Tuesday, January 15, 2013

45 days to simplify


Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
–William Morris.

I don't make new year's resolutions. I know that I'm not going to keep them so why make an official "resolution" in the first place. Yes, there are things that I want to start doing and things I need to stop doing but usually those things just stay in my head and nothing formal comes of it.
I have this strong urge and desire to rid my life of things that I do not need. From email newsletters that I delete EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. to those decorative cookie trays in my closet that I never use. I look around my house and see stuff.stuff.and more stuff. Yes, some of it is stuff that I LOVE and cherish but a lot of it is just stuff. Stuff that already got its time in the light. Stuff that served its purpose. Stuff that the kids seem to think they need. Stuff that is just here. collecting dust. stressing me out.
So I have "resolved" to get rid of the stuff. I am writing it down here for the whole world to see so that I can remember this feeling in February when I don't mind the stuff so much anymore. So I can be held accountable to get rid of the excess and find a more simplistic, organized and peaceful home...and along with the home, a more simplistic, organized, and peaceful me. Being consistent is something I struggle with. Following through on projects and tasks is not always my strong suit. So I figured if I put together plan and let everyone in on my little secret then I'd be more likely to see it to completion. 
I plan to go through every nook and cranny in this house. To immediately get rid of things that haven't seen the light of day since we moved in. I plan to get rid of half finished projects that are just hanging over my head causing me unnecessary anxiety (not all of them, just the ones that I don't realistically think I'll finish). I plan to get rid of the hundreds of books that I've either already read or probably won't ever read. I plan to sell as much of my stuff as I can and donate the rest. I plan to get the kids involved so they can see that we don't need "stuff" to make us happy. That it's not about the things we have in our lives but it's about the people we have in our lives. I plan to take some before and after photos and post about my progress...so I can see where I've been and where I'm hopefully never going back to...and so maybe I can encourage someone along the way to join me in the simplicity journey.
I am not exactly an organized person. I like to think I am. Sometimes I am. My father is one of the most organized, detail oriented people I know. I'm hoping that I can channel some of his traits that must have rubbed off on me somewhere along the way and get things organized. This may seem weird because I really don't think this will happen but my thought while simplifying my home and my "stuff" is this...think in a way that if you were called to the mission field in a month you'd be able to pack without hesitation or anxiety because you'd only have on hand what you use and what you love.
Some of my projects will be small and some will take more time. But I'm going to set a goal for myself of having things in this home purged and organized by the end of February. That gives me 45 days. Yes, I realize that I may not be able to accomplish everything I want to in that time frame but I'm going to do my best to make it happen. Yes, I have four kids, one being a newborn but a little bit at a time and it will happen!! And I'll be a happier mom, our house will be less stressful, I'll save time by not having to look for things (everything in it's place), maybe I'll make some money, and we'll have a more peaceful space.
I have been motivated by this blog post at Pancakes and Frenchfries and by the quote from William Morris. I plan to print this quote out and hang it in a prominent place to help me remember my goals!
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.–William Morris.
Purge and organize laundry room
Purge and organize spice/baking cabinet
Purge and organize pots/pans/dishes
Purge and organize dining room
Purge and organize grandpa's desk
Purge and organize computer desk
Purge and organize living room
Purge and organize front closet
Purge and organize Naomi's closet/toys/books
Purge and organize Naomi's clothes
Purge and organize Micah's closet/toys/books
Purge and organize Micah's clothes
Purge and organize Hannah's closet/toys/books
Purge and organize Hannah's clothes
Purge and organize hall closet
Purge and organize kids bathroom
Purge and organize craft area
Purge and organize master closet
Purge and organize master bedroom
Purge and organize master bathroom
Purge and organize attic
Declutter email
Organize and set up recycling area in garage
I will also be adding things that I'd like to do to make our space beautiful. The house was pretty much move-in ready when we moved in last April but there are still many things I'd like to do to make this OUR home. Mostly involving paint! And I'd like to tackle a few construction projects with the help of my hubby and dad.

Wish me luck!!

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