Cleaning Up and Clearing Out: 40 Days to a Clutter-Free House (phase 1)

I’m a list maker.  I do not deny it.  In fact, I will defend my lists until I’m blue in the face.  It keeps me organized, both in my head and in my day.  I feel I get more stuff done in a timely manner if I have a list to refer to… and can see progress as I cross items off.  Plus, I feel less like I’m “losing it” if I know I’ve written down all that needs to be done.

And Baby Makes Four

In roughly 3 months, we will be welcoming our second child into our home.  My home, as clean and furnished and full of love and light as it is, is not what I would call “ready” for this addition.

We bought this 110+ year old house five years ago, did some major work, then started slowing down on projects as it got closer and closer to being “done.”  Then I became pregnant with Angel Baby and we ramped up the work again, focusing on the nursery and turning a hall closet into a half bath.

Between the major shift in available time and the severe cut in available income, not a lot has been done around the house.  Well, I shouldn’t say that.  A lot has been done, between cleaning and cooking and general upkeep and remodeling the pantry and painting this or that and… yeah, little projects and general upkeep.  None of the BIG PROJECTS have been knocked out, due to various reasons.

Starting to Weigh On Me

I need to be more productive.  That’s what I keep telling myself.  At the same time the BHE keeps saying I need to stop running myself into the ground.

But I look at my disorganized pile of lists (grocery, to clean, to do, to write, to file, etc) and find myself overwhelmed with the underwhelming amount of work being completed.

We are maintaining the status quo.  For me, that’s just not good enough.

Random Blog Find

While poking through pins, I discovered this gem about getting your house and life organized:

Official Different:  40 Days of Organization

After reading it and following some of the links included, I decided I would follow in her footsteps… to a degree.  Like I’ve stated before, I’m not really good at following directions.  I take everything as a suggestion, maybe some guidelines.

The idea that you need your home and life clutter-free to have your mind and heart clutter-free is not a new one to me.  I just needed the reminder.

How am I supposed to make time for my spouse, my children, my friends and family; how am I supposed to make room for God and love and peace… if my mind perceives my house to be a wreck?

Phase 1:  Writing It Down

Just knowing there is work to be done makes me want to stop, take a breath, and make a list.  Once Angel Baby was securely in her crib for naptime, I got myself situated.

Situated:  getting my notebooks, calendar, and pen ready to get my mind ready to get my house ready!

Situated: getting my notebooks, calendar, and pen ready to get my mind ready to get my house ready!

I hope you can read my writing, enough so that this list might inspire you to take up a similar crusade through your house.  I didn’t copy from Officially Different, per se; I just took a couple looks at her list to get myself going. Here is what I came up with on August 3rd:

The 40 tasks I've set myself for the next 40 days.

The 40 tasks I’ve set myself for the next 40 days.

As best as I could, I chose tasks that wouldn’t take more than an hour each.  I mentally walked through my house and wrote down areas that I know need organized or just deep cleaned.

Jump Start

On the day I wrote the list, I chose one of the tasks that I felt would be the easiest and fastest:  the desk in our library.  To me, seeing an item crossed off of any list motivates me to keep going, to cross off more items.  That means picking something that will get crossed off quickly so my real eyes can see what my mind’s eye needs to see:  progress.

The desk in our library is awfully small and the bottom half was emptied awhile ago to keep Angel Baby from emptying it herself.  It didn’t even warrant Before and After pictures.  That was a week ago, and I’ve steadily removed at least one (sometimes two) task per day.  I need to start taking Before and After pictures so I can brag to you, my rabid readers, how much work I am getting done.

What About You?

How does your house look?  Is it a reflection of your mind?  Is it reflecting where you want your mind (and heart) to be?  Let me know what motivates you into cleaning up and clearing out the clutter.


5 thoughts on “Cleaning Up and Clearing Out: 40 Days to a Clutter-Free House (phase 1)

  1. theenglishrose2014

    Be encouraged, my friend. In the end, it’s all just stuff. Care for your little one, hug him/her often and all will be well. You’re doing an important job right now – growing a baby! Breaking down tasks into bite size pieces is a very effective tool! … As far as what motivates me to clean – watch YouTube videos! 🙂 God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. travelerwife Post author

      Thank you. I know. It is just wrapping myself around that idea each time I feel overwhelmed. Ok, well, preferably BEFORE I feel overwhelmed. Break down the tasks but also keep Angel Baby at the top of the priority list. God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. theenglishrose2014

        I understand. My younger two are 20 months apart (now 16 & 17), but I remember many days (okay, maybe years) that things felt a bit out of control with toys everywhere, what to cook for dinner (wait a minute, that may have been yesterday! haha), etc. Hang in there. What I have come to realize lately that LESS is MORE! Less stuff equals more sanity!! Blessings, my friend! 🙂


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