As I should have been able to anticipate, it didn't work very well - at least for me - to tackle task #1 on day #1, task #2 on day #2, etc. On the first day of the challenge I started in on a medicine cabinet, only to quickly realize that organizing the medicine cabinet didn't make a whole lot of sense unless I organized all of the cabinets in that bathroom at the same time. And organizing the bathroom cabinets didn't make a whole lot of sense unless I organized the bathroom linen closet at the same time. So on day #1 I ended up tackling one of our full bathrooms - the medicine cabinet, bathroom cabinets, and the linen closet - from top to bottom. Then on day #2 I tackled the second full bathroom from top to bottom, and on day #4 I tackled the half bathroom along with the laundry room.
I also realized that all of this organizing would be much more satisfying if it was accompanied by a bit of spring cleaning. I mean who wants to put nicely organized baskets full of soaps and body washes back into a dirty bathroom cabinet? So as I've been organizing, I've been cleaning.
Here's the full list of areas to be organized; the areas I've tackled are in bold, and I've thrown a few pictures in there for fun.
Day #1: Medicine cabinet
Day #2: Coat closet
|I try to keep the floor clear so as to collect less dust.
|I maximize space by hanging the kids' most-frequently
worn jackets on the inside of the door at their height.
Day #3: Under beds
Day #4: Laundry room
|I wish I loved doing laundry as much as I love my laundry
room. (Perhaps my dislike for laundry has to do with my
dislike for my washer and dryer - can't stand 'em. )
|Plenty of hooks for keeping our baseball caps, backpacks,
gym bags, purses, and whistles organized. I have no idea why
we have three whistles hanging in the laundry room.
|The shelf above the washer and dryer (thank you, Pinterest!) was the simplest
yet most impactful addition I could have made to the laundry room.
Day #5: Handbag/purse
|Purse contents shot #2: wipes, lipstick, sunglasses case, make-up, and a
whole host of allergy-related medications and treatments for Will.
Day #6: Under sinks
Day #7: Refrigerator/freezer
Day #8: Kitchen cabinets
Day #9: Make-up/toiletries
|Cutie patootie's "toiletry" drawer. She doesn't really use that
many toiletries though, so it's more of a headband drawer.
Day #10: Bedroom closets
Day #11: Garage
Day #12: Craft supplies
Day #13: Linen closet(s)
|Cleaning supplies up high...
|...beach towels (the only thing the kids ever need to get out of the closet) down low.
|Much better, right?
Again, I love the baskets and bins, but I'd love them a lot more
if they were pretty and coordinating. I can dream, right?
Well that's just sad, dreaming about storage bins.
Day #14: Backyard
Day #15: Bedroom dressers
Day #16: Jewelry box
Day #17: Living room
Day #18: Attic/basement
Day #19: Car
Day #20: Playroom/den
Day #21: Enjoy your hard work!
I'll leave you with a few suggestions that I think will help along the way:
- Tackle the projects in the order that makes the most sense for YOU, working in YOUR house.
- Break up larger tasks (the kitchen cabinets, for example) into smaller ones - organize your upper cabinets on one day and your lower cabinets on another to make the work less daunting.
- Clean as you go. It makes the process take longer, but you'll feel much better about what you've accomplished when all is said and done.
- Save the biggest areas - the garage, attic, and basement - until last. I've been using my garage as a staging areas of sorts (I set out boxes for Goodwill, Once Upon a Child, passing along to nieces and nephews, saving for Will and Hallie when they older, etc. and have been adding items to the boxes as I declutter) and will therefore save organizing that space until the last day.
- On the last day, instead of sitting around and enjoying your hard work, get a massage! (Write about how you'd like to get a massage in hopes that your husband will read your blog post and buy you a massage gift certificate! Don't hold your breath because you've been hinting about wanting massage gift certificates for nine years and you've never received one!) And if you live in the College Station area, get your massage from my friend Bev at the Brazos Healing Center!