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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #2

If you missed Assignment #1 of the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Challenge, be sure to read the details here.

Are you ready for another productive day? I know I am! Here’s Assignment #2:

Day 2 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 kitchen: wash the dishes/load the dishwasher, clear off the countertops, and, if you have time, wipe down the countertops and the outside of the cupboards with wet rag or cleaning cloth.

::Clean out your refrigerator. There’s a step-by-step guide for cleaning out your refrigerator here.

::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 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!

Other posts in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series

  1. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #1
  2. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #1 Results
  3. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #2
  4. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #2 Update
  5. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #3
  6. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #3 Update
  7. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #4
  8. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #4 Update
  9. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #5
  10. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #5 Update
  11. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #6
  12. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #6 Update
  13. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #7
  14. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #7 Update
  15. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #8
  16. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #8 Update
  17. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #9
  18. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #9 Update
  19. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #10
  20. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #10 Update
  21. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #11
  22. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #11 Update
  23. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #12
  24. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #12 Update
  25. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #13
  26. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #14
  27. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #14 Update
  28. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #16
  29. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #16 Update
  30. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #17
  31. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #17 Update
  32. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #18
  33. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #18 Update
  34. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #19
  35. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #19 Update
  36. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #20
  37. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #20 Update
  38. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Printable Checklist and Daily Email Reminders

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  • April says:

    I recently (yesterday marked one month) separated from my husband and my daughter and I moved into an apartment. I don’t have much, so I am able to keep things up better than ever. I am hoping by following your advice, I can keep my home clean in just about 20 minutes a day.

    I am on a very strict budget however and am struggling to find things to cook that are healthy but low-cost. Any advice or recipes?

    • Crystal says:

      If you haven’t done so already, I’d highly recommend reading through my 31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget series:

      {Hugs to you!}

    • DeShieka says:

      I been a single mother since my son was 2 months old. I recently picked up a booked called “The Stocked Kitchen: One Grocery List . . . Endless Recipes” I would say check it out and maybe it will help your budget.

    • April,

      We often eat from our pantry. Our family eats for .40 per person per day. Click on my name to see 4 1/2 months of meals (4 seasonal months plus 2 weeks of pantry-only meals) with recipes. Yesterday my family of 8 ate for under $2 for the entire day.

    • Amy says:

      Growing your own food will help on grocery budgeting. I know you said you live in an apartment, but you could plant lettuce and herbs in pots and put them in a sunny spot. Maybe check and see if your town has a community garden, my town sells 15x 10 plots for cheap. Great way to get fresh air and raise your own food.

  • Okay I will be 100% honest, my mind is groaning ” another seven items”, “clean my fridge” sigh my flesh is weak. But I will press on, I needed to do it anyways I was just noticing yesterday my fridge was looking neglected. Thanks for the challenges.

    • Crystal says:

      I’m feeling the same way, but I need to do it, so that’s why I’m publicly blogging about it. Because otherwise, I think I’d make up excuses for not doing it! 🙂

  • lori says:

    LOL! One step up on you! I already found my seven items thinking it would be on the list for today 🙂

  • Jodi D. says:

    I cleaned my fridge this weekend! I found all kinds of science experiments. I am going to make it a monthly task! I guess I need to work on getting rid of seven things and get the seven things from yesterday posted on Craigslist.

  • Amanda says:

    I spent the whole day yesterday cleaning my kitchen and my fridge, so I’m actually ahead of the curve (for today anyways!). I’m going to clear out my coupon basket and try to get in a last minute shopping trip. I’m very excited about this challenge and I’m hoping I can keep up with it through two sets of houseguests this month.

  • Ashlee says:

    I am so unproductive these days. I have a 7 month old who refuses to sleep. We’re up at least 3 times a night and naps are fairly non-existent. I try to do what I can each day, but I miss my routine!! I can’t wait to get back into it someday.

    • lori says:

      Ashlee, you’re still in survival mode right now. Do your best to create whatever routine you can. Prioritize, and remember it will get easier.

