I like the idea of 'forcing' yourself to wear items that you feel scared to actually ditch, sommewhereelse.
Despite taking stuff to charity shop yesterday ( including a beautiful cardy, £45, never even worn, don't know what I was thinking when i bought it, it was SO not me! ) I'm still niggled by things in my wardrobe. it's guilt that makes you hang on to things, I think. But every time you see that unloved item hanging there you feel guilty again so may as well just let go ( and let somebody else enjoy it ).
I'm also doing one in, one out on the wardrobe front. Binned 2 x pairs jeggings that had bagged at the knees/waist yesterday & bought 2 x smart new pairs.
Just had a minor revelation. At least 2 of the unworn items I donated yesterday ( including THAT cardy ) were things I bought when shopping with friends: "no, get it! It really suits you! Makes a change from your usual dull monochrome look!".
Mental note - do not buy clothes when out with friends!
For sorting out clothes, I found it helpful to start small. So I started by going through my sock draw and getting rid of solo socks, those with holes, tights with ladders or that had gone bobbly etc. Then I moved to my underwear and threw out everything that didn't fit (a surprising amount-but I guess pregnancy/the post natal period does that to you!). Then I did my pyjamas (does anyone need 14 options? Nope, me either. Not sure why I ever thought I did) and sport stuff so by the time I got onto my wardrobe proper I was on a roll and if felt much easier to donate beautiful ball gowns that I knew I'd never wear again but had held onto for 10 years just in case!
Lots of underlay and some other items put on Freecycle today. Have another large bag of baby clothes to go on Freecycle (mostly the stuff that charity shops can't sell with little stains or holes or just looking worn, but gets snapped up on Freecycle by foster carers, HVs or just parents). So that's all the 9-12 months gone and I'm getting rid of about half the 12-18mo clothes that have been handed down to me - dd doesn't need more than 6 pairs of trousers! Actually I got rid of lots as soon as they were given to me, but now I can judge her size and the season a lot better.
We're now down to one niece handing down clothes, so that will reduce the influx to sensible quantities.
Ds's bedroom is in the middle of having cupboards for toys and games built in, and will be big enough to play in, dd will have ds's old boxroom, so that can have toys in, and most of the toys can be removed from downstairs. THough next step is moving everything in the kitchen into the dining room (including appliances...) while the kitchen is knocked down and rebuilt, so the house is only going to be more crowded for a while.
notcitrus the toys get smaller, but no they do not necessarily get more expensive. DD is now eight and her favourite toys are Moshi Monsters. She has about 15 but they all get swapped with friends. She has a couple of plastic houses and zoos for them.
But friends of hers have 50 to 100, they have the accessories, other board games, lots of unread books, iPods and so on. The same principle applies - they only play with a fixed amount so they can have less or you put the excess away.
This week real life has been a bit intrusive - stress at work, applying for a new job and DD's birthday party so minmalism and decluttering have taken a back seat. But DP is still selling records and CDs every day, I'm finding it easier to get rid of things straight away (no, it really won't come in useful) and we have nearly £1,100 in our Paypal account. The house also only takes ten minutes to tidy now which is great.
Ok - so I would like your opinions! I'm not sure I'm totally getting the hand of this decluttering lark! This afternoon I dropped off a bag of stuff at the charity shop and went to do an Aldi shop. Several unscheduled items got bought. I present the evidence! Item 1. brown vest top from charity shop £3.00 Item 2. 2 energy saving GU10 bulbs ( at about £3.50 each - an Aldi special) Item 3. a bottle of sticky stuff remover ( Another Aldi special at £3.99) Item 4. a chocolate covered marzipan log (reduced in Aldi)
So am I completely off the programme or given the following: a) the top was a Lakeland one so v good quality, in good condition and will go under lots of other tops I already have, b) the energy saving bulbs mean a difference between 50 watts and 11 watts in my kitchen and bathroom light fittings. I have plenty of replacement bulbs but only 50 watt ones. c) I had a bottle of sticky stuff remover years ago and found it very useful but have managed without it for years . d) the chocolate marzipan log has already been decluttered are these acceptable purchases for an aspiring de-clutterer?
My current in/out score stands at 23 items out / 7 items in ( not counting the bulbs or the chocolate as they are "consumables/consumedables" )
Your verdict ladies ( and gentlemen if there are any) of the jury!
Thank you Boffinmum! I'm aiming not to buy too many things - I'm certainly thinking about it all a bit more and I'm enjoying my less cluttered bedroom - which is where I have concentrated most of my efforts so far. I'm not aiming to be a proper minimalist as i do like to have weird eclectic bits and pieces around but there is a lot of stuff I can get rid of!
Educating - So are you going to freecycle the other bulbs? If so, then I think reasonable purchases. If you keep all the bulbs you have fallen off the wagon and must get back on!
