"New Leaf" challenge... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 03-22-2007, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been working really hard since the beginning of the year to change several, interconnected things in my life. (Specifically, spending, clutter and my battle with consumerism vs. simplicity.)

I have made some progress, thanks in great part to fellow MDC'ers like kathirynne (who I know in real life) and Delight (who is a wonderful inspiration!).

I plan to make April a "no-spend" month - to the point of paying my April bills on 31 March, and not buying even gas or groceries if I can at all avoid it. I also intend to do at least a "level-1" declutter on every room in my house, and simplify our at-home life a little bit. I also have a list of 10 things that I want to learn to make at home, instead of buying. (Hey, I figured out the whole bread making thing; how difficult can laundry detergent be? ) This will also allow me to learn more self-sufficiency, rather than depending so much on "prepared" products. (food, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, et cetera)

The whole point is to "be" with the things I already have. To seriously consider whether or not they are contributing to my life, to make the most of the things that are, and to eliminate the ones that are not. (The no-spend portion of the challenge will allow me to "push the pause button" on anything else coming into my home/life while I am dealing with what I've already got, not to mention adding some padding to the ol' savings account!)

Anyone want to join me? I would love to establish a "support group" to provide inspiration, information and accountability as I progress down this path.
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#2 of 30 Old 03-30-2007, 03:07 AM
 
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wishing i had your determination..... :
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#3 of 30 Old 03-30-2007, 05:05 AM
 
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this is SUCH a great idea.... i will do a "new leaf" challenge but i dont think it could be quite as dedicated as yours. there are a few things i know i will need to buy this month for certain - but i can definitely commit to simplifying, focusing on not being a consumer (tough for me), and decluttering! I will also try to limit my spending to only real NEEDS (also tough for me).

i love the idea of making 10 new things from home instead of buying. bread is a great starter! i will focus more on this when i return from the photogrpahy conference this weekend!

hugs!
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#4 of 30 Old 03-30-2007, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! I was wondering if anyone would join me.

I know I'm being a little militant, but I really need to take this to the extreme (at least in the short term) if it's going to be effective. The only reason that I am able to pay April's bills this month is that we recently deposited our tax refund, so - for the moment - we've got a little extra in the bank.

Generally, though, our bank accounts (and our home ) are in a state of chaos. We're not anywhere near destitute, but I would like a little more cushion in the bank, and a little less clutter in our home. (I'm hoping this will reduce the stress that seems to have taken up residence in our lives!)

Here's to a transformative April!!
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#5 of 30 Old 03-30-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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Good luck! I've made so many changes, but a lot of them have been more gradual. I think, though, that sometimes it's great to have a major "housecleaning" all at once so to speak. Start with the bread making. Sooo yummy! There's nothing like a piece of fresh bread dripping with melted butter.
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#6 of 30 Old 03-31-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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I'm in! I've been dreaming of this for months.

Problem: I feel like I have no energy. I've been working full time. I come home at the end of the day with no energy to cook healthy meals or clean (let alone declutter!) If I don't eat healthy, how do I get more energy? And if the place is a mess, how can I be happy and content? We (DH and I) have let things go. Don't even ask about the money situation. We finally have enough but instead of spending it wisely, we're practically giving it way to big companies. We are paying off debt, but not as quickly as we could. This sums it up:
Quote:
Generally, though, our bank accounts (and our home ) are in a state of chaos. We're not anywhere near destitute, but I would like a little more cushion in the bank, and a little less clutter in our home. (I'm hoping this will reduce the stress that seems to have taken up residence in our lives!)
Solution:
My job is seasonal and will be part time starting next week so I should have the time and energy to get going on this. I'm taking ONE MONTH to turn over a new leaf. Well, one month to kick start it. Hopefully this sticks!

__________________________________________________

Home:
Declutter and Clean! Go through all rooms (and hidden places including closets, drawers etc) and get rid of items that are unused/broken/being saved for "someday". Once home is neat and tidy, keep it that way through daily maintenance! Make our home a comfortable, relaxing and inviting place to be. Add beauty.
Paint walls in home office and hallway.
Clean carpet.
Plant small herb/lettuce garden on balcony

To Buy:
Living Room: Look for 2 small couches or one large couch and chair. Used.
Home office: Look for second hand desk/table and chair or rearrange what we have now. Set up is NOT working as is.
Look at dishwashers. I'm undecided on whether we should get one...
CFL's for all light fixtures in home.
Thrift shop for clothes and material. (Check wardrobe and material stash first!)