      My No. 1 priority was always my shower. Seemed like once I got my shower and got dressed, many other things fell into place. Next was making sure I had something planned or thawed for dinner. Anything else I got accomplished at that point was just a bonus 🙂

      My kids are now 7 and 4, and I am just now feeling like I am getting things back in order. Hang in there!

    • Lora says:

      You’ll get there, Ashlee! My 11 month old didn’t sleep until he hit 9 months, but then things improved markedly. Now, when he doesn’t sleep (like last night), I feel like a truck hit me. Four months ago, I didn’t notice the truck had hit me because I’d felt that way for 7 months. 🙂 Be kind to yourself and, like Lori said, I always feel better if I just manage a shower.

      • Kari says:

        This couldn’t be more true. My 20 month old has been sleeping through the night for a long time now, but when she’s sick or happens to wake up at night I can hardly function the next day! You don’t realize it as much when it is the norm.

        Like others have said, your #1 job right now is taking care of that precious baby. Your goal can be shower and making dinner. And if you get anything else done during the day – WOW! I found myself happier when I finally accepted the fact that being a mom to a little one takes a lot of time and if that is all I get done some days, that is perfectly fine!

    • Pamela says:

      Yup, I agree with the others. You are supposed to be “unproductive” when you pregnant, nursing, or getting up at night with a newborn. Those moms are exempt from ALL OTHER CHORES. Your only job is to keep that baby (and yourself!) alive.

      It’s the hardest job ever. Keep up the good work, Ashlee!

    • Bobbi says:

      I have a 7 month old too Ashlee and I HATE when other moms with little ones say that their baby sleeps well. UGH! He’s up atleast 3 times a night and no more than 30-45 minute naps during the day. That’s just enough time for me to spend with my 4 year old (if lucky)and then back to baby.

      I’ve never been so exhausted physically, and emotionally drained. I work full time and can’t believe how much I love working now! LOL. I love my kids, but man, the drain right is now is hard. I just talked to my hubby last weekend about getting someone to help clean. I just can’t keep up with the house right now, keep two kids happy, work full time and balance our finances, groceries and everything else!

      just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone!! Someday we will get sleep (I pray!). Actually, Crystal had a post somewhere on her site about being thankful for the sleep we do get… knowing that God gives us what we need. Trying to be optimistic 🙂

      • Amy says:

        Do it!! If you can afford it, get a housecleaner tomorrow. You have a lot going on and there is no reason to constantly feel burdened by what you’re not getting done. I say take the help where you can get it!

    • Rachel H says:

      Wow…you are SO not alone.
      In fact, the first day assignment had me in the kitchen and it was the first time in more then 8 months that I cleaned it top to bottom. Using this month to try and add to each circle of chores to get myself back up to par to keep things cleaner on my own. But I have learned w/having kids that the one thing I cannot do without is sleep. I’ve been nothing but a zombie. With an 8 month old and a 3 year old I barely have time to think. My daughter slept amazingly well…my son now? Hardly ever. The kid just never wants to sleep. And if he does, he’s a really light sleeper. He’s still waking up 2-3 times a night to eat I doubt I get more then 4 straight hours of sleep at night. And no naps either, and even when he does its just 30 minutes…and its hardly ever when my daughter is tired.
      Point is that you just need to hang in there. I’m hoping as the other ladies have stated that around 9 mos-1yr that my son will start to at least sleep thru the night. A girl can hope at least right? lol

  • Cynthia says:

    I think I will ended up in labor after this one!

    7 more?!?! I’m still working on yesterday 7 items to get rid.

  • Emma K says:

    I just finished up yesterdays list. I ended up putting maternity clothes away and pulling out regular clothes. So I was able to make a pile of clothes to return and donate from maternity clothes for my 7 items.

    Can you count throwing items out of the fridge toward the 7 for today? 🙂

  • Amber says:

    Yesterday I completed everything except the getting rid of 7 things. Not because I don’t have lots of things to get rid of but apparently I just scanned right past that part while I was reading.

