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52 Weeks of Organizing

colorful baskets

image credit: shutterstock

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been pondering whether or not I’d do another month long organizing challenge like the one I did during the month of February last year.  However it just hasn’t felt right this time and I wasn’t really sure why.

Then my book, Clutter Rehab, came out and the emails started to come in from lovely ladies telling me how motivated they were after reading the book and then they’d go on to list all they’d accomplished just that day as a result.  I was in awe of THEM, that is super cool.  And while it’s so awesome to receive these emails, I got to thinking about how inspiring they’d be to others who may be in similar situations.  So overwhelmed with clutter and disorganization and not knowing where to start.  So I decided what we need is a community, right here.  Not somewhere else, not another site with another log in, not anything complicated.  I want to give you a place right here to share your organizing projects, your success stories, your stories of struggle, storage solutions, or even what you may be learning through my book.

So with that said I introduce to you 52 Weeks of Organizing:

Every Friday I will put up a 52 weeks of organizing post where we can talk in the comments anything organizing related. I’d like to still challenge you of course, however instead of just one month out of the year I’m going to challenge you to organize all year long this time.  After all, organizing isn’t a means to an end, it’s an ongoing process that involves all sorts of habits, disciplines and maintenance.  It can also be extremely rewarding and addicting.  Oh yes it can and I want all of you to experience that high!  I’m a pusher what can I say :)

I’d like you to think about 52 organizing projects or habits that need to be done or developed around your home…dressers, drawers, closet, toys, paper, you name it.  Let’s do it!   Having a plan is a great first step!  Tackle one a week or more and then come on back here on Fridays and we’ll talk about it.  The highs and the lows.  No stringent timelines, no project too small, just good fun, sharing inspiration and motivating one another.

Looking for a place to start?  My book has 101 organizing tips in it giving you plenty of projects to pick and choose from.  Even if you only accomplish 52 of them this year you’ll be well on your way to living an organized life in no time.

If you’d like I’ve created a simple sheet to help you keep track of your 52 projects.  Keeping track of your accomplishments will motivate you to continue but remember don’t go crazy and put down “organize office” as one project.  Try breaking it down into manageable bite size steps instead, listing them all separately.  One shelf, drawer, closet, surface space at a time (unless of course you are feeling really motivated than by all means fly at it!)

52 wks of organizing checklist

I’ll also include a linky list on the Friday posts just in case any of you bloggers want to share your organizing posts from the previous week and what you’ve been up too.  Pictures are very motivating!

In addition, I’m hoping other Professional Organizers will join me in the comments occasionally to help answer questions and offer insight.

So what do you say, will you join me back here on Fridays starting this week for some organizing get going?  Could you use a little motivation and inspiration?

PS:  Please feel free to use/share the above buttons.

Follow along with the series here.

Comments

88 Responses to “52 Weeks of Organizing”
  1. 1
    Amy says:

    Yay!! I am so excited! My entire house needs an overhaul. I was extremely ill for a couple of years and am now better. BUT, during that time my husband took over everything and did the best he could while working a full time job and taking care of our kids. I have been slowly tackline one area at a time trying to get our place back to where it used to be. This will be fun. Can’t wait to join in!! My major project right now is my master bedroom where everything was shoved when I was sick. It is amazing what I am finding in there and how many loads of things I can just give away because we haven’t used them in years. This will be something I need to keep me on track.

    Thanks!

    • 1.1
      Linda Sedberry says:

      welcom back! I know how this feels, my husband had a two year illness too. A Bone Marrow Transplant (doing great). We have come through it all and I too am needing to reorganize this place.
      Am looking forward to that and lots more we’ve had on hold. Wishing you all the best!
      Linda Sedberry

    • 1.2
      Jen says:

      Same here! Two pregnancies, bed rest for 8-11 weeks both times… two kids later, house is okay but can’t wait to declutter and get some organization done! Good luck, Amy!

  2. 2

    I think, that’s what I need! Little steps that will bring lots of contentment, when accomplished. I’m in!
    Thank you for your wonderful website! Maybe the place on the web where I find the most helpful organizing tips!
    Greetings from Germany!

