I’ve been keeping something from you.
You know how I get to live on this amazing beautiful property, right?
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of, this place. Even with a million foot garden hose in the picture.
The thing is, I’ve let it get like this:
It’s a junk heap and it’s embarrassing. You can see this from the road when you drive by.
It started off innocently enough. A pile of topsoil delivered in March, a chain-link fence torn down this Spring meant to go to the recycling centre. Slowly, more and more just got added. A few bags of trash that didn’t make it into the garage, some used fireworks from the May long weekend.
I didn’t actually clue into how much it was bugging me until last week, so I wrote it on my Calendar and decided I would clean it up.
So you’re expecting now to see it all cleared out, the driveway re-paved, new flowers, chairs, maybe a tire swing.
But instead I’m going to show you this.
Yup. That’s the after. And that’s my finger. The sun was so bright and my eyes were all watery and I didn’t see. But it’s evidence that I was distracted because I worked my butt off. For 15 mins.
I have this rule for myself, that if a job seems too huge and I feel like I can’t get it done without throwing off the balance of the rest of my life, I’ll work on it for just 15 mins, and that’s better than doing nothing at all.
So I pulled the weeds out of the dirt pile, threw out all the trash and the old fireworks, dumped some pots of dead flowers, and moved the pretty alive flowers out front where they can actually be seen.
So why am I showing you this? Well, maybe you have a sad neglected area around the house too. In fact, I bet most people probably do. If you’re like me, and get worried about spending too much time on big jobs, you can do it in little chunks of time, and after 3 or 4 chunks, you’ll really start to see a difference. So much better than doing nothing at all. For your home, and your sanity.
That’s progress, people.
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.