habitat ReStore for paint and curtains, I had a vision in mind and was very particular about my color choices, so I bought my paint new (but it was 10% off on sale, and the paint for the kitchen was clearance!). I bought fabric to make curtains at JoAnn fabric. Rather than make all of the curtains out of patterned (more expensive) material, I decided to do a basic white muslin curtain with a decorative valence. The muslin was the least expensive available and the print fabric I found was on sale 40% off, plus I had a 25% off coupon for the whole order. I also decided to replace the hardware on the kitchen cabinets for an inexpensive update – I got the cheapest brushed metal pieces available for under $2 each, and I also decided to replace the switch and outlet plates in the kitchen and dining room. I have a few returns and exchanges to make before I total up my spending on the project, but the goal was to keep it under $250 for the kitchen, dining room, and bedroom and I have done that (even including a couple unplanned trips to the hardware store for emergencies).
The moral of the story is: It’s nice to have a goal but it’s also okay if you fall off the wagon, as long as you still get stuff done.
Anyone else in a crazy spring cleaning mode? I have so much I want to accomplish!