Are you ready for a Clutter Free Life?

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Are you fed up with mess?  Are you ready to ditch it for a neat and tidy home and a clutter free life?  You know I am a fan of getting more organized to actually see what we have- and to not buy more of it just because we could not find it!  After our read-aloud evenings through every Little House on the Prairie book and Little House spin-off we could find, the picture of a simple home is so utterly appealing.  It’s just the getting there that is so hard…

While the idea of working on this a little every week is lovely, it’s not been happening.  Time for a quick fix- a 31 day process to commit to throw it out, give it away, sell it, and tidy up what’s left.

And this is Day 1- a day to set some ground rules.  Thank goodness that is all we have to do today since I am away on business (at the beach, nonetheless!)  Visit Ruth at Living Well Spending Less to get the rules and some free printables to help you get in the zone for this.  A big one that I will be working on is:  Everything must have a home.  The piles in my mud/laundry/craft room are not looking very homey.

I will be checking back in to possibly show the piles (eek) and definitely show the progress.  I hope you join in, too!

The gift of time

I tiptoe through the dark, trying to not squeak the bedroom door- or crash into anything.  This time is too precious to wake anyone.  (But if I do, I can only hope that maybe they will learn by my example.)  This is time that was, not so long ago, just a little more time for sleep.  Now there are enough minutes to read the Word and pray.  Lately, that prayer includes an utterance of gratitude simply for the gift of time.   LetterpressBlocks-incourage

Also within that prayer is a request for the ability to use my time well, to stay focused on priorities.  Way back in the January days of resolutions, I set those top two priorities as faith and family.  If I find that I set priorities without prayer or plans, the busy world outside the walls of our home always, always swoops right in and flies away with the minutes and hours of our days.  Every day will be spent on other things, and very few of our activities will fall in line with real priorities.

While we are frenetically running around, food is wasted… papers are misplaced… spouses become overlooked… family devotions are missed… and children are scolded more than loved.    time

Our society is blessed to overflowing with people with brilliant ideas that lead to so many plans for so many amazing opportunities- opportunities that require more people than are sometimes available.  And that require more time than is ever available.  This week, my daughter learned that one of her activities is no longer offered- and she promptly- and happily-  stated that she considers “free time” to be one of her activities.

I had a children’s sports coach tell me that we have to put the children first.  Well, I actually put God first.  And I placed my children high on the list when I planned time to pray with them… when I blocked off time in the schedule for them to run in the yard around their home… when I made regular reservations at home for them to gather with us at the table for family dinner.

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This week I declined from yet another committee- one I was not asked to join, rather one to which I was, well, assigned.  The longer I live, the more I find myself saying, “No, our plate is full.”  Because it is really a “yes”- yes to time with God and yes to time with family- and providing for that family.  And if those needs are fulfilled, there  just may be time left to actually show up for those few carefully chosen volunteer responsibilities- and to do the job right.

And most importantly, to reflect the fullness of God’s blessings and shine for others.

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TIME is the word I display in my home during this full season of church, school, soccer, scouts, birthdays…. and leaf-pile jumping.  If I can remember to be always grateful and respectful of the limited time granted by God, I will have listened to His calling.

Would you share a word that has been on your mind or that drives you each day?  Create your word on the Dayspring Letterpress Blocks Interface and please do share the story behind why you chose it.  Shop new arrivals at Dayspring- and do share what you find!

Note: Compensation was received for this article.  The links in this post are my referral links.

5 Ways We Saved This Week: garden, freezer, and ‘needs’ vs. ‘wants’

5 ways we saved $ garden

Each week, I share five ways we saved money, as I find that any success we have had with money management have involved counting all savings and expenditures- both big and small.  In discussing what we have done to help our budget, it is my hope that you will find something that works for you and your family.

This week, I must disclose my failures, as well, just to let you know that I am human!  Busyness often leads to little mistakes around here.  This time it was in the kitchen.  Several years ago, I vowed to never throw out food again, but… I slipped.  The date on the chicken was still good, but I should have cooked it earlier anyway.  In the trash went $12 of stinky meat- ugh!  And in the chicken coop went a few buckets of garden produce that should have been preserved.  And finally, out went several containers of food with mold in them, which happens quickly in our hot, humid climate, but still…I know to use it up.  Lesson learned- I’m working on okra (again) in a few minutes.

Anyway, on to the positive.

Here are 5 ways we did save money this week:

1.  Sold four items on ebay for $50.  This gives us money in the pocket plus some much-needed decluttering, which helps me find what is missing- and keeps me from buying it again.

2.  When asked to drive to two different towns for paperwork, I requested that the offices scan and email documents.  Not burning more gas and time is significant when you live out in the country.

3.  Harvested nasturtium, tomatoes, peppers, and okra and used a little parsley, cilantro, and leeks from the garden and yard.  Nasturtium is one of my favorite plants (shown in the photo above.)  It is great for children since it is easy to grow- especially straight in the ground- and fun in salads or as garnish.

4.  Took inventory on both freezers.  I had printed the sheet and dated it at the top as May 2014, so, yes, I really procrastinated on this one.  I quickly plowed through the task- you have to before everything starts melting- and now I am so glad that we will have less on the shopping lists and menu planning will be much easier.

5.  My mother found black leather Land’s End mary jane shoes for my daughter at Goodwill (or “the boutique” as we like to call it!)  There were a couple of outings that she had to wear shoes that I did not really prefer, but waiting for what we “need” can sometimes demonstrate that it was really just a “want”.

Please do tell:  how did you save money this week?  Big or small, it all adds up!

Linked to Living Well Spending Less

 

 

Sherwin Williams paint sale- lowest price this year

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While I have not posted as many deals lately, this is one I must share today.  Sherwin Williams has a Super Sale only twice a year- April and September.   I have been checking at the beginning of each week this month, but nearly missed it as this was a weekend sale that ends today.

Today only, buy paint for 40% off and combine it with a $10 off coupon you can receive when you sign up for Paint Perks.  I am usually all about cheap and generic, but when it comes to paint, this is the only kind we use since it usually covers in one coat. And with this deal, Sherwin Williams paint is affordable to anyone in the market for paint!

Not sure what colors you need?  Me neither.  Just buy it plain white, keep it sealed, and bring it back later for free tinting.

 

5 Ways We Saved $ This Week: clothing, coupons, gardening, and more

5 ways we saved $ this week:  sew, garden, more

1.  My girl spent a few dollars of her money to purchase a fat quarter (1/4 yard) and a 1/2 yard of fabric at WalMart- which she promptly stitched into this darling skirt using elastic we had on hand.  She also decided  to receive more fat quarters as piano practice incentives- they are only $1 each!

2.  Picked up two free Starbucks iced coffee drinks at Walgreens using a $4 off 2 coupon.  This is the second coupon I have used, for a total of four free drinks.

3.  Decluttered and tagged outgrown items for a children’s consignment sale, which means a check in the mail in a few weeks.  Ran other errands along with the drop-off.

4.  Picked up half price yoga pants and children’s athletic shorts by using printable Target coupons and the Cartwheel app.

5.  Harvested okra, tomatoes, green peppers, basil, parsley, thyme, cilantro, and leeks.  Froze okra and green peppers, made salsa, and enjoyed feasting!  Planted more lettuce and spinach and discovered cilantro and dill coming up in my daughter’s new garden.

Please do tell:  how did you save money this week?  Big or small, it all adds up!

Linked to Living Well Spending Less

 

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