Totebag 30-Day Challenge — WEEK FOUR May 22-28

by Grace aka costofcollege

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

We’re entering the home stretch.  Share your past week’s progress and your fourth week’s updates in the comments here.


28 thoughts on “Totebag 30-Day Challenge — WEEK FOUR May 22-28

  1. I have made OK progress this week. I did finally finish going through all of the boxes of books that will be in our basement bookshelves (didn’t make the cut upstairs). I have about 3 bags of books to be donated. I do still have to finish arranging the shelves and seeing if there are any more to be given away.

    I have two chores that require DH’s assistance, so I have to schedule those on days when he is willing and able!

    I have not gotten to my closet, which is a couple of day project in itself!

  2. I took a break from the challenge on vacation. I left myself with wishy washy things – unplug, relax, enjoy the scenery. And I did. But I also wanted to read one book. I read 2!! Granted they are young adult books but this is an accomplishment for me. It took me all of 2015 to read one YA novel.

    And I taught my son how to use a spoon properly. And took about 500 pictures that I have to sort through and create a memory book for DS and a gift or two for DH.

  3. I’ve been good on completing 5 workouts per week. It’s easy because it only takes about 10 minutes. I *think* I feel a bit stronger overall and my arms are looking more toned.

  4. Hmm….biggest accomplishment was that yesterday I took the last load out of my mother’s apartment and am ready to hand over the keys today, because I couldn’t do that on a Sunday.

    Progress – 5 minivans full to Goodwill; one dining room set, one dresser with matching nightstand, one side table and one king sized bed sold. One very large couch, a chair, a smoking stand, two lamps, and two big boxes of misc stuff to Salvation Army. One moving company trip (53 boxes, 3 chairs, a curio cabinet, a small chest and a folding table) to my house, plus a couple of loads in my minivan (things too hard to box up for movers). Finally reached two of her very old friends, one overseas, by phone.

    Next – While I have the date set for the memorial, I need to get the word out and the photo collage made as well as plan what will be said.

    It seems like it is never ending…..

  5. Made good progress on Spring yardwork this weekend. I split it over both days rather than putting is all on Saturday and then not being able to move on Sunday. Much better. Annuals in, including tomato and basil plants. Big accomplishment was thinning out our huge forsythia the right way…from the bottom and out of the middle so new shoots have a chance to grow.

    Also went to the wedding I asked about gift advice earlier. We gave $200. I suppose my/our rationale is that they gave our middle $100 for HS graduation and a wedding is a bigger deal. Actually had a good time despite knowing very few people there. Danced to “our song” when it came on at my instigation (out of character). And just FYI, the food was a buffet dinner …pasta bar + taco bar with tons of different fillings + Asian bar (noodles / lettuce wraps / chicken, different sauces) + a mashed potato bar (sweet potato, cheddar mashed, garlic mashed) which had all the usual baked potato toppings + chocolate & whipped cream some people were putting on the sweet potatoes. I wasn’t willing to try that. Are weddings usually buffet where you are? We haven’t been to a wedding in probably 15 years where we went to the reception (the most recent couple of them being young women who had been long time babysitters a that we remain close to and we took the kids to the ceremony), so maybe things have changed.

  6. Fred – I have only been to 2 buffet weddings, one midwest, one DC. The latter was annoying bc there were not enough seats for everyone, so I had to balance my plate on my lap while sitting on some stairs.

    This weekend, I filled 3 giant boxes with kitchen and LR stuff that we don’t need to have out, and did piles of laundry. We also went to visit our distant relative and saw friends we had been trying to GTG with for a year, so that was good – except for the dinner place, which was WAY overpriced. DH pre-ate and was glad he did – I had second dessert when we got home.

  7. The weather once again impeded my plans to make progress on the yard stuff. I should have shifted gears to the inside tasks, but I was cranky and lazy and tired of the damn weather, so instead I chose to throw up my hands and read a couple of books and bake cookies with DS.

  8. This DIN has really been the kick in the pants I needed to clear a huge backlog of nagging tasks that just were not prioritized this spring. We did a TON this weekend – too many things to list – but I feel like I finally back to the point where I can start taking care of things as they pop up, rather than putting them at the end of the to-do list.

    Minor example – I took the dogs to the vet Friday, and they got their rabies vaccinations. Then Friday I came home, filled out all the paperwork for the county tags, wrote the check, and put it in the mail the same day. A few weeks ago, I would have come home and put the paperwork in the to-do pile and dealt with it later, because there were so many other things ahead of that on the list. I have to say it feels really good to be back on top of those life’s little extras.

    My DIN list is still long – never did get those passports renewed – but I will be continuing this into June. I’ve appreciated the refocusing on household management this month!

  9. This past week has been a total dud for me. I will still complete the list–just a few days late. This challenge has been good for me, except that I have been slacking lately.

  10. My progress has been impeded by DH working around the clock for the past week so I haven’t had a lot of down time to get things done. I did do an hour clean the house drill yesterday with the whole family so I felt like I was starting the week a little more organized. I sat down and organized some Brownie financial stuff yesterday (I’m the troop treasurer) but forgot to give my husband all the checks to deposit for me this a.m. I bought more paint over the weekend at Ben Moore so I’m going to finish painting my husband’s office this week.

  11. Thinking of you Austin.

    Made more progress clearing out stuff in the attic and getting rid of decorations that I no longer use. Sent some finance stuff off to advisor that I’ve been procrastinating on. He sent back info so quick that I didn’t even have time to cross that item off my list before putting it back on.

