How to Set Organizational Goals | Day 2: 30 Days to Less of a Hot Mess

Welcome to the 30 Days to Less of a Hot Mess Challenge! We’re decluttering, reorganizing and taking a breath of fresh air to create a home we love. If this is your first time at the challenge, you may want to start here at the beginning.


Now that we’ve defined our why, we need to set achievable, yet challenging goals for decluttering. This step is equally as important as defining your why, because it will give you the action plans behind what you’re doing.

10 Ways to Customize Your Home on a Budget Guide Button

Goals will help you be inspired, decisive and focused when you’re going through the 18th drawer and ready to throw in the towel.

There are several things you need to do when making goals:

  1. Make S.M.A.R.T. goals, which means they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Just saying, “I want to declutter my home” won’t be enough!
  2. Write them down.
  3. Put them where you can see them.

Post them right there alongside your why statement, or even write them on the same paper!

I love to make goals at the beginning of every year, because I find that when I write them down and post them where I can see them, they become a part of me. And even if I’m not always intentional about them, just the fact that I wrote them down and posted them, I find that at the end of the year, they have seeped their way into the corners of my life and home. Some links in this post are affiliate links for your convenience. 

How to set organizational goals

Some sample S.M.A.R.T. goals for decluttering you home might include:

  1. Give away 20 items of clothing to the local thrift store.
  2. Eliminate 2 storage boxes from the closet. Throw away, donate and consolidate until 2 boxes are empty. I like to do this when I need to purchase a new storage box. I’ll do my best to eliminate the stuff from 1 in order to keep thinks in check.
  3. Donate any piece of clothing that doesn’t fit.
  4. Get rid of 25 books.
  5. Sell 5 pillow covers.

You get the idea!

Here were my goals for decluttering this month (and forever 😉 ):

  1. Have ONE place for paper in my home. I wanted to eliminate all of the various places that I tend to keep the eleventy-bajillion papers that come into my home on the daily. 🙄
  2. Simplify Organization. I wanted to actually eliminate 2 storage boxes from my craft closet.
  3. Methodically declutter all 41 drawers in my home. It’s reckoning time for drawers. LOL

A little note about the KonMari method. This method is outlined in the popular book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I love this little book and the extreme perspective that Marie Kondo has on clutter. I’ll never be as clutter-free as she is, but I find that her ways work for me. They are the only thing that I’ve found to really work when it comes to eliminating the unnecessary things in my home. No, I’ll never empty out my purse when I walk in the door each day and thank it for its service, but I do appreciate her strictness in her decluttering approach. It has truly been life-changing for me!

OK, back to goal setting! I made a simple yearly goal-setting printable last year (click here). It’s an all encompassing goals sheet, but you could write your decluttering goals in the spot for your personal goals.

If you want to be a seriously nerdy goal setter like me (ha!) and really tackle your goals this year, I HIGHLY recommend the Power Sheets from Cultivate What Matters. I used them in 2018 for the first time and I was blown away by how effective they were for me to accomplish my goals and just the prep work throughout the year was so helpful for staying on track all year long! Love them!

One more thing before you start …

Before we start with the actual organizing, we need to discuss one more thing.

For this whole challenge to work, you have GOT to change your mindset about stuff.

I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to let go of things.

Why is that? I think it’s because I grew up middle class with a lot of siblings (5 brothers to be exact) and we didn’t have a ton of money or stuff. We lived in a decent home and had plenty of food and clothes, but I remember that we didn’t just have money to throw around.

Fast forward to when I got married. We were making decent money for a married couple without kids, but we were also paying off debt, which meant we didn’t have a lot of extras.

Pretty pink carnations in blue mason jars

I naturally wanted to scrimp and save everything for “just in case.” Nevermind that we hadn’t used it in more than 2 years and probably wouldn’t for the foreseeable future. But I was bound and determined to keep everything we could ever possibly use.

I had to let go of this mentality of scarcity. 