    As for today I am getting ready to head out of the house and will be gone with the girls most of the day however if I have the energy when I get home I will do the fridge (which was already on my spring cleaning list and is in desperate need) and see if I can get rid of 14 things. Then I will be caught up. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Okay, can you tell me how you do this when you’ve got 3 kids running loose through the house? My daughter is on the second day of a playdate, so in addition to my 5yo and 21 mo hooligans, I have a 4yo here too!

    Yesterday from 10am to 430pm, the kids were like busy little bees going from activity to project and they totally wore me down chasing after them and watching to make sure no one colored on the wall, got hurt or flushed any contraband down the potty.

    • Wait until they’re in bed 🙂

      • Jessica says:

        If only! Today I slept in- I got up at 6am instead of my usual 530am, because the kids wore me out yesterday. I have to take my thyroid medication on an empty stomach, so I take my medicine then exercise. By the time I finished, my 5yo was up (at 7am). My toddler is a night owl and goes to bed when I do, around 10pm. I “re-trained” him back in January because he previously was staying up until 1am or later with my husband! My husband had a business trip to Los Angeles for 3 days and there was no way I was going to stay up until 1am and then be awake by the time my daughter gets up. So basically the entire time I am awake, so is at least 1 kid!

  • dian says:

    I’m trying to access previous assignment but your link is broken =(

  • Anny says:

    My cleaning lady cleaned my kitchen yesterday… yes it is the best $35.00 a week I spend. I have three disabled kids and one of them a fragile foster baby and I need the help where it makes the most difference. A very wise use of my money. Kitchen is done, so I am tackling something in the kitchen for 15 minutes that I would seldom get to keeping up on it.

    I had splurged for some workout wear for my birthday… I am working on my organization so my workout-wear is so appropriate for me.

    I will be cleaning out my old refrigerator for the last time as my new PAID in CASH one arrives Thursday. Our son was borrowing our old SUV it was totaled and with it paid off, the money was an Asset, so the money was put aside for replacements of Assets that were wearing out. As the motor cuts in and out, I hope it lasts until Thursday.

    I am beginning the challenge as everything has been falling apart with the latest addition to our home and now that he is doing better (no longer l hour feedings and a lot of cuddling) I am ready to put my life in order.

    • Alicia Hart says:

      I totally believe that one of the wisest things that we can do as moms is to get help when we need it!

      You sound like a mom with a really big heart. God bless you!


  • Kristin says:

    I have been a first grade teacher for 3 years and have recently decided to make a career change. Getting rid of 7 things is an easy one for me. I have a garage full of classroom supplies to get rid of…. now it’s just a matter of finding a way to recoup some of the money I spent on all the supplies. 🙂

    • Lora says:

      I hope craigslist is good to you, Kristin.

    • Ebay might be a good option, too. I’m a 1st grade teacher and I look there every so often for various things. There’s always a teacher trying to sell huge lots of fun stuff!

    • Oops, P.S. If you don’t mind me asking, what’s your new career choice? I love teaching, but I don’t know if I can do it my whole life!

      • Kristin says:

        I am still working on options right now. At the top of my list is going back to school to get a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. I love teaching as well but after having some not so good situations at the 2 charter schools I have taught at I just can’t do it anymore.

        I have listed some stuff on Ebay and on a yahoo group for teachers selling stuff. I’m still working on going through everything though… it’s a large task 🙂

        • lily says:

          Try going straight to the schools. I have know several new teachers who bought ‘start up’ supplies from teachers who were leaving.

    • Heidi says:

      I’m quitting teaching 3rd grade this year after teaching for 7 years…staying home with my baby (yeah!!). So, I’m working through going through everything, too. It’s a big job! Good luck to you!

    • Christy says:

      We’ve had retiring teachers have yard sales and advertise in the schools. One lady made $500 that way.

  • Ann says:

    I’m a day behind working on yesterdays assignment. Maybe I can catch up a little.
    About the fridge. I try to clean mine one shelf at a time. It’s usually fairly emptly before I go to the store, so that’s a good time to clean a shelf or two or a drawer. What I need to clean is that grill thing at the bottom, it’s rather yucky.

