Sunday, January 5, 2014

Making a list and checking it twice

It is the time to declutter around the house. IT IS TIME.

I started on the decluttering project mid-December by overhauling my kitchen. I moved all the food to a new shelf in the kitchen, some of the dry goods to a closed door pantry in the dining room, and I've started weeding the frequently used pans from the rarely used ones and storying the less used stuff in the inaccessible cupboards.

Currently I have one cabinet empty waiting for me to clean out the mouse debris (the inspiration for moving the food) and be repurposed for small appliance storage rather than the handy cupboard that currently has the small appliances. I'm still considering the merits of other mouse mitigation strategies beyond leaving the thing open for the cat to cruise into it overnight a few times.

Now, with the inspiration from SRB and Stephanie I am making the list and prioritizing taming the mess. Sometime later this week is coming a post about how to deal with being married to someone whose enthusiasm for decluttering doesn't at all match yours. And the trash and how you should never let trash be a major source of marital unrest and yet sometimes it happens nonetheless...

Anyway, here is my list. I leave for rotations mid-May (2 back to back where I'll only be home weekends, one home, one far away that the family may come with, one home, Thanksgiving break, mystery rotation, mystery rotation, very far from home rotation, GRADUATE! is my schedule for the year starting in May) so there is a time crunch.

And I'm not sure I mentioned it, but I very something-something-ly signed up to be cookie boss for the kid's scout group so that will also be occupying my house/basement starting all too soon. Whoa.

Kitchen - deadline is the end of this week. Currently there remain 3 chunks of counter that are coated in dishes and other debris and one minor cupboard switcheroo left.
Dining room - goal is end of this week, deadline is the week after that.
Basement - goal is January 17th, deadline January 23rd. This is order only, contents of the basement will get dealt with hopefully within this time but the drop dead basement purge deadline is February 5th.
Bookshelves - goal is January 23, deadline is January 31.
Desk - goal of January 31, deadline of February 5th.
Office pile of debris on the floor - goal of February 5th, deadline of February 14th.
Office pile of debris above the built-in shelves - goal of February 14th, deadline of February 21st.
Office files - goal of February 28th, deadline of March 7th.
Living room - goal of March 7th, deadline of March 11th.
Master bedroom - goal of as soon as humanly possible, deadline of March 13th.
Girls' room - goal of March 13th, deadline of March 17th.
Laundry room - goal of March 17th, deadline March 22nd.
Garage east side - goal of March 28th, deadline of April 4th.
Garage south side - goal of April 4th, deadline of April 11th.
Garage west side - goal of May 2, deadline of May 9th.
Garden in the front yard - goal of 1 week from snow melt, deadline of May 10th.
Garden in the fenced yard - goal of 1 week from snow melt, deadline of May 11th.
Garden in the back yard - goal of 1 week from snow melt, deadline of May 12th.

So there we have it. The plan is all laid out and if I stick to it, the house will be in something resembling order before I start rotations. Bazinga!

I'm setting up my various things that DING! to remind me of these deadlines 3 days ahead and on the day of, adding them as a special to-do list in my email (each class has an assignment to-do list as well so I can prioritize easily what needs to happen based on how soon it's due), and they will go on the wall calendar. Accountability is happening and I'm hopeful I'll get some posts together about the experience. We have moved 8 times in less than a decade so we have many boxes of random stuff packed by someone else that haven't been opened in years that need to be dealt with, we got stuck with a bunch of stuff when my parents helped pack our stuff out of their house (see the 16 coffee cups in addition to our dozen or so, plus many more surprises I'm sure), and the bad packrat tendencies need to be fixed NOW.

Let's declutter!


  1. IT'S ON! Your schedule includes some things I am not even ready to THINK about yet (garage, garden) but I'll cross those bridges when I come to them.

    Excited to follow along with your deadlines. Really liking seeing how other people are handling it. Especially interested in how this works with Spouse. I don't have this issue (maybe I am the hoarder?!?) but I know it's common.

    Let's do this!

    1. Some persons to whom I am married have a blogger account and have reluctantly agreed to write a post in this series because I demanded it. And because really, why have a blog if you never post on it? Huh? Our garage is a 2 car that used to have a giant work bench and now has only a tiny car and a slew of boxes so it must be done. So many boxes... ugh... The garden spots are in pretty good shape and things just need planting when it's spring, so that's how they made the list at all.

  2. Setting dates helps so much with motivation for me as well. I love it!

  3. Love your schedule! I need to do the same. It will be fun seeing how much we all manage to de-clutter our houses and lives!