Fall Forward

Is anyone else finding it hard to believe we’re already two-thirds through September?

[Damn.]

For crying out loud, blink and it’s going to be the holidays, full of trick-or-treaters, turkey with gravy, and “stockings hanging by the chimney with care.”

[Crap.]

Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS! But, to be frank, I’m feeling über behind . . . that’s all ;) I already missed out on the whole “Spring Cleaning” thing. If only there was a way to get our house into the tip-top shape I want it to be in, because, lately, when it comes to looking inside a cabinet or opening a closet door, I feel like a celebrity running from the paparazzi.

Fall-Forward

But I have devised a plan, people – a brilliant, brilliant plan. [Enter Evil Laugh Here.] I have dubbed it “Fall Forward” and you too could join me in this fun [using the term loosely], ego-bending, cleaning extravaganza.

[No, I am not kidding.]

Between now and October 4th, I am going to whip our house into organized bliss, so I can enjoy the holidays and not have to mull over what to name the science experiment in the back of my fridge. [I think it just said hello.] So here’s my game plan:

Step 1: Make a list of all the areas needing attention.

This is pretty much anything that needs to be cleaned, organized, or [worse-case scenario] both. Here’s my list:

– DVD’s

– Pantry

– Coat Closet

– Jewelry

– Shoes

– Nightstands

– Books

– Office Papers

– Tax Receipts

– Bathroom Vanities

– Cleaning Supplies

Step 2: List each area on its own separate piece of paper and breakdown the process.

This is a trick I learned from my life coach, Karson, and I believe it to be a very necessary, ease-giving tool for what can seem as a daunting project. Here’s a quick example:

Tax Receipts

– Gather all receipts for the 2013 tax year.

– Divide the receipts by month.

– Scan each receipt pile into your computer.

– Create a location on your desk to place future receipts.

Does that make sense? Once you break down each task into little sub-chores, it seems less daunting and completely manageable. Plus, [the good news is] there is no right or wrong way. Easy peasy.

Step 3: Take your calendar and mark in when you’re going to conquer each area.

Hopefully, your list isn’t as overwhelming as mine! [Do I laugh or cry?] This step is extremely important because it will help you execute. I mean you will still have to will yourself to do it. I can’t control that, but with these three steps, it will be simpler. Now here are a few tips to further aid you in your journey:

Tip 1: Create an outbox.

I stole this idea from Apartment Therapy. It’s a great one. This is an area you set-up in your home, where you place items you are thinking about giving the boot BUT aren’t completely sure. You know like that sweater Aunt So-And-So made you and you never wore. This area will get messy, and most likely, full, but that’s okay! Once the project is coming to a close, you will be able to clearly see what you truly want to keep and what will turn into a new Goodwill treasure.

Tip 2: Make a shopping list but do not purchase.

What the what? Yes, you read that correctly. I am the queen of buying stuff I don’t really need, so learn where I have failed: write down every possible container or gadget you think you need as you tidy, but do not make any sort of purchase until you are finished. Most people do not give the art of “mulling” a chance. When you are able ponder, the best results will be seen. Trust me.

Tip 3: Give yourself a time limit for each area.

Personally, if it seems like a competition, I do my best work. I’m not sure why, but it works! Seriously. You will be amazed what you can do if you only give yourself an hour or even just 15 minutes.

“Life is denied by the lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece.“ – Nadia Boulanger

Well, I hope this works. I desperately needed a house boot camp, SO I created one for myself. All you need is gumption, a small notebook with many blank pages, a pen [duh], and whatever cleaning supplies you fancy. I really do hope you will join me for this challenge. I am here to hold your hand the entire way. In fact, you can even email me with your “Fall Forward” or any questions, comments, or concerns at Jenna@luckylittlemustardseed.com. We can ALL be prepared for “the most wonderful time of the year” with a little elbow grease! I will give you updates the next two Fridays with my own personal progress.

Wish me luck and happy cleaning, y’all!

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