Meals:
Cook from scratch using healthy ingredients.
Make a grocery list and stick to it.
If you buy it, eat it.
Remember that when you eat something occasionally, it's a treat. When you eat it all the time, it's a staple. (ice cream, pizza, cookies... )
Cut back on caffeine and sugar.

Sewing:
Make more cloth bags (total of 6 should be enough)
Closet curtain
shirts with new pattern
Purse
Storage bags for closets
Recover new couch and chair if needed

Knitting
washcloths & dishcloths
blanket
sock slippers
*learn to crochet

Financial:
Make a budget and stick to it.
Be aware of where money is going and why
Cut impulse purchases / make conscious decisions when buying something
Finish and mail taxes
Pay down debt.

ME:
Get 8 hours of sleep each night.
Start each day with quiet time.
Keep track of foods/moods/activities and how they relate
Open doors and windows once a day (even if it's cold out!) for fresh, oxygen rich air in home.
"Spa day" once a week. (aka, long soak in the tub)
Read more.
Visit with friends and family at least once a week
Limit tv. Turn it off when not watching. (I'm terrible for this, I need background noise)
Listen to hay house radio


I think I might need more than a month!:
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#7 of 30 Old 04-01-2007, 10:34 AM
 
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I think I scared off everyone with my huge list! Well, I've actually crossed some stuff off. I'm thrilled! DH and I had a very productive day yesterday.

To Buy:
Living Room: Look for 2 small couches or one large couch and chair. Used.
Yay! We found a couch at our local Salvation Army. They had a pretty good selection. The couch we bought is gently used, clean and well made. Cost us $80 + $20 delivery fee. A cheap, new futon would have cost twice that and wouldn't last very long. We desperately needed a 'new' couch because our old one was literally falling apart and it hurt my body and soul to sit on it.
Home office: Look for second hand desk/table and chair or rearrange what we have now. Set up is NOT working as is.
Looked at Salvation Army, didn't find anything. Decided to use what we have.
Look at dishwashers. I'm undecided on whether we should get one...
We decided to wait.
CFL's for all light fixtures in home. Bought a 4 pk. It's a start.

We also bought a stainless steel wok. We've been wanting one forever. We don't have a lot of pots and pans and needed something in between a little pot and a big pot. And this will help me cook healthier. :

And a brita water pitcher. I'm not happy with our city water. I'm not sure how well these filters work, but decided that for 14$ it's worth a try.

It might seem weird that part of my goal is to BUY stuff, but these are all things that we've been meaning to buy 'forever' and are supposed to make things easier for us.

Well, I have to run. I have some company dropping in later this afternoon so I have to clean up a bit. Just a light cleaning, no decluttering yet! (I only have a couple hours before they get here.: )
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#8 of 30 Old 04-01-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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If you really need something don't forget your local freecycle (freecycle.org). A great way to get free stuff and give used things a new life and keep them out of the landfills! That's usually how I get things we need around the house, even for repairs and such.
Still thinking about how far I want to take that challenge though...will post again. :

loving a small homestead with DH and DS (12/2005) keeping it natural, frugal and back to basics :
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#9 of 30 Old 04-04-2007, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sticking to my NO spend resolution!! (Normally I would have fallen off the wagon by now!)

The meal plan is really helping. Every night I look at the menu and pull whatever I need from the freezer, soak beans, or whatever. I know what I'm making for dinner tomorrow, so I can prep some of it the night before, and put it into the Crock-Pot in the morning! I love it!

I have also filled one box with items to take to the Goodwill. (It's a start.)

How's everyone else doing?
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#10 of 30 Old 04-04-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishRose View Post
The no-spend portion of the challenge will allow me to "push the pause button" on anything else coming into my home/life while I am dealing with what I've already got
That's a great way of putting it, and somehow it really spoke to me.

I also want to say, about being "extreme". We have *really* had no extra money lately and so have only bought food and paid rent, utilities. And I realize now that it's not so bad at all! We've been home more (because out, there's more chance of spending $, gas in car,etc) And you know, I've finally decluttered, baked bread, kept the place neater and more appealing. Life is actually much better now, in the day-to-day-way (except for money anxiety in the abstract - I feel insecure without a financial cushion)

anyway, my partner is bringing in a bit more now, and I really want to keep up our good trend of living simply, doing less, appreciating it all more.
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#11 of 30 Old 04-04-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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I am in!

