40 Bags in 40 Days Summer Edition

Maybe you’ve heard of this thing called 40 Bags in 40 Days. Maybe you tried it and didn’t stick with it. Maybe you wished you had tried it, but were scared to commit. Or maybe, you haven’t heard of it at all (in that case, keep reading).

We have too much stuff in our lives and we have too many people trying to sell us more stuff. We don’t need to organize, that’s not the focus here, we need to seriously get rid of stuff and stop buying more. You do that, and I promise you that you will be happier.


join the decluttering revolution! Challenge yourself to simplify and get rid of 40 bags in 40 days. #40bagsin40days


A forty day period where you focus on cleaning one area per day. In this one area you challenge yourself to declutter, simplify, decrapify, and get rid of things you don’t need. NOT JUST ORGANIZE THOSE THINGS! Get rid of stuff.

The goal is to clean one spot a day (it can be any size bag, you don’t need a full bag) but you can do more or less!

Start up, get some friends to join you, like our page for help and tips, and join the closed Facebook group.



  1. Print out this printable to plan all of the spots you are going to work on each day. Use pencil!
  2. Stuck? Here is a list of suggestions for places in your home and another with “non-stuff” places to declutter
  3. Print out another printable to keep track of your actual progress. You don’t have to go in order. Fill out the date, the spot you cleaned, and the progress you made.


Other than that, just get rid of stuff. It’s really as easy as that!


But HOW do I start? I feel overwhelmed.

Here are some quick tips:

  1. Just start. Work on a small area like a drawer. Head to one spot and commit to it.
  2. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Make three piles: put away, throw out, donate. And take care of it now!
  4. Focus on getting rid of stuff instead of organizing it.
  5. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Make spots, stick to them, and if you can’t find a good spot, reevaluate whether you need it.
  6. Have kids? Put on a movie for them or bring out a big bin of fun (more on how we keep toys organized here).
  7. It might get worse before it gets better and no one might notice except you. That’s okay. Keep going.
  8. Take a picture of the spot. Sometimes we put blinders on, look at the picture and make it better in real life. Challenge yourself to get a good “after”. Share it online or just keep it to yourself. I promise, if you are getting rid of stuff, you will notice a difference.


Decluttering in the Summer

I don’t know about you but I want to spend my summer having fun, not cleaning. And I don’t want to spend it on a computer telling you how to clean. ;) This challenge will be different in that we’ll focus on the mess in quick spurts so that we can get on with our day and enjoy it.


How I’ll Help You

Like our facebook page for support, tips, and more discussion about the challenge:

Join us on Instagram, I’m @whbsblog, and you can use the hashtag #40bagsin40days.

Sign up here for email updates:


I want everyone I know to join us. I want everyone you know to join us. I want to change our lives, I want to see your progress. Big or small, embarrassing or beautiful. I want to help you and I want you to become a better version of yourself. We are in this together.

I want everyone to know that:

  1. You don’t need all of this stuff.
  2. It won’t make you happier.
  3. Your home should not make you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
  4. You do not need to be embarrassed.
  5. You can do this. (repeat that)
  6. You are not alone in feeling this way.

join the decluttering revolution! Challenge yourself to simplify and get rid of 40 bags in 40 days. #40bagsin40days

If you’d like to read more  on why I started the challenge and how long I’ve been doing 40 Bags in 40 Days, read here.

Soooo… are you in?

Ann Marie Heasley
Hi there, I'm Ann Marie! I get a kick out of making stuff, love pops of color, and am a garage sale junkie. My style is simple, colorful, and kid-friendly. I think your home should be a place where you feel happy! Join me as I share glimpses of our everyday life, creative projects, and tips to make your life a simple one.
Ann Marie Heasley
Ann Marie Heasley
Ann Marie Heasley

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  1. Mary W says

    I’m in! Getting ready to move, have been living at my dad’s temporarily and so all of my things are in boxes, but all have been picked through and need to be repacked. Moving in with my boyfriend means I need to pare down, so I need all of the help I can get!

    • Michelle B says

      I’m in the same boat – moving out of my 20 year home into a small apartment with the MAN. Pare down and simplify!

