Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spring Clean for Lent

I saw this suggestion on a forum and thought it was a good one.

Every day during Lent this year, empty one bag of 'stuff' that is no longer needed from your house, totaling a loss of forty bags of stuff!

1.) Taking a look at the size of your family and household, with an acknowledgement of how much 'stuff' is present, make a prudential choice on the size of bag to be employed during this challenge. Bag size should be small enough that the goal of 40 bags during the season of Lent is able to be accomplished, while not being too big that you are left with nothing. We must still live in the world, after all!

2.) If smaller children are a part of your family, a 'gauge' may be helpful to keep them engaged and help them keep track of progress. As part of your preparations, make a 'paper chain' of forty numbered links. As each new bag is started, place a new link in the bottom of the bag. This way, as the chain gets smaller, there is a greater sense of accomplishment.

3.) This challenge necessarily involves sacrifice. Each member of the family should be encouraged to give something to each bag, or there could be designated bags for each member of the family.

4.) Instead of just throwing things away, recycling is a great way to encourage good stewardship of the gifts we have been given, as it symbolizes that we are passing along our gifts to others. Families with children are encouraged to pass along clothes that no longer fit or toys that sit dormant in a closet to families in need instead of just throwing them away.

5.) Units of count need not necessarily be trash bags either; however they should be equivalent. For example, a box of gently used toys or clothes could equate one bag off the chain. A stack of books donated to the parish library is another easy equivalent.

8 comments:

TACParent said...

I like this idea. Even if it is to go through one bag's worth of stuff and put it away or throw it away or give it away ... would be beneficial to me. I have several stacks to go through, that's for sure.

Dymphna said...

I thought you might like this. I think its a great idea too. I need to go through my closets.

C. said...

I really like this idea, I was just noticing this past week how cluttered looking the house was .

Dymphna said...

Now that I have even a tiny portion of my mom's stuff, my house is more crowded than ever. And, we desperately need to paint as well. In short, we really need to get rid of stuff!!!!

Patty said...

I've been in the process of getting rid of "stuff" since my mom passed away in December of 2005. I had accumulated all her "stuff' and quite a bit of my mother-in-laws "stuff" when she passed away in 2001. I now have at least more room than a pathway to walk from one end of the house to the other.

My biggest challenge now is finding time to go through "Stuff"...working full time and having Lupus I often don't have the energy in the evening to do much and on weekends sometimes it's all I can do to get ready for the coming week.

I like the idea though, but I think I need to modify it to be reasonably possible for me to achieve.

I think what I will try is this: I will go through one box, bag, shelf, drawer etc. each day and clean, organize and give or throw away/recycle it's contents.

To accomplish this I will enlist the help of my husband in preparing supper in addition to his usual job of cleaning up after we eat.

Dymphna said...

Patty, I think I'm going to *try* to "fill" a plastic grocery bag full of stuff at least a couple of times a week during Lent.

Barbara said...

This is a wonderful idea. It's astonishing how fast "stuff" accumulates after one has cleared things out. I sometimes wonder how attached I am to material things - I ask myself about my favorite things - if I had to choose between this and Jesus, what would it be? It helps keep things in perspective.

Dymphna said...

That's an excellent perspective, Barbara. We do get attached to material things, don't we?

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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