40 bags in 40 days….. Getting rid of the crap

I’d seen it before…… The 40 bags in 40 days challenge and thought, what a good idea, but I had always looked the other way when it came to actually doing it. That is until this year, when I looked around my house, toppling in on me and screamed “enough is enough!”

You see, before I got married and had kids, I used to live in an organized, tidy environment. When I married, a little clutter began to creep in here and there, but I took a deep breath and accepted it. Now that I have two kids, who are just as bad as their dad (and all three of them are getting worse) I can’t stand the piles of stuff and things all over the place any longer.

My husband tried to blame me for the mess that is our home because I am a stay at home/homeschooling mom, but ya know what? That is such crap. I didn’t make these messes! I put things where they belong, I don’t drop them willy nilly! But this year…. This year I am done just trying to keep my head above water! This year, I am taking back my house with the 40 bags in 40 days challenge!

What is the 40 bags in 40 days challenge? Well some folks do it for lent, other do it just to get a grip, and me? I am doing it for my sanity! The basic gist of the whole event is to get rid of 40 bags of stuff in 40 days. Now I am not saying go plug the landfill! You can throw out, donate to charity, give to friends or have a yard sale to get rid of the stuff. And 40 bags doesn’t mean 30 gallon trash bags, though Hefty sells a nice box of 40 count 30 gallon trash bags, so that is MY personal goal. Thanks Hefty for giving me the perfect size box! You can do store bags or whatever size bags or boxes you have. There are no rules to the size of your “bags.”

Now the 2015 challenge official starts tomorrow (2/18/2015) but who needs an official date! This is a project you can do whenever! Maybe your house isn’t as bad as mine. I doubt anyone’s is as bad as mine, unless the filming crew for hoarders just pulled up in front of your house. Do what feels right for you! Make it a 10 bags in 10 days challenge. I might end up doing 80 bags in 80 days. My house is SUCH a chaotic, disheveled, higgledy- piggledy, jumbled mess that this may take years!

Seriously…. Look at my shame…..

So how does one start?

Don’t go nuts and burn yourself out. It is all about the long term goal! One bag per day, however little time it takes you to fill it. You don’t have to spend hours at this every day.

Have a plan! For me I am going room by room, starting with the bathroom, because it is the least messy, and working my way toward the front door. I am going to ease into this process so I don’t become overwhelmed, so the bathroom just makes sense for me.

Get a calendar and make sure you mark your progress. Seeing it will be a reminder and hold you accountable. A calendar will also give you pride as you check off the days. If you miss a day, don’t fret! Who says the days have to be consecutive!?!?

Just get rid of stuff! It’s really as easy as that. And don’t worry, you are not along in this process. I will be sharing embarrassing photos (like the ones above,) interesting stories of the things I find, and reminding everyone to bag it up over on our Facebook page, so come join in the fun!

Let’s do it!!!

**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**

56 thoughts on “40 bags in 40 days….. Getting rid of the crap

  1. Good for you! I did a lot of purging in Dc. when I was on break. I deep clean closets and stuff every year. It's easier with just the 2 of us 🙂 I taught my 3 kids how to be organized and used lots of containers, etc. Chores were a normal part of life for the- picking up after themselves, etc. There were social activities they missed, like birthday/sleepovers, etc. – "gee you forgot to clean your room", then they got it. I was not their maid. At 3rd grade I taught all of them to do their laundry (supervised) and they got that too. They've all thanked me as adults, as they know other adult who are clueless….

  2. We go through spurts. How we let one area get so crazy, I don't know. We are working on our basement right now. It is nice to see progress. Good Luck with your project, hopefully you can get the family on board 🙂

    1. I just filled my first bag!!!! *happy dance* I had one bag for the trash, a box I am putting things in for a yard sale, and a few items found their way back home! Yippy!!! Go get em Laura!!! We can do this!!!

  3. I am just appalled that your husband blames you for their mess. It doesn't matter if you stay at home right now; you might choose to work outside the home at some point and you obviously aren't brainless. You have better things to do then be their maid. That is just beyond disrespectful! It's sexist!

