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?

harrietspy Sat 15-Dec-12 08:00:52

owlface, I sold them on www.fatbrain.co.uk and www.webuybooks.co.uk. They both paid up really promptly and the system involves minimum faff. They are obviously only buying things they can sell on, so really obscure text books or general paperbacks don't tend to go, but it's worth trying anything. It's worth having both sites open at once and trying your books on both to see what price they offer. The prices aren't high - I got between 4p and £4.50 for the books I sold - but if you're trying to clear stuff and want to make a bit of money asap, it's a good way of doing it.

BelinaTheChicken Sat 15-Dec-12 08:55:56

harriet try putting obscure textbooks on amazon, you can leave them up for ages and I find I tend to get a decent price for them (had a load of old psychology or pain management textbooks and made over £100).

Found out last night that we might be moving to a much bigger place, and I'm determined not to cart all of our crap along with us. Really good incentive to declutter, plus if we do take this house we would be taking over the lease from a friend, so could start moving stuff in soon, so I can go through each bag and only take things we really need. Fingers crossed, will find out this morning if their land lady has agreed to it

Hello, may I join you? We moved in the summer and threw out masses of crap but somehow still have mountains of it. It makes me feel all panicky when the place is a mess, which it almost always is at least somewhere in the house as there's too much STUFF everywhere. I need to have a really good sort and get back to freecycling as much as possible.

harrietspy Sat 15-Dec-12 09:37:56

Thanks, Belina!

Hello Antonionette! We're in the process of selling our old house - been renting it out for 3 years - and the garage is still full of our old stuff. I have to clear it out in the new year and tbh I'm dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time. I can't WAIT to be shot of all that stuff - but I know it won't be an easy process... (If it were easy we wouldn't be on this thread!).

I'm determined not to bring it all to my new house (rented - so there's always that sense we might have to up and move again and I don't want to take boxes of randomness with me). I might try to clear the garage with a friend - someone who can be stern when I say I should hang on to x or y just in case...

What do I do with, say, my old tapes from my late teens? Will I honestly listen to them again? They're really good stuff - Muddy Waters, Van Morrison. I think I'll weed them and just keep the stuff I love. But if I haven't longed for them in the last 3 years, do I really need 'em, hmm?

owlface Sat 15-Dec-12 09:40:08

Thanks Harriet, I see you can sell DVDs and CDs too so I will have a go. I love my library wall but it is overflowing!

IWipeArses Sat 15-Dec-12 10:30:38

harriet, throw the tapes away. You can listen to most of it online, and if you really miss it, buy it again on CD or mp3, but I bet you don't.

We put all our CDs onto an external hard drive. They're an essential for backing up photos, documents etc. anyway, so buy a big one and then you can get rid of the CDs.
We've got a big CD/DVD storage folder like lucy mentioned above with all our DVDs in, the front room feels so much calmer without shelves and shelves of DVDs collecting dust.

Kitchen clutter, if you've never used it, lose it. I also boxed up spares of mugs, plates etc in an effort to avoid having to wash up everything we owned every other day. blush It's also freed up so much cupboard and drawer space, I've nearly cleared all the counters.

I got rid of all our ornaments. All of them. I like pictures on the wall, plants, blankets, but knick knacks just seem like clutter now and reduce dusting annoyance.

I'm still working on proper storage for the things we do have, but I'm loving my minimalising. smile

Blogs I've liked, www.everydayminimalist.com www.missminimalist.com
I'll think of more to add later.

This is a great thread for me, thanks for starting it OP. I'm fairly minimalist already but there's three of us living in a small, open plan house.

Reading this thread last night motivated me to get together a bin bag full of clothes to eBay. We've sold quite a few bits on eBay in the last few months and have made about £500.

I feel quite overwhelmed when there's too much stuff physically, virtually and mentally. My priorities are:

Sort out paperwork (I need to keep it for seven years because of tax returns but tend to hang on longer)
Delete the music on my iPad and iPod that I don't listen to
Keep my hot spots tidy - the most useful thing from FlyLady for me
Get a grip on all the sponges, brushes and cleaners under the kitchen sink. DP tends to accumulate all this

LemonBreeland Sat 15-Dec-12 10:46:13

This thread really has come at the perfect time for me. I was looking at my ornaments the other day as I dusted them and thought I really want to get rid of them. It really is just the guilt thing.

DH is not great at this kind of thing but I jusr remove stuff when he isn't there and he is unlikely to notice.

