I’ve put off writing a review post because, honestly, I thought October kind of sucked! I was hoping to just brush it under the carpet and move on. I had two issues with the month that bothered me throughout.
First, I felt like I didn’t do as much or as well as I did last year. There was a whole lot of perfectly okay projects, but nothing amazing or revolutionary. As revolutionary as home organization and decluttering can get, of course.
Second, I felt my writing wasn’t as tight as it could have been. There were a few posts I liked, but for the most part they read lackluster to me. Towards the end, I reasoned that lackluster projects can’t expect anything more than lackluster writing. I cleaned out a drawer! Let’s get philosophical.
It wasn’t until I put all these pictures together into a collage that I became slightly more impressed with my efforts. Looking at these pictures, I see I kind of tore it up in October! It wasn’t the same as last year, but I still worked really, really hard.
That’s when the obvious occurred to me. The 31 Days of William Morris wasn’t different. I was different. Somehow, during the last year of decluttering and weekly projects, I applied the William Morris quote to myself.
Last year, when I started that project, I was sad and more than a little panicked. I had no idea what I got myself into or how I would ever finish. Then, as I started in on the projects, I got more and more upset with myself. Upset with the clutter, upset with the waste of money, upset with my inability to find a damn pen when I need one. I had a crazy intensity about me that year, so when I finished at the end of the month, I really felt like I achieved something. When you don’t think you can do something and you do, the rush is unforgettable.
This year, I treated myself with a gentler hand. When I opened a drawer of sweats that never really closed, I didn’t beat myself up for buying stuff I don’t wear in a size that reflects my struggles in other areas. I didn’t become furious for avoiding a simple project for years. I sat down and purged sweats. I filled two (three?) bags and patted myself on the back for a job well done. I was calm and relaxed and accepting.
I’m human. I make mistakes. I try to do better the next time around. This year I focused not on the missteps of the past, but on my progress in the right direction. I didn’t feel I did as much because I didn’t beat myself up as much throughout. I didn’t treat each project like I was conquering a demon. Sometimes I don’t do as well I as expect from myself, and I’ve realized that for me, that’s probably a good thing. It’s good that I haven’t come up with a revolutionary way to organize socks. My expectations are usually ridiculous and often make me feel small. Nowhere in that William Morris quote does it say things have to be perfect or go exactly as planned.
I may not have finished the laundry room, but I found a glimmer of peace. That has to count for something.
Here are a few stats on the project:
- 37 projects completed–I doubled up on some days because I was worried there would be an emergency.
- 8 bags of clothing donated.
- 2 bags of shoes donated.
- 5 bags of trash tossed.
- 9 picture frames donated.
- 1 box of random kitchen items donated.
- 7 cookbooks donated.
- 460 photos taken.
- 214 photos edited and published.
- 158 hours worked on projects, including post writing.
- 2 trips to Staples
- 5 trips to Michael’s.
- 11 trips to Target.
- 1 trip to Cost Plus World Market.
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can document. I had a budget of $1,000 for the month, which was actually part of our Rome money. I stayed well under budget, probably because I gave myself a generous budget! Again, I was afraid of emergencies and I really thought I was going to get the boys’ room done. (I did buy the beds, but that’s as far as I got.) I haven’t tallied my receipts, so I can’t give exact numbers, but you’ve seen the projects and can get a rough idea. The bulk of the money went into the laundry room. The bead board, trim, and paint cost the most at roughly $300. The beds were a $120 Craigslist find. Every other project was free or cheap.
In case you were wondering, my favorite projects are the perfume tray and the Mama’s Toolbox. I love how clean and pretty the perfume tray is, and I’ve used the Mama’s Toolbox several times already. It’s so handy.
I don’t know if I will do 31 Days of William Morris next year. I think it’s an idea that may have run its course, but it was fun while it lasted.