Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012.....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Happy New Year from the Crazy Clutter Lady (me) to YOU!

Friday- Financial DeClutter

Financial Freedom and Budgeting are at the top of my 2012 resolution list. Here is a great way to get started on a Budget!! Courtesy of

The Truth About Budgeting

Myth: I don't have time to work on a budget.
Truth: You don't have time not to make a budget!

The dreaded "B" word. Budget. The only other word that starts with "B" that might generate a worse reaction in most people is the word bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, the word budget has gotten a bum rap – it is basically just a PLAN. When you budget, you're spending on paper, on purpose, before the month begins. But many people view a budget as a straight jacket that keeps them constrained. Freedom and budget just don't seem to go together.

However, when you see that a budget is just spending your money with intention, you'll actually experience more freedom than before. Many people say they've found even more money when they created a realistic budget and stuck with it.

Here are some pointers:

Give it three to four months to start working. It won't be perfect the first time you do it.
Spend every dime on paper before the month begins.
Over-fund your groceries category. Most people underfund that category.
Husbands (if applicable) need to loosen up and quit using the budget as a whipping tool on their wives.
If married, spouses need to do the budget together. The preacher said "... and you are ONE."
When you are spending your money on purpose, you will be on your way to a Total Money Makeover. You will be on the road to changing your family tree forever!

Thursday- Physical DeClutter

Want to lose weight in 2012 and keep it off? (I know, stupid question), then there is only one way to make that happen. Consume only as many calories as you need to sustain your activity level. Otherwise you need to burn, baby, burn. Each calorie you burn is a measurement of energy. Your body converts food into energy by combining calories from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats with oxygen.

If you burn more calories than you eat you will lose weight, if you eat more calories than you burn, well, yeah, your going to build up your love handles instead of your biceps. On average, people need to consume 2000 calories a day: 60 percent of those calories provides energy for your body’s daily operations, which include breathing, chewing, digesting food, and circulating blood.

Another 30 percent of your daily calorie intake is expended through activities such as household chores, sports, and just being active. Now, it is interesting to note that the more muscle tissue you have the more calories you burn even when you are resting. In fact for each additional pound of muscle approximately 50 extra calories are burned daily. Not bad, eh? But first you have to develop some muscles, which you can do in a number of ways such as, lifting free weights at the gym, or your ample derriere in yoga class.

According to Dr. Robert Gerszten of Massachusetts General Hospital, “Ten minutes of exercise has at least an hour of effects on your body.” So, if even short amounts of exercise can be good for you, then what are you waiting for? Fit these calorie burners into your day and watch your body change.

1. First thing in the morning, take a quick walk with your dog, your spouse or a friend. When watching Cesar Milan whisper sage advice he consistently mentions that most of the dogs he trains have behavioral issues because they do not get enough exercise. I tend to think it is the same problem with humans and walking can be a simple solution. If it is difficult to walk in your neighborhood, then lace up your walking shoes and walk as fast as you can around your local Mall. Just remember to keep moving and leave your credit card at home.

2. Confronted with an escalator or stairs take the stairs every time. If your office is up more flights than you think you can do, build up your stamina by adding a flight every few days; you can always take the elevator the rest of the way. Stair climbing is great exercise for your legs and sagging buttocks, not to mention strengthening the heart and increasing oxygen to the lungs.

3. Park your car as far away as you can walk in your chic summer sandals and hike it across the parking lot. If it is a hot day you will just move faster to get into the air conditioning.

4. Remember how much fun it was to ride your bicycle around the neighborhood as a kid, well it is still a lot of fun and great exercise. No need to buy a fancy racing model when a used upright with a basket for groceries will do just fine.

5. Break up watching television or working on the computer with work in the garden and household chores. Shake off the sluggish feelings from sitting and watching and get up and do something, even if it is loading the dishwasher or folding your laundry or yelling at your kids to get away from the television and go outside to play. Come to think of it, go outside and play with them.

Read more:

Other great Calorie Burning Activities include:

Raking leaves = 147 calories
Gardening or weeding = 153 calories
Moving (packing and unpacking) = 191 calories
Vacuuming = 119 calories
Cleaning the house = 102 calories
Playing with the kids (moderate activity level) = 136 calories
Mowing the lawn = 205 calories
Strolling = 103 calories
Sitting and watching TV = 40 calories
Biking to work (on a flat surface) = 220 calories

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday- What's Cooking?

