52 Weeks: #1 Where will you start?

Welcome! I’ve already had the opportunity to see around blogland that several of you have gotten started on your 52 Weeks of Organizing List and are planning out what you want to accomplish this year.  Very cool!  Getting it down on paper is a HUGE part of the battle and an EXCELLENT way to combat the feelings of frustration and overwhelm.  (if you are new it might be helpful for you to read my introduction post to this year long challenge)

I know for me when my home is in disarray (and believe me, it does happen!) I find I can quickly get on a downward spiral of doing nothing because my mind is frantically looking from pile to pile trying to make some sense of it to determine where to start.  Only I can’t because it becomes too much and I become scattered and disorientated and it just snowballs from there.   From experience though I now know that when I get like this I need to write it all down, otherwise known around here as a brain dumpI need it out of my head, onto paper where clarity can begin to make it’s way through the fog.

When focus and direction enter the picture, it’s hard to get sidetracked.  Tired maybe but less overwhelmed.  Remember don’t look up at the mountain ahead of you but concentrate instead on the task at hand.

To give you an example of a terrific plan I asked A Real Housewife of NYC if I could use her as an example.  She did up a great post listing out the first 12 weeks with what she wanted to accomplish along with before pictures.  I love seeing it broken down like this, it gets me all a tingle 🙂  For instance, on week #5 she is going move a white bookcase that she has into her kitchen for jar storage so she can have more counter space.  Love this idea!  Then she’ll purge & organize a large bookcase with filing cabinet and move it to the white bookcase’s old spot.

On week #11 she is going organize her freezer and plan/cook items for easy heating up once her baby arrives.

On another week you’ll find her trying to figure out how to improve their paper & cardboard recycling system so that it no longer looks like this:

I love it! You can read her entire post here.

Now remember her steps might be more or less than you were planning on doing and that’s totally fine.  Only you know how much time you have to set aside each day and what your breaking point is.  It’s better to start slow to build momentum rather than go gang busters only to lose momentum.  Do you know what I mean?

And listen, this is what I’m praying is going to happen for each and everyone of you this week.  As we enter this time of Clutter Rehab, I pray that you’ll each experience the thrilling high that comes with an organized drawer, closet, corner or cleared surface.

In fact I’m really going to do my best to create junkies out of all of you.  Mwah ha ha ha ha!   (if you’re new here, don’t mind the crazy. I go a little cuckoo talking about the my favorite subject! 🙂 )

As for me, I’ve been working on re-organizing my son’s teeny tiny bedroom and will hopefully post the before and after pictures for you sometime this weekend.  Stay tuned!

Throughout the week I also post interesting tidbits of organizing information including deals, silliness and support, on my Facebook Fan Page so be sure to check it out so as not to miss anything great 🙂

Now take a deep breath and let’s get started.  You can do this!

Today’s questions:

1.  Do you have your list written? (if you missed it, you can find the pdf here)

2.  What is the first thing on it that you hope to accomplish this week?

3.  How are you going to make it happen?

So let’s discuss in the comments.  Just so you know I’ve got the comments set to threaded which means you can reply to an individual comment if you want to by clicking on the “reply” that immediately follows the comment.  When you do reply to an individual comment WordPress sends the initial commenter an email letting them know they have a reply.  It’s all very cool and such.  Let’s encourage one another and keep the progress going!!!

Also please feel free to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing journey or to a post of an organizing nature that you feel will help and encourage others in their quest to get organized.  Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.  One other thing to consider:  by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts.  Proper credit and links will of course be provided.  If you are not okay with this please do not link up.  Thanks!

(PS:  please feel free to use the buttons above in your posts)

Filed under: 52 Weeks of Organizing


132 Responses to 52 Weeks: #1 Where will you start?

  1. 1
    Becky L says

    I had some time today at work when it was slow so I made a list of things to do this year to better the house cleanliness atmosphere!
    Dust once a month;sweep and clean bathroom tub and counter top 1x week; sweep kitchen/dining room 4x wk; vacuum 1x wk. Put away Precious Moments nativity collection into cabinet. Bigger projects include paint at least one wall in dining room, which has a water stain), clean shelves that have mugs and village 2-3 x a yr; paint kitchen backsplash; paint living room. Reorganize my computer desk since there’s been a change in computers.
    Clean up my piles from last year that haven’t been touched. Read some books that’s been waiting to be read for over a year! Some of these tasks get ignored and then I feel guilty for not doing them. It takes only a little bit of time to do them and the house looks so much nicer. I used to do pretty good and life changed and then,,,,,,you know how that is! Thanks for your encouragement! God bless!

    • 1.1
      Becky L says

      now that’s the right link to website–snafu! Sorry!

