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The Hot Spot Challenge: clear your biggest clutter catches and find ways to keep them clutter-free this week!I don’t know about you, but with all the holiday happenings, my hot spots have been blazing out of control. What’s a hot spot you say? FLYLady would tell you it’s a place in your home where you tend to drop things and run. Unless you regularly clear these places or devise a plan for keeping them clear, you can have a hot mess. In just a few simple steps this week, we’ll take care of our hot spots.

#1 List all hot spots; identify the worst

With your family, make a list of all the places where stuff tends to accumulate. In our home, that’s our entry way, dining room table, upstairs landing, and entrance to the storage area. Right now the worst is the entrance to the storage area.

#2 Clear a hot spot & prevent it from heating up again

Work on your worst hot spot today. Declutter it and clean it. Teach the kids where to put items. Our dining room often becomes a hot spot because the kids don’t know where to put the mail that is often left there. I have been teaching them to put it in my mail slot in my kitchen. Problem solved. Need ideas for managing paper clutter? Be sure to read my advice on Davonne Parks’s blog.

How can you prevent it from becoming a mess again? I have two suggestions. First, come up with a practical way to collect the clutter. For example, I repurposed a toy chest into a place for winter coats in my entryway. The kids don’t want to take the time to hang them, so I accepted that and allow them to stuff them out of sight. Do you need a basket to collect items that can be sorted later? Ask the kids and your spouse what would work and give it a try. You can also find great hot spot prevention ideas on my Organized Homeschool board on Pinterest.

You can always evaluate the success of your first effort at controlling the hot spot later and try something else if need be.

The second suggestion I have is to make clearing the hot spot a chore that is done once or twice a day. Our entryway is assigned as a chore twice a day, for example, and these two suggestions have kept the area from becoming a disaster.

#3 Clear another hot spot & prevent it from heating up again

You guessed it. Now that you’ve addressed your biggest hot spot, move on to the second biggest.

#4 Clear another hot spot & prevent it from heating up again

Now you’re a pro. Clean a third hot spot and determine a way to keep it clean.

Do you have any hot spot dilemmas? Areas that you just can’t seem to keep free of clutter?

Follow Dr. Melanie Wilson @psychowith6’s board Organized Homeschool on Pinterest.

Here is the December 2014 printable Organized Homeschool calendar and a list of previous challenges:

December 2014 Organized homeschool calendar

Organized Homeschool Challenge

Week 1: Daily Devotions Challenge

Week 2: Daily Routine Challenge

Week 3: To-Do List Challenge

Week 4: Memory Keeping Challenge

Week 5: The Decluttering Challenge

Week 6: The Organized Computer Challenge

 Week 7: The Marriage of Your Dreams Challenge

Week 8: The Confident Parent Challenge

Week 9: The Extended Family Challenge

Week 10: The Bring on the Spring Challenge

Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge

Week 12: The Organized Easter Challenge

Week 13: The Serve the Church Challenge

Week 14: The Chore Challenge

Week 15: The Organize Your Finances Challenge

Week 16: The Curriculum Challenge

Week 17: The Friendship Challenge

Week 18: The Family Celebrations Challenge

Week 19: The Organized Clothing Challenge

Week 20: The Organized Vacation Challenge

Week 21: The Organized Summer Challenge

Week 22: The Outdoor Activity Challenge

Week 23: The Used Curriculum Challenge

Week 24: The Homeschool Space Challenge

Week 25: The Goal Setting Challenge

Week 26: The Homeschool Planning Challenge

Week 27: The Bible Time Challenge

Week 28: The Special Study Prep Challenge

Week 29: The Extra-Curricular Challenge

Week 30: The Core Curriculum Prep Challenge

Week 31: The Elective Curriculum Challenge

Week 32: The Back to School Challenge

Week 33: The Fall Bucket List Challenge

Week 34: The Organized Bedroom Challenge

Week 35: The Clean Out the Pantry Challenge

Week 36: The Meal Planning Challenge

Week 37: The Grocery Shopping Challenge

Week 38: The Organized Kitchen Challenge

Week 39: The Freezer Cooking Challenge

Week 40: The Hospitality Challenge

Week 41: The Blog or Business Challenge

Week 42: The Hobby Challenge

Week 43: The Charity Challenge

Week 44: The Thanksgiving Challenge

Week 45: The Christmas Plan Challenge

Week 46: The Christmas Decorating Challenge

Week 47: The Christmas Shopping Challenge

Week 48: The Home Ec Challenge