Monthly Archives: April 2016

KonMari Meets Flylady

Marie Kondo, Meet Flylady.

The Kon Mari Method of decluttering reminds us to let go of anything “that does not spark joy.”  Very useful sentiment, but when it comes to tackling my closet, I follow Flylady.

“Only surround yourself with clothes that treat you nicely.”

I had a day off today, and really tackled my closet.  Gone are shirts that are too short.  Gone are work clothes I haven’t worn since before my daughter was born, definitely gone are pants that are too tight in the waist. . .  they have a lot of not nice things to say.  Let’s not forget the clothes that say, “You paid $85.00 for me and then I shrunk, ha ha ha!!”

IMG_7134One of the biggest hurdles for me when I declutter is the challenge of actually getting to Goodwill.  I hate looking at a pile of stuff everyday that keeps reminding me of an errand that needs to be run. I could go right to Goodwill today, so I was particularly vigorous in eliminating clothes with a sassy mouth.

Another closet problem is renegade wire hangers.  I corralled them all, banded them, and they are in the car to go to the dry cleaner the next time I head that direction.

IMG_7135If you would like to read Flylady’s thoughts on tackling closets, read here for inspiration.

I am looking forward to putting away my clothes tonight knowing I have the right hangers on hand and a place to hang my clothes without having to wedge things in.  Tomorrow morning I hope only sweet-talking clothes will be waiting for me!

 

 

Nissan Giveth, Nissan Taketh Away

Last year I came back from dropping our daughter off at school, only to find Mr. Saver in the driveway holding a chunk of metal from the bottom of our car.  Not good… And a resulting repair that was over $1,000.  Fast forward to this winter, when we got a recall notice from Nissan. Yes, it was a recall for the problem we had experienced.  

  • Lesson One… Open mail and read!
  • Lesson Two… Get on the phone and find out what to do if you already fixed the recall 

Nissan said we still needed to go through the recall process and then we could request a refund for the repair. They would determine what could be reimbursed after we faxed all the work orders.

  • Lesson three… Have a place you can find your receipts.

We took care of everything and submitted the paperwork for a refund of the original repair.  Good news!  A check for about $1,000!

Do your kids ever read those “choose your own ending” books?  

You receive a $1,000 refund from Nissan.  

If you take the $1,000 and hit the mall–surprise money!–go to page 46.

If you take the money and book a spring break trip–you deserve it!– go to page 112.

If you take the money and put most of it back into your car repair budget line, go to page 130.

Guess what?  All the choices end in the same place!  Four weeks after receiving the check your car now needs a new muffler.  Are you left wondering whether you can still return that new purse, or are you grateful that you topped up the car repair budget?  We were grateful for the car repair budget, because Nissan Giveth and Nissan Taketh Away.  

Living Baby Step 7: The House

Would you believe this month will be our anniversary of 5 years debt-free? You can read about our final mortgage payoff here.  Dave Ramsey’s final baby step is to “build wealth and give like no one else” and I thought over the coming weeks I would examine what Baby Step 7 looks like for us.

While it would be fun to tell you about a yacht or a luxury berth on the QE2, as the kind of practical people that follow Dave Ramsey, those are not choices we have made.  A major amount of the money that would normally be spent on a mortgage payment has been directed towards saving for largish home renovations and repairs.  A siding project that also required masonry work… flooring… painting that required patching… floor refinishing…and currently we are saving to add a bathroom in the basement.

When you have committed to being debt free and never paying interest, you have to save a lot to be able to pay for home renovations and repairs without financing. Sure we have 100% equity in our house, but we don’t view our home equity as a bank account to tap into.

Other Dave/Mr Money Mustache fans might choose to do some of this work themselves, and more power to you if that sounds like you.  For us, a choice we can make being debt-free is to have someone else do the work and hire people whom we believe to be trustworthy and conscientious.

If you are following Dave, what are your priorities for Baby Step 7?

I’ll have some additional thoughts on living step 7 throughout the month.

