Monday, January 7, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 1- Holiday Decorations

Welcome to 34 Weeks of Clean! 

If you are new to Family, Faith and Fridays, let me say a big hello! We are so glad you are here!  Since our initial post, (you can find common Q&As there!) we have had over 1000 people read about 34 Weeks of Clean, and many say they are joining us.  People just like you and me who are ready to take their homes back.  We are overwhelmed with your responses and enthusiasm and thrilled you are joining us.  THANK YOU to all who have shared our posts and egged on encouraged their friends to join us!  I would love it if you would continue to share and help us get the word out.  It is my true desire to help people in the cleaning, de-cluttering, and organizing adventure.  If you do not know me yet, you can read all about me and my clan on my About Me Page. So let's start with re-visiting a few housekeeping details- I love details, don't ya know!

  • A new assignment will be given each Monday.  You will find it here on the blog and linked on our facebook page- Family, Faith and Fridays.
  • You will have one week to work on said assignment.  How that looks is up to you.  You can conquer it all in one day and sit back and enjoy the week, you can make it your weekend project, or you can set a timer each day and work until the buzzer goes off.  Find what works for you and go for it!  Every week will look a bit different, so be sure to be flexible. 
  • Your goal EACH week will be to deep clean, de-clutter, and then reorganize.
  • Take pictures!  If not for us, then for yourself.  You will be amazed at what you will accomplish in 34 weeks, I assure you!  We would love for you to share your pictures on our Family, Faith and Fridays facebook page!  It's always fun, and motivating, to see what others are doing!
  • I KNOW it is tempting to work ahead.  I advise you not to.  Trust me, if this is a light week for you, enjoy it! ;)  Not all weeks are created equal and you will get burned out if you press too hard and too fast.  Clean the assigned area and then go live life.  Enjoy your family, love your neighbors, have some fun.  Next Monday will be here before you know it, I promise!
  •  DO NOT spend lots of money on organizational "stuff."  Some things are great, and if you need something then go get it.  But please do not buy boxes and bins just to fill a space.  Remember, the goal here is to de-clutter as well.  Those cute plastic bins can just add to the clutter.  Look at what you have and re-purpose things - think bags, baskets, and existing furniture.  We will expand on this idea as we go, promise!
  • Have fun!  Or at least as much fun as one can have while cleaning and organizing.   
First things first!  Holiday decorations!  Sorry, no keeping things up for the next month in this house.  Now, I know many of you have put things away.  I am challenging you to pull it back out this week.  I know, I know, but you can do it!  If you really think you have already addressed this area well, then enjoy your week off and be ready to work hard next week!

I love decorating for the holidays but when Christmas is over, well, let's just say I. Am. Done!  Just ask my kids! ;)  It is almost as much fun as spring cleaning, trust me on this one.  Put on your favorite music, roll up your sleeves, and let's get started!

Your Assignment-
  • Clean each piece as you put them away!  (This is the deep clean part.) All those little knick knacks and do-dads have been sitting out for at least a few weeks gathering dust.  Before you put them away, wipe them down!

  • Same goes for artificial trees.  Although I love ours, they are dust magnets.  You can use a small hand-held vacuum to help you out.  At the very least, take them outside and give them a shake.  A few years ago I decided to save myself the trouble of taking ours apart and just put them back in storage in one piece.  Putting a large plastic bag over the top helps protect them a bit from the dust and grime.  We leave the lights on our trees but if you take yours off, old cereal boxes that have been collapsed are perfect for winding lights onto, as are cardboard wrapping paper rolls cut down to size!


  • This year when you put things away, ask yourself- do I really love this?  Do I really need it? (We are going to ask ourselves these questions a lot over the next 34 weeks, start practicing!) Again, if you have put things away, pull them back out and really think about each piece. Sometimes more isn't better (well, most of the time, but that is for a different post, right?!). Donate what you do not need - local shelters and retirement homes might love your extras!  Keeping with the "yes, our family does follow the same rules"- we finally let go of a bunch of angel ornaments we have not put on a tree in several years.

  •  Repair anything that needs a quick fix, or throw it away.   Our little balloon dog lost his head and needed a quick gluing.  I am happy to report he is back to new.
  •  Put like items together and LABEL them!  Some of mine had beautiful labels on them (I do love my label maker) while for others I used a sharpie marker.  Details don't matter, just make sure it is all labeled. That way, if you decide to decorate in waves like I do, you can pull out just what you need in the moment rather than riffling through every bin looking for your one treasured item.
  • Think outside the box!  Literally!  See that yellow trash can?  It used to hold dog food.  But I found it was perfect for coiling up outside lights and garland into.  Easy to put them in, easy to get them out.  Now, if we could just invent a way to make them easy to put up! My husband would love that!

  • Ornament boxes and wreath boxes are two exceptions to my "don't buy special boxes" rule. There are other ways to store those things but with all of our moving I have found that things are better protected in those specialty containers.  If you have the space to hang up wreaths you can do so, just know they may get pretty dusty in a year.  Ask me how I know this! ;) A trash bag over them may help.

  • Put it all away in ONE spot if possible.  Each time we move that storage looks a little different.  One year it was in the basement.  We have been blessed with a wall of cabinets in our new garage, so several of those now house the Christmas stuff.  The key is to try to keep everything in the same area if at all possible.

  • Keep a list of what you have. There is no need to buy items on sale that you do not need.  If you don't need it, you can consider it saving money - no matter the price.  Know what you have and know what you need.
  • And as long as we are on the subject of HOLIDAY decorations, if you decorate for other holidays the same things apply, and go ahead and go through those decorations this week too, if you can (Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine's Day, etc.).  Label your boxes, sort through what you don't need or use any longer, and keep it all in one place. If you can't tackle them this week, don't worry, you can fit them in during the break week!
OK, don't get lost in the details!  Just get started and see what you can do in a week!  Don't forget to take pictures of your progress to share with us!  And if you have a tried-and-true helpful hint, we want you to share with us!  Many hands make light work, and many ideas - well, they give us inspiration.

So glad you have joined us!  Week by week, we CAN take back our homes and put a little order in our lives!

See ya back next week for our next assignment.  Until then, happy cleaning!

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