31 Day Organization Challenge: Life Edition: Week 1
Welcome to Week 1 of our latest 31 Day Organization Challenge! This summer we’re not only going to be lounging poolside, we’re going to push up our sunglasses and dive into organizing parts of our life. Summer break is a great time to get a head start on the school year and the fall season, so by putting in a few hours of work this month, you can begin the later half of the year freshly organized and ready to go!
This week we’re organizing The Essentials: those pieces of your life that you use on a daily basis that probably tend to collect more clutter and become disheveled easier and quicker than anything else.
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. – Coco Chanel
CLICK HERE to download the printable schedule for this week and post it on your fridge so you know what tasks to focus on each day.
Day 1 – Purse
Every woman’s primary essential item in their life is of course their purse. Whether that comes in the form of a huge tote, a classy clutch, a practical diaper bag, or a designer handbag, whatever form of transportation you use to carry around your “life” is probably in need of a declutter. It’s time to purge that purse!
Empty out every pocket and nook and cranny until the bag is empty. Take inventory of everything that was removed, and only replace back essential items that you use most often. Stock up on small cosmetic bags or zippered pouches to group similar items together, so there’s no more digging through the deep depths of your bag looking for your lipstick. Of course there are super cool purse organizers out there that make organizing a bag a breeze, so check out these options from Periea, HannahDirect, and Hoxis.
Be sure to also open up your wallet today and go through all credit cards, business cards, and everything else that is living in there. Toss expired gift cards and coupons, receipts from two years ago, and your ex-husband’s picture.
Day 2 – Keys
Today, grab your keys from your newly organized purse and start sorting. Remove any old keys that you no longer use and be sure you know what every key on your ring is for. Even consider going down to your local hardware store and giving some of your keys a facelift so you can easily distinguish certain ones from the others, or just pop on some key cap labels.
Now’s also a good time to justify buying a new key fob. We love this laminated cotton one from Etsy shop Baby’s Indulgence. It doesn’t get any better than a cute design key fob that easily wipes clean for years of key carrying in style.
If you’re still living in the age of key ring store loyalty cards, then it’s time to toss them to the curb and go digital (or at least move them from your key ring to your wallet if you just can’t part with them). Download the free app KeyRing to your phone, scan or enter in all your cards information (including gift cards, library cards, and more), and now you have everything in one convenient place! Simply open up the app at the checkout, let the cashier scan the appropriate barcode on your phone, and voila, no more rifling through a card deck while the customer behind you gets antsy.
Day 3 – Jewelry
Just as diamonds are a girl’s best friend, also is organizing (well, to some of us that is)! Give your bangles and jewels a beautiful, well-organized place so they can shine extra bright and allow you to accessorize extra quick in the morning.
Gather up all your jewelry, lay it out on a table, and make two piles: KEEP and TOSS. Separate your jewelry into the piles. If you have pieces that could potentially make you some money, then go through the selling process, or else just decide who the lucky girl is that gets to find her treasure out of your trash, or donate your unwanted pieces to a local Goodwill.
There are countless ways to organize jewelry, and it all depends on your space, your style, and your collection. We’ll share a few of our favorite ideas and products with you.
- Attach a large command hook on the wall of your closet and hang your long necklaces on it. Attach a few more and you have space for bracelets, watches, and other items. All on the wall and out of the way. It also makes a pretty wall decoration of sorts!
- Check out this beautiful over the door jewelry organizer, perfect for large collections that won’t fit in a typical sized jewelry box.
- Make a DIY earring organizer with ClubChicaCircle for all those tiny stud earrings that seem to get lost so easily.
- If you want a tabletop option that still allows you to view your jewelry, then check out this clear acrylic two piece display box, that is highly rated and super affordable! It even organizes makeup in addition to your jewelry, so keep this one in mind for tomorrow too.
Day 4 – Makeup
Time to organize your makeup. For some of us, this will take no time at all, and for others, you may need to dedicate your whole afternoon to this task! Same as always, pull out all of your makeup and go through each item. Also go through your nail polish collection today too. Be sure to pay attention to expiration dates and try to remember when you bought each item. Here’s a handy guide to when makeup technically should be tossed:
- Foundation: 6 months-2 years
- Powder Cosmetics: 1-2 years
- Eyeliner: 6 months-1 year
- Mascara: 3-6 months
- Lipstick: 2 years
- Natural Makeup Products: 3-6 months
Just as with jewelry, organizing makeup comes with as many options as lipstick shades. You might only need a normal sized makeup bag, or you may just need a heavy duty, high-capacity actual tool box like The Original Pink Box.
Day 5 – Hair Accessories
Where do you keep your hair accessories, hair products, and hair appliances? We bet you might need to reorganize your current system. Sort through all your hair brushes, headbands, hair ties, and hair elixirs. Throw out whatever you no longer wear or love, any gels or sprays that are old, and any hot irons that tend to scorch instead of straighten.
- Toss your hair dryer and a few other hair essentials in this over-the-cabinet-door styling center to free up valuable counter and cabinet space.
- Dedicate a bathroom drawer for your hair accessories and divide it into sections using cheap drawer organizer trays.
- Command Hooks once again save the day. Use them on the inside of bathroom cabinet doors for hanging brushes and combs that have hooks on the handles and for hanging hot irons and curling irons.
- Use a carabiner clip to hold a bunch of elastic hair ties together.
- Install a magnetic strip to the inside of a bathroom cabinet door to hold bobby pins and other metal hair accessories.
Get creative and crafty with organizing your hair stuff, and hit up Pinterest for lots of other ideas!
Day 6 – Junk Drawer
A good ‘ol fashioned junk drawer (or corner, or room…) is an essential part of everyone’s life, right? Everyone’s junk drawer looks different, and more often than not, it’s in the kitchen and it’s the place where you toss coupons, store chapstick, scotch tape, flashlights, batteries, scissors, and a whole variety of stuff you need and use. It’s the dumping ground for useful junk. Today, let’s get it not looking so junky.
You know the drill by now, empty everything out and go through each item. Toss what you don’t need or use, and only keep essentials. Reorganize kept items by using drawer organizers, group similar items together, and if at all possible, clear up space for more junk by finding another home for some items.
Day 7 – Car
We couldn’t end a week of organizing The Essentials of your life without mentioning the car; this trusty, everyday-used, kid-filled, and expensive piece of machinery that ensures your livelihood and the successful social life of your children. There’s no need to let this vital part of your life take a backseat when it comes to organizing. Everything you need to know to declutter and make your car shine inside is in 10 Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean and Organized.
We hope that was a mildly enjoyable and easy enough week of summer organizing. Now that The Essentials in your life are decluttered and organized, be sure to keep them that way. Every few months (if not sooner) you should go back through these areas and reorganize them again. Now take a breather, kick up your heels, and enjoy the summer evening!
Join us for Week 2 as we tackle Food and Fitness organizing!
Tags: 31 day, car, car organization, car organizing, challenge, easy, essentials, helpful mom resources, how to, jewelry organization, jewelry organizing, life, life edition, makeup, makeup organization, makeup organizing, organization, organization challenge, organizing, purse, purse organization, purse organizing, stay at home mom, tips, working mom
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Dani lives in North Carolina with her two preschoolers. She is a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom who loves to clean and organize anything and everything. Her happiness is found in Jesus, days at the spa, and combating dark chocolate peanut butter cups with everyday workouts at the gym. She owns a wedding, lifestyle, and freelance photography business, Dani Nicole Photography.