After the holiday festivities, our home is a cluttered, disorganised haven. The feeling of "Christmas" had faded by January first, yet I didn't take down the decorations until last night. "There are twelve days of Christmas!" I reasoned, but the truth is that I always feel our house feels barren and less "homely" once the tree is taken down.
The state of our homes have a significant impact on our perceived quality of life. To dissipate those January blues, try taking on a challenge to rejuvenate and revolutionise your home at the start of this new year.
In this post, I've included four of my favourite "challenges" to help us clean, de-clutter and refresh our personal spaces. There's no need to try them all at once: instead, choose one which would have the most significant impact, or select the elements from each which appeal to your own needs. Each challenge is broken down into bite-sized chunks which can be completed in only 15-30 minutes a day.
For a real boost in home organisation, try Hannah's 30 day challenge which will help you completely de-clutter your home, one manageable task at a time.
Hannah provides an email subscription for this challenge for daily updates to your inbox, in addition to motivational "real-life" videos to see how the tasks work for a real family home.
This is an ideal challenge for those who need to form long-term habits and develop organisational systems for their home:
You cannot expect to get your home completely organized over night, even though that would be wonderful. It just won't realistically happen for most of us because we have too many areas in our homes that we need to address.
However, you can get organized slowly, over time. That is where The 52 Week Organized Home Challenge comes in. Each week we focus on a different challenge area in our homes and make steady forward progress.
This year-log challenge is far less daunting and requires less time commitment than a short burst of de-cluttering activity. You can sign up for email reminders for the 52 weekly challenges, view each week's task online, or download a printable PDF.
In April last year, Money Saving Mom initiated a reader challenge for getting the family home clean in just 30 days. All of the activities for each day's challenge are archived on this page, though unfortunately there isn't a printable or email subscription for this challenge.
If you'd prefer a single-page reference, take a look at Apartment Therapy's 30 day cleaning list (which operates more as a manageable, regular schedule) or this free printable for a 31 day cleaning challenge by Fresh and Organised.
Flylady's 31 BabySteps
Flylady offers solutions for those who are living with CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome); who are so overwhelmed by the state of their homes that even starting out causes feelings of dread.
The 31 BabySteps program helps participants to begin forming new habits and slowly bring order to their chaotic homes. It begins with merely shining your sink: a tiny challenge which sets up a sense of pride which continues throughout the month-long program and sets us up for long-term change.
I've written about Flylady's program before, and can attest from my own experience the effectiveness of this initial challenge. Once the 31 days are over, Flylady has a plethora of daily and weekly tasks to help you build long-lasting habits for maintaining a clean and organised home.
Having recently discovered the wonderful site, Apartment Therapy, I was thrilled to sign up to the 2014 January Cure:
Do you want 2014 to be your best year so far? We believe that when your home is under control, fresh, clean and organized, good things happen throughout your life. If you are ready to really get your place in shape the very best way is one manageable step at a time. Sign up below to join our once-a-year-only January Cure and we'll send you emails each weekday from January 2 through the 30th, giving you all the info you need to know to follow along, stay motivated and complete your assignments. By the end of the month, you'll be sitting pretty in a clean, fresh, organized home. We've even built in plans for a gathering of your friends on final weekend to help you celebrate!
It's not too late to sign up for this year's cure, but in case you are reading this post later in the year all of the daily challenges can be found on this page. Alternatively you might like to download the calendar in PDF format to undertake the tasks during an alternative month.
Are you participating in any other "home" challenges this year?
The challenges I've included in this post are ones which I can personally recommend, but is certainly not exhaustive! Are you participating in any challenges to improve your home in 2014? Please feel free to recommend any other challenges you think are of interest to Glamumous readers by leaving a comment on this post.
Photo credit (post banner): Jess Pac, via Flickr
Photo credit (post banner): Jess Pac, via Flickr