A Before and After for Real Life

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.


  1. says

    Oh Courtenay, you made me laugh, and I can totally relate to this. I love how you say to just do it 15 minutes at a time! I have a similar place with a dirt pile, empty pots, fencing, all the usual. It was so overwhelming. Good inspiration! xx

  2. Wendy says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is so great to see and hear your perspective on this. It is also comforting to know that even the bloggers who I admire, are human too, and indeed, have only 24 hours in their days like the rest of us.

  3. says

    I think your 15 minute plan on a huge job is a good one. You accomplished a lot in that amount of time.

    I have extra lawn chairs, extra water hose hung up and my small trailer behind a fenced area with pretty plants in front of it. This way, no one knows whats there but me lol.

  4. says

    It just goes to prove that weeds can grow anywhere…even in a dirt pile on a driveway! I can relate to this post. Sometimes it can get so overwhelming and I just have to walk away!

  5. says

    I have to play that game with myself sometimes. I’ve even been known to set the timer for 15 minutes and often, will reset it since 15 minutes wasn’t that hard. Thanks for keeping it real!
    What a lovely, lovely view.

  6. says

    Sometimes I use that strategy with my least favorite chore, cleaning the refrigerator. Clean one shelf, which as you point out,is better than nothing. Keep on keeping on!

  7. says

    I agree. 15 minutes is 15 minutes. I needed this. I have to clean my basement but it is overwhelming. I keep telling myself to do it a few minutes at a time. Thanks for the encouragement and humor :o)
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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