52 Weeks: #3 Identify the Piles + giveaway!

If you are new to 52 Weeks of Organizing, please read the introduction post here.

It’s Friday!  This week I’ve been a busy girl organizing kitchen drawers and my office.  I keep forgetting to take pictures for you but one of these days I’m going to take a video of some of my spaces so you can take a peek at them.

We went into the city earlier this week for my son’s allergy testing so of course I had to make a quick run into Michaels.  Their baskets always seem to be on sale and I can’t resist checking them out.  Last time we were there I didn’t buy a thing which was so hard to do considering they were all on for 50% off.  Talk about will power!! 🙂  This time though I went with a purpose.  Our recently adopted  little Bella dog needed a basket for all her toys.  Since this one would sit out in our living room I wanted something a little more snazzy.  Look what found it’s way into my basket at 40% off:

The blue matches my living perfectly which totally calls for a happy dance!!  Now I just have to work on getting Bella to put the toys back when she’s done with them and I’m all set! 🙂

I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it is to read your comments and celebrate your organizing successes with you.    I love what Trixie of Farm Home Life had to say in her post:

Last week’s project was cleaning out and organizing what was left of our junk drawer. Let me tell you— it has been absolutely WONDERFUL to have a neatly organized “junk” drawer. Twice this week I needed to quickly find something in there and it was so easy!! Just today my husband commented how nice it was that he could readily see if we had a certain size battery. I think he is thrilled I’m doing these organizing projects (I spilled the beans when he wanted to know why on earth I was photographing our closet: ).

YES!  Now that’s what I’m talking about it.  Look at the difference even organizing something as small as a junk drawer can make in one’s life!  It all matters.  Celebrate your accomplishments no matter how big or small and keep the momentum going!

Next I couldn’t help but laugh when I read this sentence over at Barefoot Deliberations after she purged a whole pile of clothes:

Guess what? It didn’t hurt or cause pain. It wasn’t comparable to torture or agony and I think I even had a little bit of fun!

Yay to that!

So speaking of piles, who has them?  Look around…do you see any?  I think sometimes we get so use to the clutter we stop seeing it.   Piles occur with stuff that doesn’t have a “home”.  It accumulates on a counter, desk, dresser or even the floor (no, say it isn’t so!) when we don’t know where else to put it.  So my challenge for you this week is to tackle one of those piles.  Sort it out to see exactly what is really buried under there and do something about it.   If you’ve got a question about something in that pile that you just don’t know what to do with, leave a note in the comments for me and I’ll do my best to help you out or direct you to a past post of mine.

Questions to ponder:
1.  What areas did you organize this week?
2.  Where you happy with what you accomplished or disappointed?  Explain.
3.  What types of piles would you like to get under control?

This giveaway is now closed

Now to motivate you just a teeny bit I’ve got a sweet giveaway for you.  My sister-in-law gave me the most beautiful piece of mosaic jewelry for Christmas and I just love the originality of it.   She makes them herself and just starting selling them on Etsy as well as her website, Crafty Mosaics, and offered to giveaway this pretty circle pendant below to one of my readers.

Isn’t that gorgeous!  Here’s a sample of some of the other pieces she makes:

How do you win you ask?  Just leave a comment on this post telling me something you’ve organized this past week. What?  You didn’t organize anything?  No worries, it’s not too late.  I’ll leave this giveaway open until Tuesday, January 25th at 3:00 pm PST to give you lots of time to tackle one of your piles 🙂


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!

Filed under: 52 Weeks of Organizing


203 Responses to 52 Weeks: #3 Identify the Piles + giveaway!

  1. 1
    Amy W says

    I’ve been slowly…and I do mean slowly organizing my house. I did my junk drawer right before Christmas and it felt so good! This week I’m working on my bathroom…too much makeup and beauty products…time to purge.

  2. 2
    Catherine says

    I’m still in the process, but I’m organizing my kids’ art supplies and stowing away my china so I can totally get rid of my china cabinet! So excited to make some space!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Wow that will free up a ton of space!

  3. 3
    Elora says

    Like you, I’m in the process of organizing my whole apartment. This week, I tackled the kitchen drawers/cabinets, as well as the hall closet. Next I think I’ll try to get rid of some of the stuff in our bedroom so that I have less to organize, haha.

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      That’s my philosophy exactly…the less stuff you have…the less work it is to organize it….the more time you have for the stuff that really matters!

      You go girl!

  4. 4
    [email protected] says

    I have been working on my house but I have been forgetting to take before pics.

  5. 5
    Divya Vikra says

    I organized my baking pantry today!

  6. 6
    Christie says

    This week I organized my kitchen drawers, again. I re-did it after just a few months from a complete overhaul because my dad was really super nice and bought a built in dishwasher to replace my current portable one which didnt always work. Anywho, taking out one drawer and cupboard impacted my kitchen greatly, it was the cutlery drawer and casserole dish cupboard. With summer over, I have packed away the BBQ utensil drawer and reconfigured another cupboard to house the casserole dishes (not just casserole, but all glass dishes). The base cupboard which was removed is going to be made into a mobile island with built in storage (the removed drawer and door), the portable dishwasher was taken to the dump the very next day.

  7. 7
    Jenrod1989 says

    I have been cleaning out closets and cabinets to prepare for a move. This week it was the kitchen. Throwing away lids that didn’t have a bottom, bottoms with out lids. Going throw to check for expiration dates and restocking.

  8. 8
    Suzy McNeilly says

    For the past week, during our complete kitchen renovation, I’ve been focusing on organizing my scrappy lounge. Each night I’ve been spending 10-30 minutes in there and purposely filling up a trash bag (a small grocery store one, but hey it is a full bag). I have a pile to go to the local thrift store, crafty/vintage items for Etsy, and then stuff I haven’t touched in years, asked me if I really needed it or if anyone needed it … and trashed it.

    I am so afraid to put things in my new kitchen cabinets and drawers. Where do I start??????

    • 8.1
      Jenny says

      Start with the silverware. 🙂

    • 8.2
      Laura says

      A new kitchen, how exciting! Don’t be afraid, remember nothing is permanent. I’ve already reorganized my kitchen 3 times since I moved in. Try it one way and if you find you get annoyed by the flow just switch it around. It will be fine!

