Friday, January 31, 2014

De-clutter Mission Day 25-31

We've gotten through our first month of removing excess from our house.  So far as we've gone along it's not been terribly difficult.  There are days where it takes a little poking around to find something but most days we find something fairly quickly.  It feels freeing to let a lot of the excess go, so much less to clean at the end of the day already!

Since we cook real food now we will no longer use petroleum based food coloring.  So out they go.

We don't need two printers!

A couple extra coats this week.

Folding chairs. We can borrow if we need in the future.

We got rid of all the FPLP (except the Disney ones) before Christmas.  Somehow this guy snuck through!

Manuals for stuff we don't even own anymore.

Extra baskets.

Friday, January 24, 2014

De-clutter Mission Days 20-24

Too tired to write anything but a few more de-owned items. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Why one thing a day? De-clutter Mission Days 18-19

You may be wondering why we are focused on removing just one item a day instead of dedicating a weekend and just removing a bunch of stuff.  The reason for this is because we didn't accumulate everything in a weekend or maybe two.  We accumulated everything over many years, trips to the store, trips to the flea market, holidays, etc.  We've had a couple big distance moves where we have to have a 26 foot truck and still left behind and that was before we had children!  When we added two children to the mix it exploded. We have had stuff in storage since six months before they were born.  If it was in storage did we need it? Probably not.  So if we commit to getting rid of at least one item a day for all of 2014 we will have at least 365 less things to clean, organize or keep track of. 

It's the weekend and there has been lots of de-cluttering going on here.  My basement finally looks somewhat organized again and doesn't have piles of randomness everywhere.  It's nice to walk in there to do laundry and not almost trip over a bunch of stuff.   I threw out or donated tons of wrapping paper that I've been holding onto for years and I still have plenty to probably get through the next couple Christmases (Greg remind me of this post when I try to buy more this year).  We went through our CDs and DVDs and purged quite a few titles, some that have never even been opened.  I also went through a box of holiday decorations that had these really neat centerpieces I made the first year I hosted Thanksgiving and I got rid of a few things there as well.

We've been doing a slow purge through the girls toy room since before Christmas and it has been so nice to see them actually go in there and play because they can move around and at the end of the day we don't have more than 5-10 minutes of clean up because they don't have a lot they can pull out.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

De-clutter Mission Days 14-17

Still working at things but making progress.  We've managed to purge at least one item a day for 17 days. Many days (like today) it's been more than one item.  I'm not taking pictures of everything because that's a little silly.  I am posting at least one for everyday because it holds us accountable.  That is a big reason we post a lot of these blogs, to hold ourselves accountable for the journey we are on and so someday we can tell our kids how we got to where we are at that time.  Here are our photos from the last few days (in no particular order because I'm too tired to look at the dates).

We bought this Fannie pack for our honeymoon. It's traveled with us ever since but never been used.

Some books we shared with day care.

More plates and a couple random toys.

Cleaned out the dog toys a bit.

We have a few Ethernet cables I'm sure.  This is just one I came across late one day.

Monday, January 13, 2014

De-clutter Mission Days 9-13

Elsa and Anna

Tonight the girls decided to dress up like Elsa and Anna from Frozen. We don't have any dress up outfits for these princesses so we got a little creative.  I tried to take some pics of them. N cracked me up as I flipped back through them!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Real food update

We are a couple months into our real food journey and I'm happy to say we are still going strong.  We all feel great and our cupboards remind me of my grandmother's house growing up (with food we have to make!). We do eat some processed food but most of the time it is if we go out. After the ten day challenge we agreed that we will still be able to eat out but we would aim for only local restaurants and no chains (except occasionally chipotle since aim to source locally where they can and use sustainable farmers). We primarily aim for restaurants that source their food locally as well. 

We had a mostly real food Thanksgiving and an all real food Christmas meal.  We even picked up the Christmas turkey from a local turkey farm! It was awesome.  We purchased a bread maker and make our own bread and I'm happy to say I've perfected the recipe and my bread maker and I get along well.  The girls have even taken their lunch to school everyday for the last couple months.

Where are we going from here? Well, my stomach does not tolerate much processed food very well since we made the switch so we've kept on trucking. I like trying out new recipes. We can't wait to plant our garden in the spring and we are even considering buying a part of a cow from a local farmer.  We focus a lot at the store on organic non-gmo products with fewer than 5 ingredients.  I've continued to read more about our food system and everything I've learned so far is concerning.  So we will continue to fuel our bodies as best we can.  We certainly don't make perfect choices but it feels good to know we are making better choices and setting a good example for our kiddos.

De-clutter Mission Days 6, 7, 8

Day 6 (gave to a friend at work):

Day 7 (donating):

Day 8 (donating):

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

De-clutter Mission Day 2

Today I tackled the pan cupboard.



What's going:

We have multiple cast iron pans so no need for the frying pan. The counter part to the small saucepan lost it's handle to a fire a couple weeks ago (was smoldering on the stove). So we figure it's not exactly safe anyways.  The lids are random and go with pans we no longer have.  Everything but the small sauce pan is headed to a second hand store, said pan is in the garbage.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

De-clutter Mission Day 1

Today we packed away Christmas so I decided our first purge item would be from the Christmas totes. I went through them and pulled out anything that hadn't been used in a couple years. I ended up with a pretty big pile. Greg wants to count it as the first week, ha, no!  Not to worry it is all going to be donated. This filled a big box.

New Years Goals

We don't really have a list of New Year's Resolutions, we have goals and objectives for 2014.  Where I work we have to set goals annually and we have to make them SMART. 
I don't think this is a bad philosophy.  So I decided our goals should be measurable and have specific timetables as well.  With all that occurred in 2013, it is time to focus on our family unit of four again and what we can do to be the best parents we can to our girls.  I'm not going to list all of our goals here but I will list the high points. 

Goal one: Run a marathon!

Greg has wanted to run a full marathon for a couple years. I don't have much interest in a full marathon but I'm willing to try it for Greg. In the last year we really got away from our running and sadly it shows in how we feel and look.  We've already made huge adjustments in our diet by changing to eating mostly real & fresh food, so the running comes next.  For us both pieces have always gone hand in hand.  So we've set three running goals for this year that we believe are attainable:
  • Run the Heart Mini 15k in March
  • Run either the Flying Pig or Sunburst half marathon in May/June
  • Run the Niagara Falls Marathon or Indy Monumental Marathon in October/November 

Goal two: De-clutter our lives!

I'm not really a huge fan of clutter and keeping things we don't have a use for but when you have kids it tends to sneak up on you and Greg is a bit of a pack rat.  When we moved into the house I was actually pretty embarassed by the amount of stuff we had that had been sitting in our storage unit for a year that we hadn't touched that we were holding onto.  We survived fine without most of it, why were we so attached to it.  When our main sewer line backed up into the house we actually tossed a bunch of stuff without much thought.  Well, we still have a basement/garage filled with bins & excess.  So we've set a goal to purge our lives of the excess "stuff":
  • Get rid of one item each everyday for all of 2014.
  • If something new comes in, something must go to make room for it. 

Goal three: Continue our house journey

We have some general goals for things we want to get done to complete the renovation process.  We worked hard until about October and have taken the last couple months off.  We haven't put timelines around these goals yet but here they are:
  • Paint ceiling (complete by ???)
  • Refinish stairs (complete by ???) 
  • Paint master closet (complete by ???) 
We still have a couple other goals we need to flush out.  But this is a pretty good start!  We wish you all a happy & healthy new year!