  3. 3
    Heather says:

    This is an awesome idea! I just got your book in the mail yesterday and I am in the 30′s. Love it and I definitely feel motivated to organize! I already started working on one of your tips, don’t leave a room empty handed. Looking forward to finishing the rest of it!

  4. 4
    mar g says:

    this is one of my intentions/resolutions for the new year. thanks for helping me out.

  5. 5
    Kimi says:

    This is wonderful!! Just what I need. Thank you!!

  6. 6
    Mek says:

    I started right after I read this! I reorganized a shelf, this time adding wicker baskets. It looks beautiful! I’m buying your book tomorrow. Note: I love MPM! Those happen to be my initials too :-)

  7. 7
    April says:

    Count me in! These small projects will help me to achieve what I really and looking for – not only an organized space, but a beautiful and organized space. Only doing one per week will help me to spend more time and really make each project something I am proud to keep up!

  8. 8
    Kari says:

    This is great! I often make these broad goals like organize the office, and then i quit after a few weeks because I am so overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Knowing I can join in just by focusing on a dresser or shelf at a time will be a huge help! Thanks for a great challenge! I can’t wait til Friday!

  9. 9
    Trixie says:

    Yea!! This is just what I needed! It sounds like a lot of fun to share our accomplishments and gain inspiration from others looking to organize and declutter. Can’t wait for the link up!

  10. 10
    Elianarma says:

    I’m in. I tried to download and use the checklist, but I couldn’t type in it. Are there any tricks to it? Thanks!

  11. 11
    ter@waaoms says:

    THIS IS AWESOME because I have declared this my year of organization! Last year was my Year of Purge (Unfortunately I did not take many before photos but most of what I purged last year was paper – I seriously went through every single paper in this house ( so i thought, I keep finding more!) and got rid of so much!! tons in recycling and 3 boxes of shredding (still waiting to be shredded) . It has been quite a chore but I gave my self an entire year to do it which cut back the stress of it. I am glad for your 52 weeks of organizing because now that will help me stay on the ball with organization. Although admittedly, part of my problem now is I really don’t know WHERE to put some of my stuff (so that it’s convenient for use, etc.) A couple people suggested I put everything in boxes and store it in a closet but that’s kind of what got me in this situation in the first place. Anyway looking forward to it!

  12. 12
    Tracey says:

    yay! I am pretty organized but always have some area of the house that needs work. My first project is going to be my laundry room. Hope to have a success story to share soon.
    I have passed the “stylish blogger” award on to you. You can grab the award button off my blog at http://garciamania.blogspot.com
    Tracey

  13. 13
    Marjorie says:

    What a great idea! I tend to be overwhelmed with huge projects, so one project a week is perfect for me.

  14. 14
    Beet says:

    I’m thinking my linen press will be the first organising project I tackle. In bits and pieces. First finding and sorting all the sheets into sets and putting them into their pillow cases.

  15. 15
    Jodi says:

    What a great idea, can’t wait to get started!

  16. 16
    Kat says:

    I’m totally in. I have already created my list of stuff that I need to organize for this year….and I have already started on one of the bigger projects.

  17. 17

    I was wondering if you were doing a project this year! I will follow along as much as I can!!

  18. 18

    Very good Laura! I could use the encouragement and the organization! I am trying move more towards the minimalist end of the spectrum, but have quite a ways to go! This will be great!
    Bernice
    Get your priorities straight

  19. 19
    Cherry says:

    I am very much looking forward to this! Am a pretty organized person, and love to organize … but there are areas of our home and life that really need some work in this area. This will be a good motivation for me. Thanks so much for the great idea, and I will be joining in …

  20. 20
    Deborah Wagner says:

    I am very excited about this. I have several large projects that I will now break down into small segments. I have always been so overwhelmed by the immensity of organizing my whole house that I just have let it go. This will be my motivation to do small things a week or two at a time.
    Great idea.

