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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #1

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home

Spring is here and with that comes fresh resolve to get my home and life in better order. I’ve set aside the month of April to really focus on organization in my home and life. And I’d love for you to join me!

So in April, every weekday morning at 9 a.m. EST, I’ll be posting the day’s assignment and then every evening at 9 p.m. EST, I’ll be posting my progress and pictures, along with a link-up for you to share your progress and pictures, too.

Day 1 Assignment

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great {there’s something about dressing in clothes that make you feel great that just gives you more energy and zest for life! Get your free copy of SarahMae’s ebook, Frumps to Pumps, if you need more motivation in this.}

::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and make a list of 5-10 goals for this week.

::Complete your morning routine {if you don’t have a morning routine, take some time to create one today! Read my How to Develop a Routine That Works–And Stick With It series for step-by-step help.}

::Set the timer for 15 minutes and quickly pick up the main living areas of your home.

::Clean out your purse and/or diaper bag.

::Find 7 items to get rid of today. Throw them out, stick them in a donate or garage sale box, give them to a friend who can use them, or list them on Craigslist or eBay.

Note: If you work outside the home or have a really busy week with little time for extra projects, just do the bolded project above.


photo credit

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  • Andrea says:

    I think I might be doing this….:-)

  • DN Rea says:

    Enjoy your daily columns — looking forward to starting my 4 weeks to a more organized home, which will be easier as my husband will be traveling this month and I can really get down and get it done before he comes back. What a surprise that will be for him. Thanks for your helpful suggestions

  • Heather Neely says:

    I feel like I have to do this now…I had already cleaned out my purse before reading it so I’ve already started!

    • Susan says:

      Me too! Last weekend I cleaned out my purse, my laptop bag, and my gym bag. And my kiddo cleaned out her school backpack and her gym bag. Are we overachievers or what! 🙂

      We also set up boxes for collecting items to sell and donate. I’m going to find 7 items to add to each box today — that should be easily doable.

      Crystal, I am really looking forward to this series.

  • Jennifer says:

    Love it!! 🙂 I’ll be doing it! 🙂

  • Nancy says:

    This is an amazing idea and I am going to do this with you in April! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Penny says:

    Love this! So looking forward to the entire series!

  • I so need to do this – both the frumps and the organization. Setting my timer and cleaning out my purse now!

  • Count me in! I am trying to get our sadly neglected home caught up! It got really bad when I was spending 15 to 20 hours a week painting and renovating our rental homes, now that they are done and rented it is time to caught up and I am joining as many of these blog projects as I can to help me stay motivated in doing so. Already got my fitness goals for the week set, and gotten dressed and done my morning routine. Now on to the purse and finding 7 items to give or toss.

  • tracie says:

    I had already done everything on here before I read it. Now I’m off for coffee with a couple of friends for the last time before we move.

  • Kaylee says:

    This is so pertinent for my life right now. I have been thinking about how I need to go through my purses and work bags and get rid of the clutter in them.

    Thanks for the motivation I needed to make myself do it this afternoon.

  • This is right on time! I decided last night that I needed to figure out a routine. I completely agree that getting dressed just gives you energy. I’m joining the assignment group! …Now, where is my purse?

  • Lana says:

    I am excited about this! I had already done everything on the list except clean out my purse and I am sure that needs doing so thanks for the reminder!

  • Emma K says:

    Looking forward to this series! I am reading this before I head to bed (14 hour time difference from where we are) and will start on this in the morning and look forward to reading everyones responses to motivate me more.

  • Kelly says:

    Crystal, this is great but any advice for those of us who work FT outside the home and have little ones? Right now I work 1st shift, my husband works 3rd and we have a 4-month-old and a 2-year-old. My house is a disaster. My husband works a second job on the weekends and with the baby not going to sleep until 10 p.m. and waking up twice during the night still, I can’t ever catch up. Any tips would be a huge help.

    • Hey Kelly,

      I work 2 jobs, go to school full time and have 2 kids. I’m going to do the bolded assignment as Crystal suggested (clean out the purse – I was already thinking I needed to do this).

      Having routines in place for morning, after you get home and going to bed is a great idea and I’ve found that it eliminates the last minute struggle for forgotten items, clothes that don’t work out for whatever reason (wrinkles, missing buttons, etc.), and all that “stuff”. I’ve also found that just making sure things get put away when we’re done with them is a HUGE help (coats hung up, toys put away, etc.) Try one thing at a time and go from there!


    • Carrie says:


      I can completely relate. I’m a single mom of five and work full-time. It is so easy to get completely overwhelmed. I think the biggest help to me was to get rid of as much clutter as possible. I try to throw away one box or large bag each week and give away the same amount. I took some vacation time and sent all the kids to school or daycare. I completely decluttered my kitchen as it was my biggest stressor. It has made a huge difference.

