Happy New Year! To kick of 2018, I want to get organized. But I’ve broken down the daunting task into a day by day challenge, setting an organization goal for each day. I figured 30 days was a good, round number and gave me about a month to get my stuff together.
There are things that we should be doing each day in order to maintain organization. Such as: putting items away as soon as we are done with them, going through mail right away, and designating a home for every item. Organization is an ongoing process, but with some planning and hard work, we can set up our space and lives for optimal organization and productivity.
Will you join me on this 30 day organization challenge? Check into social media for updates on my progress and to share your own! Each step below is a day, but feel free to adjust it to your needs and goals. The challenge starts January 1st!
- Choose a planner. Find a planner that works for you and your life. A desk or wall calendar? Bullet journal? Monthly planner? Daily planner? If you aren’t sure, start with a basic, general planner with monthly and weekly selections and go from there.
- Declutter the seasonal items. Now is the perfect time to sort through seasonal items, throwing away things that are broken or unused or just stuff that you don’t care for.
- Fill in your calendar. Get a good view of your year by filling your planner with holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and events.
- Start a donation box. You will be decluttering as part of this challenge, so set aside a box for donating items and figure out where to bring it or how it will be picked up.
- Power clean. Set aside some time to do a general quick clean of your home. Clear off surfaces, put things away, and wipe things down. This is a great way to get a clearer view of your space and what needs to be organized.
- Set your goals. What do you want to accomplish this year? This month? This week? Think about what you want for yourself and your family and write it down. Setting goals and recording them make it more likely that they will be accomplished.
- Tackle the toys. After the holidays is the perfect time to declutter the toy box. Toss anything broken and donate anything that is obnoxious or simply doesn’t fit into what you would like your children to play with. If you don’t have kids, declutter the pet stuff, your hobby’s items, or any area you’d like to start with.
- Create a daily or weekly rhythm. Creating a rhythm for your days or week helps tremendously in keeping organized. It’s basically just creating a general schedule and set times for things like meals. Consider a schedule with a natural flow, such as having quiet time following lunch or reading after dinner.
- Sort your photos. Download photos you’d like to save from your phone, backup digital photo files, create photo books, print copies, and generally declutter and organize your pictures.
- Streamline your morning. Write down what you do/need to do on a typical morning. Create a morning schedule for yourself that streamlines the process. For example, make the bed as soon as you get out of it, then head to the bathroom to brush your teeth and hair, etc. This not only creates a routine, it makes the mornings easier and less stressful. Routines = organization.
- Clean out your purse/wallet. Whatever you use day to day (purses, backpacks, wallets, etc.), empty it out. Give it a good wipe down and put everything that belongs back into it nicely.
- Declutter your desk/office space/ papers. Wherever you keep your office stuff, bills, papers, and whatnot, it’s time to clear everything off and out. Use your handy planner to make notes on which days bills need to be paid or if there are any deadlines coming up.
- Clear out the kitchen cabinets. Give your kitchen cabinets some love and attention by decluttering and organizing. Stack tupperware, toss things that are broken, donate things that you don’t use, and put away items that have been sitting on the counter.
- Clean out the pantry, fridge, and freezer. Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer for expired foods and toss those. Things that need to be eaten soon, make a note of it and work it into a meal plan. Now is also a good time to give everything a good wipe down.
- Master meal planning. Now that you know what food you need to use up and what you have, it’s time to master meal planning! Check out my blog post on meal planning (coming soon!) and create a system that works for you.
- Streamline your evenings. You’ve already streamlined your mornings, but your evenings need some organization to. Set out everything you need for the next day, such as clothing, backpacks, keys, mail, etc. If you need a packed lunch for you or your kids, pack it the night before so you can just grab it out of the fridge. While your at it, plan for breakfast too. Having a nighttime routine will make the next day so much more organized and smooth.
- Sort e-mails. Time to declutter the inbox. Unsubscribe from all those spam emails and advertisements, trash emails that you no longer need, and move important ones into labeled folders. It’s also a good time to finally answer those emails you’ve been procrastinating about.
- Tackle the closet. Today is all about laundry and clothing. Fold and put away anything you need to, making sure that drawers are neat and items are hanging up nicely. Donate items that you don’t like, don’t wear, or don’t fit. Toss things that are worn out or turn them into cleaning rags.
- De-junk the junk drawer. We all have that spot in our house that collects all the things that don’t have a home. Take everything out and give it all a home. Find a place for the pens and pencils, scrap paper, scissors, birthday candles, etc. that find their way into the junk drawer.
- Organize the bathroom cabinets. Did you know that makeup and body products expire? Check for an expiration date on your bathroom products. These products also have a symbol on the back that looks like a jar with a number (such as 24m or 12m), which means how long a product is good for once it’s opened. Give your cabinets a wipe down and put things away neatly in a way that works for you.
- Declutter your phone. Erase photos that are blurry or don’t matter much to you. Uninstall apps that you don’t use or like. Listen to voicemails and answer texts. Backup files and photos too!
- Clean out the car. If you can, now is the time to vacuum all the dirt and crumbs and give your car a bath. Otherwise, just stick to throwing away trash, organizing the glove box, and going through your trunk.
- Organize your media (music, movies, etc.). Donate or sell music, movies, and video games you no longer want. Take the time to organize your media in a way that makes sense to you (alphabetically, by genre, whatever) so that things are neat and easy to find.
- Redesign your entryway. What do you do with all the stuff you walk into the house with? Toss it in a pile on the floor? Put it on the dining room table? Put hooks in your entryway for coats and bags, find a spot for shoes, get storage boxes, etc. Smaller spaces work well with hooks and wall storage, bigger spaces have room for storage benches, shoe racks, and shelves.
- Declutter the electronics. Most cities have places where you can bring old electronics for recycling (don’t throw them away, it’s toxic to the environment). So fill a box with all the old phones, charger, wires, cameras, keyboards, and other electronic items that are outdated or broken and bring them to a recycling facility.
- Make a cleaning schedule. I like my Cleaning Calendar because it breaks cleaning down into a little each day. But create a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule of cleaning that works for you. Write it in your planner!
- Finish the closets. Any closets, cupboards, and cabinets that are left now need some attention. Declutter, clean, and organize the rest of your storage spaces.
- Organize your books. Donate any books that you aren’t going to read again. Everything else should be put back neatly in a method that works for you.
- Finish decluttering and organizing your space. Today is all about polishing off your space. Take a few minutes in each room to see if anything needs to be put away, tidied, or cleaned.
- Planning day. Today is all about planning. Sit down with your planner, calendar, phone, bills, and computer and take the time to write things down that need to happen. Schedule appointments and work out routines. Set a day each month in your calendar for planning.
How did it go? Do you feel more organized? What worked for you?