It’s Week 2 of the 2022 Clever Girl Organizing Challenge! Week 1 was off with a refrigerated and frozen bang, and I’m loving all the #banda photos of fridges, freezers, and pantries, not to mention #Scaryspaces, in the Facebook Group!  You’ve already made an impact on your daily life by working with the food in your home. Now, we’re going to stay in this general space and address the things we use to prep, cook, serve, and eat all that great food! Whether it’s for a party of one or a party of one hundred, we’re looking at it all!


Don’t forget the two guidelines I’d love for you to keep in mind before you start your work: 


1) Have the tools you need before you get started — trash bags, recycling, donate box, and “goes somewhere else” box (so you can set things aside and keep going, not be tempted to return things to a different space while you’re working).

2) Take a BEFORE picture and, ideally, an AFTER picture, and please consider sharing them in the Facebook group, so that everyone can benefit from the support and encouragement we all give each other. Use the hashtag #BandA for your before pictures and after pictures so we can keep track of them as we go. Include the hashtags for the week we’re on – for example #banda #week2 ). Remember – participants who share Before and After pictures in 9 of 11 weeks of the Challenge this year, even if they’re for a #scaryspace project, will get a free 1:1 one-hour virtual session with me after we’re done! 


 We’re still in the kitchen, and may even spread a bit into the dining room or other storage spaces this week, depending on where your items in these categories live.  Some have already started to dabble a bit in this space as a result of last week’s pantry work.


Weekly Plan: Food Prep, Cooking, Serving, Eating, and Storing
So what are the categories and spaces you might consider this week to tackle? Remember, you don’t need to do ALL of this! I want to give you ideas of where your time might be best spent, based on YOUR needs in YOUR space. Think about what you have, what you know you haven’t looked at in a while or what you know causes some strain on your storage systems. Think about what you’re using, and reflect on the items that just aren’t part of your life any more. Think about those items that you upgraded but still left the older version around, just in case? Think about the “I thought we would use this more” items that haven’t panned out. Most importantly, think of who you are, your current and foreseeable lifestyle, and what items just don’t align with that any more (if they ever did)! 

What are some examples within these categories?  


  • PREPARATION: large utensils, kitchen gadgets, measuring cups and spoons, kitchen knives, cutting boards, mixing bowls, and appliances like a KitchenAid, blender, immersion blender/hand mixer, Cuisinart, etc.
  • COOKING: pots, pans, lids, glass and ceramic bakers, baking pans, baking sheets, muffin tins, strainers colanders, cooling racks and trivets, small appliances like Instant Pot, air fryer, dehydrator, toaster oven, etc. 
  • SERVINGplatters, serving trays, specialty serving plates (like cake plates or olive dish or deviled egg plates), serving bowls, salad bowls, serving utensils, wine carafes, teapots, corkscrews and wine stoppers, etc. 
  • EATING:everyday dishes, everyday glassware, silverware/utensils (real or plastic!), steak knives, “fancy” glasses for wine, cocktails or champagne (like the crystal), fancy dishes (like the china), kids dishes, baby bottles, sippy cups, straws, mugs, water bottles, paper plates, napkins, thermos and lunch boxes, etc.  
  • STORING: Plasticware, glassware, containers (including the disposable kind), and all the wraps, foils, and bags
  • TABLE DECOR: table linens (table cloth, placements, napkins), candles and candlesticks, napkin rings, items you use for centerpieces, etc. 
  • OTHER STUFF YOU KNOW IS IN THERE: Don’t forget about dish towels, aprons, under the sink, the magnets on the fridge, the junk drawer(s), cookbooks and recipes, the disposable eating untesils and chopsticks that keep coming in the takeout/delivery orders, and whatever is surfing your counters!


This is also a week where you might make some decisions/ declarations about some systemic approaches in your food world, things like “We want to use less paper goods” or “I’d rather be using glass than plastic for storage” or “I wonder if we had less plates and bowls and glasses — would we be inclined to wash them more frequently and not just constantly have a sink full of dirty dishes?” Do some observations (maybe with others in your home) about what habits or “but we’ve always done it this way” might be ripe for a change! 

CAUTION: We have a lot of items in our kitchen/dining area that are attached to that ASPIRATIONAL vision of our lives — how we are seen by others, how we want to make others feel, what we want to be known for, etc. Be mindful about the emotions that this week brings up!

