Tackle Your Projects 1...2...Or 3

If you're anything like me, you've spent plenty of time wandering around the house looking at all of the half-completed projects and chores that need to be wrapped up. One room has craft projects, another needs a deep cleaning and several have little things that need to be done.

But where do you start? How do you budget your time and decide what to do and when? This can be the biggest challenge - just getting inspired and started - but it's actually as easy as choosing Strategy One, Two or Three.

Strategy One: Chronological Order

One of the easiest ways to prioritize your to-do list is to set it up in the order things have to be done. Instead of staring at baskets of laundry, stacks of paperwork and piles of craft projects, think about them as an item on your calendar.

Start with today: What absolutely has to be done by the end of this 12 hours? Within that list, arrange all your chores in order - are there things that need to be done before the kids go to school? Before lunchtime? Before the kids and husband come home in the afternoon? Simply sometime before evening when you fall over from exhaustion?

What about in the next week? Decide to do the things that need to be done early in the week first, like notes for a meeting on Monday and craft projects for a ladies' gathering on Tuesday. Then move on to the ones that don't have to be done until Friday or the weekend.

Looking at the calendar can help you focus on the time line rather than the chores themselves. Plus you won't be caught short when you need to have one of them done because you planned ahead.

Strategy Two: A Room at a Time

If you walk from the front of the house to the back of the house you'll find a great variety of things you'd like to accomplish. Each room may have clothes to be put away, papers to file, closets to straighten and projects other people need you to do. This strategy allows you to tackle one room at a time.

You choose whatever floor plan works for you. You can start at the front door and work through an entire room before you move on, working in a circle. Or you can start in the room people see or use the most and move on from there. This part is just a matter of preference.

Do everything in that particular room that needs to be done - file papers, clear off desk tops, clean counters, wash windows, straighten closets, organize cabinets, take out the trash and sweep when it's all done. Work from the doorway, along the wall and into the middle of the floor, attacking any clutter, dirt or projects along the way.

Have trash bags and boxes handy for things that are getting thrown out, filed somewhere else, donated, taken to someone else or need more time. Once this room is done you can move on to the next one, until the entire house has been completed.

Strategy Three: Each Room Every Day

This is perhaps my favorite, just because I get bored very easily and I like to see the progress I'm making. If you're not too hip on thinking and planning, or you're too intimidated by the thought of taking on a whole room, this might be the plan for you.

In this strategy you simply do one task, chore or project in each room every day. It might be as easy as clearing out one dresser drawer, or it might be as complex as completing that scrapbook. But you only get one project per room per day, and then you move on to the next one.

So for today you might hang a new coat rack in the entry way, dust the shelves in the dining room, clean out the microwave, clean pet hair off the living room couch, wipe down the counters in the bathrooms and change the sheets on the beds. Each one only takes a few minutes, so by the time the morning is over you'll know you did something in every room of the house.

Regardless of which strategy works best for your schedule and personality, the point is to get things done on time and to the best of your ability. God knows your heart and the motivations there, and everyone relying on you will appreciate the extra effort you went through just for them.

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