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Posts tagged with: minimizing

March Challenge Plan


WhileI’ve now broken down my house by room, by closet and by cabinet space. Scheduled my #declutterchallenge is bite size pieces to assure my success. I put them on my Asana to do list with due dates. So I am all ready to get started.

I also organized a place to put the clutter I will be getting rid of. I have a cardboard box for the things that will be going to the thrift store, a trash can for the UN-donateable and a place to pile those that will be handled in some other way (send to someone else, scan papers or take pictures of things before I get rid of them, etc.)

While I am encouraging the kids to participate in this challenge in their own space; although, I’m not forcing it at this point. But I am really looking forward to a fresh new look and feel to the house as we remove the things we don’t need AND organize those that we do at the same time. This is definitely a labor of love!

How Will This Challenge Help?

But I know the BAD community is asking…what does this have to do with paying down your debt?

First, I there is something about having a clutter free, organized space that alleviates a great deal of stress. I’m pretty sure there is research backing that up. But I know this is a fact for me. And the less stress I have, the more apt I am to make good financial decisions.

Second, being organized really helps me avoid duplicate purchases. If I know where things should be and know if we have them, I will not re-purchase. The latest example of this for us is Chicken Noodle Soup. Somehow we ended up with 2 cases from Sams. And we are all tired of Chicken Noodle Soup – very!

Third, these monthly challenges are really working in keeping me focused. I mentioned in the comments recently that I am loving seeing my back account grow. While I believe know we will continue with eating at home a lot more, I need a new challenge. I did see someone else challenge their audience to start saving for retirement, but I’m not there yet. Paying down debt is my #1 goal, so this decluttering challenge is a step towards that.

Are you ready for the March #declutteringchallenge? What is your plan of action or are you just taking it a day at a time?



Minimizing our Wardrobes


I am so grateful for all the support and advice during this time of transition as we downsize from 1800 sq ft to 900 sq ft.  I am fully embracing this change and ask I mentioned earlier this week I have already begun downsizing in regards to our furniture and planning what will go with us to the apartment in that regards.

Someone mentioned “minimalist blogs” and another zenhabits.net. Since then I have been reading voraciously on this ideal.  And I am convinced that this is the way for us to go.  So now I have to get the kids to buy in because let’s face it, the majority of our day to day clutter…it’s theirs!  So here is what I’ve done so far in this regards and if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them…

  1. We discussed the space issue in the apartment and how it feels when  a room in our house is full of stuff vs just a few usable items.  This was easy to demonstrate this week as we have cleared out rooms and seen them go from crowded feeling to really big and open, free.
  2. I sent the three oldest a link to this article: http://zenhabits.net/a-guide-to-creating-a-minimalist-home/ and asked them to read it so they would understand where my mind was.
  3. And then I went all in, dragging them with me…I gave them a list of clothing items they could bring on this move.  Everything else must either be trashed or donated.  And the twins were assigned the task of getting their closets in order yesterday.

For those of your interested, this is the list I gave my teenagers:

Jeans2Dress Pants1
Cargoes1Nice Shorts2
Athletic Shorts1Pant of choice2
T-shirts7Dress shirt2
Hoodie3Winter Jacket1
Athletic Shoes2Dress Shoes2

I did make some exemptions from this list:  1) Sea Cadet does not have to count his Navy uniforms, etc in these numbers, but all Sea Cadet paraphernalia must fit into the tubs we previously purchased to keep them in; and 2) History Buff does not have to count his additional number of dress clothes he has for his TeenPact participation, but they must fit in one hanging bag which he takes when he goes to conferences.

I realize that this could not be a universal list, and I still think the numbers are a bit high, but I think it’s a good start.  And I am going to try really hard to enforce a 1 in – 1 out type of philosophy with new items.

I will be taking this same philosophy with the younger two, but since they out grow their clothes almost every season still they don’t typically have a cross season wardrobe so it will be limited by number of outfits I think rather than particular items.  Make sense?