At the beginning of the month, I introduced my Just Jill Organizing Challenge as a stress-free way to get your house in order. 

I always like to start fresh in the new year, but completing all those organizing, sorting and decluttering tasks can be overwhelming if you try to tackle them all at once. 

That’s why I challenged myself (and each of you!) to finish one small task each day. When you space them out, they seem much more manageable. Agree? 

But if you’ve fallen behind or you want a little recap of everything we’ve covered, I listed each organizing challenge below. Take a look, catch up if need be, and share this blog with your friends so they can be on their way to an orderly home in no time!

Just Jill Organizing Challenge

Here are all of the tasks we’ve covered so far. If you’d like to see the blog or the original post, click on the blue highlighted headline for a detailed description of the organizing challenge.

Check Your Smoke Detectors

The first challenge is simple, but it’s one of the most important on the list. Before tending to any other organization tasks, you should check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If your batteries aren’t working, you can follow these steps to replace them:

  1. Remove the cover of your smoke detector.
  2. Replace the old batteries with brand new ones.
  3. Close the cover and snap the detector back in place.
  4. Test the detector by pressing the “test” button — listening for a chirp.

And don’t forget, the actual unit only lasts 10 years. So, if you’ve lived in your house for longer than a decade, make sure you install new ones throughout your home!

Organize and Clean Your Refrigerator

Next, we’re headed to the kitchen to organize our refrigerators. If you’re like me and have a lot of leftovers and produce piled up on your shelves, this will certainly clear up some space!

Some of my favorite tips include using charcoal sachets to get rid of odors, and labeling all leftovers so you know what you have on hand (and when to toss your old meals). You can check out more of my tips in my blog HERE.

Pack Up Your Holiday Decor

I struggle to put away all my Christmas items because the holidays are my favorite time of the year. I adore the baking, the quality time with my family and of course, the festive decor!

But when it’s time to pack up all my lights, ornaments and decorations, I make sure to package them safely and strategically. I wrote a blog with all of my tips to organize your holiday decor and it includes some helpful store-bought options, along with DIY sorting solutions for this organizing challenge.

Take a look at all my recommendations HERE.

Sort Through Your Utensil Drawer

Ahh. The good ol’ utensil drawer. You know how much I love cooking and baking, so mine is filled with all types of kitchen gadgets. While they’re helpful for putting together some delicious recipes, digging through them time and time again is frustrating.

Instead of going through another year with a cluttered mess, I’m spending the day organizing my utensil drawer. Here are some things you can do to sort through your drawer with me.

  • Start by emptying out the drawer and place items on your counter.
  • Vacuum and wipe down the inside of your drawer.
  • Separate items into categories. Try to only keep one of each item!
  • Find small bins or a utensil organizer to keep everything in its place.
  • Put everything on the counter back into the drawer (keep them in their categories).
  • Set your most-used items toward the top or front of the drawer.

Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

Onto the bathroom! Who’s with me? For this task, I’m organizing my medicine cabinet because it’s filled with random q-tips, old toothbrushes and expired pills.

I can’t be the only one who struggles with a messy cabinet, so I’d love it if you’d take on this organizing challenge with me. Below, I outlined a few steps I’ll be taking to get mine in order.

  • To start fresh, take everything out and clean the inside of the cabinet.
  • Place your most-used items on the most accessible shelf.
  • Set less-used items on a higher shelf.
  • Find any loose items and put them in a cup or a mason jar.
  • Place an adhesive magnet on the door for any random bobby pins.
  • Toss any old medications and sort them by person/use.
  • Use labels to keep everything in order.
  • If you have two half-used bottles, combine them to save space.
  • Add a pocket or bag on the door for hair ties or small makeup items.

Organize Your Sock and Garment Drawers

I’m convinced that there’s a little elf that runs around my house, stealing single socks. No matter how hard I try to keep them together, one always seems to go missing!

What I’m trying to say is that my sock situation is a little out of hand which is why I’m hunkering down to organize my sock drawer. I found some neat ways to fold socks, cool products to keep them in order, and even some DIY projects you can do when you’re left with single ones laying around your home.

You can find all my ideas in my blog HERE.

Get Those Kid and Pet Toys In Order

Has your home turned into a playground filled with pet and kid toys? Mine looks like it was hit by a tornado filled with dog bones and squeaky toys… sound familiar?

For this task, I challenge you to get all those toys organized. But to make the project a bit easier, I outlined a few helpful steps to follow.

  • Find a designated area for all toys and put them back every night.
  • Use bins or boxes and separate toys by child/pet.
  • Buy labels to know where to put all the toys time-after-time.
  • Separate indoor and outdoor toys, and keep an “outdoor” bin by the door.
  • Toss anything that is super damaged. It could cause harm or pose a choking hazard!