I *need* to declutter the house. We have had a hectic few months and I usually declutter regularly, but that got but on the back burner for awhile.

I would like a little more money in the bank, so I'll be doing a partial no spend-we have a few birthdays this month and I did not prepare ahead of time for the no spend!

I'll be back with more, I am nursing dd to sleep!
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#12 of 30 Old 04-05-2007, 06:34 AM
 
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After this coming weekend, I'm in. We go on about 2 small vacations a year, and one is this weekend. We're seeing my husband's parents in Seattle, so we have the added expense of driving, staying in a hotel for 2 nights (we can't stay with them. . . my son is allergic to cats), and incidental expenses. We're working extremely hard not to spend money we don't have to spend, and to bring snacks for the road, rather than buying them. I'm thrilled for our little trip, though!

After that, I'm in. I've been simplifying slowly, but I need a kick in the pants. I feel like having kids has given me an excuse not to declutter so well, but that has to stop. No more excessive quantities of toys or baby clothes. I'm ready!
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#13 of 30 Old 04-05-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishRose View Post
I have been working really hard since the beginning of the year to change several, interconnected things in my life. (Specifically, spending, clutter and my battle with consumerism vs. simplicity.)

The whole point is to "be" with the things I already have. To seriously consider whether or not they are contributing to my life, to make the most of the things that are, and to eliminate the ones that are not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishRose View Post
I would like a little more cushion in the bank, and a little less clutter in our home. (I'm hoping this will reduce the stress that seems to have taken up residence in our lives!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by traceface View Post
I really want to keep up our good trend of living simply, doing less, appreciating it all more.
Isn't it CRAZY how difficult it can be to say, "no thanks, I've got enough" in our culture?? The stress of staying in this race, though - ugh. I have been inspired by several MDC'ers and am slowly working to declutter, create more from scratch, and generally create the physical and mental space to be truly present and appreciate all that I have.

I am already in the one-room challenge, but this new leaf challenge nicely dovetails with what I'm trying to do all the time now - kind of "compacting lite." So I'm in!

My list: I want to make my own laundry soap and bread, learn to knit, get back to budgeting/tracking spending, and sew some of the kids' clothes. Only five new things, but along with the decluttering, it's a start. Also, I'm trying to plan meals around what's already in the pantry and buy used when feasible. And no more eating out!!

We're having a garage sale later this month, and one again in July. I feel really good that they're already scheduled. I can't wait to get stuff out of here!
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#14 of 30 Old 04-06-2007, 08:30 AM
 
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Okay, started this off...
So far I've:

Gone no-poo....yup, no more shampoo. I was using great natural stuff but this way it's a lot cheaper and better for my hair. Just baking soda and a rosemary wrinse from now on! I'm really liking it!

Gone no tp....we're still working the system out for this, but using cloth tp, talk about money saving!

Making all of our pasta by hand and from scratch. Just started this. Made tortellini the other day, Yum!

And I'll be implementing:

Homemade deodorant: trying the homemade funk butter recipe I just saw on another post

Still working on building my solar oven-with all free materials! It's a lot easier than you would think!

DH is supposed to be building me a small cook shack for my wood stove so I can cook outdoors and on the cheap with my small cast iron wood stove we got at a steal for $50....love seasonal sales! (I need the cook shack so my 16 month old can't get to it while it's hot.)

Learning to make homemade cheese. I found info on a way to make some cheese that's cheaper than store bought. Not cheddar and such, but it's a start.


We cut down on electricity and waste as much as possible. I line dry, we compost, vermiculture (worms eating our garbage), using cloth shopping bags, cloth diapers, hoping to get the solar oven done so I can cut down on stove usage-free power, baby! We grow a lot of organic product, herbs, etc. on our small 1/2 acre. I already make just about everything from scratch, including cleaning products, laundry soap, etc.. I haven't bought bread from a store in nearly a year. Just perfected the homemade tortilla, my son loves them! I think the only real premade stuff we still buy is: some cereals-those are our treats, cheese, butter-it's just cheaper than homemade for us, some crackers-DH loves Club crackers and don't think it's possible to make those from scratch, LOL I'd love to grind my own grains, but it's not cost effective here, we don't have any good place to buy whole grains, so I just stock up on flour sales at the grocery store.

