Simple Living, The Busy Method

by Katy on August 19, 2010 · 11 comments

I like to think if myself as a simple living kind of gal. I keep the frugality on the front burner so that I can work part-time, and I’m always up for a mid-afternoon nap. I am fiercely wary of taking on new commitments, and could spend all day hanging laundry before realizing it was a chore.

Reality is a bee-yotch.

My identity this week looks more likeĀ cliche frazzled soccer mom than blissed out simple living enthusiast.

Here’s what I did today:

  • Woke up and got the boys ready for their Japanese language class, which started at 9:00 A.M.
  • Waved goodbye as the carpooling neighbor whisked my kids away for three hours of instruction. (I’ll drive next week.)
  • Checked e-mail, moderated comments and wrote a quick blog post.
  • Drank a cup of tea.
  • Took laundry off the clothesline and put a new load into the washing machine.
  • Organized the plastics recycling.
  • Wiped down the bathroom, as I live in fear of scarring the Japanese tutor for life with my slovenly housekeeping skills.
  • Drank another cup of tea.
  • Gathered the library books which were due today.
  • Drove to recycling center to drop off the plastics. (I rummaged through the magazine recycling and brought home a satisfying stack.)
  • Gassed up the minivan.
  • Ran into a bakery to get a toasted bagel with cream cheese. (I forgot to eat any breakfast.)
  • Helped my mother clean one of her guest cottages.
  • Returned library books and checked out three new audio books.
  • Ate lunch with my mother at a food cart pavilion.
  • Donated a large comforter to Goodwill.
  • Hung new laundry on the clothesline.
  • Supervised the Japanese tutoring for my younger son.
  • Drove my younger son to a soccer clinic.
  • Drove my older son to his high school soccer clinic.
  • Dropped off batteries for recycling.
  • Stopped in at The Grocery Outlet for goodies.
  • Deposited my cleaning fee into the bank.
  • Made a huge batch of pesto from backyard basil.
  • Spelunked a couple loaves of my Dave’s Killer Bread from the next-door-neighbor’s freezer.
  • Concocted a large pasta dish with the pesto, some chicken and two zucchini from a neighbor.
  • Picked up my older son from his soccer clinic.
  • Made homemade ice cream.
  • Wrote this blog.

Sound awful? Here’s a secret — it wasn’t actually as bad as it sounds because the day was all about tacking errands onto the things I was already committed to do.

The plastics recycling, gas station and bakery were directly on the way to my mother’s guest cottage, the library was across the street, as were the food carts. The Goodwill donation site was then on my way home. The battery recycling place is right next to my older son’s high school, as is The Grocery Outlet; and the credit union was on the way home. (I used the ATM, so it only took a few minutes.)

I now have a big batch of pesto made, which will provide at least five meals, and made some extra money. (Frugality alone isn’t enough if there isn’t enough income.)

Batching all my errands together actually save me time and energy because these extra tasks just added a few extra minutes here and there to my day. I read magazines while my son was tutored, took a short nap before dropping the older guy at his soccer and goofed around on the internet for more time than I care to admit.

This week is atypical for my family, as we’re normally not the schedule every spare minute kind of family. But I’m still going to cook from scratch, hang my laundry, drive as little as possible and utilize my library system.

Try and stop me.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth D. August 19, 2010 at 5:54 am

Doesn’t it just make you feel terrific to get so many things done in a day? Great job! (Especially working in the nap.)


Rebecca August 19, 2010 at 7:30 am

This sounds a lot like my saturdays, except my kids aren’t old enough for soccer and tutoring. I often run errands for up to 4 hours, and my husb wonders why it takes me so long to hit the grocery store. He has no idea just how much I can pack in when I batch my errands together on the same route.


Magdalena August 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I managed to turn a trip to the farmer’s market for rolls and handmade soap into a date with my husband. The best kind of busy!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl August 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Are you pretending to be me today?? lol


Kris-ND August 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I don’t know, sounds kind of fun to me..shrug

Some of my favorite times are crazy errand running days one on one with my husband or one of my children. even moving fast like that, you still take time to talk and running errands in my family always seems to draw out conversations that I might not normally have them open up for.

I don’t know if that makes sense, but I think I would have great fun on your particularly your library!!!


Ann August 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm

I feel so accomplished when doing errands. Work, on the other hand, is work…not so fun. Accomplished, maybe…fun, no!


Rachel August 20, 2010 at 8:34 am

Busy day, but it still sounds like more fun than sitting at a desk staring into a computer screen for 8 hours at a time, which is the typical work day for many people.


Laura August 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

Where did you drop off the batteries? Is there somewhere in NE Pdx for that? We usually go out to Swan Island, but NE would be a LOT closer for us, and we have buckets of dead batteries (thanks Wii, etc.!) out in the garage that we’d love to get rid of.

Your day sounds so busy, but look at all you accomplished!


Katy August 20, 2010 at 12:51 pm

The “Batteries Plus” chain of stores takes up to five pounds of batteries for free. After that, it’s $1 per pound.



Laura August 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Thanks! Will combine a stop there with a trip to Grocery Outlet and resale store!


Julia September 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I’m glad to see you are a napper—I am an unrepentant napper and sneak one in whenever I can. This is a matter of survival for me since my son (9) has some health issues that make it difficult for him to sleep, so I’m often up late with him and sometimes up again during the night too…Naps and tea, they keep me going.


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