Sunday, August 31, 2014

Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 4

It really been a joint effort this month for my husband and I. I was falling short on the challenge so he helped me out this last week. We purged 607 items this month with 280 of the items coming from my husband. If you haven't read my post Why I Give My Stuff Away I want to encourage to read it. Giving to people in need is on my heart.

We have completed a large amount of projects together too. The project I’m most proud of is that we scrapped old paint, took out the old caulking, caulked, and painted all 8 of the first floor windows, a door, and a screen door of our home. We have 3 doors, 3 screen doors, and 4 second floor windows to do in September. We have a long list of outside projects to get finished before the cold sets in. you may be interested in my post August Outside Projects.

My purge pile this week:

A pencil, box tops, a toy, a jar that I mistakenly purged the lid to several months ago.

Valentine items. I'm counting the cards in sets instead of individually.

Crafty items.

I'm purging 150 computer and electronic parts. My husband decided to help out with the challenge since I'm behind my goal. It was dark out when I took the picture and he is recycling them on his way to work. Thank you, Honey.

The speakers on my iPod radio aren't working. The shirt I got at a yard sale but didn't fit. I didn't want the comb and brush from a set that included two mirrors that I bought at a yard sale.

123 Star wars. This is the last of my husband Star wars collection.

More Star wars figures. My husband comes to me and says he thinks he missed a few in the shed. He comes back with 29 more. Thank you, Honey.

You may be interested in:
Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 1
Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 2
Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 3

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 2014 Reading List

The Lone Star Romance Collection: Five Stories of Untamed Love in a Wild State
One More Chance by Kimberley Comeaux
Courtin' Patience by Kimberley Comeaux
To Love Mercy by Cathy Marie Hake
To Walk Humbly by Cathy Marie Hake
To Do Justice by Cathy Marie Hake 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Trailer Hitch

Have you guys heard this song? I listened to it for the first time yesterday. Its a Country music song by Kristian Bush of Sugarland. It's his solo single called Trailer Hitch. You know my genre is Christian Praise and I'm not sure if he's a Christian but this song is about giving and not holding onto the things of this world.

The lyrics really struck me and I thought some of you may appreciate it as well. I find it very fitting during this process of decluttering my life. I wrote and posted on my blog last week Why I Give My Stuff Away. I say I've donated 75% of our possessions over the last couple years and he says 50%, I’m pretty sure he’s in denial. LOL

It’s been a big project but I committed 15 minutes a couple times per week to deowning. I’ve purged anywhere from 100-1,500 items each month. I've participated in the 40 Bags in 40 Day and the minimalist game. Our home was clean, organized, and not messy from the start but we have found that we still had Too Much Stuff. It’s easy to do after living in a 2,800 sq.ft home for 12 yrs. with a basement, 3 car barn, shed, with 4 homeschooling kids. I’m blessed beyond measure. Glory be to God!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August Outside Projects

We completed 13 outdoor projects this month. We still have the second floor windows to do. All our projects were free except for the caulk that was $20.

Our Completed Project List for August:
  •  pull out all old caulk and re-caulk the windows (multiple days of work)
  • scrap/sand the old paint off outside windows of house (multiple days of work)
  • paint trim on the outside windows of the house (multiple days of work)
  • purge unneeded items from the shed and barn (multiple days of work)
  • weed the gardens (multiple days of work)
  • Pick vegetables in garden
  • deadhead flowers
  • plant 25 seed heads of purple coneflower
  • sweep sidewalks and side porch
  • sweep front porch
  • remove grass/dirt overgrowth on the front sidewalk
  • pickup sticks in the yard
  • haul away extra firewood

You may be interested in:
May Outside Projects
June Outside Projects
July Outside Projects

Monday, August 25, 2014

Daily Focus for My Week

I have a daily focus for each day along with weekly zone cleaning, and a daily routine.

Monday- Cleaning Day

I did the laundry, dishes, trash, and general pick up of the house. I ended up working outside in the afternoon instead of doing my zone cleaning for the day. My oldest son Shawn Jr. (21 yrs.) mowed the lawn. My youngest son Brandon (18 yrs.) and I load up wood and drop it off at the dump. We moved a piano that was in the barn to get the mower out. It was blocked by my son's fiance Sarah' new used car that my husband is working on. The piano was very heavy and we plan to donate it. It took about 3 hrs. to get everything finished.

Tuesday- Kitchen Day

I did the laundry, dishes, trash, and general pick up of the house. I spend the day working on my fridge  I cleaned, purged, and cooked for 6 hours to use up items in my fridge. I sliced and bagged veggies/fruit. I made an egg bake, pot roast with veggies, corn on the cob, 2 apple pies, fudge, and tomato cucumber salad. I cleaned each shelf of the fridge and wiped down the walls. I condensed some of the large containers of condiments into the smaller containers on the door. I used almost everything that I needed to use up and very little went into the trash.  If you'd like to see more you can visit My Kitchen Day post.



