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July 22, 2008

Friday five (or six)

Apparently this week turned into clutter week for me, writing about stuff ... cleaning stuff, getting rid of stuff, buying the right stuff, letting go of old stuff.

I thought I'd end the week with my weekend stuff to-do list. This is what I do every weekend so I can start the week out feeling like I am not losing the battle. I am not sure which battle it is, exactly, but I always know when I feel like I'm losing it!

1) Clean off the coffee table. (time: 10 minutes)
I have to make a point to clean off the coffee table once a week because open surfaces in my house are magnetically charged to attract stuff. Papers, mail, coupons, stuff from my purse, pens, notebooks, post-it-notes, cups, wine glasses, cat toys, hair elastics, you name it ... it all somehow magically accumulates on the coffee table. Every Sunday I make a point to clear everything away and put everything where it belongs and clean the glass top of the table with a spritz of vinegar and water so it sparkles. It stays clean for at least a few hours!

2) Clean the table, too. (time: 7-10 minutes)
The dining table is small but also shares in the magic, it is able to attract to its surface all sorts of doodads and stuff and whathaveyou. Each weekend I clear it off, dust it and start the week with clean tabletops. I don't know why, exactly, but this makes a huge difference to me!

3) Laundry (time: two hours, more or less)
I hate two household chores more than anything in the world -- laundry and dishes. I've managed to get the dish washing down to a minimum since I don't cook very often. Sadly, you can't decide to go light on laundry by having clothing-optional days at work. (Imagine the bus ride, ewwww.) Now that I have pared down my wardrobe to the essentials, I'm not able to let laundry pile up for weeks at a time because I'd run out of clothes! So I do laundry every weekend and it feels good to start Monday knowing all your clothes are clean and ready. I also can't stand the idea of stretching out a single loathsome chore like laundry through the whole week, I'd rather do it in one time chunk and be done. I usually do laundry super early on Saturday mornings and it's done in just a few hours. I also wash all the linens and towels in the house -- another reason to declutter is to have less to launder!

4) Empty the trashcans (time: 5 minutes)
Something about going around the house and emptying all the little trashcans makes the house feel cleaner. It's such a small thing but it works.

5) Cleaning (time: depends on how thorough I am!)
Even if I don't have a lot of time for a deep-cleaning of the house, I always try to get the basics done by Sunday night: vacuum, clean the bathroom, clean the kitchen, put stuff away. Now that I have less stuff to clean around, I can do a quick-clean of the whole house in under an hour. I don't have a schedule for cleaning, I'm finally at a stage where I'm maintaining the house daily and I just get my deep-clean crazy on when it feels right. My goal is to minimize the amount of housework I have to do during the week so I try to get it all done on the weekends.

Five plus one....

6) Bag it all up! (time: 5-10 minutes)
On Sunday night I put my purse, keys and commuter toy by the door. My "commuter toy" is either a book or my knitting bag or whatever I'm taking on the bus that day. If I don't have a project or book I find one and put it with my stuff so I'm not walking aimlessly around the house Monday morning looking for something to read on the bus. I also include magazines in this pile, stuff I need to take to work for whatever reason and any supplies i may need, like if I ran out of Kleenex or tea at work and I'm taking in some supplies. I hate wasting time in the morning looking for stuff, so I try to get it all together the night before so I don't start the day mad and late.

These are the few little things I do each weekend to manage my stuff and my time. Lord have mercy but I am boring!

Posted by laurie at July 22, 2008 1:33 PM