Keeping things organized can be tough. With so much extra stuff, we have houses overflowing with items that we don’t need. In fact, we have so much stuff… that we have to buy stuff to store our stuff!
I don’t know about you, but that really bothers me. Nothing makes me feel better than throwing things away. I absolutely love it. There’s something refreshing about downsizing and looking at the dent I made in my pile of crap.
While it’s not an absolute necessity to throw away all your earthly belongings to have a clean house, you definitely can’t be a hoarder. If you have trouble letting material possessions go, this challenge might not be for you.
However, if one of your new year’s resolutions included fixing your pig stye of a house – and you’re willing to buck up and let some stuff go – then this is the right place for you.
Are you ready? Let’s do it!
Each day, I want you to bring along a notebook, a trash bag, a donation bag or box, your daily task checklist, and this list to decide whether or not to keep certain items. Each day, when you approach the area you’re getting ready to tackle,
- Envision this space in the most ideal way you can imagine.
- Now open your eyes & assess the situation. What needs to change?
- Go over each item in the designated area. Ask yourself these questions, and place it in one of three piles (KEEP, DONATE, TOSS)
- Has this item been used in the past 6 months?
- YES? Keep. NO? >>>
- Is this item of any material or emotional value that would make me want to keep it around?
- YES? Keep or donate. NO? >>>
- Does this item bring JOY to my heart or BEAUTY to my home?
- YES? Keep. NO? >>>
- Is this item still in good condition?
- YES? Donate. NO? Toss.
- Has this item been used in the past 6 months?
- Clean the area thoroughly.
- Now, look at the items you chose to keep. Decide if they are currently in the proper place. If not, put them where they should go.
- You are now left with a clean space & only appropriate items for the area. Organize those items in a beautiful & tidy way.
- Go back to how you envision that space in its best way. Write down some ways to make it even better. If you can do any of those today, DO IT! If you need to purchase items or need help, put those things on your to-do list.
PRINTABLE CHECKLISTS: 30 Day Organization Challenge
Day #1. Take a survey of your home. Is it everything you’ve ever dreamed it would be? I’m willing to bet that it isn’t. Take a moment to envision your perfect home. Close your eyes if you need to. Now, look around. Write down 5 things that stick out to you that truly bother you about your home. These could be problem areas where junk has accumulated, places that you haven’t cleaned in years, or the fact that your couch doesn’t have any pillows. Jot down the FIRST FIVE THINGS that come to your mind – anything that doesn’t make you happy when you look at it. Let’s call it your happy list.
Day #2. Begin in your bedroom. After all, this is probably the place that you spend a lot of time. Our bedrooms are where we press our reset button every morning, where we relax, dream and love. If you don’t feel relaxed in your room, then nothing else matters. Today, focus on SURFACES. Dresser tops, nightstands, any open space with clutter on it. Do a deep dusting as well. Also, tackle under the bed. Crawl under there to save all stray items, then vacuum.
Day #3. Today, move on to bedroom DRAWERS of your dressers & nightstands. Work on the way that things are folded in your dresser drawers. Simply refolding things will help clean up the inside. My favorite way is to military roll everything!
Day #4. Purge your bedroom CLOSET. Give away those clothes you haven’t worn in years. Organize clothes by type, season, color, or whatever floats your boat. Throw away broken hangers. Pick up clothes that have fallen on the floor. If you have any extra crap hanging out on your closet floor, pick it up and put it where it belongs.
Day #5. Move on to the bathroom/s today. First, clean up all surface space. If you want your house to look clean, you shouldn’t have all your toiletries lying around on the sink. Clean it up! Wipe it down! Store things in the cabinets, drawers, or little jars. Mason jars can do wonders for cleaning up your bathroom space. Second, go through your showers. Throw away 99% used bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and soap. Toss razors that don’t work. Use a magic eraser or bathroom cleaner and a paper towel to wipe down the shower and restock the shelves with ONLY items you are currently using.
Day #6. If you have drawers, cabinets or closets in your bathroom, today is the day. Aren’t you excited? I can just about guarantee you that you can fill up at least one trash bag in your bathroom. We buy so many unnecessary products for our bodies. Toothpaste, deodorant, razors, shampoo, conditioner, soaps, shaving gels, perfumes, nail polish, nail polish remover, makeup, cotton balls, sanitary products, sunscreen, aloe, hand soaps, and the list goes ON AND ON AND ON! We half us products and they get stuffed in the cabinets. It’s honestly ridiculous. Put on your game face and get rid of this stuff. Don’t feel guilty. If it’s been sitting in the drawers for over 6 months, don’t think twice. Just throw it out.
