Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Minimalist - The Car and More

I have a car that my dad left me, actually when he bought it used he put it in my name. Well, last year it just quit, I am not sure if it just needs a battery or maybe a fan belt but its been sitting.

I have been using the front seat for my recyclable newspaper but then Tony decided he wanted to put some junk off the truck in the back seat.

Now you see where this one is headed don`t you? A junked up car just sitting like the house of hoarders.

This car is going to be one of my main projects this coming month, February.  I am tired of looking at all that junk inside, it all needs to go. As for me using it for the newspapers I do recycle those about every other week but that will stop also.

I want this car up and running again and for some reason I think its something small that needs fixed. When my dad gave it to me he said " you wont ever have to walk again" that is why I keep this car. Every where I move I take this car with me, running or not.

Plus I need the car to be moved so I can either make my own or buy paver`s to make a nice place to park, a landing I guess is what I will call it. Its not hard to make but it is time consuming. With all the rain this past month I have been sliding in and out of the house to the car and vice versa. I need this fixed, I wore sneakers for the best part of the month so I would not ruin my good shoes, that is how bad it has been.

Now what project are you planning on doing in February? Maybe something minor, or you going major like me?

By Andria Perry

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Minimalist - Smell That Smell

A little over a week ago I mentioned that it was time to clean out the refrigerator that I could smell something ruined like cabbage or broccoli but I did not have ether in the fridge at the time.

I did a clean out but it really was not dirty and I found nothing rotted but it got a good wipe down anyways and I took note of what fruits and vegetables I was low on and what I had plenty of still.

As the days passed The smell was leaving so I thought maybe it was a water in the drain line finally draining out.

Yesterday Tony went to the fridge opened it to look for something to eat and said " I thought you cleaned this out the other day, it smells." I opened the door and sure enough , it smelled. Being exhausted I put cleaning it out again till today.

I started at the top and worked my way down, since I know the two crisper drawers are clean. Nothing on the top shelf was open or spoiled. Next shelf, still nothing. I did the bottom shelf , smelling every item. Nothing!

One last place, the little drawer that just has the feta in a tub, the blue cheese in a tub and a stockpile of cheese slices. When I opened this drawer I smelled it, I said " Aha! I bet its the tub of feta, somehow got opened." I smelled each item as I took it out and nothing, then I seen it!

A baggie in the back.

When I seen what was inside I remembered it from Christmas, Goat cheese with garlic and herbs. I  had opened it and ate a few bites and put it inside a ziploc storage bag, I really did not care for it so it was going to be dog food. Some how it had gotten crammed all the way into the back and behind a package of cheese slices.

I handled the bag carefully because I could see mold and "juices" in that baggie. I held it up after sniffing the bag and said " I found it" and showed Tony. He said " open it and make sure," I replied with " no way am I opening this" and I asked if he wanted to smell it through the bag, he declined :)

I opened a empty jar that I will dispose of and carefully placed it inside.

after a couple of hours I went to get something to drink from the fridge and I have to say, it smells so much better :)

Lesson learned - always look under the cheese slices.

By Andria Perry

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Minimalist - Doing What Comes Naturally

It seems I should take everything a day at a time and not plan my week so its not a set back when I cannot keep with the plan, " be flexible Angie." I tell myself.

I could say " its been a bad day, a bad week, a bad month or even a bad year," but in reality its just everyday life. People get sick. Plans get changed. Car problems happen and people die, that`s life.

With all of the above mentioned happening to me all in one week I have to stop and think, Then I can see clearly once again.

I had let things sit for a few days while I wallowed in self pity and what woke me back up was when I came out of the bathroom, I stood in the hall facing the breakfast nook and what I seen was unreal and I made the mess.

Tony walked by and asked " what are you doing?" and I replied " come here and look," He said " what?" and I told him "all that , as I waved my hand in the air toward the mess, looks like a scene from the Hoarders show." He said nothing and walked off after rolling his eyes.

So I got busy and I cleared out my new business of flowers, pots and dirt sitting in the corner. I took out all the sacks recyclables waiting for me to put them in the right bins. I swept and mopped and cleaned the table top.

