Bring the Big Picture into Focus: Create a To-Do List for the Year

Bring the Big Picture into Focus: Create a To-Do List for the Year

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Janel Laban
Jan 3, 2017
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

For many of us, it's the first official work day of the New Year. So rather than scrubbing or sorting or sweeping, today I'd like you to invest your Cure time (an hour or so) on a task that is about planning instead of doing. This is the very start of a journey, not a race; we have plenty of time to do all sorts of things for our homes in 2017, but we need to figure out exactly what those things really should be. That's what today is all about - taking some time out to calmly think and plan without JUDGING ourselves (which is not always easy to do, so be strong and stay kind to yourself) and the actual work will come later (soon enough, so don't get too comfy!) Alright, let's do this.

It's Not Too Late! You Can Still Join The January Cure:

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Today's Assignment:

Make a list of projects

To get started, set aside an hour or so to do a walkthrough of your home and make notes on any trouble spots as you move through each room. I find it easiest to organize your list by room - you'll want sections for all the important areas of your own home, i.e. the entryway, living room, bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. Start at the front door and do a thorough "inspection", noting each area or item that needs a good cleaning, a decluttering or a reorganization.

IMPORTANT: Resist the temptation to jump in and start cleaning and moving things around or to get overwhelmed and give up (It doesn't matter how far you have to go, what matters is that you are getting started!) - stay on task to just observe and make note of any problems you see that you would like to improve.

A few examples of things you may note:

  • Scuffed up walls in the entryway.
  • Loose knob on bathroom door.
  • Mismatched, worn out sheets on the bed.
  • Overcrowded and dusty bookshelves in the living room.
  • Blown out bulb in kitchen.

When your tour is complete, grab a highlighter and select a few (3 - 5 is ideal) key areas from each room that you plan to focus on in the year ahead - the spots that will make the biggest impact on the look and use of the room as a whole when they are improved.

Now, write up your projects list, room by room, featuring the highlighted sections (remember, just 3 - 5 per room, maximum) from your observation notes as the main bullet points.

Examples of solutions:

  • Good scrub of walls in entry and if that's not effective, a fresh coat of paint.
  • Get out the tools and tighten up door knob.
  • Search the January white sales for a good deal on fresh new sheets.
  • Sort through books, donate or share the ones you won't enjoy again. Dust shelves well and replace the rest.
  • Replace lightbulb in overhead fixture.

ALSO IMPORTANT: We'll have plenty of time to focus on the "doing" later and - don't worry - the intention is not for everything on your list to be completed this month. You are really just assessing your home in full right now, creating a master plan of goals, both short and long term, to work on over the coming year, throughout 2017.

Let the rest of us know how it's going - do you have any questions or thoughts on the assignment (or anything else)? Lean on the group in the comment thread - we're all here to help each other through, so if you have advice, encouragement or just want to chat (or vent!) about getting up and going on your Cure, please speak up.

PS to anyone who may be just joining us today: Here is a link to yesterday's assignment along with a big bunch of great comments to inspire you to get it done. If you can find the time to do the quick drawer declutter today too, fantastic. It's a great way to kick things off - and then you can move directly into making your list. If not, no worries, just find time at some point this week.


More Info:
  • The January Cure 2017 Main Page
  • Download the printable pdf calendar: January Cure 2017
  • Share your progress on Instagram: #thejanuarycure
  • It's Not Too Late! You Can Still Join The January Cure:

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