Monday, January 30, 2017

January Happiness Project: Organizational Results

As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, this year I'm going to use Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project, to come up with monthly focuses. The goal is to increase my happiness and satisfaction.

The January focus was organization. I used Apartment Therapy's "January Cure" to guide my focus for the month.  January also ended up being an incredibly busy month. I traveled 3 times for work and did a lot of wedding planning.  Free time was not plentiful and being away from home so much made it tough to focus on organizational projects.  But I did what I could and I did more than I would have if I hadn't set this intention for the month.

Most of my organizational work was done in the kitchen.  There was a lot of opportunity for improvement in that area. Part of the reason why there was so much opportunity for organization is due to how FREAKING FAST I unpacked when I moved in last May.  Unpacking fast was a necessity since I moved in on a Friday and had hip surgery on Monday.  I knew I needed to organize our drawers and cupboards but it was something that just got pushed off - until this month.

I'm not going to bore you with all the before and after results, but here are a couple of projects I completed in January!

Smallest project:  Kitchen drawer before...


Kitchen drawer after!


Medium Project:  food pantry cupboard


Food pantry after!

Bigger project:  kitchen pantry/closet (which had become the "I don't know what to do with this item so I will just put it here" closet).


Kitchen pantry/closet after!


It felt so good to organize our kitchen a bit.  There are still more cupboards and drawers to go through, but I made great progress this month.

Best tip I learned:  One thing the people at Apartment Therapy suggested is to set the timer on your phone for 30 minutes and do what you can do in those 30 minutes.  Sometimes I put off a project (like organizing cupboards/drawers) because it seems so overwhelming. But I love the 30 minute timer approach.  I would often be surprised by how much I got done in those 30 minutes!  My goal is to try to do this 1-2 times a week going forward to stay on top of other projects around the house that tend to get put off.

Was there anything you focused on in particular in January?

16 comments:

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Doesn't getting those sorts of projects done feel so good!? I love how much the last closet changed. I have a misc. drawer that gets a bit crowded at times; there are just a lot of little odds and ends that I just am not sure what to do with!

I probably do these kinds of projects about once a month. I tidy everything up, throw away old stuff, marry or fill things like flour or sugar or salad dressings, and try to look at what I have already food wise and try to plan a few lunches around that rather than shopping for more. I still have too much stuff in the kitchen, but it keeps me from really going overboard!

The only thing I am not sure about is the 30 minute rule, as often organizing one drawer becomes organizing another, then a closet, then sweeping the floor...etc. I can really get on a roll at times and wouldn't want to curtail that when it's flowing!

katielookingforward said...

I tried to have a little more fun than usual in January. I went to trivia, saw friends, and it was all good. But now starts tuesday nights in class again, so I need to make sure fun is worked into the schedule, but the schedule is a little more strict.

Marlys Dotzenrod said...

Wow, looks great and a neat idea about the alarm setting! I need to try that suggestion!

Abby said...

Looks great lisa! When I look at your before and after pictures it's like Instant gratification of happiness. My January project was using clean on all our cupboards, baseboards, crown molding! Which was kind of a task! My next step is getting our guest bedroom organized and decorated.

You had such a busy January. Bet you are kind of feeling a relief that you made it through Alive!!

I do the alarm thing at work - I'll set it for 30 minutes and not allow myself to answer any IM's, emails, texts (unless it's urgent). I get SO MUCH done in that time!!! It's unreal.

Charbelle4 said...

Setting a timer is a great idea!!! I too can get really overwhelmed by the idea of a project but having that timer would help a lot!

Carolina John said...

I stress out too much about organization. Trying to get organized is frustrating, I mean. cannot do it myself, but I can follow someone else's organized structure. This looks really cool.

Leigh said...

I need to do this over a couple of weekends in our basement and garage. Things just ended up in both spots when we moved, and we haven't done anything about it yet

Gracie said...

Uh, your before's look neater than my after's...

Jeanie said...

For years I've done the timer thing. It's the only thing that gets me to the basement! Most of the time I end up staying longer but if I quit at 30 I don't beat myself up but congratulate me for doing SOMETHING. And you are right -- it is amazing what you can do in a half hour.

Looks great. Especially the big food pantry!

Stephany said...

I love that 30-minute timer idea. I have a few projects that I want to tackle, but I don't even attempt because I can't "find the time." But I think if I just set aside 30 minutes once a weekend, I'd be able to knock more than a few of these projects off my list in no time at all. Thanks for the tip!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Wow that kitchen closet progress is amazing!!
I have done a 10 min timer for just picking up many times but I also like the 30 min idea.

Amber said...

I absolutely love the 30 minute timer approach. Eric and I used to do that with cleaning but then we really got away from it. I think that would be a great way for me to tackle some of the house projects / purging I've been putting off because I am overwhelmed by how long they will take.

Sandra Bond said...

Great job! I actually signed up for the Apartment Therapy emails after you mentioned it, but I didn't do anything with them...ha, go figure. January was pretty busy for me, so I kept putting things off.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

This month we focused on eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, and not drinking any alcohol for four weeks. I love organizing things throughout the house - my mind is clearer if my space is clear.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I went a week strong on setting my timer for 5 minutes of organizing in the office. And a week strong drinking enough water. I may have to go from monthly intentions to weekly. And possibly daily. hahah

suki said...

This is a great motivator to make some progress in areas around the house! :)