How it works:I probably won't do it exactly like that -- as usual, right? : ).
1. Pick what size of trash bag you want to use.
2. Each week day for eight weeks fill one bag (or equivalent). It can be a bag of stuff, toys, clothes, papers – anything, a box of books, an old TV. Anything that you can count as clutter is fair game.
3. Update on your blog how it goes.
4. Have fun.
I've made a sort of schedule for cleaning based on this chore breakdown.
- Monday/ Thursday -- put things away, vacuum.
- Tuesday/Friday -- dust, scrub, arrange.
- Wednesday/Saturday -- declutter, organize.
I would like to blog more about Happy Are You Poor -- a very thought-provoking book. View here and commentary here. (Paddy finds the title very puzzling). But I'm afraid it will sound either self-righteous, if I talk about what I'd like to change as a result of reading the book, or extremely lame, if I'm honest about where I am now. Hmph. Maybe I'll just do it anyway.
More commentary -- a Catholic one here, and it appears it has reached evangelicals as well, as an alternative to the so-called Prosperity Gospel. I don't think the message is complete unless it has reference to those who are more needy than most of us are. I remember the last time I read Father Dubay's book I mostly missed the message because I wasn't thinking about the reference of poverty -- the truly poor, in fact destitute people in the world. I think it was because our family is sort of poor by American standards. There aren't many people around me who don't have more money to spend than we do. Even if I do get rid of our junk, how's it supposed to be of help to the people in Haiti, for instance? Well, just because I can't think of an immediate answer to that doesn't mean that I should just preserve the status quo. Father Dubay says one of the motives for trying to be more "poor" is readiness. Maybe I have to start before I can see where to finish.
I can't help but mention that when I am dumping all these bags of things into the trash or even into the Goodwill pile, I feel rather guilty. I think that is one reason I have been willing to "host" these things I don't use for so many years. It's so hard to admit that they aren't being used and that I shall have to fill up a landfill or make more work for a thrift store attendant (I always feel particularly guilty about that for some reason). So now that I'm processing these long overdue feelings of guilt, I will possibly be a little more careful next time about what I bring into the house. Anything that comes in that's not necessary will be more of a burden to get rid of when it's not used, or not used frugally but just becomes excess.
(Keep in mind that a lot of these things cost pennies or were handed to us by well-meaning others -- STILL it seems like a bit of a problem. There is just TOO MUCH).