30 Day Simplicity Challenge- Day 7

And on the seventh day, she rested.

If only that could be true.

I need a vacation.  It doesn’t have to be a big one, a little one would do.  Just someplace different, someplace warm, someplace where I don’t have to think or deal with stupid shit.  Someplace I don’t have to clean up and where my dinner is cooked for me.


Since a vacation is nowhere in my immediate future, I’m continuing to try to make our bedroom as much as a retreat as I can, by following the KonMarie method.  So far I’ve done my underwear drawer, my sock drawer (minus all the mismatches in the laundry room), the tank top drawer, my sweatshirt/sweater drawer, the pants shelves and my closet.  All I have left in my dresser is the t-shirt/shirt drawer and I’m done with the insides and all my clothing.  Then i can tackle all the crap accumulated on the dresser itself and my side of the room is serene.

Don’t look at MR’s side of the room.  Eyes over here, please.

Incorporating the Art of Tidying Up into my life got me thinking about my clothing purchases and gained tons of space in my clothing storage areas.  All my drawers are half-full due to the purging of the old and folding of the remaining.  I feel like I have space to breath, at least when I go to put on a pair of panties.  It makes me want to tidy everything all at once, but I know I have to go slow.  It’s the only way not to rebound and get messy again.

One thing I can’t stand to look at anymore is my nail polish box.  Originally it was shoved under my bed, but since I gained a shelf in my dresser (the middle part of the dresser my dad made me opens out to two shelves instead of drawers) I’ve been keeping the box on the bottom shelf.

I  very rarely wear nail polish.  When I’m in a funky mood, I’ll wear a funky color but I haven’t really worn much since before college.  Since I work with large paper prints, I found the nail polish was constantly streaking on anything I worked with so I stopped wearing it for all but special occasions.  So why do I have 42 bottles of nail polish?  Because I have three girls, I inherited a lot from my mom and I never threw anything away.

Not anymore.  It’s time to toss.

DAY 7 of 30:

Go through your nail polish (or eyeshadow or lipstick, etc.) and toss anything you don’t feel strongly about.  If you think that color is just not right, get rid of it.

  • Just how many shades of “nude” does one person need?  I had five.
  • That gross bottle of top coat that cost over $12? Ew, it has to go.
  • I know I’m not savvy enough to know what colors are “in” and what are “so three years ago…” but I am pretty sure I don’t need four frosty lilac colors.
  • The the bottom of the shoe box is full of dog hair.  Wash it out.
  • I have too many bottles of blue nail polish but they’re all different colors and left over from the baby shower favors.  I’ll keep them for now.
  • Don’t force the ones you don’t want on your children.  I’ll ask if anyone wants them and if not, they’re going into the Savers bag.

There, I’m down to 26 bottles.  And 1/3 of the box free to buy one or two colors more if the mood strikes!  Or I could get a prettier box and utilize this box somewhere else.  Maybe.

And that hot orange color? I’m doing my toes right now and then pretending I’m on a beach somewhere.  That’ll be the closest I get to vacay…



30 Day Simplicity Challenge- Day 6

Lord, this has been a day so far.  Everyone has fires they have to put out, and of course it’s all my fault the fires were ignited so late in the game.  By 10 o’clock, I was ready to hit the bar downstairs for a drink.

No, those fires are not my fault (you waited until the last minute).  Yes, I will help you resolve (I always do, don’t get your panties in a twirl).  Yes, I agree we need to figure out why these fires always happen (because you are idiots).  No, I will not spearhead that task (I don’t get paid enough to do your job as well).

Thankfully, I have a detailed filing system and every work related email- and some juicy personal ones I may use to burn some butts some day- is placed in a file.  All I have to do is search and I can bring up an email from 2002 or yesterday.  I had to develop this system- because I’m constantly covering my ass from those who just. Don’t. Get. It.

The one place that’s a little messy is My Desktop.  I tend to throw a lot of crap there when I need to get at it quickly.  I love my desktop theme, it’s very pretty and it calms me, but now it’s got all these folders and files all over it and that won’t do. So for today’s challenge…

DAY 6 of 30:

Go through your desktop on your work PC or your personal PC and delete or file those ugly files/folders.  If you don’t already have one, find a nice wallpaper that makes you feel good and upload it.

  • delete all the folders containing emails that you send out weekly.  You can always find them in your SENT file.
  • file the spreadsheets.  There is no need to keep them on your desktop.  Put them in My Documents if you need to keep them.
  • Recycle Bin is your friend.  Toss it away.
  • Line up your icons so that it’s neat and it doesn’t get in the way of your wallpaper.