    • 1.2
      Laura says

      Hi Becky, remember one step at a time and don’t discount what you can do in 5 minutes….you’d be surprised! What will you do today?

  2. 2
    Semalee says

    Wow! I didn’t see the first post about this for some reason- HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? Anyway, I’m doing something similar on my blog, and we’re calling it Making our Homes Like Heaven in 2011. Trying to take a few small tasks a week to break it down and make the house a little nicer 🙂 I think I’ll print up your list or something similar, I like being able to check items off…. Thanks!

    Semalee @ Nailing Jello to a Tree

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Wonderful, the more encouragement the better I say, thanks Semalee!

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      Love your new sorter, looks like it will be very helpful!

  3. 4
    Samantha says

    I have been a busy bee cleaning out closets. I am using the method of doing one really “hard” organizing spot then doing a few easier ones, then a harder area, then easier. I did the disaster of a coat closet, then the kids closets this week. I am taking it slowly, one small bit at a time. I am not too unorganized for the most part, but it can all definitely use some cleaning out.

    • 4.1
      Laura says

      Love that idea to mix it up like that. That way you’ll really spur yourself on with the success of each thing, way to go!

    • 4.2
      danae says

      this is a great idea – doing harder & easier alternating!

    • 5.1
      Kari says

      Wow! Looks great! You gave me some great ideas with the command hooks for smaller children’s coats and scarves and gloves.

      • Alexis Howard says

        Your closets look great! Bummer about the window coverings. Can you sew them up until you have the money to replace them? Or maybe you have a friend who can do it for you. I like the hooks, I just got some of those for a few things myself.

  4. 6
    Kara says

    I missed the “announcement” of this idea, so I’m a bit late on my first week, but I’m totally in! So to answer the questions:

    1. Do you have your list written?
    Not yet, but I already have a ton of ideas. I might not commit to a specific item on a specific date, but put together a list of 52 projects.

    2. What is the first thing on it that you hope to accomplish this week?
    This week I HAVE to get the freezer cleaned out and organized.

    3. How are you going to make it happen?
    Set aside Saturday morning and get it done.

    • 6.1
      Laura says

      Cleaning the freezer can be a daunting task for sure but it will go quick once you get started. That’s awesome you’ve designated a time to do it. That’s the way to get it done!

  5. 7
    Heather says

    I love this challenge! Last year I tried to cram so much into one month that it was completely overwhelming. I did it, but it was hard! This seems much more manageable.

    I started my list, but I only have 12 projects on it so far. Once I have a chance to really go through the house and take a good look, I’m sure I’ll be able to fill up my chart. We’re in the process of transforming our guest/craft room into a nursery for baby #2, so I know I’ll have lots of projects related to that undertaking.

    The first project I tackled was my linen closet. I had already organized this closet during my challenge in March, but it had gotten a little unruly. It wasn’t too hard to restraighten since I still had my labels intact, but it was so encouraging to see the final result!

    I already included it in the links, but here’s the before and after of the closet: http://anothertenmiles.blogspot.com/2011/01/52-weeks-of-organizing.html

    My pantry is up next!

    • 7.1
      Laura says

      Awesome Heather! The only thing I might suggest is a basket or two for you hand towels and maybe pillowcases. That will help define your space and keep them from spreading out of their boundaries 🙂 I love saying that word lol.

  6. 8
    Kelly-AtMySink says

    Good morning Org Junkies! I’ve got my list ready and I’m set to go. I have a lot I want to get accomplished with this challenge. Thanks for starting it!

    • 8.1
      Laura says

      Good morning! Got anything planned for today?

  7. 9
    MemeGRL says

    Thanks for the keep-on-track motivation…I started small this week with “clear off computer table” since the week is almost done…and the next two weeks are to put away Christmas *thoughtfully* so we can get it out again next year without the drama of this year. While I hate “invisible progress” I am hoping it will pay off in November/December when it’s time to decorate again.
    And with that–off to make the resolution happen!

    • 9.1
      Laura says

      Small is good…make sure to come on back and let me know how you make out okay?

  8. 10
    Deborah Wagner says

    Still working on my list beyond this week, but the first thing is to get all of the Christmas decorations put away in labeled containers. I started this last year and it makes the “put up/tear down” process easier if I know what is in each container. I did some purging and am getting rid of many thing we haven’t used in several years. I have started the process and it may spill over into next week. This week I also did a major Goodwill run and got rid of the toys my kids do not play with any more. All in all a good start to the ” Wagner Home Transformation of 2011″ – I should start a blog : ) Thanks so much for your inspiration, Laura. I love reading your posts.