  • Clean my fridge was ON my list for this week!

    I knew you’d have 7 things to get rid of everyday. Sounds like a good plan. I love that your spring cleaning means purging.

  • Valerie Henry says:

    Oh NO! Not the FRIDGE!

    I was going to put that off until Thursday, but since you issued the challenge…..trying to be brave……

  • Mackenzie says:

    I am going to dress up today and throw out 7 things! Thanks for the motivation 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    I can hardly wait!

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for this motivation. I have a bad habit of keeping things “I might need one day.” If you have the space to store it, dont you think it’s better kept for those “what if’s” than trashing it?

  • Alicia Hart says:

    I loved the Frumps to Pumps book. This author knows me so well! LOL!
    It seems so ridiculous that I would need motivation to get dressed every day but it is the truth.

    Keep going everyone!


  • Tricia says:

    I love how supportive this group of women are of each other!! I love being a part of the MSM community! (As a working mom of two small kids, my goal is to complete the bolded item plus get rid of 7 things each day…)

  • Katie says:

    I always clean my fridge the day before I shop. This way the fridge is always nearly empty so its easy and the new food can go in a clean fridge!

    • Stephanie says:

      Me too! It’s also great because I don’t end up buying something I already have simply because I couldn’t see it on the back of the shelf.

  • Darla says:

    I’ve always loved Spring cleaning. I like to tackle a big long list each year. This year I’m challenged in a new way with homeschooling my oldest and juggling a baby. I get discouraged when I can’t finish a bigger project all in one day. Thank you for giving us bite-sized tasks. Those little things can really add up!

  • Kristine says:

    I have a weekly schedule that keeps me on track such as Wednesday is clean the fridge and make my weekly menu, Thursday I grocery shop, etc.

    I also have a seasonal chore list, yearly goal list, and a yearly book list. Each week I make a weekly goal list and combine all these into what I want to accomplish that week. I plan according to my weekly schedule and it helps me stay organized and motivated.

  • Laurie G says:

    I got this! I started weekly cleaning of my fridge about 2 months ago when I started a cleaning rotation. My Dad even asked the last time he was here why it was so clean. Now off to find 7 things. Why 7 anyway? Why not 5 or 10 or ??? 🙂

  • Merrilyn says:

    I am loving this series! So far, I have gotten rid of at least 14 things to put in my pile for the textile recycling drive at my daughter’s school and my fridge is sparkling! Already thinking about what I will get rid of tomorrow. 🙂

  • Ginger says:

    I did do the 7 things challenge yesterday! Gotta come up with 7 more things…

  • Hah, the dreaded fridge and freezer — it has been on my list for few weeks as a 6 week-rotating chore…that seems to not be making rotation LOL! Has anyone timed out how long it would take to clean their fridge/frezzer combo units following the directions in the link? I’m a working Mom (full-time…although I’d love to be part-time someday [just enough to qualify for benefits]) and having an estimated time for chores is really, really helpful!

    • Lana says:

      I have found that most chores don’t take as long as we think they do. It only takes me 5 minutes to clean our downstairs half bath and I do a good job but in my mind I think it takes alot longer. I have timed it and other chores and it usually takes way less time than I thought. Another job I think is a big deal is scrubbing the kitchen sink and that takes me 3 minutes. When I do floors it does take some time. I do all of our downstairs floors, about 1000 sq feet of hardwoods, on one day and it takes about 30 minutes but that includes mopping the kitchen and eat-in area. For me the longest part of cleaning chores is just getting started on doing it. My hat is off to all you moms who work full time and survive! I am a stay at home wife, the kids are grown, and it seems like all I do is work! I typically have 20 or more things on my to do list everyday. If I had a job we would live in a pigpen and eat out every night!

