Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014 - 6, 7, 8, 9

#6 - Clean out the papers you don't need

I moved several smallish boxes from my bedroom to my kitchen table.  They were full of papers.  School papers.  3 years worth of Christmas cards (for the record, I finally finished my Christmas cards on Super Bowl Sunday and mailed them shortly thereafter.  I've gotten lots of positive feedback, too!  I cannot count it as a resolution, however, because it was a resolution in December that I am just finishing.).  I have gone through all of the boxes and I  have whittled the group down to one with pictures that I need to do something about, one with recipes that I need to do something about, and a box of gifts to mail.  In the meantime, I've also accumulated another bag of stuff to donate, filled the paper drawer with partially used notebooks/notepads and eliminated countless piles of papers.  So satisfying.  In saying this, however, I realize that I have more to do.  Over the desk are several cubbies that I once cleared out and have now filled up and I have 2 two-drawer file cabinets in the basement and file boxes on and under the desk.  But, since February is the month of the KITCHEN, I am focused on clearing out the excess papers in the kitchen.

#7 - Do your taxes.

There are many reasons for completing these in a timely fashion.  Now that I have college students, they need me to get them done in order to fill out the FAFSA application.  We usually get a refund, so that is another reason not to put it off.

In my world, I spend more time preparing to do the taxes than actually doing them.  For example, I donate stuff throughout the year, document it in a spreadsheet, but usually only partially so I have to finish that.  Many years, I have used Quicken, which makes keeping track of my other donations easy, however, in the last couple of years that has gotten to be too complicated for me to keep up with so I have to search through my credit cards and emails to discover some of my good will.  I also spend time on the road doing deeds of a voluntary nature.  Did you know that you can deduct money on your taxes for that very thing?  I do and I do.  Right after I search through my calendar and document it all.  I am trying to put into place a system so that my prep time is less next year; my goal is to do it monthly.  Let's see next year how that all pans out.

#8 - Clean out your kitchen cabinets

Since February is the month of the kitchen, I am tackling what I truly consider to be a multi-week project of cleaning out the kitchen cabinets.  I mean, really... what do you do with those college fraternity glasses?  Sure they hold good memories... of another CENTURY!  I also have some beautiful cut crystal up there.  That I'm moving into my hutch, I think.  Maybe Teen Boy will sell it for me.  That is my goal for him for Spring Break... sell stuff on like EBAY or Craig's List.  I have the dinner plates from the last set of dishware we used.  I don't know why, but at this rate, I will have several more bags of donations.  It is a slow project that involves me climbing onto counters to reach stuff and then climbing down to put it someplace, then back up, down, up, down... you get the picture.  I might have some empty space when I am finished, but I am OKAY with that.

#9 - Strength Training

A couple months ago, I started one of those 30 day challenges.  Actually, I started two, at the same time. Why did I think I could do two?  I did well for about 2 and a half weeks and went on vacation.  This week I am starting a 30 challenge, but with a friend.  We're going to do it together and motivate the other to stick to it!  The benefits of strength training can be found here:  and here:

Fabulous abs, here I come!

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