Minimalist Challenge Update / 04

minimalist challenge

It’s time for an update on how The Minimalist Challenge has been going! Apparently, I’ve decided to take the “go at your own pace” approach.;) I got up to Day 29, and I still have our basement storage unit to go through so I will have absolutely, no problem making it to Day 30 of The Challenge. I’m curious how much stuff I’ll be able to get rid of once I go through that area.

So from Day 1 to Day 29 I have cleared out a total of 435 items! It feels so good!

Today the update is for Day 19 to Day 29. The bulk of this stuff is from the Craft/Catch-All Room.

Day 19, Get rid of 19 things:

  • SELL – Labels x 3
  • SELL – Pom poms x 3
  • SELL – Paper decorative fans x 3
  • SELL – Tape measure
  • TRASH – Card holders that you put in flowers x 4 (Uhhhhh… why do I have these!??)
  • SELL – Craft twine/ribbon
  • SELL – Miscellaneous craft supplies x 3
  • SELL – Bead organizer

minimalist challenge

Day 20, Get rid of 20 things:

  • TRASH – Cedar blocks that don’t smell anymore x 3
  • SELL – Ribbon
  • TRASH – Happy Birthday banner that is missing letters
  • TRASH – And Then We Saved banner that is also missing letters
  • SELL – Flag banner (with all its letters!:)
  • SELL – Notepad
  • SELL – Frosting cake decorating thing
  • SELL – Knuckle ring
  • SELL – Temporary tattoos
  • SELL – Headband
  • TRASH – A brass thing (I have no idea what this is)
  • SELL – Miscellaneous craft supplies x 7

minimalist challenge

Day 21, Get rid of 21 things:

  • SELL – Bag of feathers (counting this as 1 item)
  • SELL – Embroidery iron-on transfers
  • SELL – Notecards
  • SELL – Labels
  • TRASH – Fabric scraps and samples x 7
  • SELL – Fabric x 10

minimalist challenge

Day 22, Get rid of 22 things (this one was so easy;):

  • SELL – Embroidery floss x 22

minimalist challenge

Day 23, Get rid of 23 things:

  • SELL – Embroidery floss x 11
  • TRASH – Mardi Gras necklaces x 6
  • SELL – Small notebook
  • SELL – Letter stickers x 4
  • SELL – Empty box that you put baked goods in for gift-giving

minimalist challenge

Day 24, Get rid of 24 things:

  • SELL – More empty baked goods boxes x 2
  • TRASH – Random cake toppers x 6
  • SELL – Mini box of “A” stickers
  • TRASH – Rubber stamp block
  • TRASH – Cake decorating instructions and tips x 2
  • SELL (?) – One of my first weavings
  • SELL – Notecards/postcards/miscellaneous stationary x 11

minimalist challenge

Day 25, Get rid of 25 things:

  • SELL – Bag of blank paper hang tags (counting as 1 item)
  • SELL – Bag of clothespins (I only have one small clothesline in our place so I definitely don’t need all these! – counting as 1 item)
  • SELL – Baggie of homemade hair ties (don’t need these anymore since my hair is short now;) – counting as 1 item)
  • SELL – Baggie of blank small cards (counting as 1 item)
  • SELL – Little bag of homemade stickers (counting as 1 item)
  • SELL – TONS of cards and stickers that I just haven’t used in years x 20

minimalist challenge

Day 26, Get rid of 26 things (this day was easy too):

  • SELL – Postcards and notecards x 26 (I’ve had those Man Ray postcards – the black and white ones on the right – since I moved to Denver in 1998. STILL haven’t used them so it’s finally time to say goodbye.)

minimalist challenge

Day 27, Get rid of 27 things:

  • SELL – MORE random cards x 12
  • SELL – Random envelopes of all sizes x 14
  • TRASH – Customs form

minimalist challenge

Day 28, Get rid of 28 things:

  • SELL – Clothes x 3
  • SELL – Tea towels x 3
  • SELL – Door hooks x 2
  • SELL – Retractable key ring
  • SELL – Plate wall hanger
  • SELL – Hand sanitizer
  • SELL – Air freshener plug-in thing
  • SELL – Air freshener smell thing that doesn’t fit in the wall plug-in thing
  • SELL – Vitamins
  • TRASH – Box of hard raisins
  • TRASH – Almost empty bottle of cocoa butter lotion
  • SELL – Glass tray
  • SELL – Lanyard
  • SELL – Electronic cord
  • SELL – Bag of cords for Apple products (counting as 1 item)
  • DONATE – Unused mini lotion
  • DONATE – Unused mini tissue pack
  • SELL – Key identifier
  • SELL – Lens cleaning spray
  • SELL – Brass door knob plate
  • TRASH – Sippy cup that spills water all over the place
  • SELL – Tote bag
  • SELL – Square credit card reader

minimalist challenge

Day 29, Get rid of 29 things:

