One Bag Nation

The Basement Report: 39 Gift Bags

Posted on: June 3, 2008

I’ve been working – five minutes at a time – on clearing out and organizing our basement, starting with the “holiday room”. Yesterday I found no fewer than 39 gift bags in there: 31 Christmas bags, 4 Hanukkah bags, and 4 birthday bags. Is that a lot of bags? Hmmm . . . looks like I need to catch up on the Hanukkah and birthday bags.

I guess it’s crazy to have so many, but now that the bags are organized and I can find them, I might actually use some this year. I can’t wait to sort through the ribbon and gift tags!

And by the way, I worked for 10 full minutes down there this time – I’m picking up speed in my quest for order, serenity and peace of mind.


6 Responses to "The Basement Report: 39 Gift Bags"

Isn’t this supposed to be “one” bag nation? 39 gift bags! Only teasing.

I think it this case, having one on hand when you come home with a gift to wrap is worth the storage space.

Good point, Laurieann! That’s funny – and it didn’t occur to me!

Wow, going from 5 to 10 minutes is GOOD.

Can you estimate how long it should take you until it is completely decluttered and organized?

Vered, I’m afraid if I do that, I’ll never go back down there again! The holiday room is just the beginning . . .

I have only started reading your very helpful blog recently, and am trying to catch up on past posts, so I apologize if I missed the explanation, but how do you handle just 5 minutes at a time? I get the concept of committing to just 5 minutes so that it’s not scary or overwhelming. But once you start on a task as potentially complicated as cleaning out a cluttered space, how can you get anything done in 5 minutes? And don’t you just get caught up in it? My fear is that I would get sucked in because I’d want to make more progress, and that I would lose control of the rest of my day. I guess I should try really sticking to 5 minutes and see if I have the discipline. Any pointers would be welcome.

In terms of keeping track of my time, I set a timer (upstairs) so I have to go up to turn it off. And you’d be surprised what you can do in 5 focused minutes.

Because I’m working in the basement, I can leave it partially done and I don’t have to look at it or deal with the mess in between work sessions.

If I were decluttering another space that I used daily, it would be hard to stop, because it usually gets worse before it gets better when you take on a major declutter project.

Maybe you should start with 15 minutes and see how it goes. And if the space you’re working on really bothers you, why not keep at it? (though I understand there are other things to be done in a day).

I hope this helps and I’m glad you’re back!

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