Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Wow, has it really been almost a month since my last post?  I was on a roll there with my meal-planning series, but once that ended, I dove into Thanksgiving and now getting ready for Christmas, so the blog has taken a back seat.  You probably won't hear much from me until after the New Year, but I thought I would stop in today to give you a quick update on what's happening around here.

Last month, I shared a list of loose ends that I am hoping to tie up before the start of 2014.  Some items have been completed, some are in progress, and a few remain completely untouched.  Here's where I'm at:

1.  Complete our 2012-13 Family Yearbook:  Done!  Ok, more like "Almost Done!"  I have completed the book but am waiting for my hubby to give it a final edit before clicking the "order" button.

2.  Begin and get caught up with the 2013-14 Family Yearbook:  Yeah, um, I haven't even thought about this one.  Realistically, this may get pushed until sometime in January.  It just isn't my top priority right now.

3.  Hang coat racks in the garage:  Done!  I was planning to make my own coatrack, but ended up finding one the perfect size at Home Depot for about $25.  I hung it low enough that J&A can reach it to hang up their own coats.

4.  Install door stoppers throughout our house:  Why isn't this done yet?  It will seriously only take me 30 minutes, but for some reason I keep forgetting about it.  Okay people, my goal is to get this done this afternoon -- no more stalling on this one!

5.  Add shelf in laundry closet:  This is another one that I haven't even thought about.

6.  Update my recipe book:  Done and then some!  I not only updated my book, but also created a meal planning station in one of my cupboards.  Menu planning has never been easier!

7.  Sort, sell and purge all of our baby stuff:  This one is still in progress, but I have made a ton of headway.

I started by gathering all the items that I was planning to sell on Craigslist and moved them up into our (unfurnished) living room.

From there, I began taking pictures, researching each item's value, and writing Craigslist posts.  Since I was selling over 15 items, I knew I needed a method to keep myself organized as potential buyers began responding to my ads.  I started by using painter's tape to label each item with its listed sale price.  I found this helpful as buyers came by to pick up the item to remind myself (and the buyer) the price of the item.  I also created a spreadsheet that listed each item, how much I was asking for it, the current status of the item (available, pending, sold) and any information I needed to know about the potential buyer (name, contact info, date/time they were planning to pick up the item).  The spreadsheet really helped me to stay organized with my sales.  (I have always had good luck with Craigslist and, luckily, have never had any sketchy interactions.  To be safe I always make sure I have a phone number for the buyer, arrange meeting times when my husband is home, and have the item either in the garage, outside or right near the front door).  I sold about 20 items on Craigslist and made just under $1,000, all in one week's time.  Not bad if I do say so myself!

Once I had gotten rid of all the Craigslist items, I had lots more room to groove in our basement guest room/ baby-storage-zone, so I got to work on sorting through the dozens of boxes of baby gear.  During my first sort, I divided the items into consign, donate, and trash.  The donation pile then got separated into items that were being donated to a local high-end thrift shop and those that were going to the nearest Goodwill drop off.  The trash also got a quick sort as I pulled out all the textiles to be recycled through our local waste management (burp cloths, onesies, etc. -- items that weren't suitable for donation).

Tackling the items for consignment was my third step in the process and one that I am continuing to work on.  I am signed up to sell my items at a huge consignment sale that is taking place in February.  This is my first time with consignment and so I am learning a lot as I go.  After carefully reading and re-reading the rules of the consignment sale, I now have all of my items sorted and organized: everything has been clean/sanitized, toys and their accessories are bundled together, and all clothing items are on hangers.

I am now at the point where I am ready to start pricing and tagging each item.  Since I have about 300 items to sell (the max for this sale), I am anticipating it will take me a while to get all the tagging done, but hoping that the payout is all worth it in the end.

7.  Burn the remainder of our CD's to a hard drive:  Ugh!  I hate this one.  I am continuing to avoid it like the plague.  One of the barriers to this project is that my computer does not have a CD drive, so I can only work on this project when my husband is home.  My hubs and I also need to spend time figuring out which CD's we have already burnt and which we haven't.  I am so dreading this project that I even began researching places online where you can send your CD's and they convert them all to MP3s for you and send them back to you on a DVD.  But, ultimately, we decided it wasn't cost effective for us so we are left to do it on our own.  I have no idea when/how we will get this done.

So, that's what I've been up to lately.  Well, that, and spending lots of time with my family.  I tend to feel an irrational amount of guilt if I am not constantly busy and I exhaust myself by setting unrealistic expectations about what I can possibly accomplish in a day.   Does this sound familiar to anyone else our there?  This past month, I have been very intentionally slowing down and taking time to really enjoy my life, my husband, my home and my kids.  So while my house may not always be clean, projects may be left undone and laundry may be ignored for days, we are having a great time as a family getting into the spirit of the holiday season which is really about spending time with those you love, being thankful for what you have and reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.  I hope that you, too, are finding moments of peace and calm during this otherwise busy time of year.  And in case you don't hear from me again for a couple weeks, happy holidays everyone!