April Challenge Brings May Balance!

Are you feeling frazzled and overworked?  Do you feel like you are being pulled into a hundred different directions?  Do you go to be at night feeling more tired and behind than you were the night before?

You’re not alone.  This is a common complaint among our busy culture these days.  And we need to put an end to it NOW!!!  All this is leading to are more impatient habits that are slowly killing us!  Fast-food restaurants, microwaveable meals, coffee houses, etc.  Where are we headed as a nation?  I can tell you it looks quite bleak.

But what if we were to set about a challenge in our own lives to start a change today?  No, you don’t have to eat all organic foods (although it is better for you) or take a course in meditation.  I propose something simple and duplicable…(I like saying this word…go ahead; try it out!)

My challenge is for you to join me for the whole month of April…(and,  yes, I’m fully aware that Easter and Spring Break both fall into this month but life doesn’t stop for us ever) in changing daily habits and sharing them with everyone in your life and community (Yes, Facebook and other social media outlets count!)

I will be posting daily activities to try, if you wish to join me but the basics will apply daily no matter what.  I ask that you share with everyone you can and please feel free to post under my blog posts to let us know how you are doing and what is happening around you.

Before we begin, I will ask that you join me in “Operation Clutter Control”…

Typically, if our homes are cluttered and out of control; there is not much hope left for any other changes we hope to achieve.  Pick a day in this month of March (typically a weekend day) to take care of this before we launch our April challenge.

Here are the items you will need for “operation clutter control” or for shorter reference; “OCC”:

Trash bags, 5 large boxes or tubs labeled; “Get rid of”, “file”, “put away”, “I’m not sure”.  (you can also label another one “trash” but the trash bags can simply do the trick).  Also, have a notebook or 2 sheets of paper and title one page;”Things to do” and the other, “Furniture to get rid of”.
(I got this wonderful idea from “The Money Saving Mom’s Budget” by Crystal Paine) 😉

On the day of your “OCC”; remove all distractions that may pull you away from your task.  Mute your phones, turn off the TV and computers and have all small children be watched by a sitter or responsible family/friend.  Don’t answer the door or phone and have food on hand for meals later that evening or day!

You will grab a timer (this is the fun part…no overtime working here!) and set it for 30 minutes per room.
Ready?  Set? Go!!!

1.  Scan the room quickly and see if all of your furniture is serving it’s purpose.  If not, write it down on your sheet of paper that’s titled, “Furniture to get rid of”.  Move on…
2.  Put all the trash into the trash container/bag.
3.  Look at all flat surfaces and put anything that doesn’t belong in the room into your “get rid of”, “file”, “put away”, or “I’m not sure” boxes.
4.  Go through every closet, drawer and cupboard.  Be ruthless!  No deep cleaning is allowed; this is clutter removal at it’s very best!  Work quickly; the timer is on!  As you analyze each item and decide whether or not to keep or toss it; ask yourself the following questions;

Do I need this item? (be honest) Do I use this item regularly? (6 month rule applies to this) Do I like this item? (no sentimental attachments allowed if you dislike it in the first place…give it away!) Is this item taking up space I don’t have?

5.  As you are going through your rooms, you may notice projects that need to be worked in…such as painting a wall, replacing broken fixtures and more but just take note and write it down on your “projects to tackle” sheet for later.  Move on.
6.  Once the timer dings, you’re done with this room.  Take a small break if you must and repeat on another room.
Finish all rooms in your home and then reassess if you need to repeat this process on another day in the next week or so to complete more unfinished clutter.  Don’t get caught up in sentimental reminiscing; just move from one item to the next as in automatic pilot.

Once you’ve completed all rooms in your home, empty the trash, put anything away into it’s proper place from the “put away” box and file all items from the appropriate box.  You can then spend an hour going through the “I don’t know”  and “get rid of” piles.  Evaluate the items and decide whether you want to keep it, throw it out, give it away or sell it.

You can always host a neighborhood garage/yard sale to generate some money and “bless” someone else with your loved items.

Once this is complete; April will be a whole new beginning!!

Who’s excited??

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