Last week was a sad week. I’ve thought a lot about whether I should post this or not, but I decided that it might be good to talk about it during this time of grief and healing for my family. Last Monday morning my dear cousin woke up and decided to take his own life. After receiving the call that he had been found after he committed suicide, my entire family immediately pulled together to make arrangements and support one another.This has literally been one of the hardest things my family has every had to walk through, but if we are anything it is strong. I have an awesome family and something like this just brings out the love we have for one another. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for my family. Something like this tragedy makes me cherish them even more.

As I was getting back into the swing of things this week, I looked over my plans for last week. I have one thing on my to-do list for the month of March…


I usually get the cleaning bug around February & March and this year was no exception. While I routinely clean out annually, this year has been a little bit different. I have been thinking about the concept of living with minimal things. Now, let me preface this by saying, this is easy for some and more difficult for other. It tends to be easy for me because I am not usually emotionally attached to things. I can see what I use on a daily basis and separate those things from things that I am just “hoarding” or “keeping just in case”.

I am a purger my nature, but even I need a reality check at least once a year.

Remember this monster?

Well that sucker was numero uno on my simplify list.

I am the first to admit that I am prone to procrastination, especially when it comes to pesky, little things like this. I initially bought this bin to help me organize my bills and coupons. Well so much for that, looks like it just helped me hoard them and put off opening the envelopes and clipping the coupons. Why is that so hard?!?

So anyways, here’s how I remedied the issue. After going through all of the back-logged coupons and bills, organizing them and throwing away the trash I re-evaluated that needed to stay in the bin.

I pay most of my bills online and do not receive paper statements, but some bills still send me some statements(like my electric bill). I have a file that I keep the last 1 year’s statements in for my records, taxes, etc. The file is upstairs put away, so I keep the bin downstairs so help me have a “home” for the things I need to get to/bills I need to pay.

After an afternoon of clipping, opening, and filing…TADA!

So here’s what made the cut….

1. My budget notebook

This little gal keeps me in order when it comes to bill amounts, due dates, pay-off amounts, etc. I know this seems freakish to some people, but I am an organized person by nature so, if I can’t write it down then it’s very hard for me to remember. I usually tally everything up bi-weekly or when I get paid.

2. Grocery List

I found this free printable online and it has changed the way I grocery shop. It’s organized by sections or aisles of the grocery store and has lots of fruits/veggies listed. I try to shop the perimeter of the grocery store because it is where you will find the healthiest foods and this printable grocery list really helps because of the amount of detail.

It also has an extra space on the right side where I can list my coupons so I won’t forget to use them while I’m at the store.

Click here to get your own.

3. Post Its & Pens

This may seem like a little thing, but I can allow anything to distract me from getting down to the nitty-gritty of budgeting. Can’t find a pen?….well, who cares! Forget this, I’ll just go do something more fun instead!

4. Bills(obviously)

I try to keep as few as possible coming as paper statements, but there are a few that I still like to look at on paper.

And that’s it!

Simple. To the point. Nothing extra.

That’s exactly what this spring cleaning is about for me.

More to come…

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  1. Aunt Lisa

     /  March 7, 2012

    I’ve been reading all your posts, and enjoying them so much, and meaning to tell you how much I love them and you. Lately, the “telling” seems so much more important… Proud of you sweet niece! And I love this blog – it inspires me, you have such great taste, and ideas.

  2. Brenda Bennett

     /  March 7, 2012

    Yes Bretta, I love your blot. You are right last week. Was horrible. Our family does come together to help and console each other. After what has happened I seriously think we should try to get together more often. Just know that we love you all very much.

  3. I’m so sorry this has happened to you 😦 Praying for your whole family.


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  • Hi! I'm Bretta. This is my blog. Join me in this crazy journey we call life!

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