Over on Love My Little Flower, the author has a Shaking Off the Bonds of Stuff schedule for the 40 days of Lent. The plan was originally written by Dale O'Leary, a freelance journalist and radio talk show host.
Here's how I've done for the past week:
Day 23 (Monday, March 19): Throw away all notices and announcements for past events and events you have no intention of attending.
Generally, I put the information right into my calendar so I don't have loose papers laying around. I'm also more likely to remember the event if it's in my calendar. I did have a couple of flyers and advertisements that were from the newspaper that I copied into my calendar so I could recycle those papers.
Day 24 (Tuesday, March 20): Take all the address labels and notes, enter the information into an address book and throw away the originals.
I do this each Christmas when I receive cards. Also, I updated and/or added people to my online label file (I don't have an address book) when I received cards in January after my dad died.
Day 25 (Wednesday, March 21): Throw away all broken appliances. Give away or sell those that work but you no longer use.
I have a microwave that broke in January and a scanner that no longer works. Both appliances are in the hobby shed waiting for the local heavy metal + applicance recycling day in May.
I found a juicer and yogurt maker that I no longer use. These were donated to the local second-hand store.
Day 26 (Thursday, March 22): Toss curtains you have replaced because they were ugly, faded, or worn.
I only have curtains in one room. At this point they are fine to keep up.
Day 27 (Friday, March 23): Get rid of or repair broken furniture
The covers on the two couches had seen much better days. So, on Monday I purchased new covers for both of them. I threw away the ripped and damaged covers; and replaced them with the new ones.
What a change! It looks like the furniture is brand-new now which is wonderful. I should have done this a long time ago.
Day 28 (Saturday, March 24): Go through all the magazines in your house. Sort them into piles:
- Keep for reference (only if you actually reference them)
- Toss after six months
- Toss each month
- Toss immediately
The only magazine subscriptions I have are Taste of Home which is focused on cooking and recipes; and Family Fun. About a month ago I went through all the magazines I had by the side of my bed (well over a half dozen from November 2011-January 2012 - when my dad went on hospice care and then died).
Clipped the recipes to try and articles I wanted to reference (for homeschooling and activities to do with the girls) and put them in my recipe binder or filed them. It was such a good feeling to have not only these magazines recyled, but the recipes and ideas in the places where I could reference them.
What's coming up for this week? These activities:
Day 29 (Monday, March 25): Dispose if chipped and broken dishes. Go through your dishes and glasses. If you have complete sets, give away the pieces of incomplete sets.
Day 30 (Tuesday, March 26): Throw out anything that has been in your freezer for more than six months. If you don't know how long it has been there, throw it away.
Day 31 (Wednesday, March 27): Set aside one bag of plastic bags from the grocery store and recycle the rest.
Day 32 (Thursday, March 28): Set aside one bag of paper bags and recycle the rest.
Day 33 (Friday, March 29): Set aside one shelf for disposable plastic and glass containers. When it is full, throw away the excess.
Day 34 (Saturday, March 30): Give away clothes your children have outgrown.