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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #3

Thanks so much for joining me in this four week challenge. We’re only three days in and I’ve already seen some great results!

Here’s Assignment #3:

Day 3 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 bedroom: throw out any trash, put away items that are out of place, get rid of clutter, tidy up, vacuum, and make your bed.

::Clean out your freezer(s). If you need step-by-step help, read this guide on How to Clean Out Your Freezer.

::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!

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  • andrea says:

    hopefully today will be better…… 😀

    • Danielle B says:

      You can do it!
      Remember to compliment yourself on every single little thing that you get done. “Alright! Good for me! I unloaded the dishwasher!” “Oh yeah, I’m making progress now, dishwasher reloaded!” I know it sounds cheesy, but I was amazed at how much more I was able to accomplish when I made it a point to encourage myself in my own mind. 🙂

  • Paola Rarick says:

    I haven’t gotten to everything, but thank you so very much for doing this! It has given me some hope for my day. I love when you share your results as well. Very encouraging!!!!! Thanks again!

  • Sarah says:

    Just got home from the gym. I’m on it!

  • Stacy says:

    Okay, you’ve convinced me. Starting day #1 today! Hoping the little ones cooperate:)

  • Erin says:

    I wasn’t able to clean out my entire fridge yesterday but I DID throw away a few “science experiments” and also got rid of a bunch of empty spice jars that were cluttering up our counter. It already looks so much better! The only thing is, can you do a post on getting rid of things without your pack rat family members getting upset? I have to cover up what I throw away so that others don’t see it and take it out of the trash! LOL

    • heather says:

      i know the feeling…it is very hard!!!!!!!!!

    • Valerie Henry says:

      Geez, I know that feeling so well. My husband is the worst pack rat. He can have a room full of junk, and if I touch one thing, he just instinctively knows. So I just work on my own and my kids’ junk and leave his alone.

      • Erin says:

        LOL, yeah mine is similar. I go back and forth between asking him first or just throwing things away. If I ask, he won’t let me get rid of anything! I can usually figure out which things I can safely throw away…but there is always a risk he will ask where it is 6 months later!

    • Tricia says:

      I sometimes go with the theory: Ask forgiveness, not permission…
      My hubby is a huge packrat as well and over the years, I’ve managed to clear out a TON of stuff.
      I’ve also used the technique of asking HIM for a solution to take care of clutter–often times, he ends up donating/getting rid of whatever it is. It does seem to help when it is HIS idea.
      Another thing I do (can you tell I have a lot of experience with this?? LOL) is to offer to replace the item with a new one. For instance, he refuses to get rid of t-shirts with lots of holes in them. I offer to buy him new one for every shirt he gets rid of. It doesn’t actually get rid of the clutter, but it means we have fewer worn out t-shirts that he never wears…

      • Erin says:

        That’s a great idea to get your hubby to come up with a solution. Mine tends to get really overwhelmed if I ask him to help declutter. I think he has trouble separating what he wants to keep from what he needs to keep – he thinks he need everything! And he has a lot of emotional attachment to things. I don’t have that problem so I can look at decluttering objectively but he can’t. So that’s why I usually just wait until he’s not around and then throw away as much as I can!

    • Kimberly says:

      Be careful, though. I learned the hard way about throwing away what I assumed was trash. I ended up chunking a part of myhusband’s shotgun that had originally belonged to his grandfather! And without this part, the gun would not work. and it took over four years to find a replacement piece….bc the gun was made in the 50s! I learned to always ask before it hits the trash!

    • Angie says:

      Another idea I’ve used is the big box. I use this one for questionable things which are left behind after he goes through some stuff. I pick ‘junk’ of my husbands’ and put it in a cardboard box, with the top closed of course. I let it sit in the closet for about a year. (It’s a pretty big box. The last one was a shipping box for a western saddle, if you can imagine the size of THAT.) If no inquiries are made during that time, I figure it’s okay to go.

      Good luck!!

  • Sarah Smith says:

    Thank you, I needed this reminder this morning. And it helps that I don’t have to come up with this on my own! Off to start my day now.

  • Cynthia says:

    I’m so glad the bedroom is on the list, it seems it always at the end of my list. Meaning it never get done.

    I’m going to re title this challenge: On my way to labor with Crystal Paine LOL!

  • heather says:

    I’m cringing at the thought of this already!!!!!!!!! But it must be done, don’t remember the last time i did it.