  9. 9
    Tara says

    Last week we had the carpets replaced in ALL of our 3 bedrooms. Needless to say since Christmas I have organized and purged all of the contents of the closets in those rooms – including the hall linen closet. New paint, new floors, new furniture configurations and many trips to local donation depots later, I feel like I have moved into a new house. My new years resolution is “less is more”. I am loving the organized spaces, but now need to store the furniture that didn’t make the trips back into the rooms…

    • 9.1
      Laura says

      Less is more, yes! Do you have room for the furniture that didn’t go back or will you part with it?

  10. 10
    Joan says

    This week ive managed to tackle my wardrobe, it was a mess for some reason the floor of the wardrobe seems to pile up.

    Thank you for keeping me motivated, each week I look forward to achieveing something else.

    • 10.1
      Janene says

      I’m dreading trying to organize my wardrobe. I hardly have any clothes that I still like. 🙁

      I have a feeling I’m going to be giving a lot of things away!

      Congrats on completing yours! It must feel awesome!

    • 10.2
      Laura says

      Way to go Joan!!

  11. 11
    pinkbeary says

    I organized my guest room. It had become a “junk room”. I had to clear it out for a guest.

    Beautiful pendants! Your sister is very talented.

  12. 12
    Stacy says

    gonna finish my office/craft/school room this weekend and tackle the linen closet

  13. 13
    Debbie in GA says

    My pile of books next to the sofa.

  14. 14
    MonicaB says

    I’ve been organizing my cookbooks and recipes. I cleaned up the piles of books and I’m still working on getting all the loose recipes sorted and filed.

  15. 15
    Trixie says

    Thanks for spotlighting my project! I was ogling those same baskets at Micheals this week. Oooh so many possibilities I wanted to bring them all home. Now that I’m sure of a couple that will fit where I need them; I’ll pick them up on the next sale.

  16. 16
    Rhonda R says

    My file cabinet. Pulled out the old, to make room for new papers.

  17. 17
    april says

    Ive been working on my desk which is a M-E-S-S!

  18. 18
    Tracy O says

    This past week I organized all of our DVDs in the entertainment center. I have always attempted to keep them stacked nicely, but when the kids went digging it ended up a whole heaping mess. I have to say…everyone loves what I did and I plan on linking up that today. I also organized 2 kitchen cabinets.

    I have piles everywhere and I cannot stress how much I hate them. Everytime I clean one, a new one appears…especially on the kitchen table. I would just like to sit down and eat without moving piles! Most of it is paper, which belongs in the office but since that is over run with piles, it isn’t going to get fixed until I make a home for it. On the agenda this week (and possibly next, and next, and next)…the office/craft room…I have my work cut out for me in there!

    BTW – that pendant is simply stunning…how much fun would that be to wear?

    • 18.1
      Laura says

      You are on a roll! Can’t wait to see what you’ve done, please link up!

      • michelle says

        I can totally relate to the kitchen table mess, on my agenda for tonight though! Wish me luck

  19. 19
    Gwenn says

    I’ve been a little slow this week… teething 20 mnth old has put a halt to EVERYTHING in my house!

    I managed to get the kid’s puzzles into ziploc bags (and cut the picture off the box). Saved a ton of space!
    Hubby cleaned out is closet… all on his own… without me asking!!… and got rid of 3 big garbage bags of clothes including 2 suits the haven’t fit in years.

    • 19.1
      Laura says

      That’s a great trick for puzzles, I love that one!

  20. 20
    Jill says

    I completely forgot to take a picture of our toy closet before it’s transformation last weekend. And my husband was the initiator of the project. Yay!

    • 20.1
      Laura says

      Super yay!

  21. 21
    Andi says

    I have been organizing my sewing room (again!) This time all of the fabric is in the room (nothing stored elsewhere) so I had a lot of piles to tackle! 🙂 I have given away a huge box of fabric, and categorized all of my handmade items. I have some items ready to give away, sold some, and have opened my own Etsy shop. Your sister-in-law does beautiful work – good luck to her with her Etsy shop, I am sure she will do well!

  22. 22
    Laure says

    I organized all my linens; they don’t get their own closet, they have to reside in part of a my walk-in closet, so I really need to stay on top of them!
    Thanks so much for writing your blog. It is so inspirational!

    • 22.1
      Jill says

      I love the tip about keeping sheets in the pillowcase.

  23. 23
    AlexisAnne says

    This week I finally sat down and made my list of things to tackle on this journey- and I also cleaned out my kitchen utensil drawers, but I haven’t blogged about it yet, so I’ll save the details on that one for next week 🙂

    I also bought a few things to help manage the snowy weather chaos in my entryway- but awaiting on hubby to properly affix everything to the walls so we don’t have a catastrophe. Overall, a good week of getting a few little things done that needed to be done!

  24. 24
    Heather says

    We (finally) took down the Christmas decorations and I culled the broken ones and pared down the boxes as we packed them away for the year. I cleaned/decluttered the fireplace mantels in the house since they had become clutter magnets. I cleaned hundreds of magnets off our magnet/markerboard, gathered them into their own ‘magnet box’ and thoroughly cleaned the markerboard. I’m trying out a goal this year to ‘make two things better every day’ – either through cleaning or organizing.

    • 24.1
      Laura says

      Love that goal, that’s awesome!

  25. 25
    Janet says

    I look forward to reading your blog every day! Love the enthusiasm you have for organizing! Piles are my biggest problem. I always think I’ll get to them, but when they get bigger I sort of give up on them. This week I organized my purse and wallet. Threw out old coupons – put the rest in a little leather type envelope that fits in my purse (I think they are sold to keep photos in). Found a small business card holder for all those reward cards to go in so they were not taking up all that space in my wallet. Thanks for all you do to help us get organized!

    • 25.1
      Laura says

      Way to go Janet, every little bit helps!

  26. 26
    Beth says

    I worked with my daughter in organizing her bureau drawers. She tossed a bag of clothes!

