Goal of The Week — Dining Room Clutter

by Katy on June 10, 2013 · 38 comments

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for Goal of The Week. A new weekly segment where Non-Consumer Advocate readers set and then reach small attainable goals.

“Not a soccer goal, but a personal goal. A single do-able, not overwhelming goal. A concrete goal. A reachable goal. A realistic goal.”

So no huge vague goals like “organize the house” or “lose weight.” A single attainable goal.

My goal for last week was to “tidy up and organize the backyard.”

Backyard goal of the week

Here’s what I did:

  • I cleaned up and then sold the play structure slide through Craigslist. (Hello . . . fiddy bucks!)
  • I cut up all the twigs from the crap wood pile and put them into our curbside yard debris pickup. I then made a big “Free pile” of thick branches and sodden cut logs in front of the house. I put together a Craigslist listing, but the slide guy ended up taking all of it anyway. Win-win!
  • I borrowed my neighbor’s pressure washer and sprayed down the rock wall and brick patio. I then swept new sand in between the bricks for a nice new surface. (The bricks had become super mossy, slimy and dangerous.) For better detail, click on the photos.
  • I also raked, swept and power washed the deck of the tree house, which was covered with leaves and filthy.

So how will I celebrate the shiny new fantastic-ness of the backyard?

With a backyard barbecue of course. I’m thinking just the neighbors and to make it a potluck. And yes, I’ll take down the clothesline.

Backyard - after

This week’s Goal of the Week is to address the horizontal surface issues in my dining room. Ya’ll know that I try really hard to keep an organized home, but our dining room is always a catch-all for this, that and everything. Our dining room is where we eat all our meals, (there’s no kitchen table) do all our homework, draw all our pictures and pretty much anything else that requires a table. So when dinner’s ready, chances are there’s a cacophony of clutter that covers the table. And where does that clutter get stashed? Onto the piano, that’s where!


Goal of the week -- dining room

And lest you think it’s just a piano issue, here’s a shot of the dresser from across the room:

dining room clutter

And like all Goals of the Week, I am choosing a project that works within my available time for the week.

Are you participating in The Non-Consumer Advocate’s Goal of The Week project? Please share your goals in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Kailey June 10, 2013 at 9:29 am

The goal I set last week didn’t happen (donating a bag of clothes that’s been sitting in my bedroom) BUT I did get the balcony tidied up which has been staring at me for far too long.

I’m bumping last week’s goal to this week. I’m going to try and stick to a ‘one bump’ rule. I can only bump a goal once and after that it HAS to be done.


Katy June 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

“One bump rule?” I love it!



Denise Arneson June 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

My goal of the week is to work on a flexible housework schedule to inject structure to my life.


NMPatricia June 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Who plays the piano in your home?


Maureen June 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Well my Weight Watchers goal was to walk twice around the block every day this week and so far it’s been 50%. Today I got up early enough, but didn’t go out and started working and when I went to go out, it was raining already. And we’re supposed to have 3 days of rain. The weatherman lied and said it would start around noon and it was 10:00 am when I went for my walk and it was raining already. So my day did not start off well at all!!!!

Ok, over that and onto another goal for this week — I too will clean off my kitchen table which is the exact same scenario as yours and dust my downstairs. Luckily I don’t have a very big first floor to dust. I fear that clearing off the table will take longer than dusting! We usually push aside everything so there are 2 spots to eat. Not good at all.


Marcy June 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Don’t let the rain be a barrier to walking! Get a really good wet weather jacket, or umbrella, perhaps some waterproof shoes and relish in the fact that you can still exercise in all weather. Think how proud you will feel when you have complete a walk despite the rain.


Ellie June 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I would use the clothes line, but string lights on it (held on w/the close pins) for the BBQ.


AFS June 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

clothes pins


Karen June 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I cleaned up my bedroom corner the same week you did yours. Just needed a little push, I guess.


