4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Days 6-9

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I’ve been supremely slacking in following up with this challenge! I find it’s easier for me to tackle a few days’ worth of projects together, but I’m working on spacing them out a little every day so I don’t get overwhelmed. One of my goals this week is to catch up on this challenge!

Complete a 15-minute pickup of main living areas

My main living areas are becoming less and less of a problem with clutter. I’ll be also focusing this time on the master bedroom as well.

Day 6 – Clean out your vehicle

I try to keep my car clean as best as I can, but it still can use a good cleaning every now and then. I was SHOCKED at how much debris there was on the floor of my car! It’s soooo much cleaner now that it’s been vacuumed and washed!

ahhh... so pretty!

ahhh… so pretty!

bag of stuff to leave the car!

bag of stuff to leave the car!

Day 7 – Wipe down all the baseboards in your home

Day 8 – Wipe down all the door handles in your home

Day 9 – Wipe down all the light switch plates in your home

Find 7 things to get rid of
(These are from my car)

  1. 2 textbooks
  2. 5 old maps
  3. 1 tub of lotion
  4. 1 takeout menu
  5. 1 expired coupon

We spent 2-3 hours on Sunday clearing out the future nursery. Lots of stuff got thrown out, moved to storage, and given away. I have no idea how many things there were, but it was more than 7.

Did you complete last week’s tasks? How’d it go?

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Days 4 & 5

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Sorry I’m a bit late on this post! Better late than never. 🙂

Complete a 15-minute pickup of main living areas

I completely missed these days and only did the daily tasks. Oops! My main living areas are getting to be less and less of an issue. Hooray! This week I’ll be focused on picking up the master bedroom, too.

Day 4 – Move furniture & vacuum underneath

Yuck.

Yuck.

Day 5 – Clean your couches

Since I can’t move furniture due to pregnancy, I had to wait for the weekend to finish these tasks so my husband could help. While he had the couches moved, I vacuumed and mopped underneath. I also cleaned the baseboards behind the couches since that’s on the task list for this week! I still need to move the bed and TV stand to get everything good and clean underneath, but that will probably wait until next weekend.

photo 4

And a photobomb from Pippin…

photo 3

Find 7 things to get rid of

I found a few random things under the couches. They’ve at least been dealt with!

photo 2

  1. A pack of tissues
  2. A felt foot for furniture
  3. Disposable protective eye wear for after a visit to the eye doctor
  4. A cat toy
  5. Broken pieces of an outlet
  6. A recipe
  7. 2 pennies

Did you complete last week’s tasks? How’d it go?

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 1

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I’m back with my check-in from day 1 of the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home challenge!

Complete a 15-minute pickup of main living areas

I worked from 2:15-2:30 and was able to work on a few piles, put things away, and find things to get rid of!

Clean out your purse/wallet/diaper bag

I just cleaned out my purse last week, but it already needed a quick cleanup!

The before/after doesn’t look much different, but I did find 5 of my 7 things to get rid of. I also put several things back where they belonged (loose change, etc.).

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Before

 

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Yuck!

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After

 

Find 7 things to get rid of

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  1. 3 receipts
  2. An informational handout I don’t need anymore
  3. An appointment card (which is already scheduled in my phone)
  4. A frequent buyer card I haven’t used in a year
  5. The key to my old car club that I don’t have anymore
  6. A hat from my husband’s work before the company changed names
  7. A tablecloth we haven’t used for over a year
  8. A set of 3 headbands
  9. A brand new pen
  10. A clutch purse I’ve only used once
  11. An old timecard for a temp agency we never worked for
  12. An expired sweepstakes card
  13. 1 magazine (not pictured)

Wahoo! I was able to get rid of way more than I originally planned!

Have you done today’s tasks yet? How’d it go?

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Intro

Nesting – this crazy hormone that’s driving me to:

clean all the things cook all the things organize all the things plan all the things stockpile all the things

do all the things

 

Seriously. It’s ridiculous.

When I found out I was pregnant, I started decluttering the main areas of the house. We’ve now got quite a lot of junk crammed into our storage area, much of which is destined for a future yard sale. I abhor piles of clutter, so I’ve been doing well with upkeep of organization. Other than the nursery, I don’t have many large projects on my radar yet, but my home is still not as organized as I’d like it to be. There’s still too much STUFF.

Enter the “4 Weeks to a More Organized Home” challenge. I’d been planning on starting this months ago, and now I finally have the time to tackle this head on! The appeal of this challenge is how simple it is.