  27. 27
    Amy says

    Hi. Just found your site yesterday and I love it! I have been organizing the piano/office room. I have a front room (should be a formal dining room but we are using it in a different way) that has a piano in it. I found your PROCESS steps so useful. I made a PLAN for what I wanted my front room to be, and am now getting rid of all of the things that will not suit its purpose. I can’t wait to finish this project, because it is the first room anyone sees when they walk in the door. It wasn’t until I saw your post about thinking about the purpose of the room before I realized that I had way more stuff in the room than needed.

    • 27.1
      Laura says

      So glad it worked for you….it really does make a difference doesn’t it.

  28. 28
    Cheryl says

    this week I have finally taken the time to get my closet back in order after the change over to the colder season of clothing.

  29. 29
    lorraine says

    I completely decluttered my closet of all the clothes the kids no longer fit into. I sorted and organized who to give them to or where to donate. It’s nice to be able to walk-in the closet again without climbing over stuff!

  30. 30
    Living the Balanced Life says

    I finally tackled my jewelry collection! It’s all costume jewelry. I used to work (as an employee) for a major direct selling beauty company and one of my perks was to get first pick of all the new jewelry sent to me. Needless to say, I had quite a collection! I had organized it once, last year, but this time I purged out quite a bit, matched up earrings, detangled and hung necklaces… Looks so much better and will be so much easier to get ready to go somewhere!
    Getting the respect you deserve

  31. 31
    Susanne says

    It’s been a crazy week here but I did manage to get a good dent into the craft room purge I had listed. Didn’t finish but it’s on it’s way. It’s going to be a big job. Sorry no posts or pics, you’ll just have to trust me. :v)

    • 31.1
      Laura says

      I do!!

  32. 32
    Jenny says

    This week I’m working on a large top corner cupboard in my kitchen that actually serves as part of the home office. Built in computer counter, file drawers etc. All sounds nice and so wonderful! But I’m a “toss it in there so I don’t have to see it/think about it” kind of person. And the cupboard shows it. So I’m taking several days to clean through it. The hardest part for me is deciding what home to give the stuff that has been tossed in their since we moved here 2 years ago. But I’m making headway!

  33. 33
    Jennifer says

    Last week I took some time to organize my bathroom. It felt great to throw out all the unused items and expired medications. I now have a nice clutter free counter which makes my mornings feel so much more relaxed. No more worrying that I’ll knock something off the counter to crash on the tile floor!

    • 33.1
      Laura says

      It’s amazing how much clearing the clutter can change the whole outlook of our day!

  34. 34
    Tammy Marcelain says

    Organized, what haven’t I organized this last week? As a full time mom, business owner and college student I had two weeks after my kids started their school year back up after the holidays before I started school this week. I have emptied 2 closets, cleaned out everything in my pantry-dumped all the expired boxes, cleaned out a book case, and painted the inside of my house. I took 3 car loads to the Salvation Army. My house is amazingly light feeling.

    • 34.1
      Laura says

      I love hearing about all the purging that is going on!

  35. 35
    Heidi says

    I just found your blog this week, so I’m going to tell you what I’ve done since the first of the year: Bathroom linen cabinet, drawers in the vanity and both medicine cabinets. Got rid of A LOT of bath and body products I’ll never use and wiped everything down. Tackled my dresser drawers and found items to donate and toss. I can close my sock drawer with ease! Also, my closet. I’m pregnant, so took out almost all of the non-maternity items. Tossed, stored in another location and donated a whole lot of clutter! My husband and I worked on properly storing our Christmas items. My next big project is our very large kitchen peninsula which is the catch-all for every paper that comes into the house, along with a bunch of other ‘crap’ (phone chargers, toys, CD’s and other items that don’t have a home.

    Thank you for all the ideas, insights and resources! I’ve started to fill up the 52 week sheet and am feeling very motivated. I have a trip coming up to a larger city and can’t wait to go to IKEA and the Container Store to shop for organizational helpers!

  36. 36
    Heather says

    1. What areas did you organize this week?

    The pantry– finally!

    2. Where you happy with what you accomplished or disappointed? Explain.

    I was. Labels are a lifesaver for me! Labeling each shelf should help for when others need to replace things in the pantry so things don’t just pile up out of control. After the organizing overhaul, I was even able to fit the cereal and chips from the top of my fridge into the pantry, so that cleared up even more clutter in the kitchen. Score!

    3. What types of piles would you like to get under control?

    My current “big” project is clearing out my guest/craft room to turn it into a nursery for baby #2. I’ve been (slowly but surely) sorting through and purging craft materials in order to move it all into a corner of my bedroom. Since it’s something I’m going to have to look at every day, it’s taking awhile to do it right. It’s coming along though!

    I already posted the link above, but if you want to check out my pantry before and after pictures, here’s the link again:

  37. 37
    Amber says

    We are working on our “green room” (it has green carpet) right now its more of a junk room. All of our painting supplies were in there from when we were on a painting kick, Mac’s Hockey geear and 6 tubs of stuff I needed to sort through. Well the tubs have been cleared out and so has the paint supplies we are on our way!

  38. 38
    Stacey says

    My 12 yr old daughter tried on EVERY article of clothing she has and we have a huge pile to give away 🙂

    • 38.1
      Laura says

      That’s the way to do it!

  39. 39
    Andrea says

    This week I focused on my three children’s dressers and closets. I even matched the girls’ dresses and tights! It made the entire week much easy as I went to dress them each day!

  40. 40
    Janette says

    I went in to my sons room to put something away, opened his closet and spent the next 2 hours cleaning and sorting, all this to put a sweater away.

  41. 41
    EmmyJMommy says

    I am in the middle of organizing my kitchen and playroom. Kind of dual projects going on at the same time!

  42. 42
    More Than A Mom says

    The toys are (slowly) getting under control. The most unnerving part about organizing and purging is that you have to make a huge mess before it gets cleaned up. Discouraging until you get to the end and can see the floor and counters again.

    My next project is to organize the Christmas bins (label, toss what we don’t use, re-pack after hubby did the first attempt). I also want to wrap our Christmas books to make the 12 days of Christmas a surprise for next year AND create my Christmas 2011 binder and calendar (to include things that I forgot about this year). Whew!

