Plan to Organize

So you’ve decided to join the 28 Day Organizing Challenge and now are sitting staring at your space wondering where on earth to start. Others may have rushed right in without first defining their purpose.

What you need is a PLAN!

This is the first step in my organizing PROCESS and it’s an important one.

Ask yourself a couple of questions about the space you’ve selected. I’ve borrowed these from a great article I found on written by Sarah Aquirre:

1. What do I want the purpose of my room or area to be?
2. What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose?
3. What can I remove from the room?
4. What problems do I see with the room?
5. What organizational tools might solve those problems?
6. What habits need to change to solve the organizational problems?
7. What kind of a budget do I have to work with right now for storage solutions?
8. What kind of a timeline is necessary to organize the room? (28 days!)
9. What is my plan of action?

Read the complete article with descriptions of each of the questions here.

Finally ask yourself:

10. Who can I ask to help me with this?  (working with a friend can be fun, productive and encouraging)

I know you can do this!  As part of your plan break down your action steps into 15 minute manageable tasks and set your sights on one task at a time.  And remember if you get overwhelmed, Don’t Look Up!

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop ~ Confucius

I loved Tanna’s words of encouragement today from her introductory 28 Day Organizing Challenge post:

I am judging the contest along side Laura and we are looking for your most amazing transformations. That doesn’t mean you have to go all Pottery Barn on us, there are plenty of creative ways to organize on the cheap as well. If your afraid you might not be able to finish or you might get stuck, don’t despair. Laura and I will be checking in and giving tips and advice along the way. We will try to help you as much as we can in the comments over at her site.

How great is that!  We both want each and every one of you to succeed.  So as Tanna said, if you run into problems let us know in the comments on any challenge post and we’ll try to help.

Also I’ve posted the official 28 Day Organizing Challenge rules on the Challenge page if you are interested.  I’ll post them here as well just to make sure no one misses them.

The Official 28 Day Organizing Challenge Rules:

  • During the month of February participants have 28 days to organize either a whole room and/or small space in their home
  • You can enter multiple spaces if you’d like but participants will be asked to create a separate blog post for each entry
  • Two Mr. Linky posts (one for small space and one for whole room) will go up on the morning of March 1st for participants to link up to with a post showcasing BOTH their before and after pictures of the newly organized space. Participants will also be asked to answer a few questions about the process they followed. Questions to come.
  • Entries that don’t include both before and after pictures and/or question summary will be eliminated.
  • The challenge end Mr. Linky cut off will be March 2nd at 12:00 pm PST.
  • Judges will be specifically looking at overall transformation, creative use of space, storage solutions that work and overall experience.

Overall TransformationA well organized, uncluttered, clearly defined and efficient space that lends itself to easy maintenance.

Creative Use of SpaceUsing creative solutions to allow you to maximize your space and create zones in a new and manageable way.

Storage Solutions that WorkUsing storage solutions that allow you to establish boundaries and limits and contain “like with like”.

Overall ExperienceThe process that got you to the uncluttered space mentally and physically.

Sidenote:  My philosophy on organizing is that it doesn’t need to cost big bucks to do it and so you’ll notice that $$ spent is not even a factor in the judging criteria.  Many a creative storage solution can be found for next to nothing.  Be creative, think outside of the box and let your organizing imaginations run wild!

Do you have a PLAN of attack in place to organize your space?

Please visit Get Organized Wizard, one of our fabulous sponsors of this organizing challenge. The Design Your Life Program is a comprehensive 1-year program for achieving your goals, organizing your life and being your best.

Filed under: Organizational Challenge


34 Responses to Plan to Organize

  1. 1
    Joyce @ Keeping Up With The Moys says

    Woohoo!! I’m starting to think that I can do this! It really helps to break it down into steps. It makes it more doable, and I can see what I need to work on. I’m so excited to get things moving along now. I finally did post those before photos, and answered the questions. I even started in one area already. I can see the desk again.

    • 1.1
      Tanna @ Complete Organizing Solutions says

      Great job Joyce! I always tackle a desk by clearing it off first. Set up some boxes labeled trash, shred, office supplies, action items and sort as you go. I give all of the electronics a good dusting off and set them back up tackling the wires fires to make sure they are under control. Having that desk cleared off is a little motivator to help you keep going. Eventually all of your space will be nice and organized!

      • Joyce @ Keeping Up With The Moys says

        Thanks Tanna!! Yup, that’s the plan. I’m hoping to finish the desk by tonight. We do need to fix all those wires though. I forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. 2
    Krista S. says

    I am so happy to see this post this morning. One of the main reasons I didn’t enter is that I’m afraid I’ll start this and freeze on it. I spent off and on yesterday working on a plan of attack, but it’s really helpful to see the questions. Today I’ll work on answering them. My husband is going to help me with the room so hopefully that will keep me from getting stuck. Thanks for the very helpful post!

