Would you judge a family with very little furntiure/belongings?

(309 Posts)
allinsunshine Tue 11-Jun-13 11:55:33

Dh and I are in the middle of a 5 year plan to get ahead financially/career wise.

Part of this plan means we are living temporarily for around a year at a time in different locations. We hope to be in our forever home by 2016 smile

We have chosen to live very lightly and simply during this time and not collect many belongings/furniture along the way.

At present we are living in a flat which has plenty of built in shelving/cupboards.

All we have as far as furniture is 2 chairs, one desk, one large bean bag, a toddler chair and table, a toddler flip out sofa, highchair, mattresses for ds (2yr) and ourselves and a tv stand with tv.

We dont mind as even though we could get furniture cheaply (through freecycle etc) we know it would be a chore to get rid of again when we move.

I have got to know a few mothers and their children and have been to a few playdates at their very nice houses/flats of varying sizes/budgets but all nicely furnished and decorated.

Compared to their homes ours is very bare and modest. I would like to reciprocate the invitations but I would worry they would judge us about it.

We are both in our 30s so not in the student lifestyle category either.

So would you judge us if you came for a visit?

Also do you have an interesting way I could explain away/embellish our lifestyle choice without going into the details of our 5 year plan which would be very dull indeed.

TwasBrillig Tue 11-Jun-13 12:19:40

I also think you need a bed for your child. If it was a case of being broke your hv could help, as it isn't surely you can buy cheap and pass on?

ProphetOfDoom Tue 11-Jun-13 12:21:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Antisecco Tue 11-Jun-13 12:22:49

Absolutely NOT having a go at you Sunshine but I think this is one of the saddest threadsI have ever read. Not because of your current choice (far from it) but because of your fear that you may be judged by it. And going by some of the comments on here (which are not unkind in themselves) your fear may be justified.Yet I would hope you would be measured far more on the warmth of your welcome and hospitality.

However YAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVU to use the term forever home. You have been watching way too much of Kirstie and Phil as have I

grin

allinsunshine Tue 11-Jun-13 12:23:13

I have to say I think the bed is the least important item, so I am surprised!

I honestly don't notice the difference between sleeping on a mattress and a bed (and our mattress was a pretty cheap one). We do have pretty thick carpets so I dont know if this makes a difference.

It is a sofa (and a table) that I think would be more important.

Oh dear sad I am now rethinking my ideas about asking people over, will invite them to picnics instead grin

Bearbehind Tue 11-Jun-13 12:24:21

There's minimalism and there's sleeping on a mattress and having no comfy seats for no apparent reason.

A year is quite a long time, certainly long enough to acquire and get rid of a sofa and a couple of beds before moving on.

It justs sounds pretty grim to me and I'm sure some others would think the same.

MrsDeVere Tue 11-Jun-13 12:24:29

People will judge you.
Because they will be trying to work out what is going on.
They will assume you can't afford things or perhaps are disorganised/chaotic or that you are a couple of hippies.

That does not make it ok. People shouldn't judge but even the non judgmental will wonder.

Just because its pretty rare now days.

When I was a young mother a lot of us lived like that. It was pre ikea and furniture was something you had to order and cost a fortune.
I moved into my flat with DD, a bed and a black and white tv and a cooker.

I have far too much stuff and am trying to get rid of it. I have been hoarding for years. Mostly clothes but lots of 'pretty things' too.

Good for you.

DeWe Tue 11-Jun-13 12:24:50

The only thing I would say is that apparently a child only sleeping on a mattress on the floor is something ss look as a sign that things might not be quite right.

I know this because a friend who worked with ss used to tease me about it because ds slept on a mattress becuase he could climb out of the cot, and we were trying to move house, so the mattress was very easy to slip away when we had viewings.

I imagine that if you're sleeping on a mattress too it would be viewed as less of an issue. I wouldn't see it as an issue as long as you (including dc) seemed happy.

You may find people start offering you stuff if they think you can't afford it. We don't have a TV and so many people offered their old one I started counting. By the time dd was 3yo we'd been offered 37. grin

allinsunshine Tue 11-Jun-13 12:24:57

bigkids we do have chairs so I would offer you those, or the beanbag.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 11-Jun-13 12:25:06

I know it's wrong but yes, I probably would judge a bit. Having been on MN for a while, I would be trying very hard not to and it certainly wouldn't stop me being friends with you or anything like that, but I would think it was odd. I would probably think you'd had everything repossessed.

I think that beds and a sofa are things that people really need to have in their homes, tbh.

Antisecco Tue 11-Jun-13 12:27:00

Invite me instead then!

And the period when I slept on a couple of mattresses on floorboards (don't ask) was the period when my bad back gave me no bother at all

allinsunshine Tue 11-Jun-13 12:28:23

DeWe Why is a mattress something ss would look as a sign? His room has thick clean (fairly new carpet) and his bed has warm clean bedding?
confused

Technotropic Tue 11-Jun-13 12:28:42

Why do you need to explain to people why you have little furniture? You are you and not your friends so can do things differently. Unless people ask then I wouldn't worry and if they do then just be honest.