Today I am putting another great Freezer Crock Pot meal in the Crock Pot. This one should be a WINNER, WINNER, Chicken Dinner.....

Sweet & Sour Chicken

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 (16 ounce) can pineapple chunks in syrup
1 (14 ounce) can low-sodium low-fat chicken broth
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 large red bell pepper , cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium onion , cut into 1 inch chunks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Put everything except for the last 2 ingredients into a 1 gallon ziploc bag. Freeze.

Cooking Directions:
Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

30 minutes before serving, combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Add mixture to slow cooker and stir to mix. Cover and cook on LOW for 30 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Tuesday- Temporal DeClutter

I'm sorry I missed you last Thursday and Friday for my Physical DeClutter and Financial DeClutter Days. With the kids out of school and all of the FUN holiday/family parties, I was just having TOO much fun!

Quick update on my Physical DeClutter.....I am down 6 lbs!!! WooHoo! Feels Great! Only thing I have really been doing different is MOVING! Yep, plain and simple, getting off the couch and moving. Imagine if I start to really exercise and eat better...OH the possibilities.

So, here is my advice for your Temporal DeClutter this Tuesday after Christmas.....Time to DeClutter those Holiday Decorations. Here are some questions to ponder while putting ALL those decorations away:

1. Do I really like these things?
2. Do I use them/have the space for them?
3. Is it really a useful/necessary thing?
4. Do I already have the exact same thing?
5. Do I have something better?
6. Do I need two or three similar things?
7. Do I love this thing because of emotional memories it brings?
8. Does it make me feel guilty when I see it?
9. Do I feel frustrated that these useless things are still in my home?
10. Do I smile looking at them?

Monday- Mental DeClutter

I am still in the Christmas Spirit and have a LOT to be THANKful for this year. So, I wanted to share another "thought" with you!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday- What's Cooking?

The Teriyaki Apricot Pork we had last week was a big hit. Next, we are going to try this one!

Italian Minestrone Soup- serves 6-8

1 pound lean ground meat: pork, beef, or turkey. I used beef.
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup chopped carrot
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced or stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 cups beef broth

2/3 cup dried elbow pasta (to add later)
kosher salt (add to taste at the table)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Brown the first four ingredients on the stovetop, and drain the fat. I know, I hate cooking before I cook too, but this is a good thing because you're draining the rendered grease/fat.

Add meat to the slow cooker, and your vegetables. Add the whole can of tomatoes, the oregano, and beef broth. Stir to combine. Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours. 30 minutes before serving, stir in the dry pasta. Flip to high, and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until pasta has become bite-tender.

Serve in wide-mouthed bowls with a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Tuesday- Temporal DeClutter

I do not like to have more than 20 emails in my Inbox at a time. More than that and it's too cluttered for me. I have 12 categories/folders where I can save necessary emails. On the other hand, I go to my husbands personal email account and he has over 500-700 unopened emails in his Inbox at a time. (Hope his work email account is better organized...Have I taught him nothing?) It drives me CRAZY. That is clutter. It is overwhelming and too much. There is an easy way to clean up your email accounts.

I found this great article about DeCluttering Email on

This one is tough to do. It is so easy to file things in email and completely forget about them until your mailbox gets so large that you can’t do anything!

I use Gmail at home and Outlook at work, but the same concepts apply to both.


Reference Folders
I have reference folders set up in both instances. At work, the top folder is called Reference, and underneath I have folders for the letters. (At home I combine letters, A-C; at work, each letter has its own folder).

At home, I use the tag “Reference/[tagname]” to classify my emails. That way I know this is reference material and the tag allows me to search on that folder.

When I need to file something, it goes in the appropriate folder — where I would look for it again. If there are multiple places I might look, I file it in all folders.

Project Folders
For each of my current projects, I have a folder. All emails pertaining to that project get placed in there.

Processing folders
These are places where all my email ends up. Either it goes directly via rules/filters or I pop it in after reviewing it. I have an Action, Print, Waiting For and Read.