While I’m not a psychologist and I can’t delve into all of the issues surrounding the scarcity mentality, I think so many of us live in this space of “what if I throw this out and need it tomorrow??!?!” And having that “not enough” perspective lends itself to keeping way too many things in our homes.

Here’s what I tell myself when I find myself having thoughts of scarcity. I say outloud to myself: “Laura, there’s more where that came from. You can get another one tomorrow if you need it again.”

So what if you haven’t used your hot glue gun in 5 years? Set it free and I promise you that next week you won’t even remember what you let go. And if you do need to use it again someday, ask a friend or neighbor if you can borrow one. It’ll be fine! (P.S. The likelihood that you’ll need something that you haven’t used in years is slim.)

The Messy Work: Today I want you to write down your goals and post them where you can see them regularly.

Tomorrow we’ll be talking about organizing your daily schedule! See you then!

In the mess with you, Laura

More Favorite Posts You Will Love:


Similar Posts


  1. Hi I joined your Hot Mess declutter program. Paid for the download 2 times and never received anything. It keeps blocking me out. I only received Day 1 and Day 2 of organizing. Can you fix this for me to get the downloads and program. It was February 5-6,2019. Thank you Debby Sansone

    1. Hi Debby, I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this, but I sent you an e-mail with the downloads and a refund for your double purchase! xo, Laura

  2. Advice, please. 9 years ago my husband and I had health issues and moved all of our “stuff” into storage and moved into a 36 ft. RV. We did not get rid of anything and it isn’t practical to go through it while it’s in storage. We have a house in our future and need to know if we should go through things as we take them from storage or just put everything in the garage and go through them later. I’m favoring the first idea (but need opinions) because 1. there may be critters in the boxes after 9 years and 2. I know a lot of stuff will never get gone through. Thanks for your help.

  3. WOW!! I never thought of the ‘scarcity’ mindset. But it does explain a lot of people’s need to ‘keep things just in case’. I let go of just about everything and live very simply now and I have more abundance than I ever had. I have more focus on God and all that he provides for me. What a true blessing to rid your junk.

    1. Yes!!!! Exactly! There is always more where it came from and the abundance you feel and freedom you have when you let go of all of the stuff is amazing!!

  4. Thank you. I’ll use this list for 2018. I seriously need it. get off the computer (like I spend so much time online 5 or 6 hours a day) so YES things have piled up around me. I’ve allowed it..and I need to allow myself liberation from it.

  5. This really resonated with me. I was neglected as a child and I think that I hoard and overspend in response to that. My house is cluttered and messy at the moment which causes me stress but also deep down I find comforting on some level. But on the other hand I feel more peaceful when I manage to get on top of things and feel strongly about living a life more minimal. I also think there is some self sabotage at play.
    It’s a huge internal conflict that has taken me years to realise and only just start working on. Thank you for providing the links…a few more steps to the life I want for me and my family. I have identified my aim and set my goals. And even if I relapse again I know I am on the right road and not the only one 🙂

    1. Hi Angelina, I know that clutter can influence our minds and hearts in a big way, so your story is so valid. It’s all such a mental place to be. I struggle, struggle, struggle with letting things so. I have to mentally struggle to force myself to let some things go. I’m not sure quite why, but I know there’s probably a reason in there.

      And you should know that decluttering is such a journey – a never-ending journey. So yes, progress should be celebrated!! Cheering you on!

      xo, Laura

  6. Last year I moved into a house 1/3 the size of where i had lived for 15 years, and getting rid of things was necessary. It was hard at first, but I quickly gave in and became quite motivated. It has been the best thing to have a small house with space still left on my shelves! It’s like I am traveling through life much lighter. And I can always repurchase an item if I need to.

    1. I love your perspective, Randi! I’m finding that my perspective on my house has changed since decluttering. Before I was on the hunt for a bigger house since my stuff just obviously didn’t fit. Now that I’ve thrown so much out, I am loving my home again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *