30-Day Cleaning & Organizing Challenge – September 2023

Today is the day, the beginning of the September 30-day Cleaning and Organizing challenge.

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty excited. I have some very specific areas that I’m going to tackle. They are pretty big jobs that I’ve been putting off for way too long.

the vintage cutting boards in my kitchen with a fall candle next to it

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If you are an official member of our September 2023, I hope you all were successful with downloading the FREE Organizing e-book. There are pages that I personally like to print out. I have the blank calendar printed out to organize my weeks.

I also have the weekly to-do sheet. This way I can keep track of my weekly plans and then what I’m going to hope to accomplish each day.

There is great joy and satisfaction for me to be able to cross things off of a list.

Day 1 – Let’s Get Started

Do you have your bins, boxes, or bags ready?

  • Three plastic containers, boxes, or bags
    • Save – Things you want to save and either put back or store.
    • Donate – Your junk can be others’ treasurers
    • Sell – There are some things that you may own that someone would like to buy. Antiques, furniture, and household appliances all sell really well on Facebook Marketplace.
    • Large Garbage Bags for Trash!

Pro Tip

Tackle the hardest or the task you are dreading the most first. You want to do it when your a your best. It’s so interesting that when we finish we usually think “well that wasn’t that bad”. Finishing that task will give you the momentum to continue working. It will also fill you with a huge sense of accomplishment.

Starting in the Kitchen

Today we are starting in the kitchen. This is where I like to start because it’s not only the heart of the home, it’s where I spend the most time.

Once it’s cleaned and organized it is a continual reminder of what is possible with the rest of the house.

You don’t have to begin there, you can start anywhere that you like.

The rules are the same no matter what room you are in.

Organizing Guidelines

Whether you are starting with a drawer, cabinet, or closet you will want to do the following:

  • Gather your cleaning supplies (See suggestions below)
  • Empty out all of the contents
  • Make piles of like items (Utensils, coffee mugs, glassware, silverware, coats, pants, sweatshirts, make-up, hair products, games, books, vases, etc)
  • One pile at a time, go through the items and make some decisions
    • Do you love it and use it (Keep it)
    • Do you love it but never use it (Put it in a decide pile)
    • If you don’t love it or use it (Donate, Throw, Sell)
  • Clean the empty space – You can also line drawers and cabinets with shelving paper and/or a fresh coat of paint (Now is the time)
  • Throw away anything that is garbage
  • Put donations in bags and put them in your car
  • Things to sell – Take pictures and put them on Facebook MarketPlace or Craig’s List
  • Put your keep items back in their space. Organize by like items, colors, and/or size
  • This is the time when the decision can be made about storage and organization systems

SHOP my Kitchen Organizing

Click on the photos above to take you to the links

Pantry under the Stairs


Cleaning is a big part of organizing.

Chances are if you have clutter, you also have dirt.

Once everything is out of your space, it’s time to clean.

I know this isn’t fun but believe me, when you know that your space is deep cleaned and organized, you will feel so good about what you are doing.

  • Cleaning Tote – Gather all of the typical cleaning supplies into one or two containers so you can have everything handy. If you want to read about my 3 tips for making bathroom cleanup easy, read about it HERE
    • Glass Cleaner
    • Multi-purpose spray Cleaner
    • Multi-purpose concentrated cleaner (I’m using bleach in some areas this week)
    • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
    • Rags (You can use a paper towel but I just use rags that I can wash), Sponge, Mr. Clean Eraser (This 20-pack is a limited-time amazing deal for $9) & Toilet Brush
    • Rubber Gloves
    • Bucket for cleaner
  • Vacuum and all the attachments!

I have been making some of my own cleaning supplies. You don’t need to add that to your plate now but you can read about “Making Your Own Cleaning Products” when you get a chance.

Hard to Deal with Items

Sentimental Items

  1. It’s OK to keep a few of your kid’s pieces of artwork or papers. However, you don’t need to keep everything from K-12. I promise you they won’t care. If they do give them one box to choose their favorites and anything that won’t fit in that box, has to go. If they are older, give them the option to take these items.
  2. Do you have Grandma’s china and don’t really like it? Don’t feel guilty about selling or donating it. Grandma would not want you to keep it if it didn’t bring you joy and was just cluttering up your home. Save one small piece to use as a saucer under a plant or a place to set your jewelry when you are working in the kitchen. Then get rid of the rest.
  3. Basically, anything that doesn’t bring you immense joy and you have a proper place for it (framed and on the wall or used for holiday dinners) then it needs to go.

Electronics & Chemicals

  1. These items are hard to dispose of. Check with your garbage company to see if they can pick these products up or if you can drop them off. Many areas have a specific day when they will take all these hazardous materials. We have a village clean-up day in our little town.

Important/Private Paperwork

  1. I have recently gone paperless in our house and that can be for another time but you might want to read how I eliminated almost all the paper from our home.
  2. In the article, I give you tips on things you definitely want to save and keep in a safe or safety deposit box.
  3. The rest I scanned into my computer and then shredded the originals
  4. Investing in a paper shredder has been a great investment for us. If that isn’t an option, your garbage company or your municipality might have a paper shredding center or a specific day when you can take it to be shredded.
  5. I can’t believe what a difference it makes not to have piles of mail, files full of info I’ll never need, etc.

Meal Planning

Heading into this busy time, I have my meals planned for the month.

This is another way to stay organized and I promise less stress at 5:00.

When you have your meals planned out you find yourself with nothing defrosted and/or no idea what you are making for dinner.

You can read about my meal planning HERE. You can also find a September printable in the RESOURCE LIBRARY. One has suggested meals for every day and the other is blank for you to fill out yourself.

berries, avocado toast and a hard boiled egg. The recipe is part of my guide to preparing a monthly meal plan

Flexible Plan

Well, it’s off to the races.

There is a list that I’ve compiled of the things to remember to do in each of the daily chore areas. When you sign up for my blog newsletters you will get access to my resource library which includes cleaning and organizing forms.

If you can’t start today…Not a problem. You can start this anytime and again, and adjust it to what works best for you. Above all else, even if you just get a shelf organized, you will feel that sense of order and accomplishment that we all crave right now. At least for me, one little success gives me the spark to move on to the next project.

Please let me know how you’re doing! Leave a comment below 🙂

Peace, Love, and Happy Organizing,

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  1. Have to say thanks for the motivation! I spent 2 hours going through my closet reorganizing. I have so much room and lots to donate.

    1. Doesn’t it feel great to get things organized and purge items we no longer us. I get joy just standing and looking at my accomplishments.