5 days a week, this is what needs to get done:

  • Complete a 15-minute pickup in the main living areas
  • Do the daily task
  • Find 7 things to get rid of

That’s it! Of course, if you’re not in the habit of making weekly goals, planning out your day, or following a routine, there are tips on how to begin each of those each day as well. During the next 4 weeks, I’m going to be following this challenge. My plan is to post each weekday afternoon with the day’s task and my progress.

By the end of the challenge, my goals are:

  • To continue to build a habit of daily cleaning
  • To accomplish each task for the day & blog about it
  • To have a sizeable pile for a yard sale at the end of the challenge
  • To cultivate a sense of peace, simplicity, and beauty in my home

Want to follow along? Download the free checklist from Money Saving Mom, print it out, and start today!

Check back later today for my Day 1 update!

10 Weekly Goals

I’m still recovering from my blogging hiatus over the last few weeks. My hours at work have been cut back as of this week, so I have some more time to dedicate to blogging.

I need to get back to my weekly goals. They keep me motivated throughout the week so I don’t just eat gallons of ice cream while watching Friends or take naps all day.

Since I haven’t posted my goals in a while, I’m starting with a fresh slate. I’m focusing on progress, not perfection.

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Plan a freezer cooking day
  4. Sign up for a childbirth class

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 4 days
  3. Schedule a dental appt

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 2 blogs
  2. Finish my BeachBody coach training
  3. Read 1 chapter of Drama Ministry

What are your goals for the week?

 

10 Weekly Goals

I did much better with my goals overall this week.

I’m really enjoying Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Gary Chapman. I already want my husband to read it, too. The Color of Tea is interesting, but it’s not omg-i-need-read-it-all-today good. I did start Drama Ministry this week, but since it’s for my drama leadership training, I’m taking it slowly.

I was able to begin a daily cleaning routine this week. I plan on reporting back on it later this week. I worked on cleaning out the nursery for about 4 days this week. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes! Now I’m only waiting on my husband to take a load of stuff out to storage before I’ll have room to move around in there again. I did get rid of a huge box of books, several DVDs, and two large boxes of clothes. It’s coming along! We haven’t fixed the broken dresser drawer yet because the wood glue and clamps are lost somewhere in the nursery. It will happen soon, but probably not this week.

I slacked in my water goal because I forgot to track my intake on my app. I’m hoping to do better this week. I didn’t get out to go walking this week, but I did go to an extra Zumba class and had some unexpected work tasks to do that involved a lot of walking up and down stairs this week. So even though I didn’t WALK, I did exercise 4 days this week.

These next few weeks are going to look a little different for me. My boss is on a business trip, so I’m only working a few days at the office. I’m going to attempt to start doing some freelance work in writing/editing with my extra time.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 2 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  5. Begin a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 2x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Color of Tea

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  4. Continue with daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Read Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Follow my exercise plan for the week

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Spend at least 5 hours working from home
  3. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Color of Tea

What are your goals for the week? Do you have any tips for starting freelance work as a writer/editor?

How I’m Building a Daily Routine

grocery-list

I have always been a list maker. I LOVE lists. I love having notebooks in which to write my lists. Some people like to use their smartphones for this. I do that, too, but only after I’ve worked out my list on paper. I think and process things better if I’ve got a piece of paper that I can write all over. Lists make me so happy, but one of the dangers of a habitual list-making is when I have too many lists in too many different places. It’s like I need a list of lists! Not really, but kind of.

I am also a creature of habit. I know we all are, but I really crave the simplicity of a routine. Routines are simplified by creating habits. Every year when I help my mom decorate for Christmas, I put the same decorations in the same place every year. My family likes to make fun of me for this, but it’s a habit that I’ve grown accustomed to! In reality, they always know who to ask if they can’t remember where something goes (ahem). Similarly, if you create a habit of going running every morning, after a while, you will automatically reach for your running shoes when you wake up in the morning.

Since school is no longer a part of my life, my days of driving from one place to another back to back have pretty much ceased. Sure, I still have days where I have lots of errands crammed in, but on the whole, my life is normalizing quite wonderfully. I work every week day from 7am to 12pm, but my husband doesn’t get home until close to 5pm. That’s a lot of time to where I’m left to my own devices! Sometimes I’ll take an afternoon nap, and occasionally I spend the afternoon in front of the TV (while tackling an organizing project), but as a creature of habit who wants to do more than just sit around day after day, I’ve started a new daily routine.

Each morning (or the night before), I print out a daily docket. I found a free printable from Money Saving Mom. I could use a blank notebook, but I like the structure of this one with spaces for an inspirational quote or mantra, a to do list, the top 3 most important to do items, a basic schedule for the day, dinner plans, a place to keep track of healthy habits, and a space to jot down notes that come to mind throughout the day.

