As I’ve stated in a previous post, my home stayed cluttered and messy because I didn’t know where to start and I’d get sidetracked easily. The idea of coming up with a “cleaning plan” was uber-Pinterest-mom and not something I believed would help my situation.
After years of judging myself and my inability to keep a tidy home (and feeling inadequate and unfeminine in the process), I decided to make a plan of attack. I figured I took the time to formulate my monthly action plan and create a calendar for social media posts each month for my jewelry store and that helped me to be successful, why wouldn’t it work on a personal level?
THE VERY DAY I made a daily/weekly/monthly list of things to accomplish, I felt better. Why, you ask? Because I held myself accountable to what was on the list. When I looked back that evening and viewed each checked off action I realized if I stuck to this plan, I would have a clutter-free and tidy home in a few weeks.
My plan will not turn you into June Cleaver overnight but it WILL grant you instant gratification by accomplishing small goals while working toward the bigger picture.
One thing I learned in the very beginning of creating said action plan was not to heap on more than I could accomplish in a day. Again, I began this task while in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy. My mind says, “DO ALL THE THINGS!” but my lower back and hoo-hah muscles say otherwise.
Let’s say you made the decision to work out. If you jumped headfirst into the pool with the intention of swimming 100 laps, chances are you would not achieve that lofty goal. Stretching first and taking 30 minutes on the treadmill would be a better plan for that first week, wouldn’t you agree? It’s the same with starting a cleaning regimen in your home. Starting small will help break up the momentous task of decluttering your home and is a useful way to keep you on point instead of getting discouraged and quitting before you even get your feet wet.
So here we go. Let’s get you started. (Disclaimer: I am not a professional organizer. I know what worked for me after years of NOTHING WORKING FOR ME.) Here’s what I did:
- On Day One, I found myself in my closet at 5:15am when my husband left for work. First I took everything out. EVERYTHING. Then I dusted, vacuumed, and took a Magic Eraser to the door frame and door. I had a box for trash and a box for donations. I didn’t let ONE thing back in my closet that I didn’t absolutely adore or have some sort of affinity for. Some things were hard to decide on, for sure, but I wanted that free feeling I knew I would get from decluttering. If I asked myself, “Would I buy this if I was at the store today?” and the answer was “No.” then out it went. I cleaned out old purses and found $34. I organized my closet by type of clothing and color. When I was done (seriously 3 hours later), I stood in the midst of my closet and preened like a mother-trucking peacock. I accomplished a goal and it felt AWESOME. I couldn’t wait to start on another task the next day.
- On Day Two, I was back up when the rooster crowed and decided to tackle the room outside my closet… the dreaded bathroom. I took everything out of the cabinets and drawers and had a mega-throwing-away-party. I decided I wasn’t going to feel guilty throwing away unused products because I WAS ORGANIZING MY LIFE. I took everything off the countertops and cleaned my little heart out while listening to music. I scrubbed the sinks, mirrors, toilets, shower and tub. I swept and mopped. Again, about 3 hours later, I was rewarded with a sparkling room and two kitchen size trash bags full of stuff we hadn’t used for YEARS.
- On Day Three I decided I was going to try a schedule to keep me on task. I sat my tail down and devised a weekly cleaning plan that sounded like something I could handle. Here’s a generic list that I created for my friends. If you’d like me to tweak it for you, send me an email and I’d be glad to do so.
Since those first few days, I realized that I had the energy and the drive to be a good steward of my home. I began working from my weekly list and have seen exceptional results in both my pride and family life. Perhaps it’s the fact that I just feel better about myself but I feel like the relationship between me and the hubs is just a bit sweeter.
I truly believe if you take the huge goal of getting your home in order and break it into chunks, you will accomplish more, faster.
CHAR’S TIP OF THE DAY: Make your bed every morning. Yes, with the fancy pillows. Each time I walk into my room and see this:
I get energized and a sense of pride wells up. It’s a good feeling.