  21. 21

    I would love to join you! I just started a time management series on my blog that would fit right in:-)

  22. 22
    Kathleen says:

    I need more help organizing than you can imagine! I’m so glad I found your blog ;)

  23. 23
    s says:

    I so need this and think the weekly inspiration will be fantastic! I love the weekly MPM to keep me on track with meal planning so am thrilled to have another day of the week to look forward to and gather inspiration. I have about 520 places in my home to organize so just one a week is completely doable, the hard part is just STARTING for me. my house is a wreck.

  24. 24
    Dianne M. says:

    Can’t wait. I am so overwhelmed with the clutter from trying to merge my belongings and my new husbands belongings has really taken hold of my sanity. I really need help.

  25. 25
    CrystalC2B says:

    I’m SO on board with this Laura! It will help me keep the NYGCP organizing I do maintained! And I’ll actually remember to do the labelling and other stuff I want to do. You know, the nitpicky system maintenance stuff that we always seem to shrug off.

  26. 26

    Yes! I’m so in on this. I was just thinking about one of the things I wanted to do this year was get my house organized so this is perfect. I’ll definitely be back on Friday.

  27. 27

    This is a FABULOUS idea! I’m so excited, I’ve already printed out my sheet and started filling it in. And I’m feeling very happy that I’m having trouble coming up with 52 things… must mean I’m more organised than I thought!

  28. 28
    Jenna says:

    Love this idea! I’m in! One of my goals for this year was to get more organized, so I was so happy to see you’re hosting this. Having a weekly check-in will definitely keep me motivated and accountable. Small steps… getting organized, one shelf, one drawer at a time!

  29. 29
    Sarah says:

    Great idea! I already made my plan for the first 12 weeks (and posted it on my blog). I am ready to get started!

  30. 30
    MemeGRL says:

    I like it. I like breaking it down in to one week slots, too. If I can get a rhythm going, this could be good…thanks!

  31. 31
    Hilary says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and this sounds fun! I’m in!

  32. 32
    Lisa says:

    Hooray! Thank you! I just remarked to my husband last night that perhaps my dream of having our house actually organized isn’t so realistic. I get easily overwhelmed and tend to give up, rather than doing one small thing at a time and taking satisfaction in that. I’m excited to join others in my quest to get my house more organized!

  33. 33
    Marilyn Holeman says:

    Sounds great! Thanks for the encouragement.

    Blessings!

  34. 34
    Honey says:

    Ok. Thank you! I’m SOOO in need of direction. Having a plan and support will be great.

    also…I’m a bit…computer challened and need the code to post your 52 week org button. Please…would you email it to me so I can put it on my blog?

    I’m straightening up and getting back to that healthy, organized, competent woman I USED to be. Glad to have some help in that journey!

    Honey
    http://www.mondorfment.blogspot.com
    When Mon(tessori) (Wal)dorf (and Attach)ment parenting meet in our home.

  35. 35
    Carol says:

    Love your blog! I may have a different goal from the rest of your readers. We (HD and I) are considering down sizing in the next few years. It would be great to get down to a condo size functionality. Our kids are on their own, but it is so hard to let go of things that (they could use or maybe grandkids someday) could come handy some day. But I am going to give it a try and see where this leads me.

  36. 36

    Oh yeah, I’m totally diggin’ it!

    I love the list too, as it will help me with my goal of being more intentional this year. I love it!

    There’s only one way to eat an elephant, right? :)

  37. 37
    Amanda says:

    i’m so in!! i’m on a mission to get my house organized!!

  38. 38
    Julie says:

    Hi,

    I just found your blog through southern savers. I NEED help organizing! I have no idea where to start. It seems so overwhelming! Even if I do get started, I don’t know how to organize anything. Help please! My entire home needs to be de-cluttered and organized. It has not been done in years! Thanks!

  39. 39
    Alexis says:

    I’m taking your challenge and I am really excited about this. I have blogged about this and linked your site to it. http://jacksmom4life.blogspot.com/2011/01/52-weeks-of-organizing.html

    Can’t wait for Friday!

    Alexis

  40. 40
    Jana says:

    Count me in! I have at least 52 projects that need organizing!! Thanks!

  41. 41
    Missy says:

    Organizing and getting control over my home is my 2011 goal. I am so glad I came across your blog!