Going Through Email

I keep my inbox clean. As I go through my mail, I file it in the appropriate working folder, reference, or throw it out. Please note that I only tackle my email box at work twice a day: 10 am and 1 pm. At home I tackle it once per evening.

Going through the Working Folders
When I am set to work on my email, I go through the working folders. Action may need to have another project folder created. Print is self-explanatory. WaitingFor gets reviewed weekly and acted upon then.

Cleaning Up Reference and Project Folders

I find it essential to keep on top of my email folders. I review the reference folders once every three months or so, purging them as I do my paper files.

Project folders get purged when the project is closed. I delete out email chains, leaving only one copy of each message.


I hope you have found these simple decluttering instructions helpful.

How do you declutter your workspace?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday- Mental DeClutter

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
-Steve Jobs

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday- Physical DeClutter

I spent the whole day in bed today with a headache and slight vertigo. TOO much going on this week. I'm gonna weigh in on Friday and post my success....crossing my fingers. Like my BIL said today...."Just don't give's worth a fight!!" I AGREE!

Wednesday- What's Cooking?

I had some friends over on Wednesday and we pre-assembled 3 crock pot meals into freezer bags. It only took us one hour. I even doubled some of the recipes so I have more meal options. This way when I know a crazy day is coming, I am ready to throw dinner in the crock pot without all the preparation. Here is the recipe I think we will like the most.

Teriyaki Apricot Pork Chops- serves 4
4 pork chops
2/3 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free. If you don't have teriyaki in the house, you can make your own with equal parts soy sauce and brown sugar)
1 teaspoon dried ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. If you only have a super large cooker, that's okay. You can throw in some baked potatoes or corn, or you can put an oven-safe dish into your cooker (Pyrex, corningware, baking pan) to create a smaller cooking vessel--- then load the porkchops into it.

Put the chops into your slow cooker. Frozen is okay. In a small bowl (sorry about this, you're gonna have to wash the bowl. bummer. ) mix together the sauce ingredients and then pour evenly over the top of the chops. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4. Your chops are done when they have reached desired tenderness.
Serve with rice and sauce spooned over the top.

Tuesday- Temporal DeClutter

Time......How much time do you waste during the day? I got to thinking about this the other day as I found myself spending WAY TOO MUCH time on a project. While I was working on this project, my poor kids were on their own, fed themselves dinner, got their homework done alone...etc. When I finished, I realized I really didn't need to spend that much time on the project to begin with. It could have (should have) been SIMPLIFIED! But, I didn't take the time to figure that out before I started. How many meetings do we go to that could be cut in half? Too much talking about unnecessary things...getting off track, etc. How much time do we waste watching TV or playing on Facebook? After I saw my kids fend for themselves that day, it really got me thinking about how I spend my time. Especially during the holiday season, I think we all need to stop and think about DeCluttering our schedules to make more room for our priorities...for me, it's my FAMILY! What are your priorities? Where can you cut back?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday- Mental DeClutter

"Both abundance and lack of abundance exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we tend...when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives, but are grateful for the abundance that is present - love health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us happiness - the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth." C.S. Lewis

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday- Spiritual Strengthening


I think I am going to start taking the weekends off from blogging to spend time with my family, get all my chores and errands caught up for the week, and REST!!! If I find any good deals using my coupon shopping I will share them with you. AND, of course I will continue to share with you my Spiritual Videos and Thoughts by Monday. We all need our Weekends!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday- Financial DeClutter

Hubby and I used to go on frequent dates every Friday night. It was a good time to catch up with happenings with the kids, things at work for him, mood swings for me, and a budget session. YEP, that's right. I would bring my notebook and we would go over the BUDGET for the week or month over dinner. I'm a planner and list maker, so it was always nice to unload a little of my pile onto hubby. We have both been so busy lately, with his working Overtime and the Kids' Schedules, that we haven't been able to do these Friday night DATES.

