It’s been quite the week. We went to the grocery store EIGHT times! The reason for the craziness has been illness. It went something like: Kid gets a cold, Parent 1 then gets a cold; kid develops horrendous GI virus a few days later (middle of the night, of course) while Parent 1 now has painful cough. Parent 2 then gets horrendous GI virus, but worse than Kid!
It’s been a week of buying Pedialyte, Kleenex — anywhere, any price — and overpriced bottles of 7-Up at the check out because of fatigue. It was too far to walk the whole store!
It’s rare for me to do laundry outside time-of-use-rates, but all bets are off this week.
One small victory, and I mean very small… I made rhubarb muffins from last year’s rhubarb. I also won a really neat picnic bag and two pounds of Starbucks “limited edition” coffee during teacher appreciation week.
My other accomplishment this week was decluttering some of the English home magazines I tend to not want to let go of. My mom is going to England soon so maybe a fresh supply will come my way. It was a good feeling to take care of a pile while I was keeping sick people company on the couch.
I hope we are through our rough patch and next week will be easier. I plan to come up with some mild, light dinners for the coming week to ease everyone back into eating, and our Flylady zone is the Kitchen for next week. With a little luck, we can get our grocery shopping back to normal!
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!!”
One 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.
If 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!
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!
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!
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.
I 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.
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!
What’s on your mind at the start of April?
I’ve been hard at work the past weeks using the bits of time before I go to work to declutter small areas. One thing that has been bothering me about clutter is that is steals my mental energy. Clutter, in my life, is items that a decision should be made about but that I have not taken action on. Clutter might be a t-shirt that fits funny or shrunk, but I barely wore it! Or maybe if I keep it another year it will fit my daughter… Meanwhile, every time I get dressed it is there saying “You bought me are you EVER going to wear me?”
Gifts are also an area that can become clutter. If the gift is something I haven’t really enjoyed, it just waits there for me to enjoy it to the level the giver intended. One recent influence on me is the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. In the book she encourages us by saying the power of a gift is in the action of giving, not the item itself. “Presents are not things but a means for conveying someone’s feelings,” she writes. No one would want the gift they gave you to make you feel guilty or unhappy for decades!
One item that I came across is the massive COMPLETE book of Shakespeare’s works, given to me by a friend who went to teach in Japan 25 YEARS AGO! It has been sitting in my laundry room for years. I often thought it might be “worth something” until I looked on abebooks.com and alibris.com and found them selling for $6.00 – 12.00! I am grateful my friend thought I was the kind of scholar that would crack open a 2,300 page book, but I decided to donate it to my local library’s “Friends of the Library” book sale. The library gives me so much joy in my life and I hope they can use the money from the sale of the book to make the library a joyful part of someone else’s life.
For more on Marie Kendo see this article.
Happy New Year!
I have been blessed to be home for the past two weeks. Today Mr Saver and our daughter took down the Christmas tree–hooray! Meanwhile, I was in our daughter’s room trying to do some cleaning. I’m talking underneath dressers and beds kind of cleaning. She has been working on her room a little every day, but there is a force in there that resists it ever looking much improved.
This force is… creativity.
As I was digging out home-made American Girl iPhones and tiny school folders for dolls from underneath the dresser, it hit me… I have a Flybaby in training. Flylady is the home organizing system created by Marla Cilley. Flybabies are her creative souls who weren’t “Born Organized” as she says.
I present Exhibit “A” at right: A container used to store Barbies has been turned into an “American Girl Washing Machine.” Creative right? Guess where the Barbies are?
Thing is, I’m no different. I can find myself getting Inspired on Pinterest while the dishwasher just needs to be started. Or I am thinking about our next birthday party idea while the mail sits unopened. We’re just too creative to want to pay attention to the boring details!
Why the butterfly above? Marla says that butterflies flit from thing to thing, spreading beauty wherever they go. Good analogy? Yes, but I know that butterfly has a basket of laundry wrinkling in the dryer for sure. You can read her butterfly essay here.
This weekend I am working on getting our routines back in place so we can keep the creativity flowing but yet be able to enjoy the space and nice things we have.
It sure has been a long time since I have posted! I have been enjoying keeping up with everyone’s blogs despite my own silence here on healthfulsaver.com
In early October one of the reading aides at my daughter’s school left for another opportunity. As soon as I heard about it, I felt like my next career step was right there at my feet. I applied and a few weeks later I was on the job, working more hours, for more money, and better benefits. As part of my job I have a few book discussion groups going with elementary school kids, and even when I am home, I still need to keep up with my readers.
The job has definitely had some pros and cons on the home front. We have been pretty disciplined about eating dinner at home. Couponing, though, has been very erratic. For a while I was in the groove with Flylady’s system to keep the home organized, and I need to get back to that ASAP. That is a major goal as 2015 nears.
We have used the extra income to boost general savings and college savings. We are actively saving for summer vacation and for kid activities for summer. In winter we save for summer and in summer we save for Christmas!
I know I am more disciplined with home organization, meal planning, and personal finance when I am blogging, so I hope to carve out time for this in 2015.
Thank you for all the ways you have enriched my 2014, friends!