  3. 3
    Krista S. says

    Oops that should say *almost* didn’t enter – because I DID enter, I’m going to get my room organized (yes, yes I am) 🙂

    • 3.1
      Tanna @ Complete Organizing Solutions says

      You can do it Krista! Most people get stuck at that “I’m afraid I’ll start this and freeze on it” moment. Take action! Once you get started it will go by so much easier. It sounds like you have a great husband willing to support you on this.

      • Kimberly says

        Go Krista Go! Good for you for starting this process, starting is always the hardest part. Remember there are lots of us organizers out there rooting for your success whether you know us or not. It is awesome that your husband is so supportive as well, that so helps the end result! Way to Go!

  4. 4
    Peggy says

    I was glad to see this too! I went to bed last night thinking, well I was busy and didn’t get one thing done on my challenge.

    First thing to change is NOT procrastinate this morning and get my work done. Then I will have time later to begin.


    • 4.1
      Laura says

      I like to call it “Eat the Frog”. Get your most important or undesirable task done first and then it’s clear sailing for the rest of the day!

  5. 5
    Rana says

    I wrote up a plan of attack in my post. I thought it would be easier if I had a series of things to accomplish my goal. I have six steps. Some will be simple a couple will take a few days. I’m looking forward to doing this challenge. I like the questions you have asked they will help in my process of clearing out the clutter and what type of zones I want to set up in the space.

  6. 6
    Melissa says

    I’m really excited because I’m going to work on things that can be tossed today, but on Thursday, I have a friend coming over to help me really brainstorm a plan of attack for “stations” in my very large laundry room! 🙂

    • 6.1
      Joyce @ Keeping Up With The Moys says

      “Stations”! That’s great. Our “Front Room” is multipurpose too, so I guess we have stations as well. Have a good brainstorm.

    • 6.2
      Laura says

      Yay for having a friend help. I like it!

  7. 8
    At home with the kiddos says

    I love organizing but sometimes get stuck or give up. (Especially on a big space like a closet) Having a plan makes all the difference. These are really great tips. Thanks!

  8. 9
    Karen says

    I’ve got my PLAN up. I think we should all have sticker charts with stars for when we complete something!! I guess I’ll settle for crossing things off the sidebar!

  9. 10
    Susanne says

    I think I will print out that list of questions and tape it to my fridge!

  10. 11
    Liz - Meal Makeover Mom says

    This is so exciting. I am in desperate need of getting my entire house organized. Actually, last fall, I re-organized my dining room and gave away a lot of stuff. It felt great .. and now my room is no longer a storage closet; it’s a lovely dining room where we enjoy family meals. I’m not sure I can pull my life together in Feb. but perhaps March will be bedroom re-org month! Thanks for organizing the challenge.

  11. 12
    Devon says

    This is awesome! I’m excited to get going!!

  12. 13
    Kathie says

    I happened in on this post tonight and was so excited! I’ve been thinking and wondering how to go about organizing my bedroom but was at a loss of where to start. Now I’m so thrilled not only to have good ideas on what to do, but also the motivation to do it!

  13. 15
    Sara says

    I just found your blog and I am in love! I hate clutter with a passion and you speak my language 🙂 Awesome blog, I can’t wait to read through it!

  14. 16
    MommyNeedsCake says

    I actually made a useful plan! (I think) I’m one of those people who is pretty good at planning but horrible at executing. Alright fine, I’m an over-planner, sometimes to the point that I just give up and not actually do anything because the plan was so overwhelming. Thanks for the exact questions to follow along with – it kept me from detailing myself into therapy! Now if I could only get into the room to get going – my son is taking a nap and I NEVER wake a sleeping 3 year-old =)

  15. 17
    amy says

    so excited about this. I am rolling the organiztion into our therapy. we need to use our chores to do more therapy/relationship development. but i need to have it semi-neat and tidy to do that. I can’t have cups falling on his head every time he opens a door! think I’m starting with the kitchen. I may do the overall kitchen as a ‘big space’ and one of the cupboards as a ‘small space’ designed for our RDI times. gotta remember those before pics.

  16. 18
    Deanne says


    I am feeling incredibly thankful for your challenge tonight. Hubby and I worked our bums off today and we got so much accomplished! We have quite a bit left to do of course, but the progress we have made at this point is just huge! I was going to do a challenge update post tonight, but I’m too exhausted. I’ll swing by and let you know when I have one up. I did take pictures tonight though, so I will post them tomorrow after I get off of work. Also, I have a post label “Org Junkie’s Organizing Challenge” so you can click on that to see the posts related to this month’s challenge.

  17. 19
    Melissa Schmalenberger says

    What a great idea….it is so helpful to have others support you in your organizing projects!


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