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2010: Part of my Game Plan

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A change in my diet, and getting healthier physically, is only one of my ambitious goals for 2010 and beyond. Another major one for me is getting my home in order. I have fallen into some incredibly slack habits when it comes to daily organization and plain old cleanliness.

I used to have a good excuse: I have had years of back problems where I couldn’t even walk sometimes, so housecleaning and tidying up wasn’t close to on my radar. But as I am strengthening and healing, I truly have no excuses for letting this drag on as it has. I mean, seriously, I work 3-4 days a week, several hours in the evening. My days I have flexible hours for working on my web design work, so I can be taking some of that time to get to it! So I am forming some new habits and here is how I am doing it:


Each day I am assigning a room to myself. On that day, I can do anything I think needs to be done in there, big or small. So for instance, Mondays are Living Room days. We spend most of our time in there during a given week, and it is the first thing people see when they enter our home. So I put it right there at the top of the week so the rest of my week is spent pleasantly enjoying a clean space.

Now as I said, I can do anything big or small. So some days I will maybe do a little light dusting and fluff the throw pillows. Other days I will vacuum, sweep, mop, and organize my bins (where I keep knitting projects, current reading material, etc). This past week I finally put some holes in the walls–hanging some pretty hooks I had been meaning to install behind the door for oft-used coats to be hung. And I also went through our media cabinet, dusted, and thinned out all the clutter that had accumulated in and on it. How liberating!

Tuesdays are paperwork/home office days. Filing, banking, admin stuff for my business, cleaning my desk, refilling the printer paper trays, vacuuming, etc. Thursdays are the bathroom (ick! But someone has to do it!) or bedroom (changing sheets, vacuuming, putting away laundry, cleaning the dog’s beds, etc).

There are a few special circumstances. Wednesday is “do something” and Friday is “do nothing”. Wednesday is a day that I can choose anything I want to accomplish. So that could be gardening, leftover paperwork from Tuesday, etc–little things that didn’t make it into the other days. And Friday is “do nothing”, where I give myself permission to do nothing at all if I don’t want to. But for instance, today I am pulling everything out of the coat closet and reorganizing it. Because I WANT to, not because I have to.

My other side rule is that EVERY day is kitchen day. Chris and I have gotten more into cooking in recent months, and nothing discourages cooking more than having to clean the kitchen, or clean pots and pans, BEFORE you can get to the fun stuff! Then what happens? Ordering pizza or eating crap that is quick and doesn’t require much prep becomes the likely option; and when trying to eat better is your top priority, you want to empower yourself to make good meal choices.

So what I do is every morning when I get up, I go straight to the kitchen and put the kettle on to get some water going for my tea. While it is heating, I load the dishwasher (or unload it and then load it, as needed). In the meantime, the water heats, I drop my teabag into some hot water, and by the time I am done with dishes and wiping down the stove and counters, my tea is ready to go! I then go do some morning pages writing (Artist Way holdover) and drink my tea, look at my schedule/plans for the day, all before I let myself wake up the computer to check mail/FB etc. The day has barely begun and I already feel accomplished!

If I did all the dishes the night before, and there is no kitchen cleaning to do, then I do the same thing but with a load of laundry. Hit the hot water, go to the basement and fold a load, transfer, start a new load, and when I come back up I am ready to steep my tea and start my day.

That was all a longhand way of saying that I have adopted a “baby steps” attitude with my organization. I never look at a room and say “Oh my gawd, how am I ever going to get this place tidied up?” Instead I look at one or two things that I can do right now, today, in usually as little as 15-30 minutes, and in the long term it adds up to one very lovely and clean room, and in turn a clean and welcoming home. Removing the clutter and chaos is having an invigorating effect on me, and it makes me want to do more because it feels so rewarding! I just keep reminding myself: I don’t have to do it all. Just *something*. And more often than not it snowballs into getting more done than I even planned in the first place.

I still have a long way to go, but in the month or so since I started, I have been sticking to my plan and even going at it with gusto, and am feeling really motivated to keep it up! And frankly I can’t wait for spring when I can tune even more of this energy onto our yard projects that have been on hold over the winter, and looking forward to our season of parties and entertaining that Chris and I so love.

Anyway, wanted to share what this girl is doing with her 2010 energy (Tenergy!)! What about you guys? What are you manifesting in your world right now? Any inspirations? Frustrations?

POSTSCRIPT
The image I used at the top of this page ended up being on a blog where the author was writing about nearly the exact same subject as me! Coincidence! FATE! Here is her list of plans for her week:
Thyme at Home

She also includes links to several other sites on the same topic:
http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/cleaninglists.htm <—this one is INTENSE. Not my style, but maybe inspiring for someone. http://www.housecleaning-tips.com/house-cleaning-schedule.html
http://tyrashow.warnerbros.com/blog/images/queen_of_clean.jpg

Shay
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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

Shay
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