31 Day Organizational Challenge – DONE!

Well, I did it. I managed to get my master bedroom organized like I said I would. It didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped, most of it could have been done in just one weekend, if I had that kind of time, but instead, I worked on it bit by bit, until it was done. The only time I locked myself away from my husband and kids, was on a Saturday a couple of weeks back, when I had to tackle that giant box of papers. Kids and paperwork do not mix, so the door was shut, I had music playing, and I sorted and filed until it was finished.

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As part of the challenge, we have been asked to answer some questions, so here goes:

1. What space did you decide to organize and why? I decided on our master bedroom because it seems to get forgotten when tidying. Company doesn’t see it, and we aren’t in there during the day, so things get placed in there and never removed.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 31 day time line? I made sure to block time for the bigger projects (like the paper work), otherwise I just plugged away at it when my kids were napping.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it? Getting in there and actually working on it was the hardest. I save nap time for getting other stuff done around the house, so I had to re-organize my day, and out of habit I would go to tidy the kitchen or fold laundry, instead of packing things up in the closet. I eventually started just staying upstairs after putting the kids to bed, which forced me to work on it.

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space? There wasn’t much to purge, as we are fairly good at purging clothing throughout the year. A few things were donated, and anything else was put back where it was supposed to be in another part of the house (which led to tidying the linen closet, the front hall closet and part of the basement!).

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge? Finishing all that filing felt amazing! Five years worth of paper work had to be sorted and filed. It took almost an entire Saturday; the piles covered the bed and the floor! Somehow I managed to stay paper cut free during it all! Almost every item was still in an envelope, so we had quiet the recycling bin of ripped envelopes that week.

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries? I used a few bins and baskets to keep things contained, and of course a filing cabinet for the papers. I managed to not spend any money on new products, and just reused what I had, shifting things around to make better use of them.

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you’ve learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with? Just get up and do it. Get right in there and see what needs to be done and starting sorting through it all.

And now, for some before and afters:

closet organization
All those maternity clothes are packed away in a box, my bulky sweaters and long johns are now folded neatly, hats and scarves are in a nice basket, and I sorted my purses and they are in a new box on the right which you can’t really see…
basket
Now I can see what is in this box! It sits on my dresser, and is meant to contain things and keep my dresser top clear, and now it does!
bathroom organization
I found there wasn’t anything to really do to the cupboard on the right, so I stuck with the disaster on the left. All the travel/sample products are in that container in the back. I stacked some cube shelves in the back to use up the vertical space. I put all the travel cosmetic bags into one bag, and all our boxes of contact lenses are sorted too (I thought I was out of contacts, but found extras hidden in the pile of stuff!)
bedside table
Oh the things that were in my bedside table. It was such a mess of papers and items from my hospital bag from my first child (who is 3.5!), and my bottom draw was stuffed, while the top drawer was empty! I placed greeting cards in a Tiffany’s bag and put that in the top drawer, and organized the baby books and papers in the bottom drawer. The silver chest and picture box hiding on the floor in the corner found new homes in the linen closet and basement, and the baby chair as been moved as well.I even found a little purple bin in the bathroom that wasn’t being used, and now holds my lotions and chap stick in the top drawer!
papers organization
5 years worth of paper! It took me an entire day, but it’s done! Nicely filed away in a proper filing cabinet! The biggest part of the project, and the part I am most pleased with. Even better, we have kept it up and have been filing away mail as it comes in, which means my front hall table has stayed clear!

I would still love to get some pictures hung on the walls, and a shelf or too as well, but that really wasn’t part of getting it all organized. I know it doesn’t look like the biggest transformation, as it wasn’t really a room completely stuffed to the brim with junk, but these few spots were very messy by my standards, and I am so happy that they are neater and organized now. Even better, the only money I spent was on file folders and hanging folders for the file cabinet! I used bins and baskets I already owned; moving them around to be better used elsewhere! Organizing doesn’t have to be expensive.

We still have the garage to tackle, once it is warmer out. I hope that gets done this spring, and will share pictures if it does. Make sure you check out the challenge link-up over at Org Junkie, and see some amazing transformations! Happy organizing everyone!

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8 comments

  1. Great work! Sometimes it’s those items tucked away that no one ever sees that comes to the most clutter! I tackled my bedroom too but I’m ashamed to say I was in way worse off shape than you were! Good job for not letting it get too out of control to begin with! That’s an accomplishment too!

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  2. Well done! Something like this does bring such a sense of satisfaction, doesn’t it? I’m planning to rehaul my filing cabinet this summer…hoping that some pretty file folders will inspire me but I haven’t found anything yet!

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  3. Great work! I can definitely see the transformation. Congrats on not having a room full to the brim to start with. My bedside table is in similar condition and it will definitely be interesting to go through when I tackle my bedroom.

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  4. You did a great job! Isn’t it crazy how we’ll put all kinds of stuff in our bedrooms? I love your advice at the end to just do it. I’m really bad about finding a new “system” to clean or organize, but really all it takes is actually doing the work. Congratulations on completing the challenge!

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