LemonBreeland Sat 15-Dec-12 15:19:14

So I decided to sell some willow figures that I had on our local fb sales
page. They sold straight away, I also sold our baby door bouncer that's been sitting around for ages. £25 in about 10 minutes.

However dh is not impressed. He thinks we are going to have an empty house because I sold 4 ornaments. Will just not tell him in future.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Dec-12 15:25:55

Our house is not empty even with no ornaments. grin
Well done!

I'm feeling a little guilty about how much I've got DCs for Christmas. It isn't a lot actually, compared to many, but it's still a lot of stuff. I'm considering keeping some of it back for Easter/birthday. I'll decide when I get it all out to wrap.
It's not long since we did a thorough declutter of toys, so there isn't really much we could get rid of now to make room for new.

baahhumbug Sat 15-Dec-12 15:43:40

I would like to join in, I hate my cluttered house and yet know it's not as bad as some. My dd is 11 so we started decluttering this year as she doesn't play with some of her toys anymore.

My problem is I hate housework so tend to put off tidying for as long as possible, then it's too much and overwhelming.

I will have a look at Simplicity Parenting although fear it may be too late for us. I hate the materialistic minds most children have but not sure how to avoid it.

We have loads of books but dh won't part with them. A lot are in the attic though as we both have kindles. I need to sort out clothes and sell bits and pieces but hate selling on ebay. Where do you sell your books?

Looking forward to reading all your posts.

baahhumbug Sat 15-Dec-12 15:49:20

IWipeArses, how do you play your music without cds? We put all our music on the ipod and put the cds away but I really miss them. We have an ipod docker but I hate playing music from the ipod, it's so fiddly and the docker isn't great. Dh is looking for an alternative but not sure what.

baahhumbug Sat 15-Dec-12 15:53:43

Sorry, just read through the thread and saw about selling books. Thanks for that.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sat 15-Dec-12 16:06:40

Can I join in? I live by myself in a 3 bed semi so I have plenty of space but am worried I'll just fil it with clutter.
I have a whole unit full of CDs that I very rarely listen to. Many of them have already been uploaded to my iTunes library but maybe I should just do the rest and then get rid of them. I also have DVDs that I never watch - need to stop keeping stuff "just in case".

MinimalistMommi Sat 15-Dec-12 16:22:43

I've been on a minimalist journey for the past three years. This is my favourite blog and she has just written a brilliant post about Christmas:
http://lifeshouldbethecatsmeow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/whos-insane.html?m=1

MinimalistMommi Sat 15-Dec-12 16:22:54
bluecarrot Sat 15-Dec-12 16:29:10

Ive set an alarm on my phone for every morning this week, with a 15 minute decluttering task.

My favourite decluttering ritual is getting boxes for "stays in this room" "belongs elsewhere" "paperwork" "sell" "give back" and "maybe get rid", plus a bin bag. Ive only ever done this with the least cluttered rooms admittedly, but basically everything in the room thats small enough to lift has to go in one of the boxes.

Im now left with two very cluttered rooms (that have no other purpose other than storage) and these are the ones I intend to clear this year. The other rooms are ok, its just purging the stuff I needed/ loved last year when I reviewed it, but dont anymore, or anything new that comes in as a gift or whatever.

Also, I found myself spending too long reading blogs looking for inspiration rather than getting off my butt and doing something about it so Im not allowing myself to read the blogs any week days.

I'm in! DH is totally on board, he is more minimalist than I am. We have a slightly different situation to many, in that we plan to move around the world every year or two. So, we simply cannot have lots of stuff. Our first move happened in April, when DS was 18mo. We moved from the home I'd accumulated crap lived in for eight years, to Germany. The amount of stuff we carted down to the charity shops was mind-boggling. Never again! I felt freer once I'd gotten rid of so much stuff. But we still have more than we need, and are still working on minimalising further.
Two things though. 1. We are trying for another DC, so have to hold on to all the baby stuff (currently stored in PIL's attic and garage back in the UK) and 2. I do quite like surrounding myself with pretty things! Especially at Christmas. But I need to let go of that mindset even more. One trip we plan is living for a year or so in an RV, driving around the USA, so I need to really be more free of material possessions. This is also how we want to raise DS (and another DC if we have one): to be free, and non-materialistic.

