Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Power Hour

Dear Girls,

It occurred to me recently that my cleaning habits (or lack thereof) were starting to overwhelm me.  I needed to get organized.  Spring had officially sprung and so had the insatiable desire within me to clean up, clean out, and simplify our home.

So when I booted up my computer and saw one of my favorite blogs beginning an eight-part series on how to do just that, I nearly squealed with excitement!  Nearly.  (I totally would've if I were the squealing type.)  I mean, we're talking downloadable schedules and lists and all...and I LOVE me a good list.

Yet looking at my beloved to-do list was causing serious paralysis.  So many little "projects" needed done, and the mere thought of completing them was causing me to...well, do nothing instead.  I'm talking about those little things which have no deadline and aren't a part of my regular chores...clean out my closet, organize the attic, clean out the junk drawer, write that email, weed out our movie collection...and on and on.

Even with such an awesome guide as the one I mentioned above, I still had a hard time figuring out how to create a regular cleaning schedule for myself (and stick to it!) when I knew I was going to be spending the next twenty-seven years completing these little odd jobs. 

The answer came in the form of an article in the March issue of Good Housekeeping magazine titled "Change Your Life in an Hour".  How's that for a headline?!  Of course I read on.

And in doing so, I discovered a very simple--yet very profound--concept.  The kind that leaves you saying, "Why didn't I think of that?!"

Power Hour.

Gretchen Rubin, author of Happier at Home (and brains behind this genius idea) describes it this way:

"Nothing is more exhausting than a task you never start.  I've known this for a long time, but nevertheless had managed to accumulate a lengthy list of small, mildly unpleasant tasks that I kept putting off--for months, sometimes years.  ...I decided to come up with a habit that would help me cross those items off my list.  Once a week, for one hour, I'd steadily work on nagging chores.  An hour felt like enough time to get stuff done, but not too long."

Genius, right?  But so simple.  And sooooo do-able.

Power Hour is something I can integrate into my handy-dandy new cleaning schedule.  So far I've tackled my closet, the attic, and the toy room all using the Power Hour concept.  For the time being, until I can get a grip on my major spring cleaning, I've been actually doing a few Power Hour sessions per week.  I just set my timer and go at it.  There's not a single nook or cranny in this house that's safe now.  Mwahahahaha. 

And as dorky as this may sound, armed with my new cleaning schedule and now Power Hour?  I feel as though I can conquer the world.  (Or at the very least get to that book I've been meaning to write.) for me!  I hope it does for you too!


P.S. Check out Gretchen's website:  The Happiness Project.  (This link will take you to the post about Power Hour, and I think you'd be delighted if you decided to stick around to peruse the site!)

Got any housecleaning tips or tricks up your sleeve? Share them with us!

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