You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Simplifying’ category.

  1. Regret – let go of the past and move on to a better tomorrow
  2. The friend(s) who make you feel worse about yourself instead of better
  3. Your skinny clothes – you know, the ones that you haven’t fit into in 6 years and you can’t bend your knees in them even after you’ve been sick for a week?
  4. insecurities – embrace who you are and flaunt your amazing qualities
  5. Anger – don’t be the bitter person that everyone’s afraid of pissing off. Let it go already.
  6. Clutter – you knew this would be on my list didn’t you 🙂
  7. Too many commitments – learn to say no and make your time your own
  8. Unhealthy food – sure maybe it tastes good but when you really analyze how you feel after greasy food, you’ll realize how much it is draining you and not helping you to be the focused, productive, energetic person you can be.
  9. Control – stop trying to steer everything and everyone around you. You’ll immediately feel less stressed and less frustrated when you give up the struggle for controlling things that are uncontrollable
  10. Debt – okay maybe you can’t eliminate it all today but make the decision to do it today and don’t look back.

kitchen6.jpg

I posted the other day about needing to get to work on simplifying the kitchen. I am not done yet. But I have made some huge progress. I am embarrassed to say that I forgot to take pics before I got started and I refused to mess everything up again just to make all of you happy.

My goals were to

Declutter the windowsill

Here is a pic from weeks and weeks ago. It wasn’t this bad when I got started yesterday but it wasn’t all that great either.
100_6930.jpg

And this is after a good purge
kitchen12.jpg

Keep the countertop as clear as possible
I have eliminated everything from the counter except the coffeepot, the spoonrest by the stove, and my knife block. Not too shabby. Oh and for today, my crockpot was there but that is just because, well, we need to eat. It’s put away now 🙂
kitchen5.jpg

Make items used daily more readily accessible
This was really already done, but here is a pic of the stuff I use all the time in the kitchen – my Ikea utencil and knife magnet bar, my teakettle, my favorite pan, and my knife block.
kitchen4.jpg

organize the pantry
kitchen2.jpg
Also, in organizing the pantry, I got the task of putting all my baking stuff up high. That stuff is all in the canisters on the left on the top two shelves.
All the extras of our pastas and rices are way up high. Enough coffee for a small army in case there is a total disaster and hubby can’t leave the house for 5 years. Also enough peanut butter for said instance. As we move our way down that pantry shelf, the stuff on the bottom shelf is what is opened and used regularly and as those get finished, stuff will make it’s way to the lower shelf and we’ll restock the upper shelves.
along with that lovely upper cabinet I just shared the cabinet below it houses all of our canned goods. You should’ve seen Eli when he saw me get ready to do this project. It is his favorite place to climb in there and knock those cans out and make them roll all over the floor. He’s been very good so far though.
kitchen3.jpg
Don’t worry, nothing is alphabetized. 🙂
And now you see what happens when I, an underbuyer marry an overbuyer. A frugal one though! Hubs stocks up at sales!

I still have to organize my lazy susan full of spices and clean out the fridge. But I am so happy with the progress so far!

I started working on paring down the kitchen a couple weeks ago. I’ve mentioned before I don’t have much focus so I started by filling a box of pots, pans and other random items that just weren’t getting used and taking that to Goodwill. In that process, I organized my pots and pans cabinet and my dish cabinet. But that’s it. I didn’t touch the other side of the kitchen, the pantry or the lazy susan. I am going to tackle that soon.

Here are the things I am doing to simplify my kitchen

  • declutter the windowsill – this space seems to be the catch-all for stuff. When I am clearning off the countertop, things just end up on the windowsill. I’m reducing mine to a couple of decorative items and functional canisters we use daily. Nothing else. Everything else up there either gets tossed or finds a new home
  • keep the countertop as clear as possible – i have a hard time with this but try to keep it to my coffeepot and knife block. By hanging a 3 tier basket, I no longer need a fruit bowl and a couple canisters we use daily are on the windowsill
  • put baking stuff up high – since I don’t bake very often, don’t keep all that stuff out and in the way of what I use daily. Tuck it away up high and keep the things I use more often  readily available
  • organize spices – either in a lazy susan or an organized spice drawer – preferrably sorted in alphabetical order to cut down on searching time. Go through  spices every 6 months to a year and get rid of the ones that have lost their aroma and replace them.
  • make items used daily more readily accessible – The best $6 I spent this year was on the utencil rack and magnetic knife rack I bought at Ikea and hung over my stove. No digging for the items I use each and every time I cook. And I have my pots and pans on a hanging rack. These things free up cabinet space and make cooking a breeze.
  • organize the pantry – this is the hardest one for me because we don’t have an official pantry, just 2 huge cupboards full of canned goods, pastas and cereals. Things get cluttered in there very quickly.
  • clean out the fridge – i hate cleaning the refrigerator but when I do, it makes me happy.

I’ll be getting to most of this tomorrow and will share some pictures of my results with before and after photos so check back!

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris”

The past couple of weeks around our home have been quite full of activity. It seems like when it rains it pours and we’ve been busily trying to finish stuff up and take care of things that keep coming up. Last week, my brakes started making a terrifying noise when I was driving one day. I immediately had hubby order the new parts to replace them. They took a few days to arrive in the mail and another couple of days before hubby was able to find the time to do it but they got done. I’m happy that my car is now running smoothly again and that hubby is all handy and was able to do it himself and save us tons of money in the process. I suppose that I balanced that out by having his car towed to the shop another day this week because it was having problems that he wasn’t able to pinpoint. He doesn’t know everything. I am aghast. Turns out it was that his injectors were spraying fuel into the engine. That sounds safe, huh? So that’s being worked on now and hopefully in a few days we’ll both have happy healthy cars.

Hubs also started doing the exterior of our house stuccoing. I am tres impressed that he has any idea how to do that. Where in the world does one learn that? I think I’ll keep him. It’s looking really great so far. A LOT nicer than looking at lathe all day!

And on top of all of those things, I’ve gotten the cleaning/organizing/decluttering bug again. It seems my tolerance for stuff is dwindling at a rapid speed. I woke up this morning and had the overwhelming urge to rent a dumpster. I resisted that urge but still filled a bunch of boxes and bags to take to Goodwill. I have a long way to go. I know by some standards we don’t have all that much stuff, but if it’s too much for me to be mellow, then it’s too much!

I find myself looking at the stuff I don’t use or wear that I want to rid my home of and having a little argument in my brain about how much I paid for something and then feeling guilty that I paid that money for something I don’t like or use anymore. But it is what it is and I just have to move on. In a perfect world, I would only ever spend money on stuff that would last forever and be loved forever, but alas, the world is not perfect nor am I.

I just have to keep trying to balance all of our needs and wants – getting rid of more stuff than we bring in. Simplifying doesn’t have to mean living with nothing. It can even mean keeping things that aren’t necessarily needed. I would like to strike a happy balance where everything just fits with our life and our goals and makes us happy. I won’t pretend to not like having some stuff just for the sake of decorating or coziness. For me, those things are important. But there are a lot of things that don’t fit that for our family so off they go to someone else who can enjoy them.

Hopefully I can eliminate enough stuff in the near future to get myself to more of an ohm place. And as for the money we’re dishing out for our cars and the house at the moment – I think we did the best we could to defray costs by doing most of it ourselves (and by ourselves I really mean hubby doing it himself. isn’t that funny how I say “we” a lot when really I don’t do much of anything?). For us, though, it’s by keeping things simple in the day to day stuff, not nickle and diming a lot away regularly and paying attention to the small stuff that helps us be able to do bigger stuff when it comes up.

So far, our balancing act is working out okay.