It's a little early for new year's resolutions, but I got an idea earlier this week and decided to run with it.
I was thinking about all of the things around the house that need to be done but get skipped over because procrastination is a way of life. Some are large and some are small, but there are a LOT of them in my house (and probably in yours as well).
So how do you ensure that you'll get to them? My mind went straight to spreadsheet.
What if I made a list of every area of the house that needed tidying, put them on a spreadsheet and associated each one with a weekend next year? Breaking the work down into bite-sized chunks with two days every week set aside to get them done seemed more than reasonable, especially for smaller jobs.
I opened Excel and pasted in the dates for every Saturday in 2020, marking off the weekends when I would be out of town or busy with a holiday. Then I started thinking of every drawer, cupboard, cabinet, closet and shelving unit in the house that needed to be reorganized. I put in a column for the room the problem area was in, another for the specific location that needed to be addressed (e.g. "upper drawer to the left of the sink"), and a notes column for more complicated projects.
As I began adding projects, I developed some rules. One was that if I got something done early, I could either take off the weekend I had assigned to that task or use it to do something else early. As I was making the list, I kept thinking, "I should do this or that sooner!" Which sounds great, but without the list and the assigned date for accountability, history tells me I wouldn't get to those things ever.
There's a pretty wide spectrum of difficulty and effort associated with the 47 weeks of projects I eventually listed. They range from cleaning out a single drawer to renting a roll-off container and cleaning out the garage. There are only 3-4 large projects on the list that will probably take an entire day or weekend. I tried to limit the scope of the assignment to tidying, rearranging and cleaning, but in one instance there will be a little light reconstruction under one sink.
Only one thing made it on the list twice and that's organizing the closet in my bedroom, which is arranged as an overflow pantry. It gets out of control pretty quickly, so I thought I should tackle it once in the spring and once in the late fall.
Now that I have the list set, I'm considering adding another section for additional projects outside of the original scope. For example, I have a couple of rooms I'd like to re-paint this year and I need to cut down some trees in my yard. Some general to-dos like taking the mower in for maintenance would be good to add as well.
To kick the whole thing off, I gave myself two relatively small assignments this coming weekend. One involves cleaning out and throwing away an old side table so I can be ready to rearrange my bedroom furniture when the headboard I got for Christmas arrives next week.
I'm pretty pumped up about this whole idea. Next on the agenda is to print out the spreadsheet and hang it someplace where I'll see it every day. Heck, maybe I'll even get gold stars to mark the completed items.
Have you ever tried something like this? Leave a comment and let me know!
Photo by Jessica Fiess-Hill, cropped, used under CC by 2.o