As part of my mini-series on simple homekeeping strategies, I’m back today with a fun tip: join the #januarycure hosted by Apartment Therapy!
I had forgotten that I had signed up for email updates to be included in Apartment Therapy’s “January Cure,” with the promise of a decluttered, more organized home in one month’s time through assignments, information, and motivation. Today, the first installment arrived in my inbox.
The first task was to make a list of everything in my house that bothered me. Then I turned each of those complaints into verb-oriented action items to correct the thing that bothered me.
For example, I wrote “blankets in a sloppy pile on the couch” as something that was bothering me. On my action item list, I wrote “fold blankets on couch.” I know it’s no Whitman, but the
poetic obvious simplicity of the task made me feel a little silly–in the time I spent writing about unfolded blankets betwixt these two lists, I could have folded 5 blankets!
But, I pressed on. Next, I was to highlight 3-5 items per room that, if completed, would make the biggest difference in how I viewed my house. I took it one step further and highlighted both big things that need to get done, and also little things that I could do RIGHT. NOW. and probably should have done days ago.
Initially, I was surprised by today’s tip. Why on earth would I want to make a list and pain myself with seeing on paper all the clutter, disorganization, and pandemonium that I already know exists??
I’ll tell you.
There are two reasons: catharsis and reality check.
Hi, my name is Jessalyn, and I have clutter angst.
It is cathartic to make a list and cross things off.
And the reality check? The beautiful (and also cathartic) reality check? I discovered that I had gotten into the very bad habit of coming home, looking around, sighing at the piles of clutter, deciding I was too tired to deal with it, and letting it build up and build up so that, in my mind at least, I had come to believe there were infinite piles of things to be done, and the clutter monster kept creeping around leaving random, misplaced items in its path, gorging itself on my shame and apathy and “this is annoying” vibes… (Does this sound familiar to you out there? Anyone?) Anyway, when tasked to write all these “big scary things” down, I thought I was going to end up with a 6-page list with over a hundred things I wanted to “fix.”
Guess how many it was?
That’s it! 21 things to do! And I knocked out 4 of those things in the next 10 minutes after making this realization, triumphantly narrowing my list down to 17 items. Isn’t that brilliant? It’s not 100+ menial tasks. It was 17 tasks, most of which will allow me to exercise my creativity to really solve – the big ones, anyway.
Thank you, Apartment Therapy! I’m no hoarder, but even so, I think I’m well on my way to become a recovering clutter angst-er. With this new perspective I’m certainly looking forward to the additional challenges that will come forth with the January Cure, and more excited to see how things are transformed in one month’s time!
Won’t you join me and participate too? Apparently there’s a party at the end! Leave a comment if you’re gonna give it a try so we can cheer each other on!
(And in case you missed it, check out my easy tips for a once-a-month home deep clean!)