First it was the painting I accidentally knocked off the wall (and for some odd reason didn't rehang right away). Then it was the Halloween decorations I managed to take down but not put back into storage. When I noticed that my junk drawer was too full to stuff my scissors back into, I just set them on top of my counter and walked away.
Then I got really busy one week and skipped vacuuming under my sofa (I think the cat fur-fueled dust bunnies have started growing personalities). The plant that died outside and that I've been meaning to replace? It's just sitting there, right next to my front door, judging me every time I come home and leave.
All these tiny things that I've managed to keep flowing and functioning fine throughout the rest of the year have started piling up thanks to the holidays coming and my plate getting a little more full than usual. Sound familiar? There's no one big thing that's preventing me from enjoying my home or from it functioning properly, but there's a subtle, pervasive feeling of not being caught up/getting behind that's creeping around the edge of my home and my sanity.
The fix? I need a catch up day. You might, too! Want to save your sanity in 2017?
→ Schedule regular catch-up days in your annual calendar now
A catch-up day is just what it sounds like: No family or work obligations, no social events planned, no judgment for how big your catch-up list may have gotten. Just a day to do the small things sprinkled around your house that feel like they're piling up. The trick to making catch-up days work for you is two-part and simple:
1. Keep an ongoing list
Whether digital or analog, keep your catch-up list going all year long. Add anything that's bugging you that you don't have time to get to right now (and that can wait) along with anything you need to accomplish the task when catch-up day arrives.
2. Schedule your catch-up days when you'll probably need them
How many days did you feel like you could have used like that this year? Schedule that many next year. And schedule them when you'll probably need them; think through your year next year to schedule them when you know you've got big work or life obligations, or before planned vacations so you can really relax when you take off.
Bonus: Make them fun! Catch up on other things while you catch up on home stuff, like new music albums, that pile of podcasts you've been saving, that season of your favorite television show. Combining your home catch-up tasks with fun catch-up tasks will make for a lot more fun than just doing all work. It may even make you look forward to your catch-up days!
Re-edited from a post originally published 12.1.15-NT