Challenge: Laundry Area

Wipe up detergent spills, throw away lint bunnies, wipe down the front of your washer and dryer, and clean the floor.

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Challenge: Drawers or Cabinets

Pick one drawer or cabinet, remove all items, throw away anything unnecessary, wipe down surfaces and items, and replace items neatly.

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Challenge: Unfuck Your Couch

Take it apart as much as possible, throw away any crap that’s gotten lodged in there, vacuum the cushions and the crevices, move them around (if possible), vacuum any throw pillows.

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Challenge: Front Door

Put away everything that’s within sight when you first walk in your front door. Kicked-off shoes, abandoned jackets, random shopping bags – put them where they belong.

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Challenge: Mail Call

OH MY GOD THE PILES OF MAIL. You have ‘em. I have ‘em. They’re OUT OF CONTROL. We’re dealing with them, folks. We’re dealing with them. Those of you with paper shredders, fire ‘em up. No shredder? Get a box or shopping bag at the ready. Sort, file, shred, toss, DEAL WITH YOUR MAIL. This is a big job for many of us, so let’s go a half hour at a time (make sure your shredder doesn’t overheat,...

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Challenge: For Pet Owners

Wash out those slobbery food and water dishes, and wipe down the area where your pets get fed, including any cabinet or wall surfaces that may get accidental splatter mess. Cat people, clean out your litter box. Gather up any toys and pet-related detritus scattered around the house and put them away. Wash your pet’s bedding. It smells. Trust me.

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Challenge: Shoes

Do you have a pile of shoes somewhere? On your bedroom floor, perhaps? Or in your closet? Or just inside the door? Take 20-30 minutes and put your shoes where they belong. Either back in the boxes, on the rack, or, if you don’t have some kind of organizational system, put them together in pairs and neatly line them up. Go now. Do it now.

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Challenge: The Bathroom Underworld

Today’s mission, folks: clean out your medicine cabinet, bathroom drawers, and any other bathroom storage/shelving. Throw away anything expired, unlikely to be used, gross, or of unknown origin. Wipe down all surfaces, getting the dirt, makeup, and unidentified crud out of there. Replace everything neatly and in a way that makes sense.

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Challenge: Well, Sheet

When’s the last time you washed your sheets? Great. Now really. When’s the last time you washed your sheets? Some people are super awesome about this and have a schedule and a system and stuff, and some people kind of forget things like sheets need to be washed. No judgment here, I promise. Strip your bed (duvet cover, too, if you have one and it’s washable), and throw those suckers in the...

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Challenge: Floor Show

Take a little time and look down. Are your floors a little neglected? Maybe they’ve been visited briefly by a vacuum or a mop, but are they really clean? Even in the corners? Today’s challenge: Get your floors clean. Move furniture, get down by the baseboards, get the grubby little corners, make ‘em shine (or, you know, whatever the carpet version of shining is)! I have wacky allergies, so I...

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Challenge: Unfuck Your Files

Don’t even try to tell me your My Documents or Pictures or gif folders aren’t a complete mess. I know better. I know that things aren’t in logical folders, that they don’t have simple, descriptive names, and I know that it takes you forever to find that one thing you’re looking for. Today, pick your worst folder and unfuck it. Make sub-folders. Give things actual names. Put them where they...

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Challenge: Bag It

Your purse, backpack, briefcase, or bag is a black hole of accumulated crap right now, isn’t it? Take everything out. Throw away any receipts, papers, and trash. Remove any assorted accumulated crap that doesn’t belong in there. Shake out the dirt and crumbs, wipe out if necessary and possible. Put everything back in neatly.

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Challenge: The Great Hoovering

(That sounds dirty. It’s not. Well, it is, but only in the “actual physical dirt and dust” way.) Go ahead, grab your poor neglected vacuum cleaner and get to it. Vacuum every carpeted surface you can get to. Use your hose attachment to get into corners and hidden spots. Look up. Have dust or cobwebs? Use the hose to suck ‘em up. DUST IS THE ENEMY.

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Challenge: Find Your Damn Sink

Let’s talk dishes, people. I know they’re there. In your sink. Being gross. It’s OK. This is a big challenge, but it’s worth it. Roll up your sleeves. Grab your sponge and soap and rubber gloves, if you have ‘em. Have a clean, dry dishtowel on hand to dry with. If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, empty it if it’s clean. If not, open it up and start loading. No dishwasher? Start washing....

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Challenge: Find Your Invisible Corner

Find your invisible corner. The pile of shit that’s been there so long that it’s become part of the furnishings. It’s invisible to us because it’s been untouched for ages, but it doesn’t belong. It’s full of stuff that should be elsewhere. Find that space. And fucking deal with it.

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Challenge: Tub Time!

Spray down shower walls and tub with all-purpose cleaner. Wipe off all bottles and shelf surfaces. Throw away empty bottles, old razor blades, etc. Rinse off shower walls and tub.

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Challenge: Unfuck Your Fridge

Throw away anything expired or gross (pay special attention to condiments), wipe down all shelves and surfaces (hot water and vinegar works well and is safe for around food), the replace everything neatly. Don’t forget about the rubber seals around the door that can collect extra crud.

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Challenge: All That Junk

That’s right, folks. It’s junk drawer time. You have one. I know you do. There are screwdrivers and take-out menus and pencils and hair elastics and ketchup packets and god knows what else. Dump it, sort it, toss it, clean it, and organize it.

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Challenge: Walls? Really?

Yes. Specifically, bathroom walls. They get gross. They get hairsprayed. They get damp and mildewy. They get, well, they’re bathroom walls. Figure it out. Take 10 minutes with a rag with cleaning solution or some cleaning wipes (and if you use the strong stuff, make sure you’re wearing gloves and are working with good ventilation), and wipe down your bathroom walls. Top to bottom. As far up as...

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Freestyle Challenge: Power Half Hours

Pick one thing to unfuck. This should, preferably, be something you’ve been ignoring or avoiding for a long time. We’re going to do 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off. So: 20 minutes actively unfucking your project, AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER (but put some music on, because it helps), and then a 10-minute break. When your break is up, 20 more minutes of active unfucking, and then another 10-minute...

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