Wednesday- Pamper Day and Date Night

I didn't do much yesterday but play on facebook. I was lazy but did laundry, dishes, trash, and general pick of the house so I'm not behind. Its my pamper day so I gave myself a manicure and pedicure. My husband worked all night to do a maintenance shut down of the computer network. He came home early afternoon to sleep. It was date night so we went out for pizza and a movie.

Thursday- Office Day

I worked on my blog, writing posts, and planning upcoming posts. I worked in my little office making plans for September and seeing what I have to do for the remainder of this month.  I did laundry, dishes, pull the trash to the street for trash day, along with general pick up of the house. It was a rainy day so I relax and read my book before my husband came home from work.

Friday- Errand Day

I haven't had many errands to run on Fridays lately. I've been doing them on day's I'm already going into town.  This month I have taken our son Brandon to the dentist twice. I've taken my stepdad to get a haircut and to the orthopedic shoe store. I have done my weekly donation drop, library, and grocery shopping on those days. This week I had no appointments and didn't stop on date night so we stopped later in the evening while in town.

I did the laundry, dishes, trash, clean the bathroom, sweep and vacuum, and general pick up of the house. My zone to deep clean for the week was the bathroom but I didn't get to it on Monday so I made up for that today. The bathroom really needs painted and its on my list.

After my husband came home from work we went to dinner with our daughter Nastasja. We shopped at Wal-Mart for toiletries, milk, yogurt, and bread. We stopped at a redbox and picked up a couple movies and watched one together when we got home.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 3

I've purged 253 items from my home in August so far. I must have miscounted sometime this month and have purged 10 less that I originally though.  I'm trying to average 125 items per week to make  my goal of 495 for the month. I'm not sure I'll make my goal with 10 days left in the month. I've mentioned before I think I'm getting close to the end.

My purge pile this week:

I'm purging 38 horse posters/postcards. Our daughter Nastasja was really into horses but its time for these papers to go.

I'm purging 16 folders with projects and hanging folders. I'm making progress on the homeschool papers.

 I'm purging 13 homemade games that we used for homeschooling.

I'm purging a crate of homeschool papers. The papers and lessons are from when I taught a homeschool co-op 3-4 yrs. pre-k class at least 8 yrs. ago. I sorted though the papers for things I can use for my granddaughter. I'm keeping very little to reuse and filed them in the tote I'm putting together for her. I'm counting the papers as a bonus.

I got my oldest son (22 yrs.) to mow the lawn. The youngest son (18 yrs.)helped me load up wood and drop it off at the dump. I'm counting it as a bonus.

I'm purging nail polish and a jewelry show brochure from a party my daughter Brittany hosted.

I'm purging 7 electronics that I forgot to take a picture of before being disposed.

You may be interested in:
Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 1
Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 2

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why I Give My Stuff Away

I’m 41 yrs. old and have always been a stay-at-home mom along with 12 yrs. as a Homeschool mom. I plan to continue to be a homemaker now that my children are grown. As a single income Christian family we can’t afford to give many cash donations. We can afford to donate what we no longer need and to volunteer our time.

I Give to God:

We believe in Stewardship and showing our love for God with Our Time, Talent, and Treasure. I give out of love, worship, and service to God that provides so bountifully for my family. To God I give all glory and praise.

“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” ~Matthew 6:21

I Give Local:

I have been giving our unneeded stuff away with no profit to my family for 25 years. I had donated to Salvation Army or Goodwill until we moved to North Lewisburg and I came across a local charity. I have been supporting the local charity in the next town called The Clothes Closet for 18 years. A couple years ago The Marysville Area Ministerial Association purchased an abandoned school and turned it into The Hope Center. The Hope Center is a local compassion network of charities which means that I can donate items such as furniture, household goods, clothes, school supplies, personal care items, and food at one location. The Hope Center is one of many local charities that my family supports. I could get a tax deductible receipt but I don't worry about it.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ~ Matthew 22:37-39

I Give When It Isn’t Convenient:

I have gone out of my way to donate our unneeded items even when the locations of the charities weren’t convenient for me. I save up my stuff to make a donation on my errand days. We don’t live close to the charities I support since we live in a small one stop light community. I like to give to the charities that give their donated items away to people in need for free. 

I Give in Need:

I’d rather give than make a profit off of stuff that could benefit families in need. I have held this belief even when my own family was in need and I could have had a yard sale or sold on-line to earn a little bit. I figure my stuff is worth more to a family in need than I could profit selling stuff cheaply. Thrift store shopping isn’t always within the budget when you are low income and raising children. 

When we had young growing children we needed to use local charities such as the food pantry, clothes closet, and Christmas gift charity. We lived in a homeless shelter for a year called the Homeless Families Foundation. It was a charity that gave families temporary apartments until they could get on their feet. 

I Give Out of Thankfulness:

I have always been thankful for the assistance charities gave to my family. I never wanted to take and not give back. My solution was to give away everything we own that we no longer needed rather than make a profit since we didn’t have money to give. We haven’t used these charities for quite a few years but out of thankfulness I give to them. 

When I drop off my families excess I pray for the charity and the people who benefit from its services. I have always donated regularly but I’ve been purging a larger amount of our excess stuff over the last couple years. I pray as I go though our things and collect the items that I’m planning to purge from our home that it may bless a family in need. 

