October 12, 2012

Decluttering the Morning Routine

This morning I counted each toiletry product as I used it. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, makeup and mouthwash all got counted and I was a little disconcerted that for my typical morning routine I ended up using 15 different products. Is that really necessary?

Over the years I have attempted to reduce the amount of toiletries that I use with some success and I've been able to keep the shower, bathroom drawers and under-sink area clean and clutter-free, but 15 items seemed like too much.

For a typical morning I use:

1. Dr. Wood's Shea Vision Pure Black Soap (for showering and shaving)
2. Shampoo (usually Burt's Bees or Garnier Fructis Organic)
3. Organix Argan Oil conditioner (my hair is super dry and curly)
4. Organix Argan Oil heavy conditioner (for styling)

5. Degree or crystal deodorant
6. Body lotion (shea butter or Pure Fiji that I bought in Fiji)

7. Physician's Formula tinted moisturizer with sunscreen
8. Physician's Formula bronzer (I'm pale)
9. Physician's Formula mascara (Again…I'm pale)
10. Cover Girl brown blush for eyeshadow

11. Tom's of Maine toothpaste
12. Sonicare toothbrush (my dentist loves me)
13. Floss
14. Listerine Total Care mouthwash

This morning I added in one more thing:

15. Q-Tips (for cleaning ears)

Even though this seemed like a lot to me, I was proud that my makeup routine takes less than 60 seconds. On most weekends and when I'm camping I eschew the makeup.

So I started thinking what I could do without. Do I really need an extra type of conditioner for styling my hair? Do I really need that chemically mouthwash? What about getting rid of that eyeshadow? Can I combine any makeup items? I do love that the tinted moisturizer is doing triple duty and I'm wondering how many other products can do double or triple duty.

Next time you do your morning routine, count your personal toiletry items and see what number you come up with. What can you get down to? I'd love to hear from you.

Photo by nimble photography

October 3, 2012

Save Your Fives

Do you want to save up for something? A fun way to go about it is to save your five-dollar bills. Any time you get change from that $20 and you end up with a $10 and a $5 — pocket the $10, but take the $5 and put it in a jar or envelope.

After a couple of months, deposit the bills into a specific bank account just for your goal. Use the easy account setup with ING and have access to that money when you hit your goal. It's an easy and simple way to save up for something. If you happen to save two to three $5 bills a week, you will have saved up about $500 to nearly $800 in a year.

Photo by laszlo-photo