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#31 of 55 Old 06-26-2007, 08:32 AM
 
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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!

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#32 of 55 Old 06-26-2007, 10:29 AM
 
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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.
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#33 of 55 Old 06-26-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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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

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#34 of 55 Old 06-26-2007, 11:50 AM
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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.

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#35 of 55 Old 06-26-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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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!
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#36 of 55 Old 06-27-2007, 03:38 AM
 
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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.

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#37 of 55 Old 08-26-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#38 of 55 Old 09-02-2007, 07:25 AM
 
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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!
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#39 of 55 Old 09-02-2007, 07:44 AM
 
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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.
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#40 of 55 Old 09-02-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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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.
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#41 of 55 Old 09-03-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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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
Great point.

I have fallen victim to over-scheduling many a time. We've got five kids, so just keeping all of the schedules there in order is not easy. And sometimes I feel guilty if I can't do EVERYTHING (silly, it sounds I know) :
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#42 of 55 Old 09-03-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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Great point.

I have fallen victim to over-scheduling many a time. We've got five kids, so just keeping all of the schedules there in order is not easy. And sometimes I feel guilty if I can't do EVERYTHING (silly, it sounds I know) :
I know what you mean.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#43 of 55 Old 09-04-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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Do you have any tips on streamlining this?
I haven't read through the whole thread yet, but I do have a little tip on the menu planning/grocery shopping.

I do meal planning one week at a time. I used to try to do a month at a time but I found that it was too overwhelming for me that way and it works better week by week. I select the meals that I'm going to make, and what needs to go with them. For example, "Spahgetti, salad, bread." (I consider what is going on that day/evening in my plan--for example, if we are going to be going somewhere later that evening, I'll plan something simpler. Weekends when DH is going to be home and we don't have plans I'll try something new or a little more complex.) Then I go through each recipe (either in my head or on paper/in the cookbook) to make sure that I have all the ingredients that I need. Sometimes I need to check the cupboard/fridge/pantry but often I just know that we have that ingredient because I just bought it or just saw it in the fridge or whatever. I prefer to discover that we are out of canned tomatoes for the spaghetti right before I go to the store, than at 4:45 when I am making the spaghetti sauce.

So as I go through each recipe I jot down the missing ingredients on my list, along with the general staples that I always keep on hand and need to replenish. (Milk, kid snacks, fruit, flour, whatever.)

Then, the part that has revloutionized my grocery shopping experience--I rewrite the list based on the organization of where I shop!!! I write the vegetables in one list b/c they are first, then the meat department, then "ethnic foods", then eggs, then dairy, then crackers, then bulk and coffee, because that is how the store organizes them in their aisles and that's the path I take through the store!!! After you shop somewhere a bit you know where things are kept, so it's easy to take a moment at home to picture the store in my mind and organize the list, before you get into the store, this way I pass through the store once and get everything on my list and am done--no going through the entire store then discovering a vegetable you need for a recipe at the end of your list, then going all the way back to the produce department, then realizing you forgot milk, etc etc. I did this last night and I swear, it only took me 20 minutes to get through the entire store and do all the grocery shopping for an entire week!!!

I also try to just remind myself about the next day's dinner while I am cleaning up the kitchen each night after dinner, and ask myself if there is anything I need to do. (soak beans overnight, remove meat from the freezer defrost in the fridge overnight, etc.) Then I also try to do anything really prep-intensive in the morning while DD is eating her breakfast--for example, if there are a lot of veggies to be chopped, I try to do the chopping in the morning. That way it's not as time consuming and stressful as it is when I'm trying to "beat the clock" with a hungry husband and cranky kid in the afternoon/evening.

These are the things that have really helped me.
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#44 of 55 Old 09-04-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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Keeping Car Clean-

When you are getting gas take the time to go through and throw out any garbage.

Weekends are when my car is the worste so I make it a point of bringing everything in the house because then I will put it away.

Get something to organize your trunk.

For Everyday-

Sort junk mail at the post office. Makes the bills look less daunting.

When Olivia is in the bath I tidy up the bathroom. I can keep an eye on her and clean out the medicine cabinets and such.

Spend 10 minutes in the morning doing stuff, like making bed and starting wash or dishes. And 20 minutes at night. Makes a big difference.

Lay out clothes the night before. I have Olivia's clothes, her vitamin, shoes, and everything ready in the morning so it takes less time.

At work I keep a small notebook to jot things down as I remember them. Then I don't worry about forgetting because I will get to it later and I focus on work better.

Delegate tasks to your DH.
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#45 of 55 Old 09-04-2007, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys for your ideas. I wish I had something to offer, but I'm the one that started the thread .

Well the only thing I can think of that has helped me alot lately is I have put all of my pots and pans on my corner lazy susan. I really like them there.
Now I'm working to make my pantry more efficient. It's terrible. It's small and very unorganized.
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#46 of 55 Old 09-04-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Em T View Post
Some mamas are brave enough to streamline clothes. They buy all red shirts & khaki shorts or navy & white or other combination & never worry about matching or finding all the parts to an outfit.
I don't go to this extreme but I only keep the basics. For DD, shoes: one sandals, one dress shoes, one sneakers; blue jeans and coveralls (they match everything); tshirts or onesies; 2-3 good outfits; all white socks.

This way everything matches. You just grab a top and a bottom and you're good.


I like the DVD suggestion though. I need to do that I have an overflowing DVD case. I'll be watching for more suggestions! :
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#47 of 55 Old 09-04-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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OK, so how can I keep my car cleaned out??
I keep a bag in an ice cream bucket in the car and have a trash can in the garage that I dump the bucket into.