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~John 13:34-35

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Kitchen Day

My Kitchen project for Tuesday was the fridge. My guys (21 & 18) buy some of their own food so it can get crazy in the fridge and freezers. I buy lots of fruit and vegetables and don't always use them before they start to go bad. I started getting a good amount of vegetable from my garden last week.

I spend the day working on my fridge  I cleaned, purged, and cooked for 6 hours to use up items in my fridge. I sliced and bagged veggies/fruit. I made an egg bake, pot roast with veggies, corn on the cob, 2 apple pies, fudge, and tomato cucumber salad. I cleaned each shelf of the fridge and wiped down the walls. I condensed some of the large containers of condiments into the smaller containers on the door. I used almost everything that I needed to use up and very little went into the trash.

I put a beef roast in the crockpot with carrots, potatoes, beans, and Fool You JalapeƱos. I got the beans from the farmers market and the JalapeƱo's from my garden. Everything I used is from my fridge but the potatoes.

 My 88 yrs. stepdad had leftovers for lunch. He had grilled cheese, egg bake, and sausage. He has Alzheimer's and doesn't like veggies anymore. I had to hide the green pepper, onion, and zucchini in the egg bake.

I put an egg bake in the oven. My husband asked me to make an egg bake for a breakfast meeting he's having tomorrow. I used stuff from the fridge except the onion. I used 8 eggs, 1 cup milk, 8 oz. cheddar cheese, green pepper, onion, a large zucchini, bacon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. How I ask can their be leftover bacon in a house with 4 men? LOL

I got corn on the cob to go with the beef roast and veggies for dinner.

The egg bake is out of the oven. Its a little over brown since I was busy working on the pies.

The apple crumb pies are headed to the oven. I didn't follow a recipe or measure. The apple are tosses in cinnamon, sugar, and flour. The crumb topping is cinnamon, sugar, flour, and butter.

I made Tomato Cucumber salad with tomato and cucumber from my garden. I used 1/2 an onion, salt, pepper, and packets of balsamic vignette dressing from restaurants.

I made a 2 Ingredient Fudge with the frosting and a bag of peanut butter chips. I made chocolate peanut butter fudge. 

The apple pies are cooling.

The fridge after but before dinner leftovers.

The kitchen all cleaned up before dinner.

The beef roast with veggies is done in the crockpot. I'll serve it with the corn on the cob for dinner along with apple pie for dessert.

I'm going to make egg plant parmesan with the egg plants from my garden later this week. I have a good size amount of tomatoes but not enough to can. I'll eat most of them this week and make fresh salsa. I have cucumbers and zucchini but not as much as I normally get. I have cantaloupe in the garden ready to eat this week. This is the first year I have done well with cantaloupe. I have about 6 in the garden.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 2

I've purged 184 items from my home in August so far. I'm just trying to make it to 495 items purged for the month. If I average 125 items per week I'll make the goal. I'm slightly behind my goal so far but I have exceeded the goal most months. I've been purging a long time so it bound to slow down at some point. This week I'm purging stuff from my kitchen storage, my craft office, my hobby stuff, and my grandkids stuff.

My purge pile this week:

Food and Kitchen stuff.
It took 4 days to completely clean, organize, and purge the kitchen along with my basement food storage.

Office/Stationary items.
I actually put these in the care package envelopes that I am making to mail to family and friends. I'll probably mail several to my daughters over a couple months time. I have 10 that I'm putting together. I'm slowly buying a few little things and adding things I find that I don't need or use. I hope my packages brighten someone's day. I'll be mailing them out mid-September.

Items from my cookbook cabinet.
I hadn't purged anything in a couple days. I spent time with my daughters and grandkids. I thought I would go through my cookbook cabinet.

My grandson's rattles.
I think 5 rattles is a good amount for a baby so I'm purging 3 fabric rattles that are harder to wash than plastic.

Nutrition/Fitness items.
I have subscription to Fitness magazine. I've been keeping up with them but its time for the older issue to go. I've never done Curves but purchased this booklet at a thrift store then never used it. I like exercise DVDs to use at home. I bought this set of yoga videos last summer but didn't like them.

Glassware items.
I forgot my punch bowl at my youngest daughters wedding location last year and never purged the cups. The plates, bowls, and cup set is my everyday dishes. I've wanted to get new ones for a few years. I've been collecting replacements at thrift stores for years and storing to replace broken ones. I'm just going to deal with a few broken dishes as they happen and eventually buy new. A cheese cloche that I put on a candle holder for height but realized its not very useful to me.

Cross-stitch projects.
I like to cross-stitch but these projects are not my style.

Book, Slippers and other odds 'n ends.
I donate each newer book to the library after I read them. I put my initials on the back page and like to see if the library keeps my books. I donate older books to a local Clothes Closet Charity. I have 2 pairs of the same slippers and one pair went bad. I keep a pair in my closet downstairs and my bedroom. I like to wear slippers in the house.

 You may be interested in:
 Clutter Busting Challenge August 2014 Part 1