40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge – Week 1

I love a good challenge, especially one that helps you get the clutter gone for good!

That’s why I’m excited to share with you the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge.  I’ve teamed up with 3 other wonderful bloggers (see them below) to help you remove 40 bags of clutter from your home in 40 Days.  It’s our goal to guide, encourage, and provide you with the best tips and ideas that will allow you to get rid of the items you no longer love, need, use or want.

There are so many reasons to participate in this Challenge:

  • There’s a definite beginning and end to it so you have a set timeframe to work within.
  • I find 40 to be a significant spiritual number and there’s something so cathartic when you remove the unnecessary from your life – it can be a spiritual experience!
  • You’re not alone! I’ll be joining you, as will many others.
  • If you’ve struggled to declutter before and haven’t made the time or had the motivation, a short-term challenge like this can be just want you need to jumpstart your organizing efforts.

I hope you’ll consider joining me – either as a blogger or as a participant – to edit the clutter out of your home and spaces so you can live a life surrounded by what you truly love.

40 Bags in 40 Days

Welcome to the first week of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge!

The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge is a weekly link up for bloggers to share their posts on spring cleaning, organization, and decluttering. If you’re a blogger, we would love for you to participate! If you don’t blog, you can still check out the featured posts and new posts below.

The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge runs each week, starting at 8am eastern time, and the link party stays open for new posts through Thursday so you have plenty of time to post. After that you will still be able to see all of the posts that have been linked. The party is open to bloggers from all over the world – though I can only read English.


Your Co-Hosts for the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge!

The bloggers bringing you the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge:

Aileen from Aileen Cooks | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Liana from By George Organizing | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Stephanie from Happily Homegrown | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Kaitlin from The Simply Organized Home | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


  1. Everyone is welcome to link up to 2 family friendly posts on cleaning, decluttering, or organization each week. We reserve the right to delete any posts we don’t believe to be “family friendly.”
  2. Please Follow your Hosts!
  3. Be a Good Party Goer and visit at least 3 other posts and don’t forget to comment!
  4. By linking to this party you are giving Aileen Cooks, By George Organizing, Happily Homegrown, and The Simply Organized Home permission to feature one picture on our websites, social media, and blogs. Proper credit will always be given to you. We are not responsible for stolen and/or misused images, misused projects and ideas.
  5. By participating in the link party, you give permission to receive a weekly email inviting you to the #40Bags40Days link party.
  6. We will be sharing the featured posts on social media and pinning a pin from the original article on 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge board and in the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge Facebook community. Don’t forget to follow along!


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Is free stuff really free?

is free stuff really free
Free stuff.  We love it don’t we? Whether it’s a beauty sample, a door prize or a simple goodie, the thrill of a free item enthralls us.
That is, until all those free items overtake our homes and spaces.  Then the novelty wears off and we are forced to decide what to do with it all.  Most of us are quick to use the excuse, ” But…it was free!” as a reason to hold on to it. Just like its close relative “But…that cost a fortune!” excuse, we often use an item’s value to determine whether or not we need to keep it.
However, value alone shouldn’t be the measuring stick for whether we hold onto things or not.

Is it really free?

Just because something is free doesn’t mean you have to keep it. And if you think about it, is it really “free” if it creates clutter that overwhelms you and imprisons you to a life of chaos?
As much as I love a good deal, “free” stuff isn’t always that great ~
  • it’s usually not made of good, quality material that will last
  • it offers short term satisfaction, but rarely serves a useful, lasting purpose in our lives
  • we don’t tend to value it as much because we don’t have a personal investment in it (i.e. our hard earned money)
  • too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing
So what should you do with your “free” stuff? If you use, need and love it then keep it; if not, let it go.
Don’t allow the price tag of an item, or lack thereof, keep you bogged down in clutter!

Before you take that free offer…

I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you about always accepting those free offers that are flashed in front of you.
We should be wary of collecting “free” items. Before you open your hand to the free offering, ask yourself:
  • do I really need it?
  • will it bring me lasting joy?
  • do I have space for it?

If you answer no to any of those questions, you don’t have to take it. Really, you don’t! And if someone asks you, “Why not? It’s free!” you have permission to give them my name ~ I’ll be happy to talk to them 😉

Free items can serve a purpose in our lives and bring us joy.  However, if we stockpile all the free things we are given and refuse to let them go,  then our free-dom is lost and we become enslaved to chaos and clutter.   Make the choice today and let freedom ring in your home and life!
What do you think…
Do you struggle with letting go of “free” stuff?
Have you considered how “free” may really not be “free”?
I’d love to know what your thoughts! Leave me a comment and let me know!

