Totebag 30-Day Challenge — WEEK THREE May 15-21

by Grace aka costofcollege

Today is the start of WEEK THREE of the Totebag 30-Day Challenge.

We’ve made it this far, albeit with a few stumbles along the way.

How’s it going?  Share your past week’s progress and your third week’s updates in the comments here.


31 thoughts on “Totebag 30-Day Challenge — WEEK THREE May 15-21

  1. I am happy with my progress. My expectations were low, and the only thing that really should have stopped me would have been some injury.

    Not related to the challenge, I have been cleaning out and organizing my kitchen. This stuff always takes longer than I expect. A whole hour was devoted to switching the shelves in one of my cabinets because the doohickies holding the shelves required strength and coordination to remove. So after giving it my best and removing one shelf, I had to wait on DH’s help to finish the job. Then inserting the holders into virgin holes (sounds dirty, right?) took a lot of muscle because the holes seemed too small. Then measuring and replacing shelf paper in weird-sized corner cabinets was a big project, and gave me a workout in itself. Of course I ran out of paper so I will probably make a run to our hardware store.

    I was able to sneak a bunch of stuff to the donation pile. This was tucked away in a corner, only having been used a handful of times. I hope DH doesn’t miss it!

  2. This challenge has been very helpful to me, although about 10 days in I was exhausted. I’ve bounced back. It’s been pretty eye opening to see how many small tasks/errands/chores we’ve let slide this spring, and now that we’ve gotten a huge chunk of them done, I am feeling the benefit of having them of my psyche.

  3. I sorted and put away gloves and winter stuff that I keep in a basket near our entry way. Big mistake. I had two right handed gloves at soccer today because everything else was away. I wore winter coat and I had a blanket. It was so cold in the wind and rain. It’s hard to believe this is the midpoint in May.

    I’m sorting more camp stuff with DD later today so we know what is left to buy for camp. The trunks leave in a month so I have to make sure I have a complete list of everything we need.

    I made an appointment that I’ve been putting off for months to start looking at some vendors for bat mitzvah. I’m finally starting that process because I don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute.

  4. I poured down the drain about a case of old but not special beer that had accumulated a few bottles at a time over the past several years. Two of the bottles were actually Mike’s Hard Lemonade with “Mike’s Hard Lemonade 1999-2009” on the label so I figure they were 7 years old.
    And I took them to the specialty beer store and parlayed my deposit money toward 2 6-packs of stuff I really enjoy. Win-win!

  5. Took yet another old computer to Goodwill. Threw out three boxes of old computer-related detritus. Boxed up my Blue Willow doll dishes and will take them to Goodwill. Yes, this will guarantee that I have granddaughters who want tea parties, but on the other hand, I hope some little girl will get a set of doll dishes that she enjoys.

  6. On Friday, scheduled an ENT appt I have been putting off for at least 4 years. This weekend I got rid of all of the sheet sets that are too small for our thicker mattresses, and the pink full-sized sheet sets from my daughter’s dorm days that will not be used again. This afternoon, I am sorting books to see what I am willing to part with. My bookshelves are overflowing, so this really needs to be done, but I hate giving away my books.

    On deck for this week – filing all paperwork for reimbursements from various flexible spending accounts, vision insurance, refunds owed us, etc.

  7. It was the end of the soccer season for us and great weather. As the seasons go by, I am trying to hang on to the child who I had to help into shin guards and cleats. I am exhausted but keeping up taking up steps.

  8. I don’t feel like I did much last week but did finish getting in all of our paperwork needed for a refinance and this weekend I painted the office ceiling. We had our house appraised last week and it’s appreciated 40% since we bought it 5 years ago so that was good news.

    We had plans both Friday and Saturday nights and yesterday was taken up with soccer, a party my oldest went to and grocery shopping so I feel ok just having painted one ceiling. I will probably try to run to Benjamin Moore at lunch time to get some more paint for a few last projects we are finishing up. Exercise did not happen this weekend.

  9. “filing all paperwork for reimbursements from various flexible spending accounts”

    I am adding this to my list! I fell behind on Fri/Sat, but caught up on Sunday. Made good progress yesterday on children’s closets.

  10. I started a bit early as my challenge is centered around cleaning out my mom’s apartment. Since April 25 – 5 loads in my minivan to Goodwill. I don’t know how many bags to the dumpster. Already set up for this week (1) appointment for furniture buyer/consigner to come; (2) mover coming to take stuff to my house; (3) Salvation Army coming to take bigger stuff I can’t easily get in my minivan, and (4) friend coming by to help me get all my specialty dontation (durable medical, low vision, glasses, and hearing aids) to their respective donation sites tomorrow. The goal is to turn the apartment over on Monday, May 23. That is one month from when she passes and as much stuff as she had, I feel pretty successful in this arena.

    I hit several periods of decision fatigue and am probably bringing more home that I should. I know as I unpack it this summer there will be a second culling of stuff. Plus, I could not get anyone to come appraise her collections on the front end. We don’t want it all, so will be figuring out what to keep, what to sell and what was just sentimental to her.

    Have set the date for the memorial service and inurnment, but still need to scan pictures, decide about structure of service, and figure out food.

    What I really haven’t tackled is all the paperwork and notification of older people who live further away. Finding their current contact information was not as easy as one would think.

    New Mantra – Less is more, less is more, less is more….as I am incorporating her stuff in with ours, more things will need to go.

  11. Spent the weekend visiting MIL and helping figure out whether she can return home after her shoulder rehab. A huge thank you to Meme or whomever wrote about geriatric care managers. I am in the process of hiring someone to help the family make the necessary decisions and I think this person will be a huge help. I sort of knew about the concept but would not have identified a person as quickly without knowing that term.
    Also took advantage of our presence in MIL’s home to review the expiration dates of the condiments in the refrigerator and tossed half of them. That wasn’t on my list but I am counting it.

