Totebag 30-Day Challenge Kick Off — WEEK ONE May 1-7

by Grace aka costofcollege

Today is the first day of the Totebag 30-Day Challenge.

The group activity is DO IT NOW, but some participants will choose other activities for their challenge.

Use the comments to check in when you complete (or don’t) your daily activity during WEEK ONE.  (The weekly pages will appear along with the other Totebag Challenge pages up on the blog header bar.)

Let’s go!  Good luck to all of us!


76 thoughts on “Totebag 30-Day Challenge Kick Off — WEEK ONE May 1-7

  1. I am going to spend at least 10 minutes every day in May decluttering our attic space (which is finished space that could be a really nice living area, if it weren’t so cluttered). Just came downstairs and put a big pile of papers that have been sitting in piles in the attic into our recycling bin. It felt good! The journey of a thousand miles has begun with a single step. :)

  2. Did my 10-minute high intensity workout with a 30-sec plank. It was easy today because it’s a lazy rainy Sunday without much going on.

  3. Did a 30 minute yoga work out and finally painted the powder room ceiling (after about 5 months of it looking terrible). Also divided up kids’ school pictures and got them ready to send to the grandparents.

  4. I remembered Do it Now which guilted me into taking many extra steps. So, while waiting for an appointment, instead of sitting on a bench wasting time on my phone, I walked the whole shopping center, taking my steps. Very hot and humid here, due to the weather pattern.

  5. This challenge is soooo helpful. Finally cleaned out the Keurig coffee maker…after 3 years.

  6. I mailed my mom’s Mother’s Day card so for the first time in several years she will get it on time instead of the following Wednesday.

  7. Oh, Lord. In anticipation of our move in late June to God-Knows-Where in mid-June or so, I started purging and packing. I gave Junior and me a big trash bag and two boxes each and we had to start sorting things into “trash, keep, donate”. We actually got that done, but with much bickering and my steadfast refusal to get rid of anything that my parents once had (regardless of its utility). We are only beginning. There is no way our next place (which will be a rental) in Warehouseville) will be as big.

    I’ve lived within a 3 mile radius of where I started out when I moved here 20 some years ago. This is going to be hard.


  8. I made my official DIN list. I have a mixture of unpleasant tasks with a few that are more fun.

  9. I didn’t make a list; I’m just trying to do stuff as it presents itself. This morning, I shredded the stack of papers and junk mail sitting on top of the shredder. I’d been adding to the stack for weeks. It took about 15 minutes to shred it all. I also put the two bags of clothing that have been sitting in the garage since February into the car to take to the donation site.

  10. I did my DIN on the 30th, in anticipation of a state-wide consignment sale on May 1.

    I sat in our attic for ~45 minutes going through DS’ clothes to see what he needed for the summer/fall/winter (18 month sizes). I then set aside $50 to spend at the sale. DS got 22 pieces of clothing, which should outfit him through the winter. I found he has every season in 24 month/2T, so when he jumps to that size, we should be all set.

    An ongoing DIN is to reduce time-sinks – like websites, social media, my email.

  11. Yesterday from my list I cleaned out our 2 freezers (hello 2 year old box of thin mints we’d forgotten about), changed hard to reach lightbulbs all over the house (this required DH and our largest ladder, and about an hour of time, so this one was the biggie for the day), ordered DS new shoes, and finished planting my herb garden.

    On top of the usual Sunday getting-ready-for-the-week it felt like a lot, and I understand why I procrastinate on some of these little things…

  12. Day 1 success: In the basement DS & I hung (push pins) a couple of posters that had been laying around and I went through several folders in the filing cabinet purging some of our 20+ year old documents that really have no utility now. As with CoC, it was a gray, uninviting day outside so I spent was >20mins on this. Later on DS & I did about 30 mins of yardwork so there’s actually some visible progress too.

  13. My Do It Now is devoted to packing up the house for the move. Yesterday we got all of the adult winter coats into a wardrobe box and packed about 5 boxes of books, and *I* did about 10 loads of laundry, washed all the dirty kids’ winter clothes and got 3 boxes of kid and adult winter stuff packed, rotated my clothes from winter to spring and got 3 boxes of clothes packed, rotated #1’s clothes and put a bunch in the get rid of pile, got a new underbed box ready for #2’s outgrown clothes, and ordered the 2 older kids new rain boots. Very productive.

