Skip to Content

52 Week Challenge for a More Organized Home and Life

Organizing your home can help you declutter your life.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you choose to purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Spring is right around the corner which means spring cleaning and a fresh, new opportunity to organize your home life!

If January 2nd brought an end to your organizational resolutions, fear not.  This is your next best chance.

Welcome to the 52 week challenge for a more organized life and home!

You can begin today by downloading the 52 week organizing challenge in a simple, monthly checklist format at the bottom of this post.

Who doesn’t appreciate a little less clutter and more organization in life?  Clear kitchen counters, free of unused appliances, may not seem like the key to achieving all your life goals but a clutter free space at home gives certainly helps give way to a clearer mind. 

And imagine how much better you will feel with a clearer mind!

Think of this new challenge as more of a weekly schedule to help decrease clutter with the added benefit of developing organizational habits that will soon become second nature.  Approach it with a step-by-step mentality.

This 52 week challenge is really meant to provide you with the structure and a plan to create and sustain better overall organizational habits.  View these weekly challenges as a guide to help keep you on track and monitor your progress. 

How to declutter your home life in 52 weeks

The thought of trying to organize your entire home all at once probably feels a bit overwhelming and perhaps a little intimidating.  The key with this challenge is to focus on chunking down what feels like a monumental task to allow for steady progress, each week of the year.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Like most things, the more you chip away and keep at it, the more routine the practice of organizing and decluttering will become. 

These tasks are designed to bring some structure and a plan to your organizational efforts, so while you have a full week to complete each one, they shouldn’t take a long time if you plan accordingly. And if you miss a week here or there, no biggie.  You can always refer to the previous week and get yourself back on track – or just go at your own pace.

How to get started with your 52 week organizing challenge

Before you even lift a finger, a great first step is to decide why this is important to you.  What will a more organized space bring to your family and your home life?  How will minimizing clutter impact you and what else will it allow for?

Keep these answers in the forefront of your mind as you work through these weekly challenges.  As you make progress and see the results of your efforts, take a minute to recognize the benefits.  It will help keep you motivated!

I suggest reading through all 52 weeks and then customize your calendar and arrange tasks for what fits your schedule best.  Some tasks will take a minimal amount of time while others may take substantially more.

Remember the goal is to declutter and organize in a simple way that creates a space for you and your family to enjoy throughout the year – and hopefully it brings a little more peace into your life!

One more important thing to note – you can begin this weekly challenge at any time of year.  It is structured by week and by month, so feel free to pick up and start at any point in time!

52 Week Organizing Challenge

January Focus: Creating cleaning schedules and assessing home storage solutions, establishing family calendars, meal planning strategy and scheduling health screenings/appointments

Week 1: Create two cleaning schedules, one for deep cleaning and one for regular, light cleanings.  Be sure to call and schedule any outside vendors for things like carpet or upholstery cleanings.  Assess your home storage solutions.  Identify what space you currently have available for storage.

Week 2: Create a family calendar. Keeping a family calendar in a highly visible place is one of the best tips for home and life organization! Make sure to choose a spot that is highly trafficked by everyone so they can easily reference the schedule and any other important notes. You can get fancy and color code by activity, or by family member, to help keep things clearer and more organized as well. 

Chalkboards or wipe boards are easy for others to add things in but beware of accidental erasures.  We use a Skylight Calendar which I personally love because it syncs with my Google calendar entries, including the color coding.  It sits on our counter right next to the coffee pot, so no one misses it.

Week 3: Identify any health screenings that are due for you, or your family members, and schedule for the year.  These may include appointments with the dentist, vision screenings, preventative screenings such as mammograms or colonoscopies, annual health physicals, sports, or camp physicals, etc.

Week 4: Survey the current contents of your freezer and take inventory.  Establish a meal planning strategy to use throughout the year and create a standard grocery list with staple items you purchase each week.

Week 5: Think summer.  Family vacations and summer camp reservations for children need to be planned and booked well in advance.  Start researching your options and request any vacation time from work now.

February Focus: The Kitchen

Week 6: Countertops. Scan your kitchen countertops and assess how frequently your countertop appliances are utilized.  Consider a seasonal rotation for certain countertop appliances.  If your Kitchen Aid mixer is heavily used for baking during November and December but sits idle the rest of the year then it’s great candidate for storage in the off months.

What cooking tools or utensils are visible on your kitchen countertops and how often are they used? Consider relocating rarely used utensils to a drawer or getting rid of them entirely.

