I am having to recommit myself to our simple, frugal lifestyle. Over the hot, hot summer I lost a lot of energy for doing much beyond the basics. Stuff has started creeping back into the house and somethings that need a new home had not been sent off yet. The holidays are looming in front of us and the weather is very nice and energizing - so I've started working on decluttering. If we are going to continue living in this house for any length of time we cannot continue hanging on to things that we don't need anymore. And we need to stop buying stuff!!!
I started in the garage this weekend. The cleaning crew while we were gone on vacation had really started this for me. They got rid of the obvious trash and I had plenty of room to work in there yesterday. I managed to get boxes up on the shelves, sorted some toys that had ended up in the garage, put books on the bookshelves (yes I am that bad that I have bookshelves and books in the garage), and filled the trash can with even more trash. I've also freecycled just about all the baby/infant stuff that was really the space hog in there. Two dead, won't charge, powerwheels are by the curb to see if anyone will pick up.
The garage has all kinds of space...and hopefully more when DH is able to install our new-to-us stove in the kitchen. I'm thinking that since the kids have enjoyed having the extra play area when it was only semi-clean, that maybe I may give them a portion of the garage and put down those rubber floor mats for them to play on. Even though I can't turn the whole garage into a playroom for them, yet, it will give them another area to be messy - that isn't where the little ones can get into it.
Friday, we did an 'errand day'. I've been putting off and putting off trying to get out and run some errands alone or with just Mary (so she can pick out some clothes that she needs) - but it isn't looking like I will get that any time soon. So, we hit Goodwill to look for some fall & winter church clothes. Mainly tops to go with her skirts since she won't wear dresses. We were not hugely successful in that regard, but did find some long-sleeve t-shirts that she would wear, a pair of black velvet jeans for her and a t-shirt that says "Where the Wild Things Are" and has pictures of the monsters from Maurice Sendek's book (which is one of our favorites). I also picked up a couple of shirts for Robbie. I did look for at least one item for the other two, but there wasn't much in their sizes and their clothing drawers are overflowing from hand-me-downs already. I spent less than $20 which I thought was great.
Since we were half-way there, we went to Aldi's to do some grocery shopping. It has been months, which is really a waste considering how much I save there. I managed to get all but three things that were on my grocery list for the rest of the month - and spent less than $60.
Slowly, we will get back on track. I've already started whispering to the girls that they need to pick on or two things they really want for Christmas/birthdays. It is going to be a tight season - but they don't need much. We already own half a toy store in this house. I was going to ask for a new camcorder, as I would really like a digital one and the one we have no longer has the AV connector and the battery won't hold a charge. But, I started doing some research and found that I could get a new AV cable and battery for the old one for less than $50, and a new basic digital/dvd camcorder was going to be 10x's that. So my own wish list is very short now.
The children have had a good weekend and have all seemed to recover from their colds well. Mary had a soccer game yesterday morning, and the team is really starting to look cohesive with only two more games left. DH took the girls to the State Fair in the afternoon, we had received some free ride tickets so they only had to buy the admittance tickets. Today, Mary and Katie have gone with some friends to a Corn Maze thing and DH is playing golf. The little ones and I are just hanging around doing some cleaning and other piddling stuff.