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Get Organized Challenge/New Year essentials

Organization Challenge (Sunny Side Up)

Happy 2022! It’s a new year. A clean slate! I love that feeling. I also love January. January is a month for organizing. What could be better!? :) Time to get our homes back in order. Our homes have a HUGE impact on how we feel each day!  Happiness, self confidence, productivity.. an organized home helps with all of that.  Your overall mental health will improve when your home is in order.  I’ve learned to not underestimate how important it is!

Last March I kicked off my first organizing challenge and we spent 9 weeks working on getting our homes in order. It was a huge success and so much fun. It really held me accountable and I loved having so many of you join me! We’re going to do the challenge again starting next week! Details are at the end of this post.

Let’s talk New Year essentials! I’m feeling ready. :)

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

{stripe planner/white dot sugar paper planner}

I picked up a few planners. Yes.. multiple. I like options. Really I just couldn’t decide which one to get out of 3 so I got them all. Ha. Solved that problem. ;) I would feel guilt except I know I will use them. I really love my planners and to-do lists. :)

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

{garden party scissors/gold scissors/garden party ruler/Big Monthly Planner/TUL gel pens/page marker flags/stripe planner/white dot sugar paper planner/washable rug}

A few more essentials I’ve been rounding up! We have been having a scissor shortage lately (seriously they have disappeared!) so I picked up a couple of cute pairs. Also a matching ruler because who can resist that!? Some new pens (my friend recommended these and I’m obsessed now too!), planner tabs and my 3 planners.

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

I got the Big Monthly Planner to block out weeks for my blog. It’s nice because it’s so simple. Just blank boxes! I like that for making a rough plan of the year w/o a lot of details.

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

These Blue Sky planners have a simple weekly layout. Sometimes I’m just in the mood to jot notes for each day and I like simple.

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

Other weeks I like more details and I have a feeling I will use this planner the most! It has space for each day like the planner above but also a weekly page for to-do’s, goals, and other important things to remember during the week.

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

{fabric storage box/small fabric storage box/XO garland/metal & leather doorstoppers/linen tray}

I mentioned wanting to organize Kenny’s office. I found a few fun things for his space at Target along with a cute Valentine’s Day banner and some doorstoppers! I’ve been looking for a good set forever for our french doors upstairs (we like to open them in the Spring/Summer to cool the upstairs off). These are so heavy and nice. Random find I was thrilled about!

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

Better view. The linen tray would be cute on a console or coffee table too! I’m thinking I’ll have Kenny use it for incoming work/important papers. If he doesn’t want it I’ll steal it for my office. I’m tricky like that. :)

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

{time marker water bottle}

A good water bottle is also essential for January right!? Always when they get used the most. ;) I like this one to hold me accountable. I actually used it for most of 2021! I got off track big time during the holidays though and pretty much drank nothing but Coke Zero so I’m going to be good this month and drink my water. :)

Below are some other New Year favorites! Gratitude journals, a cleaning caddy, good workout socks and shoes (love these shoes!), a few favorites for organizing, etc. I love all of these items. We are ready! Clean slate! Let’s make it a good one. :)

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

1 – 5 min. gratitude journal  2 – 52 week gratitude journal  3 – white dot sugar paper planner

4 – make-up eraser  5 – weekly planning pad  6 – time marker water bottle

7 – storage bins w/ handles  8 – microfiber cleaning cloths  9 – bento lunch box

10 – live in pocket joggers  11 – exercise mat  12 – cushion no show socks

13 – OXO good grip containers  14 – air zoom running shoes  15 – cleaning caddy


New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

My kids are out of school one more week! It has been a weird year with no time off for them before Christmas but we got lots of time after. Ellie has been with friends 24/7 and it’s so fun having them all over. Several of them feel like part of our family at this point! I’ve been chilling with these two a lot.

New Year Essentials (Sunny Side Up)

{J Crew Coat – loving that it’s actually cold enough to wear it!}

We met friends at Sing 2 and it was such a cute show! I’m glad we have the rest of this week together. Which is part of the reason I’m waiting to start my organizing challenge! Kids are still home and I need some time to get Christmas put away. :)

Ok.. here are details for the challenge. It starts this Sunday, January 9th. I so hope you’ll join me! 

Our schedule..