Tidy The Space Under Your Sink

Your countertops and drawers might look okay, but can you say the same for the space under your sink? If all those cleaning supplies and kitchen tools come tumbling down every time you reach below your sink, this organization challenge will help you out.

I recommend taking everything out and wiping down the interior before you start organizing. Follow by combining any half-filled bottles of the same product into one container, and use those empty wipe containers for extra plastic grocery bags. You can also do this for those dishwasher pods — just remember to keep them away from kids and pets.

As simple as that. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Organize Your Makeup and Skincare Products

I adore home essentials, decor and fun recipes, but I also love my beauty products… maybe a little too much. I already have a collection of makeup and skin care items, but I’m hoping to try some new products in the coming months.

With that said, I can’t grow my collection without cleaning out my current assortment. You can find some of my best sorting tips and information about tossing expired makeup in my beauty organization blog.

Find all my tips HERE.

Clean Off Your Desk

Now that more and more people are working remotely, a home desk is more relevant than ever before. Some people have their own office while others turned their kitchen table into a makeshift workplace. But no matter what your desk looks like, it’s important to keep it organized to decrease stress and increase productivity.

I put together some of my favorite decluttering tips in my desk organizing challenge blog HERE.

Gather All Your Emergency Essentials

This one is more of a checklist than an organizing challenge, but it’s one you’ll want to complete in order to stay safe at home.

I visited Hoda and Jenna on the TODAY Show to share a list of products that will help “save a life” in case you run into an emergency. You’ll find things like a first aid kit for your car and a window ladder for your home. I even showcased a neat lightbulb that stays lit when the power goes out!

To see all my recommendations, you can watch the clip HERE.

Declutter and Sort Through Your Spice Drawer

Got spices? A lot of them? If so, this organizing tip is one for you. I keep my spice drawer fairly clean but it wasn’t always in great shape. To get it to look even mildly decent, I followed some easy tips and think they’ll be helpful for you as well.

  • Check the expiration dates of your spices and toss the old ones. If you can’t find a date on the jar, simply search the web to find an approximate shelf life.
  • Keep your most used items in an accessible place.
  • Find a spice shelf or drawer organizer to keep everything in its place.
  • Find a way to order your spices. As you can see, I like mine organized by the shape of the container, but some people will group them by spice type.

Organize Your Laundry Room

Last year, I was invited to the TODAY Show to discuss some “Simple tips to relieve laundry room stress.” It was such a hit that I wanted to share a few of my recommendations with you!

In the video, you can find my favorite laundry cart and a neat hanger to hold delicates while they dry. I also recommend using labeled bins for things like laundry detergent, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, so you’ll always have them in one place. And try to dedicate a shelf or drawer to a group of items — one for linens, one for towels, etc.

To learn about some other laundry room organizing tips, you can view the segment HERE.

Tackle Your Linen Closet (and fold a fitted sheet!)

Between a bunch of towels and sheets, my linen closet is far from orderly. So, I’m getting rid of all those old items and making sure every pillowcase and sheet has a matching set.

I also want to show you how to properly fold a fitted sheet. You’d be surprised how much it can save space!

Sort Through Your Messy Purse

Some call it a bag and some people call it a purse. Me? I call it a bottomless pit. In other words, my purse looks more like the aftermath of a tornado than anything.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to stay that way. I included some helpful purse organization tips in my blog HERE.

Trust me, after you get rid of all those unnecessary items and old receipts, you’ll feel much better!

Tidy Your Pantry In No Time

For this organizing challenge, we’re heading back into our households and cleaning out our pantry. Mine is cluttered with expired can goods and far too many ingredients I don’t even use. Sound familiar?

Well, if you’re dealing with the same thing, you’ll love some of my decluttering tips in my pantry organization blog. I discuss everything from using vertical space to sort your spices, to actually scrubbing those sticky shelves.

Want more tips? Check out the full blog HERE.

Clean and Organize Your Car

Not all of my organization tips occur inside the home. This one takes place in your car!

I can’t stand driving in a cluttered car but it’s so easy to toss trash, grocery bags and receipts into the glove box. So instead of cringing every time I open the car door, I decided to write a blog filled with car organization tips.

It addition to some of these tricks, I found some products that will help you keep your car in order for weeks. See the blog HERE.

Declutter Your Household Junk Drawer

We all have one (or a few). You guessed it, a junk drawer!

While I typically know the contents of my drawer, it’s getting to be a bit overwhelming, so I’m tidying it up for today’s organizing challenge.