  43. 43
    Kristin Peterson says

    This week I’ve been organizing my desk area, which is where I sit for a good portion of the day as this is in our homeschooling room. My primary target was an 11 slot paper organizer that is basically a catch-all for any number of items, not just paper. Lookin’ good!

  44. 44
    SJ says

    I organized our daughter’s food cabinet and our tupperware pile. Both are now much more accessible!

  45. 45
    Heather E. says

    I am also in a slow process of organizing my entire house with spending the least amount of money possible. So, this week I organized our desk and my bathroom closet. Thanks for the beautiful giveaway!

  46. 46
    Emily says

    I printed off your 52 week list and filled it out! I started with one of my craft junk drawers and am very pleased!

    • 46.1
      Laura says

      That’s awesome Emily, a list definitely helps!

  47. 47
    ctdaffodil says

    I organized m y top dresser drawer – its thinner than the ones below it – so its been a catchall for jewelery, concert tickets, nice notes from teachers etc. Well I tossed about half of it – put a nice little shallow jewelery sorter in and everything is so tidy – I don’t need to pry it open or squeeze it shut anymore. Its so nice. (found a ton of hand sewing supplies in there too- – they are back with their relatives in the sewing box – which explains why it was empty last time I needed something from it.

  48. 48
    meg says

    I’ve been slowly making my way though the house- this week I did the linen closet and under the bathroom sink. 2 of my least favorite and therefore least delt with spaces. Boy is it nice to be able to find everything though (and as it turns out I won’t need to be toothpaste, shampoo, or lotion for a LONG time).

    • 48.1
      Laura says

      Just think of the money you saved yourself! 🙂

  49. 49
    Janene says

    I did one of the china closets in my dining room – the built in one. We use it for book shelves/storage shelves. It’s mine…all mine…now! I took all the kids’ stuff out and found new homes for it or got rid of it.

    I love knowing where my things are and where they go when I need to put them somewhere! 🙂

  50. 50
    Jan says

    The Tupperware (actually mostly Gladware) drawer! This was really satisfying. I make lunches for kids every morning and it is so nice not to have to start the day digging for a lid/base that match up (and lamenting my lack of organization).

    Very pretty pendant. Yes, please. 🙂

  51. 51
    Shannon says

    I organized the baby food this week!

    I was happy with it but it still needs some improvement.

    Piles? Oh my, have you hit on a sore spot! I am the Pile Queen. I literally move piles around because I don’t know what to do with them and everytime I clean one up, two more spring up in it’s place. I’d personally like to figure out how to NEVER have another pile on my home desk again. I can handle it on my work desk but at home it really bugs me!

    • 51.1
      Laura says

      Well I don’t know if you can eliminate them entirely but having a home for everything will make cleanup a quick process rather than a long one 🙂

  52. 52
    danae says

    my husband & i are both enjoying this organizational challenge. he is thankful that the challenge encourages baby steps so i don’t become so obsessed with organizing that the rest of my life gets neglected! [that may or may not be a problem for me…] he’s so excited, in fact, that HE often grabs the camera & takes pictures of each step, often thinking of blog-worthy photos that i didn’t! from the bottom of our hearts at the casteel casa, thanks for doing this challenge!

    • 52.1
      Laura says

      LOL, that’s terrific! I love to hear that he’s on board with you 🙂

  53. 53
    Tara says

    I decided to relive my youth and bought a Caboodle. I organized all of my makeup and purged a lot, too.

  54. 54
    camille says

    I share a walk in closet with my husband and started organizing his shoes. Then I ended up doing shirts, jackets and slacks by color. Before I knew it I was tackling his ties. This could be a major mistake, he has MANY ties in the 50’s at least, most tied already. I had very little space, no budget and hoped for creativity. I went on the web looking for ideas on how to creatively hang his ties without taking up alot of space. Wasn’t happy with rolling his ties. Long story short, I found a piece of wire shelving about 24″ in length by 18″w. I turned it on its side and was able to plug in the knot between the slats. YEAH!! Got them ALL on that piece, I got 2 IKEA hooks and hung it onto the closet rod, next to his dress shirts. I was happy with it…But would my husband be. (dun dun dun duuuu) Turns out I sweated over nothing because he LOVED it. The function actually worked-his method of hanging them over a hanger didn’t work since he’d have to take the majority out to get one towards the bottom. Thanks for the ideas, sharing the BHG SIP STORAGE Magazine, and for helping ME to look at things with a different set of eyes…. LOVE IT!!

  55. 55
    Daniel says

    I’m the guy who likes to work on kitchens’ countertops. I just can’t stand it when it looks messy. These photos make me realize one thing, “Start organizing the entire house”.

  56. 57
    Stephani says

    I’m actually in the process of organizing our medicine/first aid cabinet…I can’t believe how much stuff in there was expired! Eek!

  57. 58
    Michele K says

    I’ve been on a roll this week! Cleaned/moved furniture/organized the “big TV room”, did the pantry and now I’m organizing the office!

  58. 59
    Suzanne Jackson says

    This week, I organized my business supplies — which is fun in my case because those supplies are primarily beautiful Willow House products!

  59. 60
    Kyle McVay says

    This week we partially organized clothing boxes. We have 5 kids and I had pulled some boxes down to get some warm clothes. I also numbered, organized and culled the Christmas boxes. When these boxes went back into the attic they were numbered and added to my new attic spreadsheet. I’m working on my 52 week’s of organizing sheet, I like to complete lists. 🙂

  60. 61
    Amber says

    I’m in major nesting mode! So far this week I’ve organized our kitchen cabinets, bathroom drawers, and linen closet!

  61. 62
    Denise says

    Love your site. I organized my homeschool records..yuck! My great friend helped me (she did most) and I’d give this to her if I won!

    • 62.1
      Laura says

      Okay how sweet! I love to see friends helping each other out like that!

  62. 63
    Lisa says

    All 3 children’s closets and 2 of my daughters drawers. All of this took a whole day!