      And remember it will get better! Take care.

  • This is the exact motivation I need right now!

    We just moved and I can’t seem to find where to start. Going to take this morning to drink an extra cup of coffee and focus.

    Thanks Crystal!

  • I had just cleaned out my purse. And you have a great point about dressing in something that makes you feel great. I always say you can never be too over dressed 🙂

  • Cathy says:

    i’m so excited for this series!

  • Anna says:

    Spring break starts today for my daughter, so I am home with 3 kids (and a baby bump). I was concerned how this week would go, so I started my daughter out with a to-do list (with playing and computer games!) so she was excited for today. Now I read your list, and I think I’m just going to add these things to MY to-do list today as well. Wasn’t expecting “Organizing April”, but I’m up for it! I’m glad to do it with an accountability partner (you and your other readers). Thanks so much! Come May, I’ll be feeling freshly organized!

  • Laura says:

    Very excited about this series! 🙂

  • Katie says:

    The timing of this is perfect. I just had 3 vacation days from work and used them to clean the upper floor of my house. I was afraid I’d lose my motivation now that I am back to work, but this will be just what I need to keep me going. Thanks! Can’t wait to see how everyone else does.

  • Amber says:

    I have been working on Spring cleaning over the last couple weeks. I have a pretty extensive list of what I want to accomplish over my entire home. I have a feeling it is going to take me into summer however I can handle that. After reading Eat that Frog and learning to take things that I almost can’t handle and break them up into tiny pieces I believe that this will be the year I actually complete my Spring cleaning even if it takes me 3 months. 🙂

    Love all your ideas Crystal and love your book recommendations. They are truly a blessing to me.

  • Esther says:

    I love this! It’s just the motivation I’ve been looking for. I woke up at 5:00 this morning just so I could get the ironing knocked out before waking the rest of the family at 6:00 for school and work. It was so satisfying!

  • Jen says:

    I’m in 🙂

  • Rachel H says:

    I’m ready and hoping this helps keep me motivated to stick w/it. Oh, and I had to say, I love the way you do your “photo credit”!

  • Tara H says:

    I’m excited to join in!! 🙂 I need all the organizational help that I can get.

  • Tara says:

    This is what I need! I am already nesting a little, so this makes me so happy! 🙂

  • Kathy says:

    I’ve been telling myself I am gonna get this type of thing done!
    (and stick to it!)
    So here goes! I’ve been holding back way too much due to health issues and have tried to blame it on being SO busy in the past and with some pretty hard emotional breakdowns, I decided to take a “break” now I feel like I will never get caught back up! I want to be that busy mom I used to be! It may have been hectic at times but it was nothing compared to how hectic it is now and now it’s just out of control!
    Thank you for doing this and as of now I think a good goal for me is to start this today!
    I WILL check back and keep ya posted on my accomplishments!
    I’m gonna try to look at it as having a cleaning buddy! 🙂
    Have a great day!!

  • Connie Lynn says:

    I am going to do this the best I can. I have Fibromyalgia so this will be a challenge to me. But I have to make changes. I have gotten out of all my routines and this has caused me a lot of problems!

    I used to think everything had to be perfect . I am type A LOL. I used to clean all day many years ago and in every little corner. My mom was/is a major pack rat. And it rubbed off on me some. But I have been getting rid of more stuff I don’t need and it feels good. Esp when I can bless someone else with things they can use.

    My husband will do something around the house and he will say, “No use doing it unless you do it right.” Well right for me is good enough now. I have been sick a long time. And I know diet and other things bother me. I also need a gluten free diet and other things.

    And I think doing stuff good enough or OK and just getting it done would be better then not doing it all! And just starting sometimes is the hardest part. Have you noticed sometimes once you start cleaning an area out and get going it goes better then you think most times.

    The pictures of my home would scare you now lol. Well I mean lots of clutter which my husband hates. And it has started to bother me really bad too. I also have allergies to dust and other things. So this could help my health too. You can’t clean well around junk!

    So going to start and finish something, if only a few things! Sometimes a problem looks bigger then it is. I tend to hold on to little things but am going to stop that. It has to do with my childhood and growing up very poor to be honest. It helps to know why we do the things we do so we can work on change.

    The amount of stuff in my purse would scare you Crystal lol. I love how neat you are! Carrying around a heavy purse is bad for my shoulders too!

    I love your site! Thank you. This is a great thing to do and I really need it now.My husband and I are going out of state to go see our daughter, son-in-law and grandson in a couple months. Oh and my 24 year old daughter loves your site too and reads it all the time! My husband and I are adjusting to empty nest syndrome. We miss them so much!

    My daughter and I both got your book and then realized it after the fact. I am still reading. I need to get rid of the clutter!

    Good luck to everyone!

