Clear the Hotspots Challenge Day #2 (Kitchen)


Are you joining me for our 5 Day Hotspot Challenge this week? WELCOME to Day #2!

Here’s everything you need to know about this challenge:

  • Each day this week, we’ll be tackling one hotspot in our home. If you want to join us, GO HERE to sign up and I’ll email you the schedule.
  • Every morning, I will send you an email (and post here on KOAB) the details of that day’s challenge area. If you want to tackle something else, feel free. But I think it’s pretty fun and motivating to be doing the same thing as more than 250 other people!
  • Every evening, I will send you a follow-up email, detailing the progress I made in my challenge area — and asking you to share your success story (or struggles – that’s okay, too!).
  • Don’t worry if you didn’t start with us on Monday. You can just jump in whenever, and catch up next week on the other days’ challenges.

Today’s challenge is the kitchen. 


No, not the whole kitchen! (No way could you do that in 20 minutes, right?) Rather, choose the “Achilles heel” of your kitchen – that spot that is the worst clutter magnet.

For me, I’m focusing today on our “back kitchen”. This overflow kitchen is part-pantry, part-Pesach kitchen, and part-laundry. It’s also a huge mess – as you can see from my exceedingly candid (😂) photos.

Rather than tackling the whole room (there is WAY too much to do in just 20 minutes!), I am going to focus on my energies on the cupboard that holds our pantry and appliance storage (top left picture). Wish me luck!

The goal today is to CLEAR the clutter, ORGANIZE what remains, and find a place to CONTAIN the stuff that actually needs to be in/on our kitchen’s “Achilles heel”. 

So how do we begin?

You may already have your own method, but if not, here’s a reminder of my 7-step process:

#1. Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes

Working for longer than 20-minute stretches can lead to burn out. Work as quickly as you can, but don’t worry if you can’t finish all of it (or even most of it). One success leads to the next success, so if you make progress in these first 20 minutes, you’ll be so much more motivated to set a timer & tackle your hotspot again in the future.

#2. Define the Zone

Decide which cabinet, cupboard or counter you are going to focus on – and stay focused only there. Once that hotspot is 100% cleared, you can always turn your attention to another area. But for now, don’t be the mouse in the book, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie. Instead, I want you to focus, focus, focus.

#3. Toss garbage / recycling

The quickest win you can get is by going through your hotspot with a garbage bag in hand and tossing alsl the garbage (be generous with your definition of garbage!). Then do the same with the recycling. If the situation is really bad, you may just want to toss the recycling into the garbage. Just this once!

#4. Declutter

Grab an empty laundry basket and toss into it  anything that shouldn’t be in the hotspot you are clearing. Clutter includes redundant items. For example, do you really need three can openers and four lid-less Tupperware containers?! Keep in mind that the goal of this step is to CULL the clutter; do not worry about organizing or “containerizing” yet.

#5. Organize

After steps 1-4, you should be left with only those items that you want to stay – somehow, somewhere – in the hotspot you’re working on.  It’s finally time to organize (YAY!). Gather like items into piles, so you can see what you have. Determine to think about the most efficient use of your space to house these items.

#6. Containerize

This is the most fun step! “Containerizing” means finding a place to store/keep/display all the stuff you just organized. This is the (second to) last step of this process for a reason: Because you can’t organize clutter. If you focus your time on buying baskets, you will still be left with mountains of garbage and clutter. Focus instead on culling what you’ve got down to what you really need (some might say what “sparks joy” 😉 ), and THEN and only then should you find a (cute) way to keep it contained.

#7. Maintain

Once your hotspot looks and functions how you want it to, it’s time to maintain it. Let’s face it: If we don’t spend 3-5 minutes on daily maintenance, we’ll revert to clutter and chaos in a matter of weeks (or days!). That’s why I put together this handy list of daily maintenance chores (those who are in the challenge already have theirs in their inbox). Sign up for the 5-Day Challenge to get your copy.

Are you ready to conquer your kitchen? I sure am! Go set your timer and let’s get to work!

P.S. Don’t forget to check off your daily maintenance tasks – especially the ones related to the landing spot, which you cleared yesterday!

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