Preparing for Someday

Sara over at Saving for Someday had an awesome post today that I just couldn’t resist sharing with you.

So much of our lives are online these days, our bills, our networks, our blogs.  Would your spouse or family know what accounts you have and what action needs to be taken to access, close or otherwise deal with them?  At this point, I’m not sure mine would.  Mr. Brown would know where I keep my information but there’s a lot that he just doesn’t know, not because it’s a secret but because on a daily basis he doesn’t need to.  We have all the legal stuff done – wills, power of attorney, medical power of attorney & living will.  But it’s time for both of us to make sure we have a plan for the rest of it. 

If you have already made some kind of kit to help your family, let us know!  I’d love to learn from all of you.

Declutter Challenge #8

Hopefully your bedroom is feeling a little less cluttered. Do you have a few empty hangers in your closet? A couple dozen fewer dust bunnies under your bed? Excellent! We’re moving out of the bedroom today into the bathroom.

Medicine Cabinet
If you’re like most people the cabinet in your bathroom is a catch all for the products you use to get yourself ready to face the day.  But sometimes we find that a product just didn’t work they way we’d hoped.  Instead of getting rid of it, we let it sit there “just in case.”  No more!  Be ruthless!  Expired?  Gone!  Almost full bottle of hair product that make your hair smell like your grandmother’s basement?  Gone!  Anything that doesn’t actually belong to you or your spouse?  Gone!
One other thing… your medicine cabinet is truly not the best place to store most medications.  Ointments and the like are probably okay, but most medicine (OTC and Rx) need to be kept away from heat, moisture and freezing temperatures.  I’m guessing your bathroom hits 2 of these on a regular basis.  Keep your medicine in a linen closet, in your bedroom, or some other location that isn’t flooded in humidity when you shower.  http://www.usp.org/pdf/EN/patientSafety/justAskProperUse.pdf
Finally, if you are disposing of expired medication, please do so safely.  Flushing or washing down the sink is bad for our environment.  And throwing an old bottle of pills in the trash as-is can lead to other problems.  Smart Rx Disposal has a great method to follow.
If you’d like to see MY medicine cabinet you can find it here.

Blog Hopping

Today I’m blog hopping.  I like to spend time reading a lot of other blogs for a number of reasons… to “meet” other great bloggers and learn from them, to find ideas that would be helpful for my readers, and to keep a pulse on what kinds of issues real folks are facing that I can help with.  If you’d like to check out a few new blogs this week, pop over to KDBuggie’s blog.

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Declutter Challenge #7

We’re back in the bedroom today.  This challenge is a fun one.  Either it’ll be super easy or make you cringe.

Under Your Bed
Under my bed is actually one of the least scary parts of my house.  We keep exactly 2 things under our bed… our gym bags.  It’s kind of a strange place but since it’s right next to my dresser (where I grab stuff for the gym on the rare occasion I’m able to go) it’s actually quite convenient.  But I know many people use the space under the bed to store all sorts of things.
The challenge: clear out the stuff under the bed that you don’t need or want anymore.  I’m not challenging you to reorganize this space… only to clear out the things that need to go out of your home – either to charity or to the trash. 
Bonus points if you take a picture of what you find and show it to us on your blog!
Don’t forget… if you’re following along with these challenges, let the world know by adding a button to your blog:


And if you write a blog post about it… link up and let the world know here.

Declutter Challenge #6

Since my Sunday ended up being crazy I didn’t get a challenge posted.  Hopefully you had a chance to enjoy some time with your family today and get prepared for the week ahead.

Looking forward to a great week!

Declutter Challenge #5

We’re staying in the bedroom this weekend! It’s the room we tend to neglect most because it’s seen the least by people other than ourselves.  So the Master Bedroom tends to be a haven for clutter.  Today we’re tackling:

The Nightstand

photo credit:{istock}

Whatever kind of nightstand you have, a simple table, something with drawers, or a make-shift table from another part of the house, my guess is that it’s gathered a collection of “stuff” on top and inside.  Tissues (some dirty?  ewww!), a few books and magazines, an old water cup, and who-only-knows-what-else.

The challenge: QUICKLY toss anything that’s trash.  Next, take everything that doesn’t belong on your nightstand and take it off.  If it needs to go to another room in your home, put it aside for now.  I like to use a laundry basket to catch all of those misplaced items.  Now, replace everything that stays (a box of tissue, the book your reading right now, your reading glasses, a picture frame with a cherished photo, a candle, your alarm clock).
Take the basket full of misfits and return them to their proper homes.  DO IT NOW!  I’m serious about this.  This is the heart of this challenge.  If you let them sit in that basket they are STILL CLUTTER…. just clutter in a different spot.  Put them away.  You’ll feel better when you’re done.  This is another challenge that would be great to involve your spouse in.  You can always entice him or her with a little snuggle time in your cleaner room once your done! 😉

Now don’t be scared! This isn’t meant to be an all-day endeavor. Just take 5 minutes if that’s what you have. You can do a lot in 5 minutes. If you have all-day and are really feeling motivated, then by all means feel-free to do a full purge. I won’t stop you. But make sure you really have the time to devote to it. I don’t want you neglecting other duties to make this happen. Decluttering & organizing should be part of your regular routine, not a disruption of your entire life.

