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(950 Posts)

This is the new minimalist/decluttering thread! I hope everyone likes the minimal title!

fuzzpig Tue 06-Aug-13 16:22:31

I must stop doing the sweeping stuff into boxes to sort through later, quite often later doesn't come

Indeed! It is shocking how many of those boxes we still have, though drastically less than I first joined this thread. I am really enjoying sorting through them though - it's nice to find the odd thing I had genuinely missed, but it's also nice to see how much stuff I can get rid of, and the satisfaction of emptying a box completely is really quite exhilarating grin. And it's quite low effort physically so it's good for me.

Had a lovely afternoon painting outside with DH and the DCs. And of course nobody missed all the random shaped brushes, rollers etc that I mentioned getting rid of last week.

I managed to fill that clothes aid bag right up. DH has told me to just get rid of anything I want of his - he has always hated clothes shopping so tends to cling on to anything no matter how threadbare or misshapen, so he'd rather have no say in it. I think he's mad brave to do that - there's no way I could let someone else, even DH, minimise MY stuff! The anxiety would be huge!

fuzzpig Tue 06-Aug-13 16:26:16

Oh and six months is no time at all when it comes to random boxes of crap being left blush

I chose a few more books to get rid of too. Stuff my parents had dug out of their attic, that I was planning to keep. But I only kept them because I remember having them. I don't particularly remember actually using them, though. So why bother keeping them?!

There were also a few über tatty children's classics that I'd love to read to the DCs one day - but they are in print still, so I will borrow them from the library when the time comes. Except possibly my Borrowers omnibus, I haven't decided on that yet.

iWillDoItInAMinute Tue 06-Aug-13 17:30:41

Yes Fuzz ISWYM about the satisfaction factor of emptying a box of crap!

I think I resented it today as I quite like making patterns with the Hama beads, but I was determined to empty the box. When I had finished the boys had moved on to attaching a dog lead to their pants and pulling each other on a skateboard,apparently gladiator with chariot style hmm

I didn't really want to join in with thatgrin

I agree about the various paintbrushes you can get being ridiculous. Potato printing, normal fat/thin brushes, toy car wheels and their good old feet and hands are all they need.

If only I had known that before buying one of everything from ELC smile

harrietspy Tue 06-Aug-13 21:25:36

Ah, little boxes of stuff to sort out later... I know them so well...

Excited for you and your new home, artemis!

clearsommespace Wed 07-Aug-13 16:43:35

DS's room is full of those little boxes. He keeps everything so one is produced every time the room is tidied. Today we found one from before our move (last December!!) Next time I'll take my marker pen or some sticky labels with me to put the date on.

DD is in a sorting out her room mood and has found some bits she doesn't play with to sell. (Unfortunately she was at a sleepover last night and is desperately overtired so she keeps asking for help then accusing me of interfering so my patience is being tried.)

iWillDoItInAMinute Wed 07-Aug-13 17:05:25

Sympathies Clearsome, when DD comes back from sleepovers I just gently direct her to go 'read' in her bed. 30 mins later she skulks downstairs and says, " oh I must have fallen asleep"

This way I don't have to deal with the sleep deprived monster she becomes and she can sleepover at her friends -I think there should be a warning label attached to kids after sleepovers Do not talk to/touch or look at this child until it has slept- grin

iWillDoItInAMinute Wed 07-Aug-13 17:09:16

I'm relieved to find out I'm not the only owner of boxes of crap.

There is a red storage box in the kitchen that I need to go through, maybe I'll do it this evening.

hobnob57 Thu 08-Aug-13 16:59:42

Do we have any more stories of how life changing the move towards minimalism has been? I need more inspiration.

I have will, but not time. And for some reason the need to run everything by DH first which is a big hurdle because he's not that interested. Likes the principle, but not the practice.

School holidays just seem like a perpetual fight against tidying up so I'm itching to chuck out more. I am also fighting with my own observations at how many more toys dcs friends have, but have to rationalise their bigger houses with play rooms and the bigger tidying up issues that must go along with them. We definitely need a book cull. Dd1 only had a few very favourite board books as a baby but ds has inherited way too many to choose from. Need to cut it down by 2/3.

harrietspy Thu 08-Aug-13 22:23:13

Hobnob, it's not a dramatic story but I'm delighted by the changes since moving towards minimalism: it takes less than five minutes to clear up the dc's rooms, my bedroom has clear surfaces and is a very calm space. My attitude to shopping has completely changed and I don't want to bring any more stuff into the house if I can possibly avoid it. I've thrown out things that made me feel bad or sad (old cassette tapes, unfinished projects, half written stories, hundreds of interiors magazines and 3 fat scrapbooks). I'm more rralistix feel lighter for it.

harrietspy Thu 08-Aug-13 22:25:59

Agh posted too soon! Meant to say I'm more realistic about who I am and what I want and I feel lighter for all of it.

Greetings all. I am back from my very non-minimalist camping and archaeology holiday. What can I say - I have got at tan (ish - I never go very brown) had a great time with very mixed weather, got very muddy and if you want to know something about skeletons or Iron Age poo then I'm your woman!

