I know I’m not the only one who felt like things got a little out of control in 2020. Not only did we have the big, global things going on, but I had a lot of significant events happen in my business…selling a part of my business and writing a book to name the two biggies. When big, overwhelming things are happening, I find that I start to slip in the little day-to-day things. I’m not quite as on top of daily habits that keep the house organized. I’ve tackled a few organizing projects over the year, but small things like getting rid of the boys’ shoes they outgrew or cleaning out a linen closet, or purging the freezer start to feel simultaneously too small and too big to worry about.
But I’m feeling ready to deal with all of the things that have been forgotten and neglected. I’m ready to go through the house and do another cabinet by cabinet, drawer by drawer, closet by closet purging and organizing. And February seems like a good month to get that done (or at least make a good dent in it!)
In addition to organizing and purging, I am committing to a no-spend February. I did this back in 2018 and it was a great exercise. (I actually did buy an awesome old bookcase off of craigslist and had to confess it here on the blog, but I stuck to it otherwise!) I committed to it in 2018 because I realized I was ordering things online regularly and if I didn’t need anything, I’d browse around, almost looking for something to “need.”
I feel like I’ve gotten into that rut again, especially when online shopping became the only way to shop last spring during stay-at-home orders, and getting mail was a big pick-me-up. I’m not spending outside of my budget, but I can still tighten up and say no to myself more often. There is a lot to be said for practicing contentment and resourcefulness.
As with my last no-spend February, I’m saying “I” because I’m referring to my business budget and all of the supplies, materials, and tools I buy for the business. I will carry over the no-spend February to my personal spending in our family budget, though. So, if you join me, this is more about restricting your personal spending money on the fun extras, not skipping grocery store trips for the month!
Here’s how the no-spend February works (and I think this originated with or was made popular by Dave Ramsey)…
- I can obviously pay bills and any necessary recurring expenses.
- I’ll still contribute to retirement savings.
- I can buy something if I legitimately need it for a project or work. I have such a healthy stash of supplies and materials that it is unlikely I’ll need anything, but if I genuinely need something, I can buy it.
- Otherwise, all spending is frozen.
I’ve realized with a relatively steady stream of art supplies, yarn, books, fun art classes, materials, tools, etc., I feel a little distracted. I think cutting myself off will help me focus on the things I already have and the projects already in the works. Sometimes having more to work with doesn’t help with productivity, effectiveness, or creativity. It’s just more. More to organize, more to take care of, more to wait around until you can get to it.
I am actually looking forward to it! I think it’ll feel so good to get to the end of the month having spent less, purged more, and getting more corners of my home organized. It’s a good way to spend a short, cold month.
Are you interested in joining me for one or both challenges?
If so, just share in the comments and we’ll do this together. I’ll be posting about it through February here on the blog and on social media (mostly my Instagram Stories if you want to follow me there.)
If you’re joining me on organizing, I’m not putting a monthly plan together because I like to work at my own pace and on the things I’m feeling pulled to work on that particular day, but I do have a list of spaces to tackle. If it’s helpful to anyone, here is my list…
- Try on, sort, purge, or pack away for later (for pieces that are a little too small, but will most likely fit again)
- Get rid of anything that’s pilly, stained, doesn’t look flattering, or that I don’t wear
- Cleaning supplies
- gather all of the cleaning supplies in one place to sort, organize, simplify, and put back into their place. (I have cleaning supplies all over the place and I’m losing track of what I have! I only need specific cleaners in each bathroom, so I can simplify.)
- Coat closet, laundry room & garage hooks, garage shelf
- Sort out coats, hats, gloves, shoes, snow gear, and boots
- donate ones that are too small
- Puzzles & games
- Sort, organize and store like games/puzzles together
- Get rid of ones that are missing pieces or are too “young” for the boys
- Storage room
- Sort and purge Christmas & holiday bins
- Sort & sell unused decor
- Laundry room closet
- organize and redo shelves? (Maybe design custom built-in shelves to utilize the space better.)
- Art supplies
- Sort & organize – figure out what I need accessible and what can be in drawers & cabinets
- Purge things I don’t use and sell or donate (Have a giveaway for some new/lightly used supplies?)
- Dressers & cabinets throughout the house
- sort drawers and cabinets
- put like things together
- donate/pitch things we don’t use
- Linen closets & kitchen cabinets
- Clean out and donate unused items
- Clean out and organize the freezer (the fridge & pantry are already in good shape)
Alright, let’s do this thing!