That is my goal this week...to purge. Once the first of the year comes, I need to be ready to stumble my way into this rather intricate dance I am about to begin.
Since I don't really have a tangible goal, or a set finished product (like a novel or a marathon)...I'm unsure that I will "know" whether or not I have accomplished it. I don't even know how I'll be able to gauge my success along the way. So, I expect to look something like a penguin with two left flippers doing the hustle to polka - since that's the craziest, most awkward metaphor I can come up with.
So, I've just chosen to do the thing that feels most natural at the beginning of a project. Purging will look something like this in our household:
1) Cleaning out each room, one or two each day until the cupboards are clean and organized, all of the unneeded items are thrown-out, recycled, or donated, and all of the things we use and need are easily accessible and in their rightful places. I usually do a run to Goodwill every other month or so, so this won't be too difficult or out of the ordinary for me (this might not seem so easy for some of you, so I'll explain how I do it in the coming days).
2) Throwing all necessary documents into a central location in the office so when tax time gets here, things will be less terrifying (this doesn't need to be time-consuming...I'm serious when I say "throwing" and "central location" - if you have a big plastic bin, that's all that's necessary for this step...keep in mind I said "less" terrifying...I didn't say "roses and kittens").
3) Getting back on track with our financial goals (which are also simple and easy to share...so I will, when the time comes) by archiving the 2009 budget and outlining a new one for the new year.
There's something very cathartic about this kind of cleaning. Something very comforting and lightening.
So today, it was the master bedroom and bathroom:
1) Cleaned out the linen closet; put aside two old sets of sheets to send to Goodwill, but then decided to keep one because, even though I don't really like it, it's still in acceptable condition; put all the old towels in the rag bag and straightened what was left; threw out all the half-used, travel-sized, expired cosmetics and lotions that I have gotten "free" over the last year and not used, and swept out the floor.
2) Cleaned out the medicine drawer and consolidated like-medications.
3) Cleaned the bathtub and questioned the use of "soft scrub" when we have a septic tank (I'll have to look into that - as well as the ingredients and the company that produces it).
4) Wondered if our shower head is "low-flow" - my husband seems to think so.
5) Cleaned out the drawers and closets...looking for any clothing items, shoes, or bags that have not been worn in the last year (a sure sign that the item is not loved enough or needed enough to keep) that we can add to the Goodwill bag; however, I kept the bags I thought might be useful for grocery shopping - to avoid using paper or plastic bags.
6) Cleaned the carpet - and very much plan to buy a better cleaning agent for this purpose once we are out of the bottle...and in the distant future, plan to just rip the crap out, like we did with the living room.
So, that was pretty much it for today. Since I have family here, I may not get to the other rooms until they have gone. Kind of hard to clean out the kitchen with company here to just fill it back up. And I have no need to do the living room, since we just redid and put in new laminate (wood look) flooring - that snap-together stuff - a much better choice with kids and pets and allergies. The office and the storage room will be a big deal, so I'll probably put that off until the weekend. And the kid's room will be necessary; now that Santa has come and brought new toys, it is time to get rid of a few (even though we did it just before Christmas to prepare for the onslaught.