2017 Clever Girl Organizing Challenge – Resolutions Chapter Headquarters!

Welcome to the 2017 Clever Girl Organizing Challenge — Resolutions Chapter! I’m excited to have a group of people along who are committed to making a change! If you’ve done a challenge with me before, you might find some of what I’m about to share familiar, but the structure this year is different than in the past, so please read this intro. And if you’ve never done a challenge with me before, this email should help ground you in what to expect. A few notes, before I dive in:

  1. We’re a small group. I’ve limited the participation in order to get everyone the most attention I can give them. (I didn’t mind large groups when people weren’t paying for it, but I feel that you all deserve value in your investment). I tell you this because I want you to take away that you should feel able to reach out to me with questions, frustrations, and jumps for joy whenever you feel the need!

  2. We’re going to interact a number of different ways, but I never want you to feel that you have to share information with others (or even with me!) if you’re not comfortable. The purpose of the Facebook Group is additional direction and guidance from me, and the ability to get and offer support to others. Please never feel like you’re required to share. You’re always welcome but never required. The group is SECRET, so the only people who will know you’re in there are the people in the group.

  3. I promise… I’m going to try to make this fun whenever I can! 🙂 And we’re all going to be focused on celebrating successes!

 

ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHALLENGE: 

This year’s challenge has us focusing on the three keys to getting and staying organized: 

  • Stuff: The physical (or digital) items that we own and make space for in our home.
  • Systems: The processes that surround how things get done in your home and you life.
  • Habits: The efforts that need to be made to make the system actually work.

    For example:  
    Stuff = Clothes
    System = Laundry
    Habit = Regularly putting dirty clothes in the hamper

Our challenge is going to hit on all three areas each time we tackle a different space or category. 

Each week, we will focus on one area or category.

Week 1: Kitchens & Dining Rooms (links to post)

Week 2: Linens & Bath (links to post)

Week 3: Wardrobes (links to post)

Week 4: Media & Books (physical and digital) (links to post)

Week 5: Home Office & Paperwork (physical and digital) (links to post)

Week 6: Toys / Games / Fun (links to post)

Week 7: Decor and Hobbies (links to post)

Week 8:  Long Term Planning (estate planning, budgeting, insurance, etc.) and Long Term Storage (attic, basement, storage room, garage, etc.) (links to post)

Each week, there will be one master post outlining the week, with a full calendar for what we’re doing. It will outline the Stuff, Systems, and Habits related to each weekly theme. Where you can you find it? 

  • You’ll receive an email with a link to the Weekly Challenge on Monday mornings (6 am Eastern US time) 
  • It will be here on Clever Girl Organizing (but not public, so bookmark this so you can return to THIS PAGE to get the link, and the list above will take you to the post)
  • The link will be posted in our 2017 Clever Girl Organizing Challenge Facebook Group each Monday

In addition, each day in the Facebook Group, I’ll post content about what we’re focusing on that day, as a reinforcement of what’s already in the Weekly Calendar. There will be mini-challenges, opportunities to win prizes, Facebook Live sessions, polls, etc. We’ll make it interactive to help keep motivation up!

 

WHAT WILL EACH WEEK INVOLVE?

Some days, you’ll be able to focus on lots of the Challenge. Some days, you won’t be able to do a thing. That’s life, and we all get that! The goal is to cover as much ground of the Weekly Calendar as you can and to do it at the pace that works best for YOUR schedule. But there’s an overall structure to how each week can unfold, and you can follow it, or find your own rhythm. Here’s the layout:

Mondays: Planning Day. First, we’ll start with Goal Setting for the week’s topic. What are your goals? What’s working? What isn’t? What do you wish this space or category were like? We’ll also focus on assessing what you really have.  This is a walk-around or brainstorming day. Spend time in the space (or spaces) to assess what you really have in this space or category. Start to think about what you believe you have, what you might let go of, what just needs reorganization or to go somewhere else in the house, what needs to be overhauled, etc.  There will be some guidance/checklist for you to use as a starting point. This is your time to just focus and think about the topic, what YOUR goals are for it, and how you’ll structure your week to meet them. 

Tuesdays – Fridays: Action, addressing the Stuff and the Systems. These are your days to spend time working through your spaces and collections. Some of it will be decluttering. Some of it will be moving to different spots in your home (back where they belong or creating new homes for them). You may also be looking to new systems — “what we have isn’t working for us, and I need some new ideas”. You may be purchasing things, you may be shifting things around in your home, you may be talking to others in your house about taking on different responsibilities.

Saturdays & Sundays: Finishing touches, removal of items, and establishing habits, and prep for next week. We’re going to focus mainly on the habits the help to keep this space or category in order in the future. It’s also a good time to gather the items you might be letting go of and removing them or arranging for how that will get done. It’s also a review against your goals, and understanding how your efforts in the past week help you meet them, and what habits you’ll develop or commit to in order to keep the progress going. 

 

SOME ADVICE BEFORE WE GET STARTED:

  1. Getting organized takes TIME. You may be focusing time every day on this work or may have a chunk or two of *focused* time you’re spending. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in focused sessions, but it does require the time investment

  2. Be prepared each week, with the tools and systems that help you work best. Have bags, boxes, etc. for trash/recycling or items you’ll be getting rid of or ones you plan to sell. Have a basket or box available for “belongs in another room”. Have a spot for “I don’t remember what this is exactly but I’ll remember” or “I know what this goes to, and when I find it, I’ll put this with it”. If you’re tracking items that you plan to donate, start with a sheet to capture items from the beginning, so you’re not scrambling when donation time comes at the donation time. When all of these are in place, it allows your work time to be much more productive.

  3. Before you start a working session, set some goals for yourself. Make it timebound (“I’m setting a timer for 45 minutes”) or outcome-bound (“I’m going to work on these three cabinets”). You can always exceed them, but setting goals in advance can help you stay accountable and fight frustration and discouragement if things look worse than when you started! If you say, “I’m going to do this whole room!” and you don’t have the time or energy, it can be a little defeating. By setting reasonable and attainable goals for each session, we can help stay on track!

  4. If you’re able to take advantage of donation pickups, schedule a couple of them now so that you’ve got them to work towards. Don’t wait until you have a large pile to wonder what you’ll do with it. 

  5. Try to visit the Facebook Group often, if not daily!

    – It is going to be a place for lots of extra information — guidance, support, tips, etc. I’d love for you to participate in conversations and share what’s going on for you, how you’re structuring your week, before or after pictures, what your goals are, etc. I’ll be sharing content on most days. 

    – I’ll also be doing Facebook Live sessions at least 2 times per week, one a morning session and one an evening session. I’ll announce in advance when they will be. Even if no one else is online, I’ll talk for a bit about the weekly topic. You can always watch it after the fact.

    – Consider how you’ll make sure you see content every day. You can set your preferences to receive notifications, or you can set it as a Shortcut for you to actively visit every day. Or, of course, you can just remember, if that’s your strength. Heck knows it’s not mine! 

 

So, there you go! If you have any questions about this, please let me know! Email me at info@clevergirlorganizing.com or Message me on Facebook. I’ll be launching the Facebook Group and adding everyone to it. We’ll start on Monday, the 2nd, so enjoy your New Years Holiday, and see you back here on Monday! 

And if you know anyone else who should join us, be sure to encourage them to sign up before Monday!