Maybe it's the early onslaught of spring, with its open windows and lovely breezes and the refreshing energy and desire for change that comes with it. Maybe it's the new bunk beds that I got for the girls' room, which forced me to do a lot of rushed rearranging (translation: moving piles of clutter) and left me with one clean, organized room, and one room piled chest-high with boxes, too cluttered to walk across. The tail end of winter brought one illness after another into our house, and we've had colds, flus, and ear infections in varying degrees for weeks, maybe even months; I've lost track. When you're dealing with all that, it's even harder than usual to kick yourself in the pants to wash those dishes, and the baseline mess gets worse than usual.
My mom just came to visit for a week, and we did a lot of fun things, like going to the park, the zoo, and the beach. But in awesome-mom fashion, she also helped me to get a handle on some of the day-to-day household stuff that had gotten away from me. And now I am inspired to keep going.
I've started to dig out my room (which is the catch-all for clutter, and the dumping ground for everything that "needs to be sorted"). I've done about a dozen loads of laundry in the past week, and, even more amazingly, it has almost all been folded and put away. I've started purging the girls' drawers of too-small clothes, and pulling the summer stuff out of storage. I can actually walk into my walk-in closet again, and I have been *gasp* actually hanging things up again. I pulled everything out of the pantry, organized it, and put it back in a way that makes sense. I cleaned off the top of the fridge. I have a long way to go, but I'm off to a good start. Now all I need is motivation to keep going.
Which works out nicely, because it's almost April. Hour-a-Day April was such a successful experiment last year, I've decided to do it again. The original post is here, but I will post the updated rules for 2012 below.
Hour-a-Day April 2012 Rules
- Think of something that you normally have a hard time finding time for. Sewing, cleaning, painting, organizing, playing basketball, crossing things off your honey-do list, it's up to you! It can be one big project, or a bunch of little projects. For me, it's going to be mostly sorting/organizing and deep cleaning. Those are the things I never seem to get to, because any motivation I have gets used up on the surface stuff before I get to it.
- Spend an hour every day working on your chosen project(s). Set a timer and stick to it. Kids need your attention? Stop the timer and give them your attention. You have all day to squeeze in that hour, and if your kids are anything like mine, it might happen five or ten minutes at a time. But by the end of the day, make sure you've clocked that hour. Know yourself. If the best way for you to get in your hour is to get up early, get up early. If you clean best after everyone else goes to bed, skip CSI. It's only for a month.
- Take one day off a week. If you're religious, you may already have a set sabbath, if not, just pick a day to be your "break" day. Or don't pick a day, and let it be a floating day off, so if you miss a day, you can just say, "Oh well, that was my day off."
- Keep others updated on your progress. Comment on this blog. Blog about it yourself, and send me the link. Tweet about it on Twitter and use the hash tag #HADA (Hour-A-Day April). Take pictures and post them to the HADA Flickr group. http://www.flickr.com/groups/hada/. Phone up your mom. Put a gold star on a chart.
- Don't give up. Missed a day? Just brush it off and get back on the proverbial horse the next day. Even if you only do half the days, that's still 15 hours more productivity than your April would have otherwise had.
- Don't let HADA set you back on all the stuff you normally do find time for. If you're having a hard time keeping up with the daily stuff, count some of it towards your hour (but not all of it, or the point of HADA is lost).
- Don't let anyone or anything steal your joy and sense of accomplishment for the things you have done. HADA isn't about becoming perfect, it's about deliberately spending an hour every day tackling the projects you rarely get to. If you did your hour today, YOU WIN. Period. It doesn't matter if someone else did two hours, or if the sink is still full of dirty dishes, or if there are still 17 more hours of organizing to do. If you managed to squeeze a whole extra hour of blood from the stone of your already-busy day, be proud of yourself.
- Celebrate when it's all over! If you live near me, let's go out to dinner together and order gooey chocolatey desserts. If you live far away, have your own celebration and tell me about it. Go ahead and splurge, you've earned it!