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A “Clean” Start to 2014

Happy New Year! I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season. For Christmas this year, my husband and I headed west to Sedona; we wanted to escape the usual holiday hustle and bustle and spend some time indulging in what I like to call “active relaxation”—that is, relaxing and clearing our minds by being outside in a beautiful place, hiking and mountain biking and doing yoga classes and taking in the incredible scenery. We ate smaller portions of healthy spa food and skipped dessert (most days) and drank more water than we ever do at home. And most importantly, we described to each other our aspirational selves in 2014: “What will the best version of me be doing this year?” And for both of us, our aspirational selves will be getting outside and moving our bodies, eating at home and more healthfully, and getting organized more often.

So here we are now, back home from Sedona…back from a list of active fitness classes starting just steps away from my hotel room; back from a healthy and delicious gourmet spa restaurant in which food magically appears in front of me without me having to shop for, prepare, and cook that healthy food; and back from beautiful Red Rock country where dozens of hiking trails with amazing vistas to beckon me outside.

Now, I have to WORK to be my aspirational self. Wait a minute…what exactly did I agree to out in Sedona?

Fortunately, I’ve finally realized (after years of failed resolutions) that what I’m often missing from my intentions is a solid plan—action steps that help me turns all those good intentions into real tasks I can accomplish day after day. So I’ve been developing my own action plan to help me stay focused and take concrete steps to being my aspirational self in 2014.

Oh, and it helps to have Pinterest, too…so I scoured Pinterest for some helpful links to all the lists, tips, and plans I could find to make my foolproof plans. Here are some of my favorites!

Keeping it Clean

It just feels cosmically right to start a new year by purging some of the stuff we’ve accumulated the previous year and literally getting a clean start! This is especially appropriate for our family at the moment, as we just put our house up for sale. Now more than ever, I need to get us on a regular cleaning schedule so that our house is “show-ready” at any time!

Baskets in all shapes and sizes, like these from Tuesday Morning, are my favorite quick-fix for tidying up in a hurry! There’s a basket out there to fit any home décor, and since so many homes these days are lacking in storage space, they’re an attractive way to corral the things you just don’t have a place for!

There are tons of printable cleaning schedules out there, but I admit that this one from Ashley at She Makes a Home is my favorite because it’s just so lovely to look at and fits the style of my kitchen perfectly. She also has the brilliant idea to print just one copy of the schedule, put it in a pretty frame, and use a dry erase marker on the picture glass to check off tasks as you complete them. That’s much better than printing out a new copy each week!

Getting Organized

Tackling home organization goes hand-in-hand with housecleaning, and appropriately, January is Get Organized Month!

Here’s a quick list of things you can do right now to start organizing your home and life.

If your mission for 2014 is to get organized once and for all, consider following this 52-week challenge. After all, we don’t get disorganized overnight! Taking it one week at a time is a great way to tackle a whole-home organization overhaul.

Meal Planning

This is definitely an area where I need the most help! Without a meal plan, I end up buying random groceries I don’t need or I forget the ingredients I need to make a meal (or both), and then I can’t decide what to fix for dinner so we end up going out to eat—wasting all those groceries!

I love this series of blog posts on creating a meal planning binder. There are great ideas and printables to help you develop a ready resource that you can add to over time.

We’ve got so many more ideas for organizing, cleaning, and meal planning on our “A Clean Start to 2014” Pinterest board. And be sure to check out your local Tuesday Morning for all the things you’ll need to organize your home in style and cook those great meals you’ve got planned. (Speaking of meal planning, my next post will focus on tips and ideas for a new, healthier you in the new year…including healthy recipes and meal ideas, so be sure to watch out for it!)

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Anna Dineen

Meet the Contributor

My home Tuesday Morning location: Hillside Village Shopping Center in Dallas, Texas

My favorite Tuesday Morning department: Do I have to choose just one? Craft section and seasonal accents.

A little about me: I’m the gal who always has a project (or two or three!) going on, whether it’s crafting for fun, DIY home decor or even a little remodeling. I do everything but cook! I’m obsessed with great design, old houses, fabulous wallpaper, sushi and hoarding craft supplies — not necessarily in that order.

What I love to write about: I love sharing my favorite craft and home décor ideas on the Tuesday Morning blog … it doesn’t matter what kind of project I’m working on, I know I can find the perfect thing for it at my home Tuesday Morning!

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