  • Katie says:

    Hi Crystal – Could you give some tips on keeping your car clean? That is a bigger problem for me than my house! I feel like I’m constantly cleaning it out, but it is still always a mess!! There’s always snacks for the kids, papers I can’t get rid of, ect. I don’t know how it gets so bad in a matter of a couple of days!

    • I had the same problem. What I started doing is on Tuesdays when we bring our garbage cans down to the curb, I park right next to them and clean out my car right there on the side of the street. I’m not sure what the garbage situation is in your neighborhood, but this is what worked for me.

    • margaret says:

      our car is always like that too. One thing I have read to do, is to keep a small tote box to put things into that you will be taking into the car. Then everything is in the tote and you can take it into the house to clean out what you don’t need in the car anymore and add things you will need for the next day.

    • elizabeth says:

      Perhaps try to empty your car of trash/clutter when you fill up your car with gas. They always have trashcans right there. And i just keep a canvas bag in the front seat to tote those misc. items- mail, receipts, etc. back into the house to file or put away.

  • Meredith says:

    Have my goals written, living room vacuumed, bag emptied, and a huge bag of clothes that I went through this weekend and is ready to be picked up tomorrow. Very excited about this series and how productive I’ll feel at the end of the month. Thanks!

  • I just did something similar to this back in Feb/March! I wrote down one 15-20 minute task to do each day (so that nothing was too overwhelming) for about 4 weeks. Our apartment is in such better order now! I’m on Spring Break this week, so I’m working on finishing up the last few things that I couldn’t do in just 15-20 minutes (e.g reorganizing our filing drawers and the office closet).

    • beth b says:

      I used that method after school started and it works wonders! September through mid November I deep cleaned the entire house, organized my kitchen, and organized the basement. All on 15 minutes a day!

  • Kimberly says:

    Looking forward to this series. I’m home for the next 8 weeks on maternity leave….boy#2 is 5 days old! I can’t wait to try as many tasks as I can….gotta take it easy as I recover from my c-section. But surely I can manage to clean out my purse…..I know the diaper bag is clutter free….I just restocked it!

    • Emma K says:

      Congrats on the new baby. My son just turned 4 weeks old, so my diaper bag isn’t too bad yet and hasn’t been taken over with the older kids stuff either 🙂

  • Mackenzie says:

    A more organized home? I am totally on-board!!! 🙂

  • Joanne says:

    I so need this series! Going to try to follow along and hoping to see a big improvement by the end of the month!

  • I’m in! I’m on a little vacation for Spring Break, so I’ll do what I can this week and then jump in with both feet when I get home!

  • amber says:

    I am going to do this. I have been sick so much the last few months the house has became very bad. Before I read this I cleaned the living room and found a few things to add to my yard sale box. I’m going to go clean out my pocket book before lunch. Then write out my goals for the week.

  • Andrea says:

    Thank you for also catering to working mom’s by identifying with the bold font the items to focus on. I’m really going to try to do a majority. I will be keeping tracking on a notepad daily. What I don’t get done during the week, I will try to complete on the weekend. At the end of the month is there a way you could pdf this for use as a guide at a later time? For those of us that need motivation year round 🙂


  • Alicia Hart says:

    What a great idea! Thanks for this. I will be participating……..its much more motivating knowing that other moms are doing this too. 🙂


  • Awesome! I will definitely join in. I need to do a lot of organizing in my home. And I can’t wait to see everyone’s progress 🙂

  • Kellie says:

    Adding to your note at the bottom, for my own sanity: Or if you have only small children, one of which screams as though caught in a bear trap whenever not physically touching you today…

  • Sherry says:

    This is just what I need! I have hit a rough patch in my life this week and could really benefit from taking some control of something. Sounds perfect!

  • Jennifer H says:

    I’m so excited about this! I probably won’t make it through the entire month with you, as baby #3 is due on the 23rd, but even if I do a couple of weeks I’ll be that much more organized! Just did a 15-minute pick-up and my living room is actually a relaxing place to be now – its amazing what a few minutes can do. Thanks for the motivation!

  • 9 1/2 months pregnant here.

    Cleaned my purse out. I thought I would only be able to do that one (the children do the main cleaning of rooms).

    However, my girls really needed help cleaning their room today, and they needed some things thrown out 🙂 So, even though I didn’t think I would be able to get rid of items today, I did 🙂

    One of my goals for this week that I had already planned was to organize a drawer. Hopefully that will go well this week, too!

  • Meghan says:

    I’m SO doing this!!! Very excited. I’ve been wanting to use April to get more organized & get the house in order – our first baby is due next month!! I already finished all the tasks except find 7 items to get rid of – which should be no problem! I’m glad to have daily reminders / accountability that this is something I’m working on in April. Good luck to everyone!

