Our House

My 2020 Word Of The Year

You know how many bloggers and Instagrammers come up with a “word of the year” at the beginning of the year? It’s supposed to be motivational and introspective and stuff. Well, I’ve never been much of one for a “word of the year.” That type of thing just isn’t really me. Until this year.

This year, I have a “word of the year.” Are you ready? Here it comes. My 2020 word of the year is…

COP

Yes, that’s right. COP. 😀 Are you feeling inspired? Motivated? Introspective?

Okay, in reality, I never meant for that to be a “word of the year.” I meant for it to be my main overarching goal for this year, and it didn’t even dawn on me until last night that I could actually make a word (or, a “word of the year”) out of this goal that I’ve been thinking about and strategizing over my end-of-the-year break. So for my word to make sense, I need to explain that this is an acronym. It would be more accurately written C.O.P. And what does that stand for?

Clean, Organize, Purge

This is my overarching goal for the year. I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago (in this post), but I spent part of my break actually coming up with a plan of action. The fact is that in past years, I’ve had the good intention of being a person who is organized and gets rid of things I don’t need. That has been my desire for several years now, but to date, it still hasn’t happened. I’m still that same messy person that I was when I was a child with a room strewn with toys and clothes to the point that the floor was barely visible.

But this year, I want to change. I want to learn new habits. I want to be a person who doesn’t panic when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. I want to be a person who can invite people over at a moment’s notice. I want to be the person who doesn’t have to explain to visitors that “I’m using this room for storage right now, but I have big plans for it in the future!” I want to be the person who doesn’t hang on to stuff that I no longer need or want when it can be of use to others.

I’m sure my plan of action will become more defined as I learn these new habits, but this is what I have for now…

My plan of action for cleaning…

If you just search “how to keep a clean house” or something similar on Pinterest, you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of guides on how to keep a clean house. I read several of them, and some of them seemed overly complicated. And the ones that focused on setting aside an entire morning (or day) once a week to clean were of absolutely zero interest to me. A whole day of cleaning? I’d rather stick a fork in my leg than spend an entire morning (or day) cleaning my house.

But the ones that stuck out for me were those that showed how to keep a clean house in 30 minutes a day.

Thirty minutes a day. That seems perfectly doable.

Practical steps I have taken and will take:

1. Give my house a deep, thorough cleaning.

I think my ongoing cleaning plan will work much better if I just spend a day or two getting the house really clean, and then maintaining it with the daily cleaning schedule. My house especially needs a deep, thorough cleaning right now since our bedrooms and hallway have been under construction for the last five weeks. Pretty much everything has a layer of dust over it. So I’ll focus on this goal today and possibly tomorrow, if needed.

2. Make a list of all cleaning chores, and divide them up into 30 minute segments.

One guide that I read was written by a woman who literally sets a timer for 30 minutes each day. When the timer goes off, she stops, no matter what. And since she has a two-story house, she spends 30 minutes on the downstairs one day, and then 30 minutes on the upstairs the next day, and then back downstairs the next day.

I’m still trying to figure out how that approach will work for me. I don’t have a two-story house, and I do have three pets who all shed. So I feel like the whole house needs to be vacuumed at least every two or three days. I’m not sure if that should all be done in one day, or if I should break the house up into two or three sections and do some vacuuming every day. I’m still trying to figure this out, and it may take some trial and error to find the method that works best for me.

But I do know for sure that my method will involve this “30 minutes a day” idea for cleaning. That is something I can do.

3. Implement ways to make cleaning easier and more convenient.

This goal required a couple of purchases. First, I’ve purchased a new vacuum that will hopefully make the job easier. For the last few months, I’ve been using a Rainbow. And while the Rainbow is an amazing vacuum, it’s just not convenient for every day use to keep the cat and dog hair under control. Having to drag the big, corded vacuum out, fill the basin with water, unplug and move to a new plug as I move through the house, and then empty and rinse the water basin after each use, just doesn’t inspire me to vacuum a little every day (or every other day, or every three days). It’s a fantastic vacuum for a once-a-month deep clean, but for daily use just to keep the dog and cat hair and daily dust at bay, it’s just not convenient at all.

