Updated: Jan 15

I think all of us can relate, 2020 was a little rough around the edges. I can say I happily turned the Calendar to 2021. Although I can look back and see that there was some good things that have came out of this pandemic, I really wouldn't want to rewind the year. But now it is a new year and I am ready to take it on!

(Beautiful Tri-Cities)

But wait! I think it is important not to just say goooood riddance to the year. I think we all need to take a quick peek back and reflect on what we learned and can be thankful for...

For me.... here's the deal...

#1- I seriously took the school system for granted. I did NOT give thanks like I should have that our kids could hop on the bus and head off to school to learn all the essential things they needed to know in life. FOR FREE! I hope I never take that for granted again.

#2- I feel like life was roaring along with a good economy and it was so easy to feel like it would always be that way. I have definitely had to take a step back and say whoa! Nothing is for sure in life. I hope I don't forget this lesson.

#3- It seems like some of the important family values had started to fade as life was SO busy before the pandemic. The last year definitely made me sloooow down and take time for family dinners together, playing games with the kids, making time to visit with my teenagers and learn to apprecitate the little things in life again. These times are so important and you can't go back later and redo their childhood. They are only little once. I hope these habits can remain.

#4- I also took for granted being able to gather together with friends and family, going to church & going to weddings and funerals. There has been so many things we have had to change during this time that we would never have dreamed we would be dealing with. It is hard, but I am also amazed at how we can actually adapt and move forward and soon we have a new normal.

There are so many more things that have been good in the last year and I am sure for each of you it is different. But I hope you too, can think back about the good that has come from 2020 and then turn your eyes to a New Year and a fresh start.

It seems like the top two New Years goals tend to be improving your health and improving your home.

# 1 is important- Thank goodness we have a New Year (every year) to get us back on track to eating healthy and taking care of our body.

#2 is also important- We need a fresh start every year to take a look around with fresh eyes and think, what can I do to make my home feel more organized, look better and run more efficiently?

Lets look a little deeper into that one. It seems after Christmas our homes can feel a bit overwhelming. Things tend to get cluttered with decorations, gift wrap, gifts, new things to put away or find a place for, etc... Then comes January & we look around and wonder, how did we get to this point? So let me give you a little checklist to help you get things moving in the right direction. Only think about these three things for now.

January things to do in your home-

1) Put ALL Christmas decorations away-

Time to box up all of that Christmas stuff. But before placing it in the box, think about each particular item. Does it serve a purpose OR make you happy? If the answer is no then it needs to go in a seperate 'donations' box. This method comes from the book, "Spark Joy" by Marie Kondo. I highly encourage anyone who has not listened to or read this book to do so. It is something that has helped me tremendously & will always stick.

2) Paperwork-

Next get yourself caught up on paying bills, reconciling accounts, and sifting through mail. It seems to me that I can't really think clearly until all of this is taken care of. A method I use is to walk around with a basket and collect EVERY piece of paper in the house, whether it be mail, artwork, school work or whatever. Get it all in one place and then start to sort.

3) Kitchen

Clean out the fridge/ freezer and pantry! After the holidays it always seems like the kitchen is packed with leftovers and (usually) unhealthy goodies. Time to clear out! Give it to your neighbors animals, compost it, or dispose of it. You can't have a fresh start with all that temptation in the fridge!

It seems to me once I complete these three things, I just can't wait to keep going. I want to continue to every room in my house.

Below is the order in which I deep clean/ organize my whole home.

1- Kids closets and bedrooms

2- Master bedroom & closet

3- Guest room/ spare room

3- Blankets & linen closets

4- Laundry room

5- Bathrooms

6- Living room/ rec room

7- Kitchen

8- Mud room/ garage

I hope this inspires you to get your home on the right track. There is nothing better then that satisfied feeling when you are done!

A little challenge for you!

Go through each room in your home and see if you can get rid of 10 things. Look for things that are no longer used, no longer spark joy or are broken. Challenge yourself. When you are done bring it straight to the donation drop off before you have second thoughts and then come home to an already cleaner feeling home! Do this FIRST if you dare! It will help you feel more excited to keep going with the rest of the tasks above.

If you want some real inspiration follow my friend Nancy's IG @restoreorderhome. She does some amazing things to her customers homes. She is not in our area but it‘s super inspiring to look through her feed.

Happy January and I hope you all feel energized to get going!