Anyone want to join me in a minimalist journey?

(953 Posts)
lucysnowe Thu 13-Dec-12 14:30:53

I've been reading a load of minimalist mum blogs and have been brainwashed inspired smile. We are undergoing some building work at the mo and the amount of stuff everywhere is absolutely doing me head in. Once it is finished I want to have a ginormous sort and throw out. We are getting a tumble dryer and I plan to start culling clothes, sheets, towels etc, with the aim of getting ALL washing done each week and not have massive full up bins cluttering up the place. Next: toys, ornaments, and random bits of paper. grin Anyone fancy doing the same for the New Year?

bluecarrot Thu 13-Dec-12 14:41:43

I'm in!

Already starting by giving DD non- cluttering gifts for Xmas. smile

What blogs do you read? I lost my favourite sites when laptop got a virus. mnmlist and and zen habits were the main ones I like

bluecarrot Thu 13-Dec-12 14:43:33

Btw, I have been attempting to do this for a year already. It's slow going as I'm trying to sell off stuff as I go along. eBay tends to be slow in Jan/Feb so ill use that time to really get into decluttering smile

Also starting reading fly lady and will do it alongside.

lucysnowe Thu 13-Dec-12 16:35:51

blue, I have been enjoying http://www.theminimalistmom.com/. I like the whole ethos really. We live in a small house and I want to embrace it as a lifestyle choice rather than moaning about its pokiness smile.

DH is currently all about storage. He wants to buy more boxes, put up more shelves etc. This is something I previously was in big favour of but I'm slowly coming round to the idea that as soon as you buy storage, you buy things to put in it...

harrietspy Thu 13-Dec-12 17:04:32

I'm in. For the first time in my life I live in a big house to accommodate my non-traditional family arrangements, so I have space but still want to cull like mad, partly to pay down debt and partly because we have too much stuff...

Things I've started doing:
selling books I don't absolutely love or need. (I've raised £80 this way!)
using up all the random bits of cosmetics/toiletries a la Fly Lady
gathering other stuff to sell (although I get anxious about this because I've never managed to get my arse in gear enough to actually sell anything except aforementioned books)

blue, I like www.manvsdebt.com as well as the blogs already mentioned. I love any tiny house blogs too. Apartment Therapy has good ideas about living in small spaces, recycling/repurposing etc.

Simplicity Parenting (book) really helped me to cull the dc's stuff although I wasn't quite as hardcore as the author.

Ooh, thank you for starting this thread! I'm really excited about prospect of doing this with other MNers! smile

lucysnowe Thu 13-Dec-12 17:41:52

harriet, I will check out those blogs!

Another mindset I kind of need to get out of is buying 3 for 2s etc, esp toiletries. I kind of think it is a good thing as I like being frugal, but I usually end up where I've stored things and buy new ones anyway...

lucysnowe Thu 13-Dec-12 17:48:30

Oh and am intrigued by Simplicity Parenting - have heard of it before but don't quite understand the ethos - is it kind of an anti-consumer thing?

doublecakeplease Thu 13-Dec-12 19:27:54

I'm in. We are also doing work on the house so I've kind of started but will take a long time to minimise everything!

I dream of living with very little clutter and everything in it's place ~ preferably in a box behind a closed cupboard door.

Things i have a done already»

* sorted out ALL of our clothes. We only own stuff we actually wear.
*put all of my underwear, tights, socks etc into individual Ikea boxes in my drawer ~ saves ages finding stuff and putting away
*downloaded all of our CDs and books to the harddrive ~ kept a couple of special ones though.
* got rid of all the unopened toiletries to the charity shop . We have 2 baskets in the bathroom - 1 with toiletries we use and 1 with DS bath toys
*sorted DS toys, clothes etc (easy as he's only 9 months!)
*filed ALL of our paperwork

Only little things but we'll get there. Will watch with interest!

