Friday, September 4, 2009

Review -- Molly's Money-Saving Digest for August and September!

I was just reading the August and September Molly's Money-Saving Digest this week, and wanted to recommend them to others.  The August issue deals with organization -- of the home and homeschool!  The September issue focuses on frugal home decor!  Two of my favorite subjects, although you couldn't tell it by looking around my home right this minute.   (The first step in my home decor project is new paint everywhere and decluttering ... ouch!)

In the August issue
(Organization for Busy Families) there are so many ideas for organization, several of which were new to me.  Molly tackles 12 different trouble spots in our homes ... AND she has an article from Marmee Dear about making your own baking mixes for the kitchen to save time and money.  There are lots of recipes in this August issue.

My favorite article was "The Trouble With Toys" which had many ideas for organizing the chaos that comes with toys.  This has been a real problem in our home over the past year and I needed to read this article.  Not just for ideas, but for the inspiration to actually put forth the effort to make some changes!  With seven children it's an ongoing battle, although my oldest two are beyond the toy stage.   The more toys there are -- the bigger mess my 11 month old, 3 year old, and 5 year old can make during the school day.  Argh!

The most helpful aspect of the August issue is that it walks you through HOW to organize areas, step by step.  How to clean a closet, how to organize a kitchen, how to organize your e-books.  It's not just a list of ideas, but a step-by-step explanation for those not naturally-inclined to organize.   I like to organize, but I struggle with decluttering.  I needed the reminders that cleaning a closet doesn't mean fitting it all back in like a puzzle, but making sure that only what NEEDS to be in there goes back in. 

Molly's September issue
(Frugal Decorating) was a little discouraging to me at first, mainly because I know that first step in my home needs to start with paint (and decluttering) -- neither of which are quick or simple.  The issue was full of great ideas, including "Do-It-Yourself French Painting" of furniture, but I'm just not there yet.  I've lived with a small-house-that-is-obviously-home-to-a-homeschooling-large-family-of-pack-rats-using-hand-me-down-furniture for so long that I am not quite ready for some of the great ideas in this issue.

BUT  I did find a great parenting tip from Molly in the "Parenting That Pays" segment on lowering the volume in your home.   It's a short and simple tip, but one that I needed to read and I really need to put into practice.  I think it will reduce frustration as well as volume.

The article on "Sensory Homemaking" was also a blessing to me.  I needed the reminder to look at my home not only from a stranger's perspective, but also from all five senses.  How does it look, smell, feel, sound, and taste?  We've had a busy summer and a hectic year, to be honest.  I'm afraid we've let our home management slide, and we've grown accustomed to it actually.  The pile of bills on the computer desk, the over-stuffed toy shelf, the chaotic bookshelves, and the overflowing school boxes have become normal to us.  But does it provide a restful environment to visitors?   No.

After reading the "Sensory Homemaking" article, I have a place to begin ... again.  I have something to focus on that is manageable right now.  I can't start a repainting project, but I can start working on the sensory side of my home.  I can reduce clutter, I can keep the floors vacuumed and the house smelling fresh.  I can reconsider the art I have on my walls ... is there too much?  Would it look better rearranged? 
Then, when I'm ready ... I can return to Molly's September issue and find more inspiration for redecorating my home.  

I'm sure that each of these issues of Molly's Money-Saving Digest will have something for everyone, like September's great "Begin With The Basics" article on reducing your grocery bill with coupons!   You'll find daily encouragement and ideas at Molly's Econobusters blog, too.

Trusting In Him,

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