=> doing an overall cleaning of the home (still in progress);
=> having a specialist here twice to determine the extent of water damage that has occurred and current air quality; and assess the effect it is having on our health as well as steps needed to fix the situation (visits are completed, samples taken; waiting on the final written report and recommendations);
=> trying to get rid of giant ragweed that has been taking over the farm (still in progress since it needs to be done by hand);
=> organizing Sophia's, Olivia's, and my homeschooling areas (done!); and
=> creating the curriculum plan for the 2012-13 school year (which not only includes the overall plan, but the weekly details for 36 weeks) and ordering books from the library for the first 4 weeks of school (done!).
Needless to say, the original goals I set for August for the 3 in 30 challenge were postponed until I could work on these other issues. So far, the progress I've made on my original August goals is:
1. Clean the closet in Olivia's room. By cleaning the closet, Olivia will have significantly more space to put away items that are currently in her room. This will give her more floor space in her room as well as give her more space in her closet which will help her better organize her toys and clothes.
Olivia and I worked on her closet today, and it is such a relief to have it completed. The first step was to have her go through her clothes and try on the ones she had to see if they all still fit or if she was going to wear them during the upcoming season.
In the process, she weeded out quite a few items. Now her clothes are grouped by tops/sweaters in rainbow order; skirts and pants; and dresses.
Before (left side) and after (right side).
The next step was to remove all the bins and toys that had been haphazardly tossed into the closet. I had Olivia go through ones that belonged to her that were filled with toys and stuffed animals. She let some go that she no longer wanted.
Also, I found a couple of bins that had themed play items that the girls would play with when they were much younger (e.g., restaurant, camping). Many of the items I donated, but some I kept (e.g., brand new 8"x 8" baking pans, measuring spoons).
The middle part of Olivia's closet.
The left side is what it looked before, and
the right side is what it looked like after we were done.
The last third of the closet still looks messy (see photos below). Yet, there is a system to the way that it is put in the closet. In the far back, there are boxes with some of my things from elementary-college years. I held onto the elementary school items since there aren't too many items.
From the college boxes, I kept only items that were personally meaningful or reflected my life. I remember what a treasure it was after my dad died to find an autobiography and personal reflections that he had made throughout the year, but never shared. Truly, it was a gift that I am so happy that he kept. I hope the items I chose to keep provide some comfort and insight to my life to Sophia and Olivia once I'm gone.
What I chose not to keep were samples of my work that I did at previous jobs, performance reviews, and other items that would be considered dated at this time. I can't imagine walking into a job interview showing things I wrote or created decades ago. There was no point in holding onto them.
In front of the personal items, are a few bins of clothing that the girls want to keep that they wore when they were infants, toddlers, and young children.
There are also two bins with items from China that belong to each of the girls. On their adoption days, they each receive 1-2 items that were purchased in China when they were adopted.
The rest of the bins are Olivia's toys and stuffed animals.
Although it still looks like there is quite a bit of items
packed into the closet, this is a major difference.
More important, the boxes are now organized and grouped
so we know where to look if we need to find something.
What did we get rid of? Check this out:
Donated: 3 trash bags full of items and one holiday mailbox.
Garbage: 2 trash bags and 2 boxes of items.
2. Clean the other closet in my office. This closet has books for homeschooling, office supplies, and has become a place to store a variety of items.
Didn't have a chance to work on this project. I want to get this one done before the homeschool year begins, because I know I will have very little time for multi-hour projects such as this one.
3. Clean the built-in cupboards in the family room. The upper shelves have canned goods and homeschooling supplies; and the lower shelves have space for homeschooling work that the girls have completed. The open cubbies in the middle have games and activities.
This was done during the first week. If you click on the link, there are before and after pictures; and well as a tally of how many bags of items we donated and threw away.