Monday, January 7, 2013

During this month I make a list of every cupboard, shelf, closet or corner of my house and one by one I make my way through the house (list) cleaning, making things orderly by folding sweaters, taking things out that are no longer wanted, straightening and tidying as I go.  The list is mainly because I like to cross things off, but also because I may find that I have 10 minutes before I need to leave the house and just enough time to clean out one kitchen cabinet.  My friend Suzanne is the one that started me doing it in a systematic way and I’ve been doing it ever since.  What works for you?



  • pve

    lists are the only way to roll.
    i create my list before I go to sleep and then wake up and cross things off –
    the things that don’t get done roll to the next day.
    true that in 5 minutes, i can get a ton done.

  • Ashlyn@Pinecone

    Such a great idea – and you are amazing just for sticking to doing all of that!! I seem to have the attention span of a gnat lately, so I haven’t done any organizing to start out the new year : (

    I love seeing pics of your house!!! I need more! xo Ashlyn

  • Sherri Cassara

    I love lists as well – there is nothing more satisfying then crossing them off and I do one almost every day … but for the January cleaning (purging!) I just start in one room and stick with it until I am done then move on. I took time off between Christmas and New Years and spent 7 days getting rid of everything I do not need or use and either gave it to someone who could use it or donated it to a woman’s shelter’s thrift store. It was very freeing. My goal was to get rid of 70 things for 7 days and amazingly it was easy. And embarrassingly, it did not take away anything of importance. I started in my office and got rid of catalogues, etc. (things I now do online) some dating back to 2005. And even more embarrassing, when I went through my pantry there were can goods that were just as expired. Yikes.

  • classic•casual•home

    I do love a list! I guess I need to put cleaning and organizing on it. 🙁

  • Angela

    You just moved – what could you possibly have to clean out?!!!!
    Love your blog!

  • Karen

    Wow Annie, I love this idea…I think I’ll give it a try. Even though I just moved and have only unpacked the bare necessities, it’s amazing how quickly stuff accumulates….and I strongly dislike extra stuff! 🙂

    I agree with Ashlyn….more pictures of your gorgeous home please 🙂 And I’m loving the Christmas lights in the jar…what a great idea to bring some subtle lighting into a space.

    Have a good one….


  • Elizabeth

    Love lists too! I am going to follow your example, Annie. 2013 is my year to get organized….really….thanks for the inspiration!

    xox Elizabeth

  • diane

    Crossing items off a list is one of my favorite things to do and I absolutely love this light in a jar idea….I linked to it in my newsletter to my clients. Thanks for the inspiration

  • Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

    I love this idea and will give it a try! Thanks Annie!

  • jackie @ marin mama cooks

    Great routine Annie. I actually do the same thing when it comes to organizing or cleaning out the house. If I get a burst of energy, I will clean out a drawer or two and then another the next day and so on. I find that if I try and do it all in one shot, then I get overwhelmed and stressed out and then it’s no fun. I will find myself sitting in a pile of clothes or what not and wondering why I even started. We have a Goodwill box that we keep in the garage that we empty every time it gets full. It helps me get rid of the old and then bring in the new. I especially love cleaning house this time of year when it’s cold and all the Christmas clutter is gone. Have a great night girl! xoxo, Jackie

  • Debra

    Love a good, orderly list… I live by them! A place for everything, and everything in its place. Leaves a lot more time for reading!

  • Nancy... Noticed

    Love the lights in the jar, it’s just the right amount of sparkle after Christmas is down and the nights are still dark and cool!

    I can hardly get through the day without a list… even a mental list works! January is the best time to clean, sort, and purge. Filling my car up with bags to be donated to the Jr. League Thrift House is an annual event after the holidays! I feel rejuvenated!

  • The Vintique Object

    This is how I clean rooms, one at a time, and don’t leave the room until it’s done. Otherwise I get distracted running all over the house to return things to their spots. But I never thought to do that with organizing either — tackling small bits is so much easier. We just arrived home from New Mexico, and I looked at my house in disgust. So much to do and be rid of. Your idea makes it all seem so much more do-able now.

    Thanks, Annie.

    Oh, and I love the twinkle lights in the jar.

  • Anne

    I do enjoy lists. And I love that rustic peeled paint table!!

  • Katie

    That is such a good idea. It also makes it feel more manageable, because you can think ‘I’ll just cross that one off my list’ rather than feeling that you have to do them all at once.

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