So I needed something that I could whip out quickly (preferably with no cords), use easily, and empty easily. So I got this Shark Navigator Freestyle cordless stick vacuum. I think the convenience of this smaller vacuum will inspire me to vacuum more often. I might even find that I enjoy vacuuming if I don’t have to fill a water basin, constantly find a new plug to plug in the vacuum, and then empty and rinse a water basin.

I also purchased this convenient storage caddy to keep all of my cleaning supplies in so that they can easily be carried from room to room. It seems like such an obvious and logical thing to do, and yet I’ve never thought to do it. I’ve just always kept cleaning supplies in various places — under the kitchen sink, in the pantry cabinet, under the bathroom sinks. But I find that I’m always in searching of a specific product that I need for a specific task. So this will keep everything together so I can carry the whole thing from room to room.

Anyway, this whole plan is still very new to me, and I’ll figure out more as I go along. I’ll check in with y’all in a month or two and let you know how it’s going, what specific cleaning schedule I’ve found works best, and any changes I’ve made.

My plan of action for organizing…

My plan for organizing will start off in the areas of my house where I already have what I need (specifically, cabinets) to get and stay organized. For example, my kitchen has cabinets, and those cabinets need to be organized in a more efficient way. My bathrooms have cabinets, and those need to be organized. My hallway has a cabinet, and that needs to be organized.

So those are the areas where I’ll start my organizing journey. As with the cleaning, I’m sure I’ll learn as I go with the organization, and I’m sure it’ll require some purchases also. I’m going to go ahead and purchase this label maker, and I’ll decide what bins, baskets, and other organization items I need as I go along.

In other areas of my house — specifically my studio — the process will be much longer and involved. Right now, I don’t have any storage in my studio at all, and yet, that room sees a lot of action. I have art supplies, fabric, etc., strewn and stacked all over that room with nowhere to put any of it. So before I can even get to the organization stage in my studio, I need to build cabinets. And lots of them.

But for now, I can at least go through everything in there and organize them into boxes, baskets, and containers, according to category. I have three main categories of things I do in there — acrylic projects, sewing projects, and resin projects. So getting things separated and organized into bins will help me see exactly what I’m working with, and will also help me know exactly how I need to design the cabinets for that room.

My plan of action for purging…

I’m very pleased to tell y’all that I’ve already begun with the purging. In fact, the very day I wrote this post and began reading the comments from some of you who said to just get it done and don’t overthink things, I felt so motivated that I gave away several large items that afternoon — two dining tables, smaller side tables, a coffee table, and more! I didn’t waste any time! 😀

I do still have more, though. And then there’s all the smaller things that need to be dealt with. I still have boxes that we packed up when we moved from the condo into this house that have been stacked in one of the bedrooms until I had to move them for the remodel. So I think it’s about time to go through those boxes. And something tells me that if I haven’t needed that stuff for the last six years, I probably don’t need it now.

Practical steps I will take to purge my house:

1. Get rid of all of the large furniture items first.

I was so amazed at how freeing it was to get rid of those big furniture items a couple of weeks ago. And I want to continue that until I’m rid of all of them. I don’t want to bother with selling anything. If I want to make extra money, I’d rather spend extra time in my studio creating pretty things I can put in my Etsy store than taking pictures and listing furniture items online for sale. I just want to get rid of them and be done with them. The freedom that that brings to my mind (and my house) is far more valuable than any money I’d get from them.

2. Throw out at least one contractor bag full of stuff each week.

This can be stuff that actually needs to be thrown away, stuff that needs to go to The Salvation Army, or things that can be given away to specific people who can use them. But in some form, at least one contractor bag’s worth of stuff needs to be purged from my house until there’s nothing left to purge. That means that by the end of the year, I have the possibility of ridding my house of 52 bags of stuff. I don’t know that I have that much stuff to get rid of, so it may only take me six months. Or three months. Either way, I’m going to keep going until it’s done.