  63. 64
    Dani says

    This week I only got to organize our spice cabinet. I bought some cute plastic baskets with handles at Dirt Cheap. I put all the sweet spices in one, peppers in another, spices for spaghetti in the third. and all my cooking oils in the last one. It is so easy to pull down one basket rather than have to sort through the ENTIRE cabinet!

    Can NOT wait to organize something else! Thanks for getting me motivated!

    • 64.1
      Laura says

      It’s so addictive isn’t it!

  64. 65
    Jody H says

    I’ve been organizing my craft room. What a mess! I bought a bunch of clear totes and it looks great now.

  65. 67
    Krista says

    I organized my pantry. I put a plastic lazy susan on the top shelf and used it to store my bottles of oil, soy sauce, honey, oil spray, etc. These are bottles I use often and it is so much easier than searching through the shelves. Plus, now that everything has a place, I don’t keep putting the bottles “wherever they fit!”

  66. 68
    Natalie says

    this week I organized my craft/candleholders space and also organized a couple of cabinets in my kitchen. I’m on my way!

  67. 69
    S. Davis says

    The top shelf of the kitchen pantry, not to be confused with the pantry shelves. This is a small area, but had not been worked on in quite some time. DH wanted to do it over Christmas break, but did the playroom instead, so I did this shelf for his birthday! Thank you!

  68. 70
    Heather says

    I have been organizing this week, but I am kinda on hold at the moment. My boyfriend is moving in this weekend and once we get his stuff in we will purge and organize so that things work for both of us. Thus far, I have begun organizing my closet, but it’s not quite finished yet. I have also done the pantry. We recently discovered my boyfriend had Celiac Disease, so I needed a completely Gluten Free shelf, so he knew what was his. Many more projects coming over the weekend and in the very near future. Stay Tuned….

  69. 71
    Bethany says

    I could not find something in the fridge on Wed night so after dinner I took everything out, tossed the “what was that”, washed the shelves and drawers and then put everything back. Now when I open the fridge it is bright and organized AND I know what I need to get at the store now!

  70. 72
    Tiffany says

    Ooh, I’ve organized a lot this week. I did my closet, under my bed, the linen closet, my coupons, and much more!

  71. 73
    Mary Ann says

    I started couponing last year, and have acquired a little stockpile of things. I don’t have a pantry, so I am using shelves that are in a spare room. I worked on organizing those shelves, and it really made a difference! =)

  72. 74
    Susan M. says

    I organized my daughter’s new bookcase. I thought there’d be plenty of room, but it is completely full!! Who knew we had that many boxes of books next to her little ‘ol bookcase. But, did find some she’d outgrown that we donated to the library.

  73. 75
    Courtney W says

    I organized the junk drawers (we have 2), and my bedroom. Trying to get a bunch organized before the new baby comes!

  74. 76
    Tami says

    I haven’t done the junk drawer(s) yet, but I did get the pantry done!

  75. 77
    Cynthia says

    I bought 16— 30 gallon totes after Christmas. After living in the same house for 30 years I have accumulated too much stuff on display. So am packing the totes with everything that I don’t absolutely “love”. You know those items that you just look at and think why am I keeping that!!! I am about half my way thru the totes. My house looks like we are moving but when all is done it will look much better. Am sure I will feel better too.

    • 77.1
      Laura says

      Will you purge all the stuff you don’t absolutely love?

      • Cynthia says

        I am storing as they are all collectibles. I can’t sell right now as prices are way down. So will store until prices come up. Then it will be easier to sell.

  76. 78
    Crystal says

    Can someone help me figure out how to get Laura’s cute 52 weeks of organizing link box onto my blog? The one that looks like a label and has the boxing stacked up the side.
    I feel quite silly having to ask but I just can’t figure it out. I have just started my blog and have figured out alot on my own but still have a long way to go!

    Lovely jewelery by the way!


  77. 79
    Kathy says

    I was on a roll this week. YAY !!! I organized my son’s toy bins and the laundry room (nothing is sitting on top of my washer/dryer) and I even dropped off donations at Goodwill. I feel ahead of the game this week and very accomplished. Thank you Laura for your advice and guidance.

  78. 80
    Jayme says

    My little boys’ bedroom is DONE! Yeah! Purged 1 large box of toys – heading to the donation spot this weekend. Purged and organized their dressers and closet. Organized toys. Of course, at only 1 & 2 years old – they won’t be keeping their room tidy on their own. But…at least now everything has a spot and cleaning it up is soooooo much faster and easier now. Still 5 more bedrooms to organize + the rest of the house, but at least progress is being made. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration.

  79. 81
    Andrea Bindewald says

    I am a new reader to your blog and so far I am loving what I am seeing and reading! I started this past week by making my LONG list of things that need to be organized, purged, fixed, thrown out etc…
    I started with my closet. It needed a major overhaul. After 3 kids i have a lot of clothes that don’t fit anymore (something I am working on) but like you said in one of your posts, I will want new clothes to go with the new me! Anyways, it wasn’t hard and I ended up with 2 large bags for the garage sale, 1 bag of garbage and a pile to donate to friends! Ahhh it feels so good to get rid of stuff.
    I can’t wait to tackle the rest of the things on my list!

  80. 82
    Randi says

    I am so excited to have found you! I am on a year long quest to organize our home and this site is so helpfull!! This week I have dug through 3 piles of holiday clutter and tossed out the useless stuff and put the necessitities in their proper place! Yay me!!!

  81. 83
    Jenn says

    I did the bathroom and linen closet this week. LOVE it when all my cvs goodies are organized in containers on my shelf! Beautiful pendant!!

  82. 84
    cassie says

    Reorganized and inventoried my freezer!

  83. 85
    Megan Jarrad says

    Cleaning out is so hard to do, but so great when I saw the outcome. I went through 3 years worth of clothing and stuff of my daughters, which included 4+ bins and 2 trash bags full of baby things I gave away. I got rid of clothes that were WAY to small for me, and I figure if I am ever near that size again I deserve to go shopping.

  84. 86
    Amanda Bosque says

    I am just getting started with this and my first step was to create and organize a recipe binder. I am slowly, but surely working on this and it’s off to a great start! I am looking forward to linking up and being a part of this each week. I know I will need a lot of motivation!

