The Ever Persistent “Project List”

give_away-TMWe all have them – special projects that haunt us. It usually starts because we can’t find something and we are tired of having our closet contents falling on us. Or, we are tired of the dripping faucet. Maybe you need more room for a larger family – or to move your son, the drummer, away from earshot. What ever it is, let “Sister Lister” help you organize these projects into bite size chunks.

This list can be used in two ways. First, write down all the projects you want to do around the house. Second, pick out one at a time and dedicate a special page to it. You need to dedicate a page because every project has multiple steps, even the simple ones. Again, by focusing on that project and that page you ensure that you get it done.

• Start with the project that is the simplest (clean out a closet). By doing a simple one first, you can check it off your list and gain a sense of accomplishment. Multiple steps include: identifying which closets to clean, what goes to Goodwill, what goes to homeless shelters (extra blankets?).

• If you are cleaning out your bedroom closet try this trick: Take three boxes to your room, one is labeled “Give Away,” then next is labeled, “Maybe” and the third is labeled, “Dry Cleaning or Repair.” Make your bed first and then take everything out of your closet and put it on your bed. Once the closet is empty, vacuum the cob-webs and carpet and dust the shelves. If the closet needs a coat of paint, this would be a good time but plan to sleep on the couch if you do. When you are ready to put your clothes back in to the closet, start with one thing at a time. If it is something you wear all the time, no question – into the closet. If it is something you won’t wear for any reason, it goes into the Goodwill box. If it is something you love, but can’t fit into but plan to “some day” (I have a LOT of those), it goes into the “Maybe” box. If it is something you can’t wear because it needs to be dry cleaned or repaired it goes in to the “Dry Cleaning or Repair” box. Once the three boxes are filled, put the goodwill box in your car.  Seal the “Maybe” box with tape and put in your storage area (garage, extra closet). Sort the dry cleaning from the repair and put the dry cleaning into your car. If you can’t fix the item in need of repair yourself, reconsider what to do with it.

• A year from now, if the “Maybe” box is still in storage and unopened, leave it shut and put it in your car for the Salvation Army or local consignment shop. Whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN THAT BOX.

• When you get a couple of simple projects done, tackle a bigger project (remember, only ONE AT A TIME.)

• If the project requires a contractor, allow space for contractor names, phone numbers and bid prices. Start a file for the project. Go to the store and purchase a box of file folders and a file cabinet if you don’t have one – every home should have one anyway. Put all notes, drawings, receipts, etc. in the file folder so you are not digging through stacks of papers left on your counter. In this list, indicate where the file is and what you called it so you can find it easily.

For some reason, completing a project that you have put off, whether it is simply cleaning out a drawer and organizing it so you can see what you have, or getting the roof redone, you will feel a real sense of accomplishment.

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