    I realized today I need to figure out a better digital management and back up system for photos, videos, and music. Maybe that’ll go on my June list of things to do.

  12. RMS – Wondering how the scanning is going? Would like to buy the one you bought, but before I spend the money and buy something (anything) that doesn’t earn its space, I like to hear from real people.

  13. We decided to continue the DIN through June. Ours will focus on the basement, with some paperwork thrown in – like renewing my passport which expires in June. And cutting out magazine subscriptions – I’m too far behind.

    I finished my 3rd book as the plane landed in Logan early Tues morning (3?!?! I’m stupid happy about this because last year I read 1 book the entire year) . I’m reading the next in the series, and hope I continue to make time to read.

  14. Major DIN victory – I had some brand new pool equipment from the house we moved out of in 2013 that got moved with all of our garage stuff. We no longer have a pool. I called Habitat for Humanity Restore yesterday and they will accept it, so I loaded it all in the car this morning and will drop it off at lunch. Now it we can get rid of the dirtbikes that fit my son when he was 8, we’ll have cleared out a nice-sized section of storage space.

  15. Austin, you have made amazing progress.

    We finally have nice weather, so my DIN focus has shifted to the outdoors. DS and I removed a corroded and heavy hose reel to the curb last night and the trash guys took it this morning! Now I have to research, purchase, and install a new one. I bought the old one in 2011 (thank you Amazon for that handy feature) and loved it while it lasted. 2000+ rave reviews on the Eley website for their hose reel cart but pricey and the VISA bills have been alarming of late.
    I rely heavily on reviews but rarely take the time to post them, and feel very guilty about being a free-rider. One of my DIN items was to take the time to do so for especially useful purchases.

    Also trying to solve my password manager issue. DS uninstalled Dashlane, telling me that the interface “sucked,” but his only suggestion for how to keep track of dozens of usernames and passwords was to carry a moleskin notebook everywhere I go. So back to the drawing board on that item.

  16. Austin – You are truly amazing in all that you have done in such a short time.

    I have checked a couple of other things off my list – Renewed the flower boxes, painted and hung a vintage clock in the kitchen. I have a few more for tomorrow and Friday, and then I am calling it. Probably will end up crossing 25 things off the list of 30 I started with. I think I will try it again in July when I am not traveling, but with a better breakdown into smaller tasks.

  17. Piles of Paper, it’s working really well! The scanner is SO FAST. There are all kinds of tips and tricks that I haven’t made use of yet. All I’ve been doing is storing each document to Dropbox and quickly changing the title to something I can search for easily (like EOB for all the explanation of benefits documents that Cigna sends us). I think you can highlight a word or two and immediately turn them into tags, but I didn’t read that article very carefully.

  18. Scarlett — I use the notebook system myself, although I don’t carry it around with me. I figure a password manager could be hacked, albeit with difficulty, and could suddenly shut down, whereas the paper method is both persistent and very difficult to access from a distance.

  19. Scarlett – my husband uses a notebook – pages in his paper day planner that never leaves his pocket, but the notes are partially coded. He has a standard internet alias (his nom de guerre) which is usually incorporated into his usernames. So the entry under XYZ bank Username: ndg 1 star. Password will take some number or word and add numbers or letters or characters. He has a very old numerical ID (say his queens college ID number). So the password could be: queens 6 zayde init cap first six digits of his old ID plus his grandfathers first initial capitalized.

    That works for him, but he is that sort of geek.

  20. @Scarlett: DH works in tech, with some super-secret security measures, and he absolutely 100% refuses to use an online password manager. I figure he knows a little something about cyber security, so we just keep everything on a sheet of paper. I figure if we get a break-in, the guys will probably be looking for what they can get quickly (most people around here who get arrested are not exactly Jason Bourne, you know?). So my version of “security” is to use the same kinds of codes Meme mentioned and keep that paper in a file that is NOT called “passwords.” :-)

  21. Thanks everyone. LfB, if your DH won’t use an online password manager, that tells me a lot, and I’ve had the same concerns as HM about entrusting everything to one online source. When I read some reviews of the leading systems in an online tech article, the comments were all some version of “no, use THIS system, it’s much better.” Time to dust off the Moleskin.

  22. Wine – I read Rick Riordan’s new Greek mythos book – The Hidden Oracle (set of books about Apollo’s punishment); and I’m on book 3 of the Mortal Instruments Series. So ya, real highbrow reading over here! :)

    I’m quite surprised at the Mortal Instruments. I started watching the TV series this year, and my SIL loaned me the books. They are well written and entertaining. I thought they’d be one step up from Twilight, but it’s more like flights of stairs up from Twilight. I may buy this series so I can read it again after I return the books.

    I have “Life and other near-death experiences” on deck. I meant to read that while away, but it never happened. I’ll probably tackle that once I get through Mortal Instruments. And after some internet research… I find a whole world of Mortal Instrument series by Clare. Like Riordan all over again… I need a new bookshelf.

  23. Wine – totally do it. EW did not lie when they said you’ll get hooked. It’s a perfect mix of characters you love, characters you want to punch (think whiny HP in HP#5), and hateful characters you didn’t see coming (OK, full discretion, I called the plot twist in book 3 about 200 pages in, but it was a good twist). My SIL has the 3 book prequels, and I’ll probably get the rest from the library and slowly acquire the rest.

  24. Did my 5 workouts this week, with an 80 sec plank that was a struggle.

    On Monday we’ll have a wrap-up post for the 30-day challenge!

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