  • Sarah L says:

    I am excited about this series. I’ll admit I checked the site a few times this morning, anxious to find out what today’s assignment is. 🙂

    I have been choosing to just do the cleaning activities because there is a lot going on in my life right now. The small tasks feel doable to me. And I am encouraged that I have been getting them done.

  • lori says:

    I already cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer this weekend, so instead I am going to tackle my plastic ware cabinet today. It’s been driving me crazy … I throw the clean tupperware in there and slam the door really fast so nothing will fall out!

    • Angie says:

      LOL! That’s what I do with my lower cabinet in the kitchen. And bathroom. (s) Bathroom-s.

      Now it doesn’t seem so funny 🙁

  • Jennifer says:

    Love that your doing this! Helps me get through my day a little easier! Makes cleaning a little more fun too!

  • Chanda says:

    I was up all night with a very sick 3 month old, so I’m offering myself grace today, but it is actually really nice to have some goals to strive for anyway. I’ll aim to do what I can, but I’ll crash on the couch if both the toddler and baby allow for it.
    I’m loving the challenge so far. We are moving in two weeks, but a lot of these goals line up with prepping for a move.

  • The “get dressed nicely” is one of my favorite ideas, which I’ve also seen at FlyLady. You’d be surprised how often that DOESN’T happen when you’re self-employed. Why yes, I DO write in my pajamas!

  • Valerie Henry says:

    Oh no! Not the FREEZER!

    Beware of “scope creep.” I cleaned out the fridge yesterday, and found all these vegetables that were on the way to becoming science projects… I cut them up and made swiss steak so they wouldn’t go to waste. I had a bunch of celery that wasn’t going to make it very long, so of course I had to google “can you freeze celery.” Which led to a search of receipes for which one could use celery. One of the icky drawers from the fridge is still out on the deck so I can hose it off (I have no dishwasher).

    I listed more than 7 items on Listia and eBay yesterday, but I don’t think I can keep up that pace. I’ll look for 7 things to take to Goodwill. That shouldn’t be too hard.

    Thanks for the challenges, ! If I keep up at this rate I won’t have to do spring cleaning. Oh wait…..I am doing spring cleaning…..

    • Emma K says:

      I was going to google the exact same thing about celery…so can you freeze it? I was going to just chop it up and throw it in the freezer to be used later in soups. My stalk of celery still has a few days left on it.

    • Anna says:

      What is Listia? Which is easier, Ebay or Listia?

      • Valerie Henry says:

        Listia is sort of a ‘trading’ website where you list thing you want to get rid of and people bid with credits, rather than money. I use it to get credits for small things that wouldn’t bring in enough money on eBay to make it worth the fees. I save up all the credits and spend them on gift cards. If you e-mail me I can send you a personal invitation and you get 100 free credits 😎 ( It’s free to put things up on Listia. You can charge for shipping, but if you offer free shipping you get more credits. I usually put little things, like stickers and small pieces of jewelry up on Listia.

  • Jenny Veleke says:

    Gotta make clean out the fridge one of my 5 to 7 things to do since I didn’t get to it yesterday! So encouraged by how much I’ve completed so far!

  • Amber says:

    Well I cleaned out the freezer yesterday when I cleaned out the fridge, so yay me. I still haven’t gotten rid of anything yet however my bedroom is the perfect spot. Hoping I can get rid of 21 things today and be caught up. I do have some clothes that have gotten way too big on me and they need to get out of my closet and I could honestly probably find the rest of the items on my computer desk.

  • Gabby says:

    Does getting rid of a stack of magazines >1 year old count as one thing or 40?
    I’ve been cleaning the refrigerator one shelf at a time. Did the bottom shelf yesterday, will do the middle shelf today, top tomorrow, drawers on Friday (when I can take them outside to wash them. I’m moving the freezer to Sunday (we’re doing Easter on Saturday) when hubby can help.
    My 7 things for today will come from the bedroom I’m sure…although my true goal is a paper box of stuff out per day.

