Here's how we've done for the past week:
Day 11 (Monday, March 5): Collect all stained and ripped clothing hanging in your closets. Either mend it or throw it out immediately.
I found one shirt that had ripped sleeves/cuffs near the wrists. It was beyond mending since the cuff on one side was missing. Despite the fact that the shirt is very comfortable, I tossed it out.
There are two sweatshirts that either have holes in the elbow, are ripped at the cuffs, and/or have stains on them. I use these two sweatshirts when I am either cooking a lot or doing something messy (e.g., painting, cleaning the barn) and don't want to ruin good clothes.
I also have several pairs of pajama pants that are in the same condition. These are also used when I'm doing work that use materials or supplies that can stain, rip, or ruin clothing.
In fact, on Sunday (March 11th) Olivia and I painted part of her bedroom. Wearing one of the aforementioned sweatshirts and pajama pants, I did get paint on both. What was nice was I didn't have to stop everything to try to remove the paint from my clothing. It didn't matter because they were already damaged.
I see no point in throwing away "work clothes" because they have stains on them or aren't in perfect condition. To me that's being wasteful.
Day 12 (Tuesday, March 6): Dispose of all the recipes you cut out and haven't used.
Last April, I did 30 Days to a Simpler Life, and organized all the recipes I wanted to try into a three-ring binder. Having them organized by item (e.g., bread, salads, appetizers, desserts) helped me easily find recipes I wanted to try.
Rarely do we go out to eat, so trying new recipes and preparing a variety of food is an on-going goal of mine. I think it's important also for Sophia and Olivia to be exposed to different types of food so that they are more willing to try food when they aren't at home.
This year, we have been trying quite a few new recipes as part of homeschooling since both Sophia and Olivia enjoy cooking and baking. Sophia is almost done with her Alpha-Bakery cookbook in which she's made one new recipe per week since September (each week the recipe starts with a different letter).
Once she finishes Alpha-Bakery, she will go through the binder that has recipes we haven't tried and pick ones she wants to learn how to make.
Olivia is working on a Five in a Row Cookbook and has several recipes she makes each week. This book will be used for another year, and then she'll be ready to try other recipes.
Since we homeschool, I look at the recipes at a resource that has taken years to create. It would seem foolish (at least to me) to toss a resource that will be used not only this year but in years to come.
Binder with recipes that we'd like to make.
What I did instead was put all the recipes that we've tried recently in the recipe boxes that hold only good recipes that we would enjoy making again. I also put recipes we want to try in the three-ring binder pictured above.
I also did a meal plan for the remainder of March. Looking at what I have on hand in the freezer and cupboards, I matched the ingredients with recipes from the binder. In this way, I'm continuing to use up what is at home without over-purchasing food or ingredients. I'm excited to try a lot of new recipes this month!
Day 13 (Wednesday, March 7): Go through your clothes. Give away everything that doesn't fit or doesn't flatter.
Last year, I did Project Simplify and thoroughly cleaned my closet. In the process, I donated four bags of clothes. I haven't added too much to the closet since then - just a couple of sweaters and a dress.
What I did notice is that there are items that I haven't worn in over six months. So, I removed those items and donated them to the second-hand store. There were enough items to fill a paper grocery bag.
Sophia and Olivia already did this last month. However, with the change of seasons and the necessary clothes to wear in warmer weather, they'll need to go through their spring/summer clothes next month. At that point, we'll donate items that don't fit and create a list of clothing that they'll need.
Day 14 (Thursday, March 8): Throw away all broken toys and games with missing parts.
The girls went through their rooms during the past month and took out anything that was broken or they didn't want. They put what they no longer wanted in the hallway for me to go through.
So, with today's task in mind, I divided all the items they no longer wanted (e.g., unsellable/toss, recycle, donate). I did keep some of the doll clothes they no longer played with in case younger children visit and/or they want it someday for their own children. Any doll clothes that were sewn by my mother were kept as well as nicer-quality clothing and/or handmade clothes.
One area that the girls need help with is their closet which had just become a "dumping ground" since December. This is a major project and we were not able to do it this week. My goal is to do this within the next week.
Day 15 (Friday, March 9): Go through old paint and throw out what is unusable. (Ed note: Bring to recycling place that takes paint and other hazardous household materials.)
With the weather being warmer during the upcoming week, it will be a good time to go outside and look in the hobby shed and barn where there is paint.
Also, there is paint and other items that cannot be thrown in the garbage that are in the basement. These need to be removed from the shelf since those were from the previous owner (over 16 years ago).
The hazardous waste facility is about 36 miles (one way) from home and open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Looks like I'll wait until one of those days to collect and bring everything in.
Day 16 (Saturday, March 10): Throw away medicine that has expired.
I did this last Spring and was surprised at how many bottles of medicine had expired or prescriptions were no longer needed. Since that time, I have been able to keep the medicine cabinet (in the linen closet) organized.
However, I haven't recently taken a look at expiration dates on the bottles, so I did that again. I found 14 bottles or packages that had expired (most expired within the past 1-3 months). These were tossed. Honestly, I'm actually surprised that there were so many expired items. At least now I know what is available and that it will effective.
What's coming up for the next week? These activities:
Day 17 (Monday, March 12): Toss cosmetics that have expired.
Day 18 (Tuesday, March 13): Throw away any books that you wouldn't want your family to read. (Ed note: Donate the books to organizations that would benefit from them.)
Day 19 (Wednesday, March 14): Give broken rosaries to a ministry that fixes them.
There were two people who repairs and sends them to missions. One is Mr. and Mrs. Louis Alfrey, 23 Oak Avenue, Camp Hill, PA 17011. The other is Stephen Schmidt, 908 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
Day 20 (Thursday, March 15): Bury broken blessed items and burn faded religious pictures. Each religious item displayed should be in good condition and beautiful.
Day 21 (Friday, March 16): Evaluate your collections. Give away those that no longer interest you.
Day 22 (Saturday, March 17): Go through old craft supplies and give away those that you don't have a reasonable expectation of using again.