It's a bit of a learning curve to get everything converted to making from scratch and doing things manually, etc. but so worth it. I started when my son was born and have really now just gotten a handle on the back to basics living.

I'm inspired by everyone!

loving a small homestead with DH and DS (12/2005) keeping it natural, frugal and back to basics :
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#15 of 30 Old 04-06-2007, 11:49 AM
 
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So I am trying hard to declutter and save money this month.

I just listed a bunch of stuff on the TP and have more to list later!

We have not been to the food store in over a week and we are eating what we have in the house. I am getting creative with meals and actually enjoying myself.

The hardest thing for us this month will be not to eat out. We were getting take out once a week. It will be really hard next weekend when dh will be at a conference from Fri-Sun. He will be in town but gone all day long. I have to figure out what to do for easy meals while he is away.
Any ideas?

Dd's first birthday is next week and we are not getting her anything. There is nothing she needs and we just do not have the money to spend to get her a gift. My mom is making me feel bad about this, but my dad and in laws will be sending dd money, so we could buy her a gift with that money.

Anyway I am thankful for this thread. I need someone to hold me accountable (besides dh)!
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#16 of 30 Old 04-06-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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I'm in! We have a lot going on in the next month - a move across country plus I OFFICIALLY get to be a SAHM - Right now I run a daycare in our home with 7 kiddos plus mine!! I feel : mosy days!! LOL but it paid the bills! We have an offer on our home & will be pocketing about10K which we will use to purchase some big tickets items instead of charging them ( a habit we are trying to break!) We are also renting which I don't mind it is a larger home (no basement though) for $800 less than our mortgage plus its only 10 years old ( we are renting from friends) it was just freshly painted with colors we picked, new carpet is getting installed today, plus they just hired someone to do the spring yard work & molly maids to go through the house!! So I am totally excited!!

So I have a LOOONG list of goals and things I'd like to do/try

We are selling a bunch of stuff from this house so we don't have to move it included a large jungle gym, (neighborhood has one plus a poll!) an extra livingroom set, plus a LOT of toys. I would be totally embarrassed if people thought we had all this stuff for 1 kid!

We are also completely decluttering. If it isn't necessary its getting sold/donated/freecycled.

We are buying a few items for the new house not necessarily a need but things we would like to have for our home.

I am going to have a garden not huge but a few raised beds.

Cut down on the car use, library is @ 2 miles away, grocery is 3.5 definately close enough to bike when it isn't too hot out.

check into getting a clothes line put up to take advantage of the sunshine!

Checking in to all the free days at museums, etc. to do with Emma Lu

I really want to start cooking from scratch more (I can't cook at all! ) But I figure it will be a great experience for Em & I together.

Watch our energy consumption.

start Using cloth TP

Get Emma using the potty consistently - she is in sposies just because my mom gets them SUPER free for one of my siblings who doesn't go through even have the alotted amount.

Get more family time - we've been living apart for over 3 months!

Really work hard at building and maintain strong female friendships

Put more effort in to me at the same time!
I have lots of work to do! But can not wait for the end of the month & we close on our home and move!


I can't wait for more great ideas!

Kate, BioMama to Emma Lu, Elliana - Almost Mama to Martin, & Foster Mama to Baby T
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#17 of 30 Old 04-06-2007, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I always seem to have more trouble sticking to a NO-Spend challenge on the week ends.

I'm counting on the rest of you to keep me accountable.

The plan is to stay at home and de-clutter, but when I go to drop off my "discards" at the Goodwill, it's so easy to give in to temptation and go inside to shop!

Must. Stay. Strong.
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#18 of 30 Old 04-06-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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weekends are hard - I need to go pick up a few things tonight but am sticking to a list
produce/milk
small easter gifts for friends son (ball /bubbles/sandbox toys)
A few rubbermaid bins to start packing up toys (will be used to organize them at new house.)

I'm dropping a huge bag of outerwear off at goodwill on my way - just cleaned out our closets & pared us down to 1 vest/2 lightweight jackets each/1 heavy jacket/ 1 pair snowpants each.
(I am embarrassed to say our discards filled a huge black leaf bag )

Kate, BioMama to Emma Lu, Elliana - Almost Mama to Martin, & Foster Mama to Baby T
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#19 of 30 Old 04-07-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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Yay! I cleaned my computer room! I posted pics in the monthly declutter challenge, but I'll post here too. Before and After.

