40 Bags in 40 Days {Lent 2012}

Tomorrow is the first day of Lent.
Every year since high school, I have "given up" the same thing for Lent.
I have given up all dessert, candy & sweets.
If you know me, you know how much I LOVE my desserts.
But, this year, I am not doing this for lent. It has become "too easy"
I have done it for over 15 years & I feel like it is time for a change.
I needed a challenge & something for me to re-focus on during Lent.

So, starting tomorrow, I will be doing a 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge.
I read about this on a blog (can't remember which one) a couple years ago & knew that I wanted to do it for Lent one year. Well, this is that year. No more procrastinating.

The idea is that during Lent (40 days) rid your house of 40 bags of "stuff".
This "stuff" can be things you don't use... junk, clothes you don't need/wear, clutter, old toys, etc.

Why have I decided to do this?
A few reasons...
If you look at my house, it is very clutter free....that is until you look in the closets & drawers.
They are SO unorganized & full junk. Seriously, it is scary what my closets & drawers look like.
It reminds me of how we all appear sometimes. Good on the outside & messy on the inside.

To me, Lent is a time of prayer, self-reflection, sacrifice, self-control and renewal.
To me, a good home de-cluttering can go hand in hand with the Lenten season, just like our houses/blogs may look put together on the outside, on the inside we are a mess and need an intervention & de-cluttering ourselves.

Our house is decently sized, but our storage is limited, it is time to
It is kind of gross how much STUFF we have, that we don't even need.
The amount of clothes I have, but haven't worn in months/years is embarrassing.
They need to be given away to people who need clothes.
We have more than we need..it's time to SIMPLIFY.

It sounds overwhelming to get rid of 40 bags of stuff, but I know how much I need to do this.
Over the weekend, Kevin & I did some re-organizing of our garage. We found 1 box that we never unpacked (from when we moved 20 months ago!)
In that final box that was never unpacked, it contained items from our "junk drawer" in our old kitchen...there was a $30 Target card, $25 Target Card, $15 ITunes Card, $20 Peets coffee card, $25 Pottery Barn Kids Gift card and $25 in movie dollars..among other treasures. And, we found things that were still wrapped up in newspaper from our 2004 move to that house! It has been boxed up for 8 years & I haven't missed it. GROSS!
This is one of the reasons that motivated me to want to do 40 bags in 40 days....I know I have stuff in drawers/closets that need to find a new spot in my house (or at the Good Will).

I wrote down a list of 30 areas that I wanted to clean out & organize.
Even though Lent is 40 days, I know some of these areas will take me longer than 1 day.
I also know that some of these areas (like my clothes) will be more than 1 bag.
I figured I will do 30 areas & that will also give me some "spare" days if I don't have time one day to clean out an area.
I can't wait to SIMPLIFY our stuff over the next 40 days.
It is going to be a cleansing of sorts & I dreading this task, yet excited about it at the same time.

I know how much better I feel inside (& out) when my house is organized.
Life feels less chaotic.

I would LOVE it if you joined in...Let me know if you need to GET RID OF STUFF.
We can do this together!

This blog will help me stay accountable & I plan on doing photo updates over the next 7 weeks as I CLEAN OUT CRAP that I don't need. I will try and do some before/after pictures on some of the areas.
"LESS of me & my stuff and MORE of JESUS"
This shall be my mantra this Lenton Season.


  1. totally! i have read about this on clover lane & august fields (are those the ones you read about it on?)the last few lents! i was thinking this might be the year to give it a go - although, i just took a haul of maybe 10 bags worth of stuff to the dumpster/goodwill in the last couple of weeks - but there is plenty more to go. :)

    also, giving up coffee.

  2. I saw this on Pinterest. I'm doing it too! So excited about it and looking forward to a peaceful meaningful Lent Season. Good luck to you and God bless you and your cute little family. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm going to post it too :)

  3. great minds think alike! my husband and I are doing this too! I plan on blogging about it tomorrow :)


  4. i'm doing this too! i can't wait to get all the crap out of my house!

  5. Awesome idea!! & perfect timing because we will be moving in the next 3 months!

  6. I do love the idea of emptying ones self.

    this is my favorite time of year
    such a beautiful time of reflection

    have a wonderful Lent!!!


  7. Girl, you read my mind. I just cleared four bags today from the kids' toys and two bags from my closet. De-cluttering and simplifying feels SO good.

  8. i am moving in june when i get married, and i have already decided that after our clothes are moved, i am having a yard sale and just sticking tags on everything. they can just come through my apt and buy up!

  9. I need to do this badly in our home. You have motivated me to get started. We have a junk drawer in every room. I know I'll feel better once I get started. Thanks!

  10. Hi there,

    Stopping over from Kelly's site and I am totally in for this idea. My mom began her Eternal life last week after a year long battle with cancer. The chaos my house is in after the last year is almost unbelievable. No more. Tomorrow starts a new season in so many ways. Thank you for the suggestion and may your Lent season be especially blessed.

  11. This is an amazing idea!! I think I am going to try it as well.

  12. This is fantastic!!! I'm not doing lent but have made a list to clear out clutter within the next few weeks. Can't wait to hear how your progress goes!!

  13. Mel, I love this. So, so true

  14. Same here. My house is clutterfree for the most part but I have so many areas that are just packed with crap. I am so anxious to get some of those areas cleaned out. It feels so much better once it's done.

  15. What a great idea! I have been in the process of going through our closets and even though 40 bags sounds like a lot I bet I have enough stuff to fill them!

  16. Less me & my stuff...more Jesus. I love it. I had decided on giving up something but now I'm rethinking that and may still give up fast food, but I'm intrigued to also take this time to declutter (especially since my word this year is purge). You've given me something to think about.

  17. I saw this on Pinterest, too. I think I'm going to have to wait until summer vacation for this but it's definitely something I want to do. Less clutter would ease my mind. It's good to simplify.

  18. That is my motto-- less is more. Such a great idea that you're doing it for lent. Can't wait for an update!

  19. Mel, I really LOVE this idea and I think I will join you on this challenge! It feels SOOO GOOD to purge and cleanse that I think this will be SUCH A GOOD THING for me and my family.

    Good luck to you... and me...

    And I'm giving up rice for Lent. What is this poor Filipina girl going to eat for 40 days? hahaha


  20. I'm doing the same thing. It's amazing what we hoard.

  21. I love this idea! I am going to do it too! We moved from a 2100 square foot house in florida to a 1100 square foot house in california and we are a little tight. This is a great idea for me! Thanks!

  22. I'm joining in. I know I have at least 40 bags of stuff that I don't use. And the sad thing is we purged alot of our house last year.

  23. I have read about this from other bloggers and may give it a try. My house could use a good clean out. I also think this is great for the kids to know that they are giving their thinkgs to other kids who need it more than they do.
    I am just starting out on my blog and think this may be a great thing to blog about.

  24. started purging this week but your post has encouraged me to continue in all areas of the house except the garage that is hubby's territory...four bags of trash, untold number of empty boxes and three bags of clothes to date! Thank you for posting!

  25. LOVE this idea! I have been doing this in our home lately...just can't take STUFF!



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