December 12, 2016

December Goal: Make a Home for the Holidays

This is shaping up to be an odd month for me. When I’m staffed on a client, I’m used to traveling for my job four days a week, every week. In November, I had a break from client service after wrapping up a big project and then focusing on teaching our senior associate Discover program. Afterward, it was Thanksgiving, and new projects are generally slow to start in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, I got staffed on a fantastic new client and have been traveling for the last two weeks. Today, though, an unexpected surprise came along: we only had a few meetings scheduled, so to save on travel, our team decided at the last minute to cancel travel and work from home this week and next week. Merry early Christmas to me!

Another early Christmas came in the form of my company holiday party on Saturday, which was spectacular. Look at this gorgeous tree!

Before I landed on this new project, I had planned to make my December challenge focused on cleaning out / upgrading my house (which you might have noticed I foreshadowed in this post about my Christmas decorations). But after being staffed, I didn’t think this was a very realistic goal, since I’d only be home on weekends.

Of course weekends are the time when most people get a lot of personal things done. But one thing that normal people don’t think about is how many little tasks they can quickly take care of on weeknights after work. I’m super jealous of that luxury! Vacuuming the living room may only be a five minute task, for example, but when I literally can’t go home for four days every week, I end up with dozens of those five minute tasks to do on Saturdays/Sundays – and I can’t change that timing even if I’m super motivated on a Tuesday. I love my house so much and think buying it was the best decision I’ve ever made (okay, second best after moving to Colorado), but it’s a lot of upkeep for one person who’s not home very much.

But now, for this month, I’m jumping for joy because I can do things on weeknights! (Fine, not a lot on weeknights, since I typically work 10-12 hours a day, but I can still go home and do something.) So my challenge is back on: clean out, reorganize, and generally improve my home over the next month to make it an even happier place to live. There are a bunch of rooms in my house that I haven’t really used since I moved in (one even still has boxes in it! Clearly those need to go…), and I’m looking forward to getting those cleared out. My hope is that by the end of the month I’ll have things much more organized than they are today, and also have pared down a lot of things I just don’t need.

I’m not putting a formal structure to this month’s goal by following a 30 day cleaning challenge or anything like that. Realistically, I know that some days I’ll have a lot more time than others, so I’d rather not be tied into a defined schedule. My own simple rule for challenge success is that each day, I need to do some task that is either reorganizing something, purging something, or deep cleaning something (everyday cleaning like wiping the counters down / vacuuming doesn’t count, even though I’m grateful that I can do those things while I’m home). And, as per my usual Excel-obsessed self, I’ve started making a list in Google Sheets of things I want to get done and my time estimate of how long they’ll take – so that I’m never wondering what else I can do.

Yes, I know these are all really quick to-dos – hoping to target WAY more than one per day, and also grow this list to include some bigger ticket items as well.

Every Monday, I’ll share my progress from the last week (with pictures even) to show what I’ve been working on so far. And tomorrow, I’ll share my first project of the month – my completely refinished stairway banister. Yay! Hope you all don’t mind my veering into DIY-blogger land too much. If you hate it, though, the good news is there are only 19 days left in the month (yikes, where did 2016 go?!). Happy December!


4 thoughts on “December Goal: Make a Home for the Holidays”

  1. I can so relate to your issue of getting little thigns done. Since I typically work out after work, by the time I get home and cook, I just don’t have the energy to do the smaller things and they get left until the weekend and things just build.

    I’m also working on getting -ish organized this month. I’ve talked it over with a SUPER organized friend of mine and she gave me a plan 🙂

    1. I’m still jealous that you go home every night and could tackle urgent things if you had to! But I know you get that from working in this job previously, and fortunately, there are lots of things I do love about traveling for work 🙂

      Are you going to do a post on your organizing plan? That sounds fascinating and I’d love to see it!!

  2. Yes, I’m definitely going to write about it!
    I’ve learned a lot about what works for me and what doesn’t in regards to cleaning and organizing, and really just keeping my life organized.
    This year was a learning year 🙂

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