I have spent ALL DAY painting the play room / conservatory today. In a bit of a rage at the state of it this morning I managed to find some more things to declutter (fucking cars, they are everywhere and seem to breed). DH took one out of the last charity bag as it is good quality. DS doesn't actually play with it though, so I've stuck it back in a secret charity bag and no one will ever notice it is gone. Anyway, I'm pleased with the work - just some touching up tomorrow (hopefully) and that room will be done. We've a new cabinet being built this week and going in next - so that will mean I can tidy the games away, which will reduce visual clutter in there.
DH is meant to be listing our dining room table and chairs on his work advertising board - we are giving the thing away. It came, explicitly unwanted, on a lorry with other stuff from DH's parents when they moved this summer. Cost us an extra £60 shipping and I was very clear I DID NOT WANT IT. Anyway. I need the space for general storage at the moment, stuff for the kitchen / bathrooms is starting to arrive and we to store it in the dining room. Also will be trying to freecycle old appliances and bathroom suites (one a lovely blue 70's classic!).
So my plan is to finish the playroom and then get the upstairs cupboard cleared out by the end of the week.
I'm having problems with freegle at the moment. I keep listing things and it says they have gone for moderation and will be listed but then they don't appear on any of the digest lists. I don't know what is going on! And don't want to spend lots of times messing!
PMSL at the chocolate log being decluttered Thats my kind of tidying up.
Am working on a few charity shop bags for tomorrow and putting off the massive pile of paper clutter in my bedroom. That might be my Anti-Procrastination task for this week. I was feeling a bit down about the Basement of Doom but my bf came to visit this week and when she saw it she yelled "Oh my god, its got sides!! And a back wall!! Who knew??!" so I may have made some progress on it after all!
Just been to check my light bulb box and I only have one of the old 50 watt type left and a 35 watt one. I thought I'd got a few more than that! The new energy saving ones will be put up immediately to replace ones that have died and I hadn't got round to replacing and I'll keep the 2 I have for when some more go! That doesn't feel like a too bad purchase after all!
It's made me look in my "general electrical crap items box though and I've identified 3 plugs, a plug in timer, and an old land-line phone to offer on freegle. Let's hope the messages get posted this time (wondering if I didn't do it right last time). I'm not sure anyone will want this stuff though so they may have to go in the bag of stuff to take to the tip!
Arti, if you ever need a partner in that service, I'm currently unemployed... happy to assist should you ever decide to expand Stateside!
I don't think that acquiring more stuff is necessarily un-minimalist. As long as it's stuff that you actually need and will actually use (within a reasonable time), then it's probably OK. And chocolate logs will always get used.
MM, you asked how our place is laid out - you enter the flat straight into the living room (where we also have a small dining table and a couple of chairs), there's a closet immediately to your left and a tiny bathroom on your right, and a small* kitchen just off the living room. Then there's a corridor down between the kitchen and the bathroom that leads to the bedroom, which is pretty much as big as the living room, kitchen and bathroom combined! It's kind of a daft layout, but it works for us!
*It's actually the same size as our old kitchen in London, and certainly bigger than a lot of Manhattan kitchens, but according to my Midwestern in-laws, it's tiny!
Sorry for the double-post, but on the subject of whether acquiring stuff is un-minimalist: I was reading The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno a couple of weeks ago, and really hated it. REALLY. In principle it ought to have been right up my street: describing how he came to the decision to downsize his things, and how he went about it. But because he was obsessing about the 100 things gimmick challenge, he spent half the book explaining why he picked that number, what it didn't include (nothing that he and his wife co-owned? Well, that's nice and easy!) and why he wasn't really breaking his rules when he went out and bought something new after all. (Seriously - he spent about six pages explaining why he bought something at the mall on Black Friday!) So much self-justification, ugh!
Anyway, I think that as long as you can usually keep in mind why you're reducing, and what you ultimately want your life to look like, then you don't need to stress too much about bringing the very occasional thing in here or there. Balance, innit.
I haven't read the book Bab but I've scanned the website. I liked the idea of the 100 Things but I couldn't get to the heart of the website and get a sense of him. Its seemed quite hard to navigate. What I did get from it though - and loved - was his realisation that actually, if at the end of the process, you are still fixated on the number 100 then you have missed the point, because you are still obsessing about "stuff" and thinking about it way too much. As you work your way down to that figure you naturally work out how much/ little you need and the number itself becomes irrelevant. So at the end you have no idea how many things you own - but you know that you don't own too many! That struck a chord with me - that you can be just as obsessed with material goods if you have 100 things as if you have 10000. A trap for all us would-be-minimalists to avoid!
I think there's something in that. Another way of looking at it is the William Morris 'have nothing in your house that is not beautiful or useful', which encourages more mindfulness in relation to acquiring objects. That is what matters here - mindfulness, choosing quality objects, that bring you joy or assist your everyday life.