Friday, October 28, 2011

On a First Name Basis With the Goodwill Drop-off Man

A side effect of my quest in simplifying my house and my life is a non-stop generation of things to get rid of.  Every day I clean a little more and end up with another bag of things to donate.  I made two trips to Goodwill this week and Gary gave me a funny look on trip two.  Maybe his look was due to the fact that I stop off with a bag or two of things almost every week since the store is conveniently located right next door to my grocery store.  Maybe I just looked funny and he couldn't help himself.  Maybe he was just having a funny-look sort of day.  Whatever the reason, I didn't have the guts to make a third trip this week despite having a trunk full of things after doing a major purge of my bookshelf and office.

Yesterday was my first morning I spent at home this week.  I woke up feeling very unmotivated, even posted about it in my facebook status update.  But, like most times, once I force myself to get going I get a lot done.  I cleaned the kitchen, did laundry, vacuumed the whole house, and then went into the office to reward my efforts with some computer time.  As I walked through the door, this thing met my eyes.

It has been in the office for a while now.  It wasn't supposed to be in the office.  It was in my bedroom until I got rid of it and put it in the office as a stopping over place before going to Goodwill (just can't get enough of that place!).  Instead, it has been sitting in my office for months bugging me every time I go into the office.  I picked it up to put in the van to take to Goodwill when I got to thinking.  I wonder if the bookshelf in my room, which I HATE having in my room because it makes me feel claustrophobic sitting next to my bed, would fit in this little nook?  I got out the tape measure and sure enough, it was a perfect fit.  Motivation overtook me and I emptied the bookshelf (hence the great book purge), moved it to the office, dusted and vacuumed everything, and now have a much happier office and a much happier bedroom.  Plus, before bringing the night stand to Goodwill I sent out an email asking my family if anyone needed it.  My SIL responded that they did, so I get to bless someone else with it!  Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Great TV Purge

I have kicked around the idea of giving up the TV for a while now, but my reliance on the TV as a babysitter has always made me give up on that idea very quickly.  But a few things have changed in my house that have made this prospect more likely to succeed.

1. I did homeschool my children up until this year, but they are now in school.
2. Joy was doing preschool at home, but started a K4 program at a church school this week after spending 2 months wandering through the house aimlessly missing her brother and sister, asking to watch TV, or dogging my every step.
3. The hubs signed us up for Netflix streaming so we can now watch uncommercialized shows.

A fourth thing has happened that sped up the decision.  In the last few weeks I have noticed an unappreciated trend where after watching TV, my children suddenly have things to add to their Christmas lists.  Toys they'd never heard of before but that are suddenly absolutely vital to their existence.  This was particularly noted in Joy.  She would sit and watch a show on the TV in the office (right by my computer).  Every commercial break she would say, "Mommy, I want that for Christmas."  To which I would ask, "What is it?"  And the answer would almost always be, "I don't know, but I want it for Christmas."  Right.

Today was Day 1 of the Great TV purge.  The rules are no TV, but they can watch a half hour of Netflix after dinner.  (No commercials) I thought the kids would fight me on this decision.  At the very least beg to watch TV.  Instead, this is what happened today after school.

I went to the library for my regularly planned weekly visit.  Instead of selecting an assortment of DVDs for the children to watch, I chose 10 books.  After school and homework, I sat down and read the children 2 books.  When I was done I told them there were lots more books in the bag and to help themselves.  Dave picked out a book and started reading.  Lizzy pulled out every book and carried her pile to the table, laid them all out, picked the one with the pink cover and read it to Joy.

After dinner, this is the scene that I found when I was done doing the dishes.

Lizzy is helping Joy read her own book

While my entire family has always been a reading family anyway, today was a bit more so than normal.  I would say that Day 1 of the Great TV purge has been successful.