The New Year Is Here. Time To Purge, De-clutter and Downsize.

This is the perfect time of year to start purging through your closets and either throw or donate whatever it is you don’t need, want or will use anymore. I started off with my food pantry. I looked over my contents and read all the expiration statistics. Anything nearing expiring I donated to a food pantry quickly! Anything else I thought I would no longer eat or need, I also donated to our local church food pantry. Thankfully, there was nothing I could toss into the garbage, so I am thankful there was no food waste in my pantry.

Next was my refrigerator and freezer. My freezer had the usual bread ends that had frost bite so I couldn’t pulverize them to bread crumbs. Those were unfortunately tossed into the garbage. I have to stop that in 2019! I did, however, notice a lot of duplicates in my fridge and I found that to be wasteful. Moving forward into the new year, I have to be more mindful of my food shopping habits. I need to look in the fridge, freezer and pantry first before I buy another thing!

For example: I had FOUR packages of Swiss cheese in my fridge’s deli draw! I only need one! I labeled them for future consumption and vowed this would never happen again. At $3.99 each, I had overspent by $11.97 and possibly faced one of the packages becoming moldy, thus headed for the garbage pail. This did happen to me a few weeks ago with my sliced provolone cheese. Thankfully, Aldi (the grocer) replaced it and gave me a new, fresh one since it was their fault it went bad. Not so with the Swiss cheese. This is 100% MY fault!

cheese
Don’t let this food overbuying happen to you!

It’s also a time now to de-clutter. I walked around my home looking in each and every room, asking myself ‘What can I get rid of?’ I have a smallish living room and I felt that the solid blue, sort-of-large trunk I was using as a coffee table was both too bulky and took up a lot of space. Plus, you couldn’t see the new, colorful rug I recently bought for my living room. I felt a glass coffee table would have been better and lighter on the eye PLUS you would finally see my new rug!

I searched Wayfair.com and found a great, round, glass coffee table for $120 (free shipping). My budget was only $100 so I kept looking. Believe it or not, I found the very same round glass coffee table for only $89 (free shipping) at Walmart.com. I moved the large trunk upstairs and placed it at the foot of my daughter’s queen size bed. It looks better up there than down here plus it’s a great additional storage space to hold all the bulky blankets and comforters neatly.

Here’s my new, improved, de-cluttered living room. You can finally see the center of my colorful rug!

living room
It’s a smallish living room BUT it gets the job done when friends & family visit.

The home we are living in now is already our downsized home. We downsized in 2001 and went from a 9 room home to a 4 room home. We went from $5600 a month (in 2001 dollars) to $2200 a month (in current 2018 dollars). But as time passes, I’ve come to realize that should one of us have to live here alone, it would be near impossible to continue doing that. There’s just too many things that can go wrong here for one person to manage. Things such as the well, the septic, the water purification system, electric power-outages during a storm surge, maintaining 3.5 acres of open land………you get the picture. DH and I estimate we will probably move and downsize yet once again in 3 years (when DH goes on Medicare & collects Social Security). In the interim, till then, we are going to start searching the country for another location to move to. Preferably a little bit warmer climate AND also not too far away from our children and grandchildren.

In the future, as we RV, we’ll be keeping an extra eye out, subconsciously searching for that nirvana location. Right now, I’m thinking ‘there’s no place like the home we already have’ so I have the sneaking suspicion we just might downsize to a smaller home and lot that’s already nearby! Till then, we’ve got three years to make up our minds.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! HERE’S TO A BETTER AND WISER 2019!

 

 

25 comments

  1. Just because I happen to be at work…and I work in finance, which make it really easy for me…I calculated the $5600 from Dec2001 to today. It would be $6125 if it grew at exactly the rate of CPI inflation over that time. Big chunk of change. Your current payment is 64% lower!

