You’re probably wondering, “Why does Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday make me think of cleaning my home?”  Well, great question!  Last year I participated in a challenge to clean, organize and purge excess stuff from 40 messy areas in my house.  I have to say, that exercise has really effected the way I organize my home, even a year later.  If you haven’t heard of “40 bags in 40 days” it is a cleaning and organizing challenge that is popular this time of year.  Maybe you have seen some of your friends talking about it on Facebook, or sharing their before and after pictures (those can be dramatic!)  Today, the day after Fat Tuesday, is the first day of the 40 days of Lent.  A great time to commit to a challenge that will better yourself or the lives of others.  Why not start with your home?

The way this challenge works, is you write a list of 40 areas of your home that have gotten unmanageable.  Then you commit to working on one of those areas one day every day until you finish your list.  The idea is to pick an area that is small enough for you to accomplish a big change in a small amount of time.  If you make these tasks too large, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and not finish this challenge.  Think small messes, like your medicine cabinet, the junk drawer, the cabinet in the kitchen that has 47 plastic food storage bowls and 6 lids.  You get the idea.  Then empty the area completely, put back only what you really need in an organized manner, donate anything that could still be used by someone else, and throw the rest away!  It’s that easy, as well as fun and addicting once you get started.

In fact, it might be something you continue all year!  I’m not saying that I’ve been reorganizing a different area of my home every day since last spring.  But, after the 40 days all the problem areas of my home were clean and neat and I could actually find things and put things away!  That led to my house staying even more clean and neat and clutter free.  I enjoyed the feeling so much that I wanted it to last forever.  So, if I saw an area starting to go revert to its messy cluttered tendencies, I followed those steps again to get rid of what I didn’t need and make sure things were in their place.

Keeping your home clean is much more difficult when it is already full of clutter.  And having a neat and tidy home really does create a more calm, inviting and even more productive environment.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo I will be blogging about it soon.  If you are interested in the 40 day challenge to put your home on a diet this spring, you can read my original blog post about the cleaning challenge here and find printables to help you get started.

As always, thanks for reading and good luck with your cleaning and organizing projects this spring!  If you have any success stories or questions about getting some help we would love to hear from you in the comments section.