Michelle H. June 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

My goal was to file/trash/shred the leaning pile of paperwork in my home office. Thanks for the push! Once I got started I couldn’t stop and after 2 hours the office was cleaner than it’s been in a year. Or two, some of that paperwork was pretty old!


tonya June 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm

We are cleaning up our garage tomorrow. We always know it’s time to do this project when neither car is parked in the garage. 🙂


Judy June 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I have the same kind of paper piled table, desk in hallway, etc.
problem and that would be an excellent goal for this week.
My main goal though is to try and stay cool. It is blistering hot in the SW and I normally love the heat, but not this year.


Heidi June 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I like your weekly goals idea and have adopted it myself. I made some small daily goals last week and accomplished them all – outgrown clothes given away, plastic container cupboard cleaned out, mason jars organized and coat closet tidied. This week I’ve got some pots to plant, the laundry shoot closet to clean out and rhubarb to chop and freeze. The smaller goals make it more doable.


SarahN June 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Oh I missed checking in last week, but I got the week before’s done (bag of donate stuff donated, and book finished).

This week, another batch of stuff to get out of the house. And get the ‘niggling’ surfaces cleared. Which are: coffee table, kitchen trolley, entryway buffet. The photos I show on my blog are the ‘best case’ and I want to get back to that!!


patti June 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Well, I haven’t gotten as sophisticated as you guys but I am tackling more “small” goals. I have sold some things on eBay… just a few at a time rather than about ten things at once. I also have cleaned out a few corners. And I am working on some of my projects one by one. I salvaged a pair of shorts for my son by making a new waistband from the legs I had cut off last year. He had worn through the waistband but luckily I hadn’t thrown away the legs when I made the pants into shorts. He is a college student so the fact that he even asked me to salvage them shows my frugalness has rubbed off. LOL And the final thing I’ve done (and this week’s goal) is invited a group of people over for a garden tour/salad supper so I HAVE to clean up my backyard.


HeatherS June 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I am going to tackle a cabinet in my kitchen which holds our medications and some dishes that are not used very often. I noticed today, while looking for some meds, that we have many outdated or no longer used OTC meds that I need to get rid of. Anyone know how to deal with outdated liquid meds such as childrens tylenol? We have a local group that combines with the hospital and police to collect meds to properly dispose of them but they don’t take liquids.


Practical Parsimony June 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm

The rule for disposing of medications is no longer to flush or bury. Wrap the medication well and put it in the trash for containment in a landfill. That was the latest I have heard. Maybe something else is more appropriate now.


Heidi June 11, 2013 at 3:56 am

I’d also try phoning your pharmacy to see if they take back OTC meds. They will take back unused and outdated prescriptions to properly dispose of them.


AFS June 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Your yard looks lovely Katy. In Seattle it’s been nice enough for me to spend quite a bit of time on the back porch. There’s nothing like sipping your morning mocha while being serenaded by a choir of birds.
I fell woefully short of my goal to finish a sewing project. I only got as far as searching for, but not finding, the instruction sheet.
It’s back on the list for this week. Hopefully with better results.


Marcy June 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I am loving this new series! I also love the “one bump” rule above.

I am totally chuffed that I completed my goal(s) of the week last week. The goal was to mop my bedroom floor and I also got a long overdue pap smear completed. This week my next goal is to get a new photo for my driver’s licence. I’ve been putting off for a while, inititally due to proctrastination and then I got an injury which resulted in a swollen bruised face – one that I was not keen to immortalise on my licence for the next 10 years! Now I’ve recovered I can do it.


Emilee June 10, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Goal of the week: clean the car out!! It’s been far too long that that car has been collecting crap, garbage, clothes, water bottles, strollers, carseats, and the like. It needs to be gone. As a bonus, I hope to find the credit card I lost in the car a week ago. (Although it is nice to go a week without the credit card, forcing me to make do with what’s on hand.)