  • SELL – Metal containers x 3
  • TRASH – Miscellaneous little things x 9
  • SELL – Baby bath scrubby
  • SELL – Embroidered tea towel
  • SELL – Unused iPhone case
  • SELL – Clipboards x 3
  • SELL – Small muslin bag
  • SELL – USB drives x 5
  • SELL – Cast iron skillet (I’ve since changed my mind on this one, and have pulled it out of the pile so I’ll add another item to one of the upcoming days)
  • TRASH – Bag of paper straws (they’ve fallen on the floor a few times, and I’ve saved them for potential craft projects – counting as 1 item)
  • TRASH – Plastic disposable pie lids
  • SELL – Rectangle container
  • SELL – Striped box


Have you been doing The Minimalist Challenge too? If so, how has it been going, and how many items have you gotten rid of so far? How does it feel? 


in De-Clutter, Do Without, Minimalism, Things To Do
Sometimes Being Selfish is the Best Option – Here’s Why

sometimes you must do whats best for you

“Sometimes, you must do what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everybody else.” – Unknown

When I start thinking about creating these hope/motivational posts (because they are SO needed when you’re in the trenches of saving money/getting out of debt) I scroll through my ever-running list of quotes, and I think, “Okay Universe, what does someone need to hear today?” And then, I’m drawn to one quote over another. I like to think that it will help one (or ALL!;) of you get just the push you need to keep going, and help you stay motivated on your trek to a life free from debt!

It can get really tough battling debt, so we’ve got to stay strong as we fight the evils of debt together! (I just imagined like, a zillion She-Ra’s with swords drawn, and debt just dropping dead all over the place. You too? Okay, good.)

Now about this quote here… So, CLEARLY it’s great to care about how your actions will affect others but sometimes you’ve got to say, “Screw it!”, and maybe be a little selfish if that’s what it takes to get yourself to a healthier place. I think this concept applies to all areas of life, and not just to the financial aspect. Do you have people in your life that are keeping you in unhealthy habits? And then do you in turn feel like crap because the choices you’re making aren’t honoring the TRUE you? If so, that’s a feeling you should listen to. You’re getting those shitty feelings for a reason… to prompt you into action.

Sometimes friends/family/partners don’t “get” why you would want to get out of debt if it means you have to do some sacrificing. I understand that to a point, and I believe that it’s usually because they love you and don’t want to see you suffer. However, if you find that after you tell certain people that you’re trying to get out of debt, they still pressure you to spend, and minimize your efforts and successes even after they’ve had time to come around then it might be time to be “selfish” in your effort to become a better you.

For me, being “selfish” meant that I had to tell people stuff they didn’t want to hear sometimes. Usually that was saying, “No” to invites to dinner or lunch out, saying “No” to concerts, and saying “No” to trips. It wasn’t fun to do, and some people got mad and called me selfish but I did it, and made it to the other side. And you know what? I’m glad I stuck to my mission, and was committed to at least trying to become debt-free. To me, in those instances, being selfish was needed, and absolutely the best option for me to make.


What do you think? Have you ever had to be “selfish” in order to protect what’s best for you? I sure have. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. 


in Motivation
23 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Summer

ways to get the most out of your summer

I was at Target yesterday, and I noticed that they already have the Back to School stuff out! I can’t believe it; seems like summer just started!

Summer is that idyllic time when memories are made so be sure you are getting the most out of the short-lived season (no pressure, right?), while also not spending a ton to make those memories.

Let’s get out there, and enjoy what we’ve got left of summer!

23 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Summer…

1. Realize the Benefits

You know how they say laughter is the best medicine? Well ‘they’ know what they are talking about. With the hectic lives we lead, a little downtime does the body good. Part of being healthy involves feeling good about yourself and having fun. Summer is the perfect time to let loose a little bit and be proactive about having fun.

2. Mix Scheduling With Spontaneity

For bigger trips and events, make sure to schedule ahead of time to make sure your plans will go through. For the things that do not need to be scheduled in advance, take some time to truly enjoy the spontaneous moments of life. It can be a great stress reliever and return you back to reality as a happier, calmer person.

3. Go Local

You don’t have to hop on an airplane to have a great time. Take a day trip around your local area and check out things you take for granted. Many places offer free newspapers or pamphlets listing free or low-cost events like fairs, carnivals, or even educational opportunities. It’s cost-effective to come home each night after exploring something new all day.

4. Go Back in Time

Consider the things you loved doing as a child. There are so many simple trips that likely have become your best memories. Entertain your own kids by introducing them to your all-time favorite summer activities. Have a water balloon fight, invite the neighbors for backyard volleyball, or set up a tent in your yard and tell ghost stories.