  • Lindsay says:

    Thank you so much for this challenge! I have needed something to get me motivated and really start making a difference in my house work. I wanted to start cleaning out for a garage sale I am having in May so this is the perfect way to get it done. I appreciate the motivation and my house is looking better already. I was so excited to get my challenge today and to get started on my list! Here’s to a productive day. 🙂

  • Megan says:

    Haha, whoops, I got a little cleaning-crazy last night and did my freezer along with my fridge. But it’s not a problem, I’m glad I got it out of the way, my room is going to take WAY longer than fifteen minutes if I want to see any major progress, haha.
    I love these assignments, it makes spring cleaning my apartment so much fun! Thank you!!

  • Brooke says:

    Oh no, I knew you were going to say that. I was thinking as I cleaned the fridge yesterday, “well, at least she didn’t say freezer”! This is going to take a lot of will power. But hey, who knows, I might find something I didn’t even know I had!

  • I am going to do both the fridge and freezer today. And as I am putting everything back in I am going to have a list of what’s on hand and try to keep that as up to date as possible.

    Should make meal planning easier too.

  • Debbie says:

    I put this on my list of to do stuff, and last night actually did it! Cleaned out the fridge completely. Then moved to the drawers next to it and cleaned those out. Then the counters, removed everything and cleaned really good. Long story short, my kitchen is spotless right now. Mopped, cabinet doors cleaned, fridge cleaned, and drawers cleaned. Well I guess tonight the freezer…. or maybe tomorrow night.

  • Leah says:

    This is like having my own personal life coach. Thank you SOO much, Crystal, for motivating me to be intentional, simple, and productive!!

  • Kay says:

    How about doing the bathroom next? Then I won’t feel so behind because I cleaned it this weekend.

  • Jan says:

    I have a big upright freezer in the basement. I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned it out LOL- it came with the house. Is there no way to get the ice out without unplugging it? What do you do with all the food? I only have one small cooler. Just the top shelf has a lot of ice build up and it needs a defrost! I’m worried about where all the water will go also- we just had a big flood we cleaned up because our washer broke.

    • Sarah says:

      Since it is just one shelf would a 9 x 13 pan or dish pan and a blow dryer do the trick to remove the ice?

    • Dani says:

      When we unplug our freezer, we have never had problems with a ton of water. We sit a towel on each rack that absorbs the ice/water as it melts and check on it every hour or so and if they are too wet, get new ones to change them out with. As far as the all the food, maybe try to eat from your freezer the next few weeks to minimize what you have in there and then clean out your freezer. Just an idea!

    • Lois says:

      I always used an empty laundry basket since it really didn’t take as long as you’d expect. It takes awhile for things to start thawing.

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for this series!! I am following along, just one day behind. Did my fridge this morning, planning to have it done and a shower before the kids woke up, but it took so long, lol. I had no idea just how bad it was until I actually took it all out 🙂 Although we do keep expired food out and I only had to throw away 3 things in all of the fridge. I am so excited to keep going everyday and reading your progress!

  • Mackenzie says:

    Yesterday kinda got away from me (cranky toddler). Hopefully today will be better and I can accomplish these goals today 🙂

  • Anna says:

    My room has been on my to-do list for a couple weeks. I have a corner of the room designated for garage sale items, so today I moved everything out of the corner into the garage and will take pics of things today (and hopefully make some money!) Now my room looks much better without the junk in the corner. And I’m sure my husband will be much happier, since he’s been begging me to clean the room for the last 2 months! HA! That’s all I’m going to do today as far as my room goes, but it’s progress. 🙂

  • I didn’t even realize you were doing this. Shucks! I’ll have to see if I can catch up then. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done!

  • Becky says:

    I love this series- luckily my husband and I are having the 2nd yard sale of the year on Saturday (we spent the winter and the past few weeks purging everything) and last Sunday I spent 5 hours cleaning the house top to bottom- I cleaned the fridge, the bathroom, every surface imaginable…. unfortunately it won’t stay clean long with my husband and 17 month old- but I was so proud of it on Sunday! Our goal now is to slowly go back through every closet and cabinet in the house and organize everything and purge/sell the rest.

    We are already feeling better with a clean house with less stuff- now our goal is to get it organized and to keep it that way—- small steps, but I am proud. Good luck everyone- I love to set small goals and try to stick with them- this weekend is the yard sale and next Saturday we are planning on cleaning the 3 bedroom closets (take EVERYTHING out and return what we need only)- the next weekend is the panrty, bathroom closet and hall closet…. a work in progress…

  • I am in! I tossed out 3 pairs of shoes! (that will make my hubby smile). I also picked up my room for 15 minutes already. Sadly it still had a few piles left after the timer went off. Oh well the bed is made and the floor is tidy, so I will take pride in that accomplishment.