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The first thing I do is write down what the dinner plan is. That way I know if I need to set out any meat to defrost. Today was a crock pot meal, so I set everything up before I left for work. I noted the items I still needed from the grocery store.

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Next, I look through my daily docket from the day before. Is there anything I didn’t accomplish? Is there anything I want/need to do again today? I import these items onto my to do list for the day.

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After that, I fill in the rest of my to do list for the day, including any meetings or appointments that I have. I put a star next to the top three most important items for my day and write those in “today’s MITs” (most important to-dos).

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Then I’ll make a list of upcoming blog posts I want to be working on. I make sure to check my old daily dockets for any ideas I may have missed.

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I take the time to jot down a quote or mantra for the day. Sometimes it’s something I find on Pinterest, and sometimes it’s just a cheesy motivational line for myself.

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I’ll put everything together in a basic schedule for the day. I write down my other to do items in my schedule because otherwise, I may not do them. This way I see them three times!

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Finally, I’ll jot down notes to myself throughout the day. In this case, my husband mentioned he needed more deodorant, so I made a note of it for when I went out to run errands today. Sometimes I’ll use this section to jot down a grocery list or just random things that I’ll probably need to add to my docket for the next day.

2014-06-18 09.43.16

It’s not perfect, nor am I. But for now, this system is working for me really well. It satisfies my crazy compulsiveness to make lists, and it provides an avenue for habits to become a routine.

Do you plan out your day in advance? Do you use paper and pencil or your smartphone? Tell me in a comment!

10 Weekly Goals

I’ve decided to move this series to Sunday in order accommodate Menu Plan Monday.

I didn’t actually accomplish many of my goals this week, yet I was still able to make some progress in planning out each day with a daily docket. I plan to post about how I plan out my days later this week.

I’m still doing well with my goal to drink more water. Unfortunately, due to some recent events in our neighborhood, I haven’t been able to get outside to walk lately. I’m still reading nearly every day, but I bounce around a lot, which might be why I haven’t finished any of the books I set out to read. I’ve adapted my reading goals to be more realistic this week.

It’s all about balance.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Declutter linen closet & bathroom cabinet
  5. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 3 blogs
  2. Read Drama Ministry

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 2 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  5. Begin a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Colour of Tea

What are your goals for the week?

 

10 Weekly Goals

Happy Monday! I’m recovering from a whirlwind trip to Southern California with my mom to visit my sister. We packed SO MUCH into this weekend. I plan to write a short weekend recap later this week.

I did pretty well on my goals for the week. I was able to cross off 70% of my goals. My biggest accomplishment was drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day! I know this might not seem like a huge deal, but I have a lot of trouble getting my water in. I started by trying to drink a certain amount while I work, and then I heard about a free app called Water Logged. I downloaded it and immediately began tracking my water intake. So far, I love it!

I also tried assigning certain organizing tasks to specific days. While it was a good idea in theory, I ended up doing different tasks on different days based on how badly I needed to organize them. It did add a sense of urgency to my to do list each day, knowing that I wanted to accomplish one organizing task each day before I left on vacation.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Finish reading A Faith Full Marriage: Building a Lifetime Love on Biblical Principles
  3. Meal planning
  4. Do a closet purge
  5. Declutter kitchen cabinets, cart, & cubbies
  6. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 3 blogs

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Declutter linen closet & bathroom cabinet
  5. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 3 blogs
  2. Read Drama Ministry

 

What are your goals for the week?

10 Weekly Goals

 

What a busy week! Between Memorial Day, graduation, party planning, and a big announcement, I’m completely wiped. I didn’t reach all of my goals this week (not even close!), but again, I’m focusing on progress, not perfection.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read A Faith Full Marriage: Building a Lifetime Love on Biblical Principles
  3. Rearrange living room, reorganize board games
  4. Declutter kitchen cabinets, cart, & cubbies
  5. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Read Joshuaand Judges
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily (I did this three days).
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Blog 2 Shakespeare recipes and Weekly Goals
  2. Read Amazing Coconut Oil, Healthy Snacks For Kids: Step-By-Step Easy And Delicious Snack Recipes, Detox Your Finances, and 47 Ways to Make $100 in a Day

 

I’ve got another list of goals for this week. I’m going to try to assign the organization tasks to specific days in my planner this week. On the other hand, I like the idea of leaving it open to work on what I want when I want. I’ll see how this goes and report  back next week.

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Finish reading A Faith Full Marriage: Building a Lifetime Love on Biblical Principles
  3. Meal planning
  4. Do a closet purge
  5. Declutter kitchen cabinets, cart, & cubbies
  6. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 3 blogs

 

Do you make weekly/daily/monthly goals? What system works best for you?