or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Simplifying:your great ideas!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Simplifying:your great ideas! - Page 2

post #21 of 55
We live two miles from city hall in the fourth largest city in the US. DP made a compost bin out of old window screens. You put leaves, grass clippings, that sort of foliage in it, plus table scraps. Not meat but vegetable peels, rinds, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea leaves, anything of that sort. We scrape our plates in it instead of into the garbage can; don't have a disposal. DP turns it with a hoe a few times a week. If it's right you can tell because you can hold your hand a couple feet over the top & feel heat coming from it. You mix in the daily stuff & add new clippings, leaves in the fall, etc. weekly. As it processes he moves it to a covered container to use in flower beds & pots. There may be more to it than this simple summary, but not a whole lot for the way his system works, & it's very successful.

Oh, you asked about animals. Possums have been known to get in the top layer & eat watermelon rinds or baked potato peels but that really doesn't cause much of a problem. Hope this helps.
post #22 of 55

Photos

I have boxes of photos that need to be organized, but I haven't been able to face them yet. The best I can do right now is not add to the mound...as soons as I get my photos developed, I put one of each photo in one of those 2-per-page albums. I don't have to label, get creative, scrapbook, or anything...just pop them in. And now I've got 2 years worth of photos to enjoy.

(I'm this would be a no brainer for anyone else but me!)
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlec View Post
I have boxes of photos that need to be organized, but I haven't been able to face them yet. The best I can do right now is not add to the mound...as soons as I get my photos developed, I put one of each photo in one of those 2-per-page albums. I don't have to label, get creative, scrapbook, or anything...just pop them in. And now I've got 2 years worth of photos to enjoy.

(I'm this would be a no brainer for anyone else but me!)
My way of simplifying photos was to throw them all into one big drawer in a bureau, and refuse to worry about them until the rest of my house is organized. It is such a time-consuming process that it's simpler for me to ignore it right now, since they are all contained in one easy to access location.
post #24 of 55

Photos

You could take a box & while you're watching tv, sort it very roughly. By that I mean, put a paper bag next to you & throw out all the terribly unfocused or skewed or overexposed one & get them out of the mix to make it easier when (if!) you ever have time to label, put in albums or frame them. Another night you could go through & pick out a stack of duplicates to give grandma, auntie, uncle, godparent who would love to have them & get those out of the house while still having a set for yourself.
post #25 of 55

errand running

I keep a small cooler in the car. I can bring along snacks, or I put my freezer/fridge stuff in there on the way home from the store.

I also keep a phone book, a full change of clothes for each kid and bandaids in the trunk.

I make a list of what needs to be done where and I know it costs me 3 bucks in gas to go to the big grocery/home depot so unless it'll save me more than 3 bucks I shop at the local shopping district walking distance from my house.
post #26 of 55

paper coming into the house

To eliminate a bit of the paper that comes into our house I moved the recycling bins to the front porch (we have a big big porch). Catalogs, junk from the newspaper, etc. immediately go into there. I shred cc offers, etc. immediately upon bringing the mail in.
post #27 of 55
There are some great ideas on this thread. I second the CD/DVD idea. One of the best things we ever did. We no longer have DVD's and their cases scattered around the living room, or mixed all together. We don't bother organizing them in the case, so that way my ODC tendancies don't take over and drive me crazy when a DVD gets put back out of order. It has gotten rid of a lot of stress, for me. :P

Something to contribute: I work every day, and the kiddos go to daycare. I'm also by myself for most of the time (DH works out of town and is gone for weeks at a time.) So I have had to majorly simplify and organize our routine. Some tricks I have learned for making my day-to-day tasks stress free.

1. Put out clothing the night before. I check the weather network online to see what it'll be like the next day, so that the outfit is appropriate. I lay DD's clothing on her night stand and she dresses herself before she comes to wake me in the morning (she is my alarm clock.)

2. While the kids are eating breakfast, I make my lunch, and check the inventory of the diaper bag, and set everything by the door. Everything is ready to go by the time they're done their oatmeal, so there is no frantic running around searching for necessary things.

3. At home at night, I do the breakfast dishes by hand while dinner is cooking. I leave the soapy water in the sink and wash the pots while the kids' dinner is cooling on their plates. The dishes get swished (don't even need to really 'wash' them since you don't leave them to get dry and crusty) and put in the sink to drip-dry. While dinner is cooking the next evening, I put them away, and the process repeats.