3. Go through at least one box per week.

I need to finally do something with those boxes that are still packed up from the condo. Six years of holding on to boxes of who knows what is enough. I need to open those things up, see what treasures lie inside, and probably get rid of most of everything in them.

So that is my plan for the year. I so desperately want to be a clean, organized person who doesn’t hold on to things that are no longer valuable or needed. I really want this to be the year that I make some significant changes and finally stop making excuses for my messy nature. I’ll keep y’all posted periodically on how it’s going.



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60 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa P
    January 3, 2020 at 11:04 am

    4 comments – 1) as a pet owner, I feel like vacuuming works best when you do the entire house at once, otherwise the fur just travels from an unvacuumed room to a vacuumed one. 2) you should do a weekly accountability post – tell us what was in the bag that you got rid of that week and what was in the box you unpacked. Maybe the contents of the box will go straight into the bag! LOL! 3) I feel like it’ll be hard to make a plan for all of your items for your studio until you’ve gone through all of your boxes and bags? 4) don’t forget that you’ll be adding new cabinetry into your guest bedroom and master bath. So, some of the items from the hall bathroom and hall closet may end up getting moved.

    Question on the Rainbow – did you have to vacuum up the pet fur before using it? I feel like it would get jammed with fur pretty quickly in my house!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      January 3, 2020 at 11:08 am

      Great ideas!

      The Rainbow actually did a fantastic job of sucking up all of that pet hair. Cooper sheds about one chihuahua’s worth of hair a week, and I never have a problem with the Rainbow.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Letícia
        January 3, 2020 at 4:35 pm

        Just a tip: purge first, then organize, only then buy baskets and containers.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Carswell
        January 4, 2020 at 9:41 am

        A couple of my friends gave bought rechargeable stick vacuums (the Dyson model) and they both have found them really convenient for keeping on top of day to day needs. So much so that I am considering one too.

        One thing I picked up from the apartment therapy website is the concept of an “outbox”. Just keep a cardboard box handy and every time you come across a household item you want to get rid of pop it in the box. When the box is full take it to your local Goodwill or similar reuse/recycle facility.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Lisa
          January 10, 2020 at 12:27 pm

          Yes to outbox idea. Similarly, I write “goodwill” on a kitchen trash bag and keep it in my closet. As I come across something I no longer want or need, I put it in the bag. When the bag is full I take it to the car right away and then drop it off next time I run errands.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Ksy
      January 3, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      Wonderful ideas. Plus it will be a great motivation.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Amy
      January 4, 2020 at 6:28 am

      I’d recommend checking out cleanmama.com. She has a daily cleaning plan and some of her techniques have helped us!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      M. Mason-Leskowitz
      January 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      I’m going to do this – vacuum, and do a box and a bag a week.
      I’m also renovating our basement,so some stuff will stay,but some will go. Hmmmm, maybe Kristi will have an accountability post where I can be accountable in the comments . . . . ?
      Just thinking out loud!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debra
    January 3, 2020 at 11:06 am

    We got a Roomba vacuum for Christmas, you can setup an automatic clean. We are loving it, it gets under furniture and it is a no think, no effort chore. Our floors (mostly tiled) are getting vacuumed so much more often.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      jays
      January 3, 2020 at 11:22 am

      i second thé roomba idea!!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Mary
      January 3, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Yes to the Roomba. I have a golden retriever and two cats and the pet hair was driving me crazy. I finally bought one last summer and I can’t believe it took me so long!! It runs every day and my hardwood floors now look great all the time. I only have to empty it every day and then clean the brushes/filter once a week or so.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Shannon Garrett
      January 3, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      Again yes to the roomba – I have a knock off that didn’t cost nearly as much and keeps my floors free of hair/dirt/dust etc. Also, when you have a roomba, you have to keep items picked up so nothing gets caught in the vacuum, so it forces me to keep everything fairly picked up. Once you get in the habit, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to go through and tidy before the vacuum cleaner runs.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Marianne in Mo.
        January 4, 2020 at 9:36 am

