October 2017 update

It seems like yesterday I was writing about decluttering our keychains and then looked at the date – 4 weeks ago!

On the decluttering front, we removed 12 items from the house in October.

Grand total so far this year: 1429 items

This doesn’t seem like much but when you consider that we have now removed over 15,000 items from our lives.  We have both spent too many hours to document cleaning out emails and digital files (which we didn’t count).

Can we stop decluttering?  Of course not!  But I think our focus/outlook on what is essential has gradually changed over the last 2 years.  I think it will still be important to occasionally go through those same closets and drawers again.

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source:  http://www.relatably.com/m/img/cluttered-memes/meme.jpg

 

 

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August 2017 Update

57 more items left the house!  Just when we think we are finally done, we find more stuff that seems unnecessary.  Decluttering has become second nature and we are finding we aren’t as focused on the counting (even though we still do it) as we are on clearing our space.   1355 items so far this year!

Some realizations – our daily habits have changed:
The little bit of mail we still get gets sorted, put away, and/or disposed of as soon as it enters the house – no more letting it pile up “until we have time to go through it”.

The kitchen counters are clear almost all the time!

You can open any closet or drawer without fear!

We both even spent an evening recently clearing our email, saved documents, and such from our computers all because we have the time to do so!  It amazes us how much “free” time we have now that we aren’t having to spend as much time cleaning up to clean or stressing about the condition of the house.

 

Here are a few of the pictures that didn’t make it to being their own post.  Imagine, we are getting rid of some reusable bags.  Why?  We aren’t shopping as much and haven’t used them in over 2 years!

July 2017 Update

It seems had to believe this month is over already!

The end of July means the both of us have to return to work (sigh), John on the 3rd and Barb on the 4th.

We decluttered 560 items on this forced staycation.  Our 17 day July(ish) Challenge was successful!  We have 2 more days but I think we will make it!

We have decluttered 1298 items so far this year!

We calculate we need to average 54 items per week to meet our goal of 2017 items in 2017.  Is it possible?  YES!  Will we make it? Sure hope so!

Now that we are going back to work, we look forward to using the Instant Pot.

Beans have been mastered!  Artichokes were attempted.  The crock pot feature works wonderfully!  Happy meal prep is ahead!!

 

June 2017 Update (and a new car)

We removed 51 items from the house.  738 less items this year to bother us!!

Here are a couple of pics!  We both cleaned off our desks but didn’t take pics of the resulting pile of paper.  The binders had old transparencies – does anyone still use an overhead machine??  She counted each binder as 3 since she separated the transparency and paper insert from each other – transparency into the recycle bin and paper inserts used for scratch printer paper (you know, the things you want to print out but don’t want to waste “good” paper for).  An old VHS tape we felt we could depart with and a set of sheets.  Extra dishes and wireless headphones from the motorhome – we couldn’t remember the last time we used these.

 


So much for our financial simplification though.  We decided to get a new car!  Brand new Prius V five – our first car with all the bells and whistles!  We gave the dealer a very specific color and model.  He found it about 2 days later.  Now to get those windows tinted!

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Our old 2010 Prius base model, which we’ve had for 7.5 years, is going to kiddo #2 for the bargain price of $5000 – we are still discussing her payment plan hahaha  Maybe a nice cruise or something when she begins making more money!!

John finally gets his 2003 Xterra back – it has been in the “possession” of a kiddo since 2005 when gas prices hit $2.50 a gallon.  He drove it until that magic value was hit and then traded with the kids.  Kiddo #1 was driving our tow vehicle (1992 Honda Civic, which was John’s parent’s tow vehicle until they got something a little bigger to tow).  Our Honda tow vehicle was replaced with a 2008 Nissan Sentra in 2008 and John still drives it every day – I can’t believe it’s been 9 years we’ve had this car!

The Xterra averages about 16 mpg, while the Civic and its replacement Sentra got significantly better and he is the commuter (about 12 miles each way).    Our gas prices here haven’t been that low since, so there was no “rush” to trade cars again with them.

Xterra possession:
2004-2005 John bought it a year old.
2005-2005 kiddo #1 – finish high school
2005-2007 kiddo #2 – finish high school
2007-2009 kiddo #1 – finish college
2009-2011 kiddo #2 – finish college
2011-2012 Barb – kiddo #2 was home and driving farther for her volunteer work and classes.
2012-2013 no one regularly drove it – and gas prices sucked, usually about $4 per gallon.
2013-2017 kiddo #2 – med school
2017-???    no one will regularly drive it but John is looking forward to having it back – 12 years later!!

