The gist of it: During Lent (40 days) rid your house of 40 bags of stuff...things you don't love, don't use, junk, accumulated stuff, clutter, garbage.
Of course you can do the 40 bag thing ANY time. Why Lent? To me, Lent is a time of prayer, renewal, self-reflection, sacrifice, self-control, repentance and almsgiving. It does seem silly to me to somehow try to link a good old home decluttering with something as deeply spiritual as the Lenten season, but the first time I did 40 bags/40 days it was much more meaningful to me than just getting rid of junk. I thought long and hard about how much we really needed vs. how much we had, I became more aware of how we spent our time and money, I had the chance to feel the rewards of charity (and so did my children) giving away to those in need some of the things we took for granted. It was a physical cleansing of the space we were all growing together in, as a family, but it also freed up space in my heart and mind for awareness and purpose-I didn't want my house buried under "stuff" and I didn't want my heart and mind buried under "stuff" either-and I learned that often the physical reflects the spiritual and vice versa.
It sounds overwhelming but it's not, I promise. It's a slow process and almost miraculously, the spiritual part of the practice will unfold naturally as you begin the physical work.
The photo above is my notebook list of each area I'm going to tackle each day. I don't include weekends. I divided my entire house into 30 or so areas, leaving enough days for the larger ones. Last year I ended up getting ahead of myself which was nice, because I could take a break for some days. I went through each area very thoroughly, and did some spring cleaning while I de-cluttered. I threw the bags of things I didn't want anymore right into the back of my van, and would make a weekly or so trip to Goodwill. Some stuff was just plain garbage to throw away.
I will attempt to post an update every Wednesday with tips and tricks and inspiration. Hope you'll join me!