So apparently my 30 days to get organised finished on the 12th of this month. Of course you can probably guess that the entire project wasn't completely successful otherwise I would have known this little bit of information well in advance and had a blog post ready to publish on that day. But while I am still not the Martha Stewart of Australia, I have learnt a lot this month and I'm going to share my new nuggets of wisdom with you. (Mainly because I like using the word nuggets in a sentence that isn't related to food.)
Rome wasn't built in a day
So the first thing I learnt was that things like cleaning a house from top to bottom, or learning how to be better organised take time. And a lot of mistakes. And a lot of forgiving yourself for being human and needing lots of Tim Tam and Facebook breaks. There is also the frustration that comes with realising that 30 days is a long time and you will need the full 30 days just to scratch the surface that is your lazy slovenly personality, and that can be very boring and time consuming. There are also days where the work exceeds the rewards by one hundred to one, where you've spent the day washing dishes and doing vacuuming only to see the sink is full again and there are fresh crumbs on your newly cleaned carpet. Waking up the next day can be very hard to do after you've come to the realisation that there is no end to your work. But then the days where you get to sit in a clean lounge room and enjoy your coffee knowing that your vulture of a daughter can't find anything to eat off the carpet, nor can she find any pointy things to jab in her eye can feel pretty good. So can the realisation that if a friend pops in for a surprise visit, you won't be ashamed to let them in the door.
To do lists are an organised person's best friend
So I started out writing myself a new to do list every night before I went to bed, and on the days that I did this I accomplished a lot. Of course having a list of tasks in front of you prevents you from forgetting anything you need to cram into your day, and it also forces you to realise you don't have enough hours to sit around and drink coffee (like you want to) and get everything on your list done (like you need to). You also have no excuse to say your bored if you have a to do list staring at you everywhere you move, daring you to ignore it. Now of course after a few days of using my to do lists, I made the mistake so many rookies make, I felt that I was now experienced enough to remember absolutely everything I had to get done in a day so I got rid of my trusty to do list and things very quickly fell apart. So my lesson has been learnt, and I now know that I need to jot down absolutely everything I think I might want to get done the next day, right down to getting dressed in the morning. Because apparently if it's not in writing, I don't have to do it.
Don't take on too much at once
I learnt this one on about day four when I decided that our pantry and cupboards needed an overhaul. Now we have a huge double door pantry that is used for food storage, as well as a quick hidey hole for anything that doesn't have its own home. As a result any decisions to tackle this cupboard usually take an entire day. Now I decided to get started on our pantry at 8:30 at night. After a full day of cleaning. Needless to say I lasted half an hour before I realised there wasn't enough coffee in the world to get this project finished before breakfast the next day and promptly gave up for the night. (Right after I carefully put everything back into the cupboard to save myself more work the next morning) Now I did go back to the kitchen cupboards, but I did them over several days. And even then there is more that could be done in the pantry as I really only focused on the food storage area. But even just getting that section organised and easier to use was a good feeling. Now that I am on top of my school work again I may schedule some time in the coming weeks to tackle a different shelf, and see if I can't get the whole thing looking pretty by the end of the year.
You can have too many shoes
Or too many handbags, or too many toys. One of the biggest problems in my house isn't the general day to day mess that comes with living in a house, it's all the extra little pieces that have come into the house over the years and have proceeded to make themselves comfortable into any empty space in the house that they can find. These are the things that make a house look messy, and these are also the things that can be the hardest to clean up when you decide to overhaul your house. As I mentioned earlier we have a pantry that doubles as storage. We also have a wall near the laundry, a table in our family room, a cupboard in my mum's room and two cupboards in the laundry. All of these have been filled with things over the years that fall into the I dunno category. The tall cupboard in our laundry is my personal favourite. Among other things, it contains a large box of trophies, a gymnast's ribbon, a printer and a bag full of the little things that used to take up space in my old laundry. Rummaging through it really is like taking a trip down memory lane, but given the sentimental value of everything in that cupboard, it is too hard to throw any of it out, so there it stays, taking up valuable space. Now over the past few weeks I have started going through all of my belongings and Miss K's belongings and throwing out a lot of stuff. Toys that Miss K is too old for, or she has never really taken an interest in, clothing that I no longer wear, because it is too big, or too misshapen or too ugly. things that have sat in my repair pile for months because I can't be bothered fixing them and useless crap that I have bought on the spur of the moment and never used. But there is still so much stuff filling up my space I could probably throw out even more. This is where my little brother excels and I don't. If ever we need a space cleaned out completely we bring him in because he is absolutely ruthless. The words sentimental value mean very little to him so throwing out all of our treasured memories comes a lot easier to him.
So there you have it. I've learned a lot but I still have a long way to go. I may try again, but make my goal a little bit smaller next time, and instead of trying to become super woman in 30 days I'll try having a household binder complete instead, and then move on from there. If anyone out there has any words of advice for me before I move on, please feel free to drop them below in the comments section, I hate to admit it, but I need all the help I can get.