Last week, I said that starting in the kitchen  *tends* to be less of a challenge of *sentimental* items, and we often need to work up to those. I was talking food. Because now that we’re getting into some items which may include items that were inherited heirlooms or items we received as gifts, we may start to dabble in some emotions around sentimentality and guilt. I’ll be highlighting this in this week’s Facebook Live. 

Remember, you’re making decisions based on the value the items play to you in your current and foreseeable future and recognizing that anything else is probably clutter, and clutter is getting in your way of using your home the way you want to. This is why we’re doing this work; to cut down on the cost of clutter in our lives. 


 Each week, we have 3 levels for you to engage in. Pick the one that feels like it will work with your time, energy, and needs for the week. You can always rally later in the week and do more! If you’re managing your time closely and can’t do a lot in one session, see what you can do in a 20-Minute Attack. Set a timer, stay focused, and see what you can accomplish in less time than it would take to watch a sitcom! And let us know what you path you’re on each week with the hashtag #tackleit and then the week we’re on, for example: #tackleit  #week2

 All Aboard (This is the normal challenge level):
–  Review and edit your pots, pans, baking items, and food storage items – this includes matching lids, and REALLY considering items like “single-function” items, items that are duplicates of what other things do, and items you really aren’t using. 
– Review and edit your cooking prep/utensils spaces (drawers, crocks, etc.)
– Review your serving pieces — platters, pitchers, etc. — and edit to reflect your CURRENT life and foreseeable future
– Clean out under your sink – 20 Minute Attack!
– Clean out your junk drawer(s) – 20 Minute Attack!


MiniChallenge (for people with limited time or energy this week)
: –  Review and edit your pots, pans, baking items, and food storage items – this includes matching lids, and REALLY considering items like “single-function” items, items that are duplicates of what other things do, and items you really aren’t using. 
– Review and organize your cooking prep/utensil spaces (drawers, crocks, etc.)
– Clean out underneath the sink! – 20 Minute Attack!
–  Review your drinking vessels — mugs, glasses, etc. — and make some critical decisions about what you really need and use in your life, and where you’re storing them. 
– Clean out your “junk” drawer(s)!- 20 Minute Attack!
–  Find at least 5 items in the entertaining/serving category in your home that you can let go of.  – 20 Minute Attack!
– Go through the lunch boxes, travel mugs, water bottles — all the “food on the go” items and edit – 20 Minute Attack!
– If your fridge has a lot of magnets and such on it, give it a good edit! – 5 minutes
– Organize your cookbooks and loose recipes! What is REALLY serving you? What do you need to own at all… what have you stopped using, never tried/never will… 
If you haven’t cleaned your counters yet, do that!

 LevelUp Challenge (for people with more time, energy, or greater need)
– In addition to the All Aboard Challenge: 
– Review all of your plug-in appliances/accessories in your kitchen — are you using them? Have newer items replaced older functionality? 
– Review all the “for good company” items that you own that you can’t actually remember using… Think through what role they have in your life and your home, and envision their future. Is it time to let them go? If it isn’t, do you know what their future will be?
– If you haven’t cleaned your counters yet, do that!
– Organize your cookbooks and loose recipes! What is REALLY serving you? What do you need to own at all… what have you stopped using, never tried/never will… 



 I also want to introduce new Challengers (and reacquaint Returners) to my EEEEZ Method as a sequence to keep in mind: 



  • Excavate: remove most or all things, even just one category at a time, to see everything you own.
  • Evaluate: engage in critical thinking and set up guidelines around what you need and what can go.
  • Edit: follow those guidelines, piece by piece, to select the items that stay and the items that leave.
  • Establish Zones: create a system and flow for storage and retrieval of items that make sense for the space you have and for the items you’re keeping.

 This method can help you break down your tasks and figure out a plan to declutter and get organized!



 Some Challengers have already started sharing what their #scaryspace project is, and what their plan is over the course of the weeks ahead. On Thursdays, the floor is yours! Share with us what’s going on, what your intentions are for the coming week, and what you accomplished since your last update. We are here to help keep you accountable, troubleshoot/brainstorm, and celebrate!   


Each week, in this space, I’m going to raise some thoughts about the psychological and emotional side of our relationship with stuff, systems, and habits. I’ll talk about it on the weekly video, too. It’s meant to give you some food for thought and reflection about your own situation, perhaps give you insight into your own relationship with stuff, or the relationship that other people in your home or life might have. You’re always invited to start or contribute to a post in the Facebook Group about this concept and tell us what the ideas doing to or for you. 


