Happy Monday! It’s a gorgeous first day of June morning here. Deliciously cool (in the 40s) and blue skies.
I mentioned last week that we have been doing little things to make home more enjoyable. Since we work at home and home educate, we’re home a lot. As such, the past few years we’ve focused on big and small changes to make our home life enjoyable. Rather than continually putting up with things and situations around here that irritate or frustrate us, we’ve spent extra money to do something about them. There’s a point where being thrifty is no longer helpful because the ongoing frustration outweighs the savings.
Room Darkening Blinds
For example, we had to replace Caroline’s bedroom blinds last year when one of hers broke. Since we were short on both time and money, we bought some inexpensive ones at Meijer (to replace the really nice custom ones that came with the house). Well, these cheaper ones do not filter the light at all. Her room faces primarily east-ish and so in the summer she gets the almost full brunt of the morning sun, waking her up by shining in her face far earlier than she wants. Toss in the highly-sensitive person angle and this is a big problem. This weekend we decided to cut our losses and purchase some more expensive room darkening blinds. David picked them up this morning and she’ll have them from now on.
The blinds are the perfect example of the folly of buying something that costs less, but really isn’t what you want or need. Now we’ve bought blinds twice and wasted the initial money. Saving money isn’t helpful if what you are buying doesn’t thoroughly solve your problem.
Update: Total fail. Going back to Lowe’s and not sure what to do next. They were hard to use, didn’t close well, etc. Not what you expect at that price.
New simplehuman Trashcan
We also bought a new trashcan for the kitchen. No big deal, right? Well, this trashcan situation has been the bane of my existence for years. There is only a tiny place for a trashcan under the sink and it has been impossible to find one to replace the old one we had. The one we had was a white Rubbermade-like plastic thing that we lined with a trashbag. It was cracked in multiple places, but I could not find anything to replace it that would fit so we soldiered on. The thing was so small that it would fill up at least once a day and that included if we didn’t put anything of any size in it. So all of the boxes and larger containers that would need to go in the trash would get placed on the counter of the half bathroom by the garage door until someone was going out into the garage and could drop them in the garbage bin.
I don’t have many pet peeves, but full trash cans that I can’t easily toss something into is one of them. Seriously. I only have a couple of irritating pet peeves and this is one of them that existed long before we bought this house.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I had had enough. I said I was going to buy a trashcan that could sit out in the kitchen and I didn’t care what I had to pay to get a nice one. It was going to be big (BIG!) and it had to look very nice since literally the only place to put it is in the very skinny spot at the end of the counter (which is directly in line with coming in the front door and looking into the kitchen). So I looked around online and found one at Lowe’s that I liked and was PERFECT in terms of being slim enough to fit in the spot, very nice looking, and big (BIG!).
So we bought this 45-liter simplehuman trash can at Lowe’s.
And, yes, the new trashcan I bought changed my life.
I’m not joking.
We only have to change the bag every three days and everything can go in it. EV.ER.Y.THING. Big Tide and Downy containers. Huge cereal boxes (flattened, of course). EV.ER.Y.THING. Foot pedal so no one has to touch it. It’s so slim it easily fits in the only tiny spot we had to put it in our small kitchen.
Did I mention it’s BIG?
Did I mention we can throw EV.ER.Y.THING. in it?
Who knew a trash can could change your life?
Is it what I would normally buy? No, I’m not really a stainless steel kind of gal, but it is what fits there best and I really didn’t want a different color that would show dust or other things.
Is this what I would normally spend on a trash can? No way.
But am I totally happy with my purchase? YES.
So I share all that to say that if there are little things in your home that are driving you nuts but you are reluctant to spend a bit of money on them to solve the problem, just go spend the money and do it. It’s not worth the ongoing irritation if you have the means to deal with the issue.
On to the goals for this week!
My Homemaking Goals This Week
I’m going to continue with my goals from last week. I made great progress on all of them, but still need to continue. So here is what I’m doing.
Goal 1 – Ordering things we need. I’m going to keep working through a list of things we need and can’t buy locally since our state is still closed for business.
Goal 2 – Scheduling things we need to get done. We need to get some things taken care of, request quotes, go to appointments, etc. I’m going to continue working through this list. I took care of a number of things last week, but still have more to do.
Goal 3 – Spend a lot of time working on content and products for this site.
What do you have planned for this first week of June? And have you ever bought something that changed your life? Even as mundane as a trash can? I hope you’ll leave a comment and share.
Adjustable temperature electric kettle. I use it ALL the time. I used to laugh at people who had one, even as I was boiling kettle after kettle of tea on my stove, and then I got mine and it’s amazing. I heat water on a routine basis all day long.
My goals for the week:
1. Get content scheduled for the month. That’s my goal for today.
2. Research for next year’s history lessons. This is my big productivity plan for the week.
3. Get house ready for the new puppy we’re getting on Friday.
Are you talking about something like this electric tea kettle we bought? I got this for David and Caroline. They use it all the time although it doesn’t have an adjustable temperature thing. Just basically boiling.
New puppy!??!?!?!?! What kind?
You asked about something we’d bought that you didn’t think you would love as much as you did (kind of like how you feel about your new trash can). For me, it’s totally that electric kettle I got a few years ago.
It’s a rescue that’s a shepherd/lab mix. I can’t wait!
Something I have found very useful is a window washing kit: a scrubbing head with washable cover, and a squeegee, both of which can go on a pole. It makes washing windows, mirrors, cabinet doors, fridge, and walls very quick and easy. The pole gives me more leverage (not just in reach, but in force) for scrubbing, which is sometimes helpful.
I got these years ago after we were going into the co-op while they were having their windows washed. The window washer said, “You look like people who are trying to build a better life,” and gave us a quick window washing lesson, using just simple tools like these, and soapy water.
Thank you for the weekly goals and delightful garbage can update. Would a removable, black, thick cardboard work?
Years back I settle on a small garbage can with a removable rim that holds the bag in place. Paper mostly, with scraps to mulch/cats/chickens (when they are of age). I hate garbage smell and this way; for me, keeps that to the minimum.
This weeks goals are about the same…in His word, music history, learning time, new recipes, meals for the crew, sorting and keeping tidy/finishing Amy’s tightwad book/continue buying 24’s water each week to finish water stockpile.
p.s. Try looking into the blackout material that people in WWII used.
Doing the wash,changing the beds,making vanilla,chocolate and butterscotch pudding.
Extra plastic storage bins are something mundane that changed my life last week:). I had piles of books and sketchbooks of the kids’ from when they were little that were neatly stacked in my basement. I’m not ready to rid of them yet, if ever, but they had become one of those things that I noticed each time I walked by. It’s amazing how getting some new storage bins for them has brought peace of mind, but it really has.
I’m late joining in here so my goals for this week are mostly met, but not entirely:
1. Weed the front flower gardens – mostly check 😉
2. Stain the front porch -check
3. Finish buying plants for garden. I was able to pick up quite a few, but with stores and supplies being different this year , wasn’t able to get swiss chard, yellow and green zucchini and kale so tomorrow is my plan, planted by Saturday morning:).