Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Dreaded C word!

So it's that time again...the time when we go through the past year and assess all the things that we need to work on improving in the year to come.  Commonly called, making new year resolutions.  A few years ago I decided to stop calling them resolutions, instead I commit to making better choices and I don't announce to anyone what those choices were unless I manage to accomplish it by the end of the year.  Why do I do it that way? EASY 
Have you ever noticed that when you publicly air a goal or resolution a long series of events begin to present themselves that are aimed solely at tanking said goal or resolution? If that weren't the case why do people EVERY single year re-resolve to lose weight and eat healthy, stop smoking, meet their soulmate, do less work and more traveling and on and on. It's as if all the disgruntled resolutions and their resolution makers have a vendetta against the NEW resolutions and their makers and so they go on a mission to find them out and devise ways to cause them to fail. I'm tired of making resolutions that I don't keep...it's not as if it bolsters me towards success in the year to come, instead it's like taking a dive into a swimming pool with a lead weight attached to your ankle. Some of you can relate, I'm sure. Doesn't exactly inspire victory or success does it? Not even close.

Sooooooooo.......this past year I made a choice to start getting more organized and de-cluttering. One I have made in years past and never seemed to be able to completely accomplish. Now for all of you neat-nicks out there this is a goal that comes as easy as breathing, for those of us who are, shall we say, organizationally challenged however, it's a depressing death sentance. Now, the complete irony in this for myself is that I am actually pretty OCD about certain things. I love oranization and I love to have a place for everything and everything in it's place. My achiles heal however is that while I'm great at tactical organization projects and LOVE a challenge....the art of maintaining that organization has always elluded me....until this year however.
The year started out pretty much the same regarding my oh so familiar goal, but somewhere around July I had an epiphany. 
At that point I had already been working at sprout central for several months where every Friday we have to do a major cleaning of the entire facility. When I first started working there even the thought of having to do a deep cleaning in ONE DAY of an entire building that had been attacked by drooling, puking, pooping, dirt wallowing, snot wielding children all week was impossible to comprehend. However with teamwork we were all able to take on certain duties and even amidst caring for the children, by the end of the day the work was done. Pretty soon I had been able to get into the routine with the rest of the girls and some days we were even done by the end of naptime. The reason it worked however wasn't just people randomly doing things, it was because we had a plan, a list. So finally I got the idea to bring that list home and try implementing it. Well, it took alittle tweaking since we don't have kids..just a dog. Also I had to give myself some room and instead of expecting it to be done in a day I gave myself a week. With our crazy schedule that would be the only way I could be successful at it and not lose heart. The result? It worked!!
Sooooooo....in an effort to reach out to all those others who are struggling to scratch this goal off their resolution list, here is the basic checklist I used. As you complete a task, check it off and remember in most cases each thing only needs to be done once a week. You may have to tweak it to suit the rooms of your own house, but the basics of each room are the same. Also, for clarity sake, the term "de-clutter" simply means those shoes thrown all over the living room floor should be put away and the purse and stack of bills tossed on the kitchen table should also be put away where they belong. If they don't have a place don't get distracted by trying to do it now. Make a list of things you need to create a home for or throw away and come back to them later.
Now...here are the basic items that every room will require. Make a list of every room in your home and put these items in the section for each room.
  • sweep/mop/vacuum
  • wipe down windowsills
  • de-clutter
  • empty trash bins
  • wipe down tabletops and surfaces*
  • dust
Specialized items, these are the things that are only in certain rooms....add those that apply to every room where they are needed.
  • wash throw rugs
  • change bed linens
  • change hand towels
  • clean pet feeding areas
  • water plants
Now....if you notice I put an asterisk next to the line that said "wipe down tabletops and surfaces". That's because there are a lot of things that fall under that catergory. You may only need that general item or if you're like me you may need a more detailed breakdown of the term "surfaces" to ensure you don't forget something. So for those of you, here you go.
  • mirrors
  • counters
  • toilet bowls and tanks
  • sink
  • tub
  • refrigerator (inside and out)
  • microwave (inside and out)
  • stovetop and oven door
  • photos and picture frames
  • televisions
  • computers
  • stereo systems
  • large and small appliances
  • wall clocks and wall hangings
So that's it, pretty basic really. By breaking down the rooms in this manner it's amazing how much easier it is to accomplish the seemingly impossible. Kind of like that old adage about how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Now, the REALLY good news? The more weeks you go through your list the faster it will go each week and the easier it will get. So don't get disheartened the first few weeks. Give it about 6 weeks to really hit yor groove and see how long it will take you to complete each item on your list in a week.
Hope it works for you as well as it did for me and hope you can forever check off this item from your resolution list!
Happy Cleaning! :)

1 comment:

ForeverRhonda said...

I like your idea about not sharing resolutions until the end of the year!