It’s true. I’ve reached the end of my personal to do list. And yes, it’s as satisfying as it sounds!
I never really thought I could do it. Then COVID sent the world to time out, limiting our ability to travel and freely gather. Even my FOMO (fear of missing out) dissolved right along with the competing events on my work and social calendars.
But, I had a plan…
To avoid getting bored, frustrated, or anxious about the unknown, I decided to focus on what I could control: the things I could accomplish within my four walls. I threw my (now unrealistic) 2020 goals out the window and replaced them with two missions:
Mission #1: Help as many people as possible get organized at home/work so they can shift their time, energy, and resources towards the things that truly matter during this challenging season. (see where that was born here)
Mission #2: Get all the personal tasks I can safely complete at home crossed off my to do list during quarantine to catch up and prepare for whatever “new normal” will exist on the other side of this pandemic. (find a rolling archive of activities here.)
I was ready to turn “someday” into “today.”
Before you continue reading…
It’s very important for me to take a moment to add some context to this cross it off journey because I bet our lifestyles probably aren’t exactly the same. Here are some things to consider:
- I’m referring to my personal to do list ONLY. With 90 day business goals, active projects and clients to support, my business to do list is a whole different story. It may never have a bottom (but, I think that’s the point!)
- At the moment, I’m single and not a mom or caregiver. My responsibilities are typically limited to myself, my business, and my yorkiepoo Carbon.
- I already work from home and in homes. I did not have to scramble to set up a makeshift home office or learning space. I was also able to seamlessly transition existing and new clients to virtual home organizing services, which I’ve offered since For the Love of Tidy launched in 2017.
- I’m not considering reoccurring tasks (aka “life work”) in this equation. Isolated tasks or projects with a finite start and end only. Laundry, dishes, home cleaning/tidying, cooking, groceries, self-care/wellness routines, vet/doctor appointments, nail/hair appointments, mail, email, prescriptions, bills/taxes…will always be there waiting for me! I typically don’t even write these tasks down or automate/auto-deliver most of them.
- My Bucket List is also a separate (slower) adventure. Most of my BL goals require way more money or time than a typical to-do (welcoming a second puppy for example), so I excluded them. I look forward to striving towards them slowly, over a longer period of time. However, I did check “TEDx Speaker” off very recently!
- I’m walking into this goal with four years of KonMari® lifestyle behind me. Comprehensively finishing my tidying event and getting more mindful about absolutely everything I consume (social media, junk mail, water, etc.) definitely gave me a significant head start. I’ve had some practice getting things done!
The Goal: done, done, DONE…
Clutter is often the physical manifestation of unfinished business, decisions left unmade, and broken promises. For example, as you declutter, you may catch yourself saying “I have to:”
- clean that
- fix that
- use that up
- preserve that
- replace that
- print that
- make that
- return that
- ship that
- gift that
- relocate that
- delete that
- destroy that
- unsubscribe from that
- find that
- finish that
- pick that up again
- shred or scan that
- recycle or throw that away
- donate that
- sell that
These “little” thoughts are actually Act Now tasks that add up (even in your subconscious) and take up precious mental space! Which is why I included a “Mindful To-Do’s” section in every chapter of The Tidy Home Joy Journal to capture Act Nows in one place to avoid open-ended commitments. Rather than halfway finishing the pile of actions that stem from your KonMari® event, you can feel “done, done, DONE” as one of my Graduates of Tidy calls it.
I decided to stay true to my word by finishing my own lingering unfinished business while I have this unique opportunity to catch up. Here is a snapshot of the end of my list:
My Quarantine Projects
Tidy Desk/Room Upgrade Hang Things on the Wall De-Cobwebbing the Commons Professional Air Duct Cleaning and Sanitation Swap Buttons on Winter Coat Sell: Old desk, Instant Pot, Canon Camera, Exercise Machine, and a WiFi Extender (local pick-up) Stylebook My Entire Wardrobe (650 articles of clothing and accessories) DIY Clothing Valet for Bedroom Set Up a Hammock in the Park (for reading someday books and doing boring tasks like dumping photos from my camera roll) Pot Eve, My First Plant Outsource Photo Scanning (for my cousin) Summer & Winter Clothes Donation at Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange (KonMari® Lite) Eco-Style Closet Consultation with Windy City Thrifter Glue Vintage Detail on a Plain Brown Purse Create a Hat and Floral Mask for the Mad Hatter Gin & Tea Party Paint and Frame a Special Portrait of Carbon Phase 1: Digital Declutter: Music and Photos (remove from old laptop, wipe, and recycle) Handmade Birthday Card Deodorize Secondhand Dresser Drawers Phase 1: Digital Declutter: Delete 2/3 of Personal Emails to Free Up Google Storage Space Carbon’s Paw Print Ornaments
- Cut and Dye T-shirts
- Legacy Management – Life in Motion Binder (during my annual Mindful Unplug)
- Sage Home (top of 2021 after my deep home clean and annual Mindful Unplug)
I’m documenting my progress in the “Projects” section of my Instagram highlights if you’d like to follow along!
Which parts of normal are worth running back to?
I’ve also started to take running notes about what deserves returning to once the pandemic coast is clear and the world settles into a “new normal.” I look forward to making space to evaluate what’s essential.
Which activities and goals deserve to return once the pandemic ends and the world settles into a “new normal?”
What quarantine projects are you working on this week?
Let me know via Facebook or Instagram to inspire others in the For the Love of Tidy community who are getting things done in their homes and lives!
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Reach the end of your to do list alongside my past and existing clients, Spark Joy podcast patrons and those actively getting organized during quarantine.
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This is inspiring, Kristyn—thanks for pointing out not just the list but the thought processes and decisions necessary to achieving these actions. And congratulations!
Thank you! It was QUITE a journey :).