The challenge: take 5-10 minutes (set the timer if you have to) and take an honest look at your closet. Pull out anything you know you won’t wear again. This includes things that:

don’t fit (especially if it’s too big!)

in disrepair – holes, snags, broken zippers, missing buttons you know you’ll never fix

not yours (seriously… if you have clothes from your old roommate or your mom or your sister, get rid of them!)

not your style – I know you know what I mean. We all have that item that we bought on a whim thinking it was so cool. But once we got it home (and ripped the tags off & lost the receipt of course) we realized it really wasn’t consistent with our style and/or body type. Let it go!

Shoes that pinch your toes

Shoes that have seen better days

What should you NOT do… please do not purge your husband’s closet! Discarding someone else’s stuff is, quite honestly, a big violation of their privacy. We feel protective of our stuff, especially those clothes that have memories for us (like his holey old college t-shirt!) So if his side of the closet needs a little purging, invite him to join you for your 5-10 minute session. But don’t just toss out his stuff.

Declutter Challenge #4

If you didn’t do it yesterday, today you’re gonna need to grab a box or a bag for donation items.  We’ll keep using this (and adding more) over the next few weeks to put those items we no longer want or need but that are still in good condition.

We’re moving out of the kitchen today and into the bedroom!

Your Closet
photo credit:{iStock}
Now don’t be scared!  This isn’t meant to be an all-day endeavor.  Just take 5 minutes if that’s what you have.  You can do a lot in 5 minutes.  If you have all-day and are really feeling motivated, then by all means feel-free to do a full purge.  I won’t stop you.  But make sure you really have the time to devote to it.  I don’t want you neglecting other duties to make this happen.  Decluttering & organizing should be part of your regular routine, not a disruption of your entire life.
The challenge: take 5-10 minutes (set the timer if you have to) and take an honest look at your closet. Pull out anything you know you won’t wear again.  This includes things that:
  • don’t fit (especially if it’s too big!)
  • in disrepair – holes, snags, broken zippers, missing buttons you know you’ll never fix
  • not yours (seriously… if you have clothes from your old roommate or your mom or your sister, get rid of them!)
  • not your style – I know you know what I mean.  We all have that item that we bought on a whim thinking it was so cool.  But once we got it home (and ripped the tags off & lost the receipt of course) we realized it really wasn’t consistent with our style and/or body type.  Let it go!
  • Shoes that pinch your toes
  • Shoes that have seen better days
What should you NOT do… please do not purge your husband’s closet!  Discarding someone else’s stuff is, quite honestly, a big violation of their privacy.  We feel protective of our stuff, especially those clothes that have memories for us (like his holey old college t-shirt!)  So if his side of the closet needs a little purging, invite him to join you for your 5-10 minute session.  But don’t just toss out his stuff.

Declutter Challenge #3

Is your kitchen feeling lighter yet?  One more day in the kitchen this week!

The Large Utensil Drawer/Crock

photo credit: {iStock Photo}

Do you have a drawer full of spatulas and spoons and whisks or a crock that sits on the counter?  What?  You have both plus another drawer?  Aha!  Time to weed out.  I bet you have 5-7 cooking utensils you use over and over and over again. 

The Challenge: Look at every single cooking utensil in your kitchen. Immediately categorize it as one of 3 things:
1. I use it every week
2. I don’t use it every week but I can remember the last time I used it and it was sometime since Thanksgiving.
3. I can’t remember when I used this last or I remember when I last used it and it was definitely before Thanksgiving.

If it’s #1 then put it back in your drawer.  If it’s a #2, think for 10 seconds about whether you really plan to use it again and if so put it back.  If it’s #3 put it right down into the box you just got out for items to be donated or into the trash (if it’s broken or in disrepair).

I know what you’re saying… “But, but, I don’t want to donate it.  I might need it.”  Fine.  Put it in that box.  Close up the box, label it and put it wherever your store stuff (the basement, the garage, whatever).  If you find in the next 6 months that you’re missing something, go grab the box and get the item for your drawer.  If after 6 months you haven’t opened the box, drop it off on your next trip to the local charity.

Cooking is something we do almost every day.  Treat yourself to utensils that serve you well.

Declutter Challenge #2

Congratulations on ridding your refrigerator of those scary science experiments tucked in back.  Staying in the kitchen today we’re moving on to something a bit harder.

The Storage Container Cabinet
I know you have a cabinet or drawer full of Tupperware, Rubbermaid or other plastic and glass storage containers you use for leftovers and lunches.  Is it bursting at the seams?  Time to pare down! 
The Challenge: Get rid of anything that doesn’t have a lid, is warped or cracked, hasn’t been used in the last year (oh you know the one I’m talking about!), or has a fading logo of a brand of margarine you haven’t purchased in 5 years.  If you primarily use old food containers that’s okay, I understand reusing!  But if you just have a few Kewl Whip containers hanging out among your otherwise nice pieces, toss ’em.  Be good to your food and store it in the nicest containers possible for your budget.
Don’t forget to link up to the MckLinky if you make a blog post about your decluttering!  We want to know!

Declutter Challenge #1

We’re starting off with something I hope will be pretty easy:

The Refrigerator!

The Challenge: Search your fridge for anything that’s expired, growing unidentified fungi, or that you simply didn’t like and won’t eat again.  Throw it out!  Reclaim your storage containers!

Today’s not the day to clean the fridge, just to clear it out.  And don’t feel like you need to hit the freezer… we’ll get there soon enough.  Just check all those shelves and drawers and door shelves for anything that needs to go.

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