Day four of the Spring Fling and it’s time to hit the books …
Of all the things that people have a hard time getting rid of, I think books are at the top of the list.
As an author, that feels like a very good thing.
But as a woman who is working to make the world a Clutter-Free place, I need to stop being selfish, worrying about my residual checks, and challenge you to release some of those books back into the wild.
It Gets Easier to Clear Books
I have reduced the books in our house from twelve bookcases to three. Yes, in some cases it did feel like a crime. Books are wonderful and awesome—if someone is reading them. But just having books for the sake of owning them doesn’t improve your life or the lives of people who could be reading them.
I have a list of books that I will just keep. Books that I reread on a regular basis, reference books, my favorite writing books, a few cookbooks, and different Bibles. Some of the books I plan on keeping for the rest of my life (or until I change my mind…)
Celebration of Discipline
The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio
Wesley the Owl
The Good Good Pig
Getting Things Done
Born Standing Up
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
The Betty Crocker Cookbook
Bird by Bird
More with Less
Several books my friends have written (which I will not list here because I don’t want to leave anyone out)
– Set up your three boxes/totes and two bags.
– Start with one bookshelf.
– Do NOT pull all the books out at one time (in some homes, this could be dangerous).
Do you love it? Will you read it again? If you haven’t read it, and want to, create a shelf for “To be read” books and put them in the order you want to read them.
Want to stay Clutter Free when it comes to books and media? Commit to reading what you have before buying new. My challenge is to read three books I currently own before buying a new one.
Share Your Fling
After you fling, either tell us about it or share a picture in the comments. Remember, each day (at the end of the Fling) there will be one winner, randomly drawn from the comments, who will receive a copy of The Cure for the Perfect Life from Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. So, share below and tell us about your fling.
Meal planning at Christmas can make the whole season so much easier! Take some time today to meal plan every day up until Christmas as well as Christmas dinner. (I promise, you will thank me later.) Spend time in the kitchen today taking stock of what you have, what you need, and what meals you will make your family each night for dinner.
Be sure to look at your calendar for any nights you have plans. If you need to take a dish to an event, mark that on the meal plan, so you know how to prep and shop.
If you have dinner at another home or event, revel in a night off! Either way, it goes on the meal plan. Make life easier by utilizing LOOP (Leftovers On Purpose) meals and frozen meals whether they are yours or store bought. Once you are all planned out, make a list of ingredients you need to buy as well as perishable items you need to buy at the last minute.
Make Your Life Easier, Dinner Prep Ideas
Another great dinner prep idea to make your life even easier is to have a frozen meal swap with friends. You can implement this one of two ways. The first way, invite friends to your home. Everyone brings ingredients to make a meal of their choice that is freezer friendly (enough to share with however many friends are joining in on the fun). Then you all help with the cooking, family portions are placed into gallon zip-lock bags ready to freeze, and everyone goes home with a variety of meals to freeze and enjoy throughout the month.
Another way is for everyone to make something at home (enough to share family portions with anyone participating), freeze them, and swap them with friends. This way, you might have made a huge batch of soup, but you might end up with soup, enchiladas, lasagna, and a chicken casserole.
Assignment: Spend some time in the kitchen
Create your meal plan for the rest of the month.
Plan your baking list so you know what you need to bake and when you’re going to do it.
Plan out your Christmas dinner.
Make a shopping list of all necessary ingredients. Divide list into non-perishables and perishables.
Shop for non-perishables and the next few days’ meals.
Make a list of things you will need to buy at the last minute.
Today, my friends is a fun day! You have permission to go surfing online to finish up your last minute shopping. You have the chance to sip coffee in your pj’s and shop for your loved ones all at the same time! No standing in long lines, feeling all hot and bothered with bag imprints going up your poor arms, no whining kids begging to go home already, no eye-rolling husband waiting for you. Best of all, no sore feet! No, this is a day to celebrate, for we have this great invention called Amazon! YES!
Here’s your objective – find a great place to shop with great deals. Next, shop away! (Don’t forget about places with free returns, free shipping or discounted shipping costs). This is going to be the best Clutter Free Christmas yet!
Where do you like to go to get great deals? Are you one of those infamous Cyber Monday shoppers? Share with us your favorite places to online shop. Where do you find the best deals with the lowest costs on shipping and handling? Share with us on our page!
Remember – even when everything seems important, not everything is possible.
Today is shipping day! Grab your packages, buy yourself a Starbucks, and brave the post office (the lines won’t be nearly as long this early in the game).
To make this day painless, take some time earlier in the week to familiarize yourself with USPS.com, print out labels, and pack everything up so it is ready to go for pick up. (You can still enjoy a Starbucks if you like!) If you have never used USPS.com before, this may just be the most magical part of your Christmas this year.
Assignment: Shipping day is time for shipping your boxes!
Learn how to ship using USPS.com.
Use Priority Mail boxes.
Priority mail can be picked up at your house the next day.
Check out Kathi’s Quick Tips in the book for ideas for packaging and sending.
Did you have any gifts to send? Did you mail them or order online? Do you have any quick tips to share pertaining to packing and mailing gifts?
Expand your capacity for joy by seeking out opportunities to be joyful, appreciating what you have, and finding joy where you are – no matter what that looks like. (Yes, even the post office or the holiday mall traffic!)
It is time to make a plan for stockings! Spend time today deciding how much you would like to spend for each one and/or how many gifts you would like to put in each. Next come up with a system for storing and keeping stocking gifts organized.
Once you are planned out, it is time to start shopping. You can buy a few stuffers each time you go out this month if you have not already started stockpiling. Online shopping is another easy way to shop for stockings.
Stockings are a great area to help us remember to be intentional. Be sure you are filling them with items the receiver will love and use. Getting a small amount of items you adore is much better than an overstuffed sock where the majority of the items will soon find their way to the trash or donation box.
Assignment: Get those stockings ready.
Make sure you know where the stockings are and that you have one for each person who will be there on Christmas.
Make a plan. (How many gifts you will need depends on the size of the stocking and gifts.)
Come up with a system of storing the stocking stuffers.
Shop as you see things when you are out and about. Make it your goal to pick up one or two things for stockings each time you go shopping, and you will slowly whittle away at your list.
Check out Kathi’s Quick Tips in the book for ideas for stocking stuffers.
You can always include one small gift that is a bit more expensive in the stocking.
2) Small gifts (You won’t need these today)
Share Your Thoughts:
What are your favorite small stocking stuffers? When do you empty the stockings at your house? Do you have any family traditions surrounding the stockings? What item would you like to see in your stocking this year?
Christmas often means spending time with family and acquaintances we don’t see the rest of the year. This can be wonderful! And draining. Especially during this season of Hallmark movies and Norman Rockwell paintings, be careful who you share your heart with.