The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Decluttering my home

Like most people, I periodically go through phases where I simply MUST declutter my home and empty it of as much junk as possible. This is happening right now, with my focus being on the kitchen.

I am not big on cooking, so I’ve gotten rid of a lot of frying pans, saucepans, and other accoutrement that I never use. In addition, I’ve gotten rid of all those plastic grocery bags that I’d planned to use as garbage bags. I end up accumulating far more than I could ever use in a reasonable amount of time, which is extremely wasteful — not to mention horrible for the environment.

While cleaning, I came across several reusuable shopping bags that I’d acquired as promotional gifts over the years. I’ve used them occasionally, but am going to make a concerted effort to rely on them exclusively from now on. That will prevent me from stockpiling plastic bags and make me feel better about being green.

With my kitchen almost finished, I’ll start tackling my basement next. That chore won’t be half so easy!

Spring Cleaning

It’s time for spring cleaning again. Part of me loves spring cleaning because I tend to go crazy and get rid of a bunch of clutter. But part of me hates it because…well, cleaning isn’t exactly fun.

Anyway, as I was going through the house making a list of things that need to be done, I discovered that one of my bathroom drawers is loose. I’m not exactly handy, but a few quick searches showed that I can just buy a couple of drawer guides and fix the problem in no time. Since one of my resolutions for this year was to do at least one DIY project a month, I’m making it my mission to get this drawer back to normal again!

Get housecleaning help

Does anyone actually enjoy cleaning the house? Well, maybe professional cleaners do — but I certainly don’t. I have been neglecting even the most routine chores recently, so my house is looking and feeling rather ragged these days. And although I found for housecleaning services in the Raleigh, NC, area, that’s not going to do me much good since I don’t live anywhere near North Carolina. I just wish there were a comparable service with similarly low prices around me. I’d gladly pay someone to come in here and clean up so I can take more time off!

Party planning

It’s a little early yet, but I’m on my company’s party planning committee this year, which means I have to help put together the holiday get-together. We’re already talking about it because we need to book the venue, dj, and catering well in advance to make sure w get our first choices.

In the past we’ve used hotel ballrooms with some success. The good thing about hotels is they’re spacious and have ample parking, and the people who overindulge in alcohol can easily get a room to sleep it off. The bad thing — well, those easily available rooms have led to some drama, if you know what I mean!

Anyway, I’m going to push for the hotel again (since it’s not too far from my house) as I try to come to terms with the fact that another year is almost over….

Tax refund is here

I just received my tax refund for $232. That’s not bad, I guess, but I always get the feeling that I’m missing out on deductions that I could/should be taking. I currently do my taxes on my own using free software, so if anything’s wrong, it’s entirely on me.

Maybe next year I should have some pros go over my books and file my return for me. That way, I can review what they do and make the same moves in subsequent years. I’ve heard good things about, so I might just send them an inquiry. It can’t hurt — and might even result in a lower tax liability, which of course would be a win!

Cast Iron Cookware

I’m not much of a cook, but one of my resolutions this year is to learn how to make at least seven more “elaborate” meals. (Obviously, for someone who tends to survive on BBQ chicken and meatloaf, my definition of “elaborate” will be quite different from yours.)

Anyway, something I’ve noticed on a bunch of the cooking sites and message boards I’ve been checking out is that most everyone seems to recommend using cast iron cookware. Apparently this makes a huge difference in taste as well as preparation. I just have the cheapest cookware I could find at Wal-Mart, so I wouldn’t really know.

Just to test this theory out, I’m thinking about buying a small cast iron skillet to start with. If I like it and if it’s easy enough to care for, then I might move on to additional accessories.

So now I just have to find a cheap one…!

Saxophone for Beginners

Now that my son has been taking guitar and keyboard/piano lessons for a while, one of his cousins wants in on the musical action. But this boy, who’s 12 years old, wants to play the saxophone instead of guitar. So of course my sister and her husband have been searching high and low for a good beginners sax.

I don’t know if they’re actually going to end up buying one, but I’ll send them the link above just in case.

And now we need to start recruiting a few more of the cousins so we can get a real band going!

Cyber Monday Deals — Happening Now

Were you able to take advantage of any Cyber Monday deals today? I was pretty busy for the most part, so I didn’t have a chance to look around much. I checked the usual suspects, like eBay, Amazon, Overstock, etc. but nothing really caught my eye. I haven’t bought anything yet; however, there are still several shopping hours left in the day, so who knows what will happen between now and midnight!