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Old 07-22-2002, 11:46 PM
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Simplicity

For inspiration, I love to hear/read about people who are simplifying their lives, such as downsizing income, resources and/or effort, while increasing their quality of life.

Perhaps you would like to share your story, accomplishments, failures, goals, inspiration, thoughts, resourceful tips and daily strides on your journey toward SIMPLICITY (thrift, sustainability, organization).

Remember, You selected this thread, so you must be at least interested in it!
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Striving to be...

Cheap - Thrifty of my/family/community's time/effort/resources by being resourceful.
NLazy - Effective/efficient servant of God/Family/Community with a minimum of effort through simplicity (thrift/self-sustainability/organization).

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. -FDR

Well done is better than well said.
-Benjamin Franklin

Witty sayings mean nothing.
- Voltaire
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Old 07-23-2002, 12:07 AM
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blushing Striving to be...Simply Sue

OK. From my signature you've learned that I'm Striving to be...

Cheap - Thrifty of my/family/community's time/effort/resources by being resourceful.
NLazy - Effective/efficient servant of God/Family/Community with a minimum of effort through simplicity (thrift/self-sustainability/organization).

Yeah, right! Well, remember I said striving! So far, I've been selfishly focussing on my/family, a little on community (earth's resources) and just beginning on God (born again and baptized w/kids on Moms' Day 2000).

Anyway, simply put, Simplicity is,...(help me out!)


Simply Sue
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Striving to be...

Cheap - Thrifty of my/family/community's time/effort/resources by being resourceful.
NLazy - Effective/efficient servant of God/Family/Community with a minimum of effort through simplicity (thrift/self-sustainability/organization).

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. -FDR

Well done is better than well said.
-Benjamin Franklin

Witty sayings mean nothing.
- Voltaire
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:16 PM
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prioritizing & choosing your battles

Let's face it - some things just aren't worth fussing about. Often, we struggle with people, budget, etc. over things that aren't really important in the grand scheme. Whenever I find myself getting upset over something, I have to ask myself if it is REALLY worth it.

Additionally, my DH and I have a rule not to add anything into our lives that could disrupt our family life or add undue stress. That means we don't try to do too many things in one day, we don't have over guests we don't like, we don't buy things we can't afford, we don't over-commit, etc. Our mantra is "not worth the stress".

Additionally, I have found that a little planning goes a long way towards simplification. Having routines so that you get the housework and laundry done, for instance. (Yes, I'm a FlyBaby on flylady.net.) Also, balancing my checkbook a couple times a week helps me know where we are, and not make mistakes - so I view it as a simplifying step. (i.e. it is much simpler to check the account twice a week than to recover from bounced checks.)

Overall, I guess I define simplifying my life as choosing a FEW priorities for my life and choosing NOT to spend much time/energy/money on non-priority things.
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Old 07-24-2002, 02:41 PM
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Great topic!!! It is just my DH and I, although we are trying to concieve. DH is a recent convert and I am so proud of him!

We are working very hard to stay out of debt. We paid my car off a few years ago and saved up for DH car. Because of help with an inheritance along with our own savings, we own our home. Now I do want to point out that our house would fit into the family room and kitchen of my sister's huge (heavily) morgaged house. We decided to get a small fixer-upper that we could pay cash for so that a morgage is not over our head. The only thing we owe is on a school loan DH has. We are currently paying the minimum payments, because the interest is low and it helps us maintain a credit history.

DH has always been a saver. Having enough money and fears of running out has always concerned him. He has reciently been transformed into a person who wants more out of his job than just a big paycheck. I am no longer working because I have some health problems and we want to cut my stress while we are trying to have a baby. DH has decided to leave his accounting career and to go back to school to get a teaching degree! This is a huge change or him. He has decided to try to get an entry level job with the school system while taking classes. This will reduce our income to 1/4 of what it was when I was working and to less than 1/2 of what it has been for the last 6 months.

