Recipe For A Simple Life

Simplify your life, one day at a time

Money Saving Mom's 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life

This is one eBook that I am needing to read.  I have so much on my plate seems like, that I just can’t get it all done.  I’m hoping this eBook will help me to figure out what is truly necessary to do in my life, and to be ok with letting go of some of the other things I feel is necessary to do, but is really not.  I want to spend time exercising and more time with my family.  Neither of which I’ve figured out yet.  If you’d like to buy her eBook – it’s $4.99.  The price goes up each day this week, so grab it now.  How can you not afford to spend 99c to start getting your life on track?!

Crystal Paine is the awesome lady that runs Money Saving Mom – a website I’ve used several times to get ideas on how to achieve my financial goals, as well as family fun ideas!  I’ve also read another one of her books, which was a very easy read.  I’m not one to read books with complicated ideas or ones that have really big words in them :o)

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Organizing Your Gift Stash

For those of you with kids, have you ever received an invitation to a birthday party for a classmate of your child?  Do you freak out like I do about finding a gift within your budget?

Well, I learned that running up to Target at a last minute is NOT the right way to shop for gifts.  Ever.

Now, throughout the year, I buy toys that are on clearance or on a fantastic sale or FREE and put them into one of two of my containers.  I have one container with “Girl Gifts” and one with “Boy Gifts”.

I’ve only done this for less than a year now, and I already have Transformers, Barbie Dolls, Coloring Books, etc.

Fall is the perfect time to stock up on summer gifts – like Bubbles, outdoor gear, sidewalk chalk, some school supplies, etc.  (Think Easter presents!)

Also, as you find free product samples online (lotions, shampoos, etc) that come in miniature bottles, these are great to hold onto and give in gift baskets for birthdays, new baby/new mom gifts, or Christmas!  I have a pile of free K-Cups for my father-in-law’s birthday and Christmas already!

How do you organize your gift stash?  I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

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Organizing – Kitchen Cupboards

My 6-year-old daughter asked to help organize my cupboards the other week.  This is what she did to them…

 

We basically have just the cupboard you see to store food. I have a smaller one on the bottom, but our youngest can get to it too easily. So when this isn’t organized, I have no clue what we have. And we all know, if you don’t know what’s in your cupboard, you tend to run uptown for unnecessary grocery purchases or worse…hit up a fast food drive-thru.

 After a whopping 20 minutes, I was able to see what we do and do not have…

 

I’m truly looking forward to having a home with multiple cupboards, or even better, a pantry where I can really stock up on supplies. 

 

How do you organize your stock pile in your home?

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Getting Organized – Your Product Stash

I’m an odd person.  Yes you can agree.  I cannot stand when my closets, cupboard, freezer and refrigerator are not organized.  My floor and table and counters can be messy, but when what lies behind closed doors are chaotic, I want to pull my hair out.  Here’s what I have found to work fantastic in organizing my stash of products…

Within the next few weeks, you’ll see these crates go on clearance from the Back to School sales.  I got most of mine at Target, but I know I picked up a few from Walmart and they are the exact same thing.  Anything below $2.50 a piece is the cheapest I have ever seen them go.  I’m going to be buying more this year again once I see them below that price. 

I then organize each crate.  I have one crate with Oral Care products – toothpaste, mouth wash, toothbrushes, etc.  Another crate holds Hair Care products – shampoo, hair spray, conditioner, etc.  A third one will hold my cleaning supplies.  This way of organizing also shows me what I have plenty of, and what I need to stock up on once I find a great sale.  For example, I need toothbrushes, but have at least two years’ worth of toothpaste!  Had I kept these organized over the last few months, I would have realized I didn’t need to stock up on toothpaste on that last great sale.  However, I also have a different colored bucket in the closet, this one being red, that I put extra items in to donate.  

 

After picture of my organized stash.  Please ignore the blue paint that was spilled on the floor and the pile of baby powder shaken by a really cute kid lol

How do you organize your great finds?

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Try This! Binder Clip to the Rescue!

I got an iPhone this spring.  I love it.  I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I use it every day for practical things like checking to make sure I didn’t go over the grocery budget while filling the shopping cart, looking up directions to a new location, making a list of what I need next time I’m at Target, keeping track of my appointments on my calendar…………..

Anyway, back to the tip I found today.  (See photo on right.)  I charge my phone at night, next to my bed because it’s also my alarm clock.  Because of the outlet locations and furniture arrangement in my room, I constantly have to reach behind the headboard and fish out the charger cord because as soon as I unplug the phone, it falls out of reach.

This incredibly simple solution is just what I need.  Thread the end of the iPhone charger through a binder clip and attach it to your night stand.  No more reaching behind the bed, in the dark, to find the cord while trying not to wake up hubby.  Thank you Natalie for a great post!!

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Mankato Facebook Garage Sale

If you’re looking for another way to get rid of your…um…stuff, check out the Mankato Area Online Garage Sale on Facebook.

It’s an easy way to just take a quick picture of the item you are looking to sell and upload it to the page.  Tell everyone what it is and how much you want for it.  Easy peasy.

Just my humble, but accurate, opinion lol – Don’t ask for a lot for your stuff.  There’s nothing worse than going to a garage sale and people are asking full price for their items when I can just go to the store and get it for cheaper when it’s on sale, brand new.  Just my two cents 😀

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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home – Day 3

If you read Day 2, you know that I’m trying a new approach to this project.  I’m making my list tonight so I can be more focused in the morning and (hopefully) get more done tomorrow.  Here is the assignment Crystal posted for Day #3 –

Day 3 Assignment

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great

::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today. (My list is in green.)

