The Minimalism Game – Week 1 Update

We are playing the minimalism game this month. We thought it would be a fun way for the family to begin to declutter our home. We have actually been really enjoying it. It’s nice to have a goal in place to motivate us. The kids have liked it more than I thought they would. We decided to document each day with a photo and I would like to share them with you.

Day 1 – A baby bathtub that Octavia is too big for

Day 2 – Two pairs of Octavia’s shoes that were too small

Day 3 – A skirt that was getting a little short, shorts that were getting too tight, and a book that Isabella didn’t want

Day 4 – A shirt and two swimsuits that Octavia had outgrown, a toy harmonica from a birthday party treat bag

Day 5 – Two of Octavia’s sleepers, two of her shirts, and a pair of Isabella’s pants that she didn’t like

Day 6 – Octavia’s Clothing: a pair of too short leggings, a too small sweater and shirt, a shirt that I don’t like, 2 Halloween shirts

Day 7 – Seven of Isabella’s books that she no longer wanted

That’s the first week of our decluttering. I will share our week two shortly. Happy Decluttering!

 

January 2018 – Goals

January Goals:

  • Pay off my Capital One card
  • Do not go out for dinner more than 3 times
  • Pack our lunches for work
  • Continue to Simplify/Declutter/Minimize Our Home & Possessions

Our January Plan

Our first goal for January is to pay off one of our credit cards. Currently, we owe $745.01 on it. We are going to give it all we got to pay it off by the end of the month. My husband is going to be picking up some extra hours. We are going to be cutting as many things as possible to stretch our budget. This is a large but achievable amount for us. We are so excited at the thought of getting rid of this debt!

I am finishing up our budget binder today that we will be using as a tool going forward. I will put up a post about this soon once I have it finished. I’m really excited about this! We are also using the app “Every Dollar” and I write down all of our due dates in my day planner as well. This helps us to stay on budget and to make sure that our bills are paid on time. We are attempting to use up the things that we already own so that we will spend less. We are going to go through everything in our pantry, fridge, and freezer to use up what we already have. This will help us to lower our food costs even more for this month.

We have one dinner out planned for our oldest daughter’s birthday. She is still deciding on where she wants to go. Last I heard she was thinking sushi. We are secretly hoping not to have to use the other two nights but we wanted to make sure we had some wiggle room in case something crazy happens such as illness or a super late work night.

We are going to plan ahead each week when making the grocery list to include easy to grab breakfast items and items to pack for lunch. We have been tracking our finances and we both spend too much on buying food and beverages on work days. We have discovered that we are the death by $10 type. We take the time to really consider larger purchases but we never second guess those small purchases like a donut and coffee for breakfast. Packing our lunches and planning ahead for breakfast will help with two goals. We will be saving money and potentially making better choices about what we are eating.

The last bit of our plan is to continue our trip toward minimalism and simplifying our home and lives. We will be doing the 30-day minimalism challenge. I read about this on The Minimalists and have been wanting to try it. I don’t have anybody doing it with me. I just plan to try to make it through the 30 days because I think it will be good for our family and our home, especially after Christmas. The idea is that you get rid of one item on day 1, two items on day 2, three items on day 3, and so on until you hit day 30 on which you would get rid of 30 items. I have been considering this challenge for quite a while. As many of you know I have been making it a point over the last year to push myself to do things that I want to do but avoid because they are hard or not part of the social norm. This is one of those things that I know is going to be really difficult by the end. Just finding the time each day to complete the challenge will be difficult. I intend to take a photo each day and keep a running list of what I got rid of to share with all of you once a week. Wish me luck!

Here’s a link to the minimalism game: https://www.theminimalists.com/game/ 

5 Things To Purge From Your Kitchen

It is amazing to see the amount of stuff that accumulates in the kitchen.  The kitchen really is the center of many homes.  The kitchen was a huge undertaking during my personal journey toward simplifying my home.  If you are on a similar journey or just want to take a few small steps towards less clutter, these 5 things are a good place to start.

  1. Tame the Tupperware Beast – We have all heard it a million times but it’s time to finally do something about it.  The loads of mismatched lids and containers need your attention.  This surprisingly did not take as long as I thought it would.  Start by removing your favorite ones.  The ones you use weekly that are in good shape with fitting lids can go immediately to the keep pile.  Next start matching up lids and containers.  Throw away anything without a match.  Now trash anything that is discolored, cracked, or has an ill-fitting lid.  The last step is the hardest, decide how many you actually need out of the containers left.  This number varies based on the family.  Consider how often you eat leftovers, what sizes work best for your family, and what logically fits in the space provided.  Do you only use them once or twice a year?  Could you use a freezer bag for those times instead?  If you had to buy new ones tomorrow, would you purchase these items again?  Wash the ones that you have decided to keep and organize into a larger container that fits in your cabinet.  This keeps them from going everywhere inside your cabinets.
  2. Some of These Things are not like the Others – It is amazing how much stuff ends up in crazy places.  This happens even more often when you have children.  This can be time-consuming to handle but the extra work space in your kitchen is worth it.  The weirdest thing we found was a decorative ink pen from Disney World inside a punch bowl.  We relocated the ink pen to the desk and got rid of the punch bowl.  We obviously hadn’t been using it, lol.
  3. Food, Food, and more Food – Take a day to pull everything from your pantry, cabinets, or anywhere else you keep non-refrigerated food.  Check expiration dates and throw out everything expired to start.  Go through everything else with honesty.  Have anything in there that you will not eat?  We got rid of a bag of candy our girls were never going to eat.  They still had tons of Halloween candy hanging around in the pantry.  To make getting rid of those things easier either give them to somebody who you know will eat them or donate them.  Next go through your refrigerator and freezer doing the same thing.  Now make a meal plan including all of your food.  Depending on the amount of stuff that was harboring in your kitchen you may save a ton of money on groceries in the next couple weeks.
  4. Weird appliances – We all have them.  I received the majority of mine as gifts but my husband is also responsible for bringing some of the odd items in.  I made sure that my whole family was gathered around the table as we went through things.  I set the small appliances on the table one by one asking if anybody truly used this product.  The answers were shocking to all of us.  There were some things that we all thought somebody else wanted and they didn’t use it at all.
  5. Bags – Do you have a huge pile of bags in your kitchen…maybe under your kitchen sink?  Only keep the amount of grocery bags that you will actually use and recycle the rest.  Do you use reusable grocery bags?  Shouldn’t they be in your car instead of your kitchen?

When you are done, take the time to organize what is left.  There are many options available to keep the things that you use orderly.