Meanwhile PolkadotRosa's elephant seems to have moved in and I have loads of sorting and unpacking and clenaing and packing away of camping stuff to do!

I've also bought some new knickers and a pair of walking trousers ( needed as I don't have enough very casual/get mucky at an archaeological dig type clothes for more that a couple of days! I need to get active and start removing more stuff now!

OK - I'm sure it is someone else's turn to have the elephant sitting on them!

Off to peg out newly washed sleeping bag and keep on sorting out camping things!

iWillDoItInAMinute Fri 09-Aug-13 16:15:11

Welcome back Arti, your holiday sounds fantastic! DS1 would be very envy!!

I think the elephant is here again sad

MinimalistMommi Sat 10-Aug-13 10:39:35

Just popping back in. My children are swimming right now! I'm looking at having another round of decluttering next week. I'm going to go through clothes drawers as I know that I have some extra loose tops that I wear to bed that I don't need and stuff that DC have grown out of.

Just got back from my parents house which through my eyes are cluttered. I felt stressed and less able to relax while there. This has definitely spurred me on. It is infinitely easier to live in a uncluttered house with DC. We still have a lot of work to do on the cottage we bought this year, once we have all the wall replastered and painted a pale white I will need help and advice on how to make it 'homey' without it looked cluttered. I don't like ornaments etc! So I will need tips! I remember I few months before we moved my older sister came to visit my old rental and she asked me had we already packed everything up and I said 'No, nothing!' blush

So will anybody on here be able to help me with this?

So back to living minimal, I felt a rush of relief on arriving home. Even though our cottage is small, the children immediately started to play and they seemed happy and content too. I LOVE a minimal house, it is much easier to live in. I hope this helps hobnob? Also hobnob my children have very, very minimal toys (and this is part of it too are screen free six days a week) and that have been content this summer holidays. Playing, rarely arguing, just getting on with their own stuff. I know their friends have a lot more 'stuff', and I mean a lot more. Do I feel guilty? Yes, sometimes I do but I know in my heart it is not what they need. I sat on my bedroom floor this morning feeling amazed at what I have given the children by going minimal and practically screen free (screen free was well over five/six years ago now) it has made them content and relaxed and free. They literally kick back and do what they want and really play/draw. They have nothing to lure them away from this and no clutter to distract them. It really does seem to free them.

In my heart, I dislike the Internet. Mumsnet distracts me and if I had my way I wouldn't have it at home but my DH would never allow that. I would love to be free from the pull of it. It's something that bothers me.

I've had to read this thread over 2 days. My mission this year was to de-clutter. My dc's are 11 & 18 so are over the lots of toys stage. I don't think I have the emotional attachment to things. My problem is time I suppose I don't have a partner so I decide on what stays and what goes. I don't obviously throw things that the dc's want!!
I've also been suffering from depression for the last few years so some days if we've got out the house dressed and had breakfast I consider that a good day!!
You are all inspiring me with your stories keep it up!

fuzzpig Sat 10-Aug-13 15:26:27

We still have so far to go. I was very frustrated this morning as I keep having dizzy spells and can't do much. But, I am noticing lots of lovely things about the progress we have already made!

DD decided to tidy up this morning and actually put things back in the right places. The living room is much clearer and for the first time, when our neighbours' DCs (3 and 9) wandered in I actually felt ok about it rather than mortified, and the 4 DCs sat happily playing. Plus DH is talking football with their dad so maybe he will finally stop talking to me about it YAWN!!!

We decided to reduce the DVD watching during the holidays and as I discussed it with DD there has been no whingeing really. They haven't had any on today (that is actually quite a big deal here!) and often don't ask for their 30mins iPad time either. Without a doubt there will be no DVDs Monday to Thursday once they go back to school.

I am heading towards a big decision about food. I talked earlier about simplifying food, and while I have always been against meal plans as I feel like rebelling blush I'm thinking now that we just have to do it. DD adores Sheldon in Big Bang Theory (as do I grin) and her face lit up when I suggested having 'French toast or pancake day' (Sunday breakfast) and 'pasta day' etc. But some of the days will be flexible like 'chicken day' could be anything but the fact it will be based on chicken makes it more predictable and easier to shop for. That's the plan anyway!

fuzzpig Sat 10-Aug-13 15:28:58

Oh and brighter, I totally get what you mean about getting up etc being a massive achievement, it is like that for me too. Even before I got ME it was a struggle to do anything due to depression. Nowadays I don't usually get dressed on my days off though!

iamadoozermum Sat 10-Aug-13 19:13:59

Hello, can I join in? Been trying to declutter for ages and we are now trying to sell our over-cluttered house sad as I've got a lovely new job. Fuzzpig mentioned this thread on another one so thought I'd pop over. Things are currently so bad, I can't put any more of my clothes away because my wardrobe and drawers are full blush. So am at that crunch point really where we really have to do something about it. We have 4 DCs ranging in age from 7 months to 7 years so can't even throw out all the baby stuff yet. Thanks for reading if you've got this far.

