There's a quote by French writer Antoine de Saint Exupéry that I've always loved to repeat to myself when I need perspective: "A goal without a plan is just a wish." As much as you want your home to be a better, happier place, you have to understand that it takes work to get there. And not all of that work is spent on hands and knees, scrubbing showers or sorting drawers. Much of the work is just planning — deciding what to do and committing to when to do it.
It's not too late to join!
That's exactly what we'll do today for our second assignment of the January Cure. (If you're joining us today for the first time, the first assignment is right here. And make sure you're signed up for emails above.) All you need is a bit of time and some paper — or the notes app on your phone works, too.
Make a list of projects you want to tackle this year.
Start by taking an hour or so to do a walkthrough of your home, making notes along the way of any trouble spots you can identify. Organize your list by room — creating sections for all the important areas of your own home, like the entryway, living room, bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. Start at the front door and do a thorough "inspection" of each space, noting each area or item that needs a good cleaning, decluttering or a reorganization.
A few examples of things you might note:
- Scuffed up walls in the entryway.
- Overcrowded and dusty bookshelves in the living room.
- A blown out light bulb in the bathroom.
- Loose knobs on a kitchen cabinet.
- Mismatched, worn out sheets on the bed.
When your tour is complete, look at your list and highlight a few key areas from each room (3 to 5 is ideal) that you plan to focus on in the year ahead. These should be 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 to 5 per room, maximum) from your observation notes as the main bullet points.
Examples of solutions:
- Good scrub of walls in the entry, or a fresh coat of paint.
- Sort through books, donate or share the ones you won't enjoy again. Dust shelves well and replace the rest.
- Replace light bulb in overhead bathroom fixture.
- Get out the tools and tighten up cabinet knobs.
- Search the January white sales for a good deal on fresh new sheets.
While you're doing your walkthrough, resist the temptation to start moving things around — stay on task to just observe and make note of any problems you see that you would like to improve.
If you feel overwhelmed at any point, keep in mind it doesn't matter how far you have to go, what matters is that you are getting started. And remember: all you need to do today is make the list. 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 2018.
With day two in the books, your goal isn't just a wish — it's now a real, bonafide plan. How did it go? Share your experience and ask questions in the comments.