Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Home for the Holidays: Day 4

How have you all been doing? I'd love to hear about it in a post or see your pictures in the Flickr pool.

Take a deep breath and breathe out. Today we're going to have another low-key assignment. There are three parts to today's assignment:

Do something to take care of yourself. We've been working so hard on our houses, let's do a little self-maintenance. Take 20 minutes or so (don't set a timer on this one unless you pick something that is a time warp!), turn off your phone, close IM/email/Facebook and do something that will help you feel more relaxed in your own skin. THIS STEP IS REQUIRED, NO SKIPPING! We still have 42 assignment days until Christmas, the rest will get done. Here are some ideas:

* Take a warm bath
* Do some eyebrow maintenance
* Shave your legs
* Shower (this one is for you, new moms!)
* Smooth your heel calluses and put some nice lotion and socks on
* Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
* Give yourself a facial
* Read a book
* Play a video game
* Watch an episode of your favorite show on Hulu.com
* Take a nap

Are you feeling more refreshed? I bet you'll like the next step!

What is that one thing you would LOVE to get done, but it is never the most important thing on your list? Give yourself a "get out of guilt free" pass and take 20 minutes or so and work on it! You can set a timer if you like, but if you're having a good time, feel free to run with it!

I'm talking about something like:
* Organizing photos
* Your hobby - knitting, scrapbooking, sewing, beading, taxidermy, whatever!
* Cleaning your hobby space so working on it isn't stressful
* Writing a card for somebody
* Making a gift for somebody
* Doing some fun research - i.e. what camera model is best for your needs
* Calling someone you love to check on them/get in touch
* Creative writing
* Home decorating
* Practicing a musical instrument
* Taking some time to play with your kids and give them 100% of your attention
* Sorting your books, magazines, or something else you have fun looking at (for me it would be craft supplies). Something that energizes you and makes you feel creative.

To round out this day's assignment (we're shooting for spending around an hour), get your timer and set it for 20 minutes. We are going to do a maintenance blitz where we do as much of the following list as we can:

* Thwart any pending disasters (i.e. pot of spaghetti sauce in baby's reach)
* Clean any spills or messes that could get worse soon (another one that mostly applies to parents)
* Clear out one side of the kitchen sink (disposal side if you have one)
* Pick up any trash that might be laying around
* Take out any trash that is filling its can
* Clear any pathways that are strewn with items
* Gather up dirty laundry and take it to the laundry room (or get it ready to go to the laundromat)
* Replenish toilet paper, soap, diapers, wipes, paper towels as needed
* Change out towels and washcloths/dishcloths as needed (kitchen, hand towels, bath towels)
* Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters and kitchen table if needed (Don't work on any clutter piles during this blitz, just do what you can get to. The idea is to get the best visual/spatial returns for your time. My kitchen table is still condemned.).

If you want to do more, or you didn't need to do anything in the blitz list, spend 20-30 minutes at a time on the following things (any less than 20 minutes and it seems like too much time is spent switching gears, but you may prefer a different interval. I think 30 minutes is best for me.). Set your timer and change rooms when it goes off.

* Vacuum
* Put away clean laundry
* Start laundry loads/start dryer loads
* Put away clean dishes/wash dirty dishes or load dishwasher
* Sweep and mop hard floors
* Clean bathroom fixtures
* Wash windows
* Dust

We are doing basic home maintenance for phase 3, not decluttering. If you can't get to anything because of clutter (I've been there!), focus on decluttering your kitchen sink and countertops and your bathroom sink and countertops, and then hallways and main walkways. On the other hand, if you are pretty on top of maintenance and none of these things need to be done, work on the lists from Day 1 and Day 2 or spend more time on Phase 2 from today.

Do you feel a little lighter?

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