We have stopped trying to compete with others. Our small house in a nice older neighborhood suits us. (A clothes line in the back yard fits in just fine.) DH says his Ford Escort gets him around as well as a Toyota Camery would. By having this attitude I can stay at home right now and DH can make this career change so that he can live with less stress, less work hours, (he had been working 55+ hours/wk), and is free to try something new.

We just moved from a small town to a bigger city. Funny that we are learning to slow down here! When I start looking longingly at my sister's hot-tub, I remember that it is nice that I can visit it, and DH an I don't have to spend our energy working to pay for it! I also remember that there are millions of people on this earth that have so much less than me.

I'd love to hear other's stories too!
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Old 07-25-2002, 11:36 AM
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Simplicity

Although I am only just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to three kids with a bad case of the I wants!

I recently decided to rid myself of credit card debt and my own case of the I wants. Having grown up in a single income family I always believed I wanted so many things my friends had that I couldn't have. I vowed to give all those toys, knick knacks and stuff to my kids... wow... am I sorry!

After having my own kids and realizing that a two income family allows us to have nicer and MORE things, it does not allow us to be together and spend quality time together. I realize that we are not as close as my family was when I was a kid. I realize that my kids don't appreciate the long hours I work to make sure they have all the excess stuff they don't need!

Simplicity to me means getting rid of the I want syndrome in my house! Enjoying time together as a family and spending my money wisely, not on just stuff to clutter the house. It means trying to cook from scratch, but only foods I can cook and/or menus I can handle.

Lourdes


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Old 07-27-2002, 07:49 PM
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Simplicity

Simplicity to me is staying home with my kids. They are the happiest when they are not in the car running everyday. We live on five acres with out a t.v. (by choice) My kids live to read, play and take care of their animals, take care of the yard, build projects, race and get house cleaning down in two hours or less, garden, put puzzles together in the winter, they all like to cook(we do almost everything from scratch because of so many different allergies). We always have some kind of project going on. They enjoy learning new things.

We love to shop for bargains. We shop at goodwill and similar places and many times find brand new clothes with the original prices tags on for $1 to $10. My children love going rummage saling with their grandparents every summer. The great find this year was an almost new 18 speed bike for $10. They spend their own money and have had to live with some mistakes and are now more careful when they look for deals and know when to walk away. We also, like shopping at Kohl's. This years big find there was 3 adult jumpers and dresses for a total of $60. Everything including summer stock was 50% off.

One of my daughters will find outfits at goodwill that she almost likes. She pays between $1 and $5 for it and will come home and remake it into something really cute.

We grow our own chickens and eggs not because it is cheaper but because they are not fed drugs and fillers and taste really good.

I try to hang clothes outside when it is warm outside and in the winter hang them next to heat registers for humidity. We use the dryer when it is humid outside and things don't dry very well.

This may not sound simple to you, but with having 8 children this has simplified my life.
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Old 07-27-2002, 08:20 PM
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I've saved lots of money and just as importantly, saved lots of storage space for cleaning supplies by making my own cleaning products. Vinegar, ammonia, lemon juice, oil, baking soda....you can do just about anything. I have a squirt bottle of about 1/8 c vinegar, 1/8 c ammonia, dash of dishwashing soap then filled with water. It cleans about everything except for wood. I even use it to mop floor, unless it's really dirty, I just sit on floor, spritz it and wipe as I go. Easier for me than a bucket of dirt water! The key is to clean up messes as they happen so the floor never gets too dirty

ANd I don't use paper towels. I have a stack of old t shirts, old towels (I hemmed these to cut down on raveling) cut into various sizes. I use one till it's dirty then throw under sink in a small open weave basket. I wash them with the throw rugs.
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Old 07-27-2002, 08:25 PM
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Oops, forgot the biggest $ saver of all -- planning menus a week or two at a time, buying the needed ingredients and then makingu sure every morning that you have the stuff out of freezer that's needed for dinner. Planning meals means no eating out when in a fix for time, no splurge grocery shopping when you're hungry, etc.

