Decluttering challenge, day 5

What a day.  I had to work and had so much to do.  Then, to top it all off, everyone who was working with me had problems I needed to help them solve.  Yes, that’s part of my job.  But it sure makes it rough to get the other parts of my job done.  I managed to get my tasks finished right before it was time for me to go home.  So at least I’ve got that going for me, right?

Add to the stressful day at work the fact that we’re expecting a major winter storm (like, really?  who isn’t?).  I tend to keep my pantry full and always have plenty of cat food on hand so at least I didn’t have to do battle at the grocery store.  I’m hearing that the shelves are pretty bare…especially the pizza and beer.  Hey, us Hoosiers have our priorities straight.  If you’re snowed in, pizza and beer make it a little easier to deal with the cabin fever.  I did stop at CVS to pick up a prescription and then swung by the gas station to fill the tank.  Now I feel like I’m about as prepared as I can be.  Let it snow!

I thought I’d have an easy time finding five things to get rid of today, but it didn’t happen like that.  I decided I’d go to the kitchen cabinet where I keep my cups and glasses.  I have to admit, I do have a lot more cups than I need.  I really only drink out of two cups.  I like the handles on them, what can I say?  But I didn’t force myself to get rid of all of the others.  I did find a travel mug minus a lid (I know, doesn’t really do me a lot of good like that, does it?) and a stainless steel bottle.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the taste stainless steel adds to my water?  Well, I do…I really do.  So out with both of them.  Then I started looking through one of the drawers in the kitchen and came across this little blue candle kind of thing shaped like rocking horses.  I’ve had that thing for years.  Used to hang from a peg on a shelf, but it’s not really all that appealing to me any more.  Why in the world have I hung onto it all these years?  Pitch it!

This is when the struggle started.  I looked in this cabinet, thinking I’d get rid of all of those old plastic tubs and lids that something else came in…you know, like Cool Whip or Country Crock.  Oh yeah.  I forgot, I got rid of those the last time I cleaned out my cabinets.  Then I looked in another cabinet and couldn’t find anything that I don’t use.  Same thing in another one.  Okay, about time to give up on the kitchen.  I walked upstairs and a pile of small boxes caught my eye.  I’d been saving them to wrap gifts in for Christmas, but ended up using gift bags because…well…who has time to wrap gifts?  And guess what?  Christmas is over.  The boxes go.

Then for good measure, I quickly gathered up a few more magazines to take to work.  A couple of the ladies I work with were telling me how much they appreciated having something to read in the break room…if only they weren’t so out of date.  I’m thinking that was a wee hint for me to be a little more timely in my magazine redistribution.

assortment of goodies (?) going to work

assortment of goodies (?) going to work

I didn’t realize, until I looked at the picture, that I gathered more than the five things I needed for today.  Oh well…nothing wrong with that.  The little bottle in the middle is a free sample bottle of self-tanning moisturizing lotion.  I really thought I’d use it, but never did…and it was free…so off to work it’ll go too.  Surely someone wants to add that healthy glow to their skin in the dead of winter.

So there you have it.  Day 5 in the books.  Not very exciting.  But a few more items out of my home and my life and that’s really what I’m trying to do here.  This brings the total, in five days, to 33 items released.  Not too bad for a few minutes of scrounging. And the thing I haven’t been showing you is that I’m finding things to put in the trash as I go…today I found a stack of coupon flyers from the newspaper…unfortunately all expired.  I need to do a better job with the coupons.  But I’ve also managed to get rid of a couple of small bags of trash, nothing monumental, but it still makes me feel better.  I wanted to say “lighter” and that might just be a topic for another day.

Blizzard, anyone?

I had to be at work at 5 this morning…it was snowing, but the full brunt of the storm hadn’t hit yet at that time.  We were at work for a few minutes when the phone started ringing…and ringing again and again…with call-ins.  I couldn’t really blame any of the associates for calling in…the snow had started coming down hard with a nasty wind blowing it all over the place.  After talking with the district manager, we decided not to open for the day and headed out.  Holy moly, the roads were in much more treacherous condition than they’d been only two hours earlier.  I turned a corner and the back end of my car fishtailed…it was good to see that the instinct to turn into the skid was still there (from all of those years of driving on snow-covered country roads).  When I was almost home, the visibility was so bad that I couldn’t see anything in front of me.  Finally made it home and trudged through the drifted snow…I changed out of my wet clothes and tried to warm up.  Ahh…it was so good to be home, safe and sound.

Later in the day, I decided to see how things looked outside…

blizzard 003









What is this?

What is this?

Spook trying to decide what to do about the snow drifted up against the kitchen door.  She’s a pretty smart kitty, she decided to walk away.

No shopping…lots of ice

Winter Storm December 2007

Image via Wikipedia

I live in Indiana…and winter in Indiana can be a little iffy.  The weather forecasters were predicting one of the worst winter storms ever for our area.  Fortunately that didn’t pan out, but it was still bad enough.  I went outside today to clean the snow off my back patio so I could fill the bird feeders.  I swept the snow away, but couldn’t really do much about the more than an inch of ice (well, other than slide around on it).  I did get the bird feeders filled though, so some happy little birdies flying around outside my kitchen window…and one excited cat sitting on the refrigerator dreaming about catching them (don’t worry, the cat never goes outside so the birds are safe from her).

I’ve been off work for a few days.  I’ve been sick, not exactly how I want to be spending any time away from work…I’d much rather feel well enough that I could be catching the deals at CVS or Kroger. About this time last year I got really sick…ended up with pneumonia and it took me a long, long time to feel better.  I thought about getting flu and pneumonia shots this past fall and kept putting it off.  Now I’m beating myself up for not doing it BEFORE I got sick.  I’m just hoping I don’t get sicker than what I’ve felt the past couple days.  I’m so fortunate to have a great boss who just wants me to feel better (he called me today and asked if I needed him to go to the store to get anything for me…I don’t think he understands stockpiling!).  One nice thing about having some time off work (aside from being able to take naps) is that I’ve been able to catch up on a lot of the frugal living/couponing blogs I read.  I’m amazed at how much info is out there…amazed and oh so thankful.  The blogs I’ve been reading have taught me so much about couponing and frugality.  They’ve also inspired me to write more and and give some thought to what I want to do with my own blog.  I’ve got lots of ideas, but it’s all still kind of percolating in my mind right now.  I’m certainly looking forward to taking these next steps, learning more about how to live a more balanced life and sharing what I learn with others.