Get Organized Mission #1: Fill a Hu-u-uge Trash Bag

Get Organized Mission #1Welcome to the first of our 52 Organizing Missions.

In some ways this is a challenging one – but you’ll feel so wonderful, liberated and light when it’s done I think it’s worth diving in the deep end right away.

And remember – it is only 30 minutes.


Get Organized Mission #1: Fill a Hu-u-uge Trash Bag

Step 1

Get a giant trash bag. (If you don’t have one find 20 small ones, or ask a neighbor, or go to the shops, or use boxes, or pile things up on a rug until you get to the shops tomorrow. There are no excuses!)

Step 2

Set a kitchen timer (or your clock radio or iPhone alarm, etc) for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Start filling the bag and continue doing so as you move through your house, until either the timer goes off or your bag is full.

Throw into the bag anything you don’t use, don’t like, that has negative associations, is broken or tatty, or is no longer your style. See below for room-by-room examples.

Step 4

Take it straight out to the trash or even the tip if you’re so motivated. Just be sure to remove the temptation to look in the bag or to rescue released items.

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t try to organize rooms, cupboards or drawers at this stage.
    This mission is about getting rid of stuff so do keep an out-it-goes mindset.
  • We’ll have another organizing mission for charity items, so don’t get bogged down with that now. I don’t suggest giving lame stuff to charity – decent, usable stuff: yes; crapola: no.
    So do feel fine about ditching all the dross.
  • I want you to move fast – so don’t overthink it.
    If your gut feel is to release something from your life, then do toss it into the bag.

Examples of Items For Your Bag:

Living Room

  • Old magazines
  • Tatty rugs and cushions
  • Old/no-longer-used videotapes, DVDs, CDs
  • Unloved ornaments, gifts, vases, etc
  • Dead plants


  • School/college notes and texts (unless you just graduated they’re probably out of date)
  • Old paperwork, bills, mail (keep if needed for taxes or reference; shred if sensitive or confidential)
  • Excess stationery you won’t use this decade
  • Knickknacks that provide no meaning, beauty or inspiration
  • Reading piles you know you’ll never get to


  • Tatty dressing gowns, slippers, and anything you’d be embarrassed to answer the door in
  • Tatty bed linen
  • Ancient pillows harboring various non-human life forms
  • Anything on bedside tables that detract from a comforting bedtime sanctuary
  • Anything in your closet you hate (we’ll tackle closets in detail in another organizing mission)


  • Chipped or stained crockery
  • Rusty or mismatched cutlery
  • Expired food and condiments in the pantry or fridge
  • Cookware, plungers, teapots, gadgets, utensils or sundry infomercial purchases not used in the past 12 months
  • Cookbooks and recipes not used in the past 12 months


  • Tatty towels, bathmats, etc
  • Expired or old toiletries, hairbrushes, combs, etc
  • Empty or mildewed bottles
  • Yucky bathroom accessories – eg rusty shower caddies
  • Unloved bathroom ornaments

Kids’ Stuff

  • Tatty, no-longer-used toys
  • Outgrown clothes
  • Torn posters
  • Outgrown CDs, DVDs etc
  • Outgrown back-packs, drink bottles, etc

Extended Organizing Mission Options

  • If you run out of time or your bag fills up and you want to keep going, then do. Put on some music and have fun with it. But your basic mission is only to fill one large bag or keep going for 30 minutes.
  • If other household members want to participate give them their own bag and encourage them to let go of stuff.
  • If you want to tackle extra, unneeded items that are in good condition, do a second run with a charity bag. (I guarantee you’ll still have plenty to do when we get to our charity-bag organizing mission.)

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Before You Go – Check In

Have you completed this week’s Get Organized Mission?

You’re now accountable to your organizing mission-mates – so please add a comment to let us know you’ve completed your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment.
(Click ‘Comment’ at the very top of this post or scroll down to the bottom. Depending on how you’re viewing this post, one of those options will be available for you.)

And see you back here next week. 🙂


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Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.

Image by Material Boy

438 thoughts on “Get Organized Mission #1: Fill a Hu-u-uge Trash Bag

  1. Marksman says:

    Wooo Hooo!!! I threw away all kinds stuff and junk I had been moving with me from place to place that I never even look at. It was all just stuffed in drawers and taking up dusty shelf space. No point in having it around anymore.

  2. Helen says:

    Mission one done!!!! That was a lot easier than I first thought. I am now on a roll. I go into a room, see something and think I can put that in my black rubbish bag hehehehehe. Onto mission 2.

  3. Sarah says:

    Done. Actually, I have been doing this over the course of the last few months. I’m really trying to let go of things that are duplicates or that I don’t “love” and not to keep them just because they are “perfectly good” and I “might use them some day.” It goes against my packrat DH’s nature, but I’m not letting that stop me either!

    Is this mission ever really done? I say no.

  4. Dawn says:

    Didn’t have large bag but over the course of the week, filled 4 large kitchen bags full. maybe not a lot of bags but we are a military family getting ready to move next summer and we are always concerned about weight and these 4 bags were quite heavy 🙂 Also donated 6 bags of clothes!

  5. Bronwyn says:

    Done. I feel like such a grot living in such a messy house – and when it takes so long to tidy before you can clean, a messy house quickly becomes a dirty house which I hate even more. I’m an intelligent creative person, but buggered if I can keep my house tidy. Really looking forward to learning how to!

  6. Sylvia says:

    This one was not my favorite. I tend to throw out junk most of the time, so I got a bag only half full. I appreciate getting it done, but look forward to the organizational tasks more. I lost everything in the divorce so all my stuff is a bit tatty, what I throw out I cannot afford to replace so I keep using it. I look forward to organizing what I DO have, and starting over with a fresh outlook.
    Thank you!

  7. Tara says:

    I did it!! It was hard to get started but by the time the timer went off I was throwing away things left, right and center. Feels good now on to the next mission!

  8. Allison says:

    I completely agree with Bonnie’s comments above. I finished my 30 minutes but didn’t even get through my entire downstairs, never mind the upstairs and basement. I think I will need 30 minutes every other day for a while to learn to focus and to just get caught up with all that needs to be done.

  9. Bonnie says:

    Did it! I had a feeling of dread to start with, but felt a little bit of relief when finished. However, it took me 75 minutes to actually fill the garbage bag, but did have a paper sack full of magazines for the recycling bin and a big box of charity stuff. This reinforced what I already knew – I get off-track when I start any clean the clutter project. So, although I finally filled the bag, and made progress, I need to focus!!

  10. Pingback: Declutter | Leap Forward Coach| Coaching And Leadership Development For Business and Professional Development

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