Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making Our Homes Like Heaven in 2011-Week 8!

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Ok, we’re 2 months in and getting to the nitty gritty.  I’m wondering if many of you are like me and have missed a few tasks, or have let some things slide in the last few weeks.  In March we’re going to really focus on Spring Cleaning, so in preparation for that, I’m going to list all of the previous tasks here, and you should go through them this week and make sure they are all checked off….  Winking smile

Week One:

  • Create a Household Notebook, or use your current notebook and make notes about this Christmas- things you liked, things you didn't like, what you'd like to do differently/the same next Christmas.  Update any addresses that have changed on your Christmas card list.  A good source for Household Notebook stuff is Donna Young, or Organized Home.  I personally have my household notebook on my computer in OneNote, using principles found on both sites :)  You can find an inventory list for your Christmas d├ęcor here.
  • Get a fresh start on the year in your kitchen.  Clean out your Fridge and Freezer, wiping all shelves etc.  Inventory food that you put back into the freezer and keep the list handy so you know what's lingering in there :)
  • Get a fresh start in your bedroom closet.  Let's face it.  We all have way too much stuff in our closets.  Go into your master bedroom closet and go through your CLOTHES ONLY.  (There is a LOT of other stuff in there I’m sure, but let's start with the clothes).  Take all of your clothes out and as you put them back in, assess if you've worn that item in the last year.  If you haven't, donate it.  If you're unsure, or not ready to get rid of something, don't worry about it.  While putting all of your clothes back in the closet put them ALL backwards on the rod.  This way when next January comes around you can feel good about giving away any items that never got turned around during the year.  :)  NO GUILT! 
  • As you put away the Christmas items from this year, try to put them away in an organized fashion, labeling boxes.  Write down on a note card or a sheet of paper what is in each box.  Store the paper/note card in each box or in a separate file, whichever works best for you :)  Oh- you might want to put the Thanksgiving stuff away too :) 
  • Look at your front door/entry way.  What needs to be changed?  Change what you can now, and make a list of what still needs to be purchased/done.
  • Week 2:

    1. Go back into your closet and clean out the closet. There are many, many items in there that are no longer of a use to you. Commit to donate at least 20 items to a charity. The items that you do not use on a regular basis need to be stored elsewhere. Take them out of your closet. This is the place you go to start your day, and when it's in a disarray it sets a tone for the day.  Go have a look at this Closet Inspiration and visualize what to do in your own before beginning!
    2. Set up an account at It's Deductible and log your donations. Be sure to visit regularly and keep track of your donations. It's free and it will help you a whole lot come tax time next year.
    3. Look at your calendar and find at least 1 day in the remaining month of January that don't have any appointments. Block out your calendar on that day and purpose not to fill it up with activities.
    4. Go through your list of what you'd like to do to your front entryway. Make a budget and figure out how you are going to accomplish it.
    5. Go through your sock basket. Match all of the socks. When they are all matched and the laundry is done throw away the socks that don't have matches.

    Week 3:

    1. Go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com and get your credit report. It's free once a year. Make it a habit to go run your own credit every January so you know what's on there :)
    2. Go through the cabinets in your bathroom. Throw out anything you haven't used lately and put everything back in an organized fashion.
    3. Go into your bedroom. Change out your bed sheets and clean all of the blankets. Throw out any pillows that are past their prime and buy pillows to replace them.
    4. Clean off the end tables by your bed, and your dressers. Dust. While you're at it, dust the ceiling fan and walls/ceiling.
    5. Look under your bed. If it's not too bad clean it out. If it's really bad spend 15 minutes on it and stop.

    Week 4:

    1. Go into your pantry and clean it out.  Make an inventory list of the items that are in there and put everything back in an organized fashion.
    2. Based on your inventory lists for your Freezer and Pantry, plan at least one meal in the next week solely made from food you already have on hand.
    3. Check your calendar for February.  Find a date to do something for yourself- maybe get a pedicure, maybe a massage, or just spend an afternoon alone at the library.  Whatever you decide to do, make time for yourself away from the kids a priority this month.
    4. While your checking your calendar for February, find a date to go on a date with your spouse.  I know it's Valentine's month, and if you usually go out for Valentine's Day that's fine (we stay home and spend it with the kids), but make sure you have at least one night that you will have time to refuel your marriage.
    5. Finally, find 1 full day and 1 half day on your calendar that you can block out and commit not to plan anything, just have some down time on those days.

    Week 5:

    1. Take some time this week to plan out your Valentine’s Day.  Are you planning on doing something with the sweetie?  Are you purchasing gifts?  Are you making a special meal?  Are you going out?  Sit down with a piece of paper, or on your computer and completely plan out the day.  Write out the grocery list, plan any items you need to attend to ahead to.  Are you giving teacher’s gifts?  Teachers LOVE to get a little something for Valentines Day and if you’re strapped for cash there is a TON of ideas online for homemade items.  Even a batch of cookies is a nice treat and easy to make Smile  Get those gifts done and wrapped up ahead of time so you can focus on your family on the actual day.

    2.  Go back into your bedroom.  Has clutter begun to gather on the floor of the closet?  What about your end tables?  Are they gathering items again?  Does the master bath counter need a wipe down?  Be sure that the clutter bug isn’t multiplying again in the areas you’ve already cleaned.

    3.  In your living room or family room take some time this week to vacuum thoroughly.  I mean move the furniture and vacuum behind and beneath everything.  Clean out your couches and vacuum inside the couch under the cushions.

    4.  Do a thorough dusting of the living room.  As you are dusting take inventory of all the items you’re dusting.  Do they bring you joy?  Do they have sentimental value?  Do they need to be displayed?  Purpose to put away, or give away at least 2 items that no longer bring you joy by being displayed. 

    5.  Go through your entire house with a towel and some cleaner and clean all of your light switches and switch plates.

    Week 6:

    1. Choose 2 cabinets in your kitchen and go through and clean them out.  Throw away or donate anything you do not use.

    2. Do a good cleaning of all of your countertops in your kitchen.  Remove items that do not belong.  Move all appliances that live on the counter and scrub underneath.

    3. Thoroughly wipe down the outsides of the cabinets.

    4. Wipe down the refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher.

    5. Buy or pick some flowers and put them in a vase in your kitchen.

    Week 7:

    1.  Choose two more cupboards and clean them out, organize the items inside and get rid of anything you don’t use!  Don’t forget to log your donations on It’s Deductible so you have that record at tax time!

    2.  Wipe down the fronts of all of the cabinets.  Scrub off those trouble spots!

    3.  Thoroughly sweep and mop the floor.  Get down with a sponge and scrub up any trouble spots and the corners where the mop doesn’t get it very good.  Wipe down all of the base boards.

    4.  Thoroughly wipe down your kitchen table and chairs.  Wipe down the legs, the backs of the chairs, everything.  You’ll be surprised at how much collects there- especially if you have little ones!

    5.  Clean out your coffee pot Winking smile

    Ok, if you’ve kept up all along, you get a pass- just spend some time this week preparing for some deep cleaning Winking smile  If not, you may have some work ahead of you.. (like me)….

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