Get ready for the biggest assignment ever!

O.K. everyone, I have a weekend homework assignment for you. No one is exempt and you will be graded.   Of course I have no way of knowing whether you did the assignment or not or how well you did.

Just know  that if you do not complete this assignment and accept the imaginary gold star I assign you under false pretences, … you’re a bad, bad person and hairs will grow out of your chin.  If you happen to be a man, 125 hairs will stop growing out of your chin, giving that  luxurious beard you’re so proud of a patchy appearance.

Onto the assignment!

This weekend, I would like you all to mentally prepare for one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever thrown your way before.

That’s right.  That’s all you have to do.  Mentally prepare for what’s coming next week. Like a boxer would mentally prepare for a fight, or a woman would mentally prepare for buying a bathing suit.

Because next Monday marks the start of the “5 Days of Organizing challenge” on The Art of Doing Stuff.




I have 5 days of organizing your home planned for next week starting with Monday … the closets.

Throughout the week I’ll show you ways to throw away, clear out, recycle and reuse your way to a more organized life.  It won’t be anything so drastic that it’s overwhelming.  Just a little guide and schedule to push you into clearing out some crap.

If you need even MORE incentive to get it done, know this … it’ll be way more fun than buying a bathing suit.

Have a good weekend!  And get ready to get rid of it.




  1. Tracie says:

    OMG, all these over-achievers! Well, I guess it’s not that much of a stretch, considering the site…..I have an entire junk room that needs purging and organizing……I thank you in advance for the up-coming week of motivation. I will need it…..Thank the Gods Christmas is gone from the house, I don’t think I could do both.

    • Karen says:

      Oh no… that’s why I waited until this particular moment. :) After the mess of Christmas everyone is more inclined get things neat and organized. That’s why rubbermaid containers are always on sale in January! ~ karen

  2. Kristin D. says:

    Oh boy… I really do need the mental prep time! Need to tackle this project–no excuses!

  3. Laura says:

    I feel like I’ve been training all winter for this moment. BRING IT ON!

  4. JF says:

    wooooooooo eeeeeee! is it wrong that I find purging and organizing and all that SO MUCH FUN?!?!?!?!

  5. Dawn says:

    I am sooooo ready!!!

    Lets Ramble Ramblers!!!!!

    ps… thank you for the heads up!

  6. Patti says:

    I ‘m seriously looking forward to this, no joke…especially how to deal with bills and paperwork. I don’t know what to save and what to chuck so I end up ‘filing’ everything! I have no room for this stuff and it’s taking over my house!!

  7. Linda says:

    Thanks Karen!! I’ve been needing a kick in the ass to get started. Kick away, I can’t wait!

  8. Marti says:

    Hurray! I get why you did this… you’re such a tease. But you really should have just started us on the job. Trust me, in my case, it will take more than five measly days. YIPPPEEEEE!!! Enforced cleanliness!

  9. Danni says:

    Ugh does that include the kids closets too??? That kinda scares me… I may get lost…maybe ill bring in a rope to find my way out, or a trail of sweet tarts so one of them can find me!

  10. Mary R says:

    I am new at commenting and I don’t blog (I am just a blog stalker!), but I did comment this morning and don’t see it. Do I need to have a blog in order to view my comments? I hope someone will be kind enough to take the time to explain this to me, a behind-the-times airhead!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary R – Welcome to commenting! The comments don’t go up until I approve them so if you happen to send one when I’m not around the computer it doesn’t go up right away. And comments that come in overnight while I’m sleeping don’t get approved until morning. :) ~ karen!

  11. jainegayer says:

    O THANK GOD!!! I NEED this intervention. I’m putting the house up for sale in March and the closets are full of stuff. Did my best friend put you up to this???

