Week 6 & 7 – Home Office and Outdoor Space, or Paperwork and Windows

It’s Week 6 and 7 of the Spring Cleaning Chapter of the Clever Girl Organizing Challenge. Because these two weeks are heavy with holidays and school vacations, I thought combining them to have a larger period of time to do a meaty project, which you can take on at any point in the two weeks, would be a good idea. Each week, I outline:

  1. A SPACE to focus on (Kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room, master bedroom, other bedrooms, home office/command center, outdoor spaces and miscellaneous)
  2. An ACTIVITY that you can do throughout the house (dusting, floor cleaning, windows, etc.) if you decided you’re going to want to do just one activity all week. 

And, you have a master list of all the items, so you can manage your own efforts during the chapter. 

Now, off to this week’s assignment! 

Home Office

 

 

SPACE CHALLENGE

This week, we’re focusing on two very different spaces: Home Office and Your Outdoor space (hopefully the weather will be cooperating, finally, for all of us on this one!). 

What is on our list for these rooms? Here’s a list of some of the tasks for you to take on (and you should customize your list to fit your space): 

HOME OFFICE: 

  • Clean baseboards
  • Dust molding and ceiling corners
  • Wash windows and sills
  • Clean window treatments
  • Dust or vacuum vents and fans
  • Clean light fixtures
  • Wipe all light bulbs
  • Wipe all the light switches
  • Wipe all the door knobs
  • Sweep, vacuum or wash floors 
  • Vacuum or wipe upholstered furniture (condition leather furniture)
  • Dust and polish wood furniture or glass furniture 
  • Dust electronics (tidy up the cords, while you’re at it)
  • Clear off top of desk
  • Dust all surfaces, including inside any hutch or cabinets
  • Review all post-it / posted / hanging information for items no longer necessary
  • Clean out desk drawers, let go of items you rarely or never use
  • Catch up on action items and filing
  • Clean out old files no longer necessary
  • Dust all shelving, items on shelves, and wall hangings
  • Remove the items that don’t permanently live in here!

 

OUTDOOR SPACE (may be done over time… especially for weather-dependent activities!)

  • Sweep deck, balcony, patios, walkways
  • Power wash deck
  • Power spray siding
  • Clean sliding door track
  • Touch up paint for outdoor items
  • Wash garage door
  • Clean doors and door frames
  • Clear out cobwebs
  • Shake out entry mat
  • Clean grill, check gas tank levels
  • Clean out gutters
  • Replace or repair broken masonry (bricks, pavers, slate, stone, etc.)
  • Clean outdoor lights
  • Clean outside patio furniture
  • Trim trees, bushes, and shrubbery
  • Check and repair irrigation system, hoses, and sprinklers
  • Inspect roof shingles
  • Clean outdoor trash cans, water barrels, drainage pipes, etc.
  • Go through hazardous waste and properly dispose (Now’s the time to check your town’s schedule if you only have occasional disposal options)
  • Get gardens, hedges, and lawn ready for spring – rake, add mulch or ground cover, etc.
  • Plan and plant flower and vegetable gardens (at the appropriate time for your zone). Start seedlings if you intend to grow from seed
  • Get lawn mower/tractor serviced
  • Summer-ize snow blowers and gather snow removal tools (hopefully… put them away for a long time!)
  • Clean out garage

 

 

ACTIVITY CHALLENGE

This week, our two activities will be Wash Windows/Window treatments and Corral and Organize Paperwork around the house: 

  • Washing windows: Inside, outside, window sills
  • Cleaning window treatments: Dusting of blinds, washing of draperies, curtains, valances. Some of you may choose to wash blinds, too, depending on the style and feasibility.
  • Repair, mend, or, if necessary, consider replacing any treatments that are broken, ripped, or stopped functioning properly. 
  • Gather your paperwork from around the home, to determine:
    • What’s a current action that needs to be taken? What do you need to move these forward to completion? 
    • What is no longer necessary to keep and can be recycled or shredded?
    • What needs to be filed because it is important to keep longer term? (File it)
    • What is filed and no longer needs to be held onto (recycle or shred)?
    • What is in my “research or interesting” pile — things that aren’t important or urgent, but you’ve held onto because you think you should or may want to read it? (Recipes, news articles, etc.) What is the amount of supply you’re willing to set aside for this “someday, maybe” category, and how do you move them on and actually READ them soon, instead of someday? 
  • Spend time with your “landing area” for papers and mail as they gather in the home. What is working about this system, and what isn’t? Consider changes you might make — talk to the Challenge group about this!  

Back to it! Check in with the Facebook Group for tips, motivation, support, and celebrations!