        We got a knockoff one too. Works fairly well, but still see a light layer of dust under the sofa. It’s very faint, but it’s there, which causes new dust to build up. Wish I had a sofa with a skirt or one that was upholstered to the floor! LOL! I also just bought a Shark Navigator lift away, and I love it, but the cord could be longer. I needed something to do stairs well, and my old vacuum only had a “power head” which clogs with dog hair before one step was done! Also, for me I find what works is to keep cleaning supplies in each bath and the kitchen. I have a roll of paper towels in each location as well. I keep a roll of small trash bags in the master bath, and clean that room first. Then move along towards the other bath, picking up and cleaning along the way and tossing trash into the bag. Hit the other bath and clean there, move on to check other rooms along the way and clean as needed. As I reach the kitchen, I’ve picked up and cleaned 70% of the house in about half an hour. Still need to vacuum, which takes me maybe 20 mins. for all the main floor. We also have a finished basement that hardly gets used, and I clean that only every two weeks – a family area, full bath and two guest rooms. Once a month i do deep cleaning – windows, cabinets, mopping floors. There’s only the two of us plus a smallish dog, so it’s not too bad. The dog and husband are the messy ones, otherwise I could clean less maybe!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jo Kornelsen
    January 3, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Do the organizing and purging and pet vacuuming yourself and invest $100.00 every two weeks for someone to come in and clean bathrooms kitchen and anything else that you hate doing, the absolute best money investment you will ever make for yourself and husband

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila F.
    January 3, 2020 at 11:19 am

    I applaud you. I follow Flylady for cleaning and decluttering. (Your plan sounds similar) I find myself more productive in a clean space. I also recommend a robot vac. I have a dog and 2 cats. My Shark ion does a wonderful job of getting the per hair up daily! I also have a Shark cordless for every few days and “quickups”, and FINALLY….. my Shark navigator for deep cleaning. (Obviously I like Shark products, LOL) A very good goal for the new year! What wonderful posts we will eagerly await in the new year!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christina
    January 3, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Here is the best advice that I read (or heard?) years ago: pay attention to your habits and past failed organization attempts. The best organization for you are the ones that you do without too much effort. If it takes a lot of effort, it’s sure to fail.

    For example: are you a person who drops their keys/purse on the entry way table the second you walk in? If so, then don’t put hooks in the back of your house to hold your keys. You’re bound to continue leaving them on the entry way table. Instead, create a space in the entry for them.

    Or do you find you always leave out certain cooking appliances versus putting them away? Why? Is the effort of putting them away not worth it? That could mean they are in the ‘wrong spot’ for you.

    I love this. It helps me stay tidy. I found I reorganized my bathroom every few months and was so frustrated I couldn’t keep it organized! The problem wasn’t me. It was me trying to force a process that wasn’t natural to me. Once made a few changes – it stayed organized for over a year (with some minor slips). All that to say: organize in a way that’s natural for you/your house or it won’t “stick”.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Theresa P
      January 4, 2020 at 6:18 pm

      This is great advice! You definitely have to think about how you live.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Crystal
    January 3, 2020 at 11:29 am

    We started the pets in our lives with 2 St Bernards, downsized to 3 40-80 lb dogs and now have 5 cats. I know everything about fur and slobber except why all fur on the floor/furniture is gray! When we started reno on our current house in ’82, my first purchase was a built in vacuum system so all I had to carry was the hose. It is the best thing since sliced bread and sewing machines! The original hose and electrified carpet head have passed away but I was able to get a specific generic hose and use a regular floor brush since the carpet has also passed away. It was very easy to install and we did it ourselves. Only thing I regret is mounting the motor/receptacle above the washer. Doesn’t interfere with the washer but hard for me to get down to empty it. Oh well, it is what it is. Thank heavens for a friend’s hubby now that I am a widow.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    cyd
    January 3, 2020 at 11:30 am

