Jan 022014
Plenty of fireworks in 2013!

Plenty of fireworks in 2013!

Are you feeling the great energy of the new year? Are you making big plans for yourself or sitting down to think through what you want this year to look like for you? Great! I am too! But on my blog, I am not quite there yet. Please bear with me while I tie up a few housekeeping ends before launching into my January theme posts.

First, a quick recap of last year’s posts . . .


Last January, I focused on goal-setting. Topics included people-based goaling, think big and think small and goal discovery questions to help you figure out the best goals for you. I also set a theme word for the year, “routine.”

February was a big month for me personally as it kicked off my diet and exercise program. I also shared our Virginia skiing adventures and looked at the organization of the Superbowl, the State of the Union address and Mercedes-Benz fashion week.

March and April
March was an amazing month for willpower. I went on a 30-day diet eating 1200 calories per day and exercising daily with the DDP Yoga program. I lost over 13 pounds! In April I continued the health theme and shared some more insights about diet and exercise and the results of my efforts trying to help my husband and children eat healthier. I also shared some fun posts about our Easter celebrations.

In May I went on a bit of a cleaning binge and set to work deep cleaning the house. I FINALLY got my toilet bowls gleaming and am still proud of that one! The cicadas started emerging in my garden and we made some pressed flower cards for Mother’s Day and went to The Washington Ballet’s spring concert.

June, July and August
In June, things started to heat up for me with children’s summer activities. I spent 20 days in the Richmond, Virginia area, touring and having fun with my toddler son while my girls attended class. Over the summer we also managed to pull out the old carpet in our family room and install stained-to-match hardwood flooring. If that wasn’t enough, I also squeezed in a small vacation and attended a homeschool conference that provided inspiration and ideas for the next school year. Whew!

September and October
In September and October, we began our formal homeschooling school year. It was the first year I was homeschooling more than one learner at a time. I shared our homeschooling curriculum, as well as news and tips about homeschooling and education in general.

In November, my posts were minimal. I was overtaxed with schooling, activities, fall house cleaning and holiday preparation. I gave you just one post on holiday housekeeping and then hit the road.

In December , I wrote about stress during the holiday season, (which I was feeling plenty of) and took you on our 16-day winter journey across the United States:

As I write this list, I realized that while I tend to focus on everything that I didn’t quite get done, we accomplished a ton in 2013! I am also amazed at the amount of travel we did–nearly eight weeks altogether!

This summary also helps me to see the broader pattern of my life and realize the times of year that we are busier and when we have a little more opportunity to breathe. If you have the chance to do the same for your life, I strongly encourage it.

What were your favorite moments of 2013? Please share in the comments.

P.S. If you are bitten by New Year’s fervor and feel like you should just be doing something right now, check out Apartment Therapy’s January Cure, which started today. Over the next 30 days, they will be giving tips and motivation to spruce up your home. It is free to join. While the posts are more aimed at those living in apartments or smaller living spaces, the advice can be adapted to larger spaces as well.

P.P.S. Professional organizer Kacy Paide posted a wonderful 2013 organizing lessons learned post that is definitely worth a read.

 Posted by on January 2, 2014 General, Yearly Recap Tagged with:
Jan 012012

A toast to 2012 with our kid-friendly beverage: ginger ale and orange-vanilla sherbet.

2011 was a great year at Ruly!  Before I leap into another great year for 2012, I wanted to pause for a moment to organize last year’s posts into a quick summary.  Each month, I explore one aspect of organization and at the end of the month I post a summary of the posts, comments and relevant news stories on the topic.  Below are links to those monthly summaries and an even shorter recap of each month’s content.

January – Cleaning

Ideas for making cleaning easier, including low maintenance home design suggestions and reviewing examples from the hospitality industry of how businesses implement cleaning standards.

February – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

An overview of what OCD is, including examples of individuals who suffer from OCD, the fist-bumping versus handshake trend in the workplace and reconciling cleaning standards among spouses.

March – Change

Implementing change is one of the most difficult organizational challenges.  Reviewing books from various experts about successful strategies to implement change in your business and life.

April – Retirement Planning

Organizing your 401(k) – resources to calculate savings requirements, evaluating your 401(k).   The story of my own 401(k) savings experience so far.

May – Health

How to create a personal health binder.  Organizational strategies to improve compliance with taking medicine and following doctor-prescribed therapies.  How to track medical news alerts in your areas of interest.

June – Yard & Garden

Ideas to update and improve your garden space that don’t involve planting anything!  How to create a garden journal and my latest patio furniture transformations.  Plus Ruly Ruth’s popular “What to Bring to a Cookout” post.

July – Perfectionism in the Parent-Child Relationship

Examples of perfectionist parents, including Tiger Mother Amy Chua.  The psychological roots of perfectionist parents and counter-examples of parents who set high standards without demanding perfectionism.

August – Organizing for School

Reviewing great books from psychologists, educational organizers and others about common organizational problems children face in the school environment and what to do about them plus tips for organizing school papers and study spaces.

September – Emergency Preparedness

Sharing my experiences in 2011’s rare east coast earthquake and preparing for Hurricane Irene and discussing various preparedness strategies primarily related to communication, like “ICE-ing” cell phones and Ruly Ruth’s great family emergency contact form.

October – Closet Essentials

What are the classic pieces in a casual and professional wardrobe that never go out of style?  Plus a few fun Halloween and costume-themed posts.

November – Healthy Eating

A 30-day experiment trying to eat the recommended “half your plate” in fruits and vegetables and exercise 20 minutes every day.

December – Simple Holidays and Toy Storage

A diary of my own misadventures in organizing the holiday season plus homemade gift ideas, toy storage tips and a look at the organizing techniques of charitable fundraising during the holidays.

I have learned so much over the course of the last year that has helped me with my own organization and I hope that you have as well.  I appreciate all of my faithful readers and wish you a wonderful, healthy, joyful and, of course, organized 2012!

 Posted by on January 1, 2012 Yearly Recap