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Good samaritan gives up clutter for Lent


Matthew Batten has decided to have a pre-Spring clear out, all for a good cause


IT is a case of getting rid of excessive baggage for one Cardiff man, as he tries Lent with a difference this year.

Matthew Batten, 37, from Canton, took up the “40 days, 40 bags” challenge – a cleaning scheme set up by interior design blog White House Black Shutters – after his friend recommended the idea on social media. He has already taken 11 bags to various charity shops and thrown four more away for recycling and rubbish.

The idea of the “40 bags” challenge is to declutter your house over Lent and Matthew hopes to  enjoy a mess-free, spotless house by Easter.

He said: I thought it was a good idea. It’s getting difficult to abstain from things during Lent, such as chocolate, crisps, bread etc.

“I’ve already done that over the years and I’m now vegan and gluten free. I’ve cut down on alcohol over the years and I’m not concerned with how much I drink.

“Over the weekend I had three glasses of wine and I don’t go out on the lash so cutting back isn’t much of a challenge and stopping isn’t going to happen for me – a glass of red with dinner if I go out to eat isn’t that big a deal!”

White House Black Shutters is a blog run by interior designer Ann Marie Heasley. The project has been going since 2011.

The challenge officially runs from February 18 to April 4 with Sundays as a day of rest.

Matthew added: “It’s a great start! The house will be decluttered by the end of the challenge.

“If we haven’t worn it in the last 12 months it goes out. If we won’t be reading/watching/using it within 12 months it goes.”

But with lots more to bag up, the challenge has only just begun for Matthew in his quest to declutter.

He is taking up the challenge in aid of British Heart Foundation and Oxfam.

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