Monday, September 27, 2010

Let's Throw Everything Away and Start Over & Misc.

The Clutter Front-
Sometimes renting a couple of dumpsters and some burly guys and having them totally empty my house of stuff (except pets and people) is so tempting.

It's also so overwhelming that I get tired just thinking about it and need a moment. Today my moment happened to coincide with a box of price reduced chocolate donuts. I have zumba class tonight- I'll work it off.

My Mom is coming up again this week and we're going to get in gear for our garage sales next week. I'm hoping that spurs me to do even more culling. I wonder if Hubby is willing to part with any of his stuff.

The Frugal Front-

Went to two garage sales this weekend. I came home with 15 pretty Christmas cards from a free box, a small pyrex baking dish for a quarter, and a copy of the Joy of Cooking for .50 cents.
I picked out an old book to put in the sale pile to make room for my new cook book. Very satisfying as I didn't bring home that much stuff. I love free boxes.

We've eaten at home for almost every meal for the last couple of days. Last night we had a yummy veggie stew. I think tonight I'm just making spaghetti.

I finished up my last batch of homemade detergent. Now I'm whittling down the stockpile in the basement. I don't think I'll go back to buying detergent anymore unless it's dirt cheap. I've been using half a dryer sheet in my dryer too and my clothes still look and smell fresh and soft.

The Charitable Giving Front-

I'm going to sign up to adopt another family for Christmas this year. I've already starting buying bargain canned goods here and there. I brought in a box to start putting items in as they come in the house.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hey Wagon, where you taking me?

I'm bouncing back from the scatter brained, clutter wagon. I'm getting stuff done and can see the end in sight for a fairly consistently clean house.
I will never be clutter free but I can be less cluttery.

Also, thinking about writing a big bonus check to the mortgage company this week too as we have extra funds.

Our bedroom set is almost complete. We are still missing one night stand as it's on back order.
My bedroom is almost cute. We still have some piles that need to be organized and furniture that needs to be hauled downstairs. But, I love my new dresser and bed so much. It feels grown up. I've been wearing make up more frequently as I have a special drawer for my beauty products.

I made pizza dough for dinner, cleaned the down stairs bath, played play doh with the boy, swept the kitchen, washed three loads of laundry, and washed the dishes. I feel pretty good today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Been Happily Busy

Despite the somewhat hectic schedule of kids activities, my activities, general living chores, and ongoing business trips by the Hubs- I've been fairly happy.

I've been picking up a few things each day from our belongings and designating them for the garage sale. More is leaving the house then coming in finally.

I took both kids shopping yesterday (separate trips) to pick out a shirt for Little Guy to wear for picture day. He really doesn't have many shirts without a cartoon character on them.

The first trip to Kohl's with Little Guy was kind of a bust. The shirt I liked in their store was still $12 on sale and I didn't have a coupon. He picked out two small toys on sale (one for him, one for his sister) though and I bought a small decoration for Halloween. The new toys have been put up until he and his sister clean up their toy room and bring me two items each to sell in the sale. They've been amazingly compliant. Half of the toy room is clean and I have four toys to sell. I imagine the toy room will be finished today and they will get their new stuff to play with. I'm also itching to get out my Halloween/Fall items for display, which means a cleaning in the house will be necessary. I'm actually looking forward to that. Fall is my favorite season.

The second trip to Value Village with Big Girl was better. I found a striped button down Gap shirt with roll up sleeves for $3. I also picked out a 99 cent Gymboree t-shirt in great condition.
Big Girl kept herself busy looking through their poor selection of toys and bemoaning the fact that the ones she liked were broken or missing pieces. I gave in a little and let her pick out a sweater. We picked through the long row of sweaters and she found one that she really liked for $2 in shades of lavender, lime green, and yellow. It turns out that we have don't have the same taste- surprise. And also, the main reason she wanted that sweater was that it was the softest- not the prettiest, not the coolest. It was soft. Whatever keeps her warm and covered, I guess.
I found a brand new pair of size 3 white tennis shoes for her stockpile for $3 also. When I put them away last night I realized that I do not have any size 2 shoes set aside. We don't need them yet but I'll start looking. She's about a size 1 right now and growing fast.

The worst part of the busyness has been a total lack of home cooking. I miss my own food! I miss having family dinners. Tonight I asked Big Girl to help me make dinner. We're having mac n cheese, veggie dogs, and broccoli.

We have nothing planned on Friday night so I'm hoping we can have a family meal together at our table. I've got to get the beds made and the laundry ready.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Day in the Garage- no toy shortage

The Fall garage sale in our neighborhood is next month and it's a prime time to put our some unloved clutter and make a few pennies.

My garage has been a holding ground for toys thrown in bags after quick pick ups and still shrink wrapped birthday presents from Big Girls February birthday. All in all, it's a big darn mess.
This afternoon I sat down and sorted through the toys to sell, throw out, and keep. It left me depressed, mosquito bitten, and grungy.

How did my children get so many toys? And why can't I understand that if they have that many toys, they will not respect and enjoy their things?
This is why I don't want to have anymore birthday parties with gifts involved. This is why I like gifts of zoo memberships and the magic house. This is why I won't be taking my children shopping at department stores for a long time. This is why I'm going to be very selective about Christmas gifts in a few months.

Today Little Guy happily busied himself playing with a straw he found in the backseat of the car. Does he really need anything else?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Can't See Clearly But I'm Beginning to Understand.

I spend a lot of my cleaning time moving piles around. It's exhausting.
I'm beginning to think all the organization in the world won't help unless I get rid of a BUNCH of stuff. That thought is overwhelming but in small doses of 27 fling boogies I might be able to live in this house and not daydream about lighting a match and moving to a tiny cottage where my kids will only have one small basket of toys each.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Clothing Compact- an interesting fail.

A few months ago I was adamant that I would not buy any more clothes for myself or my children.
I didn't realize how deeply ingrained my need to bargain hunt for clothes went.
Now I do. And I try to temper it with more rational shopping behavior.

Now I know that I can always pick up a nice item for kids at a garage sale for 50 cents. Spending $3 at Goodwill on an article of clothing for the kids isn't that great of a bargain unless it's something we need right now. I also discovered that soccer shorts are in great supply at the thrift store when I can't find them at a yard sale. I just have to look in the boys shorts section.

I haven't been able to find nice shoes second hand for a long time. I'm wondering if the economy took a bite out of superfluous shoe shopping for kids. The ones I've seen have been thoroughly worn. This is one area I've been fairly good about. I did pick up a pair of croc lookalikes for $2 on clearance at Target for Little Guy's next summer.

I'm trying to get rid of something for every new item I bring in. Especially for my own self.
I splurged on a shirt the other day and spent $30. That's the most I've ever spent on a shirt for myself. However, it is a nice shirt that I know I will love wearing and it's well made. I'm tired of junky tee shirts that fall apart. Plus, Hubby thinks I look cute in it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Free Food-
Yesterday we harvested some wild spiceberries. Today I washed them and dried them out in the oven so I can grind them to make a seasoning similar to allspice.

Cheap Hand soap-

I've taken to refilling my soap pump bottles in our upstairs with bits of leftover bar soap and water. The soap bits tend to collect at the bottom and the water floats to the top. I just shake it every now and then. Whenever I have small bits of soap leftover I crumble it up and put it inside the bottle and add a little water. The soap doesn't lather much but it gets us clean and rinses off faster than gooey gel soap. And I never have to lug the giant soap refill bottle upstairs anymore.