At the end of last summer, we decided we would like to stay for the season for 2015. We’d pay the rate for the season and stay from May 1st until the end of August. We discussed it as a family and made the commitment. The kids were aware we would be winding up activities in April and not signing up for anything in May or beyond. Over the holidays, we confirmed our plan and put our down our deposit. In January when the kids enrolled in activities, we announced at the start that it would be through April. After May, we’d be unavailable. Several months later, my daughter’s dance studio began asking why she wouldn’t be at the recital in June. They asked her to ask us if she could be in the recital. I was a little annoyed at first as this put her in an awkward situation and we had been very up front with them, even before enrolling. However, hubby took it all in stride and responded, “tell them (the dance studio) that you can be in the recital; the recital just needs to be moved to the end of April.” My daughter and I both responded to that. =D She also took it in stride and shared with her fellow dancers and teacher. She felt stronger about our choice. I don’t think we missed anything by ending our activities in April.
One month before our trip, we started making serious preparations. We went through the items in our pantry and decluttered. We let go of some of the items that we will no longer use. We prioritized items and marked one shelf with items that needed to either be used or brought with us. We began using those items. We did the same with the freezer and refrigerator. We created meals from what we already had in the freezer or fridge. We started working our way through using items in the fridge and freezer for meals and only buying the minimal amount that month for immediate use.
The result? The items in the pantry, fridge and freezer began to dwindle. Slowly at first, then building momentum. By the time our trip arrived, we had a small amount to bring with us. We had emptied the fridge and freezer and unplugged it for our time away! It was a liberating experience. Using what we had then adding minimal purchases to get us through the month. When you make it fun or a game, you get creative, have a positive experience and enjoy the process. Upon reflection, it could have been a dreadful experience if we hadn’t planned ahead and suddenly started looking through the pantry, fridge and freezer the day or so before the trip!
~ Happy Camper