Week 2 – LAUNDRY ROOM/ENTRY/MUDROOM (shoe drop zone!)
Week 3 – KITCHEN
Week 4 – CLOSETS

Week 9 – GARAGE

I’m going to be doing this right along with you!  Yes a lot of these spaces in my home are already organized, but some of them aren’t.  I have several hot spots I’ve never really organized and I’m excited to knock them all off of my list for good!  Also my organized spaces can all use a quick tidy/re-fresh.  Even if your home is mostly organized I think you can benefit from this challenge!  We all can.  It’s a great time of year to really determine if our homes, systems and routines are working well for us.  If they aren’t.. it’s time to fix that!

This is what I want you to do this week..

1 – First.. click HERE to sign up for my e-mail list and download my Get Organized printables.  If you don’t get a follow-up e-mail soon after check your junk/spam! It’s one large PDF but you can choose what you want to print! There are 3 pages that include a general checklist and tips.  If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.. follow this printable!  Obviously every home is different and some things might not apply, but it’s a good general idea of what items are important to focus on. I also included 3 pages of the same checklists that are blank.  If you’d rather fill out your own checklist items for each space, print out the sheets with blank lines and get to work making your to-do list.  This is helpful because our homes are so unique.  Some of my home office items might be located in your kitchen, etc.  There is also a printable that has every space on one page if you don’t feel like you need as many to-do lines.  Most of us will need the 3 pages. ;)  Print just a few or print them all!  Use whatever is helpful and make these checklists work for you! (I took the March dates off of these printables and left the dates blank so you can start/do this challenge anytime!) 
Organization Challenge (Sunny Side Up)

2 – Follow me on IG if you aren’t already.  I’ll be sharing pictures, tips and my progress on my main feed and in stories.  I’m going to use the hashtag #ssugetorganized and would absolutely LOVE it if you would share your before/after pictures on IG too!  Tag me at erin_sunnysideup and I’ll share some of your before/afters in stories to help motivate us all and give us more ideas! 

3 – Buy black garbage bags if you don’t have them already.  A label maker is helpful too but not necessary!  (I’ve heard really good things about this label maker.) 

4 – Get a friend to do it with you!  I’m serious.  Right now call or text a close friend or family member and get them on board.  It’s so much more fun and it will hold you accountable each week!

Ok.. that’s it for this week.  *Print the printables, make your lists, get your garbage bags ready, follow me on IG and text a friend!

I’ll be writing one post about the assigned space to kick off each week with some ideas and tips that have helped me.  Here are a few general tips to keep in mind before we get started..

General tips:

This isn’t a cleaning challenge.  Cleaning and organizing go hand in hand so let me explain.  The goal of this challenge is to get rid of items we don’t need and to organize the cupboards, drawers, piles, hot spots in our homes that are cluttering up our lives.  If you finish cleaning out all of your bathroom cupboards/drawers and have time to then wipe off counters and mirrors and scrub your shower.. go for it!  But the main goal is to PURGE like your life depends on it and organize all of the hidden messy spaces.  Do that first!  Then if you have extra time during the week you can do some deep cleaning too.

I’ll say it again.. be ruthless with purging/donating items!  Pump yourself up before you start to get rid of as much as you can.  Less is more.  Trust me.. you won’t miss things!  To truly be organized you have to be comfortable living with less stuff.
Organization Challenge (Sunny Side Up)
If you’re short on time one week and can’t really get around to organizing your space, just commit to purging items you don’t need/use/love.  Just doing that alone will make a difference!  You can come back to that space to organize it all later.  Feel free to move ahead if you complete spaces early, just don’t get burned out!  It might be better for you to put your feet up and rest if you complete a space early so that you have energy to tackle a new space the next week.  :)

Don’t buy organizers YET.
 Wait until each space is complete to see what you really need.  Then if organizers would be helpful you can order exactly what you need.

Resist the urge to over organize and have everything labeled and color coordinated.  Yes.. this is coming from me.  The one who loves to over organize and label everything and make it all color coordinated. Ha. ;)  That’s my personality (I have a touch of OCD in case you haven’t noticed!) and I’m a more naturally organized person and it’s part of what I do for a living.  If that’s you too then great.. go for it!  Live it up and label away!  If that’s just NOT you.. take the pressure off of yourself immediately!  The goal of this challenge is to get rid of clutter and to set up systems that work for you/your family and that will be sustainable.  For example: If having all of your cereal dumped into clear cereal bins isn’t something you want to keep doing every time you get groceries.. don’t do it!  Designate a spot for your cereal boxes all together in your pantry/cupboard and line them up.  Done!  Something you can easily maintain.  (I’m talking to you mom.) ;)

Don’t waste too much time making decisions.  You want to move fast and get as much done as you can in the time you have.  I always say when it doubt.. donate!  Plus moving fast keeps your momentum up!

