60 Day Minimalist Challenge Week 8

DAY50// CULL CLEANING SUPPLIES

I didn’t find much in my cupboards that I don’t use; only a rusted can of laundry starch. I don’t even have an ironing board since my daughter took it, along with my iron, when she moved out over 18 months ago. I’ve always hated ironing and manage to avoid having to do it by buying clothes with crease-resistant fabric, or hanging them in the shower, or popping them in the tumble dryer for a few minutes if heavily wrinkled. Most of the time I’m one of those horrendous shabby people going about in wrinkled clothing.

Judge me if you will; I will judge your judginess.

DAY51// REMOVE DECORATIVE ITEMS OTHER THAN YOUR FAVOURITES

Since organising my bookcase, I only have a few keepsakes which are presents from family member’s travels; and my collection of beer festival glasses and tankards (which are used regularly). Everything fits on a couple of small shelves in my kitchen display cabinet, so it’s self contained and not cluttering up space.

DAY52// IDENTIFY AND REMEDY 1 BAD SPENDING HABIT YOU HAVE

I don’t have enough excess income to splurge on frivolous items. If I want a day out ,or to treat the grandchildren it just means putting off getting planned items until I can afford them. The only thing I could spend less on is food. When I am organised, I find planning menus and writing out a weekly/ monthly grocery shopping list avoids spending on unnecessary items, and works out cheaper than doing daily shops as can bulk buy. (I do count chocolate as very necessary when I’m feeling hormonal; rather like coffee, it’s safer for everyone involved if I have my fix.)

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DAY53// IF YOU HAVE A LOAN OR CREDITS CARD INCREASE THE FREQUENCY OF REPAYMENTS

As mentioned above, I have hardly any excess income, so paying off bills early isn’t an option. I will do this if I ever get on top of the unexpected (and with two senior dogs, ever-increasing) vets bills, and replacing household appliances that have a knack of all breaking at the same time (likely because most were brought around the same time).

DAY54// PLAN YOUR MEALS FOR THE NEXT WEEK AND WRITE A SHOPPING LIST

I usually do work out a menu for the week, and always write a shopping list to make sure I get essentials. However, I haven’t been so organised for a while. I did manage to buy staple items for 2-3 weeks on my last payday, so am getting back into the habit. Though it is difficult when you have one annoying household member (not child) who decides they all of a sudden don’t like meals you’ve prepared to cook, and would rather eat convenience food, despite decades of eating said food.

DAY55// CULL ACCESSORIES (SUNGLASSES/ HATS/ WATCHES/ BAGS)

So, what’s essential? My accessories are already sparse:

1 pair sunglasses (for when wear contact lenses)

1 pair prescription sunglasses

0 watches

2 handbags (one is rather shabby now & was donated by my daughter)

1 LARP bag -sadly I have not been to any events for some time, so now occasionally used as handbag. And yes, I am that lone person who went to an outdoor theatre production of The Hobbit dressed in my cloak.

1 sun hat (hardly worn, because British Summer)

1 beanie hat (now 50% dog fur)-for walking dogs on cold mornings

1 Cthulhu hat/ balaclava- Warning: may cause panic in passers-by when worn in hours of darkness.

DAY56// SET A GOAL OF SOMEWHERE YOU’D LIKE TO TRAVEL AND FIGURE OUT THE COST

St Helena

Being half St Helenian, I would love to visit my Mother’s home country, and meet my extended family. Having researched the cost, I’m thinking this isn’t going to be until quite some time in the future. With the airport only recently being opened and still undergoing test flights for commercial aircraft, travel there means flight from UK to Cape Town South Africa at £500 each way, then by ship on RMS St Helena from Cape town ,which is a minimum fare of £430 each way. Hopefully travel costs will come down once the airport is in full use, though I think I’ll wait for the airline pilots to get some more practice landing in those cross-winds before I consider booking!

New Zealand

Being a massive Tolkien fan and general geek, my dream holiday would be a Lord of the Rings tour. At over £5000 I think I’ll be waiting for my numbers to come up on the lottery, or having a mad moment with my pension fund, to ever get there.

Reality

In the next few years I am planning to go somewhere cheap and sunny with my two children. They’re adults, so can pay their own way. Shared self-catering accommodation is l around £100 each, then cheap flights and spending money isn’t going to break the bank. I’m not in any hurry, as we have two elderly dogs who we wouldn’t want to put through stress of going into kennels, so I’m happy to have stay-cations in UK visiting family for the moment.

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While I feel like I have managed to complete the tasks for this week, I still find myself having set-backs. Whenever something unexpected comes up I have been struggling to keep up; I currently have a new pile of letters waiting to be opened, and bags of clothes I sorted weeks ago waiting to be donated. Setting a holiday goal has helped motivate me to achieve a longer term goal.

Only four more days of the challenge to go…

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