Organizing Questions1

30-Day Organize-athon | Getting And Staying Organized Q & A

Getting And Staying Organized Q & A

Thanks for all the questions about the 30-Day Organize-athon. I’ve picked out a few typical questions and put together some answers for you.


Q: I really like this organize-athon. Wish I could get to everything in my house and have it perfect. For some reason I don’t believe we will get done with it all in 30 days.

A: Hmmm… expecting perfection is a pretty reliable way to undermine your motivation and encourage procrastination. These posts might help:

As for getting everything done in 30 days, we won’t! Our aim is to do one 5-minute decluttering or organizing task every day for a month. That’s an awesome outcome!

Getting The Family To Be More Organized

Q: I would like ideas on how to keep it neat, and getting the family to buy into this, not just me. I feel like I am fighting a losing battle on this one.*

A: Motivating your family to keep things tidy is totally challenging!

  • With younger kids it’s a good idea to make it very easy for them to be neat – eg installing hooks for hanging bags and coats, and using attractive toy bins and laundry hampers that are located right near where toys are used/clothes are removed.
  • With older kids you have the option of making tidiness a condition of their allowance, or perhaps giving them an allowance bonus when they’re tidy.
  • If your partner won’t be tidy, try creating a zone where they can be messy. If you can encourage them to head straight for the zone when they get home, at least the mess will be localized.
  • If all else fails, create a zone for yourself where you can have order and clarity and preserve your sanity. A spare room is ideal, or a corner of the office or bedroom will work too. Perhaps a screen will help? Make it lovely for yourself.

More ideas are here:

*There were a lo-o-hot of questions along these lines!

Time Management And Home Organization

Q: I am loving what you have created Michele – I am just trying to fit all the tasks in with school holidays, work and life… This can be tricky.

A: It’s very tricky! Life doesn’t stop for you to get organized, and it sure doesn’t stay on pause to preserve your organizing efforts.

Here are some ideas for ways to be time effective and still get your home organization tasks done:

Filing And Record Keeping

Q: I would like to have the finer details on how my ‘filing’ should be done. I would also like to know how long I am supposed to hang on to stuff legally.

A: Ah filing – the bane of so many households. I think this post provides a very simple and practical filing system:

As for how long to keep records, here’s some info from the ATO for Australian individuals:

And from the IRS for US individuals:

Information on business record keeping is also available on both the Australian and US taxation sites.

Repeating The 30-Day Organize-athon

Q: Unfortunately, the Organize-athon happened to fall on a three week span when I haven’t had much time to do the extras that I normally would have plenty of time to do. Even so, the 5 minute prompts are getting lots of results. Any chance of rerunning the challenge in 6 months?

A: I will probably run another free organize-athon of some sort next April – I might even make it an annual spring-cleaning event!

If you want to repeat this exact program, I’ve packaged it up into an email program with a printable, interactive workbook that includes all the tasks plus a checklist for ticking them off as you complete them.

I’m also creating an iPhone/iPad app with push notifications (ie, automatic reminders) of each daily task. I’ll let you know via the blog and newsletter when this is available.

Continuing The 5-Minute Organizing Tasks

Q: Wondering which of your products would best match this 30 x 5 concept – with the daily emailed task, and the ability to comment (and read other’s comments). I am already dreading the end of this organize-athon because I’ve made so much progress, and from such a seemingly simple plan. It is not overwhelming at all.

A: I think there are two products you might like.

  1. The 30-Day Organize-athon is actually based on my Organize In 5 e-program. Organize In 5 contains 365 organizing and decluttering mini-tasks. They’re smaller than our tasks in the Organize-athon (we only had 30 days so I was more demanding!), and every 7th task is a bit of a treat. Over the course of the year you tackle home, work, closet, computer, health, finances, time management, relationships, family and relaxation. It’s an excellent habit-based approach to staying on top of your personal organization, with minimum time and thought. I like your suggestion about having comments and an online community for this program – I’m looking into it!
  2. If you want to try something in the same vein but with a twist, the 52 Organizing Missions program is very popular and has hundreds of success stories. There’s also an iPad version. Each ‘mission’ takes about 30 minutes, so you can do one a week over a year, or scale up your organizing and get fast results. Either way, people are surprised by how much they accomplish in just 30 minutes. As with the 30-Day Organize-athon, you’re encouraged to leave comments online, and you can see hundreds of comments from other participants, too.

A Business Organizing Program

Q: Michele, have you ever thought of writing a step-by-step program of how you have made such an amazing business/website/community? You’ve done such a fantastic job and it would be amazing if you could pass on your knowledge and experience to those of us who would like to own successful internet businesses, such as your own.

A: I have a number of business products planned for the second half of this year, incorporating my own experience with and strategies for social media, marketing and personal productivity/time management. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, for people who want some tools to help plan, manage and grow a professional practice, small business or solo-preneur venture, My Business Organizer provides 250+ checklists, planners, worksheets & lists across 10 business areas to help you organize your business plans, and manage your progress.

Got Another Organizing, Decluttering or Productivity Question?

Post it on the Facebook page – and I’ll do my best to give you a simple and helpful answer.

Thanks again for your questions, your commitment, and your fabulous efforts during the 30-Day Organize-athon!

See you tomorrow for Day #28.

Michele Connolly - Get Organized Wizard

14 thoughts on “30-Day Organize-athon | Getting And Staying Organized Q & A

  1. Pingback: | Terry's Blog

  2. Ali Davies says:

    Perfectionism can be a real killer of results – as a recovering perfectionist myself, I have now become big on taking imperfect action. My motto is that good enough is the new perfect.

  3. Gretchen says:

    Thank-you . I can’t believe how excited I was each morning to found out our task for the day. Hope you do this again next year and in the meantime I’m going to try and keep this going everyday.

  4. Allison says:

    Thankyou Michele – your Q&A is a fantastic resource for your readers – I see I’ll have to set aside some time to read some posts!

  5. Mary M says:

    I hope you do repeat this – and I especially like the repeat as an annual spring cleaning event!

    For those folks that wanted info on the legal aspects of paperwork saving, please make sure they understand that the amount of time to save is not necessarily from the tax year – it is from when someone FILES that year’s taxes….just an FYI there.

  6. Patty says:

    i donated to a nearby public school TONS of pens, pencils and rulers that we had collected over the years. all those freebies! maybe they will go to useful hands, hubby and i just need one each.

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