  12. Started ScanSnapping all the paperwork and then shredding it instead of filing it. We’ll see if I can keep this up. That scanner is awesome, though. Incredibly fast and it scans both sides simultaneously!

  13. Austin: You rock. It must have been tough, but you seem to have made a lot of progress.

  14. Houston – you’re faster than me! I’ve gathered them all, and moved the stack twice. Now I feel guilty, so I guess I”ll get them done.

  15. I’m behind on the # of days, but I’m plugging away on projects. We went through all 3 kids’ dressers to remove outgrown stuff in preparation for summer, and then made lists of what they actually need (so I buy the right things when we go shopping). I put up some hooks in the girls’ room for things they wanted to hang. I scheduled an overdue appointment for a follow up with my eye doctor. I’ve also hit my steps each day, which is great.

  16. OK, I am sucking on this. Like someone mentioned, these things on the list are things that haven’t gotten done for a reason. We are in end-of-year school-and-sports hell, and thinking of other stuff to pile on top of that when I finally get through the day just pisses me off. So I decided my new plan is to just find ways to have some fun and carpe me some diem. I got to spend a whole day and two nights with my Granny, and I am totally counting that. My dad let me drive his Porsche home from the racetrack, so I am totally counting that, too. Now that normal life has resumed, I want to do spontaneous things like have a picnic or even just sit out on the deck with a glass of wine.

    That said, I did make a bunch of annoying phone calls today, and none were nearly as annoying as I had anticipated – the ortho had solved the billing problem before I even reached them (I was steaming because they hadn’t returned two calls; apparently they weren’t calling me back because there wasn’t a problem any more), the CPAP people can just mail me stuff instead of forcing me to drive across town, etc. So I of course wrote all of those down on my list so I could scratch them off and count them. :-)

    I also read the kids the riot act before leaving town — classic DD can’t find the project she has been working on for 2 weeks, thus necessitating me spending 30 mins scouring the dump zones for it when I’m supposed to be leaving for the airport. I told them the new rules — dump zones clear before I get home from trip (anything left I may toss, keep, or ransom, at my discretion), nothing on air hockey table by bedtime (same), no dishes/glasses/candy wrappers anywhere ($1 fine per item), etc. And I came home to a pristine house. Yay! Again, not something on my list, but I am totally taking credit for that!

  17. Days 16 & 17: workouts w/60 sec planks. That’s a milestone for me since I remember when I first started doing planks 15 seconds was a challenge.

  18. Day 16: Uploaded all pictures from 2015 and ordered hard copies of my favorites to put in an album.

  19. Day 17: Locked down *all* summer plans. All camps are on the calendar, vacations are booked, kids’ trip to see grandparents finalized. DS needs to register for one online class (not counting this, because he has to do it and not me) and we are 100% complete!

  20. Day 17. Survival mode for regular life. Did not advance the ball at all on DIN challenge.

    Day 18. Printed a long over due form (though have not managed to fill it out, scan it in, and email it back). Dying a slow painful death from all the extras required in May.

  21. I am nowhere on this challenge. It should be easy (“anything we don’t think is good enough to go into DS2’s first apartment just needs to be thrown out or donated!”) but for some reason the idea of getting furniture out of the basement and into the charity’s truck or to the dump is blocking me from doing anything. And yes, I know that’s what DIN is all about. So I have a sense of guilt and failure also!

    I’ve kept my vow to do daily pest patrol in my garden, and watering and weeding, so that’s something.

  22. Had a four-for this AM: had a long-overdue dental appt (DIN 1); while I was there, I made overdue appointments for the kids (DIN 2 and 3); then I walked next door and fixed the ortho billing problem (DIN 4) and got the receipt the FSA has been clamoring for to boot. So really, it should be 5, but the FSA is DH’s issue, so it wasn’t on my list. Booyah.

  23. went through my sock drawer, and threw away a ton, just keeping what I actually wear and parting with a lone sock I kept hoping the mate would show up

  24. I am leaving for the airport in an hour and may get one more thing done off the DIN list, or not. I am up to 18 in 19 days and feel good about that – I have been busy and went out of town once already this month. Since my last report I sewed a button on a jacket (missing for at least a year), got propane for the grill (both tanks were empty after the winter), did a petty cash rec and deposit for my volunteer org, bought a new CD for the org, retrieved and packed in my bag a blouse my CA son’s SO left here two visits ago (that is my destination today), accepted the plumber’s estimate (a progress step, not completion), took some unused pet items to the vet as a donation.

  25. I finally got my furnace serviced. But he had to order a part, which means another visit. Not sure I can check this one off.
    Today I am hosing the dirt off all of the miscellaneous plastic planters in the garage, and will then decide which ones get to come back into the garage and which are getting tossed. But I am really struggling to keep up the momentum, and though I am very happy to see college DS return to his nest, he seems to have brought with him way more than he took in August, so his presence is adding more items to my list.

  26. I managed to drop off the old meds that needed to go to the police station. I called the gardener about a tree we want to plant. (No reply, so I suppose it isn’t checked off yet, but I got it started!) I also took care of requesting a contact lens rebate I was waiting on. I’m getting little tiny tasks done, but they all add up.

  27. Day 19. Dealt with lingering e-mails that involved a phone call, printing, signing, and scanning, and e-mailing back. Took DS shoe shopping (8th circle of hell).

    Day 20. My DIN is to spend an hour just walking around the house, putting things away and dealing with mail, filing, backpacks, etc. as I come across them. An hour goes surprisingly quickly doing this.

  28. Did my 5 workouts this week. Why are my legs still continuously sore? I thought the soreness would be gone by week three. Maybe I’m doing my planks incorrectly.

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