This image features a collection of items laid out on a textured, light-colored carpet, organized for donation. The assortment includes various electronics such as phone chargers, USB cables, and adapters; personal items like sunglasses, a leather wallet, and a pair of running shoes; and several pieces of clothing neatly folded, predominantly t-shirts. Notably, there are also toy cars packaged in yellow boxes, and a weightlifting belt by Schiek. This organized display illustrates a thoughtful decluttering effort, highlighting a range of useful items set to find new homes.

Giving Up 40 Things

Let the annual decluttering begin

We’re not a religious family. Our youngest daughter goes to Sunday school, but for the most part, the Martins find spiritual well-being through giving back and volunteering within our community.

One thing we practice religiously every year takes place during Lent. If you’re not religious, that’s the 40 days (not including Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

Many Christians give something up as a sacrifice during Lent—including coffee, alcohol, chocolate, meat, and other things that people might consider a vice.

We, however, don’t give up a “thing” during Lent.

We give up 40 things.

Several years back, Shanna suggested we each declutter ourselves of 40 things during the Lenten season. That could mean clothes we don’t wear, old electronics, toys that the kids have grown out of, and other items that clutter our lives.

This isn’t meant as a sacrifice, per se. This is more of a kickoff to spring. It gives us a chance to declutter and teaches the kids not to hold onto things they don’t need.

Yes, I could probably benefit by cutting out red wine and sleeping through my morning gym alarm, but we like this tradition and it’s something we can each get done in a weekend.



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