Weeks 7 and 8: Cabinets. Cleaning out kitchen cabinets may be a more daunting task which is why I give this one a two-week window of time.  It helps to organize your cabinets based on the natural flow of your kitchen and what you tend to use the most.  For instance, you may want to keep the cups in a cabinet closest to the refrigerator, the plates closest to the dishwasher and the pots and pans closest to the stove.  Look at your layout and decide what makes sense. 

This is also a great way to evaluate what you truly use versus what just takes up space.  Do you really need 12 serving platters?  Should the opportunity to host a big event come around, it may be best to borrow any additional serving platters from friends and neighbors rather than take up valuable year-round real estate in your kitchen.

And that Tupperware cabinet?  You know, the one where things fall out every time you open it and there are 42 lids but only 11 bottoms?  Gather all the matches and toss out what’s left behind.  You’re not using those miscellaneous items and they are only serving as space takers.

Cleaning supplies are often kept under the kitchen sink.  Throw away any old or empty bottles and use a plastic organizing tote for the remaining items so you can easily access them.

Week 9: Pantry and Refrigerator. Start by throwing away any expired food or spices.  Also, look to see if there are any duplicates that can be combined.  Depending on your set up (i.e., roll out shelves, etc.) you may want to consider cabinet risers or other kinds of organizing trays that make it easier to see and access what you have.

March Focus: Master Bedroom and any additional bedrooms

Week 10: Declutter your nightstands.  Simplify the surfaces with minimal items – maybe a coaster, a lamp and a box of tissues.  If your nightstands have drawers, then make sure to empty those as well.

Week 11: Launder or dry clean any bulk items such as comforters and draperies.

Week 12: Go through all dresser drawers. Refold any items you decide to keep, donate or toss out any items you no longer need or want.

Week 13: Look around to see what improvements you can make to make the room more conducive to a great night’s sleep.  A bedside journal? Blackout window treatments? A diffuser with essential oils? An additional fan or a humidifier? A peaceful night’s sleep needs a peaceful setting! 

April Focus: Closets, Pet supplies

Week 14: If you have pets, go through and organize your pet supplies.  Throw away any old medications, chewed up toys or foul-smelling beds.  Assess how your pet food is stored and if you need to make any changes.

Week 15: Linen closets. It’s easy to shove things into the linen closet and forget about them, trust me, I’m guilty.  I recently found my daughter’s 4th grade Halloween costume in there and she’s about to enter high school.  But linen closets are typically on the small side and should be reserved for extra bedding, towels and perhaps the occasional small appliance such as a vaporizer that gets minimal use. 

Neatly fold and organize what belongs and remove any unnecessary items.  For sheets and blankets you no longer use or want, consider donating them to a local homeless shelter or donation center.  Animal shelters are also great places to donate these items to as well.

Week 16: Bedroom closets. This may sound like a big task but if you commit to purging your closet on an annual basis then it becomes much less time consuming to give this space a refresh.  Donate what is in good condition and toss what is not.

Week 17: Coat closet. While it’s good to peek through the jackets and coats to see what should stay and what should go, don’t forget about any shelves above that tend to collect miscellaneous items such as unmatched gloves or decade old children’s snow gear.  Look below and sort through shoes as well.  Organize what you keep and toss or donate what is left.

May Focus: Garage, cars, and summer prep

Week 18: Prep for summer!  Replenish your sunscreen supply, beach towels and any other necessary equipment for your summer activities.

Week 19: Empty any trash from your cars.  Organize the consoles, glove compartment and trunk space.  Wipe down and vacuum the interior.

Weeks 20, 21 and 22:  The garage can be a beast to clean out and reorganize so give yourself a few weeks to complete the process.  There is just so much stuff accumulated over time in this space!

A good first step is to take everything out so you can easily see what you have.  Then decide what you are keeping, throwing away, donating, or selling.

Scan your cleaned out garage to see if it can benefit from any additional storage enhancements such as bike hooks, shelving, totes, cabinets, or tool holders.

June Focus: Inside and outside entry ways, laundry room

Week 23: Freshen up your outside entry way.  Clear away or cut back any overgrown greens and pot flowers. Replace or clean up your door mat.

Week 24: Freshen up your inside entry way. Replace or wash any indoor entry rugs or mats. Clear away any clutter that has built up in the area.

Week 25: Organize your laundry room.  Clean out any cabinetry or shelving.

Week 26: If you have separate mud room, declutter this space and optimize the storage area.

July Focus: Bathrooms

Week 27: Throw away any empty bottles, old razors, or crusty toothpaste – yuck.  Again, if you have teenagers, you feel my pain!

