Update on 45 Boxes / 45 Days

Before Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, I posted about my goal to clean out 45 boxes in 45 days.  It was my way of coping with loss and counting down to Christmas.  I put 45 post-it notes up on my wall and I got to take one down every time I dejunked or cleaned out a space.

Although it took me more like 130 days, I am happy to report I did it! I dejunked 45 spaces in my home and much more!

First, let me say that the post-it notes were very motivating.  I would see them hanging there and I wanted to get them off my wall. My husband and I would banter over who got to remove the note once a space was cleaned out.  He always let me do it (because he really could care less) and it felt good every time to throw one of those babies away.

Second, let me say that although I didn’t meet my time frame, I still succeeded.  So it took me way longer than 45 days.  Does that really matter?  Or does it matter that my home is more organized in 45 spaces?  I am way better off than I was in November whether it took me 45 days or 145 days.  It is better to set a goal and not meet it exactly, then never to set a goal at all.

Third, let me say that I found it very helpful to have a list of what areas needed to be cleaned out so that I had a quick reference.  Because when I would find time to organize,  my mind would blank and I couldn’t think of what needed to be done.   I kept my list on the door right by the post-it notes, but you can keep the list anywhere.  It just helps to have a running organization to-do list to keep you on track.

Some days the organizing spaces were small and simple like my

jewelry box


vitamin basket

warranties/product binder

top of dresser

pencil box

marker jar (throw those dry ones away!)

a random drawer in the bathroom

Sometimes one post-it note meant I dejunked a whole category like

kids’ toys

books  (I emptied 5 bins of old books and donated them)

kids’ clothes

filing cabinet

kitchen zones

Some organizing tasks were much bigger and took all weekend like my


storage unit  (We no longer have one. Yeah!)

paper stacks (Remember this post?)

Chad’s office

school memory boxes

No matter if the tasks were small or large, it felt great to remove, declutter, dejunk, and organize.  So much so that I kept going and going even after my post-it notes were off the wall.

Here are some of my favorite organization successes over the past 45 130 days:

North Pole Closet.  A lot of our storage unit was my Christmas bins, so I knew I needed to get them into the house.  We moved a few things around and freed up our small storage room to have all of our Christmas crap in one place.  I was inspired by this post to turn the closet into my own North Pole.  Besides a bunch of Christmas totes, I hung my Christmas wreath on the door; put out my door mat and hung the mistletoe from the light.  I even hung my huge star on the wall.  Now it won’t poke anyone, or get bent, or fall off the top of boxes.   The space feels like Christmas when you open the door.  My girls want me to add cotton batting for snow and some candy canes at the entrance and I want to make a sign that says “Welcome to the North Pole!”  Don’t put it past me; that just might happen.  Here are a few pics of my North Pole Closet:

Movies.  My husband got an Apple TV for Christmas so he ripped all of our DVDS to the computer.  This has been an organizational blessing.   No more scratched DVDs.  No more discs out all over the floor.  No more reorganizing and sorting movies.  Just all the movies on the computer organized by genres and/or titles.  I would highly recommend Apple TV to anyone that needs to organize or downsize their DVD space.

My Creative Space. Words can not adequately express my joy here.  I moved Locke out of his own room to share with Crew.  And now I finally have my own area to think and create and plan.  We bought some wall units at IKEA and Chad spent a whole Saturday assembling the high stakes Legos.   I am still staging and organizing, but you get the picture of how far I’ve come.

A couple of before pictures:

And here are a few updates (I can’t quite call them “afters” because I am not done with the space yet.)  But I wanted you to see the progress.

(Doesn’t this room just say Raising Lemons?  Maybe I will even have better blog posts now that I have a better place to write 🙂 )

I wanted to report on my 45 Boxes / 45 Days progress so that maybe you will be motivated to try dejunking and organizing too.  It feels so good and your house feels so much better too.  I think sometimes the little projects like cleaning out my purse or my jewelry box were catalysts for my bigger projects.  They got me going and once you get going you don’t want to stop. Afterall, objects in motion stay in motion.

And it all started with 45 Post-it notes on a wall.

1 thought on “Update on 45 Boxes / 45 Days”

  1. Beautiful! I love the new “raising lemons” room and the motivation to press forward. I have been trying to at least do something small each day…whether it is cleaning out a bin, dejunking part of a pile, or making sure we can see the floor in my boys closet, it does make a difference and motivates me to do more. Thanks for the inspiration.

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