With Christmas coming up, we decided it was time to start "dating" again. We NEEDED to get some shopping done and I needed to unload some of my lists. They were starting to pile up. Plus, the budget needed some tweaking to allow for Christmas. I think it is very healthy to budget together. It's important that we are both on the same page and know what is coming in and out of the budget at all times. I LOVE being able to bounce ideas and feelings off each other. Even if it is about the Budget. I think we are stronger financially because of it!!

What do you do on your dates? Do you budget as a couple?

Thursday- Physical DeClutter

Well, this weeks physical Thursday went way better than last weeks. Remember I told you about my BIL and how he asked why I couldn't exercise everyday instead of just Thursdays?? Well, he emailed me this week with a plan (I think he reads my blog). He basically built a plan for me to lose 50 lbs by May. birthday month. No better time! So if I follow his plan I WILL BE 50 lbs lighter by May and ready for my family trip to Hawaii in June!! With a little encouragement from BIL and his consistent follow up (keeps me accountable), I think I can do this. Thanks BIL, Jeffrey, You Are The BEST!!!

I amazed myself and my husband when I woke up Wednesday morning and went straight to the gym for a Fitness/ Aerobics class. Boy have I been sore for the past 3 days. Then Thursday and Friday I took a break/recovery time from the gym and walked/jogged around the neighborhood instead. I love putting my headphones on and dancing down the streets. Don't worry, I go at night so no one can see my awesome dance moves.....HAHA!!! But already, just in the past 3 days, my body feels tighter, I have more energy and my mood may even be a little bit brighter. It's amazing what a "little" exercise can do for your body and health.

P.S. I weighed in on Wednesday for the first time in years. AHHHHHH!!! It was a little shocking. I will weigh in every Wednesday and let you know how much I have lost on Thursday. More Accountability. Yikes!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday- What's Cooking?

Today I made an AMAZING crock-pot meal courtesy of one of my besties......Brandi!! It was a hit with the whole family. ENJOY!

Brandi's Bacon and Cheese Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts (I always just throw the Costco kind in frozen)
12 pieces of cooked crumbled bacon (I used the bag of crumbled bacon that they sell for salad since I didn't have any bacon slices in the house. I think I used about 1/2 -3/4 cup.)
1/4 cup low sodium teriyaki sauce (I didn't use low sodium and it was a tad salty, so the low sodium part is important.)
1/2 C. ranch salad dressing

1 C. shredded cheddar.

Put chicken in bottom of crock pot. In a small bowl mix the teriyaki sauce and salad dressing. Pour over chicken. Top with crumbled bacon and half of the shredded cheese.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4. 5 minutes before serving top with remaining cheese.

We had this over mashed potatoes with a side of green beans. My family loved it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday- Temporal DeClutter

Wow....getting over this flu is not going well for me. I am still so weak and tired. I just hope it doesn't go through the rest of the house for the next 2 weeks or into Christmas Break. YUK!

With that said, in honor of Temporal DeClutter Tuesday I wanted to share this awesome list I found to help you get started on your DeCluttering. I LOVE THIS...I am starting today with my Junk, not my junk in the trunk (that's for Thursday- Physical DeClutter) Junk DRAWERS. Admit it, you know you have them!! I have at least 4...shhhh, don't tell anyone. I found this list on so I'm not sure who to give the credit to. Enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday- Mental DeClutter

Since I am still recovering from the is my thought today for Mental Monday! LOTS to think about....

Sunday- Spiritual Strengthening

Saturday- Shopping with Coupons

No Shopping done today....I was in bed all weekend with the flu!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday- Financial DeClutter

Are you Frugal or a Cheapskate? Is there a difference? I found this new web series online and thought is was definitely worth watching. Very interesting to see how and what people will do to save money. It's definitely possible to save money, just takes a little work! Wonder if I'm good enough to take on some of these "penny-pinchers". Are you?

Cheapster is the newest online reality series that’s all about the crazy and creative ways that people save money.

The show works like this: ten penny-pinchers from Utah and Idaho will compete in a number of coupon-cutting, bargain-hunting challenges for the chance to become the ultimate Cheapster. And whoever takes the Cheapster champion crown will walk away with a $10,000 grand prize.

Thursday- Physical DeClutter

Thursday was not Physical for me at all (unless you count running errands and the kids to all the places they needed to go).

What is wrong with me? Why can't I get my butt in gear?

