This week is National TV Free Week – What can you do with that extra time?

My husband and I once changed all the interior doors of our home (a total of 15) over the course of two months just by doing two doors a week. We did this to break down the cost (about $80 a door) and to spread out the time it took to hang and paint the new doors. Normally we reserve big home improvement projects for the weekend. But as we get into spring and summer the weekends are busy with baseball and travel. I had a deadline that year which was motivating me to get rid of the brown flat doors in our older home and replace them with white paneled doors. I was hosting my sister’s wedding shower in August. We found that if we worked together we could hang the door and do one coat of paint at night from 7-9 pm. The next morning I would put the second coat of paint on two doors and we were set. The only thing we were giving up was about 2 hours of television! Amazing what you can fit in when you have a goal and not a whole lot of time.

So I started thinking, what other home improvement or organizing projects could I complete in just two hours? If you stop watching TV for a week, assuming you watch a couple hours after dinner, you’ll have 7 blocks of two hours where you could accomplish some of those little chores that you never seem to have time for. Here are a few things I’ve done on my own and with my clients:

  1. Organize a pantry – Taking all food out, checking expiration dates, wiping down the shelves and replacing good foods in categories.
  2. Organize a garage – Yes, believe it or not we do our garage twice a year in two hours. One hour to take everything out and one hour to put it back. We purge as we categorize everything we take out. Then we sweep or blow out the leaves and dirt and begin putting categories back. Of course we have 5 people doing this – my hubby and three kids. Although you know who does most of the work.
  3. Switch out your clothes – Take last season’s clothes out of your drawers & closet and replace with the next season’s clothes from storage. First I empty the drawers & closet putting everything on the bed that I want to store away. Anything that I haven’t worn in a year, or that doesn’t fit goes in a donation bag. Then I bring down the stored clothes and put them in the drawer or closet. Finally the out of season clothes are packed away into plastic bins or hung in a cedar closet.
  4. Clean out files at the end of the year. Take out whatever you saved for taxes and put aside for the accountant. Print end of the year statements from your bank or credit cards. At the end of a school year you can go through kids’ papers. Put artwork in a portfolio, awards & ribbons in a scrapbook and all else can be recycled.
  5. Do a “Great toy clean out” – This is another one you can involve the kids with. Have them bring all their toys into one room. Sort into piles. Here are some suggested categories: learning toys, outside toys, balls, games, arts & crafts, building toys. Anything that is broken, toss. Any toys that are no longer used go into a donate pile. Then collect any containers you have for storage and decide where all the toys will be kept. I recommend certain categories in the bedroom and others in a common room in the house.

Tell me what you’ll do this week instead of watching TV.

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