Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Project: No Shopping

Hold the phone... did you really say No Shopping?? As in, no bags full of brand new beautiful things??

And did you just say that right before CHRISTMAS??

Yeah. About that.

So, the last project (2010 things in 2010) was a success, although I wasn't always super thorough about documenting it. But for the next 365 days, I will be taking on a new Project.

To avoid the inner consumerist/shopaholic and not buy anything for a year.

Of course, I need to have rules. I can't just swear off all shopping... and it's not because I wouldn't love to. But as of right now, I don't have a self-sufficient household that produces all the food we could ever need... and I don't have children that have stopped growing out of their clothing. And I won't even discuss not having basic toiletries.

So... here are my rules. If you care to join in, feel free to adapt the rules as much as you need to for your situation. :o)

Things I can still shop for!
1. Food, although I do try to opt for whole food options and avoid processed things.
2. Toiletries, such as shampoo/conditioner, diapers, etc, but only when the previous ones are gone completely.
3. Clothes my boys have outgrown.
4. Anything that has been used completely that needs replacing or is completely out of it's useful life... like batteries, light bulbs, underwear... you know... that stuff.
5. Experiences... being things I can't hold... trips with my love, coffee with a girlfriend.

Things that are off the table!
1. Clothing for me. I really need to shop my closet. If I am gifted clothing or receive gift card specifically for clothing, I can spend that, but no new money can leave my account for clothing.
2. Crafting supplies. No matter how much those new fabrics or yarns call out to me!
3. "Organizational Supplies"... I can't tell you how many things I bought to "organize" my life that ended up being the clutter I got rid of at the last garage sale... the road to hell, you know.

Oh... and I am leaving myself an out. I know... Christmas is right around the corner, not to mention my little man's 4th birthday. So, if I decide to throw him a party, that would count as an experience. And although I am going to try to get my Christmas gifts taken care of through handmade/homemade/creative ventures... if I just can't get it done... I can shop, but I'll set a clear budget and not go overboard. ;o)

I am doing this for a couple reasons... first of all, having been unemployed for 5 of the last 7 months, I can't tell you how much I have come to realize the value of a dollar. I am also living at home with my parents and I am hoping to use this next year as a rebuilding period for me and my family. I'd really love to have my debt paid off this year completely and to be able to start off next year with a leg up.

I'm also tired of being part of the world of people that just use things up until we find them boring and no long fulfilling. I want to be able to tell my kids that we use things completely, every time. That a trip to the store doesn't mean that we purchase another bottle of bubble bath because the one at home has Cars on it and we are totally into Transformers now. I want to not have stock piles of things around "just in case" that end up just cluttering my life up. Again.

And lastly, I'm doing it to challenge myself. To find a new perspective of my creativity. To force myself to use things I have in ways I hadn't yet thought of. I want to use up my fabric stash, to wear things I forgot about, and to spend more time talking with friends, loving life, and forgetting about "stuff".

Join in!! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

For a Year...

A comment that was left on my last post says "If you can live without it for a year, you probably don't need it. What a great philosophy!

And as I sit her in the spare bedroom of my parent's home... listening to my boys wrestle it out in the room next door... and my only other company being floor to ceiling boxes in 2 rooms... I think, where did all this come from?!?!

There was a lot of books and "memories" uncovered in the move. Items I bought years ago, some even before I was married, some that I don't even remember. And instead of them going into the garbage, they were boxed up and brought over here. 

I was proud of myself in this move... mostly because my storage unit is a 10x10... but it houses major furniture and holiday items. My piano, dining table, sets of shelves and Christmas decorations. But everything else is staring me down. Ugh!!

So, this next week we are taking that comment from the previous post to heart. Anything that I don't need right now goes. I would rather spend $40 later on new pyrex than to spend the energy trying to figure out where to put them now, pack them later, have to move them again, and so on and so forth. It's just not worth it!

If you had to move from your home, be it 2000 or 4000 or whatever square feet, into someone else's home where you occupied 300 sq ft between you and your children... what priorities would you make? What would stay and what would go? Any creative storage ideas?

See you next time!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When you let it all go.

Obviously life is busy now... more than it's been... and not surprisingly, YAWYK is taking on a new meaning in my life.

After the past year of marital struggles and divorce, great jobs and jobs lost, and finally losing my home in this epic battle... this 28-year-old single mother of 2 is doing this unthinkable...

I'm moving in with my parents.

I am both torn and elated at this prospect. On one hand, I am saving a ton of money, my boys get to grow up close to their grandparents (whom they absolutely adore!) and I get to start off with a clean slate in a few years. Other the other, I am having to move my 2100sqft home into 2 bedrooms (one without a closet) and a shared bathroom. Most of what I own is going to be pared down even further than it already has been, another garage sale will take place in the next 30 days, and I will move on with life.