  42. 42
    Nicole says:

    Your book just arrived in my mailbox today. Looking forward to working through it! I definitely need some accountability so the 52 week challenge is great. Thanks!

  43. 43

    This is exciting. I hope you include garage and sheds and basements too!

  44. 44

    What a great idea! I can’t wait to get started!

  45. 45
    Holly says:

    I definitely need this as one of my goals for the year is to declutter and organize my whole house. Attacking it piece by piece each week should help me to stay motivated.

  46. 46
    Jamie says:

    Love it! I started last night after I read the blog entry. The task? Finally organizing ALL our bills and important papers. I had the bills part pretty much down, but since we got married in December 2009 merging our other important papers (old tax filings, vehicle information, healthcare information, etc.) it was such a hodgepodge of his “system” and mine. So, off to the local office supply store I went and got some new filing materials and away I went. This morning I finished by tackling the shred pile. Whew! It feels so good to have it all nice and neat as well as to be rid of the old papers, receipts and so forth that we no longer need to keep! Thanks, Laura! :-)

    Now, on to planning some projects for the next few weeks!

  47. 47
    Maria says:

    oh my…..i am so in on this one!! Excited. My house needs a complete overhaul, and with a probable move in the next year, I need to get to place where I can pack without having to overhaul at the same time.

  48. 48
    tammigirl says:

    This is just what I need. No, really. Someone who was doing the 3 in 30 was also doing this. I am so glad I read everyone’s blogs and found it. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to join in with you.

  49. 49
    Allysgrandma says:

    Wow I am so glad I got my laptop up and running wirelessly. One of my goals for the New Year is to do something else while watching TV. I do not get to check my favorite web sites as much as I would like, but now….yippee!!

    Well at age 53 with my three daughters grown and gone, my YD and granddaughter living with me for the past 6 months, while my SIL is in Afghanistan, AND being diagnosed with fibromyalgia very unexpectedly in October, I need to simplify and organize my house more than ever. I have been trying, seriously, for 30 years!

    So with your challenge and God’s help, I plan to finally accomplish what I have been attempting my entire adult lifetime to achieve.

    My daughter and granddaughter fly home to South Carolina from here in Northern California Thursday January 13th, and my challenge starts then.

    Before then, I am trying to finish a Busy Book for my granddaughter to keep her occupied on the plane that I started 31+ years ago for my oldest daughter. Now I have to cross out Aimee’s name and put Ally’s on the cover!!

  50. 50
    Melinda S says:

    This is a good thing! I’ve been sick for a week and haven’t been able to get started on my own as I had planned, but I’m going to use this as a catalyst to get caught up. What a great idea!

  51. 51
    Silje says:

    Hi! This sounds like fun! I love that you break down a big project into smaller tasks. It’s manageable. I’m a bit late to strat your project, but by next week I think I will be up to speed with the rest of you.

    About me: I’m a single, working woman. English is not my main language, so my writing may sometimes be a bit odd. I’ve lived in my small house for 3 1/2 years, and it’s already full to the brim. I come from a long line of pack-rats, but have recently started to read up on minimalism and simple living. Minimalism is a bit far fetched for me. But I want to reduce my clutter and the amount of new objects that tend to enter my house every year. So while I’m doing my organizing projects, I will also try to give away things I don’t need and pare down my stuff to a mor manageable size. I also believe in living a greener life, consume less and reduce waste.

    It’s a long process for me. But your project is a good help on the way. Love the idea that we define the steps for us selves. I followed a project on another blog, but stopped because the many of the tasks were not relevant for me.

    Let’s get started!

  52. 52

    What an excellent idea…I am a bit late, already unto week three, but I know I will catch up :)

    Breaking down the elephant is the best way to eat it!

    I am so excited about this challenge.

  53. 53
    Sarah says:

    Ok – i started my list! (better late than never!) – I don’t quite have 52 items… right now i’m at 37 – but i’m motivated, and I have three checked off already! Yay!