When Love & Organizing Don’t Mix

love and organizing

Do you and your special someone struggle to see eye to eye on being organized?

Do you often feel like you’re the Odd Couple – one messy and one neat freak?

I understand. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for over 25 years, but when it comes to organization we are on opposite ends of the organizing spectrum.

But that doesn’t mean that there’s no hope for you and your relationship! In fact, there are a few things you can do to help that special someone – all you need is a little LOVE!

When Love & Organizing Don’t Mix

Check out my video below and discover how to overcome the struggles in your relationship when love and organizing don’t mix!

Here are a few of the resources I mentioned in the video:

Organizing for Your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone

Additional blog posts on this topic:

What’s It Like Living with an Organized Person? Life from my Husband’s POV

Easy Ways to Help Organize Your Not-So Organized Spouse

Could these tips help you and the love of your life find common ground when it comes to getting organized?

Leave a comment and let me know!

What’s it like living with an organized person? Life from my husband’s POV

odd couple

Whenever I speak or teach at an event, I’m always asked the same question, “Can you help me organize my spouse?” I wish I could wave a wand and create magic for those who ask. But after living with a not-so-organized man for 25 years, I’ve learned you can’t change people, no matter how hard you try!

Although I’ve written tips on how to live with an not-so organized spouse before, I wondered how many of those same disorganized spouses would share what it’s like to live with an organized person. I’m sure it’s not a walk in the park for them either!

So I decided to ask my wonderful husband, Clint, a few questions about what it’s like living with me so you can get a different point of view.

Clint and Liana
Married for 25 years!

First though, you have to know that Clint and I are your classic “Odd Couple”: he is outgoing, funny, adventurous, spontaneous, and mild-mannered; I am an introvert, serious, cautious, predictable, and impatient. We don’t have the perfect marriage, but in our 25 years together we’ve learned to balance each other’s personalities, strengths and weakness to make it work for us and our family.

You also have to know that Clint is not a man of many words – I do most of the talking for the both of us! – so trying to get detailed answers out of him was like pulling teeth! But he was kind enough to go along….

Living with an organized person – my husband’s POV

What’s your favorite organizing project that I’ve done around the house and why?

Clint: Helping me organize the garage. Although it’s my “designated” space that you promise not to bug me about keeping organized, I do like that it is, somewhat.

What is your least favorite organizing project that I’ve done?

Clint: The pantry because I can never find stuff. (*Not sure why because everything is labeled in there!)

Would you say you’re organized?

Clint: No, not really.

Do you think you can be organized?

Clint: Yeah, I could be organized. But I don’t have to because you are!

What the worst organizing pet peeve you have about me?

Clint: You put things ways that I can never find again, you like to “hide” things. (*I don’t really hide them, I just don’t always keep them in plain sight!)

What’s the most disorganized room in our house?

Clint: The garage because my stuff is everywhere and I’m responsible for it.

How has my organized personality impacted our marriage?

Clint: It’s helped us get through a lot of challenges – kids, lots of moving. It’s balanced our our personalities and helped us create fun memories when traveling.

Has my organized personality helped you be better organized?

Clint: No, not really.

Clint and label maker
Caught ya! Clint using my label maker.

Me: That is not true…. I saw you using my label maker one day, I caught you purging your clothes before we went shopping and I’ve also noticed that you’ve become more of a list maker in the last few years too!

Clint: This is true.

Have you ever seen me disorganized?

Clint: Well, the kitchen isn’t your favorite room so it can get pretty messed up. But that’s partly because I’ve made the mess!

What do you think I do as an organizer?

Clint: You help people organize spaces, and you help people get ready for moving, events, and stuff. You probably make people get rid of things too because you never keep anything at our house. (*He’s right about that!)

How would you describe what living with an organized person is like?

Clint: It’s very organized.

Me: Seriously….

Clint: I’m being serious – that’s my answer. (*I tried to get a more rounded answer, but he wouldn’t budge and provide me with more!)

Okay, last question….what does it mean to containerize?

Clint: Is this a trick question?

Me: No.  Okay, do you think I go crazy with containers?

Clint: I don’t think you go overboard with them, but I don’t think we need a container for everything like you do.

So there you have it – some insight into what it’s like living with an organized person. I know that the organizing issue is a balancing act for some couples and it isn’t always easy, but it can be done! Clint and I are proof positive of that.

Communication, love and the support of one another can go a long way in making a house divided (in organizing terms), a house united!

** Special thanks to Sarah Soboleski of Classically Organized for inspiring this blog post.  You can read the interview she did with her husband here.

What would your better half say about you if you asked him/her about your organization or disorganization?

Leave me a comment and let me know.  I’d love to hear from you!