Archive for schedule

Small Goals Lead To Big Goals

Baker’s Rack – After

We will be moving this summer and I’ve started working on decluttering before packing. I haven’t gotten very far. You can see some of my progress in this post or by joining my Facebook group, Finally Free Decluttering Support.

My decluttering efforts have been kind of haphazard and I decided that I needed a more systematic way of going about things. So I was figured out a general timeline. We want to be in the new house in June or July. That means I have to be ready to get work done on our current house starting in May (we’re moving before this house sells).

Then I listed all of the areas I need to work on: laundry room, kitchen, living room/dining room, master bath, master bedroom, bedroom 2, bedroom 3, bedroom 4, bathroom 2, run-in, front shed, back shed (has 2 stalls, guinea pigs, and storage), inside yard (i.e. where the chickens, ducks, Bubba, and Marshmallow are), chicken coop, and the front porch. That’s a long list! And I need it all done by May?!

First I thought, “OMG! How am I ever going to get this done?” Then I realized I needed a plan, a schedule. So I counted months–4 months to finish everything, and broke it down.

I need to have the heat pump and kitchen sink repaired so I need to have someone in to work in the main area of the house. I also need to get an estimate on replacing the windows in those rooms as well as replacing at least the bottom kitchen cabinets and the counter. That puts those areas first. So the kitchen and living room/dining room combo need to be finished in February. I also put the front porch in February because I have some bags of feed inside the dining room that I want to move into feed cans on the covered front porch.

Why is the feed inside? Glad you asked! Have you ever gone to a petting zoo and tried to walk through a bunch of goats carrying food in your hands? Yeah, it was like that every time I went to the back of the run-in to get feed out because they knew it was coming from back there. I would open the gate to get into the back storage part and 13 goats would be at my back trying to get in with me. So it’s inside the house and I now deliver the main herds’ portion in a bucket sealed with a gamma lid. I set it up so that I can feed the bucks through the fence and Bubba and Marshmallow got their own feeding station as well (pics coming soon!). So I can carry the sealed bucket out to the main herd, set it down, and get their feed pans ready while they all stand around the bucket sniffing to see if they can get in. Good times!

Back to the schedule! The master bedroom and master bathroom are planned for the end of February/beginning of March, followed immediately by the second bathroom. I want to get an estimate on replacing the bathroom cabinets, counters, and sinks. The other bedrooms fall in line after these rooms, with bedroom 2 scheduled for March. The inside yard is also scheduled for March so that I can hopefully stop the weeds and reseed the inside yard. I need to have the birds, Bubba, and Marshmallow doing something else by this time.

April gets us to bedrooms 3 and 4, laundry room, both sheds, the run-in, and the chicken coop will be last going into May.

It is a TIGHT schedule, and I am almost panicking even thinking about it! I hope we will be decluttered enough by April that I can have the windows, counters, and cabinets all replaced in April. I want that done so that I can fix any marks/holes in the walls and repaint in May. I hope to be able to get this house on the market as soon as we get out!

I think the most difficult thing about sticking to this schedule will be my energy level. I have fibromyalgia and pretty much wake up exhausted. I’m usually ready for a nap by about 10 AM. (Wish I could LOL here, but I don’t have the energy, so…)

Have you done a massive decluttering before? Tell me about it in the comments!

P.S. If you have any interest in taking better photos, you can take this free photography strengths assessment at:

I plan on taking this quiz after work today, because I need help!

Psst! Did You Do It? Menu Planning, Of Course!

menuplan

Menu planning is all the rage these days (did I just sound really old?). I’ve tried planning for a long time, but have usually still been flying by the seat of my pants. I’ve found that, with me not getting home from work until after traditional dinner times and frequently not “having” enough time on the weekends to meal prep, I’ve gotten further and further off course. No more! I vow this day to get back to the straight and narrow as quickly as possible, or as soon as we get through the leftovers in the fridge and get caught up on dishes. But I digress!

I’ve mentioned before that we’re vegan. That kind of limits our meal options (at least for a not-very-skilled cook such as myself). I also found that dental issues from grinding/clenching my teeth my whole life are limiting. Also, (surprise!) having a seriously limited grocery budget is a hindrance. So that leaves…

Beans, rice, and potatoes to the rescue! Also, oatmeal plodding along and bringing up the rear.greatveganbeanbook

I started by writing down a list of menu items I could make at least palatable and that my daughter, Kaida, would usually eat. This was not a huge list. I then divided that list over four weeks. I used an Excel spreadsheet. I planned out what type of bean, what flavor profile I was going for (different spices), what grain I wanted on the side, and what vegetable would accompany it. I used “The Great Vegan Bean Book” for recipe ideas for beans and “The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook” for potato ideas, though you’ll notice that my potato dishes are not really that hard. *sigh*

At first, I alternated having a bean dish and a potato dish for dinner, but found that I just can’t devote the time to cooking potatoes when we get home, mostly because of the peeling. My solution was to plan all the bean dishes for dinners, since they can go in the crockpot, and to use potatoes or sweet potatoes for lunches. Breakfast alternates between cold cereal with almond milk and oatmeal. About every other week, we have pancakes on Sundays and Wednesdays. I make a large batch on Sunday and then we just warm up the leftovers on Wednesdays for a mid-week break from the monotony.

This schedule has been working better for me. Last week, I actually used the slow cooker twice! I know it’s not five days, but it’s better than none! My problem now is figuring out leftovers. I guess I could freeze all of the leftovers for now. I have days/meals scheduled to eat leftovers in my finalized schedule, but we’re not quite there yet. Bedtime is horrendous, but that’s another post. 😉

This week is week 3. Tonight’s dinner is schedule to be what I call “sweet beans.” It’s pinto beans with garlic powder, pepper, brown sugar, mustard powder, and a little maple syrup. Sometimes some chopped sweet onion, if I think of it. I may try it with a prepared mire poix just to see how it turns out. I think it’s similar to some baked bean recipes, but I just kind of throw things in there. The menu says I’m supposed to make applesauce biscuits to go with them, but I will probably be too lazy to make them. I’m supposed to be making them Sunday evening during food prep time, but it’s not Sunday anymore so we’ll probably just have a slice of wheat bread instead. Broccoli on the side.

Lunch for today is supposed to be mashed potatoes. Ugh. I like mashed potatoes; I just don’t like having to peel them. Okay, I admit I actually don’t like to spend time cooking. Ooh! Maybe I’ll cheat and use tater tots!

Tomorrow’s dinner is supposed to be black beans with carrots, mushrooms, and cauliflower with curry seasoning with brown rice. I know chickpeas are more frequently used with curry, but we’re having homemade hummus tomorrow for lunch. I used it to make sandwiches on Tuesdays because I have to go to work earlier. Lunch is scheduled to use leftover veggies. We’ll see what’s still edible in the fridge while I try to get this schedule under preventreverseheartdiseasecontrol.

For reference purposes, the mashed potatoes I make are similar to the “Good Garlicky Mashed Potatoes” on page 138 of “The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook.”