Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kicking Laundry's Ass

I did it. All of my laundry will now fit easily into four baskets. Not that I have the space in my closets, drawers and cupboards to fit it all, but I'll be dealing with that issue with my decluttering goal. As a reward to myself, I'm going to clean my laundry room from top to bottom until it sparkles. Cleaning something would normally be the furthest thing from a reward for me that I could possibly think of, but cleaning is actually kind of fun when you don't have to clean around a whole bunch of shit all the time.

I learned a few things from achieving this goal. I learned that every member of my family owns an astonishingly large number of socks. That someone really isn't sneaking in and stealing my favorite clothing items that I haven't seen in months. That my kids are capable of finding household entertainment that doesn't include jumping from the top of the laundry mountain. And most importantly, I found it is easy to become increasingly motivated to achieve a goal when you can see the progress with your own eyes.

For some reason, I've tackled the laundry goal a lot more aggressively than my decluttering or my saving/debt-payoff goal. The reason is because I could easily see my progress. First it was seeing the laundry mountain shrink to the point where I could open my bedroom door the entire way. We used to have to squeeze through sideways. Then I could see that all of the dirty laundry in my bedroom fit in one basket. Then I eliminated one of the two huge garbage bags of dirty sheets and towels. Then the next. Then I laundered the red pile (red clothing should be done away with!) Now I'm just working my way through the delicates. It took about three to four days at first to notice visible progress, but then it took off from there.

With decluttering, I just haven't made a big enough dent yet. I have only decluttered a shelf, drawer and spice rack in my kitchen. I need to persevere until it starts to snowball and then I can't stop decluttering because. . . . LOOK HOW GOOD IT LOOKS!

With saving/debt-payoff, I haven't made it visible--it's all in the computer and not in front of my face every day. I have a choice regarding whether I look at it or not. I am going to post every two weeks (on payday) how much money we have in savings and checking and how much debt is left to pay off.

Now I get to pick a new goal for my top three.

Progress: 1, Status Quo: 0.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Top 3 List

I think I bit off a little teeny tiny bit more than I could chew in the last post. I can really only focus on three projects at one time. That doesn't mean I can't do anything else at all whatsoever, but I can only really truly focus on three. It was hard to decide which three because I felt like one project had to be related to my kids and one had to be related to my relationship with my husband and one had to be related to my health. Well, screw that. I chose the ones that are always on my mind lately. I'm obsessed with these particular projects, or goals, and I decided to capitalize on that energy and just go with it.

I am going to catch up on all laundry by December 15th. You must know that at one time I made my kids stop jumping off of the laundry pile in my room because I was concerned that one of them could possibly suffer a spinal cord injury. I recently spent $50 and two hours at a laundromat doing 14 loads of laundry and still had at least 25 loads still to do at home. I am still washing summer clothes at the end of winter. My goal is to get to the point where all of the dirty laundry fits into four baskets: whites, colors, darks and sheets/towels. Then I could do just one load a day and stay completely caught up.

I am going to top off my emergency savings fund and pay off all consumer debt by June 1st. I am not going to say how much money that means, but it will be no small feat. For various reasons, my husband and I have paid for all of life's little emergencies on credit for the last eight years. We're done doing that. We finally have a nice cash flow surplus each month as well as several lump sums coming in over the next few months and we have commit to using all of it towards emergency savings and consumer debt payoff. I cannot begin to describe the sense of relief that this will give me. Prior to eight years ago, I never had a penny's worth of debt and I absolutely hate it. I want to be totally debt free (except for the mortgage) by the time we are ready to move in June.

Which brings me to my last project. I adore my husband, I really do. BUT he is a packrat and collector of epic proportions. We have not parked in our garage for the last three years. We cannot use any of the basement level of our home (except for the laundry room). It is nearly impossible to clean our house because of all of the crap. We are setting a horrible example for our kids and they are becoming collectors of junk and leaving it all over the place. Our home drains our energy and destroys our outlook on life. I am so done with clutter in my home. My husband feels the same way and we are ready to do something about it. We are going to declutter and organize the entire house and garage by May 1st to have it ready to put on the market by June 1st.

In the next post, I will list the behaviors that I plan to develop and maintain for each project until they are done. As I complete one project, I will add another so that I always have three personal goals I am working toward.