02 April 2014

40 Bags, 40 Days, Recalibration

Progress has been slow in the 40 Bags in 40 Days project, because life has been busy. Even so, it's already shifted my thinking.

I counted March 18 and 19 as Day 11, with some culling in the linen closet. March 23 saw more progress. Day 12: I finally looked at the huge bag of notebooks and papers The Offspring brought home at the end of fourth grade; almost all of it went into paper recycling. Day 13: outgrown clothes. Day 14: toys. Day 15: An IKEA lamp with a too-dim bulb, sitting in a corner and never used. Day 16: a duct-taped sled, scavenged from the trash, back to the trash. Day 17: I finally framed my PhD and MPhil diplomas by putting them in the same frame with my MA. It's only been sixteen years. How does that count? There was a lot of packaging.

Meanwhile, what with one thing and another, I've lost some weight, and this morning I thought, "All my clothes are too big." I immediately imagined going shopping, but then the 40-bag purge project stalled the idea. Why lose all the momentum, all the space gained in closets and cabinets? Some of my clothes still fit fine, because sizes vary regardless of the number on the label, and different materials and styles are more or less forgiving. Plus, belts.

My hope with projects like this is to initiate a lasting change in habits. Last year's failed Ten of Tens was an effort to find some areas where I could move permanently in the direction of greater sustainability; if the 40-bag purge leaves me with an on-going aversion to shopping, so that I quit over-buying because stuff is on sale, that would be a great outcome.

Stay tuned.