January is done and over, and I JUST got my Christmas stuff put away! (At our BRL house; I hadn’t been there for nearly a month. *giggle*) So to keep this momentum going for myself – and maybe for you, too?? – I’m throwing down the gauntlet and issuing the Forget About It! February Challenge.

Rule #1:  Get rid of at least 10 items each week.

That’s it; that’s the only rule. And that’s totally do-able! And no…10 pieces of paper from your I-never-filed-it pile on your desk doesn’t count as ten; that counts as one. ; ) In case I need to be a little more specific, here are some ideas.

  • articles of clothing (please donate these, unless they’re in horrible shape or too dirty!)
  • toys your kids/grandkids don’t play with anymore (maybe donate those to a women’s shelter or your church nursery)
  • books you have no interest in and will probably never read
  • really useless junk in your junk drawer
  • old cosmetics/hair products/suntan lotion (it’s a new year; be healthy and buy new, clean products 😉 )

A little tip: Choose one area/room to work on at a time. Don’t just go through your house grabbing 10 things willy-nilly; concentrate your efforts.

Still not sure if you can commit? Keep reading! My gf and co-collaborator, Daria Harvey of Your Organized Life is a professional organizer, and she’s been kind enough to share a post from her blog with us today. 🙂


At this time of year I think we all feel as if we are drowning in stuff.  Maybe it’s having all those holiday decorations up, which makes it harder to clean, and then they all have to be stored which reminds us that we really need to organize the attic/garage…AAAACCCCKK!  The new year seems like the perfect time to organize our homes. Before organizing anything, however, there are several thought provoking questions you need to ask yourself.

What You Must Do Before Organizing Anything

And what about those adorable Pinterest organizing ideas?!  All those cute organizing products we could buy! Don’t get me wrong, office supply stores and The Container Store are my meccas.  I get excited about those places like some people get excited about the shoes at Nordstrom’s.  But what if those cute products and projects just make us

ORGANIZE ITEMS WE SHOULDN’T BE KEEPING?

Then there’s a flurry of “organize your entire house in 30 days” articles and challenges.  Which sounds great, right?  Yet I always think: who could possibly organize their attic in one day and then turn around and do their garage the next?  We still have to go on with our lives, right?

These challenges can be very inspiring and incite us to action.  The problem is, they can be like putting on wrinkle cream every night but never putting on sunscreen.  They don’t get to the root of the issue, which is:

OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR STUFF

Because that’s the heart of the matter.  Until we take a good look at what we have, what we truly need, and why we keep buying, we’ll NEVER have an organized home.

Until we take a good look at what we have, what we truly need, and why we keep buying, we’ll NEVER have an organized home.

Have you ever heard the saying:

OWN YOUR STUFF. DON’T LET YOUR STUFF OWN YOU.

It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite sayings.  Remember, YOU have the decision over what stays in your home and what goes out, and what comes in.   So, walk around your home and look at all your stuff (preferably with a large basket) and ask yourself some important questions:

  • Do I love this item?
  • Does it make me happy?
  • Is it useful?
  • Is it beautiful?

And here’s a big one:

  • Does it make me feel guilty?

Because before you can organize you HAVE to purge.  And I wholeheartedly agree with the famous organizer Marie Kondo on this point:  everything in our homes should bring us joy.  (Or at the very least be useful, I mean useful on a regular basis.)

Quick story:  A year ago I went shopping with a friend who is very supportive, excited about life, and a quick decision maker.  In Forever 21 (read:  inexpensive clothing here, not breaking the bank) she talked me into a flashy skirt for New Year’s Eve.  Yet when New Year’s Eve came, I just couldn’t bring myself to wear it.  It felt too flashy and not me.  Fast forward to this year and I again tried the skirt and decided that the wee bit of extra fabric on the sides made me look REALLY hip-y.  So I texted a picture to my daughter who was at work and she said “love it!  wear it!” So I did.  I was with close friends whom I told the story.  I ended by saying “I’m not sure if I like it or I should just put it in my ‘bad buy’ pile.” One friend literally gasped.  “You have a bad buy pile?  That’s brilliant!”  To which I responded, “Yes, I have a bad buy pile.  We all should have one (which goes directly to charity) because, you know, we’re human and sometimes we make bad buys!”  Why on earth should we let something hang around that:

  • makes us feel bad for buying it, or,
  • makes us look bad

I mean, I’m to the point now where if an item of clothing doesn’t make me look 10 pounds skinnier and 10 years younger I don’t buy it, wear it, or keep it. Also, get rid of things

  • you don’t ever use, or,
  • it wasn’t quite the right gift
So, take that walk around your house and purge.  I PROMISE you you will feel lighter, happier, and perhaps even giddy.  Because after talking with so many people I’ve realized:

CLUTTER IN THE HOME IS CLUTTER IN THE MIND

 That is my mantra now.  Once you’ve purged, THEN you can get all those cute organizing products and tackle those cute Pinterest projects-because you’ll only be organizing what you need, not all the extra.
Don’t worry, I’ll be having plenty of posts on ideas how to organize different areas of your home. I’ll have some cute projects too, I’m sure. And through the process of purging and organizing, you’ll discover what you REALLY need to add to your home/life.  You can shop with a keen eye to what you love, what you find beautiful, and what will be truly useful to you.
Oh and that skirt?  Into the “bad buy” pile it goes.  Because another dear friend said “I see what you mean about being hip-y, but it’s a really cute skirt.”  Egad.

GF, if this got you all fired-up to get started….leave me a comment below so I know you’re joining in the challenge. We can DO this!! 😉 Then be sure to hop over to Daria’s blog, where you’ll find more awesome organizing posts, get a  FREE calendar guide, and find out about her organizing services to keep your momentum going! 🙂

And be sure to sign up for my newsletter via the form below….and join us here every Saturday in February, because Daria will be sharing even MORE great tips on organizing!