Sunday, February 20, 2011

A little cleaning update

Yes, already.  Before I've even really begun to tackle the list.  Last night, I wrote about the little (sort of big) plan I have for getting our condo (and my brain) back under control.  I function much better when my home is a clean and organized place, and the results of three weekends out of town are starting to weigh on me.  And what better time to take back control than a three day weekend?

While yesterday was spent with the requisite lounging around, today brings a renewed sense of focus.  I work best with deadlines and goals, even if they are all self-imposed.  Perhaps especially if they're self-imposed, because then the onus is all on me.  I thought I'd share a little of this process here, because it can be overwhelming to look at a long list of to-do's with nobody telling you how to tackle it, and maybe someone out there in blogland needs a little push.  So here's how I sorted things for this weekend; maybe this example will help someone else who's trying to knock out a long list on a long weekend.

Saturday: Lay around all day. Get some rest so I feel like I'm up to the task of cleaning. Note: laying around all day staring at the mess also helps with the motivation to clean.  Start some laundry, since that's something that can be done while (mostly) laying around.  This lounge day also helps me to figure out what I need in terms of groceries, cleaning supplies, etc - and to really get a handle on what I want to accomplish.  Write a blog post talking about what I want to do, to put it out there and make it public. Sometimes I'll also just write it on a piece of paper and put it somewhere where I can see it.

Sunday: Try to sleep in a little since I didn't manage to do that yesterday. Wake up, eat something and turn my list into a schedule.  Schedules are easier to accomplish than lists! It's all about setting achievable goals and deadlines.  Here's what I came up with for today, as of 11:43am:
  • Start a load of towels (done)
  • Spend an hour straightening up and cleaning - take recycling down to garage, empty dishwasher, take care of lots of little things that will make a visual difference
  • Go to Homeroom for lunch with friends (a reward for a solid hour of work)
  • Work for a couple more hours - tackle dining room table, coffee table, TV area
  • Get a pedicure, go to Trader Joe's (a reward for a couple more hours of work) - it helps to make an appointment for the pedicure so I have a clear stop-work/take-a-break time.
  • File things in my file cabinet, a task I've put off for months.  This should take care of my "Hers" pile of mail, etc. as well, so all that will be left is Will's pile.
  • See what else I feel up to doing tonight, if anything.
  • Watch a cheesy movie, preferably a chick flick.
Monday: is not as structured, because some will depend on how much happens today.  I'll revisit today's list tonight to see what needs to go down tomorrow.  Here's what I have for now:
  • Wake up by 10am, eat breakfast, make sure things are ready for Super Secret Project, which is happening at 11. 
  • Sort through pile next to dining room table
  • Sort through "the island" in the bedroom
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Hang out with a friend, possibly while I'm sorting through things.  If you have friends who are willing, chatting while cleaning makes the job more fun!  :)

And that's it!  I'm no expert, but this is generally what works for me.  Happy weekending!


  1. Well, one good idea that my principal has and put in place (she is probably the most organized person I know) is that she bought two cute rectangular baskets about 5" deep and 10" long and mounted them to the wall above her desk. Each one has a little wooden letter (first letter of his/her name) and she puts all the papers, mail etc into either her or her husbands basket. End clutter! I thought this was a very cute and creative way to sort mail and papers.

    She also has a super big bulletin board that has organized sections.

    This article is also good: It sounds sort of like what you are doing.
    I am proud!

  2. I have been trying to get my house organized this year. So far, I'm not doing as well as I hoped:)