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Mission: Organization

A draft of the major areas of the house that need to be overhauled.

What is Mission: Organization (aside from a fun show on HGTV)? My mission is to tackle my home! Over the past four years, clutter, power cords, empty glass candle holders, receipts, filing, clothes that no longer fit, and products we don’t use have built up in all the corners of our home. Inspired by Fly Lady and her various missions (Zone Missions, Holiday Clean Up Missions, even Pamper Missions), I decided to make my own list of Organization Missions to get back in touch with my home. Room by room, drawer by drawer, I plan to sort, purge, donate, tidy, and label my whole house.  We’re hoping to move within the next 2 to 4 months, and being pregnant, I know it will take me longer than anticipated to comb through all of our belongings. I want to start now, and slowly and steadily, get my home back to the way I want it, one mission at a time.

In addition to the upcoming move, I don’t like the feeling of not knowing where to find things in my own home. I used to be able to put my hand on any item in less than 3 minutes, but now, we’re better off buying a new power cord or battery charger than waiting for me to find it. What a waste of money, and who needs three battery chargers?  I feel a heaviness in the parts of my home that are cluttered with stuff that I haven’t taken the time to sort through. Purging is going to feel so great! There is a small chance I could decide we don’t need to move to a larger home (haha, unlikely! I need room for baby!).  Once I get rid of the unnecessary items, we may find we do have room for baby and all of baby’s things, at least until he is 6 months old or so. We could possibly stay here another year, allowing us to maintain a certain stability and predictability in our environment and expenses. As much as I want to decorate a nursery, we are not 100% decided on moving. Whether we move or not, I still feel highly motivated to get our home in order!

One rule I learned from the Fly Lady is: don’t take out more than you can put back in one hour! I am taking this rule to heart when selecting my Organization Missions. I will be scheduling only 1.5 hours of time on each mission, with the plan to only spend 1 hour on the task.  I see myself following a plan of: empty out one drawer, sort, put back everything from the “keep” bucket, put out the trash / recycling / donations. Check clock. If there is time, repeat. Because some drawers or cabinets are much larger than others, 30 minutes of sorting could lead to one hour of putting away, so I want to make sure I have time to complete one full mission each time I set out to do one. My largest mess will be doable in that amount of time.

My Goal: A place for everything, and everything in its place.

I’ve sketched out my goals on a sheet of paper, leaving room to add more as I think of them. I am highly motivated to hang the pictures we have leaning against walls, buy things that have been missing for a long time, or create the crafting/sewing projects I’ve been planning. I’m a little less eager to carry donations to Goodwill or sort through the bath towels to decide which should go in the rag bin. To use this motivation to my advantage, I’ve separated the tasks into the organization/purge portion, and setup the decorating/sewing/shopping as a reward for completing the space.

My first target is the Guest Room / Craft Room space. I prioritized this item as number one because the mess in there is preventing me from achieving my other goals. Daily sketches, weekly layouts, and pregnancy journal did not get done this week because the room is too messy to find the supplies I need. Once I get this room under control, it will feel like an oasis from the clutter in other areas of the house. I will be able to retreat to my studio during the time I’ve scheduled for creativity, and will actually feel I’ve accomplished something other than locating my supplies.

Plan for Guest Room / Craft Room:

  1. Box non-craft items and move to garage (Halloween decor and costumes, Christmas decor and costumes).
  2. Attack the craft closet, including: fabric stash, paper stash, wrapping station, embellishment buckets, and memorabilia files. The closet may need to be divided into two halves to be do-able.
  3. Put everything stashed on the bed into its proper place, being sure to properly sort each item prior to storing it – many will need to go to the trash or donation bin.
  4. Tidy desktops, putting tools back where they belong, clearing surfaces, restoring computer peripherals, and storing “in progress” projects in their proper bins (not on the table).

Ideally, this can be completed in one week. Once completed, my rewards will include:

  1. Hang items ready for the walls: butterflies, magnet boards, clock (this will be a fun craft project, too), and new framed quote.
  2. Take my two vintage typewriters in for servicing

I’ll take Before and After pics and post them with my progress update next week! Until then, wish me luck on my first Mission: Organization… I’ll be armed with sorting boxes, Dyno label maker, Swiffer, vacuum, and a discerning eye that quickly decides who stays and who goes!!


