A goal I've been working on the last number of years with increased focus is that of stewardship; of resources, large and small.
To that end, I'm clutter busting during these snowy homebound days, and mapping out a budget plan, part of which is revisiting plans for internet, television and telephones; signing up for energy saving plans, recycling old materials (books, CDs, and so on) into cash or trade for current needs.
Unused, outgrown, or otherwise unneeded clothing and household items become someone else's blessing. Doesn't feel good, look good, or meet current requirements? Into the give away box or basket it goes. Maintenance on computers, vehicles, and other useful tools is key to expanding the life of these things, and the status of our efficiency as well. I'm working on a schedule for such things, as well as some kind of household folder or journal with all the important information and schedules. Long though I've spoken of it, and researched it, I've yet to put these things into action.
Today, we -- me, and the boy, that is -- are setting the timer and are go, go, going. Ten minutes here to gather up toys. Twenty minutes here to plunder the laundry pile and determine homes for things. Thirty minutes there to move the sofa and vacuum, rescue lost Lego pieces, push aside the chair, re-place the rug....
Sorting and ordering not only makes home and hearth much more peaceful and enjoyable -- room by room, day by day -- but also saves time, energy and allows us not to repurchase supplies (for today, that would be Valentine making materials: construction paper, glitter, glue, markers, rubber stamps, etc.) For us, this has been a real issue.
And of course, in finding duplications and unneeded items, we are able to share our relative wealth. In our circle of friends, we're struggling with financial woes, often seemingly alone -- two adults in graduate school, currently underemployed and over taxed by demands on time and ability. Yet in the grand scheme of things, we are so wealthy. In comparison to most of the world, we are outright rich, a good thing to remember when things feel too large, too out of control.
We have often taken the easiest way, instead of the more right way, even when we know better. We're working on that. Small steps. Better communication, better mapped out plans, more space for thought and work and simplicity to bear its fruit, even while one of us is a saver and collector of much, and the other is, in default position, overwhelmed and undisciplined. I'll let you guess who is who in our home.
Are you also on this journey? I'd love to hear your tips and success stories.
A neighbor shared the following sites. You may find them useful also:
myrateplan.com : The site's CellCalc and TruBill features let you
search mobile service plans available in your region and do side-by-
side comparisons of features, minute allocations and costs.
saveology.com : Enter your address into this site to get an up-to-date
list of options for phone, Internet and TV services for your home--and
to see whether bundling is the best way to go.
utilitybillbusters.com : This online trove of energy-saving advice
offers articles on everything from the right kind of insulation to how
to keep your microwave from burning money.