This week, I wanted to talk a little bit about the biggest barrier I see people face when we’re working in this next set of categories (and in future weeks, this applies to): “I might need it someday. 

As you go through some of your items, you may start to hear yourself say this, as you hesitate getting rid of something. And if it is something you haven’t used in ages, rarely use, or have never used, I want you to think twice about it before just assuming it goes in the “keep” pile.

What are the scenes you’re starting to imagine, specifically in the kitchen, when these thoughts are coming up, that generate “need”? Often it is envisioning company coming over, an entertaining event, a specialty ingredient that could be better dealt with a specialty gadget (hello, cherry pitter or avocado knife?), a recipe that might only work when cooked in a particular pot or pan, or even just “what if all our other dishes are dirty?” You’re channeling the aspirations you have of who you want to be and what you want to do in the future, even if it isn’t something that seems very realistic or likely today. You’re starting to conjure up scenarios in which this item you are holding could be put to work. You could also be imagining that these are all going to go someplace “important” in the future, and therefore you’re “investing” in something like — what about when my child has his/her own apartment, or if we get a second house? But in the meanwhile, they’re taking up YOUR valuable space. This investment in another possible future is costing YOU in your present. 

I want to introduce to some questions you can ask yourself to help you evaluate whether you truly need it and need to keep it: 

8 Questions you can ask yourself to help you untangle the “I Might Need It Someday” for your kitchen or any other space and category in the house. 


  1. When is the last time I used this? (it’s okay to use pre-covid analysis here)
  2. How often do I use it and why? Will this still be the case in the future? (e.g. if you use items for hosting Thanksgiving, will you still be hosting in the future?)
  3. Do I own another item that can serve the same purpose? Or is it easy for me to borrow from someone else?
  4. Is it in good shape, or does it need to be repaired or replaced soon? Is it worth spending the money to repair?
  5. Do I know someone else (or could someone else be identified) that could get more use and value out of it now than I am?
  6. Is it something I truly love and has sentimental value that cannot be replaced and would pain me to let go of it?
  7. Do I own it because it represents another version of me, from the past or an imaginary future, and not who I am today?
  8. What is the worst thing that can happen if I let go of this?


So, have these in mind as you start to determine if you “need” all that you have in front of you, or if future-you is going to benefit more from them being gone from your home and life more than future-you will suffer because they’re gone. 


Remember: You’re here because you made a choice to bring your head, heart, and body all in the same direction: to let go of things and have smoother systems in your home. If it was easy, you’d be done by now.






We’re working on the insides of things, the tops of things, the outsides of things, all throughout our kitchens. But what are we really working on? Our SYSTEMS.

Your kitchen and dining areas exist to (primarily) be a spot to nourish and feed you and those around you. Shopping for food, planning for meals, creating meals, cleaning up after meals. Repeat. These two weeks are an investment in refreshing and right-sizing all the stuff that goes into making this happen.

You might walk away from these 2 weeks with a VERY different feeling about these spaces, a renewed commitment to redesigning or revisiting how some of all of this works for you, getting others involved differently. Most importantly, may you feel that the time and energy you’ve invested here will result in the benefits of being and FEELING organized in these rooms in the future! 



Happy Organizing!





TUESDAY, JAN 11th – 9:00am Eastern




missed the last one? Click here





Week 1 – Jan 3: Kitchen: Food – Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer
Week 2 – Jan 10: Kitchen/Dining: What we use to prep, cook, serve, eat, store, and clean after eating! 
Week 3 – Jan 17: Bath and Bed: Medicines, Toiletries, Cosmetics, Personal Items, etc. 
Week 4 – Jan 24: BREAK – take a break, catch up, or sneak ahead
Week 5 – Jan 31: Clothes, shoes, accessories
Week 6 – Feb 7: Living / Family Room spaces
Week 7 – Feb 14: Kid stuff / Holiday Decor / Pet stuff (Choose Your Own Adventure)
Week 8 – Feb 21: BREAK – take a break, catch up, or sneak ahead
Week 9 – Feb 28: Memorabilia
Week 10 – Mar 7: Home Office/Papers
Week 11 – Mar 14: Hobbies / Arts and Crafts / Sporting Goods