The first day of spring is in 31 days, if you can believe it. If you’re like me, you’re giddy with excitement about breezy weather, open windows, and wildflowers in bloom.
This is also the season when many of us feel the itch to get our homes in order. Decluttering, cleaning, and organizing — “spring cleaning” is the default phrase. There’s something about the budding season that awakens our internal clocks to a fresh start, both inside and out. Spring cleaning feels good — tossing, dusting, and piling energizes our spirits.
At least for me, anyway.
It’s with my book, Organized Simplicity, that I’m launching a new series called “Project: Simplify.” Care to join me? Read on for more details (and how you can enter to win a copy of the book today!).
Where’s your “hot spot”?
Some of the most popular hot spots:
1. Bathroom cabinets
Laura Kinman said, “Bathroom drawers and under the sinks — you know, a whole load of different cleaners for the house and your body, boxes of feminine products, cotton balls, toliet paper…… Oh wow, is that an action figure shoved in there?”
Nicole Spellman said, “Bathroom cupboard; no actual medicine cabinet, just too much stuff (the rest is shoved under the stairwell closet).”
2. Master bedroom
Sarah Libby said, “Master bedroom — everything ends up there to keep it out of somewhere else….then at the end of the day I hate seeing it all, so I just turn off the lights and go to bed.”
Andie Wade said, “Our desk and master bedroom. Both are behind doors that are easily closed when people come over so they’re where I tend to dump things with the good intention of ‘putting them away later.’”
Kim Disberger said, “Sadly, the area beneath my beautiful picture window in the master bedroom. It began as a couple stacks of books needing a better home, and has grown to include anything the kids don’t know what to do with. I have got to get that tackled.”
3. Kitchen and dining rooms
Annie of Phd in Parenting said, “The kitchen counter. Notes from school bags. Half-eaten snacks. Things the kids bring me while I’m cooking (toys, pictures they’ve drawn, things that need to be fixed).”
Rebecca Nichols said, “Definitely the edge of the kitchen counter. Also — one side of my dining table; it seats six but there are only three of us…. so the end closest to the front door ends up being a landing pad for everything we bring home!”
Sarah Taylor said, “Our dining room/work room! My hubby is adamant about not putting stuff in our entry from our garage to our kitchen, so we go around the corner to the dining room (where we do not eat – we eat at the kitchen table) and drop/store our bags, papers, books, files, coloring/craft stuff….It’s almost like a family office, but I need help implementing and MAINTAINING order.”
So where’s the worst clutter offender? I think Britanie Myers sums it up best — “Pretty much any flat surface.”
Can you relate?
For five weeks this spring, from March 7 to April 8, we’ll be tackling five different areas in our homes. On Monday, I’ll announce the week’s “hot spot.” That Friday, I’ll share my before and after photos in my home (because yes, it gets disorganized, too!).
Then here’s how you participate: You’ll post your “before” and “after” experience (photos are a must!) on your own blog, then link to it on Friday’s Simple Mom post. (If you don’t have a blog, you can post your before and after photos to the Simple Living Flickr pool, describing your experience in the photo’s description.)
We’ll spend Friday (and that weekend) browsing each other’s sites; encouraging our successes in tackling the hot spots. Inspiration is found knowing there will be other families worldwide, decluttering and organizing the same areas in their homes!
Then this is the fun part — everyone who participates in that week’s hot spot is automatically entered to win a giveaway! And no, it won’t be more “stuff” to organize — it’ll be inspiration or a tool to keep on simplifying your life.
So, to sum up:
1. On Monday, I’ll announce that week’s “hot spot” project.
2. You’ll have the week to declutter, clean, and organize that area — don’t forget to take “before” and “after” photos (no straightening up ahead of time, either!).
3. On Friday, I’ll reveal my own “before” and “after” photos.
4a. You’ll also post your photos and write about your experience on your own blog, then link to it on Simple Mom.
4b. If you don’t have a blog, you can share your “before” and “after” photos in the Simple Living Flickr pool, describing your experience in the photos’ description. (You can also do this even if you have a blog.)
5. Rest from the week’s hard work by browsing everyone else’s photos (and find inspiration for the next project!).
6. Cross your fingers in hopes that you’ve won that week’s giveaway.
My book, Organized Simplicity, will be the foundation for this project. We’ll soon be talking about family purpose statements, the foundation to simplifying your home and life. I devote an entire chapter in the book to creating a statement that reflects your family’s values, which is the crux for making decisions in all areas of your life. It’s an essential step; not to be missed.
Before the first project on March 7, I highly encourage you to create your family’s purpose statement.
We’ll also continue our posts on money management 101, because getting finances in order is a major step to simplifying your entire life, including your homes’ clutter. Ever bought anything more than once because you couldn’t find your first purchase? Riddled with late library fees because that pesky book is nowhere to be found?
I’ve also got a guest post there today, about a few things I learned from living overseas. These lessons should also provide inspiration to roll up your sleeves and get to work in your home.
Are you as excited as I am? I hope many of you participate! If you’ve always wanted to really declutter your home, but lose hope or steam after just a few hours, this will be the ticket. Nothing like knowing there are many families around the world working right alongside you.
And I’ll be right there with you, patting you on the back every step of the way.
Are you ready? What are you excited about organizing or decluttering this spring?