Friday, February 17, 2012

My 21-Day Challenge

Right after Christmas it all started to get to me. Those areas of the house that are neglected week after week because they're not a part of the regular cleaning schedule were becoming harder to ignore. There is the cluttered bookshelf, the sloppy linen closet, the crumbs in the corners of the kitchen drawers, the out-of-control junk drawer, and many other "areas" that would benefit from a few minutes of attention.

So, I made a list. I walked around the house and wrote down every place that needed to be weeded/organized/cleaned. Figuring about 30-45 minutes for each area, it worked about to be 21 tasks. And February has 21 weekdays. Perfect.

For those who know me, you are likely not surprised that I am LOVING this 21-day event. My idea of a perfect lazy day at home is organizing a closet. Thankfully, I have a family that keeps me balanced and encourages me often to engage in "normal" family fun activities.

There have been a few unexpected projects and just plain busy days so far this month, and a few days have not met the 'challenge.' But I'm hopeful the list will still be complete by the end of the month.

The List:
  1. the secretary desk - clean out and organize
  2. school room bookshelves - weed and organize
  3. desk drawers
  4. school room cabinets (left)
  5. school room cabinets (right)
  6. kitchen drawers - weed and organize, wipe clean... maybe vacuum those corners?
  7. kitchen cabinets - weed and organize, wipe clean
  8. kitchen cabinet doors - wipe clean
  9. fridge - weed and clean, all shelves and drawers
  10. TV cabinet - organize and weed DVDs
  11. Hannah's closet (with her help)
  12. Will and Peter's closets (with their help)
  13. medicine cabinets - clean shelves, weed, organize
  14. master bedroom closets
  15. hall linen closet - linens
  16. hall linen closet - toiletries
  17. cleaning supplies - weed and organize
  18. basement homeschool storage - what to keep?
  19. basement craft cabinet - seriously weed and organize
  20. basement home decor cabinets (vases, candles, etc) - weed and organize
  21. basement extras - bed/bath/table linens - weed and organize
Oh, and there is an added rule to this list. I will not go to The Container Store and buy stuff to organize my stuff. I will make due and be resourceful. No excuses.

Both my husband and I don't hold on to much (our basement would tell you otherwise), and we are keen on simplifying and controlling the clutter before it enters the house. Somehow it still gathers... and multiplies. I think I'll do this 'challenge' or something like it regularly - maybe twice a year - just to keep things under control. And, let's be honest, because I love it.

A couple before and after shots. I wish I had taken a picture of all that was thrown away!

before: the desk drawers
This is embarrassing. And why in the world do I have so many Sharpie markers? I found a separate box for them. So many of these items have no business being in these drawers.

after: the desk drawers

I found a few box tops in the basement to use as organizers. Yes, that is my old school address book with a rubber band holding all the stuff inside. For me, that book is simpler than entering hundreds of contacts onto the computer.

total time: 35 minutes

before: the secretary desk (by the door catch-all)
Not too bad, but again so much of that stuff doesn't belong there. And so much of it is trash.

after: the secretary desk

That's better.

total time: about 20 minutes

I'll let you know how it all ends and take a few more before and after shots (they do provide a lot of encouragement!).

Want to join me?

1 comment:

  1. Wow - that looks great! I wish I had a more of an "administrative" bent. I'd *almost* rather go to the dentist than to have to organize something.



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