Magic of Decluttering - The KonMari method

I've taken to listening to audiobooks lately, and found a gem on Hoopla. Have you heard of the KonMari method of tidying? This book by Marie Kondo The Magic of Tidying is about decluttering and keeping only items that inspire and spark joy in you. Its a quick read or a quick listen, about four hours and you too will be motivated to declutter. The most important thing to figure out before you declutter is to determine your "Why?" by stating your reason you want to declutter and then asking Why. Do this three times to find the root cause of why you want to declutter. You will find it has nothing to do with getting rid of junk, but is probably a reason related to relationships or people or freedom or something.

For me, I stated to my DH that I wanted to declutter the pool table rec room so we could play billiards again. It is currently surrounded by excess stockpile bottles of shampoo and bounce and boxes of napkins and toilet paper. On top are piles of items we dug through boxes to find but then did nothing with. The room is a mess. Anyway, my second level Why question is Why do I want to play pool? Well, its a hobby both my DH and I enjoy and we never do it anymore. Why? Well we used to play pool with friends on Friday nights and party, but now we hang around the backyard by the firepit and listen to music or watch some sporting event on TV.  We have replaced billiards with hanging outside. Which is fine, but there are lots of times during the year when it is not very fun to hang around outside - like in July in Florida where we have gotten twenty inches of rain! Or in January when its near forty degrees which is cold even with the nice warm fire blazing.

Anyway, I've announced I'm going to declutter and follow the method in the book which states to start with the most non personal items which are clothes. Several years ago when we remodeled our bedrooms. living room, and family rooms we purged bags and bags of clothes, books, mimentos and papers. However, a good majority of them just ended up in boxes in the rec room and our spare guest room. Our guest room has become our stockpile room and it is too a mess. We probably have over a thousand rolls of TP and a 50 rolls of paper towels, over 100 toothbrushes, 100 shampoos, dozens of bottles of cleaning products and every other personal care item you could need or want. We undoubtedly will have to have a garage sale coming up in the fall to get rid of all the excess I plan to discard. And it will be a good one. Once its outside the house for a yard sale, it will not be coming back in - to the curb it will go.

my sock drawer before decluttering

So, the process of tidying will begin with my clothes, since DH has declined to participate even though he has dresser drawers of clothing which he has not touched since we moved to Florida over twenty four years ago! Literally, he has not opened the drawers on these dressers for many years. I have graciously agreed to leave his stuff alone, but I secretly hope that he will be motivated by seeing all the stuff I will discard. I personally have over two hundred tshirts alone. My drawers are overflowing with brand new pairs of socks, and underwear still in the cute little Victoria Secret package. That's another rule of the book, when you purchase something be sure to remove tags and packaging and properly fold it into the KonMari rectangle and find a place to vertically store it in a drawer or closet.

6 months later...
Wow, I need to get remotivated. I wrote this post 6 months ago and actually did a purge of clothing, we got rid of a dozen garbage bags of clothes. But I felt very little joy from my clothing. I actually threw out too much and didn't have any of those old grungy tshirts to do lawnwork, or painting in. So, I dug out some of my favorites that I had tossed and put some shirts on my shelf. I also didn't continue to other items beyond clothing. I'll have to start over and read the book again because I do have too much clutter.

If you're feeling to love and want to declutter, another blogger is having a challenge in January to declutter with a nifty calendar plan, check it out at Simply Stacie. The calendar is a printable pdf so you can print it out and hang it up to follow all month.

Make Money with Your New Fitbit, And Some Tips

Today in the paper it announced that the Fitbit app was the most downloaded app on Christmas Day. That means lots of people are going to start tracking their steps and hopefully get healthier. I got a fitbit early this year and have enjoyed the confirmation of my daily steps and it is one of my apps I check almost daily. The cool thing is you can turn your daily steps into money by linking your fitbit with some reward programs and other apps.

If you've got a new fitbit, here are some tips.
  • Wear it and forget it. If you take it off, you may forget it and miss out on your tracking.
  • The unit charge lasts several days, it charges on a usb port on PC or wall charger. charge it while sedentary reading or watching tv, or overnight.
  • Track specific workouts by tapping twice. then you can check the data on your PC to see expanded view of your activity progress.
  • Log sleep manually if you forget to tap twice before you lay your head down.
  • Link your fitbit to My Fitness Pal app to automatically add your steps to that app. Go to settings on your MFP app and click add devices, it will take you to website to allow fitbit to access your account.
  • If unsure of accuracy compare to cardio trainer app, or Moves app to validate movement. Actually if you don't want to buy a fitbit, the moves app will track activity without an additional device, just have your phone with you. Won't work for swimming or yoga, but would work for biking. The Moves app also can be linked to your account to earn you points and $2 each week at Kmart or Sears.
  • Join to make money from exercising, android app. Link your fitbit and moves app to higi to earn even more. There is usually a new Challenge every month where you can win gift cards by logging in at higi stations (blood pressure machines) in Publix stores and other retail pharmacies.
  • Join and link it to your account (at Kmart and Sears) to earn 2000 points each week you walk 15 miles. The points expire quickly within the week, but we've used it to get stuff almost every week.
  • Download app and join Google Fit which you can link to GoodCoins to earn points. Not really sure how many points you need or what they are worth.
  • Fitbit comes with a small and large wristband. Its good to have spare. If you don't like your color you can buy a fashionable band. They even sell leather and metal ornaments to make it look pretty.

My Publix Trip - Saved 92%, Spent $8.74, Saved $106

I haven't posted for a while but plan to get back at it and bring Frugalapolis back to life. I've still been couponing and saving money on groceries and household supplies. Of course with the changes in policies the last few years it is harder to find the deals, and then even harder to find the products in the store, but its still worth it.

My expectations have changed and my goal is simply to save as much as I can, rather than just get free stuff. My stockpile room has overflowing shelves and some of the foods I know I just will not get to before I decide I need to just toss it. As a former food scientist, I know that expiration dates are simply a suggestion and manufacturers use the date to rotate stock and try to ensure freshness. However, shelf stable products that have been stored at ambient temperature are good for many years, despite the expiration date. Anyway, I've been trying to scale back my stockpile and its really difficult. My three freezers are bursting and I have to pass many frozen foods deals because I don't have room.

So, onto this shop. I think this is a good sale week so I stocked up on a lot of dairy products. The unique thing I noticed about my coupons this week is that they were all printables. I think that's a good thing, since here in Tampa we don't get the Red Plum in our Sunday papers and getting multiples takes a bit more work from gathering from friends and neighbors.

The pork sausage rolls were a money maker with the raincheck from Thanksgiving time, and the International Delight creamer is a money maker. This helped offset the cost of the Kraft Cheese which is a good deal, but cheese is still expensive. I didn't read the TGIF coupon closely and the 1/1 mq from is only good on 10oz or larger, so I had to pull out the $1.50/3 mq print from that was good on any size to get the smaller potato skins snacks. I would have saved a couple more dollars by getting 6 larger size boxes and using all $1/1 mqs (it would  have been $0.39 for all 6 boxes). I also didn't have any $5 off basket coupons, deciding against using the $10 off Visa coupon in the ad this week because they're a hassle to use. So, in the end my total was $8.74, and I saved 92% which was $106.39. I paid using the $100 GC I won recently from a texting sweepstakes with Publix and Kelloggs.

Happy Shopping!