The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge

A guest blog by Bneato team member Lauren Mang

I first learned of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge from Pinterest while browsing organization ideas (follow my Hyper Organized Board if you dare). If you haven’t already signed up for a Pinterest account, I highly recommend you do. It’s an amazing and essential tool for the paperless lifestyle!

Back to the challenge… My interest was peaked as soon as I realized it was a giant list of rooms/areas to purge. The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge has been featured on a couple of different blogs, but I first learned of it on Little Lucy Lu’s page where she states ‘I love throwing things away like it’s nobody’s business. No, you don’t understand… I LOVE IT.’ Is this woman me?! Because I love it, too!

Here’s the breakdown: Rid your life/house of 40 bags of ‘stuff’ during the 40 days of Lent (which begins February 13, 2013 this year). This includes: junk, clutter, garbage, or things you no longer use or love. Bags do not have to mean great big giant garbage bags – they can be any kind of bag: ziplock bag, brown paper lunch bag, shopping bag, plastic bag, or even 95 gallon trash bags (yes, those exist). You can use the list above (from Little Lucy Lu) or you can create your own list according to your own needs. The point is, challenge yourself to really evaluate your items and make decisions of what you need and what you don’t.

Donate your bags to charity, or if you must, put them in the trash. Lent is traditionally a time when devote Catholics repent or fast. According to Wikipedia, today’s Catholics usually ‘give up a vice of theirs, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.’ It sounds like this challenge covers all three!

So take a page out of a Catholic’s book and give up clutter, give up junk, give up things you no longer love or use. At the end of 40 days you’ll have a better appreciation for the things you kept, and maybe even a small addiction to purging. Trust me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. We can all learn to live with less… in a matter of only forty days.

*side note: if you read this post after February 13, 2013, feel free to still take on the challenge. You can tailor it to your needs: do 2-3 areas or bags a day, instead  There are no rules other than doing your best to rid yourself of clutter!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

A guest blog by Bneato team member Lauren Mang.

I’m one of those people who likes to shop throughout the year for Christmas, rather than saving it up until the last minute. Yes, I have completed my shopping/buying by August in the past, and I realize that boggles most people’s minds. Let’s blame it on the organizer/planner in me. About this time of year I already have my carefully planned excel list of gifts by person, and most of those gifts purchased, leaving me to focus on another very important holiday tradition: stocking stuffers! This really is the most wonderful time of the year…

I was like a child on Christmas morning the moment I opened my mail box to find The Container Store’s booklet sized ‘Stocking Stuffers’ catalogue. I dropped the rest of the mail (naturally into a very neat pile, adressed immediately after I devoured said publication) and focused on the catalogue. The Container Store has been my favorite store to shop for stocking stuffers and holiday wrapping for several years now. Their selection is unmatched, and the quality of the products is worth the extra expense. Perhaps it also has to do with how clean and organized the store is: OCD strikes again!

Here are a few of my favorites from this year’s catalogue:

For Everyone: The Guard Your ID Roller. I might buy them out of stock because this product is genius. While I’ve been a fan of the Bed Bath and Beyond version (a simple stamp) this one allows you to block out information on objects of all shapes: like, say, prescription pill bottles. Blocking out your important information (name, address, account or prescription numbers) leaves less paper to shred, and therefore more time for holiday cheer.

For the Jet Setter: The RuMeID QR Decals & Luggage Tags. Gone are the days of writing out your name, address, phone number and email on your luggage for all to see. Did this make anyone else terribly nervous?! With these contemporary luggage tags you create a digital way of tracking any bags that may be misplaced by those overworked and underpaid airport employees. Bonuses: you can also tag important belongings like iPads, smart phones, and maybe even Fido? Furthermore the decals are scratch-proof and weather resistent, while the luggage tags are made from recycled materials! Who needs a white Christmas when you can have a green Christmas?!

For your Host(ess): Tumble Trivets. An apparent throw-back to the old Jacks game, these clever tiny silicon gizmos are a modern take on the traditional trivet. Not to worry, these little guys come with their own container, are safe for extremely hot temps, and can fit a variety of cooking tools: cookie sheets, pots, or your corn-ware.

For Her: The In.bag Handbag Organizer. Do you know someone who is constantly alternating handbags to match her outfit or keep up with the current season? Well, this is the product for them. Not only does it keep the interior of your bag safe from ink stains or snags, it allows women to swap handbags in one quick, organized second. This is the perfect accompaniment to the handbag you’re planning to purchase to put under the tree. If only Santa’s bag was this organized.

For Him: Smart Chargers. Fact: Men love techie stuff. Fact: Men hate running out of power – battery power, that is. Therefore this is the perfect gift for the man in your life. Not only is this great for the holidays (no one wants to wait and charge items when they could be watching/using/playing them!) but it will be great all year round! Just think of how many people could’ve kept connected with this device during Hurricane Sandy? Smart indeed.

For the Kids: The Macaroon Earbud Holders. These colorful holders are the perfect way to tame tangled wires. The best news: it suctions to your iPhone or iPad so they won’t get lost. I’m sensing a fad amongst school children with these thingamajigs. Maybe I’m a kid at heart because I can’t wait to get one of these for myself! Is it Christmas morning yet?!?!

These are just a few of the great stocking stuffers available at The Container Store. Run, don’t walk, before their supplies sell out!

the perfect coin purse


before i found my current coin purse, i was on a mad search to replace my old coin purse that had died and gone to coin purse heaven. for months, my change had no home, rolling around the deepest depths of my jessica simpson purse. it was impossible to find change which was (and still is) of mucho importance for my late-afternoon diet coke cravings where i’ll take a break and walk to the local mini-mart for my caffeine fix. and don’t get me wrong. i like my current coin purse. i just like the macy’s candy store brand better. they’re colorful which makes them easy to spot in a ginormous purse and they’re easily wipeable—which translates into long-lasting. and they’re $10 which means score!