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April's Challenge: Conquering the "Stashes"

Ahhhh, April.... The month traditionally known for spring cleaning. Usually, the cleaning involves stuff that people can see and appreciate. Stuff like windows and shutters, baseboards and blinds, patios and flower beds. Nah, we're not going to do that to you (yet).

This month, we'll tackle the things that people don't typically see but if they could, it might just horrify you.

This is a multi-faceted challenge, so get ready to run from room to room. This month, you'll need to:

- Take out your wallet and get it organized. Yeah, we know you have receipts you don't need in there. Business cards you'll never use, expired coupons and scraps of paper on which you wrote things that you'll never need.

- While you're in the general vicinity, look in that handbag. Have you ever seen such a mess? How did all those grocery lists pile up like that, and how long has thatgranolabar been in there? Oh, did you find the water bill? Pay it, then file it. Get the handbag organized!

- Most of us have other bags, too. Gym bags, travel bags, diaper bags, pool bags, beach bags, etc. If you do, it's Time to go through all of them and make sure you have only what you need in there.

Oh, we're not done yet. No sirree...... Now we're moving on to the dreaded junk drawer(s). Doesn't everyone have one (or four)? If not, we hate you. If so, you can guarantee there are things in there that shouldn't be, and probably some things that aren't there that should be. I always go to the junk drawer for a pen when I'm on the phone and someone who is dictating something that I need to write down, for instance. Common sense would tell me to take the pen off the refrigerator or run to my desk and grab a pen, but noooooo - the junk drawer is the first place I check, and I never find a pen there. Go figure.

- Some people, so I've been told (wink, wink), have junk drawers in the kitchen, living room, office and bedrooms. Hard to believe, but apparently, it is so. Wherever your junk drawers are, and no matter how many you have, you must sift through them and organize them in a manner fit for a junk drawer. You may even want to combine them. I hope you find a winning lottery ticket while you're at it.

The prize package is looking pretty good, no?

January: A wreath-storage unit, Christmas Card Register and Gift Wrapping Station

February: A $50 gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond, a $25 gift card to Bath & Body Works and a beautiful, monogrammed cosmetics case

March: An XM Satellite Radio and a box of Car Cleaning Wipes

A departure from the norm here, I'm not going to post a photo of the prize this month because the winner may get a choice in the matter, but I can tell you what it will be. Why it's a lovely, new handbag, of course. And not just any old handbag. It'll be special!

Rules are here.

Sheesh, can it get any easier than this?

Your challenge starts now, and ends on April 30.

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