Four Week “Wait-No-More” Organizing Challenge!

I have come to a point where I need to take back our home. And I keep trying to figure out how to get to the meat of this post without it sounding like we are:

  • Slobs
  • Lazy
  • Whining
  • Lame
  • Un-motivated

When it fact, that really has never been our style. Although we will forever have problem spaces lingering, we have always prided ourselves on our ability to stay on top of our home. Whether it be with cleaning plans or meal plans or organized kits and caddies galore, our systems have been years in the making. Our goal is not perfection; our friends, family and neighbors have definitely seen our home in a tornado-esque state… We just love to find ways to make our routines easier (and our home prettier).

But wow. Over the course of the last five months and being knee deep in a home renovation, we have somehow lost our way. It is amazing how quickly we can fall out of our routines, create piles, and let our daily chores slide. And not having storage in the main areas of our home for many months, has had a trickle effect to almost every other room in our home. The moment we took down our wall and tore apart our kitchen, not only did we remove a few systems that we heavily relied on, we also shifted our priorities. Suddenly everything else could wait and getting our kitchen / living room finished was more important. It feels as though we are always focusing on some sort of project or running here and there. And when we have a few spare seconds, we want to spend them with the boys, not cleaning or doing more house chores. Always a balancing act right?

Well, it has gotten to a point that the kids have forgotten what their daily responsibilities are and I can’t seem to focus on a single thing due to all of the chaos going on around me. I have always been one to thrive when my surroundings are clean and clutter free, so as the months have gone by, my drive has slowed down. I am totally, completely overwhelmed with our home. There, I said it. I already feel better. Say it with me? Just saying it is the first step.

I decided that I don’t care that the kitchen still needs trim and the spices need to be labeled. The rest of the house needs my attention. It is time to take back control of a few spaces that have been controlling us, and our moods. I am not waiting any longer!

For the next four weeks, I am going to tackle our top four trouble areas. And I am not talking about the garage, which definitely has seen better days, I am talking about the spaces we use all of the time and have a real impact on our days.

Will you play along with me? Do you have an organizing project you have been putting off? Are you in an organizing slump? (cough, Courtney, cough)

Although I typically look for some sort of motivator when it comes to organizing a drawer, closet or entire room… this time, my motivator is quality of life! Not crafting or painting or listening to an audio book while I sort. Those are the perks, but not the drivers this time. But that doesn’t mean I can’t find ways to make it fun, stay on track, and be sure that I achieve my goals. So I put together a printable to get myself started.

And because I plan to bribe you all to organize with me, I am giving you this printable for free here.

Let me just say it was fun designing a printable again. It has been far too long. It was a nice way to ramp up for the next Planner release! Moving on…

Using the form is really straight forward, but I thought I would show you an example of how it will help with each project I take on over the next few weeks.

My first step was to identify my four biggest problem areas. I selected the following:

  • Master Bathroom
  • Master Closet
  • Both Vehicles
  • Daily Schedules/Papers/Time Management

The example shown above is filled out for our Master Bathroom project. An important part of the process was also to set some sort of a due date goal. Because I want to tackle a new space each week, I selected the first Friday as my due date to complete the space.

Before just diving in, I really want to reflect on why the spaces got so bad. Sure, a lot of it is because we have just been too busy to maintain them. But I also questioned whether it is because we are just not utilizing our existing systems, or if the existing systems are truly failing us (and most of the time it is both). It is important to recognize both the good and the bad here; list out things that are working, and think about those yay-areas as you also reflect on what is not working.

Now that I know what is not working, I can start coming up with a plan for the organizing project. Things like addressing my make-up storage and dealing with too many un-used toiletries. And of course, each project always starts out with a good blank slate, a deep cleaning and a purging of clutter.

There is also a section on the printable to list out any organizational and storage needs. This is a good time to think about items you already own, what you can easily DIY, and what you may need to purchase.

And last but not least, give yourself some realistic goals to strive for over the course of each week. It is a busy time of the year with kids getting out of school, nightly sports and picnic dates at the park. So match up the Project Planner Printable with your personal calendar and utilize the space at the bottom of the form to schedule in your organizing tasks.

There! Not so bad! We have already recognized and planned! We are halfway there!

And because things are about to get real, and we are going to be ruthless, I got out my handy sorting signs!

I printed them, cut them, glued them to colored cardstock and pushed them through my laminator. Now, I can just clip them to any box, bin or basket during a good organizing session. Did I just hear that you would like a set for your organizing sessions as well? You can download the Sorting Signs for free here.

And if you are looking for more printables to help during the sorting, donating and decision making process, you can find my Donation Kit here.

Now for the REALLY fun part! My goal is to share my personal results with you each Friday. When I do, I am going to provide a place for you to link your project back to me! You don’t need to have a blog to play along, you will be able to link from Instagram as well as other photo sharing sites. And remember that I said I was also going to bribe you to participate in this challenge with me? Because sometimes our own messes aren’t motivation enough, I am going to use random.org to select one person from the link party each week to win a $50.00 Gift Card to one of my favorite organizing-friendly stores. Not sponsored, just my personal way of saying THANK YOU for hanging out with me.

The fun starts next week! I am not sure which space I will tackle first, but it is on! I can’t wait to see what projects you all select.

So get out your sorting bins, print off your worksheet and labels and get ready to tackle the organizing projects you have been putting off for far too long. Your “Monica” closet is calling your name! You in?

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