Pinterest Purge

June 15, 2013

Ok I might be crazy! A Pinterest purge, what? But every few months while Andrew and I are watching television I purge and reorganize my pin boards. This may or may not be necessary for you, it kind of depends on how you use Pinterest. Here is how I use Pinterest: I have 21 public boards. Besides a couple random ones like random likes and my cute animals boards, they are mostly functional and I use many of them often. I have a board for sweets, one for food, one for vegetarian meals. I have several home boards, a style board, DIY, a hair board, Christmas ideas and a party board. But two boards that I find to be super important are my DO board and my Need OK Want board.

DO: what good are pins if you aren’t going to do them? This board is where I put all the tasks I want to do in the foreseeable future. My hope is that I can soon choose one item a week and get them done.

My Need OK Want board is basically a running gift ideas board. Do you ever get asked what you want for a birthday or Christmas and you can’t think of anything? This is my remedy for that. The hubs knows about in and he relays the information. I try to keep this one updated so I am not “asking” for things that I don’t really want.

And then I keep a board for all of you (and a little bit for me). My Did It board is a catalog of all the pins I’ve tried and usually I put a tip or a comment about how it was. This replaced my pinned it did it posts.

Pinterest is one of the best tools I have to stay organized so just as you would organize your office or desk I find it necessary to organize your boards. Go through and purge anything that isn’t you anymore. I find that since I started pinning my style has changed a bit so I go in and get rid of things I would ‘t wear. If I tried a recipe and didn’t like it or if it is something I know I should NEVER eat, it gets the boot. If I posted something I thought was cute, but know I will not look at again I delete it. Then I go through the boards and make sure they are pinned onto the correct board, I still have some work to do on my baby board and littles board,but all the others I have looked through each pin and made sure it is categorized correctly. This may sound like a lot of work, but if you use Pinterest to stay organized I find an hour every few months to be super helpful to utilize Pinterest to it’s fullest potential.

How are you doing minimizing your life in 2013?

Let’s Be Honest

April 4, 2013

You don’t wear everything in your closet. Even I don’t wear everything in my closet and I’m a freak about purging every season. I had to get really honest with myself as I packed up my closet last week. Everything I wear on a consistent rotation will fit into a suitcase, no joke. Part of this is because I have a nursing body so some of my tops just don’t fit right now, partly it’s the season, and partly it’s because while I’m under where I was weight wise when I got pregnant my hips and belly don’t lie, I had a baby. Shoes, do you have trouble getting rid of shoes? I do, I am not a big shoe person, but once I find a pair I like I have a terrible time getting rid of them, I know some of mine are not really in style anymore, but they are in good shape so they get to sit in my closet, it’s time to part ways. I kept about 7 t-shirts and 4 pairs of workout pants in there and packed the rest away months ago, I haven’t missed them one single time. Moving puts a lot in perspective. I have a garage full of boxes and I have only missed two items in the last month or two, why oh why do we hold on to so much? It’s time people, get honest with yourself, clear out those closets, cupboards and garage. Have a garage sale, list on e-bay or Craigslist, or just donate it!! It is probably complicating your life much more than you realize! How is your minimization going? If you are just joining me, check out the other ways we’ve been minimizing our year HERE! And this is my closet right now and surprisingly I’m kind of enjoying it!

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Save Your Money

March 18, 2013

We can’t minimize our spending in all areas of our life, our house is eating our savings account. Of course everything falls apart when you are selling your home and you must leave the house in tip top shape. This morning I’ll be paying a drywaller AND a plumber, exactly how I like to spend money. So when I realized it is stinking hot here and my baby needed a lightweight sleep sack I was on the quest to find one for cheap, like less than $10. No such luck, the cheapest i could find was $20, so I got inventive. I got a package of Aden and Anais swaddle blankets for my shower and one of them was getting really pilly so I cut it up and made a sleep sack. I grabbed some Velcro from my stash and some double fold bias tape and 30 minutes later I had a sleep sack for my sweetie and my bank account loves me. I used the heavy weight sleep sack that I already had as a rough pattern and because I have never sewn a zipper and didn’t have one on hand I just used Velcro on the shoulders. It does not look perfect, but it’ll work, here is how it turned out. Save that $20 and make your own.