Welcome doozermum. I hope you get some inspiration here!

Well I think I've learned something about myself and housework - not strictly decluttering/minimising although it kind of applies there too.

My name is arti and I am a perfectionist.

This means that loads of stuff I do round the house takes ages and I put off doing so much because I think it will take too long or I haven't got the energy.

This evening I have tried the flylady crisis approach of setting a timer and doing just 15 minutes in each room, then stopping and moving onto the next room. In less than an hour I have a much improved kitchen, bathroom, hall and bedroom. Plus I have done all sorts of little jobs I haven't got round to for ages like replacing a spent light bulb in the kitchen and I've even done some dusting and vacuuming too!

fuzzpig Sat 10-Aug-13 21:27:49

Hi doozer smile glad you've come over.

I agree with arti about the perfectionism. That has always been a massive problem for me, to the point of starting my coursework over and over again because the handwriting wasn't perfect on the title FFS! blush

This thread has been a total lifechanger, it has finally got me into the habit of just doing a little bit of anything rather than panicking about what order to do it in, having to do it all at once etc. Now I can just even do one little thing and feel proud of myself! smile

iWillDoItInAMinute Sat 10-Aug-13 21:39:07

Well done Arti!!! I have a full appreciation for the 15mins timer!! It really does concentrate the mind

Hello doozermum and brighter <waves>

Re wardrobes polkadotrosa started a wardrobe thread, it's a really good system. I've lost the link', but you could search for it. There's nothing like moving/selling house to make you ruthless.
Like arti I hope this thread helps

DSs birthday today, the toys/cards coming in made me twitchy

So I went through another 2 boxes of crap, sorted!

And DH has listed a box of stuff on freecycle - this is real progress

iamadoozermum Sat 10-Aug-13 22:15:36

Well today I have - re-siliconed the bath, painted the bathroom walls (except where the radiator is as we have to take the radiator off the wall first), DH has stripped the wallpaper from one of the bedrooms (well 3 walls) AND This evening I have emptied two boxes that were being "stored" in DS1s room and found a load of jewellery that I have been looking for for months blush. All four children are still alive and are in bed asleep and we've got a Chinese takeaway for food. I feel it has been a productive day and time for a brew! <<waves at fuzzpig in thanks>>

iamadoozermum Sat 10-Aug-13 22:17:18

Oh and waves at everyone else for the warm welcome and will search for the wardrobe thread

Over the last few weeks I have 5 bin liners of clothes that I have pulled out of my wardrobe and drawers that I haven't worn for at least 2 years. 4 bin liners of stuff from dd's room of rubbish and school stuff.
Today there was 4 empty mobile phone boxes in my wardrobe I've had my latest phone for 2 years so why the hell have I got old boxes from phones I no longer have!!
I feel so much lighter (wish the scales reflected that!!)

hobnob57 Sat 10-Aug-13 23:09:10

Thank you for your messages of hope, they are much appreciated. Mommi the stage you are at both inspires and frightens me. It is almost as if I am so used to my time being used up by dealing with or working around stuff, that I am afraid of what I would do if there wasn't any! What you say about your kids makes so much sense, particularly since mine spent 3.5 weeks this summer with a bag for life of books and one cuddly toy each between 3 of them perfectly happily. There were a few more toys at my mum's (and her iPad which their thirst for drive me mad) but they were, on the whole, content with amusing themselves. The weather helped a lot I think. But even at home, their toys get strewn around the house on a daily basis but never really played with. I threaten a lot to magic away all the things that get left lying around, unlooked after. Maybe I should act on it.
As far as my stuff is concerned, I am very much still at the surface decluttering stage rather than minimalism. I feel there are years worth of stages to go before I get to where I'd like to be. I think it has to be a gradual process for the family to get on board, and also for me to come to terms with my attachments with things. On the surface I am frustrated with it and want it gone but secretly I'd like a halfway house like Sokmonsta's storage container where I can always go back to it if need be whilst I come to terms with it.
Our big blocks to progress are the study and garage, since these are the places where excess stuff is temporarily stored until dealt with. They are full to the brim. I made a start on the garage this weekend and dumped a load of empty boxes, plus emptied a couple of crates of random stuff that was put there after previous tidy outs many years ago. If we can persuade dd2 to part with her little bike and move on to her sister's then bikemageddon can be improved upon. Next it'll be scootergeddon on the list. And tyregeddon, which is DHs job once he has got rid of the excess car on the drive. So much to do! Once we get these two places under control I can return to thinking about the house. But I'm back to work soon and I'm so afraid that this will take a back seat.

hobnob57 Sat 10-Aug-13 23:12:24

Also, please discuss your plans for Christmas stockings. I know it is ridiculously early but with everyone's birthdays between Oct and Christmas and my job being ridiculously busy this term, I just know Ill End up panic buying tat in December. I'd like to have them sorted in advance with well considered contents. My dc will be 7,4 and 1.

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