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I have been looking at the "stressors" in my life.

Debt - We are working at paying down our debt and we are not incurring new debt at this time. Having a plan in place makes life much less stressful.

Mail/Paper/Email - Having piles of paperwork and whatnot around is very stressful. I am unsubscribing from some of the groups that don't interest me. I have been contacting my financial accounts and requesting ebilling instead of paper bills. I have dropped most magazine subscriptions. I signed up for the Direct Marketing Association's no junk mail lists. Together these have dramatically dropped the amount of mail that I have coming in.

Food - I have a personal sense of security tied into having food. I have a well stocked pantry, a full chest freezer, etc. This year I am also working to learn to make something new each month, with an eye to reducing convenience foods. For January it was homemade croutons (easy peasy!). For February it will be homemade yogurt. I am also increasing my efforts in canning and doing a better job of preserving what I grow in my organic herb and vegetable garden.

Decluttering - This year I embarked on a determined effort to focus on one larger project each month, with my initial focus being to reduce the clutter in my home. So far I have done my home office and basement. (I'll post the very inspirational pictures soon). It feels so much more peaceful getting the junk out of my home. I've gotten rid of 2 of my 3 worst dungeons. Only the garage is left to do and it's not all that bad.

So what kinds of specific steps have you been taking to simplify your life?
 

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I finally decided, at age 55, that I was not going to have any more children ( :) ) and so I'm in the process of letting go of most of my accumulated home schooling materials. It is very difficult, I've been involved in the HS movement since 1987, and still have two older teens at home, but this is my next-to-last year, and I just need to be a good steward and pass this stuff along.
 

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Funny that you should post this now.... I was just having this conversation last night with my friend/cousininlaw. :)

We (generally speaking) have far too much stress in our lives because we (again, generally speaking) allow it.

I would agree that having 'piles' of anything can be a stressor. Seeing a pile of coupon inserts that need attention can cause stress, simply because it's yet another mountain to climb.

I'm working on enjoying the simple things.

I'm currently working on painting the interior of the house - and while this sounds like "work" which could equal stress, actually, I'm painting a nice, neutral tone to WELCOME simplicity.

ahhhhh.

I'll take some pics of the progress - I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't think about that before I started.
 

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Great thread! Decluttering is the big thing for me now. ds is getting married in July and moving out so a bunch of stuff will go with him.

This may sound harsh but dh is sleeping in our spare/storage room for the last week. The reason is he snores like you would not believe! I am a light sleeper and it takes me awhile to go to sleep and he starts snoring in like three minutes. I then lay there and toss and turn for hours. I had started to take ambien and the doctor wanted me to take a sleep study. Which has a 200.00 co-pay) Dh has already taken one and they want another one. I didn't like to have to take some drugs to go to sleep. So the sweety that dh is said he would sleep in the car if it meant I could sleep. Well of course I would not let him do that so he has set up a sleeping area in the spare room. Since this looks like it will be long term, at least till ds's room is available I need to clear out where dh is sleeping and make more room for him. He is fine with it now, but it just does not seem right. I love him for doing it though. And yes I have been getting sleep!!
 

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Not nearly enough! With a new baby coming in August, we really need to get our butts in gear around here. We have quite a few events between now and Mardi Gras (March 8th). After that, we need to buckle down and simplifiy.

We have too much "stuff"...paper, toys, things that I "can't bear to do without", but also can't live without. I want to have the house super clean when we leave on vacation by the end of May. Between May and August I will just be decluttering and getting ready for baby.
 

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This is a main focus in my life.

Clutter- back in september I got rid of 90 % of everything we owned. DBF was out of town and I freecycled the entire house! I was so tired of moving something to get to something. I am still working on this. I declutter everyday. someday's it may be a box of stuff and other days it may just be a piece of junk mail.

people- a huge stress in my life is my father. I have decided to eliminate him from my life, vocabulary, head.. etc. It makes me feel so much lighter, emotionally.

food- I am working at making everything homemade. bread to sausage. I have learned a lot and look forward to learning a lot more. It is amazing how much better my stomach feels!

Job- I am unemployed and must find a job. DBF works 2 jobs and we are both thankful he was able to have found 1 let alone 2. My new goal is to apply for 5 jobs a day. It doesn't matter how long it takes or if I even qualify for the job, I am desperate.

Money- We are on a modified dave ramsey plan. I love knowing we have a plan and for once we are on the same page. There might be nothing extra, but we have a plan when there is!

Crafts- back in september I decided to I could have 1 craft. instead of scracpbooking, stamping, crochet, etc, etc. I enjoy crocheting more than anything so I got rid of all craft items. I recently began knitting but I will not buy needles, I have been given the ones I use. and I must say I love it :) I have also decided I want to be totally self sufficient so I have decided to allow quilting. I feel this could become a huge clutter issue, but I am only allowing pieces of fabric that have a purpose now, not someday.

Great thread!
 

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I'm doing something Miss Independent thought she would never ever do. With increasing arthritis pain and difficulty doing some things, my biggest stressor is housework. I know I need to do it, I don't feel like doing it, so I don't do it, and then it gets worse and the feeling I need to be doing it just escalates.

Sunday I had a friend who is looking for some extra income come in and deep clean the bathroom, some of the kitchen and do the floors. I will have her come every other week to handle those areas and I will just have to deal with the lighter cleaning and pick up.

It was unspeakably wonderful to wake up on my day off on Monday and know that I didn't have to spoil it by fretting about all the things I should be doing, but really couldn't, or at least not without a real physical toll.
 

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I have to work on decluttering and paying down debt. Those are our 2 sore spots around here. We are very busy so finding the time to get to it is my challenge, but i figure once it is done we will have much more "room" in our lives for the things we really love.
 
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