Household organization

My focus for January is household organization because I’ve been feeling unorganized and not on top of things for the past few months (thanks bed bugs!). We had our last bed-bug treatment on January 3, so this focus is fitting and timely. And what a great way to start a new year.

Organized Space

My best friend Amanda came down the weekend after the treatment and helped us put all of our belongings back in their homes. Without her, it would’ve taken Mike and I days to put everything back and it would’ve remained unorganized even after things were in their places. It can be so paralyzing to make decisions about your own things and I can get totally lost in the weeds over-analyzing where things should go.  But as I combed through all of our belongings making decisions on what should stay and what should go, Amanda found homes for them in our closets, on our desk, and in our bookshelf. I honestly couldn’t believe how organized things were when she was done.  She just has an eye for this sort of thing. (I told her she should start a side business to make some extra money while she’s in law school.)

Our space is organized (minus our bedroom, we decided to let the treatment sit for an additional week), and I’d like to keep it that way so I’ve paid special attention to putting things back where they belong.  I’d also like to keep our apartment clean.

Clean Space

To be honest, I’ve never been great about keeping our place clean.  Aside from dishes and laundry, cleaning has never been super high on our priority list. We’d both clean the apartment but not on a regular basis. It was just something we never thought about, until things got so gross that one of us got fed up and decided to do something about it.

To get us organized I made a Cleaning Checklist and taped it to the wall in our kitchen.  This way we’ll both remember what needs to be done and if we have some time we can tackle one of the items on the list.  Honestly, each of the tasks on the list takes 20 minutes tops and I’d rather spend 20 minutes here and there than an entire afternoon on a weekend cleaning. I proposed we adapt the Williams’ 10-minute rule but it hasn’t caught on just yet.  Next week is the first week this month that our schedules aren’t crazy so maybe we’ll pick it up then. But even 10 minutes a few times a week is better than what we were doing before.

Money in order

The other aspect of our household that we wanted to get organized was our finances.  We had a nice conversation about our money and then on January 1 we sat down and worked out a new budget. Then I posted a tracker on the wall in our kitchen to track variable expenses throughout the month.  And so far, we’ve stuck to our budget! I think just having the awareness helped.  I’m not sure we’re necessarily spending differently than we did in the past but we’re more on the same page about where we are with our budget, what’s been spent, etc.

Still to do

In the last week and a half of the month, we’ll get our bedroom cleaned and organized, I’ll look through our apartment for things to purge, add them to the pile above, (inspired by Jess’ challenge, I’m hoping to get rid of 100 items), and then get them out of our home either by freecycling, donating, giving to friends, or trashing.

I’d love to know:

How’s your January? 

Do you ever feel not-on-top-of-it when it comes to household/personal tasks?

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2 responses

  1. 100 items sounds like a lot, but I actually just cleaned out the entire upstairs office today, which acts as a home to my two teacup puppies! What a difference it has made! I actually freed up five BIG shelves and completely stuffed 5 organizing bins with dog clothes/toys/leashes, and another 5 or 6 organizing technology supplies and cards I’ve been meaning to send to loved ones. Once I finished, I felt totally in charge! Now to excavate through the mess that is my closet and find a way to donate the overwhelming amount of STUFF I have! I’ll push for 100 items… time to let go of that old t-shirt collection!!

    • I think they add up quick. Good places to purge: book shelves, DVD collections, kitchen, linen/toiletry closet (get rid of those old soaps and things!)

      Doesn’t it feel so empowering to get rid of things? Getting rid of things makes space, both physical and psychological, for new things. Or maybe just for some extra space and breathing room.

      Maybe you’ll send some cute clothes that you’re giving away (size M) to your big sis? (Not the old t-shirt collection though!)

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