We’re three days into the new year, and my New Year’s Resolution is still going strong. And, since it involves weekly projects – and the first one’s already done – it will still be intact for at least another few days.

Actually, I expect it to stay alive and well for a lot longer – hopefully throughout the entire year. It’s a variation on other New Year’s Resolutions I’ve made in the past when my focus has been organizing and decluttering.

This year, I decided to tackle one clean-out project a week, and I’ve made a cheat sheet to help me along. I started working on it a few weeks before the end of last year by going through my house, room by room, and writing down things that warrant attention: closet shelves, dresser drawers, kitchen cabinets. I wasn’t sure I’d come up with the 52 I would need in order to spread the projects out through the entire year, but I actually ended up with 64 – which means I’ll need to do one “bonus” project each month in order to clear the entire list by the end of 2020.

Doing it this way makes decluttering feel like a game – more of a challenge than a chore – and I’ve always been motivated by this type of personal quest. Especially since I’ve got things broken down into specifics like “Top corner kitchen cabinet” and “Bottom left dresser drawer.” It might not sound like these are projects that could take a week to complete, and many of them aren’t. On the other hand, you probably haven’t seen my top corner kitchen cabinet or bottom left dresser drawer.

The point, though, is not just to get these areas cleared out, but to get in the habit of clearing them out. Every week I’ll look at my list, select one item to focus on, and get at it. In the process, I’m sure I’ll find some lost treasures, as well as items I can donate to others who can make better use of them. I’ll probably come across some “So that’s where this has been hiding!” items and a few “Why on earth do I still have this?” odds and ends. So I’m looking forward to the adventure as well as the challenge.

The last time I made a resolution somewhat similar to this one, it lasted until July, when I got hung up on a certain project and never moved past it. Although that’s not bad, as New Year’s Resolutions go, I’m hoping this one will take me all the way through December 31.

If you’d like to join me, there’s still time to make a list of your own and tackle the first week’s project. And if you don’t have 52 drawers, shelves, or cabinets in your house that could use some cleaning out, I’d be happy to lend you a few of mine.

January 3, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020

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