40 bags of stuff. · 40 trash bag challenge

40 Trash Bag Lenten Challenge

Ash Wednesday is February 17, 2010.   Next week.   I am looking forward to it.

We are doing the 40 trash bag thing.  Really,  I know it might sound a little bit insane that I can actually rid my family of 40 bags of stuff each year, but we manage to do it.

Last year’s Lenten Challenge

I know this has been making the rounds this year again and I really appreciate all the wonderful families that join with ours in doing this.  If you would like me to link to your blog just leave a comment and I will add you in.  This year I will be sending out reminders via twitter at simplycatholic1.  Last year I set up a facebook page and you can also connect there.  And here of course is where I will be posting my progress.

So, this weekend I am picking up a few boxes (for books and such) and I am excited to start this on Wednesday.

This year’s bags:

Monday the 22nd – Friday the 26th : A bag of Ashley’s clothing, A bag of Rachel clothing, A bag from the boy’s room, two bags of toys.

Saturday the 20th: A bag of Kyle’s clothing.

Friday the 19th: A bag of clothing from the girl’s room

Thursday the 18th: A bag of clothing from the girls’ room.

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow.  The first bag is going to come from my closet – clothing.   Update: This bag took me about 10 minutes.  I didn’t let myself over think the items I was putting in the bag.  I would love to wear some of the stuff again (if I lost 30 pounds) or some things I have hardly worn… but if I hardly wear them why keep them?   I literally put  two dresses in the bag that I have never worn and I let myself part with the chiffon dress I made for Ashley’s Christening and have worn about twice since.   I have been hanging onto this thing for almost 18 years when it could be someone’s favorite dress.  So I let it go.

40 trash bag challenge

40 Trash Bag Challenge Starts Tomorrow


Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the start of the 40 trash bag challenge.

When possible I plan to donate those things I am getting rid of.  There are many things I have that I do not want and do not need but would be perfectly serviceable for someone else.   Then there are things that have stayed in my home that are sheer folly — I don’t need them – I don’t want them – I will never use them – in some cases they aren’t use-able but I don’t let them go.  I cling to something material when I should just let it go.

But the first bag is going to definitely be a useful bag.  I am going through my closet and I am going to be brutal.  If I haven’t worn something in a year, and I have no plans to wear it in the next few months,  if it doesn’t fit today it is gone.  I will allow myself three exceptions and the rest is going to charity.


Something a little different

So I like to look over new things from time to time.  A friend sent me information on this so I though I would try out an online curriculum called Time4Learning here is there required disclaimer:

I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning’s online curriculum for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own so be sure to come back and read my experience with Time4Learning’s educational program. Click to find out more or if you would like to apply to be considered for a review.


40 Trashbag Challenge — Back by Popular Demand

Lent is quickly approaching and with it my chance to simplify again and part of that is letting go of extra stuff.

Two years ago I did my first 40 trash bag challenge and then last year I did it as part of Lent.  I found that doing the “letting” go as part of Lent worked well for me.  Lent is a time of letting go and looking closely at our lives and getting rid of those things which interfere with our ability to focus on the most important things.

So, once again, the 40 trash bag challenge:

I started the 40 trashbag challenge in order to declutter my house.

How it works:

1. Pick what size of trash bag you want to use.  I used tall kitchen bags (use what works for you, paper sack, grocery bag  to  lawn and garden bag).
2. Each week day for eight weeks fill one bag (or equivalent).  It can be a bag of  toys, clothes, papers, collected junk mail, 1992 tax forms — whatever you have too much of. Equivalents count:  anything about the size of a trash bag counts:  a box of books, an old TV, a computer system.   Anything that you can count as clutter or excess is fair game.
3. Make it go away.  Donate as much as you can,  sell something if it has real value (but don’t count it until it is gone) don’t be afraid to trash things.
4. Update on your blog or leave a comment here once in awhile.  Let someone know how it goes.
5. Have fun.  This means feel free to rewrite the rules to fit your life.  Letting go of stuff is liberating — yes, it is a chore, but it is a good thing.