Simplifying Life

I have been in such a time warp these past few weeks. My body feels like we are still in the last weeks of February. It's a super weird feeling to just up and leave be away for 6 days, and then come back like nothing happened! I didn't even buy a newspaper on Sunday!! To be totally honest, I didn't even realize it was Sunday. In a sort of kidding sort of serious way, it was nice to not be bound to a schedule. It was nice to not think about coupons, or what our next meal would be! And it hit me that sometimes we just make life too darn complicated!!

So in honor of uncomplicating life- here are somethings I've decided to do/already done. Some big, some little. 
1. Hold myself accountable and not buy one piece of clothing for 6 months. Yep, you heard it right. I have what I need. I have plenty (definitely not an overabundance) of clothes, and why buy more when I have what I need. My start date was March 1, so September 1st: lookout! I hopefully will wear through some flipflops I've had for a while. I took inventory of my summer clothes and I have enough. Since winter is practically over, I'm good there. This includes shoes too. I will probably order some jewelry from Premier in August (my birthday month), so that doesn't count. 

2. Purge 100- Think it's impossible? Think again.

I did this over 2 months (January and February). We are trying to make our house sell-able, so purging is part of the process. I wish I had lots of pictures for this, but I don't because most of the purging happened spur of the moment. I wanted the stuff to be gone (trashed), put away (in the attic yard sale box), or donated quickly. I kept an ongoing list in my phone of what I got rid of as it happened. Here's what went- never to live in my home again!

2 curtains, 2 bags of flower petals, old purse, 1 craft book, 1 broken eyeshadow, socks with holes x2, 10 stuffed animals, frame, Christmas decorations x5, 14 shirts/ sweaters, fake flowers, fish pebbles, hair clip, 3 bottles of nail polish, 2 rubber duckies, printer, body wash- to charity, toothpaste x3- to charity, toothbrush- to charity, megablock mismatched box, 2 bars of soap- to charity, 4 deodorant- to charity, 2 dawn dish soap- to charity, napkins, glasses, dictionary, Josh shirt x2, ranch dressing- cleaned out the fridge- expired, paper trash- There was ALOT but it's only fair to count it twice, medicine bottles x3- expired, starch- finished, luke shirt, 1 pencil box, sold our humidifier, otterbox, and external hard drive. 20 magazines (read, tore out ideas, recycled), cleaned my purse.

3. Seriously can't believe I'm writing this because I feel like I lived on the "dark" side most of my life... I have started washing my hair every other day. I was of the belief that all girls washed/dried/did their hair every day- of course right?! WRONG. My hair would get super oily if I didn't wash it every day. But come to find out you literally have to train your hair follicles. I experimented with this over summer break and after about a week of washing, it wasn't oily on the second day! I do pretty much wear it in a pony tail of the second day because I'm weird like that, but OH MY GOODNESS it saves an uber amount of time in the morning! I would much rather spend that time drinking coffee with Josh or playing with Luke.

4. Eat through our freezer. There's some frozen goodness in the pits of our freezer! Because we have 2 freezers (the normal one in the fridge, and a chest freezer in the garage/carport) I tend to forget what I have bought/stored. I buy meat, bread, veggies when they go on sale and stash them in the outside freezer. I try to pull a few each week and put them inside so that I remember they are there. I get super lazy in the winter though because it's just too darn cold to trek outside (the 2.75 steps to the freezer), plus digging through a FREEZER is miserable. But 2-3 meals for the past few weeks have been straight out of the freezer.  And I plan to continue. I would LOVE to follow some ideas from pinterest of combining ingredients and THEN freezing (little crock pot meals) so it's super easy to grab/make. But I'll just be happy to eat what we have. That way I don't feel guilty buying more when it goes on sale.

5. Home Binder- iheartorganizing made me aware of this. I took her ideas, and other ideas and put them together for what worked for us. I'm not going to go into a ton of detail, but here's the basic idea        "Home/Office" tab- I keep my house chore schedule, a family birthday list, Luke's school monthly newsletter, laundry soap and other household cleaning recipes, and important passwords.

         "All things food" tab- I have a "peek at the week" page where I meal plan, a master meal list to choose from depending on the ingredients I have (broken down by what can be grilled, cooked in/on the stove, and in the crockpot). I would love to add a freezer inventory list to this too along with recipes I use frequently.
         "Contact information" tab- Important contacts are kept at fingers reach- HVAC, plumber, school #'s, emergency contacts, etc. Also a babysitter sheet with important information (this is a fill in the blank), a bedtime routine sheet so whoever is watching Luke knows exactly what to do, CPR instructions, and petsitter notes.
        "Projects" tab- This is where I brain storm projects that I want to do. If I have an idea pop into my head that I'm worried I'll forget, I'll write it here. I also keep a sample of our house colors/paint chips.
         "Spending Account" tab- This is where I keep track of doctor bills/ prescription receipts. We have money set aside through work, and I have to keep up with these receipts in order to claim the money. I submit them every few months. Before this binder I have receipts in my car, desk, kitchen, inside cabinets. It's amazing how once you create a place to put stuff it really organizes itself.

In the back I have a folder with inspiration quotes and papers that really didn't fit into any other category. These are sheets I'd need at a moment's notice so they don't get filed in the office yet. The front pocket of the binder is reserved for things to mail/fax. I also have extra notebook paper in the back.

I can't even BEGIN to tell you how much this has simplified my life. I went from having piles on the kitchen table, the bookshelf, and desk to having everything filed here. AMAZING. And I plan on adding/taking out things as I see fit. I realize that this is a work in progress and it will forever be because our lives are always changing. Thank goodness for being able to print out new sheets to fill out!

6. Last but not least is: UNSUBSCRIBE to e-mails! I was SUPER tired of getting e-mails from stores that I never darken the door of. They would blow up my inbox, I got tired of my phone having to download 13-15 emails each time I checked it, and then if I deleted them too quickly I risked losing e-mails I really needed. I do have a separate e-mail account for coupons/websites that ask for an e-mail address.  But when you are checking out at a store and they ask for your e-mail address for future coupons, it's so much easier to say ( rather than the complicated coupon e-mail. I now resist the urge and say "no thanks". I'd rather shop online anyways, and there is almost always a promo code available. I do have to constantly do this since some stores/places send e-mails daily/weekly/monthly etc. and I have to be somewhere where I have time to focus on unsubscribing.

That's for sure NOT an exhaustive list, but it's what I've found to be helpful over the past few months! Since most of these are already things that I have done, I'm kind of worried about the goal of not buying clothes. I think that will for sure be the hardest!!

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