Why I want junk mail…

…to never come to my house!  Gotcha to keep reading here.  I just want to briefly share about two things that I do to cut down on junk mail (I would like to put a sign on my mailbox that says NO JUNK MAIL, but I kind of think that won’t do the trick).

no junk mail, 3D rendering, triple flags

First thing I’ve done and recommend: use the app Paper Karma and scan addresses of unwanted junk mail, and then Paper Karma contacts these companies to unsubscribe you from their mailing list.  I definitely see that my junk mail has decreased, to the point that I don’t even get mail everyday.  See also this video on Paper Karma – this individual presenting has also been featured on the Today Show:

Second thing I do is automatically put any junk mail items that I receive in the garbage, bag to recycle, or in a pile to shred.  I sort mail the day it comes to my house.  I don’t let it overwhelm me – I get it out the door.  Occasionally my kids use ‘junk mail’ magazines for art projects, but they aren’t a must-have.

Remember – it’s not fan mail! 🙂

Living in Toyland

“Science says that LESS is MORE in Toyland.”  Very often I have toys all over my living room floor.  Most nights I try to clean up – I need to make sure we don’t trip, milk isn’t left in the play kitchen’s refrigerator, food doesn’t get found by ants – you know, the basics.  We do a really good clean up at least once a week.  It takes time and I don’t always ‘have’ time to do it.  My oldest daughter is helping more and more which is wonderful!

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My children are currently 6, 3 and 2.  They need to play.  I decided today that we need some rules here in Toyland.

RULE #1 NO MORE OVERFLOWING TOY BINS!  That’s a benchmark I think I can follow.

RULE #2 STOP BUYING TOYS FOR AT LEAST A MONTH [when it feels like toys are taking over the house].  oh no…won’t my kids be upset?…

RULE #3 ______________ (fill-in-the-blank) – I feel like taking more toys out of the kids’ bedrooms might help solve things too but I’m still trying to figure it out….help!

We’re working on finishing our basement right now – it will be our primary playroom.  We will see if we can stick to this LESS is MORE once we have more space.  We need to start somewhere so for now, I’ll try to follow the two simple rules I’ve made.

Two bags

My mom is in town visiting and has always been so helpful sorting my kids’ clothing.  I would ask her what I should do to organize the clothing better, and she would always calmly say “you have too much”.  Wow.  So I could be more organized if I had LESS?  Not rocket science but it was mind blowing for me.  So it’s not a good thing to have MORE and MORE clothes in the house?!  I had already applied the KonMari method to my clothing – but could I possibly find an application to my kids’ clothing, when they couldn’t tell me what truly sparked joy for them? (You have to read Marie Kondo’s books to get the humor here).

Today I went through the kids’ clothing with my mom (really we had time for just the 4T clothing for my middle daughter).  It took SO MUCH TIME.  But in the midst of it all my husband and I got motivated to purge other things in our house, and my oldest daughter caught the fever and started purging things in her room.  Once in the groove, stay in the groove – and we did for a couple hours.

So the two bags…adobestock_22394284.jpeg…one for throwing out and one for giving away to a charity (i.e. Pickup Please a.k.a. Vietnam Veterans of America or to our MOPS consignment sale at our church).  The stuff that we kept had to find a home, and that home needed to have room (it couldn’t be put back in an overflowing bin).

My mom told me about her parents who had 11 kids – they were super good at continually getting rid of things.  Disclaimer: I think this may have not always been a positive impact on the kids, still I’m impressed to think about how they managed.  MORE space for kids LESS clutter.  I only have three kids – can’t I manage to fill two bags with things to throw out and/or give away, at least a couple times a year?  How about you?

During this first week of Lent…

For six years now I have attended a church where we have Lenten services every Wednesday night from Ash Wednesday to Easter – remembering Jesus’ time in the wilderness, leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection.  I didn’t grow up in a church that had an official Lent period, and I’m enjoying the season.

Of course most people know about Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Easter – those holidays are pretty standard, but everyone ‘celebrates’ the Lenten weeks in between differently.  I’m trying to look at Lent as a celebration – and I’m impacted by how it goes so well with my blog’s theme: have LESS to have MORE.

I ran into an article about the 40 Bags in 40 Days Decluttering Challenge, and it made me think that decluttering could be what I do for Lent.  I’m not filling 40 bags but I’m definitely trying to give up clutter – it’s an ongoing challenge.  Recently I gave away clothing, toys, and MY FILING CABINET (I currently don’t have any filing cabinets in the house)!!

No matter what you believe about God, I think you get what I’m saying – LESS of something means MORE of something else.  And if you feel like you want to know God MORE, please don’t hesitate to ask me – or better yet, check out the Bible (here’s the app I read – there are great devotionals too).

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Crayons (and paper)

Crayons are very popular with kids – they always have been.  We get them at restaurants, parties, randomly at Target.  Needless to say, they’ve accumulated at our house.  Recently I chucked a lot of broken crayons – it felt good.  Still it felt a bit wasteful.

I grew up in New Jersey.  My sister-in-law who lives there told me about a place in Hoboken where they are begging for used/broken crayons – theturquoisecup.  I’ve heard tell that crayons are really easy to repurpose – maybe I should think about doing that next time instead of throwing them out.

Crayons

So then there’s the paper that accompanies the crayons.  Every so often I purge the drawings and coloring books in our play room.  I put some on display on a couple clipboards that I hang on the wall as decoration.  I recycle them or sometimes just throw them out.  I scan the pictures that are good and my mom puts together a Shutterfly book each year for each of my girls, which contain their drawings and photos.

What thoughts do you have regarding crayons and the art they create?