Project 15 - Make Your Kitchen Paperless
We eliminated paper napkins during the summer of 2010, and haven't looked back. I started with only two sets of cloth napkins, but now I have a nice collection. I find that they are much better at keeping my boys clean during meals than paper napkins. We use them for a couple of meals before they go into the washer, though you can rest assured that guests always get fresh, clean napkins.
It has been harder to cut the cord with paper towels. I am definitely more conscious than I used to be of how many paper towels I use, but we still use them. I try to reach for a cloth towel for spills and general counter clean up. We definitely use a cloth towel to dry our hands in the kitchen. But, some messes you just want to throw away . . .
Project 16 - Schedule Regular Date Nights
Fail. Well, not really. Hubby and I don't have an "every Thursday night" date set in stone, but we are getting better about scheduling something thanks in large part to an arrangement I have with my neighbor. We babysit for each other at least once a month, and it is (usually) reserved for a date, not an event. (Going to a party or work gathering can be fun, but it doesn't allow for much quality time with your spouse.)
I agree with Tsh's advice to avoid movies if you don't go out often. Some of our best dates have been dinner, followed by browsing a book store, or a walk on the beach. One time we played miniature golf, and that was fun. This is an area I will continue to work on and make a priority.
Project 17 - Create an Essential Papers File
This weighs on me. I opened a safety deposit box for our family last year, and I am finally going to put items in it TODAY. Yes, today. I am really doing it. I have not followed Tsh's advice about getting a fireproof box at home - maybe that will be next. But at least now I know (with certainty!) where the originals of our insurance policies, car titles, birth certificates, social security cards, etc are. That is an improvement!
Also, when I gathered these documents, I learned that my passport is expired. Adding that to the To Do List . . .
Project 18 - Get More Sleep
So true: "I can recall far too many nights I've gone through an established and calm routine for my children and left them soundly to sleep, only to engage in work, conversation, or activity right up until I plopped into bed, expecting to shut myself off like a light."
After many years of working like maniacs, and then some non-sleeping babies, sleep is a high priority in our house. Thankfully, my husband and I seem to be on the same biological clock. We both need seven to eight hours of sleep. I am always curious about how other people do this, so here is our basic schedule: We generally head to bed around 9:30. We have never had a TV in our bedroom. We read, talk a bit, and then the lights are usually out by 10:00 or 10:30. The alarm goes off at 5:30, and the coffee is preset to percolate then. One or both of us is up by at least 6:00, and that gives us 30-60 minutes of quiet time before the boys are up.
Some nights, we stay up later to watch a game or whatever. Sometimes, we get into a rut of staying up late and have to reprogram ourselves. On the other hand, if one of us is super tired, there are no guilt trips for going to bed immediately after the kids. Everyone is happier when there are no grouchy, sleepy parents roaming the house.
Are you taking it all One Bite at a Time? How are you doing on these projects?
On Thursday, I will link with Useful & Beautiful at Pancakes and French Fries
P.S. Project 17 inspired me to do more purging in the home office on Wednesday afternoon. I recycled the 2007 South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, Annotated, and similar tomes. Heaving them into the giant blue dumpster felt marvelous. Still a long way to go in there, but hey - progress!