How do you keep the kitchen table cleared off if my question?

Mama to 2 year old and :: June 14th!
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#48 of 55 Old 09-05-2007, 12:12 PM
 
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Uh oh I don't know how long its been since I've seen my kitchen table. I'd like to see the responses to that one too! And kids toyboxes? Right now DD has 2 trunks to hold her toys but she searches for toys and throws the others on the ground. I thought about doing containers for different types of toys but she's 2 and that would take longer for me to clean up. What do you do with little one's toys?
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#49 of 55 Old 09-05-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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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.
Composting - I have two large bottomless plastic compost bins with lids. We fill one the first year, then let it sit while we fill the second one the second year, then empty the first bin contents into the garden the third year and fill that one again. Etc.

A couple of times the lid has gotten knocked off (I don't usually lock it) and maybe twice in four years something tried to lift the bin off the pile - probably bears - but even those times the pile wasn't disturbed much and I just shoved the bin back down over the pile (it screws into the ground).

We live rurally - 1500 acres of wild, protected land abuts our backyard.

Oh, the bins are about 10 - 15 feet away from the garage, and about 20 - 30 feet from the door I go out to access the (I'm not great with distances, but that is a guess). The first year we had the compost bin close to the house and the fruitflies and bees were too annoying right near our door. If you dump your compost in morning or evening when the buggies are less active, it's easier to manage. The smell is hardly noticeable unless you lift off the lid and take a big sniff.

HTH.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#50 of 55 Old 09-05-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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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.
We live in the burbs and composting has been a wonderful and easy thing for our household! I got an old wooden box from my thrift store that had a lock/latch on it. My dh drilled holes in the bottom for drainage. I filled it with about 1.5" of bedding (shredded newspaper & soil) and got worms from our local garden center. Voila! We add all our leftover food scraps (no meat/dairy/very little grain) and it's turning into beautiful compost fertilizer for my garden. It's so fun to see the worms multiply. No critters have gotten into the box. There is NO smell whatsoever. Not even any ants, and I had been worried. It seems to be a very clean process and my 3.5 ds loves to add the food in. We turn it over very infrequently because the garden center said it disturbs the worms.
Fun!!!!!
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#51 of 55 Old 09-05-2007, 09:43 PM
 
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I've started worm composting too. There is a great book called "Worms Eat My Garbage" by Mary Appelhoff which is a very good simple guide to how to do it. You can do it even in a bucket under the kitchen sink, if you set up the right conditions. I have my bin in the basement, it's a rubbermaid tote with holes for ventilation. You don't need to turn it or mess with it because the worms eat their way through everything and ventilate it themselves. (The point of turning regular compost is to aerate it.) HTH!
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#52 of 55 Old 09-06-2007, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A worm compost!!!!! That's awesome, my boys would love that. Thanks!

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Originally Posted by brittneyscott View Post
Uh oh I don't know how long its been since I've seen my kitchen table. I'd like to see the responses to that one too! And kids toyboxes? Right now DD has 2 trunks to hold her toys but she searches for toys and throws the others on the ground. I thought about doing containers for different types of toys but she's 2 and that would take longer for me to clean up. What do you do with little one's toys?

I just bought three inexpensive book shelves (3 shelves each) and lined one of their wall with them, side by side. All the toys get put on the shelf, where they can get there toys and easy to put away. (like that happens: )
All the little peices and parts are in totes of sort. I'll try and take a pic.
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#53 of 55 Old 09-06-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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Right now DD has 2 trunks to hold her toys but she searches for toys and throws the others on the ground. I thought about doing containers for different types of toys but she's 2 and that would take longer for me to clean up. What do you do with little one's toys?
I totally agree with the PP about shelves instead of boxes--but in addition, since DS turned 2 (and got an influx of new stuff), I've put everything in a closet on shelves in clear plastic. He tells me in the morning what toys he wants (or not--sometimes he forgets they're there) and if he wants more, he has to pick up the first batch first. We also pick them up together as part of his bedtime routine (this goes better on some days than on others). I'm not a total monster about this; for instance, if he wants a couple of legos to use with his cooking gear, I allow some toy "mixing." But he's been much more focused in his play since I've done this, and I've been much, much saner, and the house has been much, much neater.
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#54 of 55 Old 09-06-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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We eat together every day at dinner. Well most days. I insist on clearing the crap off the table before we sit down. So mail goes in the mail pile for me to look at later (i send junk mail to recycling right away). Toys go away, etc.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#55 of 55 Old 09-06-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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Great ideas!! I am really appreciating reading this. I am in the middle of cleaning out our hallway closet, linens, pillows, etc. I read (on another thread) about keeping just one extra sheet set for each bed and storing it under that mattress. I haven't done it yet, but I will once I get through the closet. I am also thinking about getting some of those space bags that you put big comforters/extra pillows in and vacuum out the air.

In my dd's closet I have a plastic bag hanging that we put clothes in as soon as she outgrows them. As soon as the bag is full we pass it on to a younger friend. I have the same thing in my closet for the each of the babies. I also have a box on the shelf for any clothes that they have outgrown but I am keeping for memories.

I am trying more and more to keep things where I use them. For example, I mail picture to grandparents from the kitchen table and my dd does most of her art projects there. I moved an extra dresser into the dining room and I store my envelopes, pens, address book and her art supplies in it. Makes clean up a lot quicker before dinner.

Lovin' this thread mamas!!

Mama to Ainsley (7/01) , Finley (10/06) and Jade (10/06)
 

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