Thankfully (well, not really) I am borrowing Beena’s laptop to use when I work from home so I don’t keep anything on that Desktop or on her PC.  Maybe someday I’ll get my own laptop (pfft!) but in the meantime, I’m not messing anything up on the home front.

Did you have to put out any fires today?  Deal with any stoopid peoples? Make me feel better then let’s go get a drink!


Isn’t this pretty?  The colors are more vibrant than my bleak iPhone picture.

30 Day Simplicity Challenge- Day 5

Another day working from home because I live in a one-track town on Long Island.  My town line is the only line left on the LIRR to to have service restored.  Not that I’m complaining too loudly, I like working from home.  More work gets done and I don’t have to get dressed.

I’m sitting on the couch watching The Rainmaker, and looking out the window at all the snow drip from the trees.  It’s around 45 degrees and the Blizzard of 2016 if fast becoming the Flood of 2016.  Hopefully it won’t go down to freezing tonight and ice up the sidewalks and roads.  I’m working the hobby job tonight and I don’t want to have to drive in hazardous conditions.

Before I go to the hobby job tonight, I have to stop at Walgreen’s and pick up some pictures I had printed.  Once I sent the prints yesterday, I deleted them from my phone, all part of yesterday’s Challenge!  While I’m there, I have to pick up a sympathy card and a birthday card, and that’s when I came up with today’s challenge.

Today’s task doesn’t involve decluttering or cleaning, but it will help simplify my life.

DAY 5 of 30:

Buy a three generic birthday cards, one get well card and one sympathy card.

  • Having extra cards on hand will eliminate the need to run out to grab a card.  Or, in my case, not run out and miss the opportunity to send the card in a timely fashion.
  • Sending out cards, especially ones I’ve made, makes me feel good.  Hopefully it makes the recipient feel special.
  • On my list of things I need to improve is to make birthday cards and send them out.  But if I can’t, at least I have some on hand so I don’t feel like a total tool.
  • If I buy one extra card every time, I will have plenty on hand for next year, lol, in theory…

Now, to get stamps.



30 Day Simplicity Challenge- Day 4

As predicted, MR and I are hobbling around like two 90-year old persons.  Our backs are aching, our wrists (and my tennis elbow) are sore and our necks don’t bend.  Where were the young people in our house, you may ask?  Why didn’t they help out with the shoveling?  Yeah, your guess is as good as mine.  Utah did come home after staying with her boyfriend all weekend to shovel out her car (the one on the lawn) but Zombiegirl made a token effort to help the ladies next door and then came in complaining about her asthma.  When I was her age I was making money going door-to-door shoveling people out.  Pfft.  Go back upstairs, young ‘un and put your nose back into your phone…

Speaking of phones, today’s challenge will be a physically easy one.  If I actually had a way into work today I would totally do this on my commute in or on the way home.  As it turns out, five lines of the LIRR, two of which I could use, are suspended so I’m working from home, no New Jersey commute for me today!

DAY 4 of 30:

Go through your smart phone and delete any app you haven’t used in a few months.  Then go through your pictures and upload them to a photo-sharing site (I use Flickr- look for me there!) This will not only make finding your apps easier but it will cut down on your storage and data usage.

  • All the games on my cell phone are going except for Jelly Splash, Sudoku, Flappy Bird and 1010.  I gave up on the Candy Crush games even though they’re on my iPad.
  • Those money management apps (Mint, Spendbook, etc) have been deleted.  I use an Excel Spreadsheet for my budget and I access it through my laptop.  Therefore I don’t need the Excel app either.
  • Deleting the Michael’s app and the Joann’s app. Trust me, you’re better off going directly to the website for coupons.  The apps are going to send you there anyway.
  • I have five “layout” apps on my phone for all those times I need to post multiple pictures on Instagram .  I’m keeping Pic Stitch, since I’ve been using that one forever.
  • The Yoga Studio app is coming off my cell phone.  I have it on my Ipad.  The cell phone is too small to see which pose they’re doing.
  • Uploading my photos to Flickr.  Deleting the ones I’ve posted to Facebook and Instagram.

If anyone is following along, what apps are you deleting?  What apps are you keeping that you absolutely love?


30 Day Simplicity Challenge- Day 3

Okay, my heart is in the right place but my body is screaming “NO!” I had all the good intentions of sewing and decluttering all day but the aftermath of a blizzard got in the way.  After more than two hours of shoveling our walks and our neighbors walks, my joints decided that they would rather curl up in bed and then on the couch for the remainder of the day.