This is my biggest weakness...I cannot get going with my own personal exercise.

I never make MYSELF a priority and I should, I NEED to!

My BIL was here for Thanksgiving and he said "Why just Thursday, Why not everyday?"

He's RIGHT!!! But, if I can't even do it one day a week and build up from there, how am I going to miraculously wake up one day and start exercising EVERYDAY (even if it is a walk around the block in 30 degree weather).

I need a trainer like Jillian Michaels to yell at me everyday. I can't afford Jillian Michaels OR a trainer.

SO, what do I do? Where do I start? HELP!!!! I need advice!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday- What's Cooking?

I HATE to cook! My husband works 4-5 Graves per week, so it's usually just ME and the Kiddos for Dinner. AND, at least half of those nights we are running around from activity to activity, so the last thing I want to do at the end of each day is spend hours in the kitchen. Therefore, I am ALWAYS looking for the easiest "prepare ahead of time" or crock-pot meal.

Here is what I made for dinner tonight. It was a HIT with all 4 kids. YAY!! That's hard to come by around here. Enjoy!

French Toast Casserole
1 long thing french bread, cut in slices (10oz)
3 cups milk
1/3 tsp. salt
8 large eggs
4 tsp. sugar
1 TBSP. vanilla
Grease 9x13 baking pan with butter. Arrange bread slices in one layer in pan. Beat together eggs, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or throughout the day for dinner).

To bake, remove cover, dot with butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until bread is bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with syrup, yogurt or sour cream, and fresh fruit.

Thanks Liz for the Recipe!

Tuesday- Temporal DeClutter

OK- I admit it. I LOVE to do almost ALL my Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Not just for the great prices, but for the pure energy of it all!

BUT, usually before I go out and do my Christmas shopping, I go through a NESTING period. I start to declutter the kids' bedrooms, closets, garage, etc. It's like I'm getting ready for a newborn baby to arrive. Make ROOM for Christmas. Not that the kids get TONS of presents (we have a surprisingly low budget for Christmas compared to most), I just don't like getting NEW things without getting rid of OLD things. Total Temporal DeClutter people!!!

The older kids (13 and 11 years old) are starting to catch on to my nesting "Pre-Christmas Phase" and are helping with the Decluttering. In fact, this year they sold their electronic items they received for Christmas last year (or the year before). That way they have money to either purchase the "newer/cooler" electronic item of the year or they can donate to Santa's bank account. I hate trying to keep up with the latest technology, it is TOO expensive. So, we have taught them to sell or save their own money for the newest gadget. Helps Declutter, SAVES Money and Makes a HAPPY Mommacita!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday- Mental DeClutter

I have been watching Oprah's Life Classes lately (thanks to a tip from a GOOD friend).
They are so inspirational and can be applied in every aspect of anyone's life!

One that I recently watched got me thinking. It was about ANGER. Lately, I have been SO angry and I can't get past it. I'm starting to let it out on my husband and kids and I DO NOT want that. What I LOVE about the classes is that it gives you additional topics to explore and write about in your journal after listening to the class. Here are the 4 things to think about and write about in your journal if you are suffering from Anger.

1. Look within yourself for anything from rage to slight annoyance. What's the object of your anger?
2. Thinking about the anger you've just noted, see if the underlying cause of the anger is fear. If you can find a fear, write it down.
3. Is there something you lost—or never had—that has created a wound or sorrow?
4. If fear and sorrow were absent, there would be no anger. What act of courage might help you defeat your fear?

Favorite Quotes from this Life Class.

"You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them." —Iyanla Vanzant

‎"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." -Buddha

Here is to good Mental Health!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Break

I'm taking a Turkey Break this weekend. AND, my internet has been down. I am hoping to be back on my blogging schedule by Sunday or Monday.

Hope you all had a wonderful THANKSGIVING! We have so much to be thankful for!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday- Temporal DeClutter

What is the #1 chore (or pile of clutter) in your household that you HATE!! Mine is Laundry. ARGGG....(that's my pirate voice). It really can take over your life if you aren't consistent huh? Growing up, my mom did laundry on Tues/Thurs/Sat (and she had 7 kids). I feel like I do laundry EVERY DAY. Why? Why can't I have a consistent schedule like her. What is the problem here?

