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As we leave winter behind, the season of excess is definitively over in our calendars. This month of lent, by tradition we ought to be giving up luxuries and bad habits. But after the New Year’s resolutions, making a new commitment to giving up on things feels a bit stale. After all, we are already either succeeding or failing at following through on the challenges set at the start of 2019. Why add to the list of cut downs?


There is indeed a good reason to set some new goals this month. This is because the way we make resolutions for lent is different from the New Year. Instead of aiming to change something for an entire year, we have a time limit of 40 days. Psychologically, it is much easier to follow through on short-term and well-defined goals. For example “I will cut out sugar and go jogging every day for 40 days” is much easier to follow through on than something vague and long-term like “I will be healthier in 2019.”


With this in mind, we are taking a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s (neatly organised and highly praised) book this year. The idea, as reported by the Daily Edge, is to give up one item a day for 40 days – the 40 Days 40 Items challenge. It may be clothes, it may be shoes, unneeded homeware, or even books. Anything you no longer need or use on a regular basis, may be collected and given to charity by the end of lent. Your home will get much tidier and easier to manage, and who couldn’t do with the added peace of mind. Meanwhile, your unused items will find their way to the homes of people who truly need them.


Even though 40 may not seem like a lot, you may discover it is difficult to find even the first 10 items you would be willing to let go of. Things have sentimental value, if nothing else, and it may feel wrong to be getting rid of them. But we cannot underestimate the impact that a cleaner home doubled with giving to charity does for our sense of well-being. Each item is only needed in our home for as long as we have used for it. After that, we can thank it for its service, Marie Kondo-style, and let go of all the unnecessary clutter in our lives.

Need more inspiration? See ideas for what to do with the things that take up too much space, here in our blog.