    • 10.1
      Laura says

      You’ve been busy! Anything I didn’t put out for decoration this year at Christmas I got rid of. I figured if I didn’t use it this year chances are good I won’t next year. Yes you should think about blogging then you could share your pictures with all of us 🙂

  9. 11
    AlexisAnne says

    I have an upstairs closet that needs some SERIOUS TLC- tons of outgrown kids clothes that aren’t even sorted let alone stored correctly. And my kitchen utensil drawers are out of control. Those are the 1st 2 on my list anyway.

    • 11.1
      Laura says

      Think of ways you can break it down into manageable steps if it helps. Good luck to you!

  10. 12
    Kari says

    This is just what I have been looking for. I started to make some SMART goal for the New Year. My goal for 2011 is to Organize and Energize my Life and My home. So is This a SMART goal?
    I will be adding action step. Well that is all for now

    • 12.1
      Janene says

      This is so similar to what they teach us when we are writing lesson plans as teachers! 🙂 It made me smile! I love it and will be using it as I continue to add items to my list!

      Thanks so much for sharing this!

  11. 13
    Shonda says

    I decided that I need to get this house organized before baby #2 comes in May. I’m choosing 1 hotspot a week to purge, declutter, organize and clean. I made a post on my blog with pics and will update at the end of the month with before and after pics. I feel SO much better when my house is clean and then I can concentrate on what is most important in my life- my husband and son. I’m so excited for your posts. I want to be an organizing junkie too! Here’s my post: http://jsknowlton.blogspot.com/2010/12/monday-non-mayhem-purging-decluttering.html.

    • 13.1
      Laura says

      Awesome plan, can’t wait to hear how you make out!

    • 13.2
      Kari says

      I like how you’ve broken your projects down a month at a time! i got kind of overwhelmed looking at the list and thinking about what I was going to do for 52 weeks this year! Maybe I’ll plan a month at a time too and see how that works! Good luck to you!

      • Shonda says

        I tend to get overwhelmed with so many projects that I end up doing nothing. So breaking it down really helped. I just picked places that bugged me the most. Hope you find a good system and that all of us can get organized in 2011!!

  12. 14
    Janene says

    I started this week with a book shelf that made me wince every time I looked at it. I feel a lot better about it now. It’s not perfect or even a whole lot different but it feels great to have a little more order to it!

    BTW~I’ve loved visiting other peoples’ posts and getting ideas about what to add to my list! 🙂

    • 14.1
      Laura says

      So glad you are enjoying your newly organized book shelf, such a great feeling isn’t it!

  13. 15
    Shonda says

    I can’t seem to link up to your linky! I’ve tried twice and refreshed the page and nothing. As soon as I select my photo then it brings me right back to this page and I don’t see my link.

    • 15.1
      Laura says

      Sorry about that Shonda, feel free to include it in the links here. Thanks!

  14. 16
    Susanne says

    I haven’t got the list written yet. I might get to that tonight. I guess that would be first on the list is to organize a list. LOL.

    • 16.1
      Laura says

      You’re a funny girl lol

  15. 17
    Julieann says

    I am going to be joining all of you:) How fun. First I need to get my list together. I added your button on my blog too.

    Happy Friday and Organizing!


    • 17.1
      Laura says

      What’s first on your list Julieann?

  16. 18
    Conversatio in Caelis says

    1. I did not write my list (printed it out though). I just jumped in 🙂 But I love the list and definitely will write organizational tasks for the first few weeks soon!

    2. I already accomplished my first thing and blogged about it here: http://conversatioincaelis.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/52-weeks-of-organizing/
    and here in German 🙂

    3. Forced my DH to buy underbed-boxes and put my stuff inside – pretty simple, huh? 🙂

  17. 19
    Cherry says

    Laura, I have been enjoying your blog for a few weeks now, and was especially excited to see this new focus for the new year! I love to organize, and even though I have been organizing things for years (six grown kids, and now have nine grandkids!) … there is always more to keep up with, as life is full. Looking forward to this fun motivator, and seeing what others are doing. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas with us …

  18. 20
    Kari says

    One of the things that I knew I wanted to get done first was to create a “launch pad” or “command center” in my mudroom. I also wanted to open up my great room (living room/kitchen) so I moved around a chair and moved the sofa table into the mudroom. It is now a space for my daughters dance bag and backpack to stay, a place for my control journal and emergency binder to stay, and a place to put things at night that need to be used the next day. The next thing I want to do is clean out the two drawers and use them to store envelopes, stamps, our address book, checkbook, take out menus, etc. so we always know where they are. I’m hoping to blog about all of that tomorrow when I get it 100% done, but that’s what I’ve done so far. I’m going to work on my list now because I have so many ideas flowing through my head now! Thanks Laura for a great challenge!

