Things I learned during Project Simplify Challenge:
- You can’t clean a refrigerator while watching television. Before DVR I used to clean my kitchen during the commercials. Now that we fast forward through commercials my “system” has been blown.
- Tsh at Simple Mom’s 5 week challenge has made me realize I do watch too much tv. The thoughts behind this one simple statement could take up several blog posts.
- I don’t like to clean house while other people are watching tv, reading, or doing anything else besides working as terribly hard as I am or at least as hard as I think I’m working. Poor me.
- Why does it take a challenge to get me to get off the couch and clean something in the evenings at my house? I have enjoyed the thrill of the challenge. Can I get something done between Monday night and Friday morning? It also helped that others were participating and would be posting and I didn’t want to be left out. Not in a competitive spirit necessarily, but everyone wants to be a part of something and for these few weeks I’ve been a part of this group of awesome women striving to make their homes a little nicer each week than they were before.
- I’ve been happy reading the other blogs seeing that a clean little space in our homes makes us smile when we walk by. I’ll miss the interaction between the others after this challenge is over.
At first I thought this week would be hard to choose what to do. What I appreciated most about the challenge was Tsh told us what to do and I didn’t have to make any decisions about what location to tackle next. I finally decided this desk and surrounding area in our office was the biggest eyesore and the natural selection.
This is the catch all of catch alls other than the garage. If I don’t know what to do with something it goes here or in the garage. If k asks me what to do with something, I tell her to put it on the white desk.
I started this project by clearing everything off the top into a box and carrying it and the other boxes into the living room to sort while watching the tv.
This desk was surrounded by boxes of stuff thrown in frantically when we had our flood Sept 2009. I’ve made a few passes through these boxes since then but have never managed to clear them all out successfully. Now that I have a new paper system from week 2 of Project Simplify I know what to do with the paper that I didn’t even touch in week 2 knowing this desk was its own project. That felt good. Previous effort is paying dividends.
I just tried to toss or find homes for everything as I went through the boxes. I did manage to get 5 or more boxes down to 3. I’m still not sure what to do with the stuff in those 3. It probably needs to be tossed, but the first full week of April is not the time for me to be asked to think much about anything other than taxes so I stuffed some things back into boxes until the next pass through.
I also cleared out the shelf in the cabinet next to it to put the crayons, markers, and other craft stuff that wouldn’t fit in the drawers. Forgot to take a picture of that fine work but I am happy this shelf now has a purpose rather than being another stash and dash location.
I did not sort through all the white basket drawers of the desk. They are filled with all kinds of supplies, papers, glue, felt, etc. for k’s projects. They will need to be culled through on another day.
Finally, a word about how I managed to accomplish all of this while working 50-60 hours a week these last 5 weeks:
- I only worked in small bursts of time.
- I didn’t do much of anything else.
- My hubby added meals and dishes to his to do list in addition to the laundry and yard work he always does. (Yes, my hubby does our laundry…I’m very blessed.) He always does this for me during tax season. He pretty much has to take care of meals or he and k wouldn’t get to eat until really late. He does the dishes because he’s a good man. Without him the kitchen would have been in sad shape while I did my 5 little projects. Thanks, Honey!
Our house is certainly not decluttered now. For every hot spot Project Simplify tackled there are at least 5 more just waiting their turn. But now I realize how very little effort and time it takes to get a whole lot accomplished. To see what the other awesome women accomplished go here to the week 5 results.
Throughout this Project Simplify challenge this verse has haunted me.
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.’”
3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” (Haggai 1:2-4, New International Version, ©2011)
Have I been building the house of the Lord with as much enthusiasm as I have been decluttering my house? I realize the path of a wife and mother involves creating a place in my home my family feels safe and loved. The clutter and stuff definitely hinders safety and serenity. So a decluttering effort is definitely called for.
However, do we get so caught up in making a perfect place for us as we have imagined it from perfect pictures in lovely magazines that we forget to also look at the vision God has for His family, His body, His church, His house?
If we have so much clutter in our minds from to do lists, projects, and errands we will not be able to hear the voice of the Lord when He asks us to work on His house.