  54. 54
    Anne says:

    I don’t know if you have posted on this, or if someone has already talked about this in the comments, but week one will be organizing my Christmas stuff as I put it away. I don’t really know where to start. I have decided that this year ‘organizing’ will mean putting things away in boxes instead of in grocery bags. It just seems like it will be easier to stack and then find them in the storage space. If anyone has any tips on organizing Christmas decorations, I’d love to hear them. I have a small, one and a half story house, so I have the benefit of not having an insane amount of stuff to put away. I printed off your 52 weeks checklist, and right now I plan to go one week at a time.

  55. 55
    Brooke says:

    I stumbled across your blog the other day and I have to say, what an awesome awesome idea! This is SO my speed! I just started writing about our progress on our new years resolutions, and I am incorporating this challenge into http://ourroadtoasimplerlife.blogspot.com/. Thank you thank you thank you for showing that little victories in organizing can give you the best feeling ever. I’m hooked!! :)

  56. 56
    ukrainiac says:

    My goal already had been to organize — and actually thought of a small project to start, but then immediately became overwhelmed with everything else. Ugh. So, breaking ALL projects down to bite-sized weeks makes so much sense!

    Thanks.

  57. 57
    Christie says:

    Hi there Laura. I love this idea. Im getting a bit of a late start, but better late than never right? :) I just started blogging today and look forward to blogging about this 52 week project!
    Thanks for all the info!!

  58. 58
    Elizabeth says:

    I know I am two weeks late but I am going to join in on this challenge. I need the encouragement, support and accountability!
    So thanks for hosting!

  59. 59
    Alison says:

    Thank you for the printable sheet. thank you.

  60. 60
    Donna says:

    Thank you so much!!! I jokingly commented the first week of January that if I kept up with my cleaning/purging I might actually get it all done by New Year’s of 2012. Then I started back to school (I’m a teacher) and of course I let the momentum die. Your weekly reminders are just what I need to stay on course! Thanks to you, maybe I actually WILL be able to greet 2012 clutter free (or a whole lot closer to it!)
    Blessings on you for this!!!
    anotherbattlewon.blogspot.com

  61. 61
    Forgetfulone says:

    Think I might have forgotten to tell you that YES, I’m joining you!

  62. 62
    Misty says:

    I will be posting mine on Tuesdays. Thanks for the great idea!

  63. 63
    Christie says:

    I am a couple of weeks behind but count me in! I am trying to get three projects done this week so I can get caught up. I’ve gotten one finished already and I am VERY motivated! I ordered your book for my kindle and will start reading that tonight when the kids go to bed. Thank you for this challenge, Laura! I look forward to friday to post what all I have accomplished.

  64. 64
    Liz says:

    I have just found this via a link from another blog – what a fab idea! I’m in :)

  65. 65
    Rana says:

    I just saw this post. I had decided back in October to do one room a month in my house declutter and organize. This is just the boost I need to keep going. I’m on room #4 and I have six more rooms to go. I want to be clutter free by the first of September. I’m in!

  66. 66
    Samantha says:

    I just waved my partner off at the ariport, he’s away for a few weeks. I am planning on organising everything for when he gets back….he won’t know what’s hit him (in a good way I mean)! This is so inspiring – this is exactly what I need – 52 weeks project. I know I’m late starting this, but I hope I can catch up :)

  67. 67
    Holly says:

    Better late than never, right? :D
    We became foster parents 2 1/2 yrs. ago, starting with a medically fragile newborn & continuing with a steady stream of special needs children. Our life is full & fulfilling. Our house is filled to bursting & has been complete chaos!
    I needed the push to break down big organizing goals into smaller, more attainable goals.
    I can clean a drawer in a few minutes. That is possible.
    I cannot attack an entire room in one shot. The kids will destroy the rest of the house before I’m half done. lol
    Thanks for the incentive!

  68. 68
    Jill says:

    Just found you Friday via Pinterest. My house (and sanity) are at Mission Critical, so I am starting this now. It just took me only 10 minutes to come up with my list of 52 small projects- I broke them down into very small chunks, but with my schedule, I know that’s what I need. I do still want to go through the list with DH and prioritize them, then they will get written on the calendar!

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