I cleaned the toilets and I washed those white permanent press shirts and dress clothes. 

I picked up all that was tossed around. I took my life back.

Its hard at times to remember that the car will always break down when you least expect it and you will get sick when you are telling yourself not now, anytime but now. And death, no matter if you are close to the person or not, people die when its their time to go.

So life goes on and I don`t want to live a nasty life that looks as though I don`t care because I do, I have always cared.

Wake up and smell the trash! Then take it out to the curb.

By Andria Perry

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Minimalist - Can`t Plan Everything

This week has been a hard week to be a minimalist. There are just things that cannot be helped, its life and I have to just deal with it as each day passes.

Monday I did get a lot done in a couple rooms as wrote in the previous post but then life began on Tuesday.
Monday night it was late when we finally had dinner and I left a few dirty dishes in the sink due to fatigue, its rare but at times I have to just leave it for the next day because I cannot do anymore. I do not own a dish washer.

I woke Tuesday morning to NO water. Something the water company was working on and it did not come on till later in the day, so I had a ton of dirty dishes by this time, and I had a funeral home visit to make that night so two baths came first.

Due to problems at work I had to leave the funeral home and go directly to a rental house. I got home at eleven pm, we ate snacks at midnight and that meant more dirty dishes but I could not stay awake any longer, I had to get up at six am, go to work and a funeral. I left this mess, again.

So late last night I tackled this piled up, dried on mess in the kitchen. It seems like I soaked and washed dishes for a couple hours.

I also had to deal with the laundry, I washed two loads of color clothes and one white. But we had gotten out dress clothes dirty so after two nights we had two sets and I washed them, making four loads of laundry. Sometimes when I am just attending a funeral I wont get them dirty and I can wear them another time, instead of washing them, washing nice clothes will wear them out faster.

I am off today so I plan to clean the refrigerator, I smell something that resembles cabbage but I don`t have a cabbage. I must clean it all to find this smell. I do not like to open the fridge and smell anything. But its due a good cleaning, I think its healthy to keep this a really clean place because everything in there is going into my body.

So how are you doing with the cleaning and keeping it minimal?

By Andria Perry

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Minimalist - The Pantry - Before and After

January 18, 2016
Its been a while since I gave the pantry a good cleaning and organizing.

I really have not added much except salad dressings , croutons and crackers because I had bought up enough to do for around a year each time I bought an item such as mustard and pickle relish.

I did not have much to throw away, just a couple boxes of breading mix and a stale box of crackers that I will to the birds.

The paper towels had became lazy and was sliding everywhere and I just took them all down and moved them. I have thirty five rolls and I am proud to say I did not pay no more that a dime for each. I have enough for a very long time and I will not buy anymore till I am down to a couple rolls.

But I am low on toilet paper, I would like to keep as much of it as I can because its something that is used daily, for sure. That means I will be scanning the sale ads for name brand but cheap with coupons.

I decided to ditch some of those boxes and use the plastic canisters I have sitting around doing nothing. For the most part I filled them with pasta, cookies and coffee, green tea and Kool- aid type shots. 

I will admit that I have used a lot of the stock the past few months as well as donating to people who needed food and that is a good thing because I do not want it to just sit, I sure don`t want to buy more of some of the things.

Why? I am burned out on that product and I made a promise to myself that I will start making and canning most of the foods I eat.

Today I emptied a small shelf that sat behind me and is not in the photo but I did not get rid of it, I just put it on those shelves. I think I will fill it with my homemade canned preserves.

How does it look? 

By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry - My pantry 1-18-16

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Minimalist - Another One Bites The Dust

Although it cold in Alabama I still made good with all the sunshine today.

I got outside and picked up stray blown paper and then I began to do something I had hoped Tony would do but he didn`t, I cleaned out the garage.

Its been a while since I used the garage for my car, or the truck, so I jumped in with trash bags and a hoodie over my head.

I first had to take a few things out before I could see what had to go and what was staying and what needed to be elsewhere.