5. Take a Mental Health Day

If you do not have a vacation allowance at work just yet, consider calling in for a mental health break. That one extra day can be used to do absolutely nothing but what you want to do. Watch movies, read a book, just be lazy for a change.

6. Tackle the Big Jobs

A honey-do list may not be the most exciting part of your summer but tackling projects around the house that need your attention can go a long way to easing your everyday stress. Using some time off to get stuff done can also help you save money on major repairs.

7. Learn a Skill

Keep your mind active by learning a new skill this summer. Learn how to kayak or get educated on how to can the vegetables and fruits in your garden. Picking up a new skill can introduce you to new hobbies and make you a well-rounded person. You can also make a buck off your skills too: How to Figure Out Your Skills and Sell Them for Cash.

8. Create New Traditions

The winter holidays are not the only time to consider family traditions. Start a few so your family has something to look forward to in the summer months. Start a nightly family walk, scout out a favorite fishing hole, or host an annual backyard cookout.

9. Get Educated

If you have more free time in the summer, invest in your own education. Take courses online or at the community college to get some credits out-of-the-way. Be sure to check out these 8 Insider Tips to Saving Money on Textbooks.

10. Find a Swimming Hole

Whether your family prefers the public pool or enjoy jumping in the local river, find a fun place to cool off on a hot day. If there aren’t any good swimming locations nearby, invest in a sprinkler and let the hose flow freely for a little while.

11. Ditch the TV

Unless it’s a rainy day, keep the television off as much as possible. Take bored kids to the library or the park. Cancel your cable for the summer to save on your expenses.

12. Make New Friends

There are some cool ways to meet new people so get out there and do it. Join a club that focuses on your interests in books or hiking. Say, “Hi” to new people at church. Attend the community block party and meet all your neighbors.

13. Take a Big Family Trip

If it’s financially viable, plan a big trip for the family vacation. Let everyone in the family have a say about where to go. Get in the habit of planning in advance for the larger trips. Working with a travel agent, you can often ‘layaway’ a trip and make payments on it over the course of a year.

14. Find a Fitness Buddy

In order to stay motivated about being physically fit, find a friend that will hold you accountable for your inactivity. Ask a neighbor to go on a daily walk or find a friend that likes to run. Ask your pal to join a dance class with you. Here are 12 Free Exercises to get you started.

15. Volunteer Your Time

There a number of ways you can lend your time to help someone else. Whether you have one hour or forty to give each week, find something you enjoy doing that in turn helps others. Cook at a soup kitchen, teach a class at the community center for free, walk dogs at the shelter, or help build a new house for those in need.

16. Go Camping

Nothing says summer like the smell of marshmallows roasting over a campfire. Find a place to camp on the cheap at a nearby campground or state park. Even if you lack the necessary equipment for camping, you can rent a cabin and borrow supplies from your friends and family. Family camping is a great way to get everyone to unplug and relax for a weekend.

17. Invite Guests to Stay

If you have some out-of-state friends or family, invite them to visit. It can be a whole different experience seeing your local area through a new set of eyes. If you want to take a family road trip, hit up your out-of-state friends and family about a visit.

18. Get Sporty

You only have a limited time to do outdoor sports and adventures like hiking, boating, and water skiing. Take a family fun day and learn how to do a new water sport you have never tried.

19. Join a Team

Some communities or even your workplace may have established sports teams for summer play. Find out how to sign up for the softball team or get involved in some playground basketball. If nothing is in your area already, start a summer league with your friends.

20. Update Your Resume

Summer time is often a time of reflection and pondering what you’d like to improve in your life may reveal your desire to change jobs. During some time off, you can reorganize your priorities where your career is concerned. Update your resume and check out the online job boards to see what else is out there.

21. Hit Up the Yard Sales

Yard sales are growing in popularity. Get up early and hit some local yard sales to see what is being offered. You may be surprised at what some people want to get rid of at cheap prices. You may also want to hold your own sale to de-clutter your house of unwanted things and make a little summer fun money in the process. (Cough, cough… Minimalist Challenge anyone?)

22. Find a Farmer’s Market

If your goal is eating better, find out where the local farmer’s market is. You can pick up the freshest, summer produce for a low-cost. Invest some time in finding new recipes based on your farmer’s market finds.

23. Get in the Hammock

There is nothing like a lazy day of summer where you get to be lazy. If you happened to find a hammock during your yard sale spree, be sure to take some well-deserved time to lay in it. Recharge your batteries before school starts and summer is just another memory.


What are your plans for making the most of this summer? Got any fun trips planned?


in Just For Fun, Kids, Practical Solutions, Travel Cheap
  • Anna

    Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Let's do this!

    Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

    Total Savings
  • Sign-up for Free Updates!

  • Featured On/In:

  • advertise on and then we saved
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Search

  • Wanna Know More?

  • And Then We Saved® and Spending Fast® are registered trademarks.
    All Rights Reserved.