40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS Game plan and starting out



last year we did a little thing here called 40 bags in 40 days during Lent, and what do ya know, it’s that time again!

It all started with this post. I have a tendency (don’t we all? or is that just me?) to hang onto things. Whether it’s old binders from when I was in college, something I got for a steal on clearance and had to buy five, crap from the dollar store, crafting stuff for all of the projects I haven’t started, baby clothes and toys, that “awesome find” at Goodwill, paper, or whatever! We all collect stuff, we hang on to it, and we let it consume us.

I’ve found that with blogging and taking pictures of my house all the time, I really started to realize all the stuff that was making my home look cluttered. Who cares if I have a pretty décor display when I have a huge stack of mail and crap sitting in the midst of it?

With the popularity of Pinterest, you start to notice that every beautiful space and beautiful room has something in common.



Source: bhg.com via Cha Cha on Pinterest




Gorgeous kitchen. No dishes, dirty appliances, or stacks of paper.



Swoon-worthy bedroom. But it’s missing the huge pile of laundry sitting next to the bed. Oh wait, you don’t have to have that in every bedroom? Oops. :)



A family room that shows signs of life, but is clean! I’d really enjoy sitting back with my family and watching a movie in this room without worrying about what I should be doing!

While I know that a little bit of clutter and mess is unavoidable, especially with three kids under three, my goal is to create a “pin worthy” home. One where we’re not afraid to let go of the stuff, keep only the stuff we need, and decorate with things that we love (not stuff that was simply “on sale”). I want to enjoy my home, have lots of people over, and not worry about the stuff that’s bogging us down.


To go along with the 40 bags in 40 days, I created this free printable game plan. There are two pages:


On the first, fill out what room or area you’d like to tackle on the left, then fill out the right hand column when you actually get to the room. If you skip a day, it’s fine. If you switch up the order it’s fine. This is just your game plan, the outcome of the game is up to you and will be different! ;)


What about those big items that you’d like to get rid of (I have a certain roll-top desk in mind) but don’t fit in a bag? Or other projects you’d like to work on? Turn to the second page. Fill those out in the first column, under “other items to clear out or sell.” Aside from the bags, I did really good on moving these out last year!

The second and third columns say “If I do this…” and “then I can do this…” and are kinda like a reward area. For instance, I’ve been wanting to paint the trim white in my house for about for-ev-er (in fact you’re probably sick of me talking about it…). If I sell the big huge desk in my living room, then I am going to reward myself by tackling the trim in that room and working on the redesign. If I finish the curtains, I am going to make throw pillows, and yada yada yada…


I don’t want this to become the “all 40 bags, all the time” channel, so I’ll be doing a few wrap up posts mixed in with the regularly scheduled programming here at whbs.

I’d love for you to join me and we can conquer that clutter together! (picture me doing a fist pump) Every Friday, I’ll be hosting a link party where you can link up your post(s) on progress from the week. Share your struggles, your before and afters, your ugly spots in your home, drawers that will make your readers think you’re a hoarder (cause I promise, we all have those problem spots), and your crazy pictures of bags.

Up to the challenge? The first step is admitting you have a problem… Here’s a button for lovely you:


and here’s the code if you’d like it:

<a href=http://whitehouseblackshutters.com target=”_blank” title=”join me for 40 bags in 40 days!”><img src=”http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/40P.png border=”0″ /></a>


Please take a look back at this post to see more on why I’m doing it, and please please please read all of the amazing comments. I cried while reading these, people. You’re not alone. You’re not a bad person for having clutter, and it’s not too late to free yourself. But most importantly (and I’ll say it again), you’re not alone! You can see more of last year’s journey here.

We start tomorrow, February 22nd, and will end on Saturday April 7th. Sundays aren’t included, so take those days to kick back, relax, and reflect. And maybe write your blog post?

I’m looking forward to our journey!  Are you in?

Have any questions? Leave a comment here!


  1. valerie says

    I’m doing 40 bags in 40 days at my mom’s house. I’m de-cluttering all of my stuff that never moved with me when I moved out, many many years ago! She’s thrilled!

  2. says

    Not sure if I can keep up, but god knows I have 40 bags of stuff to get rid of! It is worth a shot. The husband was just complaining about the junk.

  3. says

    I am so in! I even have a headstart: a utility closet full of clothes my little girls have outgrown that are bound for a consignment sale. Now if I can just let go of all the baby food jars, cardboard tubes and empty bottles I think I will eventually craft with! Now off to photograph my clutter and post on my blog!

  4. says

    I am BEYOND excited about this!!!!! When we moved last year we went from a 3 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom townhouse… we changed states and I thought I had gotten rid of enough stuff… NOPE. We will hopefully be moving into a house again soon but I don’t want to take all this JUNK with me. I have been working at it little by little but this is going to make it so much easier and more organized (something I greatly lack)

  5. Irene says

    Our MOPS groups is doing a yardsale for a fundraiser, great time to start this 40 bags in 40 days and since I don’t give up food for Lent, this is perfect!!! I am so bad with clutter, not organized. Thank you for the motivation.

  6. says

    Oh my – I’m a few days late getting in on this, but I have an overflowing basket of stuff to get rid of already, so maybe I’m not!

    Coincidentally – I also have a white house with black shutters!! LOL!

  7. Holly says

    Thanks for the inspiration! My mom and I are both going to take the 40 bags challenge. I am excited to clean out as I hold on to too much junk.

  8. Mary says

    I’m definately in, and have started. BUT, I am so OVERWHELMED!!!!!!! We recently moved from another state (only had 2 weeks to move for hubby’s new job). So, stuff wasn’t organized, and is just where we had from to put it. So, I have a massive job ahead of me. Any suggestions? I can’t stand clutter and not being, organized, but not sure what to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Suzette S. Ware says

    I’m in the same boat as Mary! We moved – stuff wasn’t organized and is just where it is. I can function, but everything is so VERY cluttered. It is overwhelming to say the least! So – I’m going to take the weekend and try to make my list of small jobs to tackle and hopefully, I’ll get started next week!

  10. Kathy Searcy says

    I just found this but I’ll start now and will finish by Memorial Day! So pumped! Thanks for the encouragement and plan!

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