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    • Wow, thanks for doing the math. Yup, it sure was expensive back in that house and back in that area (Long Island, NY)! Glad we moved away. My ex, who still lives there pays $32,000 a year just in homeowner property taxes. You read that right! He’s stuck there too. Can’t sell can’t stop working either!
      Life is so much more affordable here and we get to do so much more! Go figure.
      Thanks again for your calculations. It’s an eye opener.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know. It totally sounds crazy.
        Unless the school system was top notch. I’ve paid for private school, and now that my kids are in public school at not additional cost, I happily pay the taxes, which are a lot lower.

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      • I pay $5038 a year in taxes. $3368 is for our school taxes (we have an excellent public school system here) and the remaining $1670 is for property taxes. I’m happy with everything BUT I wouldn’t want any of my taxes to go up, too too much! The fab schools will make our home much more profitable if and when we sell. We get great services here also.
        Thanks again for your comment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you on the new coffee table. Looks great. Funny how you can cast your eye around a room and know that something is off and needs changing. I’m continually tweaking my house.

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    • Anne, I just walked into the living room the other day and a glass coffee table somewhere out in the universe was calling my name! LOL! I just knew it was time. I wanted to enjoy my colorful new rug more. Go figure.
      Thanks for your comment. Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  3. I thought all Aldi’s have the double refund policy replace the item and give you your money back.. I use to buy Aldi’s sliced Swiss cheese and have never paid more then $1.99 and it’s been on sale for $1.79 over Thanksgiving so perhaps you didn’t waste as much money as you thought. Remember expiration dates are for the grocery stores. Last day they can sale an item but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are not still edible. They even have the day old sections in their bakeries, mark down meat close to date or on date, and reduced produce.. I love crust or bread ends toasted for cinnamon toast . A friend of mine sets the ends out right away to dry and even cuts the other side of the wrapper and uses an old twister to close and makes the two crust for bread crumbs every week.. I love playing the game how many meals can I make with the ingredients I have on hand? A pork chop or one chicken breast can make three -4 servings with adding lots of vegetables stir fry with rice, then add some peas and make fried rice, lomein adding vermicelli mixed with coconut amino instead of soy sauce and oil, and finally adding some chicken broth to make sweet and sour soup with duck sauce and a touch of vinegar to taste. Sincerely, Lara

    • Lara, I got a refund on the returned provolone cheese plus a new package. The cheese had gone moldy before the expiration date. As to my overbuying swiss cheese, that was totally our fault. We weren’t paying attention.

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  4. I know I know I should put purging at the top of my list but I find it so so boring. The only way I do it is by setting a timer for one hour and try to keep focus to do it quickly concentrating on the task because my mind has a tendency to wander to other things that I would rather be enjoying!
    I guess if I was downsizing it would be more important but even with all my recent expenses when those are divided over 33 1/2 years of living here, it means the cost of maintenance of all three systems that I just fixed was less then $230 a year. If I was paying for municipal water source that wouldn’t even cover it. Or if I had a municipal sewer line. Yes, I am fortunate I saved for problems like these and keep emergency money set aside thankfully making 1.6% now. The well repair I was able to use my travel rewards card and won’t need to pay till February so the money will continue to make interest. I don’t plan on moving although my kids would like me too. They don’t want to move into my home when I pass. They want very little of what I have. Living here is the cheapest choice as far as expenses and property taxes and paying for only the services I need. Also it’s with no condo fees or home association fees that seem to go up faster then inflation especially when the community is no longer building new units, or even those crazy buyins for total care communities. I also like the quiet of my home and find a lot of higher noise levels gives me a really bad headache 🤕, I am fortunate to have four local grocery chains that provide delivery services, tons of restaurants for ready made meals. Uber and Lyft, and taxi services. Close by medical services. I read there is 57% of America that are single and prefer living alone and to socialize on their own terms. If you become a widow -You will I am sure be capable to find the help you need but the price may actually give you were wish to die broke!Lara

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    • Lara. I’m with you. It’s cheaper for us to live here in this home than a condo or any other type of assisted living. I couldn’t get over how fast they raised those HOA fees back in Florida. You couldn’t do it on a fixed income so I don’t understand how others state they are doing it. Our home here was brand new. We’ve already replaced all the appliances. It’s just a matter of time now.

