Tuesday, April 2, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Completed…almost…

I realize that this isn't completely done but I still wanted to share what my daughter and I did accomplish. Plus, I think that there are probably people in the same boat as me (I hope!). Where things didn’t go the way you planned and may not have gotten finished. I’m not beating myself up since what did get accomplished was something. And that something had to do with my daughter cleaning things up.

After I started, I realized that my daughter needed to be involved because these were her things. Even though the number of stuffed toys makes my head spin and a person can only use so many notebooks, these are hers.

The only way that I have found that motivates my daughter is an incentive.

Both her bedroom and this room were messy. I chose the spare room since her bedroom has been cleaned more than the spare one.

Now she has been asking for a new bed and has needed one (her single mates bed has been around for about 10 years. So has the mattress). So her ‘carrot’ was a new full-sized mattress and box spring.
This put a definite timeline on her bedroom getting cleaned up since they were delivering this on the 24th. The week before was her March Break so the spare room was purged and we were able to vacuum and dust before bringing down the old bed, a dresser and desk.

The day of the delivery, the bedroom was clean though some items are still not in a new home yet.

The best part of this is what my daughter did with her bedroom closet. She put up the shelf and did it all herself (I hid in the basement with the laundry since the hammering and drilling was making me nervous). I think she did a terrific job on this. I bought a rope light to go around the frame of the mirror.

Before & After

The New Closet Make-up Station


1. What space did you decide to organize and why?

The spare room was what I wanted to organize because it served no function but a dump zone and it was extremely messy.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 31 day timeline?

I tried to create a timeline but some items still have not found a home (pictures to follow). The spare room is clean and organized (but not in my way of thinking but my 18 year daughter’s).

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?

The hardest part was trying to get my daughter to part with items. Even just agreeing on how to go about getting this done. I wanted her involved since most of the items belonged to her.

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

There were a few items that were recycled (old computer monitor brought to Staples, some clothes to local charity and paper in blue bin). There was a lot of garbage also (broken items mostly since items were haphazardly put on top of others).

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?

The fact that my daughter did a lot of work during her March Break to get things purged and organized into piles that made more sense to her than myself.

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?

Another dresser and a desk were put in the room along with the bed and the extra closet rod from her bedroom closet was put up. Clothing was organized into the one dresser (British Flag one) and her desk and the upright contain papers, notebooks, binders and other miscellaneous items.

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you’ve learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with?

When dealing with other people’s belongings (even if they are related to you and you love them and just want to help), you need to have them deal with it.

And incentives are not necessarily a bad thing.


  1. Looks like your girl did a great job! She'll enjoy it so much after doing it for herself!

  2. Incentives are definitely not a bad thing. My incentive was to be able to enjoy working in my office. Teenagers are not as easily motivated by organization. Looks like she definitely earned her new bed. I love the new makeup station too.

  3. You made a lot of progress even though you didn't finish! WAY TO GO :)

  4. Nice progress! It is difficult to organize someone else's stuff and space. Hopefully this great start will spur you both on to finishing it all out!
    That make up center is too cute - great idea!

  5. You made great progress! And you're right, you can't organize someone else's stuff! I had several things that I didn't touch during the challenge because they belonged to my husband or they were things that we needed to go through together (mortgage papers, etc.) I love your daughter's new makeup center! I want one! :-)