Fresh Start: Cleaning & Organizing List

clean and organize list

I’ve gotten better about this over the years, and since we moved into our new house (mostly because storage is very limited) but I throw stuff out constantly. I don’t wait for the new year, or spring cleaning. Everyday is spring cleaning.

My husband will probably beg to differ — yes I have more art supplies, books, and beauty products than the average girl — but in almost every other category I’m pretty minimal.

Our belongings and furniture didn’t even fully fill up a 16-foot PODS container. We barely have anything stored in our attic and I want to keep it that way.

The more I pare down, throw out, give away — the better I feel. My husband sent me this meme recently and I was like yep, if you were single you would literally have one chair. Most of our “stuff” is due to me so it’s up to me to get rid of it, which I’m basically on a constant mission to do.

At this point I just don’t accept things if I know I don’t want them. I do it in the nicest way possible but I just don’t want stuff and I don’t take it to “be nice”. Free tote? No thanks, the last thing I need in my life is one more tote bag. Brand swag, please god no. Anything I do get sent that I don’t want I try to give away as fast as possible.

A long long time ago, one of my most popular posts was a cleaning checklist. So I thought I’d update it here for you. Since we are all using less paper, etc. I figure instead of making a print out you can just screenshot it or bookmark this post and come back to it — one less piece of paper to add to the clutter!

Obviously doing these things ongoing keeps them from building up, or maybe do 2 of them each month or whatever. Up to you!


Cleaning & Organizing Checklist

Phone — Anytime you are in line or just waiting for something, clean off your phone. Delete apps you don’t use (you can always download them again if you want them later), delete photos and videos, delete screenshots, etc. I like to then go into my Deleted folder and delete them there too.

Medicine Cabinet — Go through all your pills and such and toss anything past the expiration date. I did this recently and basically threw out half of my meds. Yikes!

Fridge — Actually take everything out and clean the shelves and drawers. Also pitch anything that’s bad.

Pantry — Just like the fridge, take everything out, clean the shelves, throw bad stuff out. Maybe even see how many meals you could make with ingredients you already have versus going to the store! Get some organizing bins if you need to and put it all back in in an organized way.

Linens — You know when you have people coming to stay with you and then you realize all of your towels and washcloths need to be replaced. Now is a great time to go through them and see which ones you need to replace. Also reorganize the linen closet while you’re at it.

Junk Drawer — Be ruthless. Do you really need that many pens or rubber bands?

Under The Sink — Under ALL of your sinks! Pitch what you don’t need, wipe off the shelves, and organize what you are putting back in. If you need a few bins to make keeping everything in place easier, do it. I have one of these plastic bag holders and it’s been awesome. I reuse any bags I have for random stuff when necessary.

Beauty Products — I just did a MAJOR purge of my beauty products and got rid of so much stuff! It feels so nice to only have what you actually use. Most beauty products only last for a year so if it’s older than 1-2 years you should probably pitch it regardless.

Books — I love owning real books. But I don’t need to keep all of them. Anything you are pretty sure you’ll never read again or don’t want to keep to be part of your home library or collection, sell or give away.

Closet — I realize this is HUGE task for a lot of people, so to make it feel less scary, break it down into categories. Just do your shoes one day, purses another, activewear another, etc. That way you can easily just focus on one area of your wardrobe at a time. Sell, donate, throw out. I promise it feels amazing. Reorganize your closet and drawers after you purge. Ask yourself, have I worn this in the past year? Would I buy it new now? Would I rather wear something else? Do I have something similar that I like better? 

Under Furniture — As in under your bed, under anything. We actually don’t store anything under our bed or under any of our furniture (except in my office). We put seasonal or things we use infrequently in the attic but we try to not have stuff in every nook.

Decor — That vase you bought at Target 8 years ago, you probably don’t even like it anymore. Marie Kondo that shit.

Bathrooms — Deep clean! I already covered your beauty, under your sink, and your medicine cabinet — now get out the scrub brush and get to work! Wash your shower curtain, etc. If you are like, nope, not going to happen — just hire a cleaning company!

Car — Clean it out, then go get it detailed, washed, and vacuumed.

Email — Unsubscribe. Delete. For me Inbox Zero is not a reality so I won’t even suggest that, but if you only have a few hundred emails, you could probably get to zero and run a tight email ship. I have 14,000 emails so not going to happen.

Business Documents — Don’t let all of your business document renewals sneak up on you. Make sure you have everything in good standing, the right forms, and make a folder (digital & physical) for everything you need.

Doctor List — Make a list (digital and/or physical) of all of your doctor’s names and make sure your partner or roommate knows where it is.

Bills — Have a system and set up autopay for as many bills as you can. The month I did this with everything I possibly could was the best thing I ever did for my sanity. If you need to make an appointment with a financial planner, do it this month.

Supplies — Do you have a bunch of supplies for your job or hobby? Do you really need all of them…? Probably not.

Did I miss anything? Leave your ideas in the comments!


A few tactics I like to use to help me with everything are:

Would I buy this full price?

Would I rather sell a few things and buy something new?

A cleaning lady is always worth the money.

Try selling stuff on Facebook, Instagram, or any of the apps like Poshmark, etc. 

You can also get a bunch of people together and have one big sale all together to attract more people.


Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash