Poetry & Words

WRITING & WORDS :: Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop :: ‘Clean all the things!’ v.s. One Year to an Organized Life

I bought this book a few weeks ago.

One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds

I can hear my mom saying, “People who buy organization books and people who actually organize are not the same people.” I know, I know, mom. You’re right.

I want to be organized. It’s not like I didn’t have THE best example in the world, growing up. My mom’s a cleaning and organizing whiz. Seriously, she’s amazing.

And then there’s me.

It’s not so much that I don’t know how to be organized. It’s that I don’t actually act on what I know. (Which is far, far worse. I wish I could claim ignorance.)

This is fairly humiliating to admit.

The thing is, I truly desire to create a calm, peaceful, inviting space for my family. And this year, I feel very strongly convicted that I need to conquer the clutter. I need to keep a clean home.

For one, my husband works hard all day long and he deserves to come home to a relaxing environment. I want to provide this for him.

And two, well, did you see that post earlier this week where I mentioned that my parents packed up our house last move? It’s not the first time they’ve boxed up all my things and cleaned our house from top to bottom.  As embarrassing as it is to admit this on my blog? Far more embarrassing to have my mother, the queen of clean, wiping out my freezer and seeing what actually is under the kitchen sink and in the back of the closet.

I hang my head in shame.

My approach to getting a handle on the housework, though, looks a lot like this:

Clean All the Things via Hyperbole and a Half

[via Hyperbole and a Half]

I’m kind of an all-or-nothing person. Yes, I know that’s a logical fallacy. It’s also how my sad little brain works.

I’m also quite the multitasker. The older I get, though, the more I’ve come to realize that my version of multitasking is really distraction in hyper drive. Productive? Not so much.

We all know the fable of the tortoise and the hare, but I look more like a bunny on a sugar high hopping from room to room than I do a slow and steady tortoise.

All this might not be so terrible if I wasn’t also a perfectionist. So, I work myself into a clean all the things frenzy, hop from room to room starting a billion and five organizing projects, then sit down and cry when my house doesn’t look like a magazine after one day hour.

So when Natalia from Ma Nouvelle Mode emailed me about Regina Leed’s book One Year to Organized Life and suggested we go through it together, I was only too eager to say yes. (Natalia’s in France. I’m in Florida. Don’t you love the internet?)

The book is broken down into chapters which correspond with months of the year. January’s four-week segment was all about kitchens, and February will go through bedroom organization.

via Amazon's Look Inside feature of One Year to an Organized Lifevia Amazon's Look Inside feature of One Year to an Organized Life

So far, I love it — it’s encouraging, the tasks are manageable, and best of all, I don’t end my cleaning frenzy lamenting “I should have done more! I should have done better!”

Viva la clean!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

10 thoughts on “WRITING & WORDS :: Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop :: ‘Clean all the things!’ v.s. One Year to an Organized Life”

  1. hey gina! i can relate to this post so much!
    your mum reminds me of my mum, LOL! you know what, she once made the commitment of being so orgazined that she would find the smallest detail within the house even if she turned blind one day. and so it is! everything has a place in her house, and if it doesn’t, well, it’s not in her house anymore.
    i find that i am struggling a lot to be just a little like that. i downloaded the ebook “one bite at a time” by Tsh Oxenreider from Simple Mom, it’s about simplifying your life. i feel drawn to this kind of literature, although this is the first time i have bought something along these terms. so i’m looking forward to reading here about what this book is doing for you!
    have a great day!


  2. Gina, this is a great post. I have been going through a very methodical cleaning in my house since moving in. It’s sort of like getting closer to God but really it’s Martha:) I have about 5 more areas in my house to really tackle and I will be in a zen place for now. It is an amazing feeling to know where things are. Like last night, I was looking for blue painter’s tape (come one.. I own a craft business…that’s normal) but I knew right where it was. That’s empowerment:) Keep up the good work!


  3. Gina this is a fantastic post! I’m reading Gretchen Wilson’s “The Happiness Project” and she spends 1 month of her year long happiness project focused on decluttering. (Maybe it only took her a year because she lives in a NY apartment?)

    I think it’s great that you and Natalia are going through the book together! I’m trying to go through the Happiness Project with my Aunt (I’m in NJ and she’s in NM), a friend with a new baby, and another friend who is working on her doctorate. Needless to say it’s hard to keep everyone motivated!

    I can’t wait to see your progress – good luck!


  4. I am so excited to have my book be the instrument of change in your life. Please feel free to contact me with questions at any time. I’ll keep abreast of your posts.

    Sometimes people use organizing as a tool to control others rather than as a tool to make their lives easier. You catch my drift. It’s not what you want!

    I am a recovered perfectionist so I understand your comments but I ask that you try and abandon that burden. Only God is perfect. We mere mortals can only do the very best we can and when we have that is more than enough.



  5. me… me… me… ME! I am ALL THOSE THINGS you just said! I think we’re soul mates for sure. I can relate to every single point you mentioned. I can’t wait to go through this with you, someone I can relate to!!

    The only thing that’s different is that I actually don’t know how to organize. My sister-in-law is queen of clean and she laughs at me when she tries to help me through packing, cleaning, etc. I end up having like a billion piles for everything under the sun and then I can’t remember what half the piles were for!! haha


  6. just as sylvia already described our mom in her comment above, i can relate to you and your mom a lot! i want to be organized and could help other people to get organized since i have all that head knowledge. but putting it into practice myself? nope, unfortunately not. and i’m just incredibly slow…
    i’d say you got a giant step ahead by buying this book! :)


  7. Holy cow! Are we twins? Your comments echoed many thoughts that have been going through my own head. Thanks for sharing!


  8. I am exactly the same way!! I am going to go look at your progress as I bookmarked this post and YES I am just getting to it now! I have all three books by Regina and I am determined this is my year to stick to this! I tried last year and got off track. I hope this is my year. :) I have a business and it depends on this right now so it’s sink or swim for me.
    Thanks for sharing!


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