[My office/pantry, a small sampling of the state of the rest of the house.]
Back in the fall of 2009 I started a short-lived "special series" on the blog called Slow + Steady Cleans the House (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4). My heart was in the right place, but I spent more time blogging about cleaning and organizing than actually cleaning and organizing. Then the holidays snuck in after Week 4 and I never got back into the groove.
Fast forward five years. We now live in a larger house three thousand miles away from our first family home, and I still have the same cleaning and organizing problems as I did then. If nothing else, I am a reader and I know from the many decluttering and organizing books I've read that this whole "live simply, cleanly, mindfully" idea is a mindset and a process. It's a lifestyle change that takes work, both things I'm not comfortable with. But I need it. There is something inside of me that desperately needs calm in my home environment.
I think I'm ready to get down and dirty, face my emotional attachment to stuff, and finally create a home where the people in it have control over the items in it, not the other way around.
There are three components I want to focus on during this process. It may be a bit ambitious to tackle all three from the get-go but it's important to lay the foundation of what I want to accomplish.
- address what it means to be a smart and responsible consumer
- find an effective system to remove unnecessary items from the house (declutter) and properly store the items we keep (organize)
- make an attempt to clean the house a little bit each day
The ground rules I set for myself in 2009 also apply now ::
- As the name of the project implies, this will be a gradual process. I will not expect miracle results overnight.
- No matter the temptation, I will not compare myself to others. I may steal their cleaning/organizing ideas but I will not compare the progress or result of that idea-stealing.
- I'm doing this for the kids as much as I'm doing it for myself. I want to set a good example and teach them organizing skills so when I say, "Clean your room" they know how to do it properly and they don't ask me, "Well, why don't you clean your room?"
- I will not give up. Even if I encounter some set-backs (i.e., letting dishes or laundry pile up) I'll ease myself back into the cleaning routine.
- I am not looking to be perfect, just adequately organized and clean so that housework no longer causes me stress.
Alrighty, let's see how this goes!