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Pantry

March 11, 2013

I realize my situation is a little different than most when it comes to minimizing my pantry and refrigerator. I intend to take almost nothing from these things in May when we move, but I still think people could stand to get rid of a lot in these areas. I went through my pantry a couple weeks ago and threw away everything that was expired that wouldn’t be good expired. Obviously some things last way past the expiration date. Then I went through everything that I feasibly would not be using anytime soon and gave them to a friend. I had a brown grocery sack full of stuff that I just don’t use, some I got from my brother’s move, others from grocery store meal deals where you buy one thing and get 4 other items free. For example, we don’t drink koolaid, but it came free so I took it and passed it along. Then I started going through our refrigerator. We used up all the ketchup packets, honey mustard, BBQ sauce and salad dressings that we’d been stashing from restaurants and now we are eating through all of our dressings before buying more even though some of them aren’t my favorite. Waste not want not right? I’ve started tackling the freezer as well. We finished off our gigantic bag of stir fry veggies a couple weeks ago and we’ll be drinking smoothies for a few weeks before our move to use up all the frozen berries and bananas. I’m trying to plan all our meals around getting rid of what we already have and buying as little as possible. Really this would be a great way to stick to your grocery budget every month if you did this the last week of the month. I think a couple weeks ago I only had to spend like $20 to make dinner for the week because I was using our stuff up. I hope to keep this practice up even when we aren’t moving so I can keep our budget down and our pantry purged. Happy minimizing!

Baby Clothes

February 19, 2013

From the very beginning we basically decided to not spend money on Ellery unless we absolutely had to. For the most part we haven’t bought anything except the absolute necessities like wipes and food (more on that in another post, we make it from scratch and it’s so easy!) I have bought a handful of things for her to wear to fill in the size gaps, either hugely discounted, second hand or a special dress for a holiday. We have been hugely blessed with friends and family letting us borrow items or gifting us hand me downs. I would say 60% of Ellery’s clothes are used and the others are gifts from family and friends. Your baby DOES NOT CARE what they wear, Ellery’s #1 goal with clothes is comfort. So far this year I haven’t purchased anything for Ellery besides a few necessities that I purchased with her Christmas money from Nana like washcloths and socks. We’ll see how long I can keep this going, I think I have enough clothes to last her until her 1st birthday in July, then her clothes supply seriously diminishes.

I was fortunate to watch a friend with 3 kids raise her little ones. Her little girl wore the same outfit every Monday when i was there, and that’s when I realized you only really need about 10 outfits, 14 at the most, per size. Mostly comfy clothes and two to three cute outfits for church or outings. I have a tiny bin for each age of clothing and if it doesn’t fit in that bin it gets donated to someone else to enjoy. So far the bins are newborn, 0-3, 3, & 3-6, then I have one unisex bin for foodies, swaddles and anything a boy could wear like white tees. I put the clothes in the bin that the clothes fit like, not the size on the tag. For example carters 3 month pants are tiny so they are in the 0-3 bin, not the 3. As the sizes increase the bin size will too, but I’m hoping the tiny bins work through the first year, I like uniformity. For footie pajamas I have 4 or 5 for each size and have her wear them at least two nights in a row unless they are dirty. Not sure if that’s gross, but I wear my pajamas more than once, and she doesn’t really sweat.

I do understand that kids do need clothes and lots of other things like strollers, bathtubs, etc. If you live in the Champaign-Urbana area I think All Things Kids is awesome. There is also a great place by the Walmart in Savoy and Frogs and Fairies in Urbana, I have also had great luck on the 50 cent rack at Transitions in Lincoln Square Mall. Then of course One Week Boutique is supposed to be awesome, I however have never been around for that.

This post is to encourage you to not only minimize the amount of clothes you have for your kiddos, but also minimize your spending. Next time you are tempted to buy your kid that really cute outfit and you think, does she/he really need this? The answer is likely no, but they probably will someday need to go to college, it’s never too early to start saving!!