I didn’t even feel that winded or overworked while I was shoveling.  It wasn’t until I got in the house that I realized I had soaked through a t-shirt and a flannel, both dripping with sweat.  After a hot shower, bed looked so inviting that I took a nice long nap.  That’s what days off are for, right?

It would have been nice to be able to jump out of bed, refreshed and ready to get to work but I’m old.  Creeping out of bed, barely able to stand and shuffling out of the bedroom is more the norm these days.  Add the extra work out I did today and the shuffling was a hell of a lot slower.

So I’m doing the simplify challenge a little late.  If you’re following, don’t wait for me, do it the next day.  We have to be in an almost zen-like mood to be able to tackle these tasks so we don’t feel overwhelmed and angry.  Maintain a positive attitude while simplifying life and we will be able to maintain simplicity.  At least I hope so.

I’ll try to post a little earlier in the day anyways.

DAY 3 of 30:

Take everything out from under your sink, wipe it down and discard anything you don’t use.

I’m specifically targeting cleaning supplies, here.  I do have stuff under my sink (many, many bottles of dish detergent as well as my recycling can and the garbage can.  I also have a cabinet next to the dishwasher where I keep my cleaning supplies, such as they are.  As I type this, I’m wondering if maybe this cabinet is the best place to keep the supplies- what else could go there?  It’s about a foot wide, maybe it would better serve something else?

See? This is all a part of the simplifying process.  I’m constantly asking myself “How can I better utilize my space?”

We’ll revisit this thought since I’m not in any shape to start moving everything around.  For right now:

  • Discard anything you haven’t used in the last year.
  • Condense.  Combine those two bottles of dish detergent into one.
  • Take out anything that doesn’t belong.  Put it where it belongs immediately.
  • Consider simplifying your cleaning supplies- I use one bottle of vinegar and water to clean EVERYTHING.  Since it’s vinegar, I can use it around food, around babies and around puppies.  It’s perfect for cleaning mirrors and windows without streaking.  And I’ve gotten used to the smell- it dissipates almost immediately after wiping.  My bottle of V&W costs pennies compared to the two or three bottles of cleaners you would need to equal its strength and effectiveness.
  • Remove all toxic sprays and cleaners- the bug spray goes downstairs under the laundry room sink. (Which will definitely be a declutter zone sometime soon)
  • We have a self-cleaning oven.  Put the oven cleaner downstairs as well (it’s good for really bad BBQ racks).
  • Put the damn contact paper down on the shelf instead of moving it around every time you take out the trash!  Stop procrastinating!

I now have 12 sponges, one stainless steel scrubby, a box of garbage bag liners, three bottles of Dawn, the garbage pail and the recycle pail under the sink!  That’s it!  The cleaning supply closet holds dishwasher detergent. a large bottle of vinegar, V&W spray, orange oil for wood surfaces, Goo Gone, a really old bottle of Soft Scrub (I started using baking soda instead) and a rinse aid for the dishwasher.  Simple!  That took me all of a half an hour to clean out, including scrubbing the shelf under the sink and putting down the contact paper.

Easy-peasy.  Loads easier than shoveling this crap…img_2020


Yes, there is a car under there.  Yes, it’s on the lawn.

Tomorrow is another day.  I’m sure my muscles will be screaming for mercy tomorrow.





30 Day Simplicity Challenge- Day 2

It’s a blizzard!  Mayor Di Blasio has issued a travel ban in NYC.  The LIRR has stopped service and the Long Island Expressway (and most major parkways) has been closed by Governor Cuomo.  The most important closure today, however, was my part time hobby job at the local fabric store.  I was on the schedule to work 1-9:30, but I got an off day today! The power stayed on and I actually finished a project that I’ve been working on for years- my Christmas scrapbook.  Well, it’s technically an ongoing project, but I managed to put all the kids pictures and letters to Santa in correct chronological order on pretty Christmas card stock.  No more pictures floating around!

It was going to be a “sew day” for me but the compulsion to finish that scrapbook was overwhelming.  We will be snowed in all weekend so I’ll catch up on my sewing tomorrow.