I still have a bit of rearranging to do. Cleaning out the closet and moving in a shelf from the dining room. But my goodness, this looks amazing. I really hated the computer set up before. I looked at buying a new desk, but didn't want spend a lot. So, what I did was line up the old desk and DH's dresser side by side (they happen to be the same height) and placed a closet door on top. Still needs to be tweaked a bit, but I'm loving it. Cost was $0.

And there's no buyer's remorse yet for the new couch. Everyone who's stopped by so far loves it too. One thing I didn't realize is that just by replacing the ugly old couch with a "new" one has made the whole room look a lot better. I don't really need to do a lot more with the living room. Well, except tidy up a bit!New couch Yes. My couch is pink. I like to think of it as "almost burgundy".
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#20 of 30 Old 04-08-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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your desk looks amazing now. WTG!

notes2.gifDina sahm to geek.gif, bikenew.gif, and joy.gif. I'm always computergeek2.gif, dishes.gif andhang.gif.
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#21 of 30 Old 04-08-2007, 11:14 PM
 
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WEEKENDS: The way I deal with weekend spending is that I don't go out much on the weekend. It's usually a time we can spend as a family since DH works, and we'd both like him to spend as much time with DS as possible, so we stick around. Plus he doesn't like shopping (unless it's Lowe's) so I try to spare him that and do shopping during the week. During the week we keep our trips short due to DS's nap/meal schedule. We can usually only make 2-3 stops and then it's back home, so we don't do too much shopping just for the sake of it and just stick to essentials. Plus it gives us so much more time to enjoy each other and get things done around the house as a family.

Good luck, this thread is great!

loving a small homestead with DH and DS (12/2005) keeping it natural, frugal and back to basics :
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#22 of 30 Old 04-10-2007, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I made it through the week end without spending any money. (I did laundry all weekend, instead of shopping. )

The first good news about this is that the mountain of laundry in my hallway is now down to just sheets & blankets, as I did all of the clothing over the week end.

The second good news is that I took two boxes of discards to the Goodwill, and I have another one filling up in the coat closet.

The bad news about catching up on all of the laundry is that I've run out of hangers in my childrens' closets. (I will not buy more, however. I will de-junk their clothes until there are enough hangers to hang everything. In the meantime, I have a basket full of clean clothes awaiting hangers; but it's better than a pile of dirty clothes!!)

I plan to wash all the linens of one bed at a time until all of the sheets and blankets are washed, as well. (And I will be de-junking as I go; some of our blankets are, ahem, past their prime!)

How's everyone else doing?
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#23 of 30 Old 04-11-2007, 11:48 AM
 
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Ok. It's crunch time. I need to get this place cleaned up! It wasn't terribly awful to start out with but then I started rearranging furniture, taking stuff out of closets etc. It is not pretty! And best of all (seriously!) is that I have a deadline. My darling niece is coming to visit for a couple days/week. She's almost a year old and gets into everything. So I have to baby proof my apartment. Also, I plan on doing a treasure map this year and want to have everything cleaned up for that.

So, I have today and tomorrow to get this done!

I need to:
  • finish rearranging furniture
  • find new home for stuff I'm keeping (that was taken out of furniture and closets)
  • take out recycling and garbage (stuff I'm not keeping/not worth donating)
  • wash dishes
  • wash laundry, fold, put away
  • Vacuum, sweep, mop floors
Doesn't sound like a lot but I have piles of stuff to take care of. What was I thinking? I should have left everything where it was! You know, out of sight, out of mind.
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#24 of 30 Old 04-11-2007, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I took another box of "stuff" to the Goodwill this morning, and I will probably have another one ready to take tomorrow! :

Annnnnnd, the mountain of laundry in my hallway continues to shrink!

(Oh, yeah, and my total spending for the month of April? $0.......)

Can I get some applause, please?!
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#25 of 30 Old 04-12-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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Our car is loaded with stuff to drop at goodwill tonight - since we are getting ready to move I am doing some heavy purging.
I would freecycle it but it takes enough work to purge through things!
I also bagged up a large garbage bag of household cleaners -I've been using vinegar for just about everything lately so out went a bunch - I did keep some tile floor cleaner, soft scrub, & the cleaner for my leather couch. Anyone have any ideas for tile floor cleaners other than Mr. Clean? Vinegar/water seems to leave it to spotty for my taste.
I am amazed that we had amassed so many cleaners - We are switching over to an eco friendly laundry soap once this bottle is gone!