 

May 2017 Update

Can you believe May 2017 is over???  This month flew by!  We have some great memories of this month!  We also spent more than anticipated celebrating!!  That’s ok – it was money well spent!

Kiddo #2 graduated from Medical School!!  We are so proud of her accomplishment!   She and Barb drove across the country to move her new apartment (and official first full-time job) in sunny southern California!  They drove 3 days covering 2700 miles towing a 5×8 uhaul trailer with all her belongings.  Guess that would qualify as minimalist living – she will have more space in an one bedroom place now.  She felt having a “real” job means she doesn’t need to live in a studio any longer.  Look – they even gave her a “physician” parking permit!  How exciting!!

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Both kiddos are in the same time zone as us!!  We are so excited!!

During May we decluttered 30 items – not much but Barb was still recovering from her illnesses and we celebrated a graduation on the other side of the country.  Total so far this year – 687 items removed from our home!!  Now we are “cheating” a little on these numbers this month – kiddo #2 did take with her 8 items: 3 blankets, 1 “big-ass draft” beer stein from the local bar in her college town, 2 reusable water bottles, 1 dresser (so sad to see it leave, it was in the nursery before we even brought kiddo #1 home), and 1 end table.

Some other stuff to leave this month:

 

It’s beginning to feel like we are really getting close to finished.  It’s weird to look at the house and not see all that needs to leave.  We are feeling so relaxed in our house!  There are still “tons” of pictures in boxes in the closet.  Guess I know what I’m doing (maybe) when we return from vacation!

April Update – April was tough!!

April was a rough month in our house this year.

We decluttered 5 items – I think this is the least amount ever!  Grand total this year is 657.  We have a ways to go to reach our 2017 goal of 2017.  We are enjoying the “freedom” of less in the house!

So here’s our month:
Barb had a stomach bug and missed 2 days of work (Thursday and Friday 4/13 and 4/14).

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Anyone who is a teacher knows that missing work unexpectedly is horrible.  The first day she text a coworker and she handled the sub plans.  Thank you Stefny!!

We got onto a plane Saturday to enjoy the holiday weekend with kiddo #1 in San Francisco area to fly home Sunday night with kiddo #2 in tow.  Kiddo #2 flew in on Friday – it was the first Easter with both kiddos in 5 years!  Such a blessing!

Monday night kiddo #1 called – mommy made her sick.

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Thursday Barb developed a cough and low grade fever.

We then went apartment hunting on Saturday for Kiddo #2 since she will be living about an hour away – horray!!

By Sunday it was a high fever and nasty cough.  Our Doctor-to-be (in 2 weeks!!) insisted she go to the doctor on Monday.  She even escorted Barb since she was so miserable.  Antibiotics and cough medicine prescribed.  Barb missed work again on Monday and Tuesday (4/24 and 4/25).   As of today, tiredness and coughing still happening.  Will this ever end?  This comic represents life when the cough medicine wears off about 3 am.

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Because Barb is on the district science committee, she misses a lot of school for meetings.  At least those are known in advance and you can plan ahead.  Illness is horrible for planning.  Teachers rarely take sick days because of true illness!

John and kiddo #2 picked up the slack for the 2 + weeks Barb was under the weather.  THANK YOU!!

So as you can see, decluttering was nearly nonexistent during April.  We did eliminate an old, ugly, holey t-shirt John insisted on still wearing.  Some things are such accomplishments they have to be mentioned!!

 

 

 

 

March Update

March saw us very busy on the weekends – so much so that we only decluttered 16 items this month.

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Long weekend #1
On a positive – we took a 4 day trip to the opposite coast to visit our kiddo.  One thing we realized is that we are getting too old to take the red-eye flights!  Work all day, drive to the airport, fly across the country to have breakfast with the kiddo wore us down!  Thursday was a great day though.  We visited Arlington National Cemetery – I know, of all the things to do in DC, we visit the cemetery.  It is one of our favorite things!  The Cherry Blossom Festival was non-existent due to the weather destroying the blossoms.

Friday we attended our daughter’s medical school “Match Day” ceremony.  She will be coming back to California for residency!!!  You can imagine how excited we are – she “left” us in 2007 to go to college on the east coast and basically hasn’t been back to live.  We are so proud of her!

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Her Shirt!!

The rest of the weekend was spent celebrating!!  We flew home Sunday to go to work Monday morning.

Long Weekend #2
Our second “excursion” this month was the the National Science Teacher Association conference in Los Angeles.  This was a Thursday through Sunday event as well.  2 long weekends away from home in one month.  We both got a few great ideas we can implement in our classrooms.  Always worth it!  We are both so tired and ready for a weekend at home, maybe decluttering the garage!