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And when you are clearing out your closets, if you find yourself getting ready to donate size 12-24 month girl clothes we are accepting donations! *wink*

Minimize Pictures

February 10, 2013

I have been putting this off for years. If you are anything like me I had pictures in boxes and bags in different rooms and I had ALOT of pictures that needed to be thrown away. For Christmas I asked for this organizing photo box.And then as I got into the organizing I realized I had too many pictures so I ordered this box for just my high school pictures. I then stored all the film, negatives and CDs in a small amazon box that will soon be upgraded to a Rubbermaid.

Here is how I decided what to keep.

– If I had doubles of pictures and had the film, negatives, or picture CD I threw away the double.
– If I had a bunch of pictures from the same event with the same people and some of the pictures were unflattering of either me or someone in the picture (I.e. eyes closed, weird smile, etc.) I threw it out.
– If a picture was blurry it got the boot.
– Ex boyfriend pictures. If it was a memory then I kept it, if it was just a posed type picture it went in the trash.

It took me almost two weeks to complete this project, but from here on out it should be very easy to keep this up. As you can tell from the picture of my couch I have a very tolerant husband!

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Minimize Clutter

January 22, 2013

Minimizing clutter is an ongoing project. I often ask myself if I will ever have a clutter free home, probably not. I don’t know how I have clutter because I have very little sentimental attachment to things, but somehow it creeps in and I constantly have to work on it. I needed to put something over our dresser. We have tall ceilings and a huge bedroom so our walls looked very naked. I don’t have a decorating budget so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone. I went around my house, looked through boxes and closets and managed to create this collage wall and only spent $6 total to print one large photo and buy a tart pan on clearance for $2. Obviously I bought other things at other times, but for this actual project that’s all I spent. So not only did I finish my room, I also de-cluttered my closets!

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Mini Oxymoron

January 8, 2013

I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. There is really no part of me that enjoys cooking. I love to bake, but try not to do that very often. I usually cook dinner 6 nights a week and I make Andrew’s lunch everyday. I guess you could say I’m in charge of the food at our house. I do 95% of the grocery shopping and I hate every second of it, I dread it every week, but I go anyway. Here is the weird part, I LOVE putting food on the table for dinner every night and I also really enjoy planning our meals in such a way that nothing goes to waste and we have enough variety while eating leftovers. Take this past week for example. We had pieces of a rotisserie chicken left so I made “BBQ ranch chicken salad” with black beans, corn, lettuce and lime juice. I put a handful of the beans in our veggie enchiladas. Then with the leftover black beans I made a mixture of beef, tomatoes, and seasonings and did stuffed peppers. We had enough of the stuffing left to make tacos which I had for lunch today. This is definitely not a typical week, usually we just keep eating the leftovers until they are gone, but this is an ideal week for me cooking wise. So I am a walking mini oxymoron, I don’t like cooking, but I love providing meals for Andrew and me and I like coming up with ways to not waste food. I guess you could say this is another way I’m trying to minimize spending and waste this year!

Minimize Email

January 4, 2013

I decided each time I do a minimization project I’d post it and put it in my new minimization category. This way I can keep track of what I’ve done and you can follow along and have a simplified life at the end of this year, if you so choose. I’m keeping it simple, no need to stress yourself out, the whole point of this is to create a more stress free life.

This week my project is minimizing e-mail. I have been getting up to 70 e-mails a day!!!. I do not work so that is a lot of junk mail. I probably only care about 5 of those per day so this week I spend about 10 minutes a day unsubscribing from e-mails. This may seem kind of silly, I could just delete them everyday, but I find that the important e-mails are getting buried in the pile of junk. Also I tend to not check my e-mail often because I don’t want to deal with the mass of unimportant messages. I’m on day two of this and it is SO NICE!! Next I just might bite the bullet and delete the 7,000 read messages in my inbox. I only know one person who keeps her inbox clean and I’ve always been tempted to try it.