40 Bags in 40 Days :: UPDATE

by | Mar 5, 2010 | Organization | 15 comments

I can’t believe that it has been a month since we started the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge!  (I started early so that we could be finished before Holy Week.)  We actually have been able to make better progress than I thought we would and, after the 2 bags I filled in the kitchen this afternoon, we are already up to 35 bags (including trash)!

To make it a bit more challenging I am considering not counting the 5 bags of trash and try to fill another 10 bags, instead of five.   It’s getting harder, but is so refreshing to let go of some of this “stuff” that I’ve hung on to for way too long.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve bagged up so far:

Boys Bedroom ::
4 bags of clothing
1 bag of trash

Girls Bedroom ::
2 bags of clothing and shoes
1 bag of toys
1 bag of trash

Hall Closets ::

2 bags of blankets
3 bags of baby blankets
1 bag of table linens

The Nursery ::
2 bags of baby clothing
2 bags of toys

Master Bedroom and Closets ::
1 bag of men’s clothing
2 bags of women’s clothing
3 bags of maternity clothing
1 bag of misc. items
1 rebounder
2 bags of trash

Bathrooms and Laundry Room::
1 bag of misc. items
1 big plastic drying rack
1 rug

Kitchen ::
2 bags of Kitchen Items

School Room ::
1 bag of trash

Living Room ::

Overall ::
27 bags of Stuff
3 Large Items
5 bags of Trash
For a Total of = 35 bags

It looks like I’ve saved the hardest areas for last:
  • School Room (I tend to hang on to everything here… including these two puzzles which drive me crazy and will probably be the first to go.) 
  • Bookshelves (This is even harder, since I tend to save everything until I have time to resell it on Cathswap… Which hasn’t happened since I started blogging! lol!) 
  • Board Games (I’ve stopped buying more at least!) 
  • Entertainment Center (Movies, CD’s, etc… I got rid of a ton last year, but still have plenty more to go though.) 
  • I also have more to work to do in my closet. (This is where most of our craft supplies are kept.)

With all that stuff to choose from it shouldn’t be too hard to fill up 10 more bags. Yet then again…

So, how is the 40 Bag Challenge going for you? 


  1. Pamela

    Lent activities have been slow to start this year. We found out we will be having a baby in October and we are so excited. This puts me at almost 10 weeks along and just now feeling a little better. I also forgot that trash is included in the 40 bags. God Bless Jessica.

  2. Jessica Gordon

    Congratulations Pamela! That is wonderful news!

  3. Anonymous

    Did I miss something? Never counted trash bags, however, I sense this project can be designed in many ways. For me, I considered and counted only bags of near to new items donated to Good Will and Salvation army and the food shelfs (food)…It really felt great and I am now at 42 bags. 22 of those were 13 gallon stretchy bags filled to the brim and 20 were grocery bags filled to their bursting seams…with clean washed folded clothing, so thank you so so much for the inspiration of this entire wonderful Lenten project! I would like to think many will be blessed with the results.. You are amazing Jessica! God bless!

  4. Anonymous

    CONGRATULATIONS JESSICA ON YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT! I really don't know how you do & accomplish so much! You are unbelievably blessed with high energy or just plain blessed……..

  5. Anonymous

    I love this! 40 bags in 40 days!!! We will be doing this too!
    sylina mama to 12

  6. Megan

    It's been slow progress here. We can do it! Even my boys went through their beloved missing wheels, beat-up, much loved car's bin to donate to "Good boys and girls" as they put it.

  7. Jessica Gordon

    Yes, there are many ways in which you can customize this challenge for your own family.

    Anonymous ~ My "trash" bags are bags of stuff that are not in decent enough shape to donate. I was counting them towards my total at first, since it is still stuff I have hung on to and am now getting out of our home, but think I may be able to complete the challenge without them. It's going to be hard though. Good job on filling 42 bags!!!! That is wonderful!

    Megan ~ That is so sweet! It sounds like you are off to a great start!

  8. fadfd

    UUmmm….((sniff sniff),

    Not so good over here. Its not for the lack of wanting to do it. But, I have had alomst NO TIME to go through each room. We are at 6 bags to donate and 3 bags of trash.

    We are making a big effort to go through the learning room and the games this weekend. So hopefully I'll have a better "report card" before lent if over.

  9. Kristyn Hall

    I am half-way to 40. As I go through the rooms I am really going to have to get ruthless to meet the goal of 40 bags. We have a small house and with 8 people much of the "clutter" is necessary items… shoes and toys for people of different ages and genders, homeschooling supplies for four students… It is a little frustrating to realize that much of what drives me crazy must stay! But what I have gotten rid of so far has made a definite improvement!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. mel

    Hey, I've almost bought one of those latches puzzles, does it not work well or something?
    We've gotten rid of a lot, but unfortunately I have not been good about keeping up with counting and such. My oldest has done a *lot* in her room. I have a pile of stuff waiting for a trip to the thrift store, and our curbside trash pick up will never be caught up. We fill up the can as soon as they empty it, and then we collect in the garage all week! Yikes! The biggest coniption has come from the stuffed animals I've gotten rid of. I sacked up probably 2/3rds of them and had much wailing and gnashing of teeth….

  11. Jessica Gordon

    Mel ~ The puzzles are well made (though some of the latches can be really hard to get open) and a great idea, which is why I've hung onto them for so long, but they take up so much space (especially since they don't stack well) and my children have never really spent much time playing with them. I moved them to one of the narrow new shelves in my school room thinking that they would now get used a little more often, and still there wasn't much interest. Funny thing is, when they were sitting by the front door today, ready to go, Snuggles started playing with them!! I ended up giving them to my mom, who said she'd keep them for when he comes over. They will probably get used more at her house than they have ever been used here! lol!

  12. Wendy

    HI Jessica – I know this is not in the right place, but can't see another spot to ask a question!! I love your wooden doll saints and would love to paint some with my children. Where do you buy them and what size are they?

    Thanks for sharing your life and all your inspirational ideas!!

  13. Anonymous

    Ok, your're house (what I can see in posts) always looks very tidy. where are you finding all this stuff to donate? I thought you just did a cleaning before the school year began.

    I always hang on to stuff thinking "the next kid". What kind of questions do you ask yourself before you get rid of it. I am looking for some help:)

  14. Anonymous

    I had some similiar puzzles and I ended up giving them to my doctor for use in the waiting room. Just an idea.

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Josette ~ I did do a very big cleaning before the beginning of the school year, when I moved all the rooms around, but still had quite a bit left to sort through… I never did finish getting through the pile of stuff (which had no where to go) that was moved to my room. Now, it is all (what's left of it) in my closet… 🙁 Also, when we brought out all the baby items (not to mention Christmas gifts) our home was quite over full again. Nevertheless, I am starting to feel like I have really simplified and these last nine bags may be very challenging…

    As for what I am asking myself, the questions that help the most are:

    "When did I (or the kids) last use this item?"

    "Is it something I use regularly and, if not, is it something I love?"

    "Is it worth the time I invest in cleaning or storing it?"


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