  • Kara S says:

    Crystal ~ What a wonderful idea… I am totally on board! I’ve been staring at a huge “To-Do” list for a couple months and just couldn’t decide where to start. Since I check your website multiple times a day, seeing this twice daily reminder will reinforce that you can really make a difference with just a little bit every day!

  • Leah says:

    Yay, I am SO in. It’s spring break this week, and I had some extra time this morning, so I just completed all of them. I’ll share more details tonight.

    Thanks so much for the inspration, Crystal!

  • Slides n' Sandboxes says:

    I am very much looking forward to these posts. Not so much to do it myself but to read how others are doing and what has been done. And every now and then hypothetically do something around my house, consider making a difference, then neglect it and come back here to click a “refresh” button and cheer you all on :).

  • Sarah T. says:

    I decided to clean out all the purses I had been avoiding, but haven’ used in years. Ended killing two birds with one stone, as I decided I didn’t need to keep the purses either. So… do Vera Bradley bags consign well?

  • Jody Susan says:

    Just listed 11 things on craigslist that have been sitting in a box for months – thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  • Charity says:

    I’ll definitely join you for the bold print assignment only…my four littles keep me hoppin, so I’ll keep it simple. 🙂

  • Amy f;) says:

    anyone have a link to a site that condenses all the store frequent shopper cards into one card? My little wallet is weighing me down!

  • jaime says:

    I’m so excited about this series!

  • I left this tab open all day so I wouldn’t just push this aside. 🙂 Just finished posting a bunch of donate items and cleaned out my purse. Thanks for this, Crystal!

  • Jenny V says:

    Starting a little late in the day but I’m with you now! This if a great plan – can’t wait to see what we all accomplish working together!

  • Angie says:

    Thanks for this! It helped give me a little push to get started today. I organized lots of clothing to consign and take to Goodwill. My closet (where I was stashing all my piles!) looks great!

  • Vanessa says:

    Amy F. There is an app available for iPhone called key ring that you can “download” all of your club cards on and then access them on your phone. I believe there is an android app also, but you would have to check that out if you have that type of phone! 🙂

  • Michele P says:

    Love this Crystal! Always more fun to do when you know others are working at it too! Can’t wait to see you speak in June in Richmond at the homeschool convention there!

  • Angela says:

    Thanks for posting for moms who work outside the home. Drying hair now, will do the purse thing before the deadline.

  • Meredith says:

    Love that you highlighted one goal, so that working moms can focus on that. I’m on spring break this week, so I got them all checked off! Yay!

  • Lydia says:

    Day one is complete. I think you gave us an easy day to try to give us hope that we can! Thanks 🙂

  • andrea says:

    I’m in – already completed Day 1 Assignment – and posted about it on my link below…. 😀

  • Amy says:

    Check list is done except I will wait for the 15 minute clean up until right before bed…it’s mainly kiddie toys from the playroom that are on the living room floor. They can take those up when they climb upstairs for bed. 🙂

  • bobbi says:

    Purse organized..check. cleaned out 2 drawers in my kitchen and got rid of more than 7 things that have bogged ne down. Love this! Spent 30 minutes/organizing tonight.

  • Susan says:

    Great timing, Crystal! I just bought a replacement purse today. (The same model as the old one, which was beginning to come apart.)
    It is small, so organizing helped to make for a smoother transfer of contents. I also made a goals-for-the-week list and a daily routine list. And, I tossed 7 items. Thanks for setting this up — I really liked doing your organization assignment(s) for the day!

  • Christal Beyer says:


    Way to go on a great blog post! I missed joining you on this yesterday, but I will do it today!! Thanks for inspiring us. 🙂

    By the way, I’m loving your book-I’m about half way through it!

  • Valerie Henry says:

    Thanks for the push! I had already written my goals for the week on Sunday night, and I clean out my purse pretty much every other day (it’s small, and I can’t stand to carry a lot). My morning routine definitely needs work……I’ve fallen into unhealthy habits like sleeping too late and not eating breakfast, so I need to work on that. I didn’t do any cleaning, but I did do something I’d been meaning to do for some time: I listed 7 items on eBay last night. A win-win…..getting rid of clutter around the house and hopefully making a couple of bucks! Thanks!

  • Linni says:

    Thank you so much for doing this post! I tend to need a little push to get things done. My morning routine does need some help since I tend to be lazy and play the morning away with my toddler. My fridge and freezer look so nice now! I can’t wait to see what else you have planned for us to organize. 🙂

  • Jen C says:

    Decided to jump on board a week or so late thanks to spring break. This is a great idea! So far I’ve been able to clean out my purse and junk drawer at work!

  • Chane says:

    I started you challenge yesterday… to see my progress, look here:

  • Lisa says:

    Love the post….Great ideas….
    One silly question….what kind of coffee/espresso brewer is pictured? Tell me more about it….

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