harrietspy Thu 13-Dec-12 22:50:52

Lucy, sorry I didn't get back to you till now. The main thinking behind simplicity parenting is that children are exposed to too much stuff, too much choice, too many activities, and they can get stressed, overwhelmed and anxious as a result. The author is a clinical psychologist, I think. He works with families to help children get happier and calmer by simplifying the physical environment (less stuff), by simplifying their schedules (because he's seen kids pushed to achieve athletically, for instance, who are physically burned out by 13 or 14 shock - no chance of that happening with my dc!) and he also recommends introducing simple, predictable patterns/routines/rituals. It's all fairly common sense but I found elements of the book v helpful. I think if you try to put some of his principles into practice you end up buying less, although it's not explicitly anti-consumerist. It made me think about what my dc actually love to play with and made me feel ok about getting rid of other stuff.

RarelyUnreasonable Fri 14-Dec-12 08:30:53

I'm in! I hate clutter and am pretty ruthless. Plus a keen ebayer and freecycler - but there's still too much stuff! Love the idea of simplicity parenting - will read more later.
We moved recently to a bigger house with less storage hmm so had a good clear out, but I want to keep things this way. DH is more of a hoarder although seems to be getting less so due to my nagging gentle encouragement.
Going to start with doublecake's list - done some but can't remember which as on phone and too lazy to keep scrolling...

doublecakeplease Fri 14-Dec-12 09:38:28

Thought of some other bits i've done so far»
* sorted all of the charges in the house - honestly, we had dozens clustering drawers. Kept the ones we need and put them into individual small labelled sandwich bags. Took 10 mins but saves lots of hassle / clutter
* i have a 'get rid' box. Anything i don't want gets put into it as soon as i come across it then Ebay or charity shop once it's full. Saves me keeping hold of crap.

Things i need to do:
*work on getting DP to sort his tools - they are everywhere but prob will be for the next couple of years whilst we're still doing work on the house
*get rid of stuff as we do each room and i get the boxed stuff from moving for that room out.

I don't want anything in the house that's not useful or lovely to look at! Lol

doublecakeplease Fri 14-Dec-12 09:39:53

*chargers - as in phone etc ;-)

lucysnowe Fri 14-Dec-12 10:30:17

Thanks for the info about Simplicity Parenting, harriet. I may start my journey by, umm, buying the book! you have to start somewhere though...

doublecake can I ask what Ikea boxes you use for your clothes - that sounds like a good idea!

I have already put my CDs and DVDs in a folder like this one but tbh I never watch or listen to them so uploading might be more convenient.

harrietspy Fri 14-Dec-12 11:24:35

One of my (many!) challenges is not to replace physical clutter with virtual clutter. I have a gazillion podcasts downloaded onto my mac and in truth I only ever listen to Tara Brach podcasts so it would be liberating to just delete the others that I might, one day, maybe, someday get round to listening to...

doublecakeplease Fri 14-Dec-12 14:52:35

Lucy - can't link on my phone - nothing special, just bought a skubb set from Ikea - you get 6 boxes for £6. They fit in my drawer and keep everything separated. Also made me get rid of the too small tights , knickers etc as they didn't fit in the boxes!

forevergreek Fri 14-Dec-12 15:03:47

Also get all your bills etc paper free. I have so
Much less junk now all bank statements/ household bills/ etc are online

IWipeArses Fri 14-Dec-12 16:32:50

I have been reading minimalist blogs and attempting to minimalise for a couple years now, love it!

BelinaTheChicken Fri 14-Dec-12 17:57:04

I'm definitely in, we live in a really small house, made smaller by the conservatory we use as a playroom being out of action because it is leaking, and I feel like I'm drowning in crap. I was in a really ruthless mood last week and threw out all the old paperwork from Uni, psychology articles I've been lugging around for 6 years despite never once having felt the need to peruse them.

I have a really bad habit of keeping hold of stuff I don't want/need because it was a gift. I got given a chocolate fondue set 5 years ago for being bridesmaid for a friend, and it's still lurking at the back of a cupboard, but every time I try to ditch it I end up in paroxysms of guilt and put it back in it's lair.