I now live with a very basic capsule wardrobe. Got rid of about 18 binbags' worth of clothing before we moved. Now I can actually find things in my wardrobe. I can actually get rid of more though. I will, before the new year.
Drastically reduced bedding and towels. Clears up so much space.
Got rid of all my books, bar about ten. I never re-read novels. I now only have a couple of novels, which I've not read yet, and a handful of parenting books. Really, I should just read that stuff online. DS does have quite a lot of books, I think it is important for him at this stage.
Told people I'm not doing gifts any more, please don't buy me cluttering crap stuff.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Dec-12 20:07:54

baah, we just have the ipod in a dock, or listen via the laptop. Our stereo bust years ago, so we got used to listening to cds through the laptop anyway.

WhatWouldSantaDo, you don't have to store all the baby stuff if you don't want to. Donating it/selling it and buying new is always a possibility. And if you've gotten more minimalist since your first child was born, you might find you don't need half of it anyway. grin I'm a bit envious of your travelling, I'd love to give that a try sometime.
Tell us what's in your capsule wardrobe please.

harrietspy Sat 15-Dec-12 21:09:28

I got an eBay lesson from someone today and plan to try to shift some of the kids' tshirts. DS2 has inherited more tshirts than he can ever wear. Any money I earn = £ towards debt repayment.

whatwouldsantado, tell us more about your capsule wardrobe. I can't buy more stuff but I can think more sensibly about using what I do have, perhaps...

harrietspy Sat 15-Dec-12 22:29:08

I don't want to dominate the thread, but for those wanting to sell books/cds/dvds, www.webuybooks.co.uk have got a voucher code at the moment which adds 10% to the value of your offer: WBBTWDLP7.

Just managed to get another bundle together for £20+ smile Another box cleared. Whoop! (Ok, so now I have to pack them up, but 6music is on and so is the kettle). There's a Christmas fair at school this week so I might take the rest of the cookbooks there.

sunnysunnyshine Sun 16-Dec-12 09:30:03

I'm going to tentatively join in. I'm sooo crap at decluttering, I'm drowning in stuff. Determined to make a big dent in it today though...

Harrietspy, when you sell books do they collect them all in one go or do you have to send them off one by one as they sell?

Also is it worth selling CDs? I've got loads just sitting in boxes.

Right, cuppa then getting started hmm

harrietspy Sun 16-Dec-12 09:38:47

sunny you have to get to £15 worth in your basket, then you send them off in one go - although you might have to put them in several parcels so they're not too heavy. Does that make sense? Have a look at the website if this is gobbledegook!

I haven't sold CDs but I know you can. Good luck!

Wipe, true, I could sell, but PIL are ok about having it in the loft for now, seems a lot of effort to sell and rebuy.. Especially as we are not in the UK at the moment.

Ok, it may not be an official capsule wardrobe if other people are judging it, but it feels capsule to me, especially going by what I had before!
Two pairs of jeans (down from about 10 pairs).
One pair waterproof skipant type trousers for snowy or torrential downpour weather.
Three skirts.
Eight tshirts.
Three hoodies/sweaters.
One sweater dress.
Three summer dresses.
Three summer blousey tops.
One chunky knit winter dress.
A couple of cardigans/shrugs
Two pairs of gloves. I do need one more pair for building snowmen though; my current two are not suitable. Three winter hats. Two scarves.
Two summer hats. One pair of sunglasses.
One pair of summer shorts.
Three swimsuits (I used to have over 20 swimsuits or bikinis blush). Plus a couple of rash vests.
Only one pair of different type of shoe: one smart pair, one pair of smart going out boots, one pair of sandals, two pairs of flip flops though, oops, one pair of snow boots, one pair walking boots, one pair running shoes.
Three bras, seven pairs of pants, seven pairs of socks.
Four sets of PJs. Two dressing gowns.
One coat for various weathers: one raincoat, one pacamac, one jersey blazer, one long thick winter coat, one autumn/spring coat warm coat, one light summery coat, one ski coat, one smart going out jacket, one bodywarmer, one fleece. (used to have way way more coats, it was a bit crazy. Coats and swimwear, my two clothing indulgences! Never cared much about shoes though.)
Two sets of sportswear (two pairs leggings, two sport vests, two sports bras), one tennis dress.
Two smart occasion dresses (e.g for going to weddings).

That's it off the top of my head, without checking my wardrobe, so I have probably forgotten a few things, but not much.

I could trim this down further, I know.

And I do still have my wedding dress (at PILs). I keep dreaming of having a girl, or DS's wife wanting to wear it! smile

Oh dear. Ok, so it's a big capsule. smile But it is a huge improvement for me, and hopefully I will whittle it down even further. We are now doing one in, one out, so if we buy a new jumper, for example, an old jumper gets donated. And we only buy new clothing if it is really needed. I do feel like I am making good progress, going in the right direction.

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