A New Lent Challenge


40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge

Cold Lake resident Charlene McKay is more than half way through the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. Every day during Lent, she is de-cluttering one area of her family’s home.

Her excessive fabric scraps went to a woman who stuffs pillows for the Lakeland Humane Society. The books she finished reading were donated to the public library and local thrift store, and the sewing patterns she wasn’t going to use anymore went to a friend who wanted them.

The first year she tackled her closet. Her friends were surprised when she told them, “I took out seventeen pounds of paper!” Participants don’t have to weigh their clutter though; they just need to fill a bag with it. A bag of any size. The idea originated in 2011 in the blog, White House Black Shutters and runs from March 1 to April 15.

McKay noticed that as she gives items away, she feels happier. As she’s been finding lost items and organizing once cluttered areas like closets, drawers and her pantry, she says, “I feel a sense of accomplishment. I own up to what I have now”. Her most surprising find was eleven pairs of snow pants her children had worn over the years. Now when she goes out shopping, she tries to buy what she needs. “When I look at my belongings, I see the things I no longer need in my life and I set them free because there are other people who can get joy from it.”

For those who are interested in sharing and documenting their experience with others, there are online social media groups to join, some of which include free forms which help you track your activity over the forty day period.