I hate using the dishwasher, so this dishes method works well for us. We also only keep a set of 4 dishes (I have a large set in storage for the few times a year we have gatherings), so that way we're never tempted to neglect the dish washing, lest we run out of surfaces to eat off of.

4. I run around and tidy DD's room (with her help) as part of our evening routine. This way, the room never gets to a state where it's actually a chore to clean.

-Other than the "hot spots" (like the dining room), I only vacuum once a month. The bedrooms really don't need it any more often than that, unless we've been wearing black socks (sock fuzz on white carpets - yikes.)

-I use vinegar and a cloth for most of my cleaning, so my "cleaning supplies" take up about 2" of space in the bottom of the pantry.

Quote:
In simplifying, I've come to realize that there is no sense at all to attach emotion to "things". People and memories matter the most. I'd rather see a picture of me in my graduation gown than to have the gown itself (and all of the moths as well. ) This is really key to me for keeping life simple.
Very true, and this has been a big help for us.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post
I keep a small cooler in the car. I can bring along snacks, or I put my freezer/fridge stuff in there on the way home from the store.

I also keep a phone book, a full change of clothes for each kid and bandaids in the trunk.

I make a list of what needs to be done where and I know it costs me 3 bucks in gas to go to the big grocery/home depot so unless it'll save me more than 3 bucks I shop at the local shopping district walking distance from my house.
I love the cooler idea. It probably ends up saving you money too, no drive through stops.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
What if you have animals? What if you live in the 'burbs? Any ideas? I don't know anything about it, except in rural areas with alot of land and a big pile away from the house, that you turn every once in a while. Never done it though.
i'm actually stopping mine as i can't seem to devote the time to turn it and it attracted mice. :

sarah
post #30 of 55
My two best tips. . .

Paying bills
Plan to pay them twice a month - like the first and the fifteenth. Then, you don't have to sit down and pay them as they come in, or risk forgetting one. And, pay bills online through your bank if possible - it takes only a few minutes!

Grocery lists
Make a grocery list of things that you routinely buy on your computer so that you can just highlight them before shopping. Post it on your fridge, along with a highlighter and a pen on a magnet so that you can note when things run out. I write our weekly menu right in the corner of my list before shopping.

OK, so how can I keep my car cleaned out??
post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leersia View Post

OK, so how can I keep my car cleaned out??
I had the messiest car EVER and now I keep a little stash of plastic grocery bags in there- I make myself take the trash out of the car first, and then if I had gone grocery shopping or whatever, I go back out for that. Otherwise it is too easy to forget about the trash!
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
Do you have any tips on streamlining this?
this is how I grocery shop/menu plan. It works well for us and saves us a lot of time & $.

My grocery list, which I forgot to mention there, is a table that I created on a word doc, that goes through each major area of the store (produce, meat, natural food section, frozen, ethnic, etc etc). My husband usually does the grocery shopping for the family, and it is very helpful for him to have the list in the right order, so he isn't havn't to search it up and down a bunch of times. I put an asterisk by each item that has a coupon, and paper clip the coupons together to the back of the list.
post #33 of 55

My 1000th post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
Do you have any tips on streamlining this?
There is a really detailed thread on meal planning somewhere. I think in Frugality and Finance.

Found itlink
post #34 of 55
We have a whiteboard on the fridge as a starter grocery list. When you run out of something you write it on the list and it doesn't get forgotten.

Then we plan our meals for the week.

When I write down the grocery list I divide the page into 4 sections: fresh produce, milk/meat/eggs, other food, other non-food. That makes it much quicker to go through the store. I learned this when I used to cook for bush camp crews and had to be super-organized.

socks: the sock drawer has dividers (yay, ikea). black dress socks, other matched socks, and unmatched socks. That way I can reunite the unmatched ones easily. the kids drawer is the same, but with a section for legwarmers and tights instead of dress socks.

g.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leersia View Post

OK, so how can I keep my car cleaned out??
I used to have a really messy car, now I have a really clean car. Basically I just make a habit of picking up all the trash out of the car when I'm running errands and dumping it into the trashcans they usually have outside of the doors of the drugstore, the grocery store, gas station, etc. It's just become a habit that I do as I go about my routines. Also, I keep a little box of things I need/might need in the trunk (spare outfit for DD sealed up in a Ziploc bag, jumper cables, road atlas, etc.) and then I have a little sort of upright plastic basket that I found at the dollar store, and I keep things in that in the backseat (like snacks, toys for DD, a roll of paper towels, some wipes, etc.) Other than that, I don't keep stuff in the car. When I come into the house, I bring things then if they need to be brought in. (Or ask DH to go get it for me, lol!)