Its so hard to assess what you truly need versus what you just would like when you are suddenly in a place where you just can't take it all. This isn't like those trivial questions where someone asks you what you would grab if your home were burning down and you could only take what you could carry. This is the part where you have 30 days to weed through everything left in your adult home and take what you and your children need in order to live for a year or more in roughly 300 sq ft.

I know I can get a storage unit, which I might still do... but I already have shelves in my garage that house things like Christmas ornaments, decorations, and... crap... what else is out there?? And that will likely head to storage... but do I really want to put my La-Z-Boy sectional into storage to find a mouse family (or 5) have taken residence??  I know I could store my piano that I love so much, but do I really think that the 120 degree heat isn't going to damage that gorgeous finish?

So... hopefully for the next 30 days, I'll be able to document what I decide to keep... what I decide to let go of... and let you know some creative ways that me and the boys manage to keep our world organized and functional without losing everything we have!

If you have any great suggestions, let me know!

Thanks for hanging around! :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Body Clutter

So, normally I leave my personal issues off this blog... but I read this article this morning and I thought that it was too great not to share!

This week, I stepped on the scale in the bathroom... I did it at night, which I normally avoid as mornings are more forgiving, and I stripped down to minimize the damage from my heavy denim I wear most days... and oh. my. gosh... I am now at my heaviest I've been while not pregnant. I need to seriously get rid of some body clutter as FlyLady calls it.

Anyway, I was reading this article today that I found on Justin Klosky's O.C.D. Experience facebook page that talks about how having an organized kitchen can help us to shed that extra weight! I dont' know about you, but this is totally up my alley as something I can do today and hopefully reap the benefits!

Your Challenge... pick one or two of the suggestions and let me know how it's changed the way you are organized in the kitchen as well as how you are eating!

Thanks for being here! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And somehow... I am here.

Wow... I am so sorry... I happen to just fall off the face of the planet reguarly.

Like I mentioned before, I had a bit of a family crisis that required much more of my attention than I had... which left me with absolutely nothing for the blog world. Forgive me! But much of that has settled down... life is making much more sense... and I am back on my way to getting rid of 2011 in 2011!

This past weekend, I FINALLY had that garage sale that I have been promising to have... and lets just say that I got rid of TONS of items... official count will be later... but I am now almost completely purged indoors and I can park my car in my garage with room to spare! At the end of the garage sale (which was 2 hours early than I had planned... it was HOT!), my dad and my boyfriend packed up the truck and trailer and took one load to the dump and another to Goodwill. I was not about to pack it all back into my house.

I will say it finally felt good to get rid of those boxes that have been looming over my head. There were some boxes in the garage that had been packed when I lived on my own (2005?) and had been stored since... and the entire box in most cases was simply trashed, thanks to the vermin that had found my journals and old photographs to make wonderful nests... lesson learned!

There were other boxes in there that were too painful to go through right now. But instead of just pushing them to a high up shelf, I had my sister do the dirty work... get in, decide what could be salvaged, and get rid of things that were obviously not necessry. We emptied frames (some for keeps and some for the sale), we reorganized totes, and we put everything back. And at the end of the day... I smiled. I had gotten rid of 90% of my frustrations in a single day... and was a few hundred richer!

If you are still here... thank you for sticking around! And if you are new, welcome! I can't wait to visit your blogs to see your progress!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's Time!

I have been reading more and more of Justin Klosky of O.C.D Experience's work, and I found this article to be a great launch point for anyone who isn't sure what should be the first to go!

I love his thought of purging everything that you haven't used in 2 years... this is where I am going to be starting my 2011 in 2011 challenge! And I have plans for a May 21st garage sale... gotta get things going, right? That will be about a week after my divorce is to be final... so I  will be sure to put out a sign saying that Ex Husbands pay double, right?? :o)

Have you made the decision to follow along with the 2011 in 2011 challenge? Let me know that you are along for the ride... I'm going to be updating the blog look and getting a new button this week!

You are awesome and I am glad you are here!

Friday, April 1, 2011


Hi Everyone!

First off, I want to thank you if you are still hanging around! I am reorganizing my life a bit with some big changes at home... but I am also doing exactly what I think I'll do every year... conquering a new YAWYK Challenge!

2011 in 2011...

Yep... I am going to try again... this time to rid even more crap from my house!

My divorce is causing me to have to go through things I never thought I'd have to look at... only because I don't want to have a box of "memories" to bombard me when I least expect it. So... watch for new organization projects and improvements!

But today... I just want you to conquer one thing... you make up drawer! Check out this great article that was shown to me by Justin Klosky of O.C.D. Experience for some great tips!!

See you soon!