Get a good playlist ready!
 Or download a good book on audible or find some fun podcasts to listen to while you work.  Make this fun! It’s time to party!  My kind of party.  And you’re all invited.

LET’S DO THIS! 2022 is going to be a great year.


xoxo, Erin
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16 thoughts on “Get Organized Challenge/New Year essentials

  1. Happy New Year, Erin! Very excited to see this challenge. I’m going to try to do what I can for sure. With my daughters’ help, we went through ALL our boxes of Christmas items this weekend and purged what we no longer want. AND took them(my car was loaded) to the donation center yesterday. Felt SO good. I’ve been wanting to do that for years, but didn’t have the guts. I kind of want to go through the rest of the attic now, but we’ll see if my helpers will still help. LOL I don’t want to burn out, but I do want to get rid of the excess. Thanks for offering to do this challenge. I’m also thrilled for you that you get some extra time with your kiddos. I’m sure you’ll enjoy every minute! :)

    1. Thank you so much Jeanne! You are on a roll this year! That’s amazing! Best feeling isn’t it!? And so nice when the kids can help! I’m so happy you’re going to join me. This challenge can be a lot but I feel like something is better than nothing. Even if we just get one drawer organized one week that makes a difference! xo

  2. I bought a couple of vases this year similar to ones you had shown. It made taking my Christmas decor down yesterday so much easier on me to see those beautiful vases with olive branches. lol Thanks for taking the sting out taking down Christmas.

  3. You’re a strong motivator! I love beginning a new year, I love purging, I love organizing! I began last week with my closet and organized tee shirts and leggings/yoga pant type clothes that had taken over. Feels good! Last year I did my pantry which was monumental…and guess what? I’ve kept it perfectly organized for a whole year because once things are in order, it’s easy to maintain. Thanks, Erin….great post as usual😜

    1. YEA! It’s the best feeling isn’t it!? You are motivating me Holly! My closet is the space I need to tackle the most this year. It really is easy to maintain once you have a good system in place! We’ve so got this. ;) Thank you so much for your sweet encouraging words! XO

  4. Erin, I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I did it last year and it was worth it. I’m excited to clean out and get organized xoxo

  5. What I would give to have another week off after the holiday to tackle these things. It seems that I get so busy getting ready for the holiday, then take time off to relax and enjoy it with family as well as seeing all the decorations at home, then it’s all over. Monday morning comes and off I go to work. The stuff needs to be put away and I can only do that during the weekend,. Organizing would be in addition to that. It just feels overwhelming at times.

  6. I think this challenge is a Godsend!! Thank you so much!! I have gotten rid of bags and bags but have wanted to do a HUGE overhaul and decluttering and organizing and I don’t believe it can be done in just a few minutes a day because soooooo many things get in the way!! It needs huge amounts of set aside time & focus!! But I’ve struggled because I’ve found I can’t do a room in just one day either!!! So much of the daily other things also seem to trip me up … any tips to focus whole heartedly on this mission and still get the dishes done and kids all over the place & dinner made on any given day? Also, is there a way to get the tips without having Instagram? I haven’t joined yet but I’m tempted to with this challenge!! I’m reeeeeaaallly grateful to have some help and motivation and I love the idea of 9 weeks to getting it done and your thoughts about working fast to keep momentum. I can do this!! Thank you!! Also! Are you all done putting away Christmas stuff? Do you put that all away before you start the challenge or on the side as you go?

    1. YEA! I’m so happy you’re joining Catherine! Sounds like you are in the decluttering mode and ready to go! :) You can absolutely do the challenge without Instagram! I’m going to put up one blog post every Sunday with tips for the space we are working on and then you just hit it hard that week! Have you downloaded the printables? They really helps so do that if you haven’t yet! I’m putting away Christmas this week but will probably still be working on it here and there over the next couple of weeks (it takes me a while to get it all organized in my attic). Do whatever works for you! Yea.. we’ve got this! xo

  7. I am excited to be joining the challenge and can’t wait to purge. I needed motivation and someone to guide me.
    Where did you buy the food prepping containers?

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