Happy Monday! Better late than never, right?

Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m late posting today, I know. I had good intentions of blogging before work this morning, but it just didn’t come to be. I was enjoying my coffee and quiet just a little too much, maybe. 🙂

So there are several new followers to both the blog and Facebook page, so I’m going to do a “Challenge Recap” so that we can all play catch up. Here, though, is a little about me. I’m a 46-year-old mom of two (ages 22 and almost 20), wife to Eric (almost 23 years), former homeschooler (both graduated from our homeschool), part-time church employee (since August, 2013) working in the children’s ministry. I love to cook and bake, garden, read, snuggle babies, take nature photos (new camera – I’m learning), and I’m always ready to share a cup of coffee with a friend. And if we aren’t friends before that cup of coffee, I hope we can be after. I’m a fairly new runner – been at it a little over a year – and am training with one of my besties to run the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in Charleston in April. I tell everyone that I’m have a mid-life revelation instead of a mid-life crisis. They’re a lot more fun! 🙂 So there you have it. I’m not a organization expert or an award-winning chef. I just try to do the best I can with the talents and skills that God has given me. Ultimately, I want to be a good Christ-follower, a good wife, a good mom, and a good friend.

I know I still need to finish the kitchen challenge. My biggest challenge is too much kitchen stuff – which I LOVE – and a tiny kitchen – which I don’t love. But I cook almost every day and I use the stuff. One of these days I’m going to figure out the absolute best way to organize it. Until then, I’ll keep on trying! I’m going to list the links to the weekly challenges we’ve had so far this year below.

BUT if you aren’t up for a big challenge just yet, I’m going to suggest two smaller challenges that you can do every day…for a total of 30 minutes – 15 minutes per challenge. These really are easy ones, but one makes a big difference when you get up in the morning and the other just makes you feel better. Who doesn’t want to feel better?

1. Before you go to bed at night, take a brief (15-minute max) walk through the space you’ll be in first thing in the morning. I walk from my bedroom to the kitchen (ah, the coffee pot – God’s gracious gift that offsets the evil of alarm clocks. Sort of.). I pick up and straighten as I go. I put the TV remote in place, straighten couch pillows and the throw blanket, put my Bible by my chair, and do a final quick clean up in the kitchen. I try my best to NOT leave dishes in the sink overnight. (Tonight there is a pot and a couple of things that didn’t fit in the dishwasher there, but they are neatly stacked in the corner of the sink so I’ll live.) I prepare my coffee pot for the morning – sit my cup right there at the ready! If there are things to go upstairs, I put them on the stairs for their rightful owners (read: young adult children) to take themselves. Often I get up and they’re still on stairs (the stuff not the kids), but it’s not in my space. That’s all that matters in the groggy early morning hour before the coffee kicks in.

2. The second challenge is a little different, but effective nonetheless. Walk through your house and find a spot that makes you cringe when you walk by. It doesn’t need to be a room (there are weekly challenges for all of those), unless it’s a small one like a half bath. Mine is – and always will be – my desk. I straighten it on an almost daily basis, but it is in a location where anyone and everyone feels it’s okay to sit something on it. I need a “Touch Me Not!” sign above it, but I haven’t made one yet. So whatever that space is for you – the coffee table, your desk, a dresser top, the mud room – take a good look at it and see what needs to be done. Divide that by five days and spend 15 minutes each day working on the space. At the end of the week, you should have a clear spot that no longer causes you stress. (And lucky you: next week you can pick another one and work on it!)

So far this year, we’ve done the following challenges: closet clutter, living room makeover, kitchen makeover, and tackling the laundry monster. These links are below. Remember, I love to see before and after pictures of your projects. You can post them here in comments (I think), or email them to me at lynneandteresa@yahoo.com and I’ll post them for you. You can also post them on our Facebook page.

https://lifedoesnthavetobethisway.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/weekly-challenge-makeover-your-kitchen/

https://lifedoesnthavetobethisway.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/weekly-challenge-2-the-living-roomfamily-roomdenwhateveryoucallit/

https://lifedoesnthavetobethisway.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/weekly-challenge-2-the-pesky-laundry-monster-rears-his-head/

Another important post was on scheduling. Here’s the link to that one:

https://lifedoesnthavetobethisway.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/thursday-thoughts-schedules/

I’m so glad to have so many new people joining us as we move along the path to simplifying our lives by organizing and de-cluttering our physical and mental spaces to make room for what really matters. Let me know what specific challenges you face on a daily basis. I’ll see if I can address them.

Happy Cleaning!

Lynne

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