Monday, April 4, 2011

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify - Part 4 (and a Challenge for April)

I was looking back over my Simplify posts 1, 2,  and 3 and am happy with the progress I've made to simplify my life.  Remember, way back in January, I picked my theme word for the year - which was to simplify!  I've had a few detours that I found myself on and had to route back to the right path but I feel good about the progress.  (I've made some notes for next year about possible theme words since those are the items that keep pulling me away this year!).  But with that said, there are a lot of items not crossed off yet so this month's Simplify goals are two parts.

Finish All Other Simplify Projects
I've listed below the main topic of each area that still has items to finish as a link back to the original post.  You can click on the name and it will take you back to the original post so you can read what has been done and what still needs to be done. 

Simplify #1 - all items have been completed :-)
Simplify #2 - working on Organizing the Books, DVD's, CD's and VHS tapes; finish the bathroom and work on the kitchen
Simplify #3 - working on The closets and dressers; Vacation Planning; Gift wrap center; Tot Time Storage

The Outside
This is the HUGE project I have eluded to in past Simplify posts.  See, two years ago we started a project called - painting the outside of the house.  We did the garage first because it needed repair work and we had just put a new roof on it as well.  We managed to get the garage done (well . . almost) and than life got in the way.  So, this year we are finishing this huge project.
1. Paint the hidden back wall to the garage so I know it is done (even though no one else can see it!)
2. Paint the entire outside of the house
3. Put up gutters on both the garage and the house
4. Put up new lights on the front and back of the house
5. Build a new front porch (seriously, ours is rotten - it is so bad . .. )
6. Put in a new front door (ummm .. the storm door was ripped off last summer in a storm so my husband jimmy-rigged it to get us through until we did this big project)
Now - there is more to this project that I'll continue here but understand that if we can get the above part done I'll be thrilled - if we need to put this part off until next tax refund summer, that is fine.
7. Put in a new pathway from the front porch to the sidewalk out front
8. Plant new bushes along the side of the house (I know what I want and this might have to wait until spring due to planting times)
9. Remove all of the ugly white landscaping stones the previous owners put in that I hate
10. Plant another tree in our yard.
11. Finishing edging the flower beds in the back yard
12. Put in a new garage door/opener (ok, dreaming here - this really will have to wait until later!)
So, as you can see this is a big project.  We are really hoping to have the entire thing done by the end of May (well the first section of this list).  Lots of prep work (like pulling out old bushes and taping off windows) has to get done and than the painting will begin - we plan on doing one side of the house at a time so it will take about 4 weeks, I think, to get it done.  Here's praying for a REALLY dry spring!! LOL

It will feel good to get my current projects all completed and to see these changes on our house.  I'm already thinking about Part 5 :-)  I actually am starting to see an end to my simplify goals and know I will accomplish what I wanted to get done by the end of the year! 

Here's another challenge going on - this one is sponsored by I Heart Organizing  Since the beginning of the year, she has done monthly challenges.  Up until now, I haven't participated because I had already done the items she was walking through but this months challenge is "30 things in 30 days"  Basically, challenging us to get rid of 30 items this month - one item a day.  This first week we are to concentrate in the Living Room.  I'm starting to feel closed in around here so it is time to start this process again.  It is a nice side task to my Simplify Tasks - I honestly don't know if I have 30 things in my living room to get rid of - my living room has been parred down pretty far but I'll try :-)