Monday, January 9, 2012

Clean Home Challenge, Week 2

If you remember from my post this past week, I took a picture of the top of my dresser. It was quite cluttered up with various things:

A basket of Christmas ornaments, a box of extra school supplies, clothes, hangers, a couple of single boots, a tote with some clothes in it, a container with some change in it...just very miscellaneous schtuffs. (That's the technical term for it, by the way!)

Well, I cleared it all off, dusted off the decorative scrollwork that is at the top of my mirror (not shown in the picture) and then removed all the cluttery items from my dresser and put it all away. Clothes went to the appropriate places - laundry room or the person's bedroom, the hangers to the closet, the box of school supplies to the closet where they are supposed to be stored, the boots to the shelf next to the front door where we keep them, the container of change got emptied into Hubby's change tray and then I was ready to clean off the top of the dresser itself.

I got it all cleaned off and dusted, then I put a picture frame with a family picture in it on the dresser along with three jars that I got from the Dollar Store. I had planned to use those jars to make homemade sugar scrub for Christmas presents but I never got around to it so I still had them. I just added water to them and put in some floating candles that I've had laying around here for the last two years. I also had three pillar holders (for candles) that were still new in box and I decided to pull them out and put them in there too. I think it adds a nice little touch to the dresser's look and I feel like I finally have a use for them. Then I added a small tray that I absolutely love. I actually have a set of three of these trays. The one on my dresser is the smallest of the bunch. The next size up (which is the same length but in a square) I have on top of my microwave to corral miscellaneous items that need to be taken out of the kitchen. I also have a large one that is rectangular that I use for a drink tray - well, to store drink mixes and such, not to serve drinks on.

And overall, I am quite pleased with the way it turned out! It only took about 15-20 minutes to clear off and straighten it up and decorate it. Oh - and don't mind the mirror. I had some clean laundry on the bed that needed to be folded and didn't want that to take away from the nice look of the dresser. Oh - and in case you hadn't guessed, I did find my camera. It wasn't on my dresser but just under the front edge of the dresser. How it got there, I don't have the slightest clue, but regardless, I found it!

Okay, now a quick side-by-side comparison so that you don't have to scroll up and down to compare the two:

And now moving on to Week 2:

This week we are supposed to head on out to our living rooms and clear off just one end table. This actually works out pretty well for me because I only have one. I did have three but I just recently got rid of two of them.

I have to confess, the picture of my end table is actually taken partially done. I was cleaning up the living room this morning and decided to clean up the area near my favorite relaxing / study spot in the living room. So, what you will see here is after I picked up two of those bottles of soda (Diet Dr Pepper - belonged to me, two yogurt cups with spoons - belonged to Jeriah and Hubby, a bowl and a spoon - belonged to Oralee, as well as various random bits and pieces. I had also decided to put the basket that was on my dresser in my before pic down here to store all of our various charging cords (my laptop, our cell phones, the boys' dsi chargers, the little kids' Leapster charger, etc. etc. etc.) which I think looks better than a jumble of those cords just laying down here. I may revamp that plan later on, but for now, I like it.

And here is the picture:

The Saved Quarter Challenge - Week 1 Catch Up and Week 2

I'm joining in on this a little bit late, but I am ready to participate! For the first week, we were supposed to set a goal and write it down.

My goals are to:

Save 10% of our income for an emergency fund.

Save 5% of our income for medical expenses not covered by insurance. Or to use for co-pays, etc.

Set aside 10% of our income for tithing. While not technically saving, it is an important investment and I think a crucial one when it comes to money matters.

Week 1 Complete
Beginning of Week 2

Hubby got paid on 1/6/2012 and I immediately put 10% of his paycheck aside for savings in a certain tucked-away spot. It would make more sense to put it in the bank to accrue interest but that is not a logical option for me right now, as I am too quick to withdraw money from there when I want it. I now have $20.00 set aside for our emergency fund. (Hubby had a lot less hours than normal over the last month or so, these totals are going to be smaller for this paycheck and the next.)
Total: $20.00 this week, $20.00 year to date

I also tucked away 5% in another spot to set aside for medical expenses. I now have $10.00 set aside for for medical expenses.
Total: $10.00 this week, $10.00 year to date

And finally, I tucked 10% into an envelope and turned it in to the church yesterday morning. I contributed $20.00 plus an additional amount to the church for our tithing.
Total: $20.00 this week, $20.00 year to date

Tracking Spending:
I haven't been writing everything down as it happens, but I do keep every single receipt and then I record it later. This works for a couple of different reasons. This way I can also track regular and sale prices for individual items as well. But since I have the receipts to use for all of this, I can easily track our spending.

This also helps with one of my 2012 Resolutions, in particular Item 6e.

You can click the image above to be directed to the Saved Quarter or you can click here.