Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quest for Lovely Part 2: Goal Setting, Getting Started

Since I wrote about my year-long quest to love on my home, I've found myself doubting it multiple times. The words, 'What have I done?!' have come to mind. I wonder how on earth I'll ever find the time to get through anything (I mean, I just got done saying I can barely find time for a shower!). And I worry that there's just no budget for what I want to do. Never mind that I'm a pretty frugal shopper and paint isn't really going to break the bank. It's just that we're saving for Disney next year, and I'm currently programmed to put every spare penny towards it. So I start thinking, I don't know, maybe I'll do this next year.

But no. No more putting this off. This is my home, my life - it should come before almost everything else. At least everything material and indulgent.

Last weekend I asked Matt for some help. I was desperate to get started with some decluttering. I just do not have the time to do as much as I want right now, but I figured going through my clothes was a good place to start. I needed to pull out maternity clothes to lend to my sister, anyway - it was just time to get to it. Plus I'm about half-way in my weight lost goals, and it felt good to part with some things I know I'm too small for now, and to lay my eyes on my "skinny" clothes that I should be able to wear in a few more months! In order to do this, Matt had to take the baby and deal with him. I of course made sure he was fed each time I handed him over, but because Matt was on board, the baby actually fell asleep with him THREE times that day (he only ever falls asleep for me, usually!) and I was able to go through my closet, dresser, three full plastic bins and a garbage bag of clothes. That sounds incredibly ridiculous, doesn't it? I've hoarded things for far too long. I ended up completely emptying a full bin, loading up two garbage bags of maternity clothes to give to my sister, and two very full garbage bags of clothes to sell or donate. My closet & dresser are both more manageable, and I finally created a seasonal storage solution, and I organized all of my summer clothes into ONE plastic bin.

That felt good, and energizing! I SO wish I was able to tackle a few other things needing decluttering, but since that was such a production I feel like I've got to wait my turn again. And in the coming months, Jake will start napping on his own and wanting to spend some of his time playing with toys (er, I hope he will anyway?) so this will slowly but surely become more do-able. Right? Right????

I can do this. Even if the majority of my progress doesn't start to emerge until later in the year. Though I am hoping for many-a sunny summer day to sneak out to the yard to spray paint while my littles are sleeping. (I've got big, colorful plans for a bunch of thrifty finds!)

One of the first steps on my quest was to set up my goals, and I jumped the gun a little bit by weeding through my clothes. I just needed to feel like something was happening - I needed proof that this could somehow be possible. So let's get back to the goal setting.

Here's a review of my goals:

My keywords for the end result....
bright, colorful, cozy, happy, crafty, and nostalgic

And My Goals...

Declutter and Simplify
Have less stuff, and have a use or value for what's left.

1. Start a garage sale collection for anything we decide to part with.
2. Attack our wardrobes. Weed out as much as possible, and put away seasonal things. Start with my own, do each of the boys', then help Matt with his.
3. Pull out garbage and useless things from all drawers, cabinets, and shelves.
4. Sort through our book collections (ours & the kids) and find some we'll likely never re-read.
5. Go through the boys' toys - sort into these categories: send to Grandparents', throw away, garage sale collection.
6. Clean, sort, and organize my craft room. Make it functional again.
7. Re-organize my shop and craft supplies, stock and tools between the dining room hutch and my craft room.
8. Sort the linen closet and get rid of unused linens.
9. Make a list of all of our clutter hot spots, clear them out one at time and find solutions to keep them from re-cluttering all the time.
10. Purchase any storage and cleaning necessities.
11. Sort through the basement storage bins - look for things to get rid of and reorganize the arrangement of the bins.
12. Host a garage sale and put the proceeds towards decor endeavors, and any extra towards our trip to Disney. Anything that doesn't sell goes to Goodwill.

Organize
Plan more efficient homes for what remains and make sure the family is aware of where everything belongs. Assign and enforce chores for the boys, create a cleaning and home maintenance schedule.

1. Do some organizing research - blogs, library books.
2. Organize all shelves, drawers, and cabinets to work efficiently.
3. Organize the pantry.
4. Plan homes for any knick knacks that still need a home - refer to organizing tips for ideas on things that don't naturally have a home (find a home for everything!).
5. Plan a big Spring Cleaning to do list, complete with supply shopping list.
6. Have a spring cleaning weekend in April (maybe send the boys for a sleep over) and get the house ready to work with.
7. Create a cleaning schedule for moving forward.
8. Create a list of chores, a chore chart, and a reward system for the boys.
9. Have a physical family calendar (not electronic) so we're all on the same page.

Lighten and Brighten
Swap out dark colored components for light, bring in more lighting, and add in color anywhere possible. Seek out colors and patterns that inspire happiness and creativity.

1. Make a list of all of the dark colored items (wall paint, curtains, fixtures, frames, etc) that need to be renovated and make a plan to update each.
2. Schedule painting tasks to complete and stay on track.
3. Make note of areas in the house that need more light or color and brainstorm ideas to enhance them.

Personalize and Celebrate
Update family photos, create more wall collages of items to display including some homemade personalized family mementos. Let our home display the celebration of our life's accomplishments.

1. Find all pictures and mementos that I want displayed in our home.
2. Make a list and schedule of projects that I want added to our decor.
3. Plan where everything is going - decide what rooms they belong in, sketch picture collage groupings, and discover what is needed to complete each collection.
4. Make a to do list of crafty "completers" - garlands, prints, art, etc and start making or purchasing them from Etsy.

So as far as a milestone for my birthday, since this item started out as a piece on my 30 by 30 list - I'm thinking by then I should be finished with all of my lists, my research, spring cleaning, and most of the decluttering. If I have that accomplished, it means I've set the stage for what I want, progress is happening, and success is possible!

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