  19. 21
    Kirsten says

    Oh thank you for the challenge. Yes I would love to feel that high of an organized home 🙂 I was just talking to my husband about this today, we are both creative people. We get a high from working with our hands and creating things from nothing. I told him I wish I could get that same feeling from organizing, like our sister in law does. She just comes alive when I talk to her about containers or organizing. I’m going to take your challenge and see if by the end of the 52 weeks I can get as jazzed about organizing as you do. Happy Organizing!!

    • 21.1
      Kirsten says

      Well I made my list ( about 20 right now) and came up with a system to hopefully keep me motivated. I have decided for one I would start with my bedroom clutter because that is one of the last places that gets attention. Its really easy to just close that door when company comes over. My system is that I am combining a creative project with an organizing one but I can’t start on the creative one until the organizing part is done. For instance when I am done conquering the mountain of clothes that don’t have a home I am going to finally make the bed skirt for my bed and duvet cover. Then when I conquer my closet dump station I am going to paint it a pretty color and design shelves and what not so my clothes can actually go in there. Thank you so much for the inspiration Laura!

      • Maija says

        Wow Kirsten, I love your idea! I never get around to doing those creative projects. Your idea might be a way to start ~ both organizing AND creating!
        This is a year and a half after you posted. I can’t help but wonder how you made out…

  20. 22
    Hilary says

    I love this challenge!

    The first thing on my list was a little cheesy… I have SO much electronic clutter! From former classes to papers to beginnings of short stories… it’s ridiculous! So today I organized by computer files, deleted all the stuff I don’t really need anymore, and I did get a little rush! It’s so easy to find everything now!

    • 22.1
      Alexis Howard says

      Hehe, I started do that a few months ago and then our computer crashed. So all that hard work and then it was gone. So sad, but nice that I don’t have to worry about it any more. Nice job getting more organized with the computer. That is always a mess for us.

  21. 23
    Alexis Howard says

    Hello All –

    I found this blog just in time for my 7 month old to start crawling and pulling up on everything. He is mobile and I now have to baby proof this house. I love to organize and get rid of things that we don’t use any more. So this is never a problem for me… however now I have a baby to keep track of, entertain, and keep safe as I try to baby proof my house. Today he has found the shoes by the door and wants to eat them. So that is on my list of things that I need to change. The shoes have to be moved. It just grosses me out to think what is on our shoes that is going in his mouth. YUCKO!!! Another place I need to organize is the cabinets in the kitchen. I started with the spice/baking cabinet yesterday and threw out everything that expired over six months ago. I had a ton that expired back in 2009. Yucko again! Anyways, I am excited about this challenge and I will post my list on my web site this weekend. Happy organizing everyone.

  22. 24
    Martha (MM) says

    Thanks Laura, this came at a perfect time for me, I’m in!

  23. 25
    Dawn says

    The first item on my list was to organize and store all of the Christmas decorations. I did it! But the fact that I have 6 large storage tubs, plus the Christmas tree to store makes me feel like I have a problem that may need attending to??

    • 25.1
      Laura says

      That brings up a good question…how many totes do we each have of organizing stuff? I have five myself and a box.

  24. 26
    danae says

    i cleaned out & organized my coat closet this week. it was a task i had been avoiding, but it was making each winter morning so frustrating, so i finally tackled it. it only took me 15-20 minutes to complete! i linked up to the party, so you can see it there: coat closet @ the casteel casa. thanks for all the tips & encouragement, ya’ll!

    • 26.1
      Laura says

      Yay! It almost always takes less time than we think it will. Good for you!

  25. 27
    JoannaTopazT says

    I don’t have a list per se — all of my organizing projects are things that I have known I should be doing for a couple of years now — but I am looking forward to the accountability of this challenge to keep me actually going on them this year! Here’s my first organizing project of the year: memberships to online sites/passwords! http://joannatopazt.blogspot.com/2011/01/organizing-bit-by-bit.html
    And, for my second project — organizing the cans in the pantry — I bought a couple of those dollar store baskets today.

  26. 28
    Ruth Hill says

    Thanks so much for starting this challenge! This is just what I needed!

  27. 29
    Crystal says

    So I JUST stumbled across your blog tonight! Funny thing is I just started a huge re-organizing adventure in my dining room this week. Right now I am 90% done with it. It has been a process that has taken all week.
    What I am doing is moving all of mine and my kids craft supplies from one huge ugly cabinet in the corner of the room into clear plastic rolling drawers that line the wall of my dining room. Now we can SEE what we have and maybe it will inspire more creativity in us all rather than have all of this great stuff hiding in the corner looking like a huge ugly monster. I can’t wait to have the job completed (maybe tonight 😉 )
    SO I think I will jump on board with you and start working on my list for the rest of the house! Thanks for the invite to join you on this adventure!

    • 29.1
      Laura says

      I just bought one of those rolling drawer units for my son’s Lego today! I love those things so much!!

  28. 30
    Sarah says

    We (my husband and I) completed the first week! Part way through, he started getting sidetracked and wanted me to help him think about purging some stuff around his desk.

    I told him that (for me) one of the benefits of this challenge is that I don’t have to feel guilty about what we’re NOT doing, because we are focusing on one project each week, and if he wants to focus on his desk area we should add it to our list for another week.

    He seemed to really like this thought and it’s great to 1) feel that we accomplished something this week and 2) not feel guilty about the other things we didn’t do, since they will get their turn!

    Thanks again for hosting this challenge!

  29. 31
    Just Amy says

    So like the above posters, I get overwhelmed. I am a perfectionist…but an overwhelmed one. So this means, instead of my house being perfect – the way I WANT it – it’s a complete disaster because my expectations are just too high. So I do nothing…and you can tell. Anyway, I am just learning about this NOW (week one is behind us), so I am just working on my list.
    This week, I am going to tackle the basement landing. It is not just an unorganized eye-sore, but it’s getting to the point of being dangerous to go to the basement! (I blogged about how I hurt myself @ http://www.simplyme52502.blogspot.com) I’m not sure that I can honestly take care of this in one week. SO, I’m taking it a shelf at a time…maybe it will take me a whole month. But that’s okay. Right? Can I get a “heck yeah!”? lol.

    • 31.1
      Laura says

      Heck yeah!!!! That’s the way to do it, break it down and tackle what you can. All that matters is that you do something. Can’t wait to hear how you make out!

    • 31.2
      Maija says

      I can SO relate! I’m overwhelmed and living in a disaster zone. (of my own making!) I hope you are doing well Just Amy.

  30. 32
    Kia says

    I”m behind because i just found this today. (catching up on my feed reader) i’m going to spend a few days making the list and doing 1 per week in no particular order. i also plan to take before and after picks of each list item as i move thru them. I haven’t decided if i’m going to blog about them as i go but i am committing to the full list in 1 year. Wish me luck!

    • 32.1
      Laura says

      Before and after pictures even if just for yourself are a very effective means of motivation. Sometimes we forget how much we’ve actually accomplished. How awesome to look back and say wow I’ve done more than I thought!

      Good luck!

  31. 33
    Sara says

    First on my list was to find a place for all of the stuff my kids got for Christmas, which for me meant re-organizing their rooms and getting rid of some old toys. Check. Next week I am focusing on a pile of papers that needs filed and a moving box that still needs unpacked.

    • 33.1
      Laura says

      How are you making out Sara?

      • Sara says

        Pile of papers done. Still have the box to go.

  32. 34
    Elle says

    I just found your blog! Love it. I don’t have the book, but I already started blogging about this before I read this post. I’m definitely joining this challenge. The problem I have right now is we have my sister and her son living with us so our house is VERY cramped. I can’t clean out our basement which is horrible until she moves out in May. So, I’m gonna have to start with what I CAN do. I already started on our school room, although I feel it still is pretty cluttered. I like the idea of taking before pics. I might do that too! Here is what I’ve done so far (I linked to it on the bloggy thing too) http://hotterthanelle.blogspot.com/2011/01/organize-this.html

    I will be back for week two! I’m gonna go get some ideas from all you ladies. You rock!

  33. 35
    april says

    First order of business will be get the 4 year old’s toy box decluttered !

  34. 36
    Elle says

    Ok, I got my list for the first month at least. Anything more than that and its too overwhelming: http://hotterthanelle.blogspot.com/2011/01/52-weeks-to-get-organized.html.

    I didn’t write in there how I would work on the first thing which is my dining room table, but basically, I think I’m gonna need some kind of a sorting system for papers. I am not sure what to do with our laptops either. That is kind of where they go ??? I would love some help here. There is a picture on the above post. Basically we use our dining room table to dump all our mail, school stuff, tax stuff, and bills on. We use it for our laptops. In reality, its kind of like an office because we don’t have one. I’m sure I could get it cleaned up, but what to do with the other stuff is a conundrum. Any advice?

    • 36.1
      Laura says

      Hi Elle! The first thing that popped into my head was a half bookcase next to your table as a mini office. You could leave your laptops on top when not in use and just bring them over to the table when it’s time to work. It will also give you two shelves underneath for papers and stuff. I’ll be posting this week about a great one I just bought at Walmart for $39.00.

      • Michelle says

        That sounds like a great idea! I look forward to reading that post 🙂

        • Michelle says

          I just realized my name showed up as Michelle..well I go by either, so ha!

  35. 37
    Martha (MM) says

    Hi Laura,
    I joined and linked up a couple days ago. I write Motivation Monday at The Motivation Station, I introduced your 52 weeks of organizing to the our team and readers this morning. Really looking forward to getting organized this year, thanks!

    • 37.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Martha! Looking forward to see what you’ll be working on.

  36. 38
    Living the Balanced Life says

    This weekend hubby and I cleaned out the kitchen cabinets, the pantry part of our utility room, and our fridge. We got rid of 7 trashbags (medium sized) of stuff we weren’t using. Some will go to the food bank. It feels so good to have all that cleaned out! makes it much easier to cook and plan meals!
    How does your faith affect your ability to cope?

    • 38.1
      Laura says

      Wow that is so so awesome!!

      • Elle says

        I think I need to do this too. I was reading somewhere on this website about purging and getting rid of things — living with less stuff and I felt myself agreeing wholeheartedly with what the article said. Why do I need 5 of the same baking dish? I definitely don’t. Although I keep it because at Thanksgiving, it comes in handy. I’m sure there are things though that I can toss. Maybe instead, I can just use those throw away pans at Thanksgiving time. It’s really the only time I use the stuff in my kitchen and get good use out of it. Otherwise, we use the same pans, ladels, bowls, cups, etc. Why do I need so much of it???? I have dishes from 12 years ago that should probably go. And if I cleaned out some of the space, it would be much more organized. I love the idea of adding an extra shelf above in our closets too. We have lots of ceiling space up there. I am really appreciating this website. Thank you for saving me from clutter insanity!

        • Sarah says

          Not sure if this would work for you, but to help with duplicates in the kitchen I worked out a system that I keep all the extras that I want to keep for larger gatherings tucked away in storage in the dining room instead of in the kitchen. I found that when I kept them in the kitchen I got lazier with dishes and they piled up much faster. With just what we need in the kitchen, if the bread pan is dirty (for eg) I have to wash it instead of getting out another one. (I do admit that occasionally when I just can’t wash I will get out a duplicate but I try to wash it and put it back as soon as possible so it doesn’t get out of control in the kitchen!)

  37. 39
    Jessica (Cheapskate Life) says

    I haven’t made my list yet, but I did organize my bathroom Saturday! Yay! I got tired of looking at all of the samples hanging out every which way and snapped! I got some of the baskets I knew I had other junk in (they really weren’t being used with a purpose other than storing junk) and organized the samples. Then I organized the top of my linen closet, which also meant throwing away a lot of expired meds. It felt glorious to have done something that’s been driving me nuts for a while! I don’t very often spend money on containers, but am wondering if you have ideas on how to cheaply organize a closet that has 3 kids’ clothing in it, as well as some storage use. This would be a monumental task for me, but I’m willing to do it!

    • 39.1
      Laura says

      Hi Jessica! Do you have a closet organizer in this closet currently or is just the bar across?

      • Jessica (Cheapskate Life) says

        It is about 86″ of interior closet (one side to the other), not a walk-in. There is about 31″ on the left side that is obscured because when we remodeled, my hubs didn’t make the door opening wide enough. The door opening is only 47″ wide. Inside there is a bar that stretches all the way across and a shelf that is just a board he put in there. I think there is enough room though to put two sets of actual shelves on top of the brackets holding up the bar. I haven’t installed an organizer yet. The things that are most important to be stored in there are hanging type clothes, some sweaters, pants & jeans, pillows, blankets, games (lots), goodwill/yard sale things to get rid of (I don’t have anywhere else to store these things until we have the sale), and boxes of things that are used, but they don’t really need out. There are about 3 boxes of yard sale things (I have 4 kids). I have thought about bringing those to our storage unit, but we have found that there are mice getting into our boxes there now. Thanks for your help!

    • 40.1
      Laura says

      Oh wow you got it done and it looks great! Were you surprised it only took you an hour to complete? Way to go girl!

  38. 41
    Ruthie says

    Oh I am scarily ditsy – read the intro post briefly, looked at the pdf – put an extra page on my blog – have had a to-do tuesday list a few times so adapted that – and then came back and started reading comments. Hmmmm, I said to myself, why are they talking about having 52 things on their lists? Yeah – ok, I got it now! DOH!

    Gonna go and start getting my list together!


  39. 42
    Jamie says

    This week I did two things so far off my list.

    1. Went through my coupon carrier and tosses everything that was expired. There was stuff from November in there!

    2. Went through all my clothes and selected items that need to be donated to charity.

    Currently, the roads in my area aren’t that safe to drive on due to a snow storm but in the next couple of I’ll be dropping my items off at the local Goodwill.