Day #7. Laundry time! Today you are going to tackle your laundry room. For some of us, that will take ten minutes. For others, this could mean your entire afternoon. Line up those laundry baskets, organize those clothes, and wipe up the detergent that spilled in the corner two months ago. If you keep your cleaning supplies here, go through them and throw away the ones you don’t like or no longer use. And while you’re in there, do the laundry that hasn’t been done in a week. 🙂
Day #8. Next, the kitchen! This might be a real doozy for some of you. Aside from the bathroom, the kitchen definitely takes the biggest abuse from us. Food is the center of our existence: our social life & our survival. Sometimes things can get a bit crowded in there before we even realize it. Today organize the clutter on your countertops. Put stuff back where it belongs. Consider placing a basket there for items that don’t belong in the kitchen & each week taking those things to their original resting places. Today, also tackle your medicine cabinet. Throw away expired and empty medication, and organize the rest by type and use (ex. Tylenol/Ibuprofen/Benadryl is used often so you could put it on the bottom shelf where it easily accessible. Keep daily meds, such as prescriptions, in an easy to reach place. Just in case drugs, such as cough drops, laxatives, nasal sprays, cold & flu, in the back.)
Day #9. Pantry & other food cabinets. Take out ALL your food. Wipe down all the shelves. Throw out expired food and stuff nobody eats. Reorganize.
Day #10. The pots & pans cabinet and the silverware drawer. I know that both of these can be a big pain. Take everything out, wipe down the shelves/drawers, and reorganize.
Day #11. “The Junk Drawer”. You guys know what I’m talking about. Maybe you have a junk cabinet. For some people, it’s under their sink. For others, it’s that drawer that turned into a war zone somewhere along the way and you’re scared to stick your hand in there. Roll up your sleeves and dig in! Throw stuff out, wipe down the area, and reorganize.
Day #12. Today, follow suit with the remaining cabinets in your kitchen.
Day #13. Today, you are going to clean your fridge. I know it sounds daunting, but it really isn’t bad. You can either remove EVERYTHING from the fridge or move things from one shelf to the next as you go through and clean. Spray everything and wipe down WELL, or take all the shelves/drawers out to wash in the sink and air dry. Throw out old food, or food that nobody wants. Organize everything.
Day #14. Living space. What is in there that doesn’t belong? Pick up extra junk today and look for a creative way to organize it (ex. boxes, baskets, bins). Clear the floors and stuff against the walls so that all is left is furniture! Sweep and mop behind/under surfaces that have been hidden. Be prepared for some dust bunnies!
Day #15. Today, do all surfaces spaces & drawers in your living area. You should know the drill by now. Make sure and dust before you reorganize!
Day #16. It’s time to tackle the entryway/foyer. This area tends to get messy for obvious reasons. Whether you have a coat rack, a closet or a mess of shoes… get that crap together and then sweep, mop and dust!
Day #17. Storage/junk closet/room. Everyone has one, and if we are honest with ourselves, the thought of cleaning it absolutely petrifies us. Just do it. I promise you will feel a LOT better.
Day #18. Storage/junk closet/room. Because I know that you procrastinated yeterday.
Day #19. Desk/Office space. Whether you have an actual office space, or your kitchen counter has turned into a desk, take some time to reorganize, dust and clarify… because nobody needs fifteen pens with no ink in them. Also take this day to work through your file cabinet.
Day #20. Utility closet/room. This shouldn’t take long. Just clear out unnecessary items, sweep, and mop.
Day #21. Storage shed/garage. This is a big one and definitely doesn’t have to be done right now if you don’t have time for a big project. But if the weather is decent and you have the motivation, get your work jeans on and see if you can make a dent in your storage area.
Day #22. So, you have 8-11 days left. Begin to focus on those problem areas that you wrote down at the beginning of the month. Is it your front porch? Your yard? Your car? The China cabinet that somehow turned into a junk pile? The corner of your dining room that has transformed into a toy war zone? I challenge you to do something TODAY that has made you nervous for a very long time. You know what I’m talking about. Pick the one thing that you have been procrastinating for months and JUST DO IT!
Day #23. #2 on your happy list.
Day #24. #3 on your happy list.
Day #25. #4 on your happy list.
Day #26. #5 on your happy list.
Day #27. Relax today and pat yourself on the back for everything you have accomplished this month!
Day #28. Do a deep clean in your newly organized home.
Day #29. Take a good look at your house. Walk around and look at what you have accomplished. Now, I want you to do that exercise that we started the month with. Close your eyes and envision your perfect house. Now, open your eyes. I hope that everything is a whole lot closer than it was 29 days ago. Grab your notebook and write. Go through each area of your home and write down some things that would bring you joy. Is that some decorative pillows on your couch? Putting up some picture frames that have been collecting dust? Buying new laundry baskets? More decor in your living room? ANYTHING that comes to your mind to make your home a happier, more homey place to be, write it down. Now circle the things that can become reality today.
Day #30. If possible, GO SHOPPING today! Even if you only have $10 to blow. Find at least one thing that will make your house more beautiful. Think of it as a way to celebrate what you have done in your home the past month.