I've had this post stewing in my head for a good six weeks. The past week or so I've had this crazy urge to read. And write. Writing when I have a good thought in my head is very difficult for me when I've got a couple of
August is here and I feel good about what I've accomplished with less so far this year. My less lists will show that, but I wanted to share some other things, perhaps tips for some of you, that I've been doing in my pursuit of less. My weekly posts have kind of faded away but I'm still chipping away at my master list, little by little. This is a little bit of what's been going on here :
- Fresh fruit is always abundant in our house during the summer months. With two growing children who can't seem to get enough bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe + watermelon (and I love love love fresh cherries), we always have plenty to choose from in our house. Some weeks, maybe too much. If I find the fruit is starting to get too ripe, I cut it and freeze it for smoothies - another summertime treat we enjoy several times a week. Less waste.
- These days, I never make an online purchase without doing a Google search for a coupon code. Free shipping or % off always make me feel good about saving some money. Example : I purchased one of Kal Barteski's iPhone cases from Uncommon a couple months ago. It's not a cheap case (and the quality shows that) but after a little hunting around, I found a coupon code for 40% off! That's a pretty big discount. One that I would have been kicking myself over had I found it after the fact. Spending less money.
- After a year long hiatus, I decided to put Parker back in cloth diapers this summer. He fits in the diapers he wore last summer, so there was nothing new to purchase. I still use disposables too but it's nice not having to lug a big box of diapers around ever other trip to Target. Less spending. Less waste. Less chemicals.
- Once summer hit, I told myself that we'd make fewer errands, especially on days that boredom struck. This was actually a bullet point in my summer manifesto. I only have one errand day a week now. On Tuesday mornings, we take shop packages to the post office, exchange books + movies at the library, and an occasional Target or grocery store run. That's it. Well, other than the main grocery trip I make on the weekend. Less shopping. Less errands. Less temptation to buy.
- A couple months ago I was getting completely frustrated with how our Mondays were going. Typically, I love the fresh start that a new week brings but I was seeing a trend in my bad mood on Monday afternoons. After jotting down a quick list of my want-to-do's and my have-to-do's, I quickly realized I was just plain doing too much on Mondays and it was leaving me overwhelmed and cranky. Not the ideal way to start off a week. With a little reworking of our schedule, I found a new rhythm to our Mondays. By changing what wasn't working for me on that particular day, the crankies have gone away. Well, for the most part. :) Less stress. Less unnecessary anxiety. Less pressure.
- We've lived in this house for 3 years now and while it's not our perfect / dream home, I am choosing to be happy with it. Oh man, I will be completely honest and tell you it has not always been this way. I didn't want this house, but for the price, it was too good to pass up. There are way more positives than negatives though, including being in a safe neighborhood + a fantastic school district. Yes, I would love (some day) if we had the money and resources to build the house that Mark has been thoughtfully designing all these years. But right now, I am happy with what we have. This is the house the kids are going to remember. This is where memories are being made right now. I want to make this house clean + safe + cozy + ours because, what if there never is a dream house? What if the years fly by (as they typically do) and we are still here when Morgan + Parker graduate from high school? Yikes. I don't want to regret not making this the best home it can be, for us. Less expectations. Less woulda, shoulda, coulda. Less living in a dream world.
- Using up the half-used shampoo, lotions, hand soap, makeup, etc. before opening or buying a new one.
- Stop filling the pantry with food that we already have - space is limited, screw the sales.
- No scrapbooking purchases all month. What the what? I'll be wishing I didn't say that in a week. :) But, I have a very nicely organized space now, full of all the things I love, thanks to some heavy handed purging I did a couple weeks ago. This weekend I'm unloading my unwanted goodies at a garage sale my LSS is hosting. Any money I earn will be paid in the form of a gift card to the store, free to use on whatever I'd like. Just no out-of-pocket spending.
- Cut the feel-good purchases that don't seem like much, but can add up over time. The nail polish, the coffee drinks (unless using a gift card), the cute notebooks, the pens that I already have half a dozen of. Those are my weaknesses.
On that note, cheers friends! To our one little words + to a new month of doing better for ourselves.