To Do List: 2017


I hesitate to make so-called resolutions, but I do love a good to-do list. Instead of making the oh so predictable list of goals for the year, I’m going to dig through the list of things in my head I keep meaning to do. These are things that keep piling up thanks to life getting in the way or they are simply forgotten in the cluttered mess that is my head.

Item #1: Declutter

Give the state of my head, this one makes sense! However, the clutter in my head is only part of the problem. The house is cluttered, My classroom is cluttered. The past is cluttered.

The last one is probably why everything else in my life is full of just too much. After four years of many personal losses, it’s been hard to let things go. The fact that I have awareness and understanding of this fact is why I’m now able to move forward. I no longer need to hold onto so many things to feel anchored. I can let go.

The following areas are where I’m focusing my energy:


  • Bookshelves throughout the house. This is actually where I started. On January 1, I cleared out close to 150 books.
  • DVD shelf – we have almost 1,000 DVDs. There’s no way we need that many. Clearly, we love TV and Movies, but I know there are quite a few duds on the shelf!
  • CD Shelf – Same deal as the DVD shelf. There is some weird stuff on this shelf and it’s time to sift out the duds.

Closets: There’s too much of just about everything: blankets, sheets, clothes, shoes, etc.

  • master closet
  • linen closet
  • hobby closet

Hobby/Guest Room

  • Multiple shelves jammed with stuff (not even sure what)
  • Barbie Collection – I have close to a hundred dolls, but I want the collection to be more streamlined to reflect my love of vintage and vintage-look dolls. So far, I’ve pulled 21 dolls to give away or sell. 

Writing Area

  • One of the biggest culprits of clutter are old journals, multiple novel drafts, and writing reference books. A lot of this comes from figuring out who I am as a writer. I’ve figured it out and now it’s time to sort through the paper trail and discard what no longer matters, (i.e. rough drafts, journals full of scribbles).


  • Supply closet – OMG. So much stuff has landed here over 17 years.
  • Storage area in department office – started this last year, but more work needs to be done

Item #2: Publish Something

Over the last couple of years, I’ve written over a thousand haiku. I think it’s about time to put together a chapbook or two! I’m probably going to self-publish using a digital platform. There are so many options out there, many of which are free, so I don’t have much of an excuse not to do this!

The same goes for my novel. I’m going to get back into the game of sending out query packages, but I’m also going to dig deeper into research regarding self-publishing outlets. It’s time to get this done!

Item #3: Read 35 Books

As I have for the last five years, I’ve once again joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Item #4: Survive National Board Certification

The road to National Board Certification has been brutal. It is not fun navigating a newly rolled out process because there are so many unknowns. Previously certified teachers can’t really help, nor can the coaches. I have one more component to finish and hopefully it will be enough to not only survive, but achieve National Board Certification.

Item #5: Take Better Care of Myself

I need to eat better, sleep better, and leave more stress at the door. I let the day job invade much too large of a space in my life and it’s time to push it back to where it belongs: at work.

Item #6: Go Somewhere

I miss traveling. It’s time for another adventure. 🙂

– – –

What’s on your To Do List for 2017?

– – –

c.b.w. 2017

19 thoughts on “To Do List: 2017

  1. All excellent resol- er…”To-Do’s”. ^_^ I’m especially with you on the decluttering one. I’ve actually been trying to accomplish that for months, but it turned out to be much harder than I was expecting because I don’t want to just throw away perfectly good stuff, but at the same time no one around here is willing to pay a reasonable price for anything. For instance, I’ve got a big bag stuffed to the brim with at LEAST $500 worth of baby clothes in it. I asked $40 for the whole bag and someone messaged me asking if I’d take $15. On the one hand, I’d very much just like to get rid of the bag, but on the other hand, that attitude of “you should be willing to take whatever paltry sum I offer” just infuriates me. And so I still have the bag.
    Okay, sorry, mini-rant over. lol

    Good luck with all your goals! I’ll be waiting to see if you get that book published!


    • I learned a long time ago that selling things typically takes a lot more time than I have. Instead of selling clothing or linens, I donate them to a local thrift shop that benefits children’s charities throughout the state. I get a receipt and use the donation as a tax deduction. A garbage bag full of clothes = $50 in tax credit. It’s a lot faster, it helps people, and there is a small financial reward, too. The only things I sell are books and collectibles I’ve grown tired of. Half Price Books offers pretty fair payment for books (it’s not like I’m selling autographed 1st editions!.

      In the long run, you have to decide how much its worth it to you to get it out of your house! More often than not, I don’t consider how much I think something is worth, but rather how much do I value the space it was occupying. 🙂

      Good luck with your de-cluttering! 🙂


      • I’ve actually considered giving away the bulk of the stuff (which is clothing, coats, and bedding) to Red Cross (which is basically the only charity that’s available in this area), but believe it or not they’ve got so many stupid rules that you can hardly give them anything without knowing that it’s going to be destroyed. They have drop-off boxes near our grocery store (the nearest actual building is several hours away), and they have signs posted that say clothing only (so I can’t leave bedding there), no shoes (of which I have plenty), and anything that’s even slightly stained will be thrown in the garbage. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me, considering that you’re GIVING them stuff for FREE. *raised eyebrow*


  2. YAY for all of these! Most especially #2 (it’s TIME) and #5 (something we all need to focus on). As for #1, have you read (I should check your Goodread list) “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.” I just started reading it and am hoping for MIRACLES! Can’t wait to read your poems from #6!! Happy Trails!


  3. I love this approach! These sound like great goals!

    My husband and I spent most of Christmas break decluttering. It started in the pantry and kitchen and has leaked over into other parts of the house. Ironically, during that time we also found out that there’s a Scottish tradition called “redding,” during which everyone cleans in preparation for the New Year. Seems appropriate. 🙂


  4. Good luck with the ‘Decluttering’ – The more I clear, the more clutter there seems to be. Create a clear space and someone will fill it with more clutter 😦 Hope you have a great 2017 and have more tidying success than me 🙂


  5. Rita Ackerman

    You are inspiring, even in your to-do list. I have some similar ones but also scanning all the genealogy and family photos and then only keeping the extra special ones. Also identifying all those people and events I didn’t get written on the backs at the time.
    Have a WONDERFUL 2017.


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