  4. Ummmm, well, yes it is LOL Plus I can only do so much while trying to care for a 3 yr old and homeschool the 8 yr old with Asperger's. But you know, women are supposed to be super woman I guess.

  5. What a great idea to help you get rid of stuff. Thanks for sharing your journey at Good Morning Mondays. Hopefully you get time to do a follow up on this one. Blessings

  6. Your piles and mine look so much alike! Very often we find a cat on top of homeschool supplies! I like this challenge. We actually just moved in our house about 6 months ago but after downsizing from a much larger house we just have too much stuff! Off to buy some bags!!

  7. Wow, it sounds like you have your hands full. I admire you for being able to do all of what you do. Thank you for sharing, I can't wait to see the progress and what funny things you find.

    1. Hands full and bags full!!! The barking light up dog key chain has been one of the most fun finds so far for the kids…. Me? I wish I had never found it and it had remained in the back of the closet LOL

  8. I am right there with you! I use to have no "crap" before I had kids! It's amazing how fast it piles up now! I just don't even know what to do with it all. Well, now I do…off to buy some bags 🙂

    1. I just pick a spot, sit down and fill that bag. When I am done, I walk away. The next day I might come back to the same area of pick a new one. There are no rules other then to just do it! Someday, my house will be found!!!

  9. I've seen this challenge too, and like you, have always kind of looked the other way. And then I realize how dang crabby this girl gets when there's clutter everywhere ( unavoidable I suppose with two toddlers) but I think now may be the time to finally hop on board! And your right about the long term goal, maybe I'll even set a goal of a bag of week 🙂

  10. That is awesome. I thought i was the only one with awful piles in my house (i do NOT intend to offend!!) I have piles all over my house and outside, I would so love to do this too!

  11. we are thinking of selling our house–the one where we've lived for 40 years and raised our children and three cats. I have been dreading the downsizing and clearing of closets and storage space–and that's just to get our house ready to show to possible buyers. Love the 40 bags/40 days idea: what an incentive. thanks for the how-to-do-it blueprint

    1. We have been here 12 and I could not imagine what our house would look like at 40 years. LOL Remember, pace yourself…. a little is better then nothing…. just keep plugging away.

  12. Great idea! I had never heard of the 40 X 40 challenge, but I love it! Stopping by during the Thursday blog hop.

  13. I know just how you feel. I just snapped at some point and couldn't live in all the clutter any more. I've been hard at decluttering since. It's taken a lot longer then I thought it would but it feels amazing every time another load leaves the house. Still a long way to go. Good luck!

    1. I know what you mean…. I keep going but if it weren't for the bags leaving I might not know things were actually happening LOL There is just too much after 12 years

  14. I saw a similar one yesterday that was 31 bags in 31 days (one month) but the thing that caught me in yours is that the days don't have to be consecutive!!!! I hadn't thought of that. I did one bag yesterday and thought "I'll never remember for x number of straight days" but maybe my plan will just be to get myself a stack of bags and do a bag whenever I can until the stack is gone. Thanks for sharing

    1. With two small boys, some days it is a miracle if I remember to eat breakfast before lunch rolls around. But I have my box of 40 bags, and when they are gone, I will know I made it!

  15. Awesome! I've been doing the same thing! I thought I was going mad and then I realized, nope, it's just my house was cluttered beyond belief! It's getting there, slowly but surely! Great job on your Big Clean!

    1. I tell ya, I keep plowing away and I do see dents here and there, but I have no idea how it ever got this bad! I will be doing way more then 40 bags LOL

  16. I'm not doing the 40 in 40 challenge, but I know the feeling! Our little house has way too much stuff. So far I've come up with three boxes to charity, a bag of clothes to my little sister, and the hubby has sold a few larger items on Craig's List. (Anyone want to buy a piano?) We're getting there! Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!

    1. Isn't it funny how you go through life, then one day look around and just go "That is it!" Taking it back is a process but one you start it is so rewarding. Heck my hubby got on board last weekend and fill 1-15 bags himself!

  17. Oh good luck with this! I've started getting rid of stuff last year, it's an ongoing project, but I am seeing progress, even so I haven't done a one sitting hardcore purge.

    Stopping by from Someday Crafts link up. Have a nice day!


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