40 bags in 40 days: Week 1

My first week of cutting the clutter out of my life and home was hectic (with my husband and I back to work and the kids back into their routine) but still productive. As I started with my before pics, I was a little embarrassed of how bad I’d let these areas get (so no judging).

If you missed my post from last week, check out what 40 bags in 40 days is all about and visit the other blogs of the lovely ladies participating in this challenge. You can also find us on our 40 bags in 40 days board on Pinterest.

Here’s my progress:

Bag 1, 2 & 3: Toys
One of my biggest problem areas is too many toys. Everywhere. Especially after Christmas. I focused on my three biggest toy problem areas, the toy chest in our living room, the toy closet under our stairs and the girls room. I had three bags from these three areas:

  1. Toy rotation bag: I practice toy rotation with my kids. This means every couple of months, I go through their toys and take the things they haven’t been playing with much and put them in storage, then bring out some of them out a few months later. It’s like getting new toys every couple of months. This is a great article on toy rotation and organization from Hand Made Kids Art. I hope to one day be this organized but right now I just toss stuff into a giant plastic storage box in our garage.
  2. Donate bag: This bag was filled with toys that the girls had outgrown (mostly baby toys) and weren’t really interested in playing with anymore. I asked the girls to help pick out the toys they didn’t really play with anymore (which were only a few they were willing to give up but still helps them to learn to give to others). I donate these (and other household items) to a local community organization that sells them to raise money for local families in need.
  3. Trash bag: It was a little ridiculous how much trash came of these three toy spaces. Broken toys (5 broken tiaras, seriously???), little scraps of paper from who knows where and toy missing essential parts.

I didn’t include a before an after of the girl’s room as I’m nowhere near done with the organization in that disaster zone. Stay tuned!

Bag 4: My purse
Kids have turned my purse into a bottomless pit of fruit snack wrappers, single random socks and tissues (gross!). As a kid, I’d always ask my mom to put stuff in her purse (my trash, a toy, whatever) and it always kind of annoyed her. Now I totally get why! Talk about karma. Anyways, after digging out all the ‘non-essential’ items in my purse I restocked it with the things I actually need and use. And now it’s a good 3 pounds lighter.

Bag 5: The family command center
Our family ‘command’ center was in command of nothing. This once organized catch-all has become stuffed with my daughter’s school papers, old bills (that have been paid but not filed away) and 4 year old takeout menus. After weeding through the chaos, I’ve removed a bag of trash and a big stack of my daughter’s school papers that will be archived (using the Artkive app) shortly.

Bag 6: Utensil drawer
This is the drawer that contains multiples of every kitchen utensil but you can never find them. It also rarely opens or closes on the first try, which then leads to an immature struggle to get it open. Seriously sad! I removed all the utensils and got rid of the duplicates (who needs 8 wooden spoons and 3 can openers?). While it now opens and closes easily, it’s still not as organized as I’d like it to be. Might need some more work on this one.

Bag 7: Food storage/towel drawer
Everyone has those reusable food storage containers. How has someone not invented an ingenious way to organize them. I can never find the right lid for the right size, which is so frustrating when you’re already running late for work in the morning. I removed and tossed any container without a matching lid (where do the lids go anyways?). I also tossed the nasty stained pot holders that were clogging up the drawer. Now it’s much easier to get to things and find lids for the appropriate containers.

Whew! I’m exhausted!!! But I feel so good about the progress I’ve made so far and can’t wait to see how wonderfully organized my house is once the 40 days are up.

Don’t forget to check out the other wonderfully AMAZING bloggers participating in the challenge along with me!


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