    I have some of those same goals this year. Actually, I have them every year! Sometimes they get accomplished and sometimes not, but just know that cleaning and purging NEVER end. But once a BIG purge is done, it’s more manageable.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Beth in IL
    January 3, 2020 at 11:36 am

    You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll become a COPer. 🙂 I went on a similar journey about three years ago and the best result is that life is so much more fun now. Less stuff = less mess = less cleaning = more time to do things I enjoy with people I love.

    One thing that really helped me was doing a time-study of chores. Knowing how long each chore takes could help you map out your 30-minutes-a-day plan. It’s also changed my self-talk – instead of, “oh, I’ll do that later” I find myself saying, “it only takes X minutes to do this chore and then it will be done!”

    Best wishes to you and thanks for providing so much inspiration and instruction throughout the years I’ve been reading your blog.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Theresa P
      January 4, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      I like this idea, too! Once I realized I could do a “decent” clean of my bathroom in about 20 minutes, I got a lot less annoyed with cleaning it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    January 3, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Getting rid of one contractor bag of stuff a week— so doable! I need to get rid of some too.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennie
    January 3, 2020 at 11:49 am

    I can’t even start my day until my house is picked up. Not spotless but rather free of clutter. I’ve found that once you have deep cleaned and everything has its place, it’s easy to do a quick clean/tidy up each morning. I’ve also found it easier and more productive to do one room at a time. Don’t leave that room until it is done and then move onto the next. Good luck and can’t wait to hear about it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dolores
    January 3, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Google Marie Kondo. Her decluttering videos are addictive & mesmerizing!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Sherry
      January 5, 2020 at 4:43 am

      Absolutely! She has the most unique method of decluttering your house and your life. I downloaded her book to kindle so I could read it immediately and it is fascinating. Actually maybe even fun.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jane
    January 3, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Great post and great ideas! I think many of us are doing the same thing.

    I’ve been organizing and cleaning out all the basement storage shelves. As I put away all the Christmas decorations, and I have a lot of them, I’ve been getting rid of many things that I’m not attached to….part of my Santa collection, etc.

    I’m going to pick a different part of my house each month to sort through things and downsize. I’m actually pretending that I’ll be moving to a smaller house to see if that motivates me!

    Good luck! Love your posts!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Winnie
    January 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Sheila F mentioned Flylady – great program! I’m also gearing up to do some major decluttering. Anyone coming in to my home wouldn’t think clutter is an issue unless they begin opening cabinets, closets, etc. I’m a senior, yet still have boxes filled with things that belonged to my Grandmother and Mother. Time to let it all GO!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Vicki
      January 3, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Yes I have boxes from my mother who passed 5 years ago. Need to let go.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kay
    January 3, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    You are on the right track. Looking forward to updates.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jelena Rountree
    January 3, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Spending 30 minutes or less to keep a house clean is totally doable! I spend 30 minutes or less a day (I take Saturday and Sunday off; so really only 5 days of 30 minutes or less) and my house stays clean and tidy. And that’s with a busy toddler, a baby, and a dog that sheds. I don’t know how the math works, but somehow doing things regularly means it doesn’t take nearly as long to get a task done. For example the microwave, if I clean it weekly, it takes a few seconds to wipe down. Before I added it to the weekly chore list and just did it “when it needing doing”, it would take a long time to clean. And in my brain, if I know it’ll take a long time to do, I will find every reason under the sun to put it off. If I know it’s a quick task, I’m much more likely to do it. I’d recommend making a list of things that need cleaning, and them separate them into days. (Example: Wednesday’s wipe down bathrooms, Tuesday’s dust, etc). I think you’ll find too that the more you get rid of stuff, the faster cleaning will get. It’s much easier to clean regularly if you don’t need to first tidy, then clean. I find it’s helpful too to pair new habits with existing habits to help make them stick. Things like wipe down the bathroom counter while brushing your teeth, etc. Good luck!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Jelena Rountree
      January 3, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      I find too, that switching my mindset from “what do I want to get rid of” to “what do I want to keep” when going through things, really helps me to get rid of more things. Can’t wait to follow your progress!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    January 3, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Oh! This is so motivating! I am going to join you in this quest in my own home. You go, Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kimber
    January 3, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Gah! I love your “word” of the year!
    And I have the most fun thing for your journey. Last year I listened to an audible book from the library and it was incredible. The book is Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White. The author’s method is no frills or fuss and her book is wickedly funny.
    Yes, I realize listening to a book about decluttering sounds horrible, but I found it to be very entertaining. Add to that, it was incredibly useful – I still hear the author’s voice in my head as I cull through the junk of life.
    Happy New Year! I am excited to read about your journey to total organization this year.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Claire
      January 3, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      I read this audiobook last year, it has definitely been my favourite and easiest to relate too. I also read Marie kondo’s book as well as the fly lady. I have made massive progress with taking bits from each lady.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      KathieB
      January 5, 2020 at 10:09 am