    Also this weekend I got new sneakers and insoles and an army coat like I see all the kids wearing these days. :) And we took the kids to see the new house. #1 was very critical and we are going to have to teach her how to check her privilege. Gah.

  14. My Do it Now task – get work shoes that are comfortable and stop wearing sneakers. Still switching between sneakers and the shoes, as they are broken in, but at least I now own them.

    I’m also doing 25 body squats a day, walking an extra subway stop (about 10 min) each way, substituting fruit/veggie/protein snacks for sweets and yogurt and snacking less overall. My goal is to greatly increase the amount of fruit/veg I eat daily and to start exercising again now that my foot is better.

    I need to think of more “do it now” tasks but am using you guys for inspiration.

  15. “I mailed my mom’s Mother’s Day card so for the first time in several years she will get it on time instead of the following Wednesday.”

    good one! I am terrible about sending cards

  16. Today I am gathering all of the documents to refinance our mortgage and am almost done other than the stuff I need from my husband.

  17. ” am using you guys for inspiration.”

    Me, too! I have a wedding card/gift I need to send out.

  18. I was away yesterday and redid the list this morning to make it more realistic (took some long time procrastinated jobs off the list and broke remaining tasks down). I decided that two step tasks should get only one line, but with a half done checkmark. For example, I want to get a second set of distance glasses/sunglasses, leaving one set in the car at all times. But that involved calling the eye doctor for a copy of a prescription, which will come in the mail (I assumed I could just print it from the online portal). Not much use for the portal, is there. I am being very rigid about this List – nothing that I would normally have to do during May for my volunteer or household maintenance requirements made it. Just little special stuff. I have a goal to clear at least two other items fully and will report back tomorrow.

  19. I took care of a couple of little office-related admin tasks I’d been putting off. I cleared up some work-related bills I needed to pay (they don’t come in regularly, so I don’t have a regular process to pay them like the household bills). I also ordered some supplies I was running low on.

    I’ve separately been doing 10,000 steps a day, and I’m planning to continue that in May also!

  20. Accomplished my task for today – called to have carpets & area rugs cleaned.

  21. I moved one step closer to actually buying outdoor furniture rather than just looking at it, dropped off donations of worn towels to the pet store, and boxed up/mailed returns to Nordstrom.

  22. I went through camp stuff from last summer, and I found a younger camper to give some clothes that are too small for DD.

  23. Day 2: Just cleaned out dehumidifier and filter. “Clean filter” light has been on for about a month. : )

  24. Opened a box of new pots and pans that I had ordered before Christmas (!) and stored in the attic because I didn’t have the energy around the holidays to re-organize the kitchen cabinets to accommodate said new pots and pans. The box has been emptied, the cabinets re-organized, and the new pots and pans put away. Yay!

  25. Houston, it wasn’t on my list but you inspired me. Tomorrow my “clean filter” light will be off.
    It’s been on for at least a year.

  26. Did my daily plank, really only because of this blog because I hauled a heavy bag back 6-7 blocks from Chinatown at lunch time and was not feeling the urge for further exercise. But hey, accountability works.

  27. By the end of day 2 (since I am traveling 5 days this month I need to front load my 30 items) I did 2 items half way – the aforementioned eyeglass prescription and ordering a return air grille with washable filter. Completion of the two tasks await the mail/UPS. And I did complete two more – ironed and hung the summer bedroom curtains, and posted excess Red Sox tickets for sale. Local or visiting established totebaggers (only 2 seats, sorry) can feel free to email me at memetotebag at outlook dot com if interested in a weekend game (face value) in May June or July.

  28. I walked for half hour yesterday. I am off to a good start for the challenge. I need to clean the fridge in the garage this weekend and deal with pictures taken last year. I usually make the kids clean out their rooms after the school year is done. Their rooms have gotten much better but there is still so much stuff that they accumulate.

  29. Yesterday I didn’t do much (work) but DH and I updated our budget and I called to make a dentist appt.

  30. I continued on my basement organizing kick; last night spent 30 mins going thru clutter. This happened to be artwork / handwriting / worksheets from when the kids were just learning to write. Yeah, we should have gotten rid of more at the time, but we didn’t and it hasn’t been in the way so there ya go! Some funny, some cute, much hard to just get rid of. But I did put in a pile to take out on trash night about half of what I went through. There is a lot more to go through.