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  5. I’ve replaced every appliance and soon will be getting a new refrigerator and washer/ dryer again in the spring after I get the well repair paid off and do my taxes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love Wayfair. Just ordered a new turning end table for my mom through Wayfair. They have lovely pieces. That coffee table really lightens up the space by allowing you to see the rug. I like its simple, clean lines.

    I often have duplicate packages of … strangely, enough … cheese, too! My PC loves to snack on cheese so I need to pay more attention to what he has eaten and what we still have plenty of before I go grocery shopping.

    I have worked for two weeks purging my mom’s apartment to prepare for her move from a 2 bedroom to an efficiency. Made me realize how much I have to purge at home. Maybe this will be the year.

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    • Hi Mommy Hon. It’s amazing how much stuff we all amass, isn’t it? Each year I need and use less and less. I suppose it’s a process for us.
      Hope your mom is doing well. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  7. LOL – duplicates happen when both Mr. and I go shopping off a semi-remembered it was written down list on the fridge that we left behind. I can’t wait to read more about what you donate and save in 2019. After a very expensive year for us, I’m thinking of trying to live on a retirement budget for a year is a good idea. Maybe we’d even feel like retiring early? No, I think I remember you posting on how that’s not a great idea if you’ve not planned properly?! Cheers to you in 2019. I love your living room by the way – it looks great!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Shelley. Living on a retirement income as a trial is a very good idea. Then you can tweak and adjust it while you’re still solvent and working. It’s an eye opener for sure!
      Happy New Year to you and your family. Looking forward to 2019!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shelley,
      Yes! Living off a retirement income is a great idea! We will be doing it this year (even though we will be retiring in 7 years), but it’s a great exercise. I hope to be documenting it in a new blog I will be starting in January…fingers crossed I remember how to blog. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Cindi- Yes, Yes & Yes! Decluttering is so freeing. Downsizing this way BEFORE you move is the only way to go. Your living room looks great! I just purchased a chair before Christmas from Wayfair, loved the service and the speed. It was $235, swivels and reclines and will be going in a bedroom upstairs that I’m working on just.for.me. I’ve done the ‘minimalist challenge’ twice in 2018 (Day 1 – 1 item, Day 2 – 2 items..etc.) I plan on doing it 3 more times in 2019. It is amazing how easy it is to clean when you don’t have crap all over the place. 🙂
    I also will be much more careful about the food I buy. The waste that has happened is disgusting. Zero waste sounds good to me. Aldi will also be my grocery store of choice. Working on the retirement income we expect to have by the time we retire. If we can stick with it, we will save a bundle. Here’s hoping. Also, we hope to downsize our home in retirement. There is no need for a 5 bedroom, 3 level home for two people. It’s just a matter of where. Looking forward to your discoveries! 🙂 Happy New Year!!

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    • Sharon, there is no clutter in my house. Nick’s barn OTOH is a nightmare. I can’t even walk into the space without screaming. LOL! He has cluttered up the barn, our storage shed, and our basement. The other day he moved his ham radio set into my daughters room and set up a cluttered mess. That’s because he has no work space in his own overcrowded space. This time I put my foot down. He has one week to get rid of a 2000 Cherokee Jeep in the barn, fully disassembled with parts all over the place. It’s 2018! He’s NOT putting it back together! He found someone to buy it for the parts. Once that’s out of the barn we can take a sigh of relief. Ridiculous! Clutter becomes a sickness after a while IMHO.
      Your planning sounds good. Voluntarily getting used to a retirement budget is an eye opener.
      Good luck!

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      • With college payments BEHIND us (woot!), we will work on getting rid of our mortgage. Once that is gone, it will be smooth sailing. 🙂 Here’s hoping anyway. 🙂

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      • Oh those pesky college payments! So glad they are gone. When the day comes and your mortgage is paid off, indulge yourself in that good, good feeling. It’s gonna feel THAT good!

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