  • Mander says:

    Didnt have a chance to clean the fridge yesterday so I did it this morning… I had a feeling you were going to say freezer today! This was not fun! But I needed the motivation so thank you!!

  • Lana says:

    Yippee!! Hubby and I did the freezers a couple of weeks ago. We organized everything in plastic tubs and baskets and now we can actually find what we need with out emptying whole shelves!

  • Christina says:

    I can’t believe how much can be accomplished in 15 min. I did my freezer my room and our suburban. That was a gross job as we frequently eat it the car and we have four kids six and under 🙂 so happy to be getting things done!

  • Sarah T. says:

    The freezer in the kitchen has been a dreaded place for me recently. The upright one is good. So I did it… and found supper! Gonna use up homemade biscuits, chopped peppers, some random cooked stew meat, cream of mushroom soup (yes, I buy big cans and freeze in smaller portions) and sour cream (same as the soup).

    My room is probably the most minimalistic place in our house, so there’s nothing to clean up in there. Could stand a vacuum but that’s on my list for another day. Still have to gather my 7 things. 🙂

  • Susan says:

    Thanks so much for “making” me clean out our 2nd freezer. It’s had a melted popsicle and the resulting stuck-on cardboard in it for months! Now it’s not only clean, but well-organized, too!

    I still have to clean out our primary freezer, but it’s not as bad. I’m also behind on getting rid of things. Could we have a day off from that?! 😉

  • Thanks for doing this! It’s just the encouragement and motivation I need to get back in the swing of things now that I’m coming out of my first trimester with Baby #3. And, the motivation goes beyond just the cleaning assignments. I’ve been getting more work done during nap-time, getting in better exercise…just overall very motivating. 🙂

  • April M. says:

    Thank you for the motivation! I love this series. I don’t feel overwhelmed and it helps to have a daily list.

  • Bobbi says:

    Fridge – clean – check… oops! That was yesterday 🙂 Somehow I managed to find more space in it – finally organized!

    I’ll get the freezer done tonight! Can’t wait to see how much room I can free up.

    Oh – I organized my stockpile too, so the day when you have that as our chore, I’ll be ahead 🙂

  • Colleen says:

    Thank you so much for this organization series. I finally got my fridge & freezer cleaned and i hate cleaning the freezer. 🙂

  • Valerie Henry says:

    Well, I didn’t clean out the freezer, but I did pull out a big chunk of frozen what I thought was salisbury steak and re-heated it for supper. Turned out to be barbecued chicken 😎 My freezer died for a short time right before Christmas and I had to throw everything out, and after I did that and cleaned it it started working again, so it’s not too bad right now.

    Found 7 old tablecloths, cloth napkins, and dresser doilies that I took to Goodwill! Got a lot done today….now time to rest and Pinterest!

  • Ruth says:

    I remembered that you attacked your refrigerator with “gusto” even though you didn’t like cleaning refrigerators. So I applied the same principle to my bedroom and got ‘er done!

  • Amy says:

    I was able to attack the fridge on Tuesday–several unrecognizable science experiements, and the freezer yesterday. I will admit that I have been married for ten years (with a freezer) and have NEVER cleaned it until yesterday. I was prideful about it afterwards, I guess, because I forgot to turn it back on when I put the food back in! (pride goes before a fall…) Anyway, I’m hoping to play catch up in finding things to get rid of and cleaning my room. Thanks for the great series!

  • Angie says:

    I came late to the party again! I just started this on Monday. Day one was a breeze – no purse or diaper bag ;). I did work on a morning routine, though. It turns out that I had one for the whole day printed and hanging on the fridge behind a bunch of other stuff. I laminated it and put it at the front. I have kept to the routine for 3 days – big accomplishment for me!

    Cleaned the fridge today and found leftovers from my mothers house. I can tell because it was in an old butter container of her brand. As it turns out, we haven’t eaten there since Christmas 😐 The next few days will be the freezers. We have 3 full sized ones plus the 1/2 one on the fridge. Why so many, you ask? One has a cow, one has 2 pigs, one has veggies, and the small one has mis. stuff from the grocery store. I’m really not looking forward to this at all! But, hey! I’ve kept a schedule for 3 days. I can do anything. Jesus, give me strength . . .

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