    • Christy says:

      I am a FT working mom too. Although I am a teacher, so at least my house gets a deep cleaning every summer–LOL! I have found that cleaning the fridge out right before grocery shopping has helped tremendously! The fridge has less in it, making it easier to wipe down shelves and it makes it easy to inventory items, like butter and add them to your list if necessary. Since I wipe down the shelves every 1-2 weeks, it stays pretty clean without having to spend hours scrubbing it out like another poster said.

  • Susan says:

    Do you have an assignment plan for full time working Mom’s? I also have a son studying for the ERB’s (middle school placement exams) so we are currently spending a lot of time going over math and English workbooks. In addition to homework, the placement exam studying is an extra hour and a half every day until the end of May.

    I actually got dinner together before I left to drop my son off at spring break camp. I feel good about that one! Pick up at 3PM, help him study until 4:30 and then take him to karate for 5PM. We get home at 6:30 which is when I start dinner and my son starts his homework.

    What can I get done before 8:30PM? I will be working on cleaning out my purse at lunch time today. I would really love to work on my pantry. I need to find out what food I really have in the house.

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, see the bolded assignment each day. I’m trying to pick one chore for each day that could be done in 15-30 minutes for those of you who are working and/or at a really busy season of your lives.

  • Ashley says:

    I love this series!! I’m not really enjoying the cleaning, but it is stuff that needs to get done.

  • Sara says:

    I always do my fridge one shelf at a time starting at the top. I even take out the shelf or drawer and scrub it in the sink and move the food to another shelf so it doesn’t sit out too long. I’ve got toddlers, so it’s not if, but WHEN an interruption will happen! 🙂 And if I run out of time, I can do the next shelf tomorrow. I usually try to clean it out before I go shopping so there is less food to deal with.

  • Kathleen says:

    Cleaned my WHOLE fridge today. It took a couple of hours but it was SO worth it. Thank you for the challenge Crystal..can’t wait for my husband to see it. It looks so nice & clean almost like new!

  • monica says:

    Loving this! Thank you for the encouragement!

  • Meredith says:

    I groaned when I saw fridge duty, but almost done. Wish I had seen it earlier in the day. Got rid of 7 things…. Love this series, even if I inwardly complained:)

  • Jackie says:

    Oh my, I am already behind but I love this and will try harder. Thanks Crystal!

  • Caroline says:

    Can each day’s assignment be posted the evening before? We have so many projects running during this week off from school (mostly cleaning, but also tiling a room) and the earlier I know of the task the more likely we will get it done =) Thanks for spurring us on!

    • Crystal says:

      Unfortunately, that doesn’t work out with my schedule. However, it might work for you to do the project from the day before each day so that you can plan better. Maybe?

      Thanks for your flexibility!

  • Christy says:

    I read an excellent tip about cleaning out the refrigerator that has really worked for me. Clean it out right before you grocery shop. There is less in it at this point so it is easier to wipe down shelves and it helps you inventory items so you can put anything like butter that might be low on your list.

    • Melanie says:

      This has also worked well for me. It helps me put groceries away more quickly and it’s less stressful knowing that everything is neat and tidy when I come home with bagfuls of goodies. I find that this helps me save money in different ways: 1. I find stuff in the fridge that I forgot I had in there and therefore don’t buy more of it 2. I can make a list of stuff I am low on and can put it on my list, saving me from having to run out at the last minute 3. It helps me stay on top of the leftovers we have in the fridge, eliminating waste and maximizing space 4. And by doing #3, we save on our lunches because often the leftovers from dinner end up in the lunch menu 🙂

  • Megan says:

    Oh man, that fridge was a scary place! Feels so good to get that cleaned up. Perhaps now that drawer won’t stick 🙂

  • Leslie says:

    What a great series! I’m hoping you continue it for a while… it is really, really helping me to get myself together. The little bite sized chunks are all I needed to make some progress instead of always feeling I’m 2 steps behind. Thank you!

  • Roxanne says:

    After I scrub out my fridge I line the shelves with Glad press and seal paper. Everytime there is a spill or a leak I just replace the paper! My fridge stays cleaner longer this way!

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