You’d Think Lent Was Here . . .

It’s not, of course.  But for many people, January 1 is the time for “new beginnings” and thus there’s a lot of media attention to new habits to make you healthier, wealthier and happier.

Two that I want to bring to your attention:

1.  The Minimalist Mom blog is promoting a clutter cleanse, beginning with the closet.

Here’s the introductory post, which promises “You can do this even if you’re reading this under a pile of laundry, old mail and wrapping paper.”

And, if you’re inclined to use the start of the New Year to clean out your closet, well, that’s the project for Clutter Cleanse Week 1.  As much as anything, I think this is about mental attitude.  She asks, “Are you wearing everything in your closet regularly? If you aren’t wearing everything in your closet frequently why is that? Are things too big, too small, out dated, need mending, don’t go with anything you wore or you don’t have an occasion to wear them? Start asking yourself these questions as you look through those hangars.”  Read more here.

Somewhat the same concept is discussed by best-selling author Jennifer Scott (Lessons from Madame Chic) in this YouTube video.  It’s actually an enjoyable, funny TED talk.

And what to do with the stuff left over once you’ve decluttered?  Marie Kondo has a solution, detailed in the Washington Post.

2.  The other Lent-like item in the media was in Sunday’s Washington Post.  Michelle Singletary, a personal finance columnist, urges readers to take a “financial fast” for 21 days.  It’s sufficiently rigorous that it meets my idea of a penitential practice for Lent.  Read more here.

About Joel Whitaker

Joel Whitaker is a long-time professional journalist (Tampa Bay Times, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Bulletin, Institutional Investor, executive newsletters) and Catholic convert. He is the RCIA coordinator for his parish.
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