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…
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.