Okay, one last post to wrap up the 30 Days of Dominion Challenge...Did the challenge make a significant difference in the cleanliness/orderliness of my house? Have the results been lasting, or did they disappear faster than yesterday's lunch? Is this challenge something I am likely to repeat? Any more tips I want to pass along?
First off, yes, I feel like tackling one project a day for an entire month did make a noticeable difference in the cleanliness of our house. If you were unfamiliar with what things looked like "Before," however, you might walk in today and have a hard time seeing the results. Our "After" bookshelves are still pretty packed, and a few piles of items are stacked by the front door, waiting to go to new homes. I actually worked on a sewing project this week - at the sewing counter! - and it was wonderful. First time in years that I've been able to sit down at the sewing counter and actually sew. Scissors, tape measure, thread, pins - everything was conveniently located and easily accessible. I. LOVED. IT.
Second, yes, the results have been lasting. Well, they've lasted a month, and, honestly, I was kind of afraid all my hard work would disappear in a pouf of smoke the minute I turned my back. I carried a stack of towels upstairs to put them in the kids' bathroom closet yesterday. I haven't looked in that closet since the day I overhauled it during the 30-Day challenge. I was thrilled when I opened the door and found everything still neatly organized! Apparently, having an orderly bathroom closet has inspired the folks upstairs to put things away neatly. And I can STILL walk into my bedroom closet. I don't really expect these results to last forever - all things tend toward chaos - but I am glad to find that things stay neater longer than I anticipated.
Is this something I am likely to repeat? Yes. Actually, I probably need to repeat this challenge about four times in a row, just to get the house clean enough so that it requires basic maintenance instead of major over-hauling. I still see a MOUNTAIN of work that needs to be done. However, I don't think I have the stamina to do the 30-Day challenge back-to-back-to-back like that - life is just too busy! So, I have adopted a modified strategy for the near future: tackling one or two projects each week, in addition to maintaining the areas that have already been over-hauled. We'll see how that goes!
Any more tips? If you take on a challenge like this and you miss a day, don't let that demotivate you. Let it go. Just jump back in when you can and tackle the next thing on your list. When I wiped out for a couple of days, I realized that the 30-Day Challenge didn't have to be 30 consecutive days - it was my cleaning plan, so I could change the rules if I wanted! Also, I highly recommend documenting your progress with Before and After pictures. These are so motivating, especially when a lot of the work is in closets or cupboards, where you can't see it. Doing this along with someone else if kind of fun, too. When Merry began posting about her "40 Bags in 40 Days" challenge, she had no idea how her progress would motivate and encourage me. Seeing Merry's progress every day kept me excited about sticking with my own challenge.
If you are doing some serious spring cleaning and you live in Obion County, you need to check out the Obion County Recycling Center. The Recycling Center is located at 1003 Mount Zion Road in Union City, TN - this is across the road from the health department, and just behind the John Deere dealership. The center accepts paper, plastic, cardboard, etc. The center also takes batteries, used vehicle fluids (oil, transmission fluid, etc.), batteries, electronics (how many dead computers are in your attic?!), and high-efficiency light bulbs. Call to verify hours of operation before you head to town with a van load of stuff: their number is (731)885-8109.
If you are cleaning out bathroom closets or medicine cabinets, what do you do with all those outdated prescription medicines? The Union City Police Department, located at 408 South Depot Street (right next to Kiwanis Park), has a collection bin for medicine that you need to dispose of - just walk in the side entrance and drop them in the big blue box right inside the door.
Finally, I want to say a big THANK YOU to Merry Brown for sharing her own cleaning challenge and for giving me the idea for the 30 Days of Dominion in the first place. Unbeknownst to Merry, she kept me motivated! When you finish excavating the bathroom closet, you should check out the Merry Brown, Author Facebook page HERE. Thanks, Merry!
3 days ago