2018 Challenge: Week 1 The Kitchen

January 6, 2018


Hi Friends! Welcome to the 7th annual 2018 Home Organization Challenge. I still can’t believe we have been doing this for 7 years. Each year, the challenge just gets better and better. For new participants, welcome to our challenge. You are in for a delightful surprise.  For those returning, welcome back. Your homes will improve with each year that you participate. I’m so glad you are all taking the steps to a better new year. You won’t regret it.

We are kicking off the challenge in the kitchen. This is the most used space in the home. Not a day goes by that it doesn’t get used, so clearly it will become the most disorganized space at one point or another.  If your kitchen organization isn’t working anymore or if you don’t have zones set up to help you work efficiently, it’s time to hit the reset button and start over.  You have 7 days to complete the first challenge. Break it up into several days or take one full day to conquer it. Go with whatever works for you. Before you begin, print out the complete 14 week schedule and checklists below.

Free Challenge Kit

For the perfect companion guide to our challenge, purchase The Complete Book to Home Organization. It includes all 14 weekly challenges as well as a ton of inspiration and tips about the spaces we will be organizing. No need to log onto the computer for ideas, this manual has it all!



If you need more guidance on cleaning your house, be sure to order the sister book The Complete Book of Clean.  It has tons of tips and checklists that will teach you how to get your homes sparkling clean.



Today marks the beginning of the challenge. We will be spending the next 7 days in the kitchen. If you are new, look over the challenge details then begin working at your own pace.  For encouragement, join our Home Organization 101 Facebook community to share your progress, or struggles, or questions. Or simply look through the photos and read how others are doing.

Week #1 Checklist

  1. Clean out and organize all cabinets.
  2. Clean out and organize all drawers.
  3. Purge everything that is not used, expired, doesnt belong, collecting dust.
  4. Clean out & organize the refrigerator & freezer.
  5. Mop, wipe down cabinet doors, clean counter tops & tables.
  6. Take everything off the refrigerator door.  It makes the kitchen look messy.
  7. Clean all appliances.

The Process

  1. Clear off the kitchen table. This is your dumping grounds.
  2. Empty out all cabinets & drawers!  Place ALL items into “categories” on the table.
  3. Wipe down the cabinet doors, shelves and drawers. Add new liners if necessary.
  4. Discard (trash) old, expired, and no longer used items & food. Check the dates.
  5. Place all items that are able to fit, into baskets.
  6. Place everything back into the cabinets & drawers (in categories).
  7. Take everything off the kitchen counters and place onto the table.
  8. Wipe down the counters & backsplash with a good natural cleaner.
  9. Wipe down ALL small appliances & large ones too!
  10. Put back items you use on a daily basis, onto the counter top.
  11. Mop the floors and wipe down the table & chairs.
  12. Empty fridge/freezer. Wipe out. Put back in an organized manner.
  13. Clean and organize under the kitchen sink.

Tip: Keep all clutter off the counters at all times. If you take it out, put it away!


Our kitchen is simple and clutter free. The walls are white and the style is inviting. I’ve set up this space into zones so it will function well for our needs. Keep reading to see how I’ve organized the zones throughout my kitchen and get motivated to tackle your own this week! Good luck, I’m here to cheer you on.



DISHES.  I love using wire shelfs to add extra space when organizing dishes. If you are short on space, these are essential. You can find them in most stores or purchase here.





FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS. Toss your old mismatched plastic bowls and lids and invest in quality (and healthier) glass food containers. Once you do, organize the lids separately into ‘over the door’ baskets. They will make your life so much easier, I promise. You can find the organizers here.



OVER THE DOOR. Don’t forget about organizing over the cabinet doors. This is precious space in the kitchen.



SPICES & OILS.  I have a lot of spices & oils.  Keeping them organized is the key to my sanity.  Lazy susans are the way to go. You can find mine here.




SKILLETS AND PANS.  Store these feisty things in a wire kitchen organizer. You will thank me for this tip. Trust me, it has changed my life. Purchase here.



UNIQUE STORAGE. Old crocks are the perfect solution to storing kitchen utensils in and they look great too!



COMMAND HOOKS.  Command hooks are a great way to store hanging items in cabinets.




COUNTER TOP CLEANERS. Store these items on a plate near the sink. I found the plate here. This week only, get your cleaners for FREE. See details here.



UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK.  To save on space, store your most commonly used cleaners on a door rack. I cannot find the link to the exact organizer I have but this one does the same job.



THE REFRIGERATOR. Don’t forget about the refrigerator. Not only should you organize the inside, but utilize the outside for menu planning 



If you need more inspiration, here are some in depth organizing tips from my kitchen.


Take the next seven days to tackle your kitchen.  Follow the step by step process I’ve laid out for you. Make sure to set up organized zones for better functionality.  (You can find the zones I use in my book). Try not to get side-tracked and don’t move ahead until you are completely finished with the space.

Share your progress on Instagram using the hash tag #abfolchallenge, blog about the weekly challenges, and  share your before and after pictures over at my Home Organization FB group here.  Hold yourself accountable and finish all 14 challenges! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.  Good luck. I’ll see you back next week for the week 2 challenge. Happy Organizing!


Disclaimer: You may find Amazon affiliate links within this post. Thank you for your support to A Bowl Full of Lemons.

22 comments on “2018 Challenge: Week 1 The Kitchen

  1. Jalon Burton says:

    Great Post!
    Nothing like starting the year off with an organized ‘attitude’.
    You have such a beautiful site, I enjoyed looking around so much. I will be back soon. Have a wonderful day
    Happy New Year!

  2. Aimee says:

    Thank you for hosting this amazing challenge. It has given me permission to move items in new locations that work better with my current life flow. This has given me focus. My mind wants to work on the all the rooms at the same time and I keep saying that time will come let’s focus on the kitchen. I am already finding more ease and peace in my home. Thank you for your ideas and your beautiful accessible site. I am grateful for your work. Congrats on the book it is so easy to put those concepts into play and not overwhelming at all. Just wanted to say that this challenge is changing my world.

  3. Cami says:

    Where did you find your spray bottles for your homemade cleaners? I like the plain white.

  4. Corlin says:

    So excited about this challenge.

  5. Karen Kershner says:

    Where do you get your bins for the fridge? Im wanting to do that for ours and liking the color 🙂

  6. Jamie says:

    Where do I find the water bottle organizer? We constantly struggle!

  7. Karen says:

    Love your site! Your such an inspiration for an organized house 🙂 I just have one question which is where did you get your baskets in your fridge?

  8. Kathy M Scherlitz says:

    Will you be making more video’s for Youtube?

  9. Tiffany says:

    Where on earth did you get that stemware shelf? I love it and can’t find one anywhere.

  10. Stacy says:

    What do you have on your refrigerator shelves? Where can I find them?

  11. Julie says:

    I organized most of my kitchen. I need to reorganize my spices. My spices are stored in a cabinet with a large lazy susan inside. I’m still in the process of trying to find something that works the best for my spices. I just haven’t found it yet. I like your idea of the two small lazy susans. The other thing I’m looking for in my kitchen is a ceramic container to store my new knives I got from Christmas. I don’t want them in a drawer for little hands to get after.

  12. Connie says:

    I live in Canada, do you know where I can find fridge coasters other than amazon.ca?

  13. Daisy says:

    Yup… I need some kitchen organizing tips.. But first I have to clean it really good…:))

  14. Fauve van Maanen says:

    What a fun challenge. Can you tell me where you got the labels/tags for your spray bottles?

  15. Felicia says:

    Where did you find the bowl for the kitchen sink caddy.

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