    The coupons weren’t really a huge task…but having the expired ones gone will help make creating my grocery list go so much faster!

    • 42.1
      Laura says

      You’re on a roll, good for you! Keep up the good work!

  40. 43
    Kelly says

    I’m jumping on board with this too! My first task was to create the list, as I tend to get overwhelmed quickly and give up. Just facing reality and creating the list is a challenge for me, especially since we just moved into our new home and are still living out of boxes. So there are lots of “unpack one box” on my list. I figure one a week will be simple enough for me. Thanks for the motivation!

    • 43.1
      Laura says

      Kelly, I just moved too a couple of months ago and I hear ya on how much work it is. Gosh I never want to move again that is for sure lol. That’s exactly what I did was one box at a time. If I looked at all the boxes that still had to be done I would have curled up on my floor and done nothing. One box at a time. I also kept a big donation box going and as I came across stuff that wouldn’t fit into my new home I just tossed rather than worrying about finding a home for it. I haven’t missed anything yet!

  41. 44
    Silje says

    I have put down on my list a few projects and I will continue to move around the house and fill it until next friday. I’ve tried to break down tasks in small enough projects so that I can accomplish them in about 30-60 min. I think that is a key issue for me. More than that and I will get daunted by the task ahead.

    My first task will be to go through my toiletries and organize some of them better. I have already bought some containers, but I haven’t got around to actually do the sorting yet. Looking forward to get it done!

    • 44.1
      Silje says

      And I forgot to say that I will get it done tomorrow after work. 🙂

      • Laura says

        Awesome Silje, sounds like an awesome plan. I’ll be looking for you here tomorrow to let us know how you did!

        • Silje says

          I did start to clean out of my toiletries, but it took me way longer than expected. I think I work too slow and need to work on my efficiency. Think the problem is that I tend to be too thorough. But I got half way there. And I will finish it tomorrow evening.

          While throwing out old and unnecessary stuff, I wrote down things I needed to replace and what more containers I need. So I will go out shopping on thursday or friday. It’s only small stuff and way less than what I’ve thrown out. My goal is after all to reduce my stuff.

  42. 45
    Nicky at Not My Mother says

    My first task was tackling some of the mess in our spare room, by sorting and decluttering under the bed, and finding homes for a lot of the stuff that’s lying around, and I blogged about that.

    Also, I’ve been working on reviewing our budget for the new year and making a spending plan. I didn’t blog about it and I’m not even sure you’d count it as organising, but I do and as it’s task #2 on my list I’m really pleased to have it done!

  43. 46
    Lauren Conforti says

    I just found this while at work, so I started my list. First on the list… Put away the Christmas stuff! Yep, my tree is still up… not lit, but still up. Gonna get that down and put away.

    I’m so glad I found this, and I hope it helps me get more organized.

  44. 47
    Jenni says

    Just re-found you today after over a year away… computer issues. Anyway, I’m so IN! Today, I swapped out my long, six-drawer dresser for the girls tall, four-drawer one. The thought is that they will be able to reach everything themselves, making less work for Mom. That’s how it works, right? 🙂 Other accomplishments to get me caught up to this week were: deep cleaning the upstairs bathroom and purging kid clothes. I’ve got my list made up to #14, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Maybe I’ll post a before picture of my BIG problem area…. next thing on the list is to organize our entertainment center – it’s a dusty catch-all that needs some work! Thanks so much for the encouragement and motivation!

  45. 48
    Jonelle says

    I have been forced to be a stay at home mom and let me say this goes against my very nature! My youngest son, now 8, has recently been given a clean bill of health after going through cancer treatments. I have schooled my children at home this year and let’s say its been chaos! I feel like that Spacebag commercial, “too much stuff not enough space!” I have organized for other people and had no problem. I loved it. But when it comes to my own home, I get stuck in the downward spiral of where do I start? This website has been a wonderful reminder that I am human just like everyone else and has given me focus. I will be starting my 52 weeks of organizing on Monday and have just recently finished my list. I am so excited to get my house back. You know its a lot easier to keep things clean when your kids are in school and you go to work. At least no one is home to mess things up ALL DAY as when you are home with the kids and they have ALL DAY to mess it up!! I am a list person and even write out the day’s cleaning chores even though it is the same routine. I have to clear my head about it all. Get a game plan in writing and follow that plan. Otherwise, my cluttered mind gets too overwhelmed and I find I just do nothing all day! Thank you for creating this helpful site. It makes me feel normal where I have felt inadequate.

  46. 49
    Lorene Holdaway says

    I am new to this site. I am here because I am not a natural orginizer.
    I have a huge problem I am hoping you all can help me with. I am
    moving out of our beautiful, 5,000 sq/ft home into a lovely 2,000 sq/ft
    home. I need to down scale and declutter like crazy. How do I tackel
    this job?


