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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #13

We’re leaving early tomorrow for Cincinnati so today will be a busy day of last-minute preparations. However, don’t feel like that means you get off the hook. 🙂

I actually worked ahead a little bit and have done most of the next few days’ assignments already so that I can continue posting this challenge when I’m gone. Yes, you all can thank me right now for making you work while I’m on “vacation”.

(I’m not sure that I’m ready to call speaking in front of thousands of people a “vacation”, but getting to meet many of you all in Cincinnati will make it worth dealing with my stage fright! And honestly, I’m learning that the more I just face my fears, jump out and do this stuff that used to scare me to death, the more I’m actually enjoying it — which is something I never dreamed I’d say about public speaking!).

At any rate, I’m hoping for a productive, focused, and calm day. And an early bedtime. 🙂

Day 13 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, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today.

::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 do a quick-clean of your bathroom. Need specific directions? Read this article on How to Clean Your Bathroom in 15 Minutes.

::Clean the top of your kitchen cupboards (if there is space between them and the ceiling) and the top of your refrigerator. If you have clutter on the top of your refrigerator, go through it and see if you can get rid of it or find a new home for it. Wipe down the outside of your kitchen cupboard doors.

::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.

At around 9 p.m. EST tonight, I’ll be posting my progress and pictures, along with a link-up for you to share your progress and pictures, too. Here’s to our productivity today!

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  • Emma k says:

    I am excited my cabinets touh the ceiling so I don’t have to clean on top of them. Plus I need to play catch up from the last few days. I’m waiting for the day when the job is cleaning out the pantry. Mine desperately needs reorganized

  • andrea says:

    I recently cleaned the top of my fridge- how did all that sticky dust get up there? The fridge is not close to the stove but next to the oven- so I guess that accounts for it.

  • Naomi says:

    Yay! (never thought I’d say that about cleaning, btw, lol). My cupboard tops are built into the wall so I can’t clean those, but that will give me a chance to finish what I didn’t from yesterday’s challenge. My oven took a solid hour and then some, including some major elbow grease so the rest of yesterday’s work was left for today. My fridge could use a cleaning off though – how did you know? ; )

  • Joyce says:

    Oh yikes! I haven’t cleaned up there since I moved into this apartment 3+ years ago! But since it’s my birthday, I am going to take a day off from this 😉 Haha, maybe tomorrow!

  • KC says:

    I love those posts. No, I am not following any of them but it’s so much fun to read and see pictures. Can’t wait until 9 p.m. to see your results!

  • This is going to be an easy day for me. When I planned out our kitchen I had my husband put in cabinets up to the ceiling to have extra storage space and to avoid having to clean! I also had him build the fridge into the wall again so I couldn’t cover it with clutter and to avoid extra cleaning! LOL!

  • Jennifer says:

    A good tip for when you’re done cleaning off the top of your fridge: wipe it with furniture polish. It will make the top of your fridge slippery so that the dust bunnies and grime are easier to clean off the next time.

  • Rebekah says:

    Yay! I got on a roll yesterday and did the top of my refrigerator. I also cleaned out the cabinet under my sink, since our trashcan is there and it’s usually a sticky mess in the general vicinity. That just leaves the cabinets for today. 🙂

    Have a good trip!

  • Mackenzie says:

    I think I’m actually scared to clean the top of my fridge off. Ewwwww… 🙁

  • Rebecca says:

    Not looking forward to this (although my kids think it is hilarious to see me standing on the countertops to reach the cabinets!)…how in the world does it get to sticky, greasy and dusty up there?!? Gross 😛

  • Julie says:

    Ok, how do you get the grease off the fronts of your cabinets? I try to only use natural products, but vinegar won’t cut it.

    • Lana says:

      I use a wet microfiber cloth on the cabinets and they get really clean quite easily. Don’t rub too hard or the finish may come off!

    • Angela says:

      When we bought our house, our cabinets were COVERED in grease from the previous owners (and then it sat vacant for over two years). I tried natural cleaners, baking soda & vinegar… NOTHING worked. It grossed me out so much, for over a year we just took the doors off and left the cabinets open. Then my hubby’s grandma told us about ‘Awesome’. It’s a cleaner that you can find at dollar stores and it works amazingly! I didn’t have to scrub hard and the grease just came right off. Plus it’s not harsh at all on bare skin. I didn’t wear gloves and even after washing down 8 doors, my hands weren’t itching/burning or affected negatively at all.

    • april says:

      i use dawn dish soap or a Magic Eraser

  • Nicole says:

    I actually groaned OUT LOUD when I saw the challenge for today. We moved into this house almost 2 years ago (August) and I ventured to look at the tops of the cabinets a few months ago. They’re disgusting!!! There’s a layer of sticky goo up there that I had to literally scrape off with a plastic scraper. Ugh. Guess I’ll go get started…. 🙂

    • Danielle B says:

      We have that goo too! I don’t know what it is, or how it gets there, but it also gets on the top of the fridge and fronts of the cabinets. It’s disgusting. If I don’t clean it constantly it’s almost impossible to get off. I thought maybe it was just me, but apparently not!

    • Wendy says:

      A trick I learned to avoid having to clean the top of your cabinets is to place a layer of paper towels on top of them. Just roll out one layer and every few months just take that up and put a new layer down. All the grease & dust collects on top of the paper towel. Easy to clean.

      • Nicole says:

        Great tip! I didn’t get to mine today as I was babysitting a friends 4 kids, on top of my 3. 🙂 hopefully I can get to them tomorrow….

      • southernminimalist says:

        I think you just changed my life. God bless you for sharing that.