Also, I don't have my car washed/vacuumed/cleaned up at the carwash on a really frequent basis, but that is a terrific reward for getting the crap out of your car, to have it all shiny and clean and new looking, and it motivates you to not use the car as a trashcan/dumping ground!
post #36 of 55
A few tips

I've been staying away from renting movies and instead borrow them from the library for the kids and I'll either watch some cable or do something else.

I put a small basket or hamper everywhere the clothes gather; like in the bathroom or a walk in closet, so that clothes arent strewn on the floor.

Empty my email; it makes me feel better.

Look at things I thought I needed and realize I really dont so I give them to a friend who might like them.

Carpool to kids activities.

Dont go out and spend $$ having fun; get your kids a sleepover swap setup, invite you and hubby's friends over for a fun night of poker, or watching a cooky favorite show or something else you like.

Have your family become very good at sharing.
We use less because we all use the same stuff.

Pack your lunch and snacks when going out with the kids, or if you'd like to save time and money.

Give books to the library, small kids clothes to friends with kids that size, and old toys to toy donations, we like to give ours to the local church playroom.
post #37 of 55
:
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
In simplifying, I've come to realize that there is no sense at all to attach emotion to "things". People and memories matter the most. I'd rather see a picture of me in my graduation gown than to have the gown itself (and all of the moths as well. ) This is really key to me for keeping life simple.
I totally agree!
post #39 of 55

Don't take more on then what you can handle

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
I need ideas. I think it would be fun if people gave their great ideas and suggestions on simplicity. Thoughts or actions. Simplicity of any kind. I hope this isn't a flop. I really need simplicity check. My life is becoming "cluttered".

Use the subject lines for ideas subjects and also to respond to questions by typing in their username.

I'll start with a question and suggestion. Here goes........


One way for me to stay out of "trouble" is to not take on more then i can deal with in a day. i.e. if I have an appointment at the Orthodontist with my dd I dont schedule another outing (shopping, appointment...) for that day.

There are only so many hours in a day and I don't like running around like a headless chicken

I NEVER go to the store without a shopping list. I make meal plans and write my list accordingly. That saves me time and money.

When i get into the kitchen and bake, I bake more then one item at a time. That way if the oven is already on I prepare the next batch of whatever it is I'm baking while the first batch is in the oven.

When cooking I like to cook in a way that there are no leftovers. But if I cook something that takes up time I cook enough to freeze for a second meal.

I got rid of alot of plastic storage bins (from shoebox size to 33 gal. size) that we have used for alot of years. We figured they would help us during our many moves but then the movers got lazy and just plain taped up the plastic boxes and shipped them that way. The result was alot of the boxes where ruined from the tape. It just wouldn't come off anymore and what wasn't ruined from the tape got broken due to the fact that they where shipped unprotected in between furniture and such.
Since I got rid of alot of the items that we used to store in those boxes, I store the remainder of what I kept in beautiful decorated cardboard boxes. They are very sturdy and just big enough to fit all my candles and such in my sideboard in the living room. Now they are safe from the movers too

In the kitchen I keep just enough stuff to make my kitchen functional. No 2 or 3 of each item. :

My house is set up in a way that I don't have to search for anything. Everything has it's place. That alone is the most important part of living simple for me.
post #40 of 55
I need to find homes for all my "junk". It gets so overwhelming at times. I finally went through the bathroom cabinet and threw out lots of stuff that was outdated, and same with my food cabinet. We have been without a stove for the last month, waiting for the new propane tanks to get hooked up and wired, so I haven't been able to be so frugal to plan meals and use what I have. I have lots of ideas when I finally get my new stove hooked up. Luckily we have a grill with a side burner, but doesn't cook all that well.

As for photos? I have a digital camera, which is good and bad. The good- all my pics are stored on my computer (and backup disks) with no prints cluttering up space, you can just print the ones you love and want to display. Bad is that I don't have many actual prints. I have printed out a few to hang on the wall and make small vacation albums.

I like the idea of scanning all paperwork. I got a lot of e-statements from various accounts that I save on the computer and that saves trees and bringing paper into the house.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Organize & Declutter
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Simplifying:your great ideas!