The Organized Life, Monthly Challenge

How do you feel about organization?  Are you a free spirit or a neat freak?  Do you spend a lot of time staying organized or do you let things pile up?

I am pretty obsessive about how my house looks, I really can’t relax if everything’s not in place, but don’t give the baseboards the white glove test, and please don’t open certain doors…



I continually strive to be organized, but being messy is part of the creative nature, so it’s a constant battle


I have been saying for 2 years that I am going to do some serious decluttering, purging, and organizing but I confess my attempts have been half-hearted and I haven’t gotten very far…

My garage is pretty organized but it is still full of too much stuff I don’t need and will never use



Being an artist, a tablescaper, part of a family that loves to entertain,  and now a lifestyle blogger, these things have all combined into one giant accumulation of stuff!



Having 2 houses has only doubled the situation rather than divided it





It’s true that I have most of my things at our formal home, but since we are spending more and more time on the coast, things are meandering and accumulating there too   😳




I do manage to keep my art supplies organized



Mainly because they live mostly out in the open and have to Hide in Plain Sight




I have a studio space in the “city” where I do large paintings and projects, but the beach house’s limited space only allows small projects, watercolors and drawing



I keep my drawing supplies handy in a small tote so I can take them wherever I want to sit or go



I recently saw this article, How to Dress with 33 items or less for 3 months!  Wait, what???

It jump started my dusty goal of really cleaning out my closets



I am going to pick one thing or area to focus on each month to start to tame the underlying chaos I feel


For August I am choosing my clothes closets, which are going to get a serious diet!

I do have clothes at both houses so I don’t have to pack much when I do my “back and forthing,” but both closets are full of  fashion don’ts  things I will never wear…



I have read good recommendations for closet organization-1 thing out 1 thing in, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or you haven’t worn in a year, out of style, damaged, stained…SO this month is going to be brutal, serious, purging!

Did you know, according to the article, there are 25,176 unique combinations you can create with only 33 items!

What an incredible statistic!



The item list obviously has basic pieces that mix and match, but I do think the underlying premise, less really is more, is something we already do anyway…



We always choose that favorite dress or pair of pants, the top you feel great in, the shoes you love…my goal is to have everything in my closet be those things

Maybe if I had a chandelier instead of a power drill in my closet…



I am not going to blog about my challenge unless I discover something really amazing, but I am going to share my monthly topic to make the commitment to myself and maybe even inspire you to do something you’ve been putting off…

Once I write something down I feel committed, do you?


I started my recipe bucket list, the Paint Bucket, a year before I started my blog 5 years ago.  I designed it for the sole purpose of motivating myself to get out of my lazy cooking rut and try new things, and make it easier to do so by having a limited focus

And here is my incredible statistic, in the past 5 years of blogging I have tried, made and posted 1000+ recipes!!  😵



I am hoping in the next year, using this Monthly Challenge method, my attempts to live more simply will get similar successful results!

Maybe I can reduce the 25,176 random things I have to just 33!

I keep telling myself, don’t be a “scaredy cat” like Wendi Witch


I know it’s Spooky,


But, turn you can turn your Can’ts into Cans and your Dreams into Plans!



Just take it one month a a time and your results will be Fabulous!



You can see more articles about this and other lifestyle topics on Becoming Minimalist here

If you have any clever tips or suggestions for clothes closet organization or purging please leave them in a comment below, I need all the help I can get!

Thank you!

👗   👡   👖   👠   👚   👗

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Rustic and RefinedBetween Naps on the Porch, Gardens Galore  Make it Pretty Monday

Coastal CharmCooking and Crafting with J&J,  The Scoop,   A Stroll Thru Life 

Celebrate and Decorate,  Lori’s Culinary Creations,   Moonlight and Mason Jars

Full Plate Thursday  Foodie Friday & Everything Else    Thursday Favorite Things

Share it One More Time   Delicious Dishes Recipe Party

34 Responses to “The Organized Life, Monthly Challenge”
  1. Jodi says:

    I need to organize and purge my closets too. Maybe next month. Lol. 😉😝

  2. Jenna, getting started is the hardest part for me! I badly need to purge my clothing…I have always loved fashion and have way more than I can wear. I always think I might wear that sometime! Good luck and I have confidence you will succeed!

    • I have a lot of winter clothes, some new, I haven’t touched for 2 years because we have had such mild winters…I’m sure once I get rid of them we will have a blizzard 🤣

  3. I have NEVER seen a garage with such artfully painted walls!!! So YOU!!! I love it! And yes…I’m definitely the organized neat freak, but with physical challenges these last 3+ years, it’s been more and more difficult/more necessary than ever.

    • I can relate, I long for the days when I had teenagers that needed to earn $ and would clean and help me do large tasks! My garage has been painted like that for so long I don’t even notice it anymore, but it does make a cheery space! I am so happy you are feeling well enough to blog and visit now, Alycia! Everyone missed you!

  4. We were forced to seriously purge when we had to pack up our house and move into a small condo for a few months. It felt exhilarating and I don’t miss anything! I also have become more disciplined about bringing new things into our home. Really helps keep clutter down. I am all about doing more in life and having less stuff to manage! Be ruthless Jenna!

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks Johanne, I remember when you were going through that, it must have been brutal! Thanks for the encouragement, I need cheerleaders…and a big dumpster and donation truck in my driveway!

