Monday, March 29, 2010

Project 12 Rooms in 12 Months (alternate title: Get This $h!t Out of My House)

My best friend once told me, "Free your mind and the rest will follow."

Wait - that wasn't my bf, that was En Vogue.

Regardless (or as they say in the Nebraska, "irregardless" - which, by the way - has now officially become a word due to so many people misusing it. Kind of like the word ain't. Only worse. Because irregardless isn't just slang, it's a contradiction. Ummmmm...perhaps I should have punched the "tangent alert" button here).....

REGARDLESS! No offense to the ladies of En Vogue (or the Cornhusker state), but I think maybe they should have belted out, "Free the rest, and your mind will follow!"

Indeed, you can't pick up a magazine, turn on your tv or surf the interwebs without noticing at least "5 ways to: "declutter," "simplify," or "organize" something or other. I'll stop short of calling it a conspiracy, but clearly, Zen masters and hardcore capitalists alike have secretly aligned to

A) Help us rid our minds of overabundance.


2) Create a demand for high-salaried organizational experts, marketable D-I-Y "work zones" and overpriced containers (dammit, The Container Store, I wish I could quit you!).

With spring cleaning season in full swing, it's game on. Woman's Day has the ladies lingering in the linen closet while Cosmo shares how to prioritize your prophylactics. Family command stations are all the rage in busy households. And apparently there's more than one way to tackle your shelving shortage.

So, I can go two ways on this. I can free my mind, and hope the rest follows (cut to me poolside in a lounger, Jackie O. sunglasses and a large-brimmed hat, holding a margarita); OR, I can buy into this self-improvement, motivational crap and pick a project, hoping freeing myself of material mayhem will induce a state of peaceful bliss.

Any chance I can get the margarita and bliss in the same scenario? Don't mind if I do!

Because I love a challenge...especially one in which I can be held accountable, then blow off, then revamp in order to make it look like it was working for me the whole time - I will make a vow:

I solelmnly swear, to make a conscious, viable effort to declutter, simplify, and organize EVERY ROOM IN MY HOUSE.

That's right. I'm designating 12 areas as "rooms," and will tackle one a month for the next year. I will scrutinize every last piece of paper and unmatched sock in order to purge my packrat tendencies. I'm not a hoarder, by any means. I have given away countless bags of clothes to friends and neighbors, as well as piled clothing, household goods and even furniture onto trucks making the rounds for charity. But alas, The import/export ratio is off. One might think with all the moving around we've done, that we would travel lightly and be done with useless things. In theory, yeah, but with moving comes baggage. Literally. We won't even go there.

The truth is, my mind is in need of major decluttering. Who doesn't feel more peaceful when things are neat and orderly around them? The "organized chaos" I've been living in for the last ten years (okay, twenty) isn't working for me anymore. I want to look at less and feel more. Ooh! That's good. It deserves it's own line.

I want to look at less and feel more.

That's my goal.

Project "12 ROOMS IN 12 MONTHS" begins April 1, 2010. Anyone care to join me? Misery loves compa-- I mean, strength in numbers!


  1. I'm in. Now, to keep me accountable!
    Great post, by the way.

  2. Okay Ang - I am in! I have been doing this since January (you can pay me royalties on my idea later)!! And it has been Awesome! I may get audited by the IRS for all of the Goodwill donation receipts I have though! This month was Frank's closet and it was so refreshing. He still had shirts he wore on our honeymoon!!
    I am up for the challenge & please post pix of your de-cluttered "zones" - Can't wait to see!

  3. I don't need to join you b/c I am in a constant state of uncluttering. About 3 times a year, I gather stuff for donation and "clean house", forcing my husband to lose for the weekend and wonder how the furniture will be arranged when he comes home each day. So kudos to you for taking on this feat!

  4. Hold the phone, there, A, I'm FROM Nebraska, and I have never used that word. So there. I will give you that it is a boring drive to Colorado, and that it frequently smells like cattle lots on I-80, but insulting our intelligence is going too far! No steak or Marlon Perkins for you!

    Wendy lives in Ikea, so she is always decluttered.

  5. Ha! Just having a little fun with my friends from Nebraska (I lived there for four years). But I have to say, the News Editor at the radio station I worked at (very intelligent person) used the word IRREGARDLESS every time. For the record, she also said "supposably" instead of "supposedly," but now THAT is an official word, too. Dammit, Webster! Is nothing sacred?!?

  6. Oh Aleigh, don't get the English professor started on what is wrong with our language. Supposably these kinds of changes are natural in the evolution of English, but irregardless, I don't like them. (You have to know how painful it was for me to write that sentence.)

  7. I have a "before" picture for you of my basement...truly scary!

    I'm in...I'm pretty sure. Can you put a little "12 rooms in 12 months" section on your blog? I'll send you pictures! P and I will map it out! Wait a minute...I don't even have 12 rooms! What do you live in a mansion or somethign?!

  8. oh, with the exception of Nic, my most favorite professional is my 2nd favorite: Have her book and everything :-)

  9. Great idea, K! I'm not sure if I can add it to this blog page, but I know I can add an album entitled "12 in 12" and allow "fans" to post their B&A's on fb's Aleighopolis. Love it!

    Does Nic have a book yet? Or a website I can pass on?

  10. Ang, this is great. I'm in also, we'll see how long it lasts, I think I should start with the attic and work my way down since everything I don't know what to do with ends up there.

  11. I'm in!! The most recent pile of my son's "too tight, too short club" lingers in the hallway just waiting for the colored-coded, ag-specific fairy to sprinkle her dust on them and send them to the correct holding place.