I wouldn't judge as people have different priorities.

I think you're being quite sensible about it. Why waste money on a quick fix when the real deal is round the corner?

squeakytoy Tue 11-Jun-13 12:31:25

whilst I can see the point of a "five year plan", I would be miserable for five years if I was living with very little in the way of comfort and looking around a threadbare home..

Decent beds are a vitally important piece of furniture. You spend at least a third of your life it, and it can be taken with you when you move.

I personally value quality of life over materialistic things, and would happily get a cheap sofa, and cover it in bright throws and cushions.

Snoopingforsoup Tue 11-Jun-13 12:32:28

I definitely wouldn't judge you, but I understand your hesitation.
I would have an open door policy too but after hearing a group of neighbours discussing us in really very unfair terms, I make sure none of them ever cross the threshold, as this is my home, my sanctuary and they're not ripping into this place too the feckers!

My real friends and people who know us properly are welcome any time.

If you're comfortable with them, invite them in and be relaxed. You sound quite sensible to me.

allinsunshine Tue 11-Jun-13 12:32:51

It may be 'easy' to buy cheaply and to get rid of furniture every time we move but to do it at least once a year for a few years in a row? confused

And to know that when you do buy something over a certain size, you will be needing to plan how to move it on before long. That is giving me a headache just thinking about it.

minniemagoo Tue 11-Jun-13 12:34:04

I wouldn't judge/have a problem until you explained. I think it is awful that you are so focused on having a 'forever' home in 2016 that you sacrifice so much right now. You obviously feel self concious about having visitors I feel its not just material possessions you and by extension your DS are missing out on. Joy in life is passing you by. Sad. Just my opinion but I dont think I'd be friends with someone so selfish.

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 11-Jun-13 12:34:22

I would be a bit envious of your toddler-friendly, low maintenance home, and would probably invite you over to hear more details of your financial planning and ask if you read the MisterMoneyMustache blog.

Everything we have is second hand apart from sofa washing manchine and cooker even our carpet was from freecylce would i judge no they are just things

BadRoly Tue 11-Jun-13 12:36:43

I wouldn't judge. When we moved from a tiny 3 bed modern built house to this one, we had far too little furniture and I rather liked it grin

MrsDeVere Tue 11-Jun-13 12:37:56

The bed thing is only a problem for SS if it is part of a bigger worrying picture.

For example if YOU had a lovely clean bed and you had several well fed dogs but your child didn't have a bed or clean bedding.

How about a simple extending bed from ikea? You can take it apart to move it. Do you need to keep getting rid of things every time you move?

C999875 Tue 11-Jun-13 12:37:57

I wouldn't judge anyone. I have absolutely no right to. xx

Antisecco Tue 11-Jun-13 12:40:05

Gosh Minniagoo I agreed with every word you said until 'but I don't think...' That's a bit harsh isn't it? What OP is doing may not be what you or I would choose to do but how do you get from there to her being too selfish to have as a friend in one bound???

FriedSprout Tue 11-Jun-13 12:40:07

I admire your discipline, and wish I could manage with less clutter.

However, for the sake of having friends around who will feel comfortable both physically and mentally, by getting hold of a sofa, arm chair and a toddler bed via free-cycle seems worth it to me. Especially when you say YOU miss a sofa. A year is a long time to be uncomfortable in your own home. And really, one email and having to stay in for collection to get rid of it again on free-cycle is not hard is it?

I think you may be getting a little a bit martyrish/smug about the whole process, because there is no need financial or practical to put yourselves through this level of minimalism.

allinsunshine Tue 11-Jun-13 12:41:16

minniemagoo no seriously we are not depressed at all by how we are living. I would like a sofa but Im quite happy not to bother with process of finding one and then getting rid of it before we move. And I can quite happily wait. I just wanted to gauge how others might see it before I asked people around.

A sofa (and dining table/chairs) are actually the only things I miss tbh, I have to say I am surprised at the posts saying I am unreasonable about having only mattresses!

There are also benefits of an empty house (beyond those of living somewhere temporarily) cleaning is a breeze and we never lose anything (except when ds has hidden somethings amongst his toys).

I would find it a bit odd you don't have a sofa to watch tv/cuddle poorly children on. I think it's unusual for a well cared for child not to have a proper bed available to them (regardless of whether child chooses to creep into Mum's bed every night or just to have teddies on and sit on to read stories)

I totally understand the - don't want to buy cheap shit, would rather save up and buy nice stuff thing. But, not at the expense of everyday comfort. I have never seen nice wardrobes that I like, and can afford. But I still have wardrobes - ugly 2nd hand ones.

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