This week I decided to work on my closet clutter and laundry clutter. It really can PILE up with 6 people in the house. I must admit, I am not a consistent laundry person...I just do it when I absolutely need to or when I walk past the washer or dryer in the basement. But, this week it was starting to take over the master bedroom and I could hardly see my carpet. I know, I could I have allowed that to happen? I hate clutter. Well, I am not perfect...I am a mom who works part time and runs my 4 crazy kids around to all their "things". It just isn't reality to keep up with all that laundry.

As I was sorting and putting everything away, I noticed that my girls (8 year old twins) had SO MANY clothes. No wonder my laundry is out of control. No wonder I don't have to do laundry as consistently as others. They can go weeks without looking for new clothes to wear (lots of hand-me-downs from 13 year old sister). WOW...time to declutter and condense. I brought the girls in and had them choose their 14 favorite shirts and 14 pants. Of course I let them keep their underwear and socks. The rest actually ended up being older clothes that are getting too small and are looking worn anyways....SO, I will donate them. Phew....mission accomplished. Now my laundry piles should be less and I may be able to get on a consistent schedule. Maybe Tues/Thurs/Sat like my mom.

If I could only get my husband to jump on the bandwagon and declutter his side of the closet. WHY does he need all those clothes? 75% of them he hasn't worn in YEARS....what's the point of all that clutter? It drives me CRAZY. I do admit, I have a LOT too. BUT, I am willing to go through them and donate or sell to a consignment shop the ones that I have not worn in YEARS. I'm gonna do that this weekend. Not him, he won't budge!! What do you guys think? How many clothes should you have in your closet? How long is long enough to hang on to them? For me it's all about simplicity and the basics. I'd love to hear your thoughts and laundry tips!

Maybe I will post before and after pictures of my side of the closet, if I'm brave enough to let you see!! OR, maybe I will just post a picture of HIS side of the closet and you guys can all comment on how insane it is to have all those clothes...hint hint!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday- Mental DeClutter

Mondays are always SO HARD. I don't really like Mondays. Today was especially yucky. I just was not ready to begin another week, even though it is Thanksgiving week and I should be looking forward to days off of work, school and spending more time with family. But for some reason, I wasn't feeling it today. I was reminded of this quote and thought it would be perfect to share on our first Mental Monday together!

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” Charles Swindoll

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE! How was your attitude today?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday- Shopping with Coupons

My twins had a birthday party to go to today and I really didn't want/need to spend that much money on an 8 year old girl. Birthday parties can really add up. I found a great deal going on at Target on Such a great website for Freebies and Great Deals...hence the name!!! Here is the deal she posted:

The Glade Winter Holiday Room Spray is on sale at Target for only $2.50 through November 19th. Plus, they are also part of a Target Gift Card promotion right now. That means you may be able to score the following deal at your local Target.

Purchase 5 Glade Winter Holiday Room Spray at $2.50 each (through 11/19)
Use 2 of the $2.00 off of two Glade Winter Collection Products Coupon
You will pay $8.50 but you will receive a $5.00 Target Gift Card
Total cost $0.70 each when you purchase all 5

I printed the coupons and headed straight to Target with my twins. I got 5 YUMMALICIOUS Glade Winter Holiday Room Sprays for $8.50. (I'm gonna use these for cute neighbor holiday gifts- I'm keeping one peppermint spray for me). Then on a separate transaction, I used the $5 gift card I received from purchasing the Glade Sprays on the $10 present the girls had picked out for their friend. So, that only cost me $5 plus tax. I walked out of Target only spending around $14 for 5 air fresheners and a birthday present.

Not bad for my Shopping with Coupons Saturday!! Woot Woot!

Friday- Financial DeClutter #1

When all our financial trouble began, I started to listen to Dave Ramsey on the radio ( He has so many great financial programs and advice. We have used a lot of his advice in our own financial decisions.

If you are struggling financially and/or find yourself in overwhelming DEBT, here are his Seven Baby Steps to get you started on your road to financial freedom.