  2. jen p. says

    I am so in for the summer decrapifying. I vow to continue on :). Thanks so much for the motivation and encouragement Anne Marie.

  3. Sam says

    I started this in the spring and have gotten rid of 60 bags of stuff! Disclaimer: I used plastic grocery store bags most of the time and larger objects counted for a bag (crib, chair etc.). I feel so much better but still have a lot of work to do so I’m glad to start again! I had many family members move from the area and I became the collection space for things no one wanted but didn’t want to get rid of. I also have four boys who “collect” and all the stuff I saved from babyhood and on. I was ruthless and haven’t looked back! I stopped going to yard sales, I don’t need all that stuff even though it was only $1! I would love to finish this summer! Thanks for the incentive!

  4. says

    I have gotten rid of so much this year and it feels good! 3 SUV loads to Salvation Army, 6 totes to the consignment store, a truckload to dumpster day and filled 2/3 rds of a habitat for humanity truck. Plus sold a whole couch set so I’m feeling pretty happy and uncluttered!

  5. Gaylene says

    I started in January and have been on the mission to decrapify my home! I can’t even begin to remember all that I’ve gotten rid of (which tells you that I didn’t use it or need it) but I can tell you that my house is much easier to keep clean now. Still working on getting rid of more. I don’t want possessions to take up so much of my time!

    • Kelley says

      I am inspired by your thought “I don’t want possessions to take up so much of my time”. I am actually embarrassed to have people over, I don’t enjoy it because I know my house is cluttered. I really want to work on it this fall. I really want to decrapify.
      Thanks for you thoughts.

  6. says

    This could not have come at a better time…we just sold our 2800 sq ft home and are relocating to a smaller ranch with just 1800 sq ft. I am so in on this!! I’ve printed out the checklist and am starting right away!! Thanks so much for sharing this idea!!

  7. says

    I am THRILLED to find this page, this post, and YOU! We are in the process of adopting and are doing a huge garage sale to get some much needed funds. This will be a BIG boost in helping us achieve this goal. I have been doing this for 2 days and already have 6 bags. I might need to slow down but I am pretty sure I will still have 60 plus more bags. Not only does it make me happy to have a cleaner home, I also feel like I am cleaning my soul. Dramatic I know, but it’s so freeing to be free of unused stuff…so thanks!

  8. MichelleW says

    A little late commenting…But, yes, I am in.

    So far, I’ve thrown out 2 kitchen trash bags of stuff. And, taken a crate of magazines and newspapers to be recycled.

    Today’s trash bag was mostly old lotions & make up from the bathroom closet. I was shocked at how much old product was in there. Tons of it was B&BW lotions. I haven’t shopped there for over 10 years. Some of it was looking rather bad.

    • Cynthia says

      WHY do we hang on to that stuff?? I did the same thing. I wasn’t using these things but was reluctant to throw them away. Duh.

  9. Stephanie says

    I did this challenge back in April (I was a bit late to the party) and got rid of over 30 bags of stuff from my walk-in closet and bathroom! WOW! This time around I will be focusing on the kitchen, living room and pantry. Husband and I are planning to move in October and I would LOVE to be completely decluttered by then. I know it’s possible!

  10. Cynthia says

    I started this earlier this year. I didn’t quite make the 40 days, but I DID get some spots cleaned out and got rid of a lot of stuff—either thrown away, donated, or saved for a yard sale. It’s such a great feeling, and doesn’t take much time each day. I’m going to start again!

  11. Sharon Kerrigan says

    I definitely did not make 40 days, but did do a number of small projects. The wonderful result is that every time I open a drawer or closet that I’ve cleaned out, I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment. Now I am encouraged to begin anew and have even mores spaces to be proud of! Thank you!!

  12. Jayne says

    Although not quite up for 40 bags in 40 days, I’m in!!

    I started last week and got 2 bags of garbage and 3 bags to donate from my daughter’s bedroom floor (how sad is that?!) and our entryway! And my 3 kids are FINALLY helping! They know that the wrath of Momma will strike if they leave stuff in the entryway. Fear is a good thing! ;-)

    Tomorrow I’m tackling my closet and drawers. I”m so tired of cramming stuff into them! Wish me luck!

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