Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 Days to a Simpler Life - Week #5 - Final Week!

This week I continued working on the 30 Days to Simpler Life Project. Each day, Fairy Tale Mama at Enchanted Schoolhouse posts an activity from the book 30 Days to a Simpler Life.

The projects so far have been ones I've wanted to do, but haven't made the time for...or ones that weren't on my list of things to do, but have been good to do in an effort to de-clutter and simplify my life. I have completed Weeks 1-3 (Days 1-21), but am working on Week 4 (Days 22-28) since I was in Duluth (Minnesota) for several days during this time period.

Here are the actions for the past week...and the final two days of the project:

Day #29 - Find Out What Works - Today fill out the checklist below. Decide if you're okay or need help in the following areas. It will help you see at a glance what works and what doesn't in your life. Make a copy of this list and keep it in a place where you will refer to it again (your bulletin board or date book). Add additional categories as they occur to you. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 180-182)

My answers to the questions are in bold typeface to the right.


Love and wear clothes exclusively Help (would be nice to have a couple of new items for spring and summer and one dress or dress-up outfit since I don't have one)
Closet organized OK
Accessories managed OK
Stockings/socks OK
Belts OK
Scarves OK
Shoes OK
Jewelry Help (would like to have a way to hang up my earrings, bracelets, and necklaces so I can see them)

Clothing Systems

Dry-cleaning system OK (rarely need to get anything dry-cleaned)
Laundry system Help (need a new washer and dryer since the current one is about 15 years old and on its last leg)
Out of season system Help (organizing winter coats, boots, accessories)
Recycling System OK
Linen closet Help (would like to go through blankets and pillows once more)


Counters cleared Help (Would like more counter space and am debating about keeping the terrariums which take up too much space; and re-locating the cacti and aloe vera plants)
Storage organized Help (still need to go through some cupboards)
Love and Use items exclusively Help (could donate some dishes and other kitchen items)
Meal Planning System OK
Grocery Shopping System Help (want to do a master grocery list that I can check off for the grocery store I go to the most)
Entertaining Menus and Setup OK (I never "entertain" or host parties on a regular basis)

Home Office

Mail Handling OK
Desktop Papers OK
Office Supplies OK
Bill-Paying System OK (but would love to have no bills to pay!)
Filing System OK
  Current (Personal and Homeschool) OK
  Important Documents Help (am working on putting all current statements for bank accounts, insurance, etc. in a 3-ring binder so it's easy to find)
  Estate planning OK (in safe deposit box and my desk)
  Tax records Help (all are done; just need to put everything together in one spot)
  Home improvement records OK
  Insurances OK
  Archives OK
Stationery and stamps OK
Gift wrapping Help (am trying to get away from gift wrap and use fabric bags and ribbons instead; need to better organize this)
Photos Help (still removing pictures from old non-archival quality albums and putting them in boxes)
Subscriptions OK
Travel files and planning OK (though I wish I was traveling more)


Kids' rooms
  Closet Help (still working on both of the girls' closets - want to make a lower bar to hang Olivia's clothes on so she can reach them; get rid of a lot of items I don't need in Olivia's closet; and finish cleaning Sophia's closet which also has spare bedding, photo albums, and children's games)
  Desk OK (helped the girls go through their desks in the fall/winter)
  Storage OK (though it would be nice if Olivia had a bit more storage in her room)
Kids' papers and mementos OK
Babysitter information current Help (am almost done with this)

House Maintenance

Supplies organized Help (there are some areas in the home that I still want to organize)
Daily Routine Help (if more hours were added to the day I could get everything done)
Weekly Routine Help (if I can't have more hours...maybe an extra person or two to help)
Seasonal Routine Help (would like to have the proper tools and equipment...and perhaps the extra person and do seasonal jobs and upkeep)

Garage Help (the hobby shed and barn both could use more cleaning - though a major de-cluttering/purging was done in August 2010 and the first week of September 2010)


House sitter information current Help (I need to write instructions for the dogs, cats, and horses as well as what needs to be done with the house if I'm gone)

Recycling system for useless stuff OK (have been donating bags of items that are no longer needed and are still in good condition to the local thrift shop.  Whatever isn't in good condition is either recycled or thrown away.)

Day #30 - Your task for today is to call three friends and ask, "What are some ways you have simplified your life?" (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 183)

I asked this question on Facebook and received the following answers:

The best thing I ever did was let go of being right. (Rod B.)

There is a documentatory that just came out.  I don't watch Oprah, but she was on when I turned on the t.v. yesterday. She was interviewing a man who is a famous movie director (some of Jim Carey's films, etc.).  This film is called "I AM."  He downsized and simplified; and he tells of the happiness he has found. Quoted St. Augustine: "Take what God has given you....take what you need ...the rest is for others."  Love this because materialism is the is at the root of many of our problems today!! (Dorothy P.)

I don't fold socks. What a waste of time. Some evenings when I know I will be working late, I'll throw a roast in the crock pot in the morning. Other nights, we will have cereal. Why beat myself up over not spending hours in the kitchen cooking after coming home tired. I also label my bathroom closet shelves. Toothpaste/toothbrushes, Soaps, Lotions, Medical, Cottonballs/Q-Tips, Beauty supplies, Nail polish, Extra makeup, etc... (Brenda M.)

I made a "template" of the grocery store I most often visit, listing items available in each aisle (essentially the same as the signs above each aisle) including specific things I usually buy. I made copies of this and keep it... magneted to the side of my fridge so that making grocery lists is quicker and my shopping trip times have been cut in half, I can zip through the store super fast and don't get distracted by extraneous items. It also makes using coupons easier.  (Kathrine N.)

"I have done laundry, instead of every day, three days a week. I do not like socks either [in reference to Brenda M.'s comment above]." (Annette J-G.) 

What wonderful advice!  I'm so happy that I did this via Facebook versus calling people because the responses are ones that are all things that I need to hear and apply to my life.


Tamara said...

Just stopping by and following from the hop. I also wanted to invite you to link up with my Wordless Wednesday hop.

Amber said...

Hi, I came by from the Friday Blog Hop and am a new follower. Nice to find other homeschoolers.

Sock Monkey Mommy said...

I have been doing "30 Days" along with The Enchanted Schoolhouse (the blogger is one of my oldest and dearest friends). I found my one "problem" area to be grocery shopping, couponing, streamlining, etc. But I must say that your Facebook friend "Katherine N." has inspired me to map out the grocery store by aisle. This could really be helpful and make the shopping experience less stressful for me. Thanks for your dedication to your blog!