Since we’re stuck inside I figured I could tackle a little harder challenge for Day 2.  Meet my medicine “cabinet”:  img_2014

Since my downstairs bathroom currently looks like this:


This is where a medicine cabinet WOULD go…

I keep all my toiletries in the linen closet.  Last summer, while I was off for two weeks waiting for a special delivery, I cleaned out the closet, painted it and purged everything we didn’t use.  Yet the daily use of the medicine shelf results in things being balanced on top of other things and stuff shoved to the back where it’s dark and where I swear the Bandaids go to hide.  So for today’s challenge, I’m cleaning out the shelf.  If you have a more conventional medicine cabinet (lucky!), go for it.

Day 2 of 30:

Take everything out of your medicine cabinet (shelf), wipe it down and put stuff back.

  • Throw away all the empty boxes that your family forgets to toss.  We had four.
  • Put aside all expired medications.  I take mine to King Kullen pharmacy- they take old medicine and dispose of them properly.
  • Condense stuff.  Why are there three open bottles of hydrogen peroxide?
  • Sort stuff according to use.  Feminine products together, muscle rubs together, first aid together, psychotics together (just kidding. Maybe).
  • Herd all the Bandaids back into their box.
  • Throw away all escaped Q-tips before the dog eats them.

Neat and tidy

I’m going to try to straighten this shelf on the first of every month.  I found MR’s vitamins in the back and they were on my shopping list because I forgot I bought them already!

Good job.  The reward is a clean and neat shelf (cabinet), money in my pocket (didn’t have to buy vitamins!) and since I didn’t have to work, I got to enjoy this:img_2016

Stay warm.

30 Day Simplicity Challenge

I’m sitting at work, finishing up some things I have to do.  It’s a quiet Friday, literally calm before the storm, since we’re expecting a blizzard starting sometime early tomorrow morning going through to Sunday.  No one is in the New Jersey office due to a water main break last night.  No one is asking me for anything urgent so I’m running some routines and uploading some plans.

And since the system is slow, I’m reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo.  Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid and bought the book with the gift card MR gave me for Christmas.  The Amazon gift card, not the usual Joann’s gift card.  Yes, I brought that up for a reason, lol, to be discussed later…

A few months ago, I took a good hard look at all the crap I’ve accumulated- my clothes, my shoes, my crafts, my everythings- and starting with my closet, I was able to pare down my work wardrobe into less than 50 pieces.  It really helped that I finally lost some weight and am now able to fit into some of the stuff I put aside waiting for said weight loss.  Since I had a basic knowledge of the KonMarie method of de-cluttering (and if you read ANY mommy blogs, you’d have that basic knowledge too) I took each piece in hand and decided if it gave me joy.  Then I tried everything on to see if my reflection gave me joy.  If I hesitated at all, I got rid of that piece.  Off to Savers, off to Lupus.

I tried the Stylebook app, and spreadsheets and lists to figure out what went with what, but they were all too time-consuming to start and then maintain.  Index cards, Pinterest and a numbering system worked best and I was able to put together outfits and see where I needed to supplement.  I shopped around, got some deals and filled in some gaps.

I no longer cry in the morning that I have nothing to wear.  I feel good about everything I put on.

So I’m continuing on with the KonMarie method, but I’m also setting a challenge up for myself- a 30 Day Simplify Challenge.  I’ll post one challenge here each day (it will also get me back to blogging) and how I handle that one task.  Nothing earth shattering, nothing too strenuous.  Just little ways to simplify and declutter.  If you’re still reading here and you want to join in, let me know!

DAY 1 of 30:

Take everything out of your every day bag and get rid of anything you don’t use daily.

  • There is no need to keep all those receipts- put them in a folder to go through later.  Put the folder on your desk at home.
  • Condense your personal items (chapstick, hand sanitizer, tweezers (!?) and put them in a little makeup bag.
  • Take all that spare change at the bottom of your bag and put it in a change purse or at least a ziplock bag. Better yet, put it in the loose change jar behind your bedroom door.
  • Gather up all those pens, test them, throw out the ones that don’t work and put two back.
  • Throw away the hot sauce packets. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Toss the little pieces of paper, the loose Lifesavers and all the empty Metrocards.
  • Take out all the earrings, watches and necklaces you tend to shed during the day and put them back in the jewelry box.
  • Get a small makeup bag or coupon folder to put all those loose coupons in.  Go through them first to see if they’ve expired.  Don’t worry about sorting, just clean them up and get them in something so they don’t float around your purse.

Your pocketbook shouldn’t weigh you down and make your back hurt!  Once you’ve decluttered your bag, make it a habit to clean it out every Sunday night before you go to bed.

Day one, done. Day two tomorrow if we don’t lose power!