  12. Danni says:

    I gutted my kitchen, started in the fall, am now putting it back together… amazing that there were about 15 pot lids without pots! The stuff I found shoved in the back of the cupboards, sheesh!!
    There will be a large garbage bag sitting on the curb with lots of pan lids and “as seen on tv” crap this coming Monday if anyone is interested…

  13. Ann says:

    Nope. I refuse. Going out of town this weekend and I am leaving the house to my husband, a total post Christmas wreck. I am going to go see several different family members that require me to carry a shitload of emotional baggage around with me. When I get back I will need to spend at least the first few days of the week clearing my noggin back out. But then I will join right in….what? It will all be done by then? Shucks. Maybe next year.

    And BTW-chin hairs aren’t a threat anymore. Just one more thing to take tweezers to

  14. Emily says:

    I am one step ahead of you … well maybe half a step. I have discovered if one does not move (as in houses) one does not purge. I have lived in the same house for 20 years! (Which is much different than my first 30 years of my life when I moved at least once every 5 years) Moving, in itself, has its own built in purging benefits. Anyway….I have decided to clean out closets, cabinets and drawers as if I were REALLY moving. I take everything out of said closet, cabinet or drawer and either keep, throw away or put in give-away pile.

    SO bring it on.. I am ready…and can’t wait to see your tips and tricks for the coming week !

    Wooohooo, Emily

  15. Thera says:

    I am also way ahead of you. We have been decluttering/paring down and clearing out the house since we moved here in June.

  16. Suzanne @ Le Farm says:

    You’re not fooling this fool! No one wants to clear their crap out all by themselves so you’ve asked us to “come over and help”…hmmmmm. Smart move!

  17. Feral Turtle says:

    I was totally prepared to lie and say I was all in but I am definitely in and I will be doing it! This isn’t sarcasm, this is true enthusiasm. Cheers!!

  18. This I can do. I need some psyching up to challenge the furniture hoard in the basement. But please no more chin hair!

  19. Mary R says:

    How do you know I need to do this?! Have you been peeping through my windows?!

  20. Shel says:

    Great timing…I’ve been feeling the urge to purge!!

  21. Su says:

    Do we get extra credit if we have already started? When putting away the xmas decor I just kept going. I already have a couple of large bags for donations. Our neighborhood has a huge fire that we all donate unwanted lets not put it in a landfill items, on NYE where we drop a keg from a bucket truck at midnite and share bottles of Baileys and Rum Chatta. It’s quite hillbilly festive…

  22. Tigersmom says:

    Um……..does this mean I should have already undecorated from Christmas?

    Yeah, I may be late completing this assignment. But clever of you to dangle something shiny for me as motivation. ; )

  23. Jody says:

    Yippee! Will one of the days include organizing and consolidating Lego, Lego and even more Lego? And what about tons (I’m sure literally) of quilting fabric? Or will this be an additional credit course?

    • Karen says:

      Oh, you’d have to speak to Betty about the quilting materials. She’s the fabric hoarder. I’ll see what she has to say, but I’m pretty sure she now just uses it to clean the cat, stuff pillows, start fires, etc. ~ karen!

    • Call Me Patty says:

      Jody, my niece has a brilliant way of organizing Lego. She puts it down on the floor on a large sheet. The kids can play to their hearts content (on the sheet). When they are done she picks up the sheet by the 4 corners and voila the Lego is all contained. Puts it away in the closet, ready for the next time. Easy Peasy, and takes all of 2 minutes.

  24. karol says:

    Challenge accepted… I’m already ahead of the game. I’ve been cleaning out for a month, but am looking forward to your take on it.

  25. Candice says:

    What if some of us already have hairs growing out of our chin?!

  26. Elaine says:

    Looking forward to it. I love challenges. Motivates one into getting stuff done. Knowing you are not alone in this helps. I was just thinking the other day I need to clear out my bedroom closet. Well this is the push I need Thank you.

  27. Zoe says:

    Yay ! Am excited – conveniently we are moving apartment soon so this is perfect timing!!

  28. debbie bashford says:

    you assume there is a clear path to my closets , silly woman

  29. Pati Gulat says:

    YAY !!!! CAN’T WAIT TO START !!!!! I love organizing !!!! Am I mentally unbalanced ???? Could be !

  30. Laura Bee says:

    I am so ready for this. I just don’t know where to start somedays….I found a geat cleaning plan, but need to get organized first! Getting all mental here.