Baby Step 1
$1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is for those unexpected events in life that you can’t plan for: the loss of a job, an unexpected pregnancy, a faulty car transmission, and the list goes on and on. It’s not a matter of if these events will happen; it’s simply a matter of when they will happen.

Baby Step 2
Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
List your debts, excluding the house, in order. The smallest balance should be your number one priority. Don’t worry about interest rates unless two debts have similar payoffs. If that’s the case, then list the higher interest rate debt first.

Baby Step 3
3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Once you complete the first two baby steps, you will have built serious momentum. But don’t start throwing all your “extra” money into investments quite yet. It’s time to build your full emergency fund.

Baby Step 4
Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
When you reach this step, you’ll have no payments—except the house—and a fully funded emergency fund. Now it’s time to get serious about building wealth.

Baby Step 5
College funding for children
By this point, you should have already started Baby Step 4—investing 15% of your income—before saving for college. Whether you are saving for you or your child to go to college, you need to start now.

Baby Step 6
Pay off home early
Now it’s time to begin chunking all of your extra money toward the mortgage. You are getting closer to realizing the dream of a life with no house payments.

Baby Step 7
Build wealth and give!
It’s time to build wealth and give like never before. Leave an inheritance for future generations, and bless others now with your excess. It's really the only way to live!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday- Physical DeClutter #1

Here is the TRUTH. I am probably about 50 lbs overweight. That, my friends, is physical clutter!

I had FOUR beautiful kids in 5 years (I cheated by having twins) between 1998-2003. Here we are, eight years later and I am still carrying all of this extra baby weight around. Part of me has gotten used to it and another part of me wants to get my body back. I think now is the time. I've become a real LAZY person and I am not sure how to go about losing the weight, getting into shape, taking care of my body and just getting out of bed period. I think I ran, ran, ran so fast with my head cut off from 1998-2008 (with 4 toddlers and managing all my stay-at-home businesses), that by the time all our financial troubles happened in 2008, I crashed, shut down and gave up.

For my 3*th birthday this past May, I joined a gym close by so that I could attend the Zumba classes (I LOVE to dance) and maybe walk on the treadmill a couple of mornings a week after the kids went to school. Today is November 17th and I have stepped foot in that gym 0 times!!! 0 TIMES!! What a loser. NO, not the biggest loser.....a LOSER!!

What do I do? Where do I begin? I'm not a person to just jump right in and start going to the gym everyday. It has to be gradual. I don't think I'm too worried about what I am eating right now. That can come later. Right now I just need to focus on getting my butt out of bed (I work at home in my pj's) and doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING! My husband says it can be as simple as walking around the block a couple of tonight for my first Physical Thursday DeClutter I walked around the block a couple of times with my 11 year old son. It felt GREAT! We even ran a little just to get our hearts pumping. AND..we had a good talk. He is our only boy, so it's good to spend a little one-on-one time with him. Girl Drama is getting crazy around here!!

Like I said, I'm not gonna jump in and start doing this everyday. For sure every THURSDAY. And, hopefully from now and till then I will make it to the gym or at least another walk around the block. We will see. What are your thoughts and advice for me? I need all the help I can get.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Story

I am ready to share our story so that you can know how we got to where we are today. I know you are wondering.

In 2006 we had been married for 10 years and had 4 kids ages 8, 6 and 3 year old twins. We were BUSY! We bought our dream house, husband had a great job and I was able to stay at home with the kids while managing several at-home businesses. We thought we were set for life. We had everything we "wanted", more than we needed. We weren't exactly the "keeping up with the Joneses" type, but we were happy and comfortable. We had accrued "some" credit card debt along the way due to my 3 horrific, near-death-experience pregnancies and my many attempts to start and maintain several businesses so that I could stay home with the kids.

In 2008 the market took a turn (for the worse) and husband's OVERTIME hours were completely taken away. Can't complain...he still had a job. Ironically, we were pre-approved for our dream house based on his overtime hours, which we had comfortably been living with for 7 years. Overtime alone doubled his annual salary. We immediately put the house up for sale because we knew that we were in over our heads and perhaps living WAY beyond our means. AND, my businesses were not making enough to keep us afloat.