Playing with words and symbols for 2011. First attempt at "hearth" is not centered... the last letter ran right off the page.

I’ve seen lots of other bloggers (not just Karenika, even though she did it too!) choose a “Word for the Year.” I like the concept and decided to try it this year. Instead of looking for the right word, I wrote down some general statements of how I want to feel and what I want to have accomplished by the end of the year.  These statements are purposely written as though they already happened, or I already feel that way, following the “act as if” guidelines for achieving goals. 

My focus for 2011:  

  • Our home is a clean, tidy, beautiful place where I love to be, create, read, cook nourishing meals, spend quality time with John, have friends and family over, raise our family, and a place I am proud of. 
  • My life is grounded in a steady and predictable routine that keeps us nourished and provides a foundation to build on with meaningful experiences and memories. 
  • I joyfully care for my home and family, making our home beautiful, caring for my family in seen and unseen ways. 
  • My inner longings are fulfilled as I express my creativity, feel the calmness of organization and preparedness, and experience my slow and unhurried natural rhythm. 
  • I have found health, emotionally and physically, through nourishing food, regular exercise, being outdoors, reducing stress and other toxins, following nature’s cycles and predictable changes, practicing meditation, and feeding my creative spirit through regular practice and expression.
  • The memories and expressions are documented and shared, extending the hearth, and inviting everyone to come sit by it. 

After writing the last line, I knew my word for the year would be HEARTH.  This is a little cheesy, but I love the fact that Hearth includes the words Art, Earth, and Heart within it.

My main word for this year: Hearth
Other words that support my goals:

Symbols for this year:  Hearth/Fireplace
Other symbols that could represent my goals and sub-words:
green pea; sprouts
{create – couldn’t come up with one, any suggestions?}
flower bud

Knowing and understanding these goals, what is my daily focus going to be?
+ Having a routine that helps achieve these goals, knowing that routine, in itself, is a goal.

How will my blog schedule reflect progress on  these goals?
+ Posts will occur on a predictable, rhythmic schedule
+ Posts will focus on my the projects I’ve chosen to achieve each goal.

Weekly Posts that support my goals:
Monday: Pregnancy Journal and Pregnancy updates
Tuesday: What I’m Eating / Cooking; Exercise/Movement updates
Wednesday: Daily Goals Progress Report
Thursday: Mission Organization; Home progress report “from the hearth” 
Friday: Weekly crafting project, or What I did with Mom this week! (not a scrapbook page)
Saturday: Scrapbooking page for this week (could be from Wedding album in progress, classes I’m taking, calendar page, etc)
Sunday: Book Review

Daily Posts:
One of my goals this year is to post daily. Just by following the schedule above, I will have daily posts. Here are a few additional things I am doing daily, though I have not yet decided if I’m going to post these every day or wait and compile them weekly. It seems like a lot to cover it all in one day, so I’ll revisit this at the end of January. I am currently doing the following things daily:

  • Daily Sketch/Weekly Art Journal – My daily sketches are just ideas and playing around in my sketchbook. Once a week I will do something a little more intensive, using other products and not just my pen and watercolor pencils. 
  • Daily Gratitude – I’m doing this on the left-hand side of my sketchbook, facing the right side page with the sketch on it for that day. I can also jot down notes or thoughts because there is plenty of room. 
  • Daily Photo – I’m also considering signing up for the BPS Manual Mode class with Elisha Snow.  *I accidentally left our camera at my mother-in-law’s house on New Year’s Day. I should be getting it back in a few days and be able to start taking photos again!
  • Daily Routine – I’m following the Fly Lady. If you don’t know who she is, I’ll post more about her on Wednesday. I’m also reading Steady Days, and a lot of the concepts are similar between the two. More updates on this to come!


She designed a life she loved! -Kobi Yamada

What am I doing?


Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are probably right. -Henry Ford