On one wall I knew that was where my seed pots were and I needed those out so I grabbed that tub, next I found the tub with the grave yard flowers and I pulled that one out. 

What most of the stuff was from working on the rentals and it was what is left over, like a couple 2 x 4`s and the wooden screen doors I removed from a rental, stuff like that. 

I have one deep freezer going to a rental so that it can be used instead of sitting in the middle of the garage. I did not move that but will take it one day next week.

I also did not move the riding mower over because it has a flat tire, I did not want to damage that tire. I will get air in the small tank from the gas station.

I gathered a large trash bag full of things that is not more than trash, an old busted tub and a lot of plastic junk. I have two tables that should have never been brought home that needs to go to the dump.

I still have one wall to clean up and look through those tubs to see what is inside and I have a few wooden cabinets to empty and take off, But its cleaned so that I can now use the garage for my car once again and that was my goal.

Another clean up job bites the dust! :)

Next is to clean the pantry.

By Andria Perry

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Minimalist - What The Heck?

Since I am opening up a new business I needed to get into the shed to find the things I know I can use, being a warm day I decided to do that today.

I opened the door and stopped dead still, mouth hanging open, thinking " what the heck happened in there?!"

You went no further. Open the door and BAM! its in your face.

I stood staring at all that stuff and I seen a pattern. None of it was mine. Once again he opened the door and did the " sit it down" till it was at the door.

I took a deep breath and dug in. I began to bring everything that was in the walking path out and sat it in the yard. When I got to the back and to where my stuff was I thought about how I can put all his stuff back in but still be able to walk to the back if need be.

I started with the very first thing I took out, it would not be used till the Summer so it went first, to the back. Next was the tiller and after that the push mower. the rest was small junk but he uses it so I found a place for it, just not in the floor.

After I finally got all the stuff out I needed and all the stuff back inside the shed, I was tired and it was getting dark. No work on the business for me today.

I will draw the line by saying " if its not a tool for working, it has to go."

This is the year! I am getting rid of over half of that stuff, its not anything that is worth much but I would like to load it all on a truck and go to trade day, sell what I can and leave the rest with a sign that reads " free." 

Is your shed overflowing?

By Andria Perry

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Minimalist- Organizing - Tubs Or Not

I used to call myself " Queen of the tubs" because I lived in a small house with a hoarder that did not have any closets and a full size basement. To keep it clean from falling dust I " tubbed it." 

Seems like a good way, right?

Wrong. I began to forget what was in those tubs even though I had each marked and I started buying another of what I did not know I had. I was becoming a hoarder, by the tub fulls.

I have to say that we know that the day after Christmas is the day all the commercials and the sales ad begin to have massive sales on the organizing stuff. All the magazines showing us how to organize and what containers to use.

Thats not a bad thing but its also not a good thing either.

It has became the new life of buying and keeping also known as hoarding, buy new and use it but keep the old and not use it but put it away in a tub. 


I am aware that some things need to be replaced every so often due to not being energy efficient anymore or that its simply dry rotted. The problem is keeping the old one, stored into another item to stack back, collect dust and take up space.

I am not saying not to buy tubs because they are very useful. I use all sizes of tubs to keep my things nice and clean, for instance my dress shoes. I do not wear all of them that often but I want them clean when I reach for a pair.

I have my music CD`s in a small shoe box tub, labeled and I can see through it, I know what is inside.

I have my old paper photo`s in a large clear tub. I can see what is inside when I want to go down memory lane.

What I am saying is, if you already have a replacement for what you are about to poke away in that tub, don`t. If you needed a replacement there must have been a flaw in the first place. You are worth more than to keep an old flawed item when you have a wonderful new item, use the space to walk and breathe.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Minimalist- Hoarding Thoughts

Understanding the actions of some people can be a waste of time. I was told this past weekend " everyone is responsible for their own emotions. "  While those few words may not have had a big impact on some they did on me.

We let people get into our heads and allow them to fool around with our thinking process, this lead us to being hoarders of a different kind. 

I am not perfect and I have never claimed to be, besides joking around with family and close friends, I will not say those words.