  1. Call the clinic and make appointment to check on the teenager’s cough.
  2. Mail Confirmation invitations.
  3. Make bread.
  4. Fold the mountain of laundry on the family room floor.
  5. Drink 3 bottles (6 cups) of water.
  6. Walk around the block at least one time.
  7. Spend special time and write note to Peanut for her birthday.

::Complete your morning routine

::Set the timer for 15 minutes and do a quick-clean of your bedroom: throw out any trash, put away items that are out of place, get rid of clutter, tidy up, vacuum, and make your bed.

::Clean out your freezer(s). If you need step-by-step help, read this guide on How to Clean Out Your Freezer.

::Find 7 items to get rid of today. Throw them out, stick them in a donate or garage sale box, give them to a friend who can use them, or list them on Craigslist or eBay.

Tomorrow will be a busy day for us – it’s Peanut’s birthday and the Teenager’s first softball game of the season.  I’m still hopeful that I can get my list done.  I’ll be back at the end of the day to let you know how it goes……………………………

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Wednesday Wow! – Laundry Basket Dresser

 

Right now, in my family room, there is a virtual mountain of clean clothes getting more wrinkled by the day. (I seem to struggle with FINISHING laundry these days.  I can get it all to the laundry room and usually get it washed and dried, but getting it back to the room it came from seems to give me some trouble.)

I found this really neat idea on Pinterest when I should have been sleeping.  If only I were handy with tools.  (Maybe I can talk someone into making me one of these).  Imagine how orderly my laundry / storage room could be if I had this cool storage unit.  If you are handy with tools, check out the detailed directions HERE.

This would also be a great way to store seasonal outerwear like hats, mittens, scarves, etc. Or, as a storage system in the garage for outdoor toys.  Or, for indoor toys.  Or, to store your stockpile of household products.  Or, well, you get the idea.

What can you envision organizing with a storage / organization system like this?

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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home – Day 2

I enjoyed a full night’s sleep and some ibuprofen last night.  Spring is such a busy time of year for our family and this year is even busier than usual.  The teenager gets confirmed in just a few weeks and I still don’t have all the invites in the mail.  The yearbook deadline is in 3 weeks and I haven’t started it yet!!  Softball madness has begun and I have 4 birthday parties to plan before the end of May.  (Why on earth did I think NOW was a good time to do this organization project?)  Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get back to why you are here………

Today was officially day #2 of my home organization project.  (If you are following along you know that I took yesterday off.)  I’ll just let you know right now that I didn’t get much done today. I cheated a little and looked at some of the future assignments.  I think I’ll be able to catch up.  Since there are no weekend assignments, I’ll need to use those days to get back up to speed. It’s only taken me two days to realize that being a work-outside-the-home mom makes this project much more challenging.

Here was today’s assignment.  I’m putting my accomplishments in GREEN.

Day 2 Assignment

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great  – I chose to wear my favorite t-shirt and hoodie today, along with my comfy shoes.  

::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today. – honestly, my goal today was to finish last week’s to-do list.  I almost made it!

::Complete your morning routine  – really need to develop a routine (maybe I should put that on a to-do list)

::Set the timer for 15 minutes and do a quick-clean of your kitchen: wash the dishes/load the dishwasher, clear off the countertops, and, if you have time, wipe down the countertops and the outside of the cupboards with wet rag or cleaning cloth. – I had a little stress melt down tonight after supper.  Hubby did this chore for me to keep me sane.  (thank you hubby!)

::Clean out your refrigerator. There’s a step-by-step guide for cleaning out your refrigerator here. – I decided mine wasn’t bad enough to make me want to put in the effort today.  Spent time getting frustrated by yearbook software instead.  Probably should have cleaned the frig so I’d have something to show for my time. :o)

::Find 7 items to get rid of today. Throw them out, stick them in a donate or garage sale box, give them to a friend who can use them, or list them on Craigslist or eBay. – bagged up the things I found yesterday – didn’t look for anything new.  I guess I’ll have to find 14 tomorrow.

See, I told you I didn’t get much done today on this project.  I did, however, learn an important lesson.  I need to look at the assignment and make my list of 5-7 things at night, when I end my day so I can wake up prepared tomorrow.  So, I’m off to make my Thursday list and take a peek at what’s coming up.  Hopefully this will help me have a more productive day.

How did your day go?

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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home – Day 1

Day #1 went well and I think I did okay.  Here is the “assignment” from Crystal, aka Money Saving Mom –

Day 1 Assignment

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great – Jeans and a t-shirt for me.

::Make a list of 5-10 goals for this week. – I had 11.

::Complete your morning routine – Do you have one of these defined?  I really am not sure if I do – maybe I need to look into this…..

::Set the timer for 15 minutes and quickly pick up the main living areas of your home. – DONE!  It’s been clean here for a whole week already.  Way to go family!!

::Clean out your purse and/or diaper bag.  – Mine wasn’t too bad, but I did find some trash and a broken earring to purge.

::Find 7 items to get rid of today. Throw them out, stick them in a donate or garage sale box, give them to a friend who can use them, or list them on Craigslist or eBay. – I had already started this pile, so this was really easy for me to do.  The things I plan to get rid of are 2 pair of jeans that no longer fit, a sweater vest that is also too big, several boxes of Christmas cards that never got sent, a broken earring, 2 shirts from my sons closet and a cute heart shaped box I just don’t need.  The bigger challenge for me will be actually getting them to the thrift store!

Tomorrow’s assignment has us spending some time in the kitchen and breaking down those weekly goals into daily goals.  You can read it here.  Don’t forget to share your progress and stop back to see how I’m doing.  I’d love to have an accountability partner for the next few weeks.  Will it be you?

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