The New York Times had an article the other day about five small chores to do around the house to get it (and yourself) off to a fresh start in the new year.
Some of the five–like unclogging the drains and cleaning out various filters–did not sound too appealing. Actually, they left me feeling like I’d be more likely to get my year off to a cranky start than a fresh one. The first suggestion, Deep-clean Your Bed, sounded like a good idea though, so I gave it a whirl this weekend.
“You know that feeling you get when you get into a bed with clean sheets? This is that feeling times 10.” ~ from the article
I wash the sheets on a fairly regular basis and run the duster under the bed whenever I happen to notice the sun streaming through the window and bouncing off a layer of dust, but I can’t remember the last time I took everything off the bed and washed it–pillows, blankets, decorative shams and all. Considering how much dust and whatnot was released into the air when I pulled the cover off the box-spring, I was probably long overdue for a deep cleaning. The article even suggested sprinkling the mattress with baking soda and letting it sit for a while, to absorb any lingering odors, so I dutifully retrieved the canister of baking soda from the kitchen and gave the mattress a dusting. While I was at it, I figured I might as well give the floor a good sweeping, tackle those cobwebs that had magically appeared in the corners of the room, and polish up the bedframe and night stands.
After about a million and a half loads of laundry and an awkward staggering waltz with the mattress, the bedding was all put back in place, fresh and clean. When I climbed into bed that night, just as the article had suggested, I experienced the “getting into a bed with clean sheets” feeling times 10.
I’m not sure whether my home and I are now off to a good start for the year, but I did get a good sense of accomplishment (plus a great night’s sleep). I’ll probably hold off on the “sharpen knives” and “clean the medicine cabinet” suggestions until I’m in need of another burst of “fresh start”, but the article got me to thinking about fresh starts from a writing perspective.
The beginning of the year seems like a good time to go through all of the writing projects that have accumulated over time and do a little weeding out, or at least sorting. I don’t know about you, but I start lots of stories and whatnot over the course of a year. Some are triggered by our Friday Writing Prompts, some are triggered by random ideas or pictures I’ve seen, and some are just ideas I want to explore. The majority of them don’t get far, but they do pile up, leaving me with the feeling that I have hundreds of ongoing projects clamoring for me to finish them.
So, next on my fresh start agenda is sorting out the stories that have the possibility of turning into something (or that I really want to pursue) and filing away everything else. If I was really bold, I’d throw away everything else, but I’m not quite ready to go that far just yet, so I’ll just stick with out of sight, out of mind for now.
There are also more than a few folders and binders full of notes, reference information, class assignments, and who-knows-what-else cluttering up my writing room. Weeding through that could be a good fresh start project as well. I already streamlined and organized the stack of images cut out of magazines and catalogs that I’d accumulated over time a few weeks back when I had repairmen in the house and I was banished to my library, but there is a lot of other stuff that could be weeded through and thinned out.
So, that’s my fresh start for the year. When I’m done I’ll have a deep-cleaned bed, a limited number of stories/ideas that I really want to work on, and a binder full of images for when I need inspiration or help visualizing something.
Sounds like a win!
So, what have you done to get your year off to a fresh start (or are you still busy celebrating the end of the last year)?