This one takes some effort, but after a month or two, you'll get some favorite recipes that you can use over and over. You'll also figure out what dishes freeze well and be able to cook one day & have ameal for the next week sometime. You also can take advantage of sales.

If your family eats red meat for example, buy 10# of burger when it's on sale and make the whole thing into patties. If you have a gas grill or maybe a George FOreman, you always have a quick sandwich.
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Old 07-28-2002, 11:42 AM
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Great ideas Cyntha. On the stuff you use to clean your floors, you just wipe it with a cloth? Does it leave any sticky residue? Just wondering cuz I think I'm gonna try this one--and hemming the old towels--I use way too many paper towels. Thanks.
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Old 07-28-2002, 08:36 PM
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Question Drying clothes on the line

I have a question for those of you that dry your clothes on the line. How do you keep your clothes from getting stiff? Whenever I have tried drying my clothes the jeans, especially, are really stiff.

I am with you on the simplicity and the giving your kids things they really do not need. I made the same mistakes about giving my 6 year old everything and it is hard to break him of the "I wants". I used to work full time and I stopped working 3 years ago because of illness. I was sure we were going to lose our house and starve. (oh, me of little faith) But we have been ok. I have done some odd jobs and now am selling items on ebay to make some extra money. My MIL has helped us by bringing us food from time to time and that has helped us get through. Right now I have a 5 month old baby and it is expensive to feed him. Baby formula is pricey and costs us about $25 a week. I know you can get no name brands and that they are as good as the name brands, but my son has to have the lactose free (doesn't do well on soy either). So I end up having to buy the national brands because the no name brands do ot offer the lactose free.

What do you use on your wood floors? I have wood floors in most of my house and they get so dirty because I have several cats that get hair on them and grime from their little feet. I wonder if you have a low-cost alternative. I am going to try the other floor cleaner that was mentioned.

I use vinegar in my wash and it works as a fabric softener and then I use 1/2 a dryer sheet which works as well as a whole one for static cling. This way my fabric softener sheets last twice as long. I do a lot of laundry with a baby in the house. I use vinegar and water to clean most everything and when I need extra disinfecting I use a bleach water solution - both in a spray bottle. I recently purchased some cheap washcloths to use in my swiffer for wet cleaning and then I can wash them and reuse them. The sheets are too expensive. I have also read that you can use dryer sheets in your swiffer - used ones, but I have not tried this since I cut my dryer sheets in half. I have also read you can use dryer sheets to clean windows and dust cloths. So these are some things I am doing.

Right now my emphasis has been to conserve water. We are in a severe drought where I live and right now we are under voluntary water restrictions, but may soon go to mandatory. I run my dishwasher only when full and run it on the short wash - mu dishes seem just as clean as they did on the long wash. I also have set my washer on medium soil for most loads rather than the power wash. I also have a juice container with some pebbles in the bottom and filled with water in my toilet tank so that it does not use so much water in flushing. I have an old toilet that takes 7 gallons per flush but can cut that to about 4 -5 gallons with the bottle in there. It still flushes fine. I also only take showers every other day since I am home most days. I only see my family most of the time so I put my hair in a pony tail on day 2 since I have a bad hair day, but it saves water. We are on city water so the more I save the more money I can save. So next I am going to work on our electricity consumption with the a/c. I am going to dust my ceiling fans blades tomorrow and operate them and then place a peice of paper in the vents of the rooms that go too cold so that the air will flow more to the main rooms. I have some caulk to caulk my windows (which my husband was supposed to do 6 years ago when he installed them, but I am going to caulk them and seal them myself. I am trying to teach my son to turn lights off when he is not in a room and turn off the tv when not watching it. I also shut my computer down daily as I read that a computer uses a lot of electricity.

Well that is enough. I hope we can share our tips for simplistic living. I will share more later. I am enjoying your posts.

Amy
mom to 6 yr old son, 5 month old son, 16 cats, 1 dog., and 1 husband with a broken leg.
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