January Organization Month – Week 3: Cleanse and Declutter

If you haven’t been following along, I’ve dedicated January to cleaning, decluttering, and organizing, as it’s National Organization Month. I don’t know how cluttered your closet was for last weeks challenge, but it was a full days worth of cleaning, trying on clothes, and purging for me. On the plus side, I’ve been able to convince Francis that I need some new clothes. Yay for shopping!

This week I thought we could use a break. But not too big of a break. We’re going to tackle all of those junk drawers, storage closets, and storage rooms. If you’re sitting there with a smile on your face because you don’t have any of these, then maybe have another look around. There’s gotta be one space where you let clutter accumulate and hide it away. Out of sight, out of mind. Until today.

Start small

Taking on a junk drawer as the first part of this decluttering challenge. If you don’t have one, try breaking up a bigger space into two days. Purge on day 1 and organize and tidy on day 2.

Remove Everything

The same as the closet, take everything out. As you remove items, decide if they’re a keep, put away, or purge. I find that our junk drawer in our kitchen gets filled with the random stuff that we’re too lazy to take upstairs, but want to hide so we don’t have to look at it. Again, out of sight, out of mind.


If you have a dustbuster, grab that bad-boy and put it to good use. Otherwise, use a wet cloth to wipe out your drawer. It’s surprising how many mystery crumbs take up residents in a junk drawer.

If you’re brave, and you’ve taken on a storage room, start from the top. Dust the light fixture and clean out any bugs from inside – Gross, I know, but they’re there. Then dust any shelves and vacuum, sweep, and mop.

Image source: The Sunny Side Up Blog

Organize & Strategize

This is where you need to put that brain power to use. Start by coming up with some storage solutions. You can pick up organizers from the dollar store, IKEA, Canadian Tire… you name it. Whether you find inexpensive ones, or splurge a bit, try to switch up the shapes and sizes. This is not a one size fits all kinda job.

For larger spaces, utilize any old shoe boxes, moving boxes, Tupperware bins, etc. Just make sure to label the outside so you don’t have to flip through 5 boxes just to find that one pair of mittens that you swore you kept but can’t seem to find anywhere. Damn you mittens!

Once you have storage options, begin to sort by type of item, how frequently you use it, and size. The start putting everything that survived your purge into it’s new and organized home. For drawers, try to keep frequently used items in the front, and larger items in the back. For storage rooms, make sure you have plenty of room to walk around, move boxes, and sort through items when it comes time to grab something. I like to keep my most used items right beside the doorway for easy access.

Prepare for Laziness

I saw this in the nicest way possible. Hey, I’m lazy and I know it. So I’m not going to create an insane organization system with color coordination and sorted based on size. When I have an item that needs to be stored/shoved into my junk drawer or storage room, I want an easy system that is fool-proof.

Just make sure you don’t provide a spot dedicated to collect more junk. Don’t leave a empty drawer organizer or storage box that can gather any item that comes it’s way. While it’s great in the moment, if you’re not willing to take the time to put it away now, you’re not likely to come back and sort it out later. Make your organization strategy an easy one to stick to.

My Success

And now for some pictures of my organizing success this week.

Organized drawer 1

Organized Drawer 2


If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my Pinterest page on organization.


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