Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge

My dear friend Jessica over at Housewifespice asked me to break down how I do the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge, and I will try.

For those of you not "in the know", the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge is a way to purge your house of junk in a way that's manageable. It's meant to be done over the 40 days of Lent, so as to add another layer to the spiritual cleanse we are supposed to be doing during this time. 

A few years ago, I used before/after pictures to document my first ever 40 Bags challenge. If you search "40 Bags" here you will see those posts.

As for how I approach the entire challenge, it's pretty simple.

1) I take my handy-dandy notebook (opa-composition style!) and physically walk each room of my house. I inspect each room as if I were a prospective buyer and open all the doors and drawers.

No, not THIS one!!
THIS one!!

2) I list every area no matter how small. In fact, it's easier if I break things down into really small things (i.e. Silverware drawer), so that they're easier for me to tackle. Don't worry about making it too small, because you can always do 2 items in one day if you have the time!

3) I keep my stash of garbage bags/grocery store bags, paper towels, cleaning wipes, and vinegar/water spray in a big reusable shopping bag so I can grab it all at once. (Sorry, no pic! It's in the basement and I'm too cold to run down there!)

4) Every morning I look at my list and decide which items I will tackle based on how hectic my schedule is for that day. So, yes, you can jump around your list as much as you like --- it's YOUR list!

5) Gets to cleanin'!!!

Helpful tips:
- DON'T let your kids (any age) help while 
  you tackle areas which may contain 
  their "precious" items.
- DO let your kids who are 10 and older
   help weed through their own clothing.
- Don't keep anything you haven't used
  or worn in the last 9-12 mos
  (exception: maternity clothes &
  nice hand-me-downs)
- touch every part of each area you 
   are cleaning 
- BE RUTHLESS! Remember that the
  less things that are in your home, the    
  less things you have to clean/organize.

Any questions?


  1. My husband is a massive purger,on a regular basis (super annoying! b/c I am a pack rat and you never know when you'll need THAT), however......I think we'll see how many bags we CAN get this Lent...I'm betting a few....;-)

    1. I'm married to a purger, so you would think that between the 2 of us, we wouldn't need to do this. But, no. It always shocks me just how much stuff we have accumulated!