  85. 87
    Shannon says

    I cleaned off a book shelf, under an end table and inventoried my freezer. Yay me!!

  86. 88
    Sandra says

    I’m on vacation and I’m organizing all the house :s
    I’ll try to post some before/after pictures late.

  87. 89
    Colleen says

    It’s been an insane week. We moved our 3 boys so they each have their own rooms. I’ve been busy organizing all of their clothes into their respective rooms. As I went through everything I came up with 3 large bags to donate. Purging felt great 🙂

  88. 90
    Melissa M. says

    Will a whole room do. I finally got to organize my spare room. I am just waiting on a book case to store some items and it will be perfect. Purged a lot, gave alot away and have a nice neat pile to be taken up to the attic. I was so proud of myself. Just because I stuck with it.


  89. 91
    Joyce says

    Being snowed in for much of last week resulted in a lot of decluttering being done at my house — plus an overflowing recycling bin and a big bag to Goodwill. Much more of this weather and my house will be so neat I won’t recognize it.

    The arrival of an order from Penzey’s means today’s project is the spice shelf in my kitchen so I can get the new stuff in.

  90. 92
    Emily B says

    My next organizing project is to get our Property Binder made and easily accessible, and to get our tax information for the accountant ready…

  91. 93
    Laci says

    What an ironic giveaway. I just got a wonderful wall-mount jewelry organizer from etsy and spent 2 hours sorting, cleaning, and hanging all my jewelry. I got rid of three separate clutter spots where I would pile jewelry before.

  92. 94
    Betsy says

    I just got done organizing my girl’s bathroom drawers. I had put it off for so long waiting to get the right sized bins for the drawers. This morning however I was fed up with the mess and used shoe boxes, kleenex boxes and margerine tubs to contain all the messes. Wow, makes me happy to look in that drawer now. Thanks for the encouragement.

  93. 95
    Helloheather says

    What pretty jewelry! I would be thrilled to win a piece!

    This week I managed to sort, purge, and organize the gigantic pile of kid clothes that have been sitting in an extra crib in my baby daughter’s room for months! Hand-me-downs from my son, outgrown baby clothes, things to pass on to my sister, things to NOT pass on to ANYONE, stuff from the neighbors…it was all in one big pile. And now…thankfully…it is not. Whew!

  94. 96
    debbiek says

    I have my list printed and each weekend I’ve done something. Last weekend I totally cleared out our fridge and its so nice! I think we had mustard that was 5 years old!!!!!

  95. 97
    MemeGRL says

    This is so embarrassing I can’t believe I’m admitting it. There is a (broken) chair from our dining room set in a corner of our living room. (It looks normal, but our kids snapped a strut so we don’t use it on a daily basis.)
    It had collected all the kids’ school papers for 19 months.
    I know this because I went through them today and found papers from up to 19 months ago.
    And worse? The containers for said papers were also in the pile. Just not actually containing the papers.
    So I did a lot of recycling and a lot of sorting and poof! No more pile. Now we just have to make sure no one sits on the chair!

  96. 98
    Brooke says

    I tackled my horrendously messy master closet and threw out, donated and organized all the stuff. There was outdoor gear in our closet! Off to the garage with it! I also handled the mudroom/laundry room clutter. Bins made homes for everything! Now that the clutter is gone in these rooms future projects will be improving on organizing systems and bins in the space to make it even better.

  97. 99
    Melissa R. says

    I am on a never ending mission to organize my craft room. Just bought some file pockets to put in a binder to keep some specialty cardstock.

  98. 100
    Martha (MM) says

    Thanks to you I have done lots of projects this week, haven’t posted yet but will link up over the weekend. Your book reminded me of the days when my friends called me an organizing queen and a basket freak – but that was many years ago. Everything I read in your book I thought “that’s me too” – and then on second thought I said no, that was the old me. I’m doing renovations and preparing for a move – in the new house I am definitely going to be back to the old me!

  99. 101
    Christy says

    I organized my buffet cabinets, pots and pans and desk this week. I’m finding myself getting more than one of my 52 areas done each week. Love the momentum!

  100. 102
    kel says

    I can’t stop organizing!!!! I made a copy of the 52 Projects sheet and I’m off and running! This week I reorganized 4 laundry room cupboards which actually serve as a “garage”, since we don’t have one, housing tools, trinkets, ETC!!!!!; the mail dump shelf now has a home-a low 2-shelf unit on the computer table, giving dishes and bowls their proper home on their shelf!; the spice cupboard and tea/snack cupboard is containerized; outdoor flags-box of their own now, and all the very annoying, oft-scattered PAINTING tools now live together in a labeled box on a closet shelf near the paint! Thanks for getting the ball rolling!!!

  101. 103
    Sally says

    I organized my various boxes of tea (an avalanche waiting to happen) & am starting to reorganize my “brain” (a binder I keep all sorts of lists & other important – & not so important – details in). Talk about being able to exhale a little bit! Thanks for the encouragement!

  102. 104
    Melissa Gralnick says

    I just organized my pantry. Did the whole Costco trip, uff duh. That’s all I can say for that!

  103. 105
    Christina in No KY says

    So far I have organized all the drawers, the counter top, and 3 of the 7 cabinets in my kitchen, the under sink cabinet in my powder room, the PILES in my bedroom. It has all been wonderful, but the best part is my sons were inspired to organize their bedroom and boy does it look GREAT!

    Tell your sister the jewelry looks amazing! Hope I win!

  104. 106
    Melinda says

    I cleaned out my bill paying file and basket on the desk. So nice not to have so much paper clutter!

  105. 107
    Judy says

    I am so happy ! I got the cupboard over the stove organized. I love that I actually get to make a comment

  106. 108
    Becky L says

    I’m slowly working away at my pile of stuff on my dresser and hubby’s dresser then onto the pile between dressers. That’s my task this weekend. Most of the stuff I’ve gathered when I worked at a linen store and then there are things I’ve just accumulated and put in that space. Someday I’ll need it pile or there’s stuff that really needs out of here! What will go there after the pile is gone? I have no clue! I’ll let you know!