Sometimes people don`t understand what words do to some people and never affects others at all. For the most part I have a hard outside and when people call me names or talk about me it just slides off and I go about my business. After all I don`t expect everyone to like me nor do I expect to like everyone.

But how we act in the moment matters most. 

For instance; I found something out and I was disappointed, then I began to think, Did they do that because of me? I immediately wanted to run and ask this person , why? did I do something? But I didn`t.

About a week later the person talked with me and told me they had did this thing and asked me to use another venue to mail something to them, no I did not find out why but by that answer I knew it had nothing to do with me. The fear that I was the reason disappeared because I allowed it to.

With hoarding there is not just one place to hoard, sometimes it not even material things but thoughts that need to be cleared out.

If people are feeling guilty about some thing they did in the past, I recommend praying and asking for forgiveness. 

If someone is in deep grief over a lost loved one, know they are with God, happy and whole, and they would never want us to be sad. 

If you are carrying hatred in your heart for someone who did you wrong in the past, forgive. Don`t allow that person to control you anymore.

Now , what did this  " everyone is responsible for their own emotions " mean to me? I was allowing a person to have control over me by making me cry because of their rage at their own  past that they had not yet dealt with.

When I realized what I was doing I let that go, asked everyone else to do so and now I have my joy back and that person has no control anymore.

By Andria Perry

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Minimalist- Was I sick?!

January 12,2016

I am not one to get sick, I mean I may get a headache or earache but nothing serious like a puking virus or the flu < got all my shots >. And I seriously do not like to complain because lets face it , no one wants to know.

For a few days I have felt exhausted and I just wanted to sleep, but I fought sleep only to do nothing productive. Today I talk with my sister and found out she has a piking virus! Now I know why I feel/ felt bad.

So I pulled my act together and did what? The laundry AGAIN! two loads of colors and one white, I do not know how we mess things up. I know its been wet and we get mud on us but there are only two people in this house.

Next I made it to the coupons, I got those filed into the coupon binder and the coupons I don`t use are in the labeled pencil boxes, if someone may need or want any, I will toss them out in thirty days anyway, thats how long most of them last.

I am noticed something again, one of those old hoards coming back again. The magazine hoard. Seems I get sucked into subscriptions all the time. I always ask myself after I get them delivered " why?" but I can`t answer :(  I can read the magazine in one setting. Lately I have been passing them to my sister.


January 13,2016

Yes I did think I was sickly because today I feel back like me again.

I have not accomplished much as yet but I did toss out an old friend, soft and with air flow. :) That is her in the picture and she ain`t pretty anymore. My lawn mowing and painting a house shirt.

Have a good day, see ya tomorrow.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Minimalist- On Sunday/ How Minimal?

January 10, 2016

I know most people do not like to work on Sunday because of the Sabbath, but it really depends on when the Sabbath is depending on your religion of lack of.

I feel that Its okay to work if need be, and it needs to be done today.

Today I will be cleaning as much of the house as I possibly can because next week is up in the air with appointments and work so I must be flexible, meaning get it done today!

I will start in my bedroom by vacuuming and dusting and then move to the living room since it will be vacant this evening.

Next is to clean off the dining room table, I do have paperwork scattered about since I am prepping for the taxes, and giving that room a quick vacuum and dusting.

Next of the kitchen, another good wipe down and a damp mopping, seems this room is used more than any other in the house so its always in need of refreshing.

The laundry room will get swept and a damp mop too! But I do not think I have enough dirty clothes for more than one load and I may do those since its going to be well below freezing the next couple a nights.

If I have time I will try to get to the bathrooms but just as the spare bedroom/ stockpile room and this office, they are not in serious need of cleaning and all are neat and organized.

Now how minimal was I last week? Did I fail big time or an I still on the wagon?

I did fantastic! 

I went shopping very little for food so there was no more serious stock up, just soup and crackers. 