  31. nancy says:

    Oh fuck me, this is like a video of folding the fitted sheets, who wants this? When we could have a home tour of Betty’s house? Priorities, people. Don’t get off track.

  32. dee says:

    Perfect timing… that was on my to do list for next week!! :)

  33. Kirsten says:


    I live with four young guys, and managed to wrangle them into doing a house clean starting on Monday. So I will structure our big clean off of yours!

  34. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Anything is more fun than buying a bathing suit…

  35. Katie says:

    Yeah! I have been working on larger room sweeps (moving furniture and big junk) out the past week or two, but have avoiding at least two areas you mentioned… closets and documents/receipts. They can be so overwhelming because you have to decide things like “Does this receipt make me look sloppy?” And “will I need this sweater for my tax return next year?” Wait a second…

  36. Elly says:

    You do realise that you are speaking to someone who still has 1970s kaftans somewhere in the house – which I am keeping as they WILL be useful when they come back into fashion…when I can find them…and when I’ve been on that diet so that they fit…but only the ones without the moth holes…

    Dear Karen,
    I’m Elly and I’m a hoardaholic. Please come and run my life for a few months as I seem to have lost the instructions!

  37. Raymonde says:

    Oh shit… I have a whole lot of mental preparation to do…

  38. Valerie says:

    Information on middle aged mens’ hair/beard/growth etc:

    My partner believes that for some reason the hair follicles get confused and change direction at middle age. The hair stops growing on their heads and comes out their noses and ears. Fascinating belief, isn’t it?

  39. Annieb says:

    Can I get rid of my bathing suits?

  40. carolyn says:

    I am looking forward to it…recycle AND reuse? Cool! Seriously, I need this.

  41. Twyla says:

    I will be your first drop out!!!
    I don’t want to ……..waaaaaaaaaaaaa

  42. gloria says:

    Closets ought to be an easy challenge for me, seeing as my little bungalow only has the one. I knew I’d find a silver lining in that fact one day.

  43. Janet says:

    Oh crumb…can I delay mine a week? I have to work all next week!…but the following one is good…..I’ll check in every night when I get home to see how it’s going for you all….just think…I’ll be SO INSPIRED!

  44. Christina says:

    Yay!!!! Cannot wait!! I tackled my linen closet and my closet so far….I’m scared to look at my husbands and the guest room!

  45. Alex says:

    I have 5 garbage bags full of donations ready to be dropped at thrift stores this week, bins and boxes ready for the kitchen and blackmailing my husband to going to IKEA for 3rd time in less than a week. Do I need to polish up the paper shredder? Or can I just have a campfire?

  46. Sue says:

    I gleefully accept the assignment! I am going to start working on it right away…as in right now since I can’t seem to sleep. :/ maybe because I have a tiny Serama rooster and his girlfriend living in a pen in my house right now due to the cold temps we have been having, and he is crowing continuously!! Anywho, I need all the help in the world with organization so this is going to be great for me. Hope you have a great weekend!! Cock-a-doodle-doo!!

  47. missnicoleo says:

    Funnnnnn!!! So when I throw my boyfriends stupid stuff out I can say you told me to!

  48. kathy says:

    WAYYYYY ahead of you, girl! I’ve been cleaning out cupboards, closets, drawers for the past month. Why not do this in the middle of the holiday season? I found gifts I forgot to give people five years ago!!! I found more clothing that’s too big for me (Yipee) and I found open space that is SO lovely to look at when the drawers and doors are flung open.

    But, alas, I didn’t find the mother-in-law’s diamond earrings (bad, bad me) nor the tax documents for my non-profit, nor the pendant from……oh, well. I’m trying! And, it is SOOOOO wonderful to clean out, give away and lighten up!!!

    Can’t wait for your guidance.

    • Emily says:

      Kathy, that is so funny. I was rummaging in my “gift” closet right before Christmas and found 2 wrapped with a name, one without. I had to open them to figure out what and who they were for. LOL We are so silly huh?

  49. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Do I have to Mom???? OK..shit

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