2008 was a HARD year for us. We found ourselves in A LOT of credit card debt (and nothing to show for it). We came close to foreclosure, car repossessed, creditors calling, unable to pay the was NOT GOOD!!! In fact, it was really scary. We had to go to family members and friends for help which was and is EMBARRASSING, HUMILIATING, DEPRESSING, DAMAGING and HUMBLING! We wish that we could have tackled the whole thing ourselves, but it all happened so fast. We had no idea how the choices we had been making financially for those past 10 years would all come to a HUGE CRASH in one year. We were naive. We will NEVER be able to repay our family and friends for the help and assistance they gave to us. It SAVED us. It has changed our relationships with our family members and we have lost some friendships along the way, but it has helped us to realize what is most important. FAMILY...not Money or Worldly Possessions.

Now it's 2011 and we have come a LONG way.....................

We are renting (the perfect size house and within our means, LOVE the low payment)
We have not used a Credit Card since 2008
The creditors have stopped calling
Our 2 cars are PAID OFF (Last payment on Mini-Van is next month)
Overtime comes and goes sporadically (so we have learned how to Budget that in)
I have a "REAL" part time Job from home (no more home businesses that don't make money)
We VACATION/TRAVEL A LOT (thanks to my part time job for an airline)
I have cut my grocery shopping in HALF by couponing (so worth it)
The kids know the value of $1 and save for all the things they "want"
The kids are now 13, 11 and the twins are 8....I haven't aged at all :)
We DO NOT spend money on unnecessary things drives me crazy
If there is a cheaper way to do something, I will find out how
Since moving from our Dream House I have given away or donated HALF of our "STUFF"....did not need ALL of that stuff to have a happy home.
We have everything we NEED.....Family, Home, LOVE!

So...that is our story. I know that thousands of Americans may be going or have gone through the same thing in recent years. Let's face it, these are not the best economic times. I hope that you will share your stories and comments with me. I truly believe that by sharing we can grow and learn from each others experiences. The following is from a fellow blogger ( I couldn't have said it any better.

From one extreme to another (at first by economic force, and then by choice), we’ve learned to simplify.

We have minimal stuff, but ample quality time together. We lack a permanent residence, but are abundant in freedom.

Rousing ourselves from the hypnosis of social conditioning, we’ve awaken to a new reality: We’ve discovered that it’s not things that bring meaning to life, but relationships and experiences.

I'm hoping to share with you on a DAILY basis. I have chosen the TOP 7 areas in my life that I think I can continually WORK ON and DECLUTTER. I will focus on one each day. I sometimes get really overwhelmed with all there is to do as a wife, mother, friend, sister, etc. Breaking it down helps me to focus on one thing at a time, even though I am truly working on all of these everyday. Here is my breakdown...

Monday is Mental Declutter
Tuesday is Temporal Declutter
Wednesday is What's Cooking?
Thursday is Physical Declutter
Friday is Financial Declutter
Saturday is Shopping with Coupons
Sunday is Spiritual Strengthening

I am so grateful for this JOURNEY. I am so much happier and life is more "SIMPLE". I now bask in Simplicity. I hope you can too!

Crazy Clutter Lady has Arrived!!!

I HATE clutter!
I absolutely CANNOT stand clutter!
It drives me CRAZY!
It makes me NEUROTIC!
Clutter gives me ANXIETY!
Nothing RUNS smoothly with Clutter!
Lives can be RUINED by Clutter!

My name is AMY and I am the
Crazy Clutter Lady!

I have an obsession with organizing and decluttering EVERYTHING! I know, it's a sickness.

So, what better way to manage my obsession (ok-sickness) than by sharing my talent and wisdom with YOU. Yes, YOU...the one with all the CLUTTER!

I have created this blog to provide you with weekly updates and tips for getting rid of your CLUTTER...not just Temporal clutter (our worldly possessions), but perhaps Mental clutter (anxiety, depression), Physical clutter (extra body weight, health problems), Spiritual clutter (sin, regret, forgiveness), and Financial clutter (DEBT, overspending). I believe that it's ALL related, a vicious cycle if you will. I feel that when I am working and focusing on Decluttering these areas in my life, things run more smoothly for me. I hope that by sharing you can find this peace and simplicity in your life too!