Purging With A Purpose Forty Days-Forty Items


Purging with a Purpose

Forty Days – Forty Items -Let’s Do It Again

It’s that time again friends. This is the second third year I have shared this and each year it has been a success in our home. This year is especially poignant because I am focusing on a full year of maintenance for 2019. Last year I did a massive purge throughout our home. First stop was my dresser drawers. Yes, every drawer in the house and now I have moved on to my closets and this year, I am doing small purges and refreshes in an effort to maintain the status quo.


How did this all begin and what are Forty Days – Forty Items? Well, I’ll explain. You see a couple of years ago I came across a post on Facebook that was entitled “Forty Days – Forty Items” and it struck a chord with me. The headline was referring to the beginning of Lent which begins, this year, on Wednesday, March 6 and ends on Thursday, April 18. 

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In case you are not familiar with Lent and its meaning, let me explain a bit. Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday. The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry. In today’s church, Lent is a time to repent, fast and prepare for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection and a time when Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something as a form of sacrifice or to volunteer and give of themselves to others. Bottom line, it’s all about the examination of one’s self and giving.

When I read the Headline, “Forty Days – Forty Items”, I was still trying to decide what I should give up for Lent last year. But once I read the headline and the concept behind it, I knew what I would do. I would give up a piece of clothing or some other item that meant something to me, every day for the next 40 days. I also decided that I would not give away just old stuff, but I would sacrifice those items that were nice but waiting for me to perhaps lose the next 20 pounds so I could wear them again or laying around but not used often. I would sacrifice duplicate items. I would truly sacrifice. And I did.


Doing this was so fulfilling that I am doing it again this year and I am challenging you to join me. Last year, I completed a household purge and reorganization. But during this time of Lent, I will begin again with closets, drawers, kitchen cabinets, etc., specifically to sacrifice some of those items that I could not part with during the initial purge. You see, with a different mindset of actually giving something up for Lent coupled with the fact that I made a promise to part with things that I truly care about, I know the second purge will be more meaningful to me. And yes, hubs will get involved as well.


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When I  began this journey the first year, my husband did not part with anything he truly loved. He said that I am always purging and if I keep purging we will have nothing. 🙂 Of course, that isn’t true. But he too, with this new commitment, has committed to purging even more. When we did purge with a purpose last year, I am proud to say, I sacrificed six jackets/coats and many other household items. Two things happened during the purge. We purged things that others could use immediately without repair, and still in style. I did not want to give people things I no longer cared for only. Not this time. That would not have been a sacrifice. And the second thing that happened was that I felt so blessed that I could part with stuff and still have all that I need. I had such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Giving to others not only blesses the receiver, but it also blesses the giver.


I will include every closet in the house during the purge with a purpose. No closet or drawer or storage box is off limit. Not even the master closet. The master closet is special because I organized it last year with all non-slip hangers, coordinated by colors with like pieces all hanging together. Yes, I will go through the closet I totally organized last year…I call it maintenance. Right now I am chomping at the bit to get to it and pull my sacrifice piece out each day. And of course, it is also an excuse to refresh the closet along the way.  I have thought about it often and believe it or not, I am excited to pull a usable, pretty piece out of that closet and place it into my 40 pieces in 40 days basket to bless someone else.

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I have not decided which charity I will donate the items to once Lent is over, but I’m sure God will order my steps and reveal that to me as I go along. He has in the past.

You may not get involved in this challenge for the same reasons I did and that is perfectly okay. Your reasons are your own but do take the challenge. If you accept the challenge as a way to clean out and organize one closet in your home, just imagine the progress you will have made at the end of the 40 days and who knows, you may decide to purge 2 pieces or more per day. And you will be very pleased with yourself when your purge is over.

If not for Lent, why not get a jump on your spring cleaning and get rid of things that you know you no longer need? Why are you holding on to them? Why not help someone else while you help you and your family as well? Lighten your clutter load and help someone else while you’re at it. It’s a win-win.


If however, you choose to do this purge in conjunction with Lent, You will feel a double sense of satisfaction. I know it was a good choice for me. Hey if you join this challenge, please use the following hashtag, #purgingwithapurpose when sharing the concept and/or pictures of your purged pile. Blessings to you!

You still have time to prepare. Get your basket or box ready and get your mind wrapped around the idea to purge with a purpose. Let’s take the challenge together!

Although I don’t know her, I would like to thank Mary Beth for sharing this idea on my FaceBook feed a couple of years ago. It sparked my family, a few of my friends and hopefully, it will spark my Command Center readers to take this positive challenge as well.

Keep this going and share with your family and friends. Let’s see how much clutter we can get rid of while helping others during this season of Lent.

Note: I am not storing my items in a trash bag. No no, I do not want to get side-tracked or distracted; therefore, I am storing my items in a wicker basket that sits in my closet. That way I remember my promise and commitment to purge daily. If the basket fills before the forty days are up, which is inevitable,  I will move them to the bag but continue to feed the basket.


Will you take the challenge? Are you ready to purge with a purpose?

22 thoughts on “Purging With A Purpose Forty Days-Forty Items

  1. Beverly says:

    I love this idea of purging with a purpose. I gave up chocolate for Lent and it is tough because I love my chocolate and have some everyday. I am going to add your idea to my list. I have a couple of days to make up but I can do it.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Carol says:

    Interesting idea, I’ve never considered a purge for Lent. I usually give up TV, and add reading spiritual books to my time. It seems to work for me.

  3. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Carol, everyone gives up what they feel would be a sacrifice. There is no wrong or right answer. Your idea of giving up TV and reading more devotional books is a great one. Blessing and success on your Lent experience.

  4. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Shana, Thank you for stopping by. I love this project. I get to clean out my home while blessing someone else and I’m not just giving away stuff, I am actually sacrificing things that I could keep. It is a good feeling.

  5. Clearissa Coward says:

    That’s what I am doing this year Elise. I have challenged myself and anyone else who would like to accept the challenge, to go through my entire home in 2018 and purge and organize. 2019 will be all about maintain the organization.

  6. Clearissa Coward says:

    I can relate. But I’ve found that if I purge while he’s away, he rarely notices an item is gone. I prefer it when we do it together but sometimes he just slows me down. 😉 Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Pat says:

    This is a wonderful idea, Clarrisa. I always have a bag in my closet ready to hold clothes that no longer fit or I don’t wear much any longer and now I will make a conscious effort to add more during Lent and donate to the Salvation Army or ARC. I’m also going through my bookshelves and donating books to the library and other organizations.I’ll encourage my grandchildren to go through their toys at my house and do some donating too!

  10. Clearissa Coward says:

    Good for you Pat. Donating toys and books is also a good idea. I have just cleared out all of my DVDs and CDs. We really watch everything on the firestick or Netflix and you can get music from almost everywhere so I have 4 boxes to donate. That left me a little more room to keep some of my books. I have a difficult time parting with hardbacks. I still love the feel of a book in my hand instead of a Kindle. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.

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  12. Alice v says:

    This is a great idea! I need to do another purge of items in our garage that we will never use nor have a real need for. I hate collecting stuff even though I love getting new things. I’m trying to be more practical in purchases, buying what we need and what we know we will use.

  13. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Alice, we have the exact same problem. I love getting new things but I hate to have things just laying around that I do not need or use. The upside to that is that when we do purge, we get to donate and bless someone else. Thank you for stopping by.

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