  31. Day 1 sewed missing buttons on pants and shirts. Day 2 put a bunch of blankets in plastic storage and moved to basement. Day 3 will be sorting/throwing out old shoes.

  32. Day 3: Booked anniversary trip! It’s been on “the list” for about a month, so I’m glad that it’s finally taken care of.

  33. Met my steps yesterday. I think today I may suck it up and deal with some of the patches I need to get onto my kids’ karate uniforms.

  34. Day 1: forgot about the challenge but started working on DD’s communion veil :)

    Day 2: cleaned the walls and woodwork in the stairwell, to prep for repainting the trim. 45 min workout. Cleaned the exterior of the kitchen cabinets.

    Day 3: went to Target and got water bottles for the kids who do not drink enough water. Went to school and dropped off PTA money owed. 30 min workout.

  35. I just signed DD up for camp for the week after school gets out. It was the only week I hadn’t covered for the summer and i finally did it today. Now I need to get DH to sign younger two kids up for back up care at the daycare across the street from his office that same week because their day care is closed for two days.

  36. Hoping to deal w/ PAPER. 30 min/day of one stack and another — bills, kids’ artwork/notes, handyman lists, home repair receipts,etc.
    Does anyone use the Snap Scanner? If so, how easy (or difficult- groan) is it? Do I feed all the papers through and then sort each into folders? Label each paper or just have a folder that says medical bills? Could be tedious but I want way less paper and right now, our papers are organized once we spend the time – but it’s drawers of papers.
    Our lives are just full of so much paper – despite efforts to go paperless. And when I’ve just gotten fed up and purged the stuff, I’ve regretted it – no refunds w/o proof of purchase, not remembering the name of the dermatologist visited in previous city to get old record, etc. ARGH.
    And then there are notes from volunteer work that no one keeps but me, etc.

    Any suggestions?

  37. I made a followup appointment for DS with his plastic surgeon, and haven’t checked social media until now. Tonight is yoga night, so I can’t squeeze in too many “DIN” challenges

  38. Jumping in– I use a ScanSnap for a lot of work correspondence. It’s fairly useful, but I tend to let things pile for a bit and scan in one big go. (I can scan a month or more’s worth of stuff in an hour.) I have folders by topic, and I tend to label things by date at the beginning. Like 2016_05_03 Bill from whoever.

    I made appointments for haircuts, so that’s getting off my to do list.

  39. Day 3: called and scheduled appt with Habitat to come pick up the last of the original beach house furniture that we no longer need.

  40. “Does anyone use the Snap Scanner?”

    Love mine. Love it, love it. Expensive, but worth it.

  41. Is the main benefit of the Snap Scanner the paper feeding feature? You can put a stack of documents or photos and it’ll feed and scan them? I’m tempted to get one.

    Took the day off from my workout yesterday. Back at it today.

  42. I went through a lot of old papers, and I even had time to shred anything that had personal information.

    I made a few doctor appointments, and finally made a call about a landscaping problem that was created by the ConEd work that took place earlier this year.

  43. Day 4: Ordered the clothing labels needed for sleep-away camp for both kids. (Why I let these minor orders and phone calls pile up is beyond me.)

  44. “Is the main benefit of the Snap Scanner the paper feeding feature?”

    My favorite feature is the ease with which it processes large documents quickly, painlessly, and with great resolution. You’d think that this feature was a given, however, my current scanner at work and my old scanner could not meet this low bar.

  45. I’d never trust it to feed a stack of photos. But Houston is right– longer documents are easy. 50-100 page documents or longer are just not a big deal for it.

    I got my 10,000 steps yesterday and took care of a bunch of food prep (not a do it now item, but filled up a couple of hours last night), so no karate patches. I’m still counting scheduling the haircut though, because it’s been on my radar for a few weeks but I hadn’t done anything yet.

  46. I scheduled my haircut, DD’s haircut, and my dentist appt. Also called the ballet school to get schedule for mini-recital – unfortunately it is the next day after my dad’s retirement party so we will be doing lots of driving that weekend.

  47. Day 4: Cleaned out 2 drawers, threw away 7 old remote controls and manuals.

  48. Day 4: went to dollar store and lakeshore learning to get DS new toys and crayons for our trip. Never got to my treasury duties.