  47. 50
    cindy says

    I know I am a bit late in joining the PROCESS, but I just found your blog. I am happy about finding you though!! I do need to get myself more organized. My hubby and I have been talking about it for a while and NOW is the time I will start. My kids are now grown and mostly on their own so mom doesn’t have to hold on to everything for them anymore. I want to repurpose rooms, remove clutter, and evaluate what we have. I have lots of ideas of what I would like to do, but I need the room to do it. My house isn’t terrible, but we do have a great deal of stuff that we have to take care of that we don’t really need so I would just like to draw a line and say no more. Anyway I am looking forward to the journey and the process and I hope to have a more organized and to that end a freeing household. No more CHAOS for me.

  48. 51
    Taffy says

    Hello, I just recently found this blog and i know im really late but I’m joining in and going try and do the challenge! This looks so fun!

  49. 52
    Débora says

    Hello. I am new to this organization page but I am very encouraged to begin to improve my form of organization. I’m from Spain and I love your page.

  50. 53
    Olga Hermans says

    This is a great list, your closets look fabulous I must say. Mine are organized, but not as yours. You are a great example; I love your site; thanks

  51. 55
    Betty819 says

    My main concern is my computer paper clutter. It is easier for me to comprehend a “hard copy” than to read it off the monitor. Maybe I should take a spiral compostion book and write down notes about certain websites instead of printing it off each time. Most are mine are related to gardening, wintersowing, organizing, home decorating and of course, recipes.

    I have so many recipes printed off the internet sites that I would like to make up a notebook full of recipes for my oldest Granddaughter who is going to college, just started a new part time job at an upscale restaurant and she and boyfriend and another couple plan to rent a house together. I think she is biting off more than she can chew financially but you can’t tell these kids anything. They know it all! I think I will go through my printed recipes and put together a notebook of easy, yet delicious recipes for her.

  52. 56
    Sammie Johnson says

    So thankful to find this site…..I hope you all can help me stay motivated! My house is a wreck and I have never been a cleaner or an organizer! I want to turn that around!!!

  53. 57
    Binetou says

    Ooohoo I just organised my closet, feels so good ! I removed clothes I didnt wear for more than one year and have to go to the shop and buy some more hangers… 🙂 What an achievement, I have procrastinating this for a long time

  54. 58
    Jenna says

    I just have to say thank goodness for iPhones and iPads. They make my life less cluttered with paper. Although writing your ideas down on paper is a fabulous idea I prefer the techie approach. If you are an electronic organizer like me there is an app you have to try that will help you with your 52 week organizing list. It is called list pickle and it is free. You make lists then you press the get me out of this pickle button. It will randomly choose something on your list for you. I love this because I know there are a million people out there who don’t know where to start. I use this app for dinner ideas and restaurants because it helps when you have your husband ask what do you want for dinner, well now you’ll have an answer, and if he doesn’t like it you can just keep pressing that depicckler button. Hope this can be of some help to some people. Now get organizing!

  55. 59
    Amaryllis says

    Even though I’m a year late, I decided to start this challenge in 2012. I really like the list – it stops me from thinking up a project that I have to right NOW! Instead, I managed to schedule some goals for the coming weeks and am looking forward to start with them.

  56. 60
    Robyn says

    Is anybody else starting the 52 weeks in 2012? It would be great to have company!

    • 60.1
      Pauline says

      Hi! I just discovered this the other day – and yes, I’m starting the “52 Weeks” now – hopefully some other folks are, too – so we can encourage each other!

  57. 61
    malina says

    I just wanted to say i love your site and have accepted the 52 week challenge! i’ve decided to create a small blog to keep track of my journey!!

  58. 62
    Maija says

    Year and a half later.. I find your site and decide this 52 week challenge is just what I was looking for.
    I’m not sure I’ll ever get to the point where my house ‘nice’, but I have to start taking those baby steps.
    I wish I had Samantha’s nose!

  59. 63
    Wardah says

    I just turned 30 and think this is the turning point i need to FEEL better about my home space. With a hubby, a baby and toddler, the clear home space with lead to clear head space (I hope!). I accept this challenge.

  60. 64
    Linda Stamper says

    So excited to start this process!! Thanks!!!

  61. 65
    Linda Stamper says

    So excited to start this journey of organization!!

  62. 66
    Lindsay says

    Just came across this in a hope to get some peace, serenity and organization to my home. Thanks for the tips and all the advice.

  63. 67
    idee deco salon says

    Hello, I do think your website could possibly be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine
    however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, great blog!


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