  107. 109
    Yvonna says

    It’s 1:50 am Sat. morning and have been reading here for a few minutes. I to also need to purge, giveaway, trash stuff etc! I have stuff/clothes on my dresser, on both sides and hubby chester drawers is loaded down also. That’s just the bedroom and Once upon a time I’d cringe if something was out of place. Now, I am on a journey to organize again. When I look at all I have to do~I feel saddled down, broken, ashamed…. How did this happen and yes…I want to hide and cry or cry and hide. Pray for me and my family, I think we all need it.

  108. 110
    Beet says

    I organised my freezer this week. With a switch over from weekly to monthly pay cheques I needed to be able to know exactly what I had on hand and have room to store a months worth of meat and frozen vegetables. I think we’ve set ourselves up rather well.

  109. 111
    Jennifer says

    This week I organized my dresser drawers. It even got my husband in the groove to go through his closet and clean it out.

  110. 112
    sarah says

    I organized my junk drawer this week as well!! I also had to reorganize my pots and pans and cookware cupboards because we saved the money to buy the cookware set that I’ve been wanting yahhhh!

  111. 113
    Jennifer says

    I have been organizing our whole house in preparation for a move to a different state!!

  112. 114
    Martha (MM) says

    I liked up my snack basket post. I also organized my fridge, freezer and pantry this week – and all smack in the middle of renovations and getting ready to move!

  113. 115
    s says

    I have yet to fully organize ANYTHING but I did manage to order your book (yeah!). Today, while looking for a game my son wanted but could not find, we braved his closet (that is a project for another day – we’ve got too much going on today to tackle) and I did find the game and managed to find about 6 boxes in there – yes six and they were NOT SMALL! good timing since my husband was just leaving for his trip to the dump! YEAH! Small thing, but baby steps. My house is complete chaos. I am a serial piler. And yes, I don’t see them anymore (and yes, they are on the floor too). I can close my eyes and envision what my house can be – we have major shifting of rooms to do that we’ve put off – yet the task seems insurmountable. but I’ve got to start…

  114. 116
    Sarah @ Fat Little Legs says

    I organized my office! I cleaned off all flat surfaces, shredded and filed all papers, and cleaned out drawers. It feels so good!

  115. 117
    Adriel says

    I organized my spice/baking cabinet and my schoolroom/office. That pretty much took up all my free time for the last 3 days. : )

  116. 118
    Lisa J says

    I shredded my old bills, and no longer have a “papers to shred” pile. Don’t know if it counts as organizing, but its one less pile. My goal this week is to have my office area organized. Im one step closer 🙂

  117. 119
    Gretchen says

    I’m on bedrest with my twin pregnancy, but I did manage to “organize” the little tabletop beside my couch!

  118. 120
    Heather W says

    This week I organized the top our desk. It was a TOTAL disaster and looks wonderful now…which is great since it’s right in the dining rooom I hated having to look at that thing during every meal. 😉

  119. 121
    Donna Mohney says

    Believe it or not- I just finished taking down my Christmas tree! But I put the decorations in to new ornament storage containers, put it all in the store room and am getting ready to sweep the living room and rearrange the furniture (without the tree!) Have a great day!

  120. 122
    Lorrie says

    This week I organized my bedroom. It’s been three days and the dresser top is still clear!

  121. 123
    Connie says

    I have been organizing paperwork for taxes 🙁
    But also organizing closets.

  122. 124
    Julie says

    the kids played “shopping” today in the pantry and ended up taking almost everything out. when it was finally time to clean up and put everything back I sorted items into “keep”, “compost” or “trash” and they returned the keeps back to the pantry in a fairly organized way. Our pantry shelves have never looked so tidy (or empty-yikes! the age of some of those things). Always nice when the family actually helps out on the organizing.

  123. 125
    Trish says

    This week I organized the toys & movies my 5 yr old likes to stash in my master bedroom. I bought a cute basket at Michael’s to put his toys in!! Yippee!!

    LOVE the jewelry & sooo hope I win!! =D

  124. 126
    Becky says

    Those are so cute! I have been struggling to organize my bedroom… I tend to not put clothes away after doing laundry, and eventually it gets out of control :-0 I get overwhelmed super easily, so i’ve been attacking it little by little and I am finally almost done!

  125. 127
    macy burgos says

    Our whole house needs to be organized especially since we did a renovation last quarter of 2010 but since I gave birth 2 days after we moved back to our house, a lot of our things are still in boxes and I’m hoping to be able to organize them soon. What I did finish organizing the other day though is my baby’s closet. I had to get his newborn clothes and bring out the 3-6 months clothes.

  126. 128
    Heather Bell says

    I organized the toy bins AGAIN!!!

  127. 129
    [email protected] says

    I organized my “junk” room this week. I’ve put off doing that for about 20 years. I FINALLY got rid of my son’s old playpen. (He’s 18 years old now.) The room looks great! Sometimes I just walk in to see how good it looks! Thanks for the motivation!

  128. 130
    steph says

    I organized my kitchen drawers and a few cabinets. Love the site !

  129. 131
    Lynda Nelson says

    This week I began to organize my files. I try to do this every January, so I can clear my files of last years bills and receipts to make room for this year’s paperwork. Not my favorite task, but I am always happy when it’s done!

  130. 132
    Britni says

    Just last night I organized my pictures. Took advantage of my hubby being at work and the little one tucked away in bed. Still lots more to do, but small steps!

  131. 133
    Kelly says

    this week I organized my sewing corner. I’ve been wanting to organize my whole house but recently realized that I can only do it one small step at a time.

    Thanks 🙂

  132. 134
    Bibi says

    I went through big cleaning frenzy in December so my kitchen cupboards and junk drawers are nice and neat (so far), but my last pile that I just didn’t want to go near was my roll-top desk. I was scared to open it up. It took lots of encouraging, but I opened it up and tackled it this week.

  133. 135
    Jeannine B. says

    Cute jewelry! I cleaned out my kitchen junk drawers and reorganized. We were able to get rid of 5 old cell phones! They were just taking up valuable space in our drawers!

  134. 136
    Lisa S. says

    I organized the cabinets above the washer/dryer. So much more room now!!

