Cleaning challenge

A couple of days ago, I saw a Facebook post about the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. The goal is to declutter one area of your home every day during the 40 days of Lent. I was intrigued because our house is a teeny bit horribly cluttered. In fact, at the beginning of the year I told Jay my goal for 2014 was to organize the house, and he just laughed.

“I’LL SHOW HIM!” I thought. For about two seconds. And then I proceeded to do zero cleaning. I mean, Donnie Wahlberg has a reality show now, and all those episodes aren’t going to watch themselves. I need to focus on my priorities.

But when I learned about this challenge, I thought maybe it could work for me. There is a chart you can download and print, and then you write down what you did each day. I am all about filling out charts and checking things off. This is the only reason I am able to run long-distance races. I cannot bear the thought of not doing what the training plan tells me to do. If a chart tells me to do something, I will do it.

But now I am on Day Two of the challenge, and I know why I never throw anything away.

Yesterday, I tried to throw away some old t-shirts. It did not go well. I will blog about this in a future post, because it is a long and traumatic story. It’s a story that requires photos. I still ended up with one trash bag of clothes to take to the Goodwill, so I met the Day One goal and was able to check it off the chart. Whew.

Today I thought I’d tackle all of the empty cardboard boxes I have stashed away in closets and in the laundry room. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a bit of a box hoarder. “You never know when you are going to need a box,” is my motto. I decided to ignore this highly practical motto, found twelve (twelve!) empty boxes, ripped them all apart, stuck them in the recycling bin, and then checked it off the chart. La, la, la!

Two seconds after throwing out all of the boxes, I remembered that I need to mail WCK’s First Communion dress to my sister in Illinois, and at least two of the boxes I threw out would have been the perfect size for this. Now I have no boxes. None.

See? SEE? This is why I never throw anything away.

Now my niece is going to be naked on her First Communion, and she will grow up to be a serial killer, and it is all the fault of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. She will do an interview with the cryogenically frozen head of Barbara Walters via Skype from her prison cell, and she will tell Barbara how she used to be a sweet, cute, wonderful little girl until the day Aunt Karen threw away all of the boxes.

And Barbara Walters’ head will judge me.

And WCK will be in the next prison cell over, all because of the time she returned home from school on March 6, 2014 and announced that she needed a shoe box for a diorama project that is 99 percent of her grade, and her mother didn’t have one, so she flunked out of the third grade and turned to a life of crime.

Nothing good ever comes from cleaning, but I’m going to continue this life-destroying challenge because the chart won’t let me quit. Dang you, chart!