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

bLOGIVERSARYIn honor of Blogiversary number 3, let’s play Interesting Search Terms on my blog:

  • how to make a freshers party card  (no idea!)
  • how to be prudent and extravagant (I think I want to meet this person!)
  • WOW! Healthy savings
  • socks Jazzercise (okaaay….)
  • Barbie water inflation
  • Can you show me some money making a um Barbie cake
  • How to save $16.00 in one week (couldn’t they aim for $20??)
  • How much money do you need to be a SAHM (multiply trips to Target X stops at Starbucks)
  • ziplock bag vector

and my favorite….

  • Saving money and resisting the urge to buy chocolate

Thanks for reading!

Root of All Evil . . .

This week those who follow Flylady are in “Zone 2” which is the kitchen,  so I do a little extra in this room to detail clean and remove clutter.   As I move through the zones in the coming weeks I am thinking about our rummage sale in June.  It gives me motivation to “let it go”!

Yesterday I tackled one really big problem area. . .  a cabinet where I don’t even like to put things away that are clean for fear of AVALANCHE.

This is definitely a run before something slides out situation!

This is definitely a ‘run before something slides out’ situation!

Just try to put clean baking pans in there!

I took everything out, washed items that needed a clean-up, and I found the main problem with this cabinet is what is known as the root of all evil…  Not money, but plastic containers with no lids!

IMG_7090

Troublemakers!

I cleared out wayward plastic containers, put a few things in my Goodwill/Rummage sale box, wiped down the cabinet, and about 15 minutes later… good to go.

IMG_7091I have two things in there that probably should go… a broiler pan, which I have never used because it sounds like it would make a huge mess in the oven, and a pizza stone.  The pizza stone was given to me by someone who didn’t want theirs, which is always a clue that you may be taking on something you won’t use.  I’ll think about those two items between now and the next time we come back to Zone 2.

 

Menu Plan Monday – Apr 4/16

Vintage-Daffodil-Picture-GraphicsFairy-543x1024Despite my natural tendency to want to “figure it out later”, I’m back at it with another menu plan for the first week after spring break.  We have an unusual number of after-school happenings this week, so I’m keeping it manageable.

Monday – Tacos… meat is already made in the refrigerator, zucchini

Tuesday – Black bean soup and cheddar rolls.  Go here for my easy recipe.

Wednesday – Chicken Rosemary Ravioli

Thursday – Dinner out/Take out

Friday –Happy Hour Meal!  This is my new take-away idea from our mini-vacation.  Our hotel had a happy hour reception with various snacks set out.  We were missing our vacation lifestyle so my daughter and I planned our own family “Happy Hour” reception last week.  It looks like olives, hummus, something warm like chicken fingers or French bread pizza, fruit, guacamole.  Very flexible and fun and it gets the weekend party started.  We like to watch a “Tiny House Hunters” as a family while we nibble.

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For more menu inspirations, visit orgjunkie.com

Reality Comes Calling

I’ve been off work for the past week.  Glorious time!  A mini family vacation, lots of play-time for DD, and cleaning up the house with a drop off at Goodwill to boot!  Satisfying.  I know I am headed into a super busy April but the promise of summer break is on the horizon.

Having just that sliver of free time has given me space to do some goal setting instead of just surviving.  On my mind today:

  • Switching out of vacation mode and into “making dinner” mode.  A busy week ahead means a meal plan must be dealt with.  Not my favorite chore, but not planning is 10X worse.
  • Continuing to edit our “stuff”… being on vacation always makes me appreciate how little you need to be happy.  Pat on the back for setting a rummage sale date this summer with my  mom.
  • Flylady’s habit for April is making the bed.  Talked to DD about adopting this routine along with me.  We are pretty good about making the bed, but hopefully the diligence in this area will spill over into picking up clothes off the chair!
  • We reconcile the weekly expenses every Saturday evening.  Now is a good time to make sure we have accounted for summer expenses, especially kid expenses, and fund any categories that still need money.
Vacation living - the food comes to you!

Vacation living – the food comes to you!

What’s on your mind at the start of April?