Progress Report – February

IMG_0261It’s been a few weeks now, and quite a bit of my clear-out list has been ticked off.
The most fun things remain, the dining room rug, my clothes, the oven…
There is a big box of second-hand things ready for a sale this weekend, and a pile of books and other things to go on ebay, amazon trade-in, or the charity shops. (I will admit that a few books I initially sorted out have found their way back onto the shelves in the interim period. It’s just too hard to let go of them).

In the meantime, I revived my cleaning schedule to maintain a bit of order. I spread the cleaning over the week, spending a little time each day. Some things, like hoovering, are on my list twice a week, but need to be done more often these days (mostly because our bread bin is so big that it has to live on the kitchen window sill. And the baby is tall enough now to help himself now. And he really likes to eat. Ahem).
I try to have a regular time for household chores, so I don’t find other (more fun) things to do instead. Can you tell they’re not my favourite?

I also mentioned my recipe book before, which literally burst at the seams.
I was all set to buy a new one and start over, but instead I put it on a bit of a diet. All recipes we don’t absolutely love had to go. The remaining recipe pages got fixed with hole re-inforcers. (I bought a packet of 1000. That should last my recipe book a while yet, as I fully expect it to fill up again before too long.)
My husband is a creature of habit, and has been asking me for a while to decide on a set weekly menu. Now, regular menus don’t always work with us. The Mr needs dinner to take to work often, so I end up cooking ahead, cooking for one day or two – or we have lots of leftovers. So now I have a basic menu with seven recipes, and I make sure I have all the dry ingredients for them in the larder. On the menu I also noted all fresh ingredients needed, so I don’t need to trawl through the recipe book to write my shopping list in the morning.
For the first time in my adult life I live centrally, so shopping is now done on foot in instalments, rather than a big weekly shop with the car. But that also means a lot more temptations, so shopping lists (and sticking to them, mostly) are key for me.
But like this I am flexible enough to plan ahead, cook to our needs, and try some new things in between as well if I get bored.

Also, I declared February a ‘buy nothing’ month.
Of course I’m still buying food (treats must be included), toilet paper, fuel and such. But just having that pause-button before impulse buys really helps to reconsider consume behaviour, and helps to save money too, of course.
If I feel like I really want to buy something non-essential, I write it down on a memo on my phone – and then look at it again in March. I did the same in October, and only ended up buying about half the things I absolutely thought I needed a few weeks prior.

And one more simple thing I’ve been doing to simplify: unsubscribe.
I sometimes sign up for newsletters when I buy something online and they offer a discount if you subscribe to their newsletter. And then the emails keep coming. So as they came to my inbox, instead of just deleting them, I’ve been unsubscribing. A few clicks, and a simplified inbox later, all I get in the way of newsletters is those from my favourite yarn shops!

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