I took  my sister shopping on Friday night and that is when I did take advantage of getting All washing liquid for $1.99 a bottle. I did buy five bottles to add to the stockpile. What I did was buy the  six 12 packs of diet Pepsi and got $5.00 back in ECB at CVS, Tony drinks those daily so I would have bought those anyways. Next I bought the All washing detergent on sale for $2.99 and I had a $1.00 manufacturer coupon for each, making them $1.99 each AND I had the $5.00 in ECB`s. With tax included I paid $6.48 after all the coupons, And then my sister gave me back $2.00 and took one for herself. So I ended up paying $4.48 for four bottles of washing detergent or another four months supply.

I did not try out the new comforter set but I will today, if I don`t like I pass it on next week.

I think I am improving as a minimalist. How about you?

By Andria Perry

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Minimalist- Skip days

January 7, 2016

Yesterday January 6th. was a total flop day. I did not do anything at home and for the most part I was not even at home. I left early and did not get back till around eight pm.

Since I got the tetanus shot and antibiotic for the ears I have been extra tired but I wont use that as an excuse because excuses makes us lazy and then the clutter and dirt pile up, right?!

While I usually always wash clothes on Sunday evening and Wednesdays , I did skip yesterday and I am doing the washing right now but that is okay because I prefer to wash with the loads being full to save water and electricity. I have washed a load of colors, dried, folded and put those away, I have a load of whites ( towels and wash cloths) in the dryer and I am washing a quilt now.

I also have to clean the kitchen again, mopping floors this time making it a complete cleaned kitchen.

While I always do most of the serious housecleaning on the weekends, today I will concentrate on getting my paper work tallied up and preparing it for the CPA to file my taxes. That in its self is a total messy situation because I have to spread the papers EVERYWHERE. Maybe, just maybe one day I will find a better filing system but for now this one I can deal with. Especially since this is just once a year thing to do.

Last Tuesday I was called to help move an elderly man and this did take time from my plans for the home but things happen and you have to deal and move on. This elderly man gave us an upright deep freezer, we need it and we don`t need it. Meaning I could use it to store meat in for Tony but I have one already and I will make do. So we decided to put it in one of the rental houses. And he gave me a very nice and expensive comforter set. I have yet to put it on the bed to " see" if I like it or not. If I don`t I will pass it to my sister. I think I will do that today.

So how is your day going?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Minimalist- Those Working Days - How to cope

January 5, 2016

Yesterday, Monday January 4th. was a working day for me and a lot of work had piled up since the holiday of last Friday. So how do I do anything as a minimalist when I have to work and be on the road all day?

Resist temptation.

Is it that simple?

This time of the year we see all those pretty things, especially Christmas decorations, on sale for 50%  and 75% off and we are tempted to buy MORE because it is that cheap.

Yesterday I had to go into a walmart store and I did see all those pretties but I walked out of walmart not buying anything because they did not have the two things I wanted, long envelops and a small cooler for the car.

Was it hard to walk away? Yes. And I did take a quick look but the thoughts came to me " where would I put this? I have so much already." And I walked away.

Plus making the new year resolution to stop shopping so much and use what I have is still fresh in my head.

Then I had to go into Publix! This is the place that will be the hardest for me to resist because I can coupon there like nobodies business! I knew I went in for free medication and that was it. 

Then I seen the coupons in my purse and looked. Oh my goodness I should not have looked.

I seen the Progresso soup buy one get one free and I had coupons, not just soup coupons but $2.00 off premium crackers when you buy the soup! 

I caved! 

I gave in and bought nine cans and got three boxes of the good crackers two boxes were. 77 each and the other one I got for .39. Now I have nine meals and Tony has his crackers because he won`t eat soup but he likes them with vegetable salad and tuna salad.

Now I wont say that its a complete failure by giving in and buying because I had a can of soup for dinner last night and a can for lunch today. My doctor just told me to get back on the 1600 calorie a day diet, my vegan/ vegetarian soups are 180 and 200 calories per can, I just eat the whole can and call it a meal because I don`t eat bread or crackers with the soup. So I bought healthy no meat meals for me.

And to just justify buying and not using the stockpile, well I did not have nothing but cream of chicken soup and its for recipes and not a meal for me.

I am not perfect and I know I will have my days when I will say to myself when I get home " Why did you buy that?"

How would you have handled my day?

By Andria Perry