      • When it came to tax time my accountant could not believe 65 Goodwill receipts, each for 4-5 boxes! He said we’d be at risk for an audit if he filed that. I said that’s how many trips we had made, we had gotten rid of so much. We settled on a much lower number but I was shocked at how many trips I had made with a full car!

  5. Miz Helen says:

    I can’t function in clutter and have to have all the “stuff” organized. This is a great inspiration post with great ideas. Thanks so much for sharing and have a great day!
    Miz Helen

  6. I generally do a serious purge annually. This year I had to focus on the kitchen, and with our master closet, it was mostly the Mr.’s stuff (because, you know, he needed help). I use just about every other closet in the house, and did have to purge the guest room so he could move his things in there temporarily during construction. I’ve managed to keep the guest closet EMPTY (yay me!), but I still have so much more to do. even if all I do is my own clothing. I am still purging career clothes, and haven’t worked professionally outside the home in over 14 yrs, and that’s just stupid. My basement walls are lined up with tubs on commercial shelving units from Sam’s Club – dishes and other re-salable inventory, along with things earmarked for yard sale (which I just need to purge!). My Christmas tubs on one wall are not on shelving units, and I find that extremely laborious when reaching for something and having to unstack, restack.
    When the summer heat is on like it is, this is a good time to purge indoors. Maybe you’ll motivate me in the near future. But not today. I’ll think about that tomorrow. 😉

    • Thanks Rita! I am really determined this time! One thing that does help me is keeping a trash bag in my closet and every time I put something on that I don’t like, it goes in the bag rather than back on the hanger. But that is a slow process! I have more issues letting dishes go than clothes! At least you have a shop you can sell your things in. You seem like the super organized type, so your Scarlett O’hara attitude made me smile!

  7. Jenna, we’re thinking on the same lines (although I have to say, if that’s your garage, I’m already in so much trouble…). I’m doing the clothes first, too. I’ve done two purges, another coming in the fall when I settle back here. (And doing similar at the lake house this week and next). Clothes are relatively easy — they’re in style or out (and never will be), they fit or they don’t (and won’t) and you must keep it or not. Then it’s just donate or trash. I keep a ton of books but I’m much more ruthless on those than I used to be, too. And I’m going through photos every day, scanning and tossing or sending originals to the people in the photo. All good. But what I really want to do is paint and play!

    FYI, I will be linking to your Peanut Butter Power Bars post in a future piece I’m doing for Modern Creative Life scheduled to come out mid-August. It’s titled that — and the concept is finding the power bar for inspiration! I’ll let you know when it happens.

    • Oh no photos! I haven’t even thought about that!! What does one do with the 50 albums you made when your children were little?? Yikes! Oh well, one step at a time…thanks for the ideas, and yes, all I want to do is paint or play too! I’m flattered you want to include my PB power balls in your piece, I just had two this morning, love them!! Thanks Jeanie~

  8. CoziNest says:

    Jenna, I love this post! One hint I’ll share that has worked for me for years is this… Turn all of your clothes hangers backwards and record the date you did this on your calendar. As you wear each item return it to the closet hanging normally. At the end of a season or a year (depending on your preference) only purge the items that are still turned backwards. Takes about 15 minutes and you are only touching clothing that you’ve not worn in a year…

  9. chrisscheuer415 says:

    I’m a weird mix of loving organization but being rather messy deep down inside. You’ve inspired me to get my closet in order!

  10. Cynthia Raines says:

    Appreciate this article as this is what I want to focus on as well. Now that im retired, I started on all the closets during last winter, but didn’t get to my closet. Hope to this fall. LOVED the comment on the drill in the closet! Ha ha!

  11. Hi Jenna, I love organizing but I do it more in my head than in real life. We are now on a frenzied campaign to reduce everything in an effort to get the house on the market, and we recently purged our clothes. You can’t do it over time if you really want it to work, I’ve found! I suggest taking all the clothes out of every closet, actually trying them on (you would be surprised how bad some look that you thought were still in style!!), and only putting back the ones you love and that still look great. My biggest problem is not wanting to part with old favorites that are so comfy, like my favorite cashmere zip-up sweatshirt style top. It actually has holes in it, yes I’ve said it! But I wear it to clean the basement, work in the yard, etc., and those are my excuses!! 🙂 Good luck with your organization projects! Can’t wait to see what is next! Linda

    • Thanks Linda, you’re right about doing it quickly, one brutal purge! I have nightmares even thinking about having to move, it would take me a year or more to get our house ready. I think if you still love and wear your cashmere top, it’s earning it’s keep, holes and all! Good luck with your clean out and I appreciate the advice!

  12. Sorting, purging and trimming down the closets and other areas is an ongoing work… and needs attention on a regular basis. 🙂

  13. I can totally relate to the purging! I have to have a large tote and I named it the 6 month tote. If I don’t use or wear what’s in it. I get rid of it. It is hard sometimes, but when it comes right down to it I ask myself….How much joy is this “thing”, these pants, this top really giving me? Doing that, helps me say bye. So I applaud you and your efforts, you will be happy once you do.

  14. Sandra Garth says:

    Oh my goodness, you have the prettiest garage walls I’ve ever seen! I tell myself at least three times a week that I need to get rid of some of my stuff. The problem is that when I get rid of it I think of a use for it. Decisions, decisions!

  15. Patrice says:

    Yes! I will start on my closets NEXT month 🙂

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