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October 28, 2011

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays: 28 Day Challenge – Day 2

28 days-simplify101

Day 2:  Create a List of Trouble Spots

Today’s challenge is to take a tour of your home and create a list of things you’d like to address before the holidays hit. Take a tour of your home, and try to view it as if you are coming in for the first time. Go slowly, look high and low. Sit down in public areas. What rooms or areas are clutter hotspots? What could use some cleaning, decluttering or rearranging? Make notes of the things in your home you most want to attend to before the holidays, along with what actions you plan to take, and what level priority (low, medium, high) this is for you. Capture this info on the “trouble spots list + action plan” printable (which you can download here: Download 28-days-trouble-spots-list.) 



As you put together your action plan, keep in mind these common clutter causes.

  • Clutter items don’t have a home.
  • Clutter items have a home that is far away from where the item is used.
  • The clutter’s home is full of other things.
  • There are no systems in place for the clutter items or the systems are too complicated or cumbersome to use.   


After you take your tour, come back here and tell us about it in the comments! What areas are most in need of attention in your home?  



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Probably similar spots to a lot of people:
- entry way (tiny hall bookshelf, small coat closet and an impossible number of coats and boots and school bags!)
- kitchen counter (say no more...)
- dining table (projects, things in transit, crafts, pot plants. dinner? not so much)
- playroom (too much stuff not stored so the kids use it well or put it away)
- basement storage room (aka dumping ground)
- garage (aka dumping ground number 2)


dining room table - we have to move stuff to eat there every night
tv room - stuff everywhere
stairs - we put stuff there to take up .... somehow it's still there


@ Catherine - our garage is horrifying ... bulldozing and starting from scratch sounds good to me.

Becky Roode

~ dining room: it seems to be a catch-all for some reason
~ study/office: it is truly lacking in organization and productivity
~ bedroom closets: major clearing out of clothing needed


Did anyone else need two worksheets?!

What I need to focus on first is packing away the last of the seasonal gear including fall jackets and camping gear in various stashes around the house.

We are considering replacing the carpet in our living room with hardwood and while we are at it, we should repaint the room, and that 18 yr old sofa is such an eye sore and then we should... stop and reassess if this is the best time to take on something this big.

My biggest hot spot that I need to purge is the bakers rack in the kitchen. Everything gets swept up and dumped there and it is a bone of contention in our house. SIGH...

Time to get on track. Thanks Aby!

P.S. I forgot about the mess in the garage, but we are dealing with it this weekend. My goal is to be able to park in there so that I don't have scrape ice and snow off the car every morning. Now there's motivation!


Dining room table, all flat surfaces, floors
toy room, my closet!

Mrs. McB

Dining room table as our dining room is to the right of our front door. The dining room becomes a catch all for things.

Kitchen counters, ugh! My husband and I just collect stuff there.

Laundry room/mud room with a cluttered pantry and stuff just in there. Yuck!

Stairs as I put things there to carry up but never do.


I'm a few days behind already! Yikes! Our kitchen/dining and living rooms are the most frequently and most easily cluttered.


Beginning in September I have been working 30 mins every day to de litter an organize our main floor. I'm so proud of myself, because the onltareq left to purge is the coat closet!!

I also have a completely empty pantry closet and I'd like to give it a coat of paint before I start filling it up. Once that's done I can start the last of my office and paperwork organization.

The other two things I'd like to get done is washing all the shelves inside my kitchen cabinets and touching up paint in the living room, dining room and kitchen. A bonus would be to get curtains purchased and hung, but I want to find just the right thing so am not committing to a set time frame.

Thanks for the printable! Now i have additional projects in other areas of the house all written out for the year!


About kitchen counters... The very best thing I did this fall was put away everything I didn't use daily. The only things remaining are a crock of utensils, bread basket and paper towel holder. For the first time in 16 years my husband is able to clean the kitchen to my standards, because there are no crocks, coffee pot, juicer and assorted bottles of oils to clean around! I love my kitchen so much more now. It sounds crazy, but it had been life changing!

Also, sorry about the typos. My computer crashed over the weekend so I'm typing from my phone. I can't figure out how to edit.


Thanks everyone for sharing your trouble spots.
Caryn, I love your tip about the kitchen counter! I put away my toaster earlier this year, and recently put away the flour and sugar canisters. I love it with just a bit less stuff out. :)



I filled the whole sheet, too. All flat surfaces, the toys are everywhere. Our junk drawer has spilled into junk drawers. The office is our dumping ground and I'm starting to work so that doesn't work anymore. I can't use my closet because of a large shelf that was never hung. :( Ready to get started.

Kristi P.

Mine is all clutter, especially full of papers. I never can decide if I should throw things away or not... Way too much paperwork!

mudroom storage

First time visiting ur blog, and fell in love with it straight away.

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