      Ok, Kimber! I immediately checked my library and was able to download Dana K. White’s book. 18 hours later, I have listened to all of it. Brilliant! Easy to listen to this well thought out method. I had come to a couple of the same conclusions she has, but she has put it all together in a lovely, easy-to-remember, makes-perfect-sense manner.

      Thank you for the recommendation. I am headed upstairs to a “stalled” whole room project right now. I feel as if I now have the information/inspiration I need to complete the job.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Danielle
    January 3, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    I am going to do the bag a week, box a week and someone’s comment for 1 room a month deep dive in. We moved into a smaller house a couple of years ago and have been doing a complete gut job since day one. It is frustrating to move boxes and things I am “storing” in wrong places to be able to work on a project in that room. It has really curbed our enthusiasm. Moving all the stuff in the way is harder than doing the construction work. It just ends up in the way somewhere else. Thank you for the great ideas as always. Simple solutions for everyday people. Happy New Year.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    merralyn vaillancourt
    January 3, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    When we were little my mom insisted that no one could leave any room they were in without looking around and taking anything that belonged to them that didn’t permanently belong in that room with them and put it away. Usually it was a small thing like a book or a drinking glass or a toy, but there was almost always something. When five people were constantly tidying up after themselves it really cut down on the cleanup for my mom. I find myself still, 50 years later, doing the same thing. Leaves just real cleaning instead of tidying AND cleaning. Really cuts down on the amount of time spent that I would rather be doing, literally, anything else! And it’s not a hard habit to form.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon
    January 3, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    I discovered Flylady must be at least 10 years ago. The habits that I formed by following her have made such a difference to my life. The one area I still struggle with is the guilt. I hold on to things for waaaaaaay too long because they cost me money and so I should love them and use them. Um, what? How’s that for twisted thinking? So I have started a deep purge. I did the bathroom yesterday. My plan is for every day off work I will do as much of a room as I can. I already feel so much better just from doing the bathroom.

    Good luck with your COP project. You are an amazing lady and will nail this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna T
    January 3, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    It is important for everything to have a place. I don’t buy anything unless it has a place or the old one is discarded. Also, cruising and putting everything in it’s place before bed. Then the “one minute rule” form Gretchen Rubin. I can do a lot while I’m waiting for microwave water to boil. If it takes just one minute then do it. Lastly, clean like a cleaning lady. I had several over the years while working and the quality is not there. I can vacuum, dust and fluff the throw pillows without getting too through. At least the house looks tidy. I paid a lot for that. I’m free.