Will check out those blogs for inspiration

harrietspy Fri 14-Dec-12 18:03:35

Belina, sounds like you've done masses already!

We've got v little £ this Christmas so I can't buy stuff for anyone but my dc, but I've just been through a big box of things we've been given (or bought in more affluent times) that are in good condition - cook books, barely-touched toys, etc - to give as presents for Christmas. Another box of stuff will be gone! I was thinking of trying to eBay this stuff but tbh I think this is a better option. I used to feel guilty about doing this but I'm on a roll!

BelinaTheChicken Fri 14-Dec-12 18:46:47

Sounds like loads harriet, but it was all stored in the bottom of a dresser, so the house still looks just as cluttered. And I had to put the sodding Christmas tree up, which is enormous as we bought it when we were in a bigger place and had not DC to clutter the place, so that takes up half the living room.

Second hand gifts sounds like a good plan, I get most of the DC's presents at carboots throughout the year. Tomorrow I'm going to get a load of toys out and get DS1 to choose some to get rid of to make way for the Christmas toys.

I'm feeling quite motivated to clear out some crap from my wardrobe, have recently lost weight and am contemplating ditching all the bigger sizes, but scared I'll do that and then put weight on (though hopefully not as it was baby weight and I'm not planning on any more DC).

RarelyUnreasonable Fri 14-Dec-12 19:34:16

Wow, the minimalist blog is fab. I found it so helpful to read about what to do if you're married to a non-declutterer - should save a few domestic discussions and I'm sure DH will be relieved that his stuff is safe for now.

DC are getting very minimal gifts as they're under two and won't realise! Book and PJs for DD, um, nothing for newborn DS. [meanie mum].

When is a good time to sell on ebay?

bluecarrot I also plan to fly in the new year, and have also started to look for a cleaner. I'm at home a lot - part-time SAHM and part-time WAHM (although on mat leave now) so I crave/need a nice environment. Cheaper than Relate and essential for my mental health!

I've been through your tips and made my own list from them. Aim to do these by end of Jan and keep on top of ongoing ones:

-make a 'to ebay' box and have monthly blitzes when it's free listing
-read Simplicity Parenting
-sort out clothes for me and DC (will leave DH to do his own if he wants).
-Sort out maternity clothes, and decide what to do with baby clothes and baby -stuff - end of an era! Freecycle/charity/gift/ebay/what?
-buy those Ikea boxes and sort underwear drawer.
-use up toiletries before buying any more.
-catch up on paperwork filing.
-make a present box for unwanted/unused stuff to save buying more

kennyp Fri 14-Dec-12 20:53:05

marking my place ... love this thread smile

Fuchzia Fri 14-Dec-12 21:07:53

I'll be watching with interest. We live in horrible clutter which makes the place impossible to keep clean. I've decided I'll have to be ruthless if I don't want to spend every spare second cleaning. Trouble is I'm a born horder.

LemonBreeland Fri 14-Dec-12 21:56:04

I'm watching this with interest. Will have a look at the minimalist blog. My DH will never declutter, so I will be interested in that part.

I keep looking at things to get rid of in the house, ornaments etc. It gets me down having so much stuff. I recently cleared out my boys room and they have so much more space. I thought they didn't have enough storage, but actually they had too much furniture in there. It feels calmer when I walk in there now. I plan to make a go of the rest of the house in January.

I don't follow FLY, but I do the daily tasks. I don't want to shine my sinks and all of that, but I do liike the tasks as they keep you moving forward.

owlface Sat 15-Dec-12 05:16:59

Thank you for all the ideas and links to blogs, I want to get on board with this! I live in a 1 bedroom apartment and am expecting DC1 in a few months. Have already briefed DP not to buy loads of baby stuff we don't need and started selling a few bits on Ebay.
Harriet, where do you sell your books? That is a great idea.

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