  • I like this task. I usually clean the outside of my cupboards once a month so this will be easy compared to my oven cleaning yesterday. I already cleared off my fridge last month and got rid of a few item that were stored up there that I did not use.
    Hope you have a great time on vacation. I am sure you will do a great job with your presentation.

  • Danielle B says:

    Yay! I already cleaned off the top of my refrigerator on Monday, so today I’m going to clean out my oven’s inside top, and the microwave. My back is still hurting, so I’ll leave cleaning the tops of the cabinets and scrubbing out inside of the stove on my list for next week. 🙂 Two loads of laundry and grocery shopping are also on my “to do” list today.

    I’m praying for you and your talks this weekend. I pray that God will annoint you and that as soon as you get up there to begin, a peace will wash over you and you’ll be able to speak with clarity and authority. 🙂

  • Kellie says:

    I’ve been avoiding reading these posts like the plague…I’m so fearful of failure! I need to get off my rear and just try. I *know* that I will be glad with whatever small thing I accomplish…at least more than just nothing at all! So…I made my goals, and I’m about to get dressed and finish my morning routine…then off I go to see what gets crossed off my list! Thanks for the inspiration! I’m glad these posts keep coming…it would have been too easy to ignore had it been a 1-week challenge! LOL

  • Meredith says:

    Okay… this seems doable…. Our cabinets go up to the ceiling, so that’s good… My husband is in the process of painting all the kitchen cabinets, so really today I just have to clean the top of the fridge and do the bathrooms…. oh, and catch up on the vacuuming… It’s been fun to check to see what each new assignment is!

  • Sheila says:

    I’m trying to get to the assignments for the rest of the week, but I’m gearing up to speak at the Ladies’ Retreat for our new church. My husband has been pastoring there for 6 months, but I’ve only been a handful of times because I still live 3 1/2 hours away in our home that hasn’t sold yet. I’m looking forward to getting to know the ladies better.
    I also use the Motivated Mom calendar and it helps to stay on top of some of the ickier jobs. I don’t get them all done every day, but a majority of them and it helps.
    Another trick to help keep the top of your fridge from getting dusty/sticky is to cut a piece of an old sheet or towel to fit the top of it. Then periodically wash it. Once less big job to do.
    Enjoy Cincinatti!

  • Katie H says:

    I’ve already failed step 1 (get dressed in something fabulous-feeling) when I stuffed myself into a sports bra on the advice of the local lactation consultants. Uniboob = Ugh.

    For my next trick I shall stuff it with cabbage and smell like borscht for the rest of the day. I did not have this kind of trouble drying up after weaning my firstborn. Not sure why the second is giving me problems.

  • Donna says:

    The tops of the cabinets?!?!?! Oh boy- I did NOT wanna go THERE!
    The fridge isn’t a problem though…but those icky cabinets…gulp….rubber gloves, here I come!

  • Lawren says:

    I’ve seen these updates keep popping up every day on my facebook feed, and I finally decided to click into it yesterday… I got so inspired that I got almost totally caught up yesterday! I had done a few of the assignments within the past week, so I had a little head start. 🙂 I still have to vacuum out my fake leather reclining couches… I peeked down between the seat and the arm and it’s kind of appalling how much stuff is down there. I like how so many of these assignments are things that I only realize need to be done when I’m already busy doing something else… like cleaning out the bottom of the stove (I only think of that when I’m baking because the stove is hot and smells) and cleaning out my purse (which I only think of when I’m standing next to my car, trying to find my keys under all the receipts and coupons and two dozen pens). Thanks for reminding me at a time I can actually do those chores!

  • Grace Short says:

    Just as a tip for those of us that have the open cabinet tops. Line the top of the cabinats with paper towels or rags. It makes it way easier to clean, I just picked up the last layer of paper towels that I lined them with and set down a new set. So today’s challenge took me about 10-15 minutes!

  • Bethany says:

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and I love it! I’m especially enjoying the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home. 🙂 I finally decided yesterday to try it myself! I’m about 5 weeks away from having my second baby, so I may not be able to finish it in 4 weeks, but I’m certainly looking forward to trying. (It’s a good distraction, if nothing else. :))
    I just started my own blog, and decided to blog about my progress too. It’s not as nice as yours, but it’s funny how motivating it is to get everything done, knowing that I have to post what I did and didn’t do. Haha. 🙂
    Thank you for so many great tips/deals on your blog! I really enjoy it! 🙂


  • Corey says:

    Wiped down the cabinet faces a few days ago, but since they are white, I do it every couple of weeks. Cabinets go to the ceiling so I got out of that aspect of the job, but the top of the fridge has been staring at me for weeks. For some reason your “assignment” gets me more motivated than just the knowledge that it needs to be done. I’m actually finding that I’m anxious to check your site each day to see what I’ll be doing! Who in the world ever thought I’d be excited to clean!

  • Christy Carden says:

    We actually keep stuff on top of our refrigerator–playdough, children’s scissors–see the strategic location–it only comes out with adult assistance!

  • Debbie C. from Ohio says:

    Hi! This is my first post. Crystal you have not idea what a blessing your book has been to me. I heard it on Moody radio. Since I got the book I’ve been following your blog as much as I can. I am a new stay at home mom (not because we can afford it, but we decided is what is best for our family of two young children 3 & 5 yrs old right now). This transition from working and home has not been an easy task. However I am happier than ever and excited to get my house and other areas in my life in order. Now, regarding this post I forever looked for when to clean the BR. It seemed like I cleaned it whenever I got to it. Now I will added to my weekly to do list & just 15 minutes so doable! I’m excited! Thank you for sharing so much, every day and with so many of us. We appreciate you! You are a blessing!

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