40 Days – 40 Items Challenge

January 17, 2022

A New Challenge for 2022

Over the past several years, I have encouraged us to give away 1 Item each day for 40 Days! Beginning on the first day of Lent and going until Easter, items that you found around your house that were useable but not being used by you, were to go into the bag and after Easter be donated to your local charity of choice.  This year I want to challenge you to consider throwing away 1 item every day for 40 days.  Wednesday, March 2nd (the first day of Lent in 2022) is our starting day. 

One of the best parts about this challenge is instead of feeling deprived from giving up something you can feel determined to find the item and either donate it or dispose of it. You get to decide. 

Items to be DONATED (items in good repair that you will take to the local thrift store or donation center)


Items to be DISPOSED (old paperwork, mail, old school papers, old magazines)

Remember, all you need is a large black trash bag!  Once an item goes in the bag, it doesn’t get to come back out!!!  Be sure to shred items with personal information or financial information. 

You may be thinking, “I don’t have 40 EXTRA items!”.  Let’s look at some areas that you might find a few, and remember you only need 1 each day. 



            Extra Coats:  Winter is almost over, are there any coats you or other family members did not wear this year?  Check the pockets before placing them in the bag (never know there might be a $5 bill that you put in there and forgot!). 

            Boots and Shoes:  I am a fan of all boots so this is hard for me too, but we all have shoes and boots that just don’t fit as well as they should.  Here’s your chance to donate them! 

            Scarfs and Ties:  There aren’t many offices anymore that require a tie (if yours does, I’m sorry).  So how many ties should a man own? 10, that’s all.  Check out this article about different neckties:  https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/9-neckties-to-own/  then pick out the best of yours and donate the rest.  If you find you need more, I am sure you can ask for some at Christmas and you will get plenty! 

And ladies, what about all those different scarves?  I saw an article online that says there are 15 different “styles”.  Scarfs are very versatile and add style, but, if you aren’t in a climate that needs extra layers, they can just sit in a drawer and never be that “cute accessory” you wanted them to be. 

 T-Shirts:  How do we get so many of these?  They are given to us at “walks”, “first 15K people at the baseball game”, “golf tournaments”, “children’s sports teams”, “college orientation”, not to mention the ones we buy!  You know the long sleeve one you bought to put on when the weather turned cold at the beach!  Or the one from the cool bar in Mexico! 

And I know you are holding on to the “old ones” to work in the yard.  But let’s get real here—how many T-shirts do you and every member of your family need?  If you put EVERY T-SHIRT in your house on your bed, how many do you think you have?  You may be able to get most of your 40 items just from T-shirts!  

And that T-Shirt Quilt you keep saying you want to make…Going through the stacks of shirts on the bed may help you pick out the ones for the quilt.  There are lots of online resources if you are considering this for your child or spouse.  The smaller quilts require 12 T-shirts (3 x 4), larger quilts require 30 (5 x 6).

Kitchen Cabinets:

            Plastic Cups and Storage Containers:  I love Dickie’s BBQ and their Big Yellow Cups are awesome, but we don’t need a cabinet full of plastic cups from anywhere.  One tip—these cups make great containers for celery, asparagus, and other herbs that you want to stand up in your refrigerator in a small amount of water.  Plastic storage containers–honestly these may not be “donation worthy”, but while we are looking for items, let’s rid ourselves of these too.  Match your containers with their lids.  Any containers that do not have lids can be re-purposed as I mentioned before or if large enough they can be used to contain snacks in the pantry or smaller ones can be used in drawers to contain pencils, pens, clips, etc.

            Coffee Cups:  Start with ones to put in the trash first—chipped, cracked, or stained ones.  Next, cups with logos that don’t hold any meaning or attachment for you—get rid of these and don’t accept any more.  Pick out your favorites or ones that match your dishes and knowing that you will wash dishes almost daily, the rest can go.  How much space in the cabinet did you just open up?   

 Gadgets You Don’t Use:  This can be as simple as an Avocado Knife or Apple Slicer.  If you tend to forget you have these and just grab a knife—donate them.  It can also be larger items that take up a lot of space like Waffle Makers, Ice Cream Makers, even Crock-Pots.  

            Aprons, Potholders, Decorative Towels:  These can “multiple” over time.  One cute wine towel turns into a whole collection!!  Keep your favorites and share the rest knowing they will make someone else smile too.


            Lawn or Yard Equipment:  Any duplicates?  These may not fit in the bag, but you can still donate them! 

            Outgrown Children’s Toys:  If you are about to send them to college and you still have their first bike, and every type of ball, bats, and gloves, you may want to gather these up and donate. 

Office/Arts & Crafts/Hobbies:

Old Files and Piles:  You may think that only throwing 1 piece of paper away each day isn’t going to change much on your desk or in your file cabinet.  You’re Right!  So instead, you can clean out 1 file per day.  That may be multiple sheets of paper, or it may be a whole year of bank statements (you only need to keep them for 1 year—if tax deduction, 3 years).  If you tend to make piles on your desk and or the floor, then tackle 1 pile per day.

Extra Supplies:  Have you noticed all the “adult” coloring books? I’m sure some people enjoy coloring on cold or rainy days.  I’m sure it is very relaxing.  And I’m sure some people were given these books and fancy pencils that have never used them and that’s okay too.  If you have any craft supplies that are unopened and useable, these are always appreciated at donation centers.  Many home care providers (both child and senior caretakers) are looking for these at a discounted price. 

Books, Magazines, School Notebooks: These may not be in your office, and you may not have even thought about them for years, but if you have a box in the attic or the garage with all your old college notebooks it’s time to toss them.  Years of old magazines that you were going to cut the recipes from or catalogs of items you don’t need to buy anyway—just put them in the black bag!  Books can be donated to local libraries or placed in “book exchange boxes”.  There are several in Navarre.   

Where to Donate

I encourage you to find a local charity to work with for your donations.  You can usually find a church-based Thrift/Resale shop for clothing and kitchen items.  Organizations that provide care to children (Child Abuse centers, Low Income After School Care) are always looking for craft and art supplies as well as toys to use with the children.  Animal shelters always need clean towels, and blankets as well as pet kennels and other items from your garage.  

Here are some links to non-profits in Navarre and Santa Rosa County:

Good Neighbor Thrift Store:  https://www.facebook.com/numcthriftstore/

Santa Rosa Kids House:  https://www.santarosakidshouse.com/support-srkh

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge: http://emeraldcoastwildliferefuge.org/emerald-coast-wildlife-refuge/donate

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