  135. 137
    Leah Brislin says

    I’ve been working every day on organizing something…even if it’s just clearing mail off the desk. Yesterday, I tackled two shelves of my bathroom closet. I’m a “coupon queen”, so I have quite a stash of personal care items that I give away to others as they need them. I now have a good idea of what I have a surplus of, and what I should try to replenish.

  136. 138
    Angela says

    I’ve been organizing my CDs. I still have my Christmas music out. Also I have a stack of CDs that I need to add to my computer so that I can get them on my Ipod. Thanks for the inspiration!

  137. 139
    Alexandria says

    I subscribe to your blog, but just yesterday saw the 52 Weeks of Organizing challenge! Today I worked on my two oldest boys’ room and organized their closet, underbed storage and their nightstand. I still have to tackle going through their clothes, but their room looks better now! Thanks for the challenge! I’m going to make sure I come back every week and link up! BTW, your SIL is very talented. I’m off to check out her Etsy store!

  138. 140
    Amy T. says

    Thanks, Laura, for this challenge. It came at the perfect time for me, when I was feeling VERY discouraged about the state of my home. You have given me permission to take baby steps, rather than feeling overwhelmed with the big picture. I’ve added my post to your links.

  139. 141
    Chris says

    I organized my “unspeakables” drawer. I don’t know why I was hanging on to some of those things. 🙂

  140. 142
    Cecilia B says

    I cleaned out (Threw away outdated vitamins,over the counter meds,etc )and organized my medicine cabinet!

  141. 143
    Kristen Sisson says

    I organized my kitchen drawers. Its not a huge step but its a step 🙂

  142. 144
    Ruth Hill says

    I purged the magazines in the living room! Now on to my book shelf.

  143. 145
    Gina says

    I organized a VERY ugly junk drawer in the kitchen. It had gotten so bad, you couldn’t pull it open all the way! Many of the items actually belonged in the basement, so I put tools, etc. back in their places, tossed a lot, and used a divided-section organizer for the rest. Now it’s neat!

  144. 146
    Shannon says

    I organized the pantry and the bathroom closet this past week. Wow what a difference.

  145. 147
    Amy says

    Last week I cleaned out a storage closet in my basement … including stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day since we moved 5 years ago!

  146. 148
    Wendy says

    I have a backpack ministry where I hand out backpacks filled with hats, gloves, socks, blankets and toiletries to the homeless. I have been keeping all this stuff in bags in my closet, much to my husbands dismay. Saturday I went out and bought plastic bins to organize it all and get it out of the shopping bags that were piling up in the closet. The result is I now know what I have and exactly where it is when I need it. Oh, and my husband is a happy camper too. 🙂

  147. 149
    Sunnymay says

    I sorted my mail and shredded a bag of my addresses I tore off the mail.

  148. 150
    Aletha Brennan says

    I’ve been so inspired bythis blog! Since finding it 2 weeks ago, I’ve organized both of our pantries, sorted through baby clothes that aren’t needed any more (*sniff* so many cute memories!), rearranged the babies’ room so the have more space to play, and (my pride and joy) I organized the desk in our den! This last project was brought to us by a migraine requiring the wonderfully caffeinated pain med: Excedrin! I tackled about 10 massive piles of paper, found a place for nearly everything, and sorted items into separate drawers using egg cartons and berry cartons to keep all the little things together! My favorite drawers are the battery drawer and the “junk” drawer because of those little green berry cartons I used to sort everything! I’m loving this!

  149. 151
    Becky says

    I went through my kitchen drawers and organized all my baby bottles and accessories!! I was so excited when I could easily feed my child wihout her crying while I tried to find the right “spoon”. LOL

  150. 152
    Jo says

    Although a little behind in the challenge – I have managed to organize my kitchen food cupboards which I must say has made me feel better and also feel more in control. Not only do we have a sorted somewhat organised pantry but we also have an idea of foods which need using first, and more importantly a stock list to assist with eliminating multiple purchases at the shops…. menu planning will be easier now. Love this challenge… and looking forward to de-cluttering my house this year FINALLY!!

  151. 153
    Nicky at Not My Mother says

    I organised my desk! Which had piles ALL OVER IT! Now there are still some piles but they are properly organised and ready to be dealt with. I’m very happy with what I achieved… now what’s next?

  152. 154
    christina says

    I organized my deep freezer, created an inventory sheet that I slipped in a plastic pocket and then I use a dry erase marker to note what we have, and wipe the item off when we use it.
    I also cleaned out our school room closet and printed labels for all the binders, so now there is a neat and tidy row of binders to easily find what we need.

  153. 155
    Jen says

    Love your organizing tips and tricks! This week I finally tackled the medecine shelf in our upstairs closet with the help of Sterilite containers from Target that stack nicely.

  154. 156
    Hollie says

    I organized my digital files and folders! Boy, was that a feat or what! I feel so much organized now! 🙂

  155. 157
    Krista says

    Hi! Love this, and yay, I’ve just started organizing! (Having recently moved, we realized it’s really, REALLY time…)

    My first project was the shred/coupon/toss/look-at-later/keep paper clutter pile tucked not-so-neatly next to our knife block, LOL. That went so well that I did the same thing with the plastic grocery bag pile of shred/coupon/toss/look-at-later/keep paper clutter next to the Kitchenaid on the same counter! 😉 A few minutes at a time, I’m making progress! 🙂 Thanks for hosting such a beautiful giveaway! 🙂

  156. 158
    Kristi says

    For my week three project I created a space for towels in my kitchen.
    My pictures are stuck on my camera at the moment so I wasn’t able to blog about it yet but I will update when I do!
    I love opening the drawer and seeing all the nicely folded towels in their baskets!

  157. 159
    Sandy Jenney - Organize with Sandy says

    Thanks for the link party! I linked up my unconventional office reorganization as a before and after.
    I enjoyed reading several ideas yesterday from here.

  158. 160
    kim says

    Hi Laura,
    You can teach your dog to put their toys away. You just have to put together the tasks of take it, come and drop it into one command of put your toys away. We learned how to do it with our dog in his training classes.


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