Thursday, May 8, 2014

Divine Decluttering

The rampage continues!  Now that my energy is returning slowly but surely, I'm looking around my house deciding what to sell, toss, and to donate once again.  It's not so much about bragging rights or because I have too much, it's about stuff just sitting around collecting dust.  The last time I checked, I wasn't a hoarder.  There's no reason for us to have a lot of this stuff if it's not going to be used.  Give or sell it to someone who can use it, or at least find the value that I no longer see.

It's funny, you see those memes that ask the question of  "if you could give your young self a piece of advice, what would it be?"  Mine would be to save your money.  To really ask yourself whether or not you need the DVD, CD, or replica sword.  Where's it going to go?  What purpose will it serve?  Save your money, put it towards something useful.

Our first major hauling was selling our CDs, DVDs, games, and books.  It felt great!  And we made some money on them.  Then came the "hey you're pregnant, need to make space!"  Round 2 of decluttering began with stuff.  Donating and tossing.  Then we had to get rid of a flea infested couch.  Then our second couch broke.  Which was fine because we needed to make room for more of my son's toys, since he got some large toys for his birthday.  The only problem with that is now our apartment isn't very....guest friendly.  We have a recliner, a rocking chair (that's on it's way out), and four dining room chairs.  Not very inviting!  But there's room for improvement.  And I do miss having a couch...

Round whatever came with this third pregnancy, and I've got a second wind now that my son is born.  I'm just looking around at my bookshelves, at my dishes, and other places and deciding.  What needs to go?  What don't we need?  I'm even looking at my Anne Rice collection and have decided to only keep my favorite books, and she's my favorite author.  But the books are just sitting on the shelves, taking up space.  Might as well sell em to Half Priced Books!

I'm looking at my books, at my kid's toys.  My son has a lot of toys.  A lot of large toys.  My kids have a lot of stuff period.  Now not all toys, but I'm going to go through their stuff and donate what's not used as often.  Make some more space.

After their toys, will come my art stuff.  Then I'll probably go back through my clothes.  Then my CD's and games.  I have a lot more crap than my husband has.  But it'd be nice if he participated, too.  Right now, I'm just concerned with getting stuff out and into someone else's hands.


I have another friend who's also minimizing the material aspects of her life, too.  She's a single mom of four, and has found that's it's easier and better spiritually and financially.  I agree with that.  Her kids don't mind the change either.  It's freeing when you're not being controlled by want, desire, and capitalism.  I'm not a fan of capitalism, an opinion that was enforced when I worked in retail.  Every night, I was restocking shelves of crap.  Crap that most people didn't need.  Yet due to commercials and such, they spent their money on this crap.  I just didn't see the wisdom in it.  Save your money and better your lives instead of getting deals and stuff that's just going to rule you.

Eh, it's not for everyone.  You work hard for your money, spend it as you see fit.  For some, it's a stress reliever.  For others it brings them joy.  Hey, to each your own.  Me?  I'm focusing on getting rid of what I don't need and not re-purchasing it later.  I'm going to work on paying debts and working towards my goals and dreams.  Bettering my family's lives through minimalism, in a way.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vinegar Burns

One of my friends has a sunburn, and I've been reading how a vinegar--particularly apple (cider?) vinegar--bath will help to take the sting out of your burn.  Some of my friends swear by it.  Perhaps one day I'll try it, when it's needed.  I'm usually pretty careful about the sun, I do have fair skin after all, and with a toddler, I tend to carry sunscreen on me all the time now.

The bath got me thinking about another home remedy involving the miracle cleaner, vinegar.  I'm sure you've seen the meme about how vinegar socks helps to bring down a fever.

Last week, my oldest was teething and spiked a high fever that his medicine wasn't bring down.  All he was wearing was a diaper, took out the extra blankets in his crib, tried the cooling bath--it all failed.  So I tried the vinegar socks.  Now I didn't have apple cider vinegar (will be stocking up on that soon enough), all we had was white distilled vinegar.  I was desperate and wanted to give my baby boy relief.  I soaked his socks in half/half vinegar and water.  It worked.  His fever decreased, although we did have to do it twice.  

I was satisfied.  We monitored him all night and his fever never came back.

However, the next day, we noticed that he had a rash around his ankles from where the lip of his socks rested on his leg.  That was the only place he had these marks.  We washed his legs and treated the rash (although looks more like a burn) with neosporin.  It's healing, but it was a bit worrisome.  Didn't seem to bother him, but then he was teething like crazy last week, was also going through a growth spurt, and had his world thrown upside down with the early birth of his little brother.  

I've read that undiluted vinegar can burn your skin, but this was diluted.  So I dunno, perhaps a toddler's skin--my toddler's skin--is too sensitive for vinegar?  

So yes, if you use vinegar on your skin, or around younglings, be sure to dilute it, and try a tiny bit on skin.  I have sensitive skin, perhaps I should've tried it on myself, but like I said, I was desperate and stressed.  We had just been discharged from the hospital and home from visiting my newborn in the NICU.  My toddler spiked a high fever, was miserable, and I just wanted to give him relief.  But in the future, I know better!  Despite that it was diluted, I probably won't use vinegar on my son's skin again, and I'll definitely be more cautious in the future regarding myself and my family.  

If you have a vinegar burn, we're using neosporin due to not having any aloe.  But I've read that aloe's best for treating it.