Kate, BioMama to Emma Lu, Elliana - Almost Mama to Martin, & Foster Mama to Baby T
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#26 of 30 Old 04-14-2007, 07:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishRose View Post
I took another box of "stuff" to the Goodwill this morning, and I will probably have another one ready to take tomorrow! :

Annnnnnd, the mountain of laundry in my hallway continues to shrink!

(Oh, yeah, and my total spending for the month of April? $0.......)

Can I get some applause, please?!


Way to go!

I've done some major cleaning this week! My 10 mth old niece is coming to visit for 5 days and nights so I have to have everything spotless. Of course, I'll probably have to do major cleaning once she leaves again.

So far kitchen, living room and dining room are perfect. Bedroom and computer room still have a couple small piles of stuff to sort through. But it's fine, I can just keep the doors shut while she's here.

Other fun stuff I did:

I knitted a hat on circular needles. It's adult sized and I finished it in one evening! It feels great! I think I might make hats and scarves for all ladies in the family this Christmas. This is my first "big" knitting project and it looks really good.

I also sewed a roll up pocket thing for my knitting needles (stitch n bitch style).

I forgot how much I love making things. I was too busy working and trying to keep up with stuff to have time for crafty, creative things. I'm glad that's changing now!
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#27 of 30 Old 04-15-2007, 08:20 PM
 
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I'm definately with you! I have been decluttering for a few weeks now and have some stuff up for sale to try to get some extra money. I've also been trying to come up with ideas for homemade gifts to give for Christmas. I've been going to the library a lot for free stuff. I've been checking out books on how to live simply, how to make meals from scratch, and how to make homemade gifts. Also I've been getting free movies for my stepson when he comes. I've been turning off the TV a lot more and playing more music. If I have a CD going I'm less likely to turn on the TV. Also I bought 5 compact flourescent light bulbs yesterday. I'm also trying to remember to use the living room dimmer switch at night to save money on electricity. I want to learn how to make more meals from scratch so I can but down on buying pancake mixes and stuff like that. I cloth diaper and am looking forward to warmer weather when I can use my clothesline again!

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#28 of 30 Old 04-17-2007, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That is the sound of me falling off the No-Spend wagon this weekend.

We did major work on the garden and the garage this Saturday. I made a huge soup in the Crock-Pot for dinner, and we had leftovers for lunch (using up the last bits and bobs in the refridgerator...)

Fast forward to 6:00 in the evening. My entire "crew" is tired, hungry and cranky. I go into the kitchen to serve up the delicious soup and it is stone cold. I had forgotten to turn. on. the. Crock-Pot...

We ordered pizza, to the tune of about $59 (because about 10 of the neighbourhood boys had been helping us in the garden all day. I couldn't just send them home hungry.)

But I am back on the wagon, as of this morning. (I'm telling myself that even the $59 I spent "accidently" : is less than one week's worth of groceries during previous months, so I'm still doing pretty well.)
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#29 of 30 Old 04-17-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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Hey, it's OK, EnglishRose - isn't the point just to start being more conscious about spending and how it affects our relationships with stuff and each other? Sounds like you had a real community thing going on... I'm totally inspired!!

here's mine:

- get everything i can from craigslist/goodwill/freecycle (best finds so far: Beethoven's 9th on CD for $1, and DH got a decent keyboard from craigslist for $50 with the intent of reselling it but we ended up keeping it - it's the BEST way to de-stress!!)
- pack lunch, no outside food
- use cloth instead of paper towels
- no-poo (three weeks and still perfecting my strategy, feeling a little greasy)
- ride bike to work (need to get over my fear of riding in the city!)
- get a keeper
- declutter EVERYTHING (currently underway and LOVING IT)
- rearrange furniture
- make new curtains/futon cover for living room
- don't watch TV (would love to get rid of it but DH won't have it) - PBS is ok
- budget/savings - first time ever!!
- spend less time on MDC
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#30 of 30 Old 04-27-2007, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have felt a little off track lately, because we have been putting in a lot of time in the garden, and not much in the house.

I keep telling myself that planting perennial, food-bearing plants in my garden is frugal, at least long-term. (And, since the plants were purchased in February, I am sticking to the no-spend part. ) In a couple of years, I'll be making and bottling my own homemade jam from my own homegrown fruit - without any HFCS, and at a fraction of the cost of HFCS-free jam from the grocery.

I am staying caught up on the laundry, as well.

I love this new leaf!!
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