  49. Day 3: cleaned out dehumidifier and filter (thanks Houston!); tossed a pile of garage shelves debris into the trash bins before my dad or DH could rescue any of it
    Day 4: called the Container Store about a damaged item received six weeks ago, identified AND purchased tiny light bulbs for a bathroom sconce (but did not surgically remove the tiny light bulbs from the packaging and install them yet), made one medical appointment

  50. Day 5: finished out some treasury duties, have two more tasks to tackle there; will make two phone calls today.

  51. Consolidated remaining kids’ books, washed stragglers on kids’ winter coats. Also called mothers (mine, DH’s, DH’s stepmom) and ordered Mother’s Day flowers. Let’s see if I get any! (LOL)

  52. Day 5: Just finished cleaning 2 shelves in coffee table that have served as a dumping ground for stray stuff– Old magazines, old electronics manuals, etc.

    What’s depressing is that I keep finding more stuff to do.

  53. Got my 10,000 steps in yesterday. Prepared items for an event at my kids’ school on Saturday that I’d been putting off.

  54. Day 5: Called Pottery Barn about an unsatisfactory bathroom faucet that was ordered and received in March (!!). Arranged for UPS to come pick it up tomorrow for return and credit.

  55. Items cleared on Days 4 and 5 – took change jar to the supermarket machine for Amazon gift card 62 dollars. washed the key blanket and switched to summer bed linens (recently acquired vintage quilt looks wonderful).

  56. Day 5: Replaced niche light bulbs in TWO different bathroom fixtures. Moved crate of “tailgate liquor” from the garage where it has been sitting since the last tailgate in November to the tailgate shelves in basement. Swapped out old birdfeeder for new improved guaranteed squirrel-proof model (thank you, Amazon Prime) after finding squirrel enjoying my $2.00+/lb hulled no-waste sunflower seeds on Tuesday.

  57. Day 6. Ordered porch furniture that was a gift to me from my parents for Christmas, all I had to do was pick it out.

  58. Day 6 – will be done tonight, but prep for a hike (that may or may not happen thanks to the weather) tomorrow, go to the mall for Mother’s Day cards and salon visit; maybe (if I’m not asleep) finish my last treasury duty

  59. Day 6: Organized DS2’s winter clothes. Found some of my stuff in there (mis-sort of clean laundry a few months ago) and put a few outgrown/unused clothes in the Goodwill pile.

  60. I got all my steps in for today! Nothing else checked off the list because work got away from me, and tonight was the preschool Mother’s Day celebration.

  61. Donated an unused second set of dishes, which freed up space in kitchen cabinets for china stored in the attic. Washed and put away china and brought old dishes to goodwill.

  62. Day 7: cleaned out guest room closet, where I was apparently hoarding wallpaper and fabric samples for my fantasy career as an interior decorator. Closet is now totally empty other than a second set of pillows and 2 bathrobes for guests.

  63. Day 5: 45 minutes of sprint intervals pushing 100 lb double stroller. Called to track down missing insurance bill.

    Day 6: Communion veil done. 30 min workout.

    Day 7: Coached DD’s game in pouring rain, but no workout due to communion and party.

    Need to deal with light bulbs, brownie patches, and about 56 other things the rest of you have thought of.

  64. Day 6:
    Arranged for electrician to install 2 fixtures purchased months ago and sitting hopefully in boxes since then.
    Discovered missing mint plant in garage, dug it up and repotted with new potting mix.

  65. Day 8: Threw out expired meds and cleaned out a drawer in nightstand.

  66. Days 6 and 7 – Reserved seats on three June Air Canada legs (flights booked by tour company) so that DH could have his window and I could sit next to him. Had to pay for the privilege. Went to Costco to order a second set of distant/sunglasses to keep in the car. 7 items in the bag.

  67. Day 7: laid out clothes for trip; took a much needed walk with my friend (weather cancelled the hike)

  68. Day 7– Volunteered at the kids’ school. Didn’t get my steps in (for the first time in weeks!)
    Day 8– Got my steps in.
    Day 9– Took care of the girl scout health forms I’ve been delaying on for camp. Got my steps in for the day.

    I like the reminder of expired meds, and I’m going to plan a time to take mine down to the drop box at the police station.

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