Here are a few steps to help you organize yours:

  • Clear out everything from the drawer and put it in a bin.
  • Vacuum or wipe down the inside of your drawer.
  • Recycle or toss anything that’s broken or that you won’t use.
  • If you don’t reach for something regularly, put the item where it belongs (in the bathroom, laundry room, etc.).
  • Find organizers or small bins to sort the rest of the things in your drawer.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back!

Now that’s one that feels good to get out of the way!

Clean Out Your Nightstand

You see it whenever you wake up so why not keep it organized? Your nightstand may be a bit messy but it doesn’t have to be for long.

As always, make sure you take inventory of everything inside and discard trash or unused items. When you figure out what really belongs there, keep things sorted with small bins or a compact organizer. And if you have medications or reading glasses in your nightstand, be sure to keep them within arm’s reach so you don’t have to jump out of your warm bed to get them!

Organize All Your Cleaning Supplies

It might sound ironic, but cleaning out your cleaning supplies is necessary.

So take a look at what you have at home, toss your expired items and clear out those barely-used spray bottles. Trust me, I have quite a few on hand.

Find all my tips (and my favorite cleaning products) in my blog HERE.

Sort Through Your Paper Piles

I wanted to cover this one since a lot of you asked about it on National Clean Off Your Desk Day.

Do you have a lot of paper piles lying around? You’re not alone. In this challenge, we’re going to tidy them up a bit.

Follow some of my tips to keep all those loose papers organized:

  • Go paperless! Opt for digital bills and statements instead.
  • Make an “important” pile for things like bills, checks or things that need to be dealt with quickly.
  • Create a binder for all your coupons.
  • Keep a recycling bin in a heavy-traffic area of your home.
  • You’ll be more likely to get rid of something if you can toss it without hassle.
  • Designate a place in your home for mail.
  • Shred important documents that contain personal information.
  • Use a file folder to separate everyone’s letters.

Hopefully this challenge will take some weight off your shoulders — and off of your countertop!

Organize Your Shoe Collection

Do you consider yourself a shoe hoarder? I do too… But today we’re going to organize all those pairs lying around.

If your boots and shoes are worn out or damaged, toss em! Too small? Donate them to a local shelter. Have some that are barely worn? Consider whether or not you need them in the first place.

When you have all your pairs narrowed down, find a place to put them. I recommend placing most of yours on a shelf in your closet and keeping 2-3 pairs by your front door. No more than that!

Get Your Jewelry Box In Order

If you catch yourself wearing the same earrings every day because your other pairs are missing, I have a task for you. We’re organizing our jewelry.

Here are some helpful tips you can follow:

  • Sort all your jewelry by type and place them in piles.
  • Remove anything that is damaged or without a pair.
  • Clean any tarnished jewelry with polish or cleaner.
  • Find a compartmentalized organizer to keep everything in order.
  • If you don’t wear something but want to keep it (like a family heirloom), keep it in a separate place out of the way.

Now, you can look stylish without hassle!

Clean Your Household Appliances

If something is made for cleaning, you might not know it needs to be cleaned. But something like your dishwasher (and other household appliances) need cleaning just like anything else!

Now, you can tackle the task of cleaning your household appliances with a few of my tips. I shared them with Hoda and Jenna last summer and thought they could be of use for the Just Jill Organizing Challenge.

To see all of my appliance cleaning recommendations, you can watch the segment HERE.

Declutter Your Emails and Photos

We’re going digital with the Just Jill Organizing Challenge by sorting and decluttering all of our photos and emails!

Even if your device can hold a bunch of documents, images and messages, too many can make your computer or phone slow. Plus, all those unnecessary files are hard to sift through!

So, I challenge you to go through all those images and delete any blurry or unwanted photos. When you have the ones you want, try to sort them into separate albums. I have one for my family photos, one for work and one for recipes, among others!

Do the same with emails — deleting old ones you don’t need anymore.

Declutter Your Space

Have a bunch of tasks on hand that you’re trying to juggle? I’m sure some of these tips will help. I helped a few ladies stay on track when cleaning their space, complete a digital detox and more.

Check out the segment HERE.

Clean Your Fan and High Places

Cleaning eye-level surfaces is challenging enough. Trying to clean ceiling fans and hard-to-reach spaces? Even more difficult.

That’s why I tend to avoid this task for longer than I should which leads to a build-up of dust. While this challenge isn’t my favorite, I have a nifty tip to help you complete it with ease!

I shared the trick on the TODAY Show a few months ago. All you have to do is use a pillowcase to clean the blades of your fan. That way, the dust will fall into the pillowcase instead of on the floor.

Find the video of the segment HERE.

That was quite the month! I hope all these tips were helpful. Congrats on finishing strong!

From my home to yours,

Jill