Friday, December 23, 2011

Devise: 4 tasks in 4 weeks for 4 months

Devise (verb): conceive, dream up

I have been looking forward to this Christmas "break" for quite awhile.  When classes ended in May, I had six weeks to move into my apartment and finish everything for the wedding.  After the honeymoon, we quickly moved Doug in and needed to travel quite a bit up until classes started.  We spent all Fall trying to keep up with cooking, laundry, and dishes while spending time with friends, working, and finishing classes.  Therefore, everything in our apartment has never been organized apart from what has been most convenient.  So, with my classes and my job on hold until mid-January, I can finally organize my little heart out!!!

I have (roughly) a 4 week break between when classes/work ended until they begin again.  I also have come up with 4 tasks that I want to complete in that time that should keep us streamlined and organized for up to 4 months (until work/classes end for summer).  I have read a few cleaning/organizing books and articles that categorized clutter and disorganization into two basic problems:  having more than you need OR not putting what you have where you need it.

Now, for those of you who have been to my house, I know that it is clean and well-managed.  I know that I am slightly OCD and can be a control freak, but EVERY home or apartment can be updated for efficiency, effectiveness, and attractiveness -- not to mention comfort!

Anyways, here is my plan/goals for the next 4 weeks.  Hopefully I will accomplish all these things and be able to post pics and tips along the way!

1.  Clothes.  There is really nothing more to say about this one.  I have WAY more clothes than I need.  Doug has WAY more clothes than he needs (even if he doesn't realize that yet).  The point is, this is a great time of year to not only clean out your closets, but also to donate clothes and accessories.  A secondary reason for this is to help control the laundry overflow problem.  While less clothes means I need to do laundry more, that seems like a small price to pay for closet space and a lack of clothing piles around the bedroom ;)

2. Kitchen.  Mainly, reorganizing.  Doug and I have a lot of space in our kitchen, but it is definitely not being used the best way possible.  Because I like to cook and bake so much, we also have a ton of kitchen tools and gadgets that are piled in drawers and stuck under the kitchen sink simply because that's where they ended up when we got them in July, and there hasn't been time for major changes.  Because of that, we have a lot of items that we want to be using but haven't been able to use yet!  Hopefully, we can fix that with a little rearranging.

3. Menu/Grocery Planning.  Monthly and even Yearly Menu Planning has become popular lately, and I have jumped on the bandwagon.  I had been planning meals (and grocery lists) on a 2-3 week basis, but I had been making my grocery lists the morning I would go shopping.  That meant checking local ads (30-40 min), planning out meals (60-75 min), writing out a final list (20-30 min), and then going shopping (60-90 min)!  That's at least 3 hours of work every time I went grocery shopping.  Well, I have had about enough of that.  I decided to plan out all my meals and grocery lists through May to make shopping (and cooking) easier and hassle free.  In the time I would normally spend prepping and shopping, I have meals planned through March and my first 3 grocery lists complete and organized.  This is one project I cannot wait to complete and show you!

4. Paperwork Clutter/Finances.  We get a lot of mail.  A lot of it is important and needs to be filed (which I have been doing...mostly), but we end up with a lot of "important" papers in the middle of the kitchen table or on our living room sofa.  A lot of this important paperwork has to do with our finances (i.e. bills and bank statements) that need to be handled.  My goal is to create a "office" space where all mail, paperwork, receipts, and financial information can go for easy updating and filing.  While this seems to be minor compared to the other three, it will take a lot of effort to find a suitable space that will stay uncluttered and unmoved!  This is also probably the most important of the 4 because it causes me the most stress and hassle every week.

Those are my four tasks to complete these next four weeks.  I won't be working on them in order, but rather based on what I can get done while still enjoying the holidays!

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