    I do want to add that you are hard on yourself. You do so much and should be satisfied at some point. No one is perfect and you will never be perfect. It is good to have goals but love who you are now. You are incredible.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy in Lake Stevens
    January 3, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    I love my label maker. A tip I recently read about that I wish I had known about years ago. When labeling bins or boxes put labels on each end of the bin or box. No more trying to figure out which end goes in first. A little thing with big impact.
    Good luck on your quest to a clean and tidy house.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Hayley
    January 3, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    You need to look up Dana K White, a fellow Texan who blogs about just this kind of stuff – De-Clutter ing, cleaning schedules, and organising for people who aren’t very organised! Her blog is called “a slob comes clean” (don’t be put off by the name! I don’t think you’re a slob!). Honestly thought she has the best tips and she’s really funny.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tess Tuller
    January 3, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Dana K. White’s blog ( A Slob Come Clean) is one of only two blogs that I read everyday (along with Krisi’s) and between these 2:
    I have been more motivated to get things out of my house that I have lived in for 45 years(and yes, I am a “Class A” pack rat(probably could have qualified for an episode on Hoarders)due to losing 5 members of my family in a 7 month time period(mom, husband sister, SIL & cousin) from Aug ’01 to March of ’02.
    I don’t have Kristi’s talent for creativity, and I can’t hold a candle to her abilities, but I can, will & have done household repairs and I’m learning more with each of her GREATLY APPRECIATED posts!
    Sorry, I know this is long, but between Kristi & Dana’s blogs, I feel like I can accomplish getting my home back in shape like it needs to be for my son, our cat & myself!

    Oh, BTW, Kristi, CPO is a word. CPO = Get it Done!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MissElaineous
    January 3, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    What a timely post! I’ve been putting off doing this for a while and now I can do this by following your example! I live alone in a 3BR 1BA, 3-story house and I’ve filled it up over the years with all sorts of crafty acoutrements and now it’s time to COP! (To my credit I did sell 1 large item last week and have a dozen small items currently listed for sale). Thanks for encouraging me by example 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    L Briscoe
    January 3, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    I love your goals for the new year! I have the same ones…Every. Single. Year. I’m usually somewhat successful early in the year, but get distracted by something more fun before I finish the whole house. And once it’s put off for a while, it ends up put off until the next year when I resolve yet again to really do it this year.

    I also love your word COP, but for me, it actually works in reverse order: Purge, Organize, then Clean. You can’t really deep clean around unwanted/unneeded junk. Of course, tidying up a bit first is a good idea, but I want to get to the point where I finally get all the dust out of the back corners of the closets, cabinets, and top shelves I can’t reach. Where the dust and grime is actually scrubbed off the tops of my kitchen cabinets (mine are dropped about a foot below the ceiling). But POC isn’t a word, is it, lol?

    Good luck with your journey to being a more organized person this year. We think you’re great just like you are, but I can definitely relate to wanting to be an organized, neatnik non-procrastinator.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ginny
    January 4, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Love your plans and everyone who commented has great ideas. Thanks for the Dana White idea. I’m going to check her out.
    However, please remember who-what you truly are, an artist. With amazing talent, I might add. You can definitely COP, just don’t be too hard on yourself when you makes messes. Most artistic people can’t function properly unless they have everything they need right there in front of them. And who ever heard of putting stuff away when you’re going to use it again tomorrow?
    As for getting rid of the old stuff and clutter, go for it. I do that regularly, but I always seem to find items I might be able to use in a project. (sigh) My point is, don’t expect to turn into someone who keeps a perfect house all the time. When the creative ideas hit you, vacuuming and dusting will fly right out the window. Be kind to yourself, lighten up on yourself, and keep on inspiring us. I think you are incredible!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      January 4, 2020 at 10:00 am