Week 28: Look for ways to maximize your space. Use corner hanging shelves in the shower or mount an over the toilet cabinet for extra supplies like toilet paper, soap, or other toiletries.  Extra hooks on the back of the door can hold any additional wet towels and potentially free up other space as well.

Week 29: Refresh your medicine cabinet and first aid supplies. Throw away any expired medications and assess which ones need to be refilled.  Check your stock of all necessary supplies such as band aids, gauze, antiseptic, allergy remedies, alcohol swabs, etc. and make sure you have kits for your car as well.

Week 30: Refresh, or replace, any shower curtain liners or rugs.

Week 31: Organize your countertops and any drawers.

August Focus: Paperwork, emails, and electronic files

Week 32: Organize your tax documents.  The length of time you should keep your tax documents or records varies depending on a few things but most important thing to note is the period of limitations for a particular return. Do not assume that a single year’s worth of documentation is all you need.  Since the period of limitations will vary based on tax return type it’s crucial to check prior to destroying any documents.  The IRS guidelines can be found here.

For any important tax documents that you must keep, file them away by year for easy access should you need them in the future.  A simple file folder system is all you need as well as a place that is accessible yet out of the way.  I would highly suggest keeping these files in a waterproof container, such as a filing tote, if you are storing them in a garage or basement.

Week 33: Scan any important documents and save them electronically.  Organize or reorganize your electronic files by folders.  Always check to make sure you are using the most secure methods for electronic storage.

Week 34: Clean up your personal email box.  Unsubscribe to senders you haven’t opened in more than 3 months.

Week 35: Sort through any miscellaneous paperwork.  Shred any sensitive information you no longer need.  If you’re mail tends to be strewn about the house, consider what organizational method may work best to streamline your mail routine.  A hanging organizer or a mail tray next to a trash can perhaps.

September Focus: Dining room, family room and home office

Week 36:  Declutter your coffee table, end table or sofa table areas. Decide which items should remain and which dust collectors should be tossed out.  Consider using trays or holders to keep things like magazines, drink coasters, or television remotes neat and organized.

Week 37: Get your carpets cleaned. Decide if your upholstered furniture needs cleaning as well.  You might be able to take advantage of good discounts by getting it all done at once.

Week 38: Dry clean any draperies if needed.

Week 39: Declutter and reorganize your home office. This space can quickly begin to resemble your first college dorm room.  Papers strewn about, an overflowing trash can, a nest of cords running up down and all around, the two-day old coffee and a water bottle from last week, maybe even the prior year.  True story, I found a random Easter egg in my home office just before Halloween last year.

Since we spend most of our waking hours at work, it’s important to keep this space clear so you can be at your best and most productive. 

October Focus: Sentimental items (photos, etc.)

Weeks 40-43:  Some items are harder to part with than others.  Items with sentimental value should be handled a bit differently.  Depending on the situation you may need a more substantial amount of time to sort through sentimental things. 

Block off standing time and create a plan of action in advance.  The process of decluttering these types of items can be emotional so be gentle with yourself and allow the space and time necessary to get through it.  The most important thing is to keep making steady progress.

Read more here for the best tips on how to declutter sentimental items without feeling guilty.

Week 44: Ask family members for holiday gift lists. 

November Focus: Holiday décor, prep, and planning

Week 45: Put away any Halloween decorations and switch over for Thanksgiving. Meal plan for Thanksgiving.  If you are ordering any food items, such as a fresh turkey, check ordering guidelines so you don’t miss out.

Week 46: Gather your contact list for holiday cards and purchase or order them.

Week 47: Plan for holiday shopping!  Check out the advertised sales for items on your list and decide which stores you may need to visit and which items you can purchase online.

Week 48: Write and send out holiday cards. Switch over holiday decorations for winter celebrations!

December Focus: Holiday prep and planning, post-holiday clean up and prep for new year

Week 49: Meal plan for your holiday meals.  Check on ordering guidelines in advance for any food you may wish to order.

Week 50: Wrap holiday gifts.  Mail out any holiday packages by December 17th for on time arrival!

Week 51: Meal prep and/or bake for any holiday gatherings.

Week 52: Purchase any holiday storage necessities and begin packing away decorations. Reflect on any goals you which to focus on, or changes you wish to make, for the upcoming year. Happy New Year!

No matter what, the best way to begin the journey towards a more organized home life is to just jump in and start somewhere.  Decide that now is a great time and begin your new weekly challenge! 

Get your FREE monthly checklist for better home organization here!

* indicates required