25 Days To A More Organized You: Set Aside 15 Minutes Each Day For Those Overwhelming Tasks (yikes!)


After sharing a ton of ways to organize here over the last month, today I'm going to share my absolute most-embarrassing post ever including pictures of my disastrous closet. Believe it or not, it's stayed *manageable* for two years since I initially posted this, although it could use a little fluffing! If you're looking for some motivation to get started on those big projects that just seem overwhelming, here you go. . . 


Originally posted in October 2010

I realized recently as I looked at the daunting task of re-organizing my closet that there was no way I had the few hours of time it would take to accomplish such a monstrous challenge.   So I started thinking . . . what if instead I set aside just 15 minutes each day to tackle the job?  Now you need to understand,  my closet was a disaster . . . completely unbelievable . . . we haven't cleaned it out in FIVE YEARS! And while I'm pretty good about keeping the rest of my house tidy (well, as tidy as three kids and a messy hubby allow), I had pretty much given up on even starting this mess!


I can't believe I'm sharing this with actual real live people, but here's how it looked when I started . . .  please know that the rest of my house really isn't this bad . . . it's just our horrible closet . . . and no one EVER is allowed in there . . . well, except now all of you reading this . . . WHY AM I SHARING THIS WITH YOU??? (I'll stop babbling now. . .) 



So last Monday I started spending 15 minutes hanging out in my closet.  I brought my radio, a few toys for Reagan (my 3 year old) to play with, and set my timer each day for just 15 minutes to really focus on the job.  When the timer dinged I walked away, and here's what just seven 15-minute sessions accomplished . . . WOOHOO!

So, today it's your turn! Do you have a chore in your home that's so overwhelming you don't even know where to begin?  Would you love to clean out a closet, change your kid's summer clothes out for cooler weather outfits, organize your coupons :), or even tidy up your attic or basement space?  Do you feel (like I did ), that setting aside several hours to do it just can't happen, so you just let it go?  Well today is your day to start! Begin today with just fifteen minutes to tackle that job, and when the timer is up, YOU ARE DONE FOR THE DAY.


Here are a few tips I learned . . .


1) Be faithful to do the job each day or it won't get done (no skipping out here!)


2) Take small portions each day to focus on. I once heard on Oprah that the only way to organize your mess was to completely take everything out of the area (in my case the closet), before starting the re-organziation process.  I believed that for years (which is probably why I never tackled my closet.)  I NOW WHOLE-HEARTEDLY DISAGREE.  If I had taken everything out of that closet, I would have spent the entire week nauseated and completely overwhelmed by the task at hand.  But by tackling small areas – one set of shelves, my own shoes, my hubby's shoes, the hanging clothes. . . I brought the job down to bite-sized bits that were manageable for the amount of time I had to spend on them.


3) Bring music with you 🙂


4) Don't get overwhelmed if the challenge seems insurmountable! I really thought I would get it done in five 15-minute sessions.  Well, in all reality it took seven.  But the trick is to keep trudging on and WORK TOWARDS COMPLETION.  You'll feel like a new person!


5) You don't need to spend money to get organized! As I started tackling my closet, I really believed that I needed fancy new shelves, extra storage bins, and new shoe racks to organize my closet.  And yes, those things certainly would have been nice (and I'll probably spend a few pennies to grab some . . . I'd like to at least get a cute hanging shoe organizer from TJMaxx!)  But they are not necessary to get organized, just cleaning things up makes such a difference!


6)  Organizing your mess will help you pinch a few pennies! As I cleaned my closet out, I realized that both my husband and I have quite a few more clothes than we thought we had!  He thought he needed a new belt, but guess what?  I found TWO perfectly fine belts down deep underneath that disaster!  I also just knew I needed to go buy three or four new pairs of jeans to start the winter, but I realized I have four pairs of jeans that are fine, so my shopping list is way smaller than I thought it was!


7)  Take a before and after picture! I felt ridiculous taking a picture of my disastrous closet last week, but I was amazed today when I went back and saw the before pics.  Because you're taking this job on slowly, you may not see immediate progress, but those pictures tell the whole story!  And, if you have some amazing pics to share at the end of the week, send them to me and I'll share them so we can all WOOHOO with you!



I have to share with you guys that I had another picture of my closet that wasn't quite as bad, but when I showed my hubby this one he laughed hysterically and said I'd better share it!  OUCH!!!  It hurts to have it out there!  PLEASE someone out there let me know I'm not the only one with this kind of mess (it really feels amazing to walk in there now . . .)  🙂



Looking for more tips on organizing? Check these out. . .

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  1. Laurie,
    You were not alone. I’m helping my friend reorganize every room in her house. Three weeks into it and we have 3 rooms done; I’m talking every drawer, closet and surface of her house. Have already made 7 trips to our local Christian thrift store. Her closets look just like yours did! You did a marvelous job! You must have been asking for God to give you wisdom on how to get it done. Now I bet you really enjoy going into the closet. Wish I had as much closet space as you do, you and hubby could dance in there! Great job and thanks for sharing your inspirational story with us.

    • After I finished getting it cleaned out, I thought about inviting over folks for coffee in the closet! 🙂 That’s awesome that you’re helping your friend… the drawers and closets so easily get overwhelming, and I know she must be so thankful for your help. (And yes, we have very little storage in our house, but are so thankful for a good sized closet!)

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