      Ginny you make a good point! I agree that creatives find it hard to be tidy, that they need to have “stuff” around for their projects to “flow.” I myself found that out when I had my own “craft room” all to myself. I accomplished so much more when I could see what I had to work with! I would spend time after completing a project to clean up that “scrapyard,” and just spend a few minutes enjoying the total completed work, including the clean! That led to dreaming of and sketching the next project, or making notes of thoughts for other projects. I guess I have a ying/yang with my artistic and neatness sides!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tammy (Pa)
    January 5, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I grew up with a messy house. Six kids and both mom and dad. Once in a while we had a dog. After I moved out EVERYTHING HAD A PLACE and to this day they still do. I’ve even “trained” my man, for the most part, to put everything back. I HATE it when stuff is out of order….so my daily straightening up is easy after our coffee and tea and breakfast if I make it that day. Bed made every day too.
    It’s easier to do once you form the habit.
    Good luck Kriski… and everyone else who will be tempting this..!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mason
    January 5, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    The Motivated Moms Cleaning Calendar has been amazing for me,as well as FLYLADY.
    I’m with you on this Kristi!!
    You are an inspiration!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mariele Storm
    January 5, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Kristi, I just wanted to ask if you had a Stuff Etc near you? I live in Iowa and have one. I’ve made $200 just by taking stuff there on consignment. It’s much easier than listing online and if you’re already taking it up a thrift store you might as well just take things there instead and make some pocket change. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jodi Ingram
    January 5, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    A cordless vacuum for daily surface cleaning is THE ABSOLUTE BEST IDEA.

    If you end up not loving yours, here’s a channel that reviews all the different cordless vacuums. They also review every type of vacuums (including the various brands of robot vacuums that people recommended). Hopefully your Shark will work perfectly for you, but if you don’t love it, you can start your research here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uIos2Lulx8 or here for any other type of vacuum: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvavJlMjlTd4wLwi9yKCtew

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MARIE
    January 5, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    I love aslobcomesclean.com

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Josie
    January 6, 2020 at 10:36 am

    I’ve been reading these ‘my word’ posts on Instagram and they never spoke to. My resolution is to be more organized and take time for me. Your post made me realize that my word for 2020 is Organize! With 2 small kids, my clutter is toys and clothes they don’t fit in. I found 5 toys that are just for sorting shapes (and they were all the same 4 shapes!) So weekly I’m hoping to make it to the consignment store with clothes/toys to sell! So I guess, I’ll be COP too!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lynne
    January 7, 2020 at 9:53 am

    The most useful organizing tip I’ve received: Sort into labeled bins or boxes (or taped off –labeled areas on the floor). File/Keep, Trash, Recycle/Give Away/Sell, Projects/Read/Repair. It works for paper, landscape equip, clothing, kitchen stuff. The second most useful tip — sort the entire house into categories in order to make purge decisions. (If I see that I own literally 30 bath towels, and that 6 are grey, I won’t be tempted to keep the one that’s beginning to fray….and will notice that I need to buy new white ones. Same process with dishes, kitchen electrics, shoes, coats etc. Getting it all in one place is magic. It also highlights how often items are stored in the wrong place and wander — they should be stored where they are (actually) used. If there’s no storage in that location, make one.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Nabeela
      January 8, 2020 at 1:19 am

      I follow the ‘if it takes less than a minute do it now’ rule and it has helped me so much! Not to mention it’s easy to follow.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan Clark
    January 8, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Check out flylady.net

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pam
    January 8, 2020 at 11:29 am

    closed cabinets are possibly something to avoid, especially with lots of shelves. Things will just get cluttered and and then you won’t put anything away because you can’t see what’s in there. And small bins don’t work for me because they are too specific. suggest really big bins for like items and then just pile it all in. I have a big box for wallpapering supplies. One for my drill and bits. One for Sawing things/consumables, another one for sanding supplies. The are not organised in the box because if I had to do that everytime then nothing would get put away! Doing some resin work? Pull out the big bin of supplies, rummage around for what you need, do the project, chuck it all back in. Very important not to get caught up in the small details if you’re anything like me (and I think you may be!)

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