Jan June 11, 2013 at 5:09 am

I cleaned my car out last week! The outside one day – it really needed it from a long car trip – and the inside the next. Now my 2004 car looks shiny and new!
This week I’m clearing furniture out of the spare bedroom so we can tear out the carpet, which I’ve been wanting to do for years. I’m so psyched about it!


dusty June 11, 2013 at 3:34 am

Your yard looks great Katy. Last week my goal was to tackle the two closets in my office. One closet had nothing but christmas stuff in it, emptied that out and went through everything and repacked. The other closet was a mess, luggage, books (that I no longer need for my business cause I can get the info on the internet), wrapping paper, tax returns for the last 15 years and 2 boxes of greeting cards that I have been sent over the years. I emptied that closet into my office and now I am going through everything. Of course, my shredder died so now I have to go get a new one. Wasn’t sure what to do with all the greeting cards but then I found a website for St. Jude’s ranch and they take the front of the cards and use them, so maybe I’ll cut all the fronts off and send them a package. If anyone has any suggestions about what else to do with them (like maybe keeping some of them and what you did) please let me know.


HeatherS June 11, 2013 at 4:03 am

I have a couple of Christmas card fronts that I put into goodwill frames and use as cheap Christmas decorations. Sometimes childrens’ classrooms or Sunday Schools will use them for kids crafts near Christmastime.


dusty June 11, 2013 at 5:31 am

thanks for the info, I’ll check with the churches in our town


Kim Stewart June 11, 2013 at 6:01 am

I’ve used decorative punch to cut out gift tags from card fronts.


Eliza June 11, 2013 at 3:54 am

I’m not setting a home goal this week because I have to finish my school reports, but I had to comment – the top of our piano looks just like yours! I clear it off regularly and it just ends up exactly as this again. Sigh. I also really love your dresser. What a gorgeous piece of furniture!


Katy June 11, 2013 at 5:26 am

Thanks. It’s a curbside find that needed (and still needs) some love. The most of the drawers need to be re-glued, and the you can’t lift it from the top or it’ll come off. I’m sure it will become the “Goal of The Week” to fix it up at some point!



Jackie B June 11, 2013 at 5:59 am

I am going to get some plants that I dug up over a month ago planted. This has been my goal for several weeks now, but the weather and travel have prevented me from finishing this simple task.

I going out there today since it finally stopped raining!


Kim Stewart June 11, 2013 at 6:09 am

Last week I accomplished listing 25 items on Amazon (actually did 33) and seeing my son graduate from high school. Yeah! This week’s goal is to reorganize all my packing materials. I get bags of foam wrap that comes from someone I met through Freecycle. The surgical supplies come wrapped in them and they just throw it all away so she collects it and gives it away on Freecycle. Now I just have to email her when I’m getting low. Gotta love free packing materials!


Van June 11, 2013 at 7:42 am

I love how your back yard dips down, gorgeous! Need to join in on these weekly mini-goals!


Katy June 11, 2013 at 7:54 am

The dip down was a challenge to deal with, as it required a retaining wall. However, blah, blah, blah, lemons, blah, blah, blah, lemonade. 😉



sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring June 11, 2013 at 8:11 am

Piano clutter’s on my list for this week too!


Elizabeth June 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I was going to make another sewing/knitting goal for this week, but I know that these are projects that I want to do and likely will get done anyway. I have a list of nagging tasks I’ve been avoiding, so I’m going to pick one of those for this week: schedule an eye appointment.


Taylor-Made Ranch June 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I use an excel spreadsheet with a separate page tab for each of our registered Hereford cows. On each cow’s sheet I show pedigree info, immunizations, illness, calving dates, A.I. notes, palpation notes, etc. It’s a very important record for our ranch. Two months ago we bought 10 more animals & I still haven’t opened sheets for each of them on my spreadsheet, it seems life has just been swirling around me. LOL. My goal is to finally do so, should take about 1.5 hrs. Ready?? GO!

~Taylor-Made Ranch~
Wolfe City, Texas


Emily June 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I love your idea for ‘goal of the week’!! Even though the ‘to-do’ list seems never-ending, the small thing I will commit to doing this week is to get a microwave out of the trunk of my car – and at least get it inside my apartment (a friend donated it to me and I’m trying to decide if I want to keep it and replace the one I have or give it to Goodwill…hmm, maybe I should decide that first and then take it directly to Goodwill, if that’s where it will end up eventually….I digress). After the trunk is cleaned out, I’m determined to also take my car through the car wash, get the outside washed and the inside vacuumed/detailed. This should be do-able, right? I feel like it’s been on my mental list for weeks!!!


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