For the past few weeks, I’ve been participating in a very exciting program called:
To participate, all I had to do was create a list of 52 organizing projects or habits that need to be done or developed around my home, and then tackle one project per week for the year. Piece of cake… creating the list, that is. I could think of 52 things that needed to change just in the room where I am sitting right now!
So I made my list and got started!
If this sounds like a cool idea to you, it’s never too late to get started. You can get a free copy of this cute list at orgjunkie.com.
Thus far in the challenge, I have checked the following projects off my list:
- linen closet
- dining room table
- kitchen island
- the kids’ Legos
- the pantry
- the coffee table drawers
This week, I vowed I would chose a project from my list that required I spend NO money, that I could do in an hour or less, and that was IN MY FACE all the time. Having a clean drawer and pantry is all well and good, but most people can’t see those things when they come to visit. If you were to ring my doorbell right this minute and I was startled (or drunk) enough to invite you in, you would see some crazy sh*t, believe you-me. And you’d judge me immediately and would be out the door before I had the chance to say “But wait! My pantry is SO CLEAN!” Or, “I know this looks really bad, but you should see my kids’ Legos!” Or, “But I know where every single DS cartridge in this house is!”
So before I get thrown in a padded cell or my kids get taken away from me while they film the next episode of Hoarders! Buried Alive!, I thought I should just suck it up and tackle one of my “hot spots.” And by hot spot, I don’t mean my swollen middle toe that has been throbbing for three days, possibly due to a flesh eating fungus. No, I mean an area of my house that is an honest-to-goodness dumping ground. There are many to choose from, actually, but I picked the one that is the most IN MY FACE: the window sill above my kitchen sink. Take a gander, my pretties:
Oh yeah. Soak it in. What a visual cornucopia of CRAP. Just in case you can’t really make out all the fascinating goodies that have been randomly dumped here over the past few months, let me just point out some of the highlights for your viewing pleasure.
Perhaps we would have remembered to break the Thanksgiving wish bone if it hadn’t gotten buried behind so much other crap.
“Hail Mary full of grace, please protect me from my husband’s extreme flatulence and the creepy Pez Dispensers that won’t stop staring at my boobs.”
And there was more random stuff… some jewelery (Fair Trade!), some rogue coins, a Tooth Fairy Bag. You get the point… this is a dumping ground for lots of small things. Have I mentioned that I have a dog with an eating disorder and a very mischievous 3 year old son who likes to stick things in my computer ports? Also, I’m a bit on the lazy side. There, I said it.
Anyhoooo… using the tips and tools I found on Orgjunkie.com, I followed the PROCESS for organizing my space:
P – plan your attack
R – remove items from the space
O – organize stuff into piles; sort and purge
C – containerize
E – evaluate your plan
S – solve and simplify
S – smile, relax, and enjoy your hard work
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Plan – yep, got one: gonna put my sh*t away and try not to let it get like this again.
Remove items – easy. Just moved it all to the counter below the sink and to the left.
Organize/Sort/Purge – this is the step I always get stuck on. If I knew how to purge, I wouldn’t have spaces like this in my house, now would I? But enough with the excuses already. I divided all the stuff I removed from the window sill into piles: like with like.
Then I put on some KC and the Sunshine Band and shook shook shook my booty as I ran around and put things away where they really belonged. Did I actually purge anything? Yes indeedy! I got rid of 7/8ths of those old medicine cups and the burned out light bulb. Big whoopdie-do. Everything else had real homes though.
Next step – containerize. Didn’t really need to do that here. Next!
Evaluate plan? Okay. Now here is where I had my big AHA moment. I bet I’ve been cleaning this kitchen sink window sill off every two months or so since we moved in 7 years ago. But it always seems to go back to being a dumping ground, so how could I end this cycle and keep it clean once and for all?
I needed to change my habits.
So I started doing the Org Junkie “10 minute tidy” at the end of each day, paying special attention to the window sill. I found myself policing that sucker like a new mother protecting her two day old panda cub. Every time my husband would put something there, I would be there like white on rice to say “Um, excuse me, but where does this really belong?” It was incredible. What a shift in thinking. Maintaining this little space everyday was surprisingly easy once all the clutter was gone!
Solve and simplify? Yes and yes. The simplifying was my favorite part. By removing all the clutter and putting away all the things that had real homes, I could decorate the space with the one or two things that REALLY matter to me, like my Blessed Lady of Guadalupe statue and a rock my friend gave my daughter that says “love.” I could also easily clean all the water spots off the window. Bonus!
But the solving was an important key as well. I created a “coupon bag” to hang on the fridge as a catch all for coupons that my husband and I cut out on the fly. Now there is a real home for coupons and they won’t end up on the window sill.
And finally, smile, relax, and enjoy your hard work:
This last step, the smiling and enjoying part, is much easier to do when your hard work lasts longer than one hour. So just to show you how hard I’ve been working to keep this former “hot spot” clean, here’s the same shot, taken 8 days later:
And THAT, my friends, is how a lazy mama like me changes a habit in 8 short days! Let’s just compare that before and after again, shall we?
Well, that’s one more thing to cross of my list! Yeee-haw! Tune in next Friday to see if I can keep this motivation going and tackle my desk. I’ll also keep you posted about my progress with changing my habits and keeping the clutter at bay.
Off to do my 10 minute tidy!
© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.