The Summer of Declutter & Other Lofty Goals

I’m always posting lofty goals here on Cootiehog, and never reaching them. I do it all the time – just flip back through this blog and you’ll find 10+ years of "I’m gonna do _______ by [this date]!" and then absolutely no followup or achievement of that goal. Really, a sane person should just give up ever making goals at some point. But apparently I’m not sane.

So let’s do it again!

clutterThis summer I’m declaring to be the Summer of Declutter. Rather than get overwhelmed by the amount of decluttering and cleanout that needs to happen in our house, I’ve decided to tackle a little bit each week, with the goals of every room of the house being decluttered and cleaned up in some way by the end of summer. I’m not forcing myself to do something every day – but at least 3x a week I’ll do some small task. It could take 2 minutes, or 20 minutes, or 2 hours – but at least 3x a week I’ll tackle SOMETHING that needs to be done, and do it. That still leaves me with plenty of time to hang out at the pool, or take the kids to a movie or to Carowinds, or take a nap, or go out to dinner with Denis.

The list I’ve come up with includes things like going through my closet and getting rid of clothes I’ve been holding on to for FAR too long (no lie, I have clothes from the 1990s in my closet (actually, note to self: have CootieGirl try on some of those clothes – she might like them since they are "retro" at this point)). Another task might be going through various desk drawers and getting rid of stuff we don’t need (such as multiple copies of the menu of the local Chinese place we love, or 200 of the 220 rubberbands we don’t use). Reorganizing file cabinets in the office. Steamcleaning all the carpets & rugs. Getting rid of broken/unwanted toys. Cleaning out the upstairs linen closet. Organizing Denis’s HUGE collection of recipes. Cleaning out the garage. Getting the piano tuned (a task that is about 10 years overdue). Donating a LOT of stuff to charity when possible.

Every single room will be addressed in some way. I’ve created a spreadsheet that lists out all the tasks I want to accomplish between now and mid-September, including some landscaping stuff in the backyard. The plan is to post this list on the fridge in the kitchen and slowly work our way from top to bottom.

Will I accomplish everything on the list? I doubt it. But if I can get even HALF of them done this summer, I’ll feel like I did a great job.

In other news, now that the kids are officially both middle-schoolers, it’s time to fill their summers with as much activity as possible in order to avoid them sitting around in their pjs all day playing video games, arguing with each other over who is hogging the sofa and forgetting to let the dogs outside. Fortunately, they’ll be doing some fun stuff this summer including a 10-day visit at my parents’ house in Virginia, so I really only need to fill five weeks of summer with activities. I was inspired by a friend of mine in Facebook who has set such a plan in place for her own son, and so I’ve created a daily schedule for them that includes computer time, TV time, and gaming time, as well as exercise time, reading time AND chore time. I’ve already warned them that I have higher expectations for them this summer and that they WILL be expected to comply with the daily schedule or else privileges (computer, gaming or TV) will be removed (thanks to parental controls that limit access and/or me just putting them in the trunk of my car and taking them to work with me (not the TV, just the other stuff)). There was much whining and moaning when I outlined this plan, but come Monday it’s ON (I’m letting them have the first weekend to enjoy).

So that’s the summer plan. I’ll try to remember to check in come mid-September and tell you how many things we managed to check off the list. But don’t be surprised if I don’t followup with that.

My Signature

If you liked that post, read on...

Reports Like This on October 12th, 2005

The Painting Progression on February 11th, 2007

The House And Other Stuff on January 21st, 2011

Tree on August 11th, 2004

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