Progress Report: Month 5

Somehow I fell out of writing my monthly progress report. I’m going to attribute it to summer lollygagging and hitting a small wall with regard to my project. During the first few months, I found it pretty easy to find stuff to donate, but now it’s getting harder. And I’ve pared down to the point where ‘homeless’ items are in the garage, in bags and boxes awaiting sorting and donating, so the clutter is less evident and therefore less urgent. August wasn’t a bad month. I got off to a slow start but ended the month well. Here are the details:

Objective 1: To create a home which contains only things we need and love.

What I accomplished: I didn’t find much to donate. It was hot for a lot of the month which kept me out of the attic and garage. But I did get all the stickers off Emma’s toy kitchen, which I’ve been intending to list for sale, but haven’t yet. There were no donation pickups in August, but yesterday I donated a bunch of things I’d earmarked during the month.

SeptPU

Clothes, toys, misc.

Grade: C

Comment:  I was supposed to work on the kitchen as my designated space, and while I found a couple random things, I really had a tough time finding anything else to donate. I use everything I have. Which could be a victory, but I feel that the space still isn’t well organized and I don’t have room for everything. I did not have the fortitude required to remove everything and put it back in a better way. So that was a failure. But I donated things we didn’t need so that counts for something.

Objective 2: To implement routines and habits to help us manage our time, our house and our health.

What I accomplished: Ha! The word ‘accomplished’ belongs no where near the month of August.

Grade: Will be kind to myself and take an incomplete.

Comment: I decided to go with the summer flow and not make myself nuts. I worked Monday through Friday, and I haven’t worked summers since becoming a mom. So I wanted to be available for Emma at the drop of a hat, and didn’t see the point in getting into a routine which would just change in the summer anyway.

Today was the first day of school, and I was wide awake at 5 am. After 45 minutes of trying to fall asleep, I gave up. But I got a lot done- unloaded the dishwasher, quick-cleaned the bathrooms, fixed Emma’s lunch and snack, got ready for work. When I got home I folded laundry and did a little more cleaning, then got Emma of the bus. Much as I’d prefer to sleep until 6:30, getting up earlier is worth seriously considering. Even though it’s only been a day, I feel I’m off to a good start.

Objective 3: To improve the quality of family mealtimes through better planning and organization.

What I accomplished: I wrote a menu for the whole moth of September. Since we’re just two days in, I can’t obviously say I’ve been successful. Earlier today I was at a neighbor’s pool, chatting with my friends and watching the kids, and there was talk about ordering pizza for dinner. And that’s one of the times I get into trouble, because it would have been so easy to come home and order pizza. But I stuck to my plan and cooked when we got home.

Grade: B+

Comment: Next month’s report will be telling, though I plan to update throughout the month. The menu is pretty low-maintenance, with the weeknights favoring quickness over everything else, and I think that’s going to be key to helping me stick to it.

Objective 4: To utilize free time more mindfully, individually and as a family.

What I accomplished: A few weeks ago I wrote about the lamps I scored at a flea market. I knew I’d paint them and probably do something with the shades. And I knew they’d sit untouched for a while. But I decided to stop sitting on these projects, and last weekend I spray painted the lamps and decoupaged the lamp shades. They are done but for the trim for the shades. Unfortunately my glue gun is missing- I am embarrassed (just a little) to admit that I used it in May to hot glue patches onto Emma’s Brownie vest before the Memorial Day Parade. So no finished product yet, but I’m nearly done.

lampsinprogress

Decisions, decisions! (I chose the green)

Grade: A-

Comment: Every summer we make a list of things we want to do over the summer. It’s usually an ambitious list- day trips  to the city and Jones Beach, visits to museums and historic houses and amusement parks. And since we end up barely making a dent, and feeling disappointed, we instead each chose one thing for the summer. Emma’s wish to visit a nearby water park was the only one we were able to make happen, which was fine with me. As much as I love trying to take advantage of all the amazing activities around here, sometimes it’s nice to just relax at home on the weekend. And I feel that the things we did do are more meaningful because there were fewer activities. So this month I reevaluated my ideas about free time and what I want from it.

And that’s August! I’m trying to finish up It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh, and it’s a great book. But I feel the need already to point out that I am not a hoarder. Really.