It’s day #1 of the newest challenge on our site – the 30-day organizational challenge.
We are so excited to be doing this as we just seemed to have had piles and stuff out of place after the last season. I love to be organized, but it can be a challenge. Which is why we like to break things down into steps that are actually achievable and does not make the task seem so daunting. We do this in pretty much every area of life – we learned this by taking this approach to our debts. We had a huge goal of paying of $100K of consumer debts. The first 3.5 years, we tried drastic measures that ended up not being successful, frustrated us, made life difficult and was an eye-opening time. We only paid of $15K during that first 3.5 years. We then said – “At this rate, it is going to take us forever. We just need to take this in baby steps.” Which is exactly what we did with our 2×2 rule – it doesn’t seem like much change, but to our amazement, we paid off over $85k in the second 3.5 years, and seemingly with much less effort than the $15k. So a baby step method has been the most successful, least painful, most impactful method to making changes in our lives, no matter what they are.
And if any of you are anything like us, we are busy any time of the year and so we don’t get large chunks of time to take on big projects.
So we need to do things that allow us to accomplish our goals, but still be able to live the life we have committed too with our obligations and commitments. Life is beautiful, life is wonderful, but in our day and age, it is anything but slow.
Are you ready for today’s challenge?
Day #1 Challenge – Clean off your Desk(s)
That’s right, we are starting with the desk or desks in your home. The philosophy behind starting here is that when you have this space clear and ready, it allows you to have the “home office” space ready to place papers, important docs and other things that you may find throughout the challenge that are of the family’s importance. It is also a space that many utilize on a daily basis, it is often a space that is in the center of everything (like ours) and so this is also a reminder about what you are doing and to keep you motivated. Organizing the “business” part of your life is a great starting place. We used the term “business” because running a home is like a business. Between planning your purchases, planning schedules, coordinating events, planning menus, etc. It really does become a central part of many lives. Plus, if you run an actual business from home, it is even that more important.
We are also going to encourage you to take this a step further – if you have a desk at work, take a few minutes this week to also tidy this up (during one of your breaks or go early/stay late) so that you can be a much more efficient worker.
Also, many kids have desks at home – encourage them to clean up their desks and get them organized so that they can have a great year! This is one of the only tasks in the challenge where we are encouraging you to extend beyond the families central desk area.
So now for our results. We sorta have a sneaky desk, it becomes a “hidden” cabinet. So it is so easy to let it get all unorganized and then “close the doors!” Out of sight and out of mind. But it really needed to be done. As you can see, things got piled up and tossed in there without any rhyme or reason.
Here’s the before picture when the cabinet is open. 🙂
I cleaned this out and organized it in less than an hour. It was crazy, even though we have a specific “crayon bucket” and “colored pencil bucket” they were scattered everywhere! It’s like when you tell kids to put their stuff away, they just randomly toss stuff in there.
So I cleaned out the drawers, the shelves, the cabinet. I also used the homemade magic eraser to clean off random scribbles that were done on the drawers and cabinet. I wiped it down and dusted and put many thing back in an organized order!
Half Way Point – All of the “stuff” is out, now to wipe down and put it all back in an organized way
The coloring book drawer was filled with many mostly completed coloring books and so it was nice to toss those and many other random crafty things (I kept a couple for our kids’ memory bins). I was also able to reduce the toddler activity bin to 1-bin (the clear one) and the older kids’ activity bin to 1-bin (the blue one). The toddler bin has two recycled #10 cans for crayons and colored pencils. I like being able to pull out ONE crayon bucket and some coloring books as a quick activity and then place them back in the hidden parts of the cabinet.
The kids’ activity bins now cleaned out and organized. The bottom shelf has our workout gear as this is near our family room where we workout.
I also organized the home office drawers at the top that has all of our office supplies (tape, staples, paper clips, stamps, envelopes, scissors, etc.). It was really just a jumbled, mixed-up mess.
I was very pleased with how much I was able to get rid of and reduce space! It will make for a great year as the kids can actually enjoy their activities, our stuff is organized for easy access as we “run the business of life.”
This desk is literally in the center of our home – it is motivating, nice and refreshing to get all of that junk out of there!
Have fun with today’s challenge and update on your results with a comment below. Hint: don’t worry about the files and even piles of paper yet…. just the desk top and random cubbies of stuff and supplies.
It’s all done – but now when I open it, I won’t be embarrassed when we have guests 🙂
And that is me waving at you – sorry for the crooked picture, apparently I am not coordinated enough to snap a pic while waving – LOL!
To help you find some thrifty and DIY organization ideas, see our organization category HERE (click on the organization tag!) and our Organization Pinterest Board HERE.
>>>>> If you stumbled on this post, you can join this challenge by receiving the tasks via email here <<<<<
These two tips specifically can help to recycle some items around your home to help you organize your desk area (click on the picture to be taken to the post):
and many desk specific ideas in the 12 ideas post
Looking for encouragement, inspiration and a place to ask questions and share answers? Request to join our private Facebook group HERE.
Good place to start. I found things that I thought were ‘lost’. 🙂
Finding the ‘lost’ items is one of my favorite parts of reorganizing. 🙂
love cheese soup. It is one of my all-time comfort foods. Once you’ve prepared Cheese and Veggie Soup, stir in 1/2 cup diced ham. I can’t wait until next
Not too bad. As I am the only one who uses the computer and such!
YAY Janet! Great step and day #1. Good job!
I did this about a month ago. couldn’t sleep one night and needed something to do.
Finished the task quickly.
Done with the first desk. Only three more to go… wish I could upload befor and after picture…
I have clear the top of my desk and still have to do the drawers of this desk. I will be able to place my laptop there. The other desk is used by my husband with our desktop computer on it. When I said I was going to start cleaning this desk I was told to leave it alone because my husband knew where everything was. I told him there are piles of papers every where on it. He still said he knew where everything and I was not to touch them. I guess I will have to wait to see if he cleans it like he said he would. This is just a start…
I am going to try this even though it probably won’t stay clean as I have a teenager that uses that desk and he doesn’t know how to keep it clean. Any good suggestions?
My procrasitinating days are over…my desk is organized! thank you!
All done! Just need to get my new file cabinet set up to be ready for all the papers needing filed.