Moving Forward With Minimalism

(994 Posts)
MinimalistMommi Sun 18-Aug-13 17:23:41

This is a new thread following on from the previous 'm' thread on Good Housekeeping!

All Minimalists or aspiring minimalists welcome!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 11:57:51

del we also don't do pressies for birthdays, rest of extended family think we are cheap skates but I literally don't 'need' for anything material. I also request no birthday card from DH as I think they are a waste of money and they get recycled next day anyway. I do insist on a huge slice of cake though grin

BeCool we went off with our bell tent at the beginning of the summer and had a lovely time, after I'm remember how much time you spend on your knees and bending down to get stuff from floor of tent LOL. Have you got hot water bottles for adults? I also found a clip board useful for each DC for clipping paper too and drawing. We just took paper/felt tips/baby doll and stroller for five year old and some play silks and that was it toy wise. Couldn't cram anything else in. Have you to water pistols if the weather is hot? I also find a tray for each DD useful for eating meals off, keeps plates, fork, drink all together. They have sippy cups even though they are eight and five, stops drink being tipped everywhere. Has each DD got crocks or similar? Essential for camping field. Oh, and camping friends to go off and play with...

fuzzpig Mon 19-Aug-13 12:17:51

marking place! love the new title!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 12:19:00

<waving> at fuzzpig

delasi Mon 19-Aug-13 12:32:18

Mini Haha! Yes family think we're weird for not getting special anniversary gifts either. All of our finances are joint so no point on wasting it on things we don't need or want!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 12:43:05

Our anniversary was recently and DH said half way through morning we got married years ago today and I was like, oh yeah! grin

clearsommespace Mon 19-Aug-13 13:16:55

Good to catch up with all the news.

We just had a week away in a glorified garden shed on a campsite in the south of France.

Healthy minimalist cooking is easy when it's hot and the markets are stuffed with delicious fruit and veg.

For the kids we took a few books (visit to the library a must before holidays), DS consoles (for the loooong car journey), inflatable ball and ring for the pool, drawing stuff plus scissors and glue, DD took a small amount of animal figurines which could be played with poolside and we took about 6 small games like Uno. It was enough to keep the kids busy.

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 13:20:01

clear what sort of stuff did you cook?

fuzzpig Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:55

I have managed to shift the elephant a little today. DH and I wrote a list of everything we need to do before term starts, and assigned it to various slots in the diary. We aren't having a holiday this year but we've got a couple more days out planned.

DD is having a friend over this week - this is a BIG deal as DH and I are very very introverted and have only ever had one friend over to play before (as her mum is a dear friend too) but I was determined to face my fear and invite somebody different during summer.

So DH and I cracked on with DC's room a bit more. Unfortunately much of this involved moving stuff into our room <sigh> but we did fill a binbag and we finally finished clearing the space at the back of DD's cabin bed (I think I mentioned that on the previous thread several months ago blush). We found an old rug/tapestry hanging thing that we have never used in our home, but DH is very attached to it (he has hardly anything sentimental from his horrible childhood, so I don't begrudge him!). So I said if we get it cleaned, we could make the hidden space into a little den for the DCs and use the rug to snuggle in. There are a couple of cushions we could use, and DH is going to fit a light in there too. We are going to do this one day when the DCs are both at school and keep it as a surprise.

fuzzpig Mon 19-Aug-13 13:52:27

And happy birthday jimmy! cake grin

fuzzpig - the den sounds like a fantastic idea. I would have loved something like that as a child.

BeCool Mon 19-Aug-13 15:50:06

our water pistols are water ducks!! sorted.
YY to crocs, and hot water bottles.

there are only 2 tents where we are staying. It's glamping so we have 'proper' furniture (and a flushing loo in the tent) so I don't have to take too much camping bits as it's all supplies - whew! After all I'm a single parent in desperate need of a holiday myself! (my first holiday as SP)

It would be really nice if the other tent has some young DC too. I imagine mornings will be filled running around the field, and afternoons we will be out & about (beach, camel farm, local lido etc).

I have a tendency to plan the days too much and try and pack too much in. So I'm reigning that all back and valuing the time we just hang out together as much as time out and about. Getting a little more minimalist this holiday - what we really need is some relaxed fun time together.

JimmyCorkhill Mon 19-Aug-13 15:59:58

No cake MinimalistMommi as I'm on Slimming World and blew all my syns for the week over the weekend (I forgot about my birthday blush). But I'm having a lovely day all the same.

It's nice to know that others don't do presents - we notice that we appreciate the other aspects of the day more (old gimmer emoticon!). I like the idea of the 'special' meal delasi - think I'll introduce this idea. I don't mind how much it costs so long as it's toddler free!

JimmyCorkhill Mon 19-Aug-13 16:02:26

Thanks fuzzpig - I'm assuming mumsnet cake is syn free!!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 17:34:06

BeCool that sounds lovely! I hope you have a fabulous time!

Fuzzpeg I'm also very introverted and have to force myself to have the occasional play date for DD's. I'm quite aware that we could be seen as a 'different' family because of different parenting styles, minimalism etc away from mainstream so I feel a bit 'separate' from other mums at the school because of this but do try never the less. I'm very shy which doesn't help. Your work on the bedroom sounds brilliant by the way.

harrietspy Mon 19-Aug-13 18:27:09

Hello minimisers old and new!

I'm starting to turn my mind to Christmas (like some posters above) because I don't want to panic buy and I suspect that my return to FT work will mean I won't have much time to think about it!

Having done such a massive cull of unnecessary stuff I don't want to fill the house again.

In their stockings, Ds1 will get new underwear, ds2 new socks, new pjs each and possibly a furry hot water bottle because we have a very cold house.. Also bubblebath/shower gel. Music/audio books. The makings of luxury hot choc (squirty cream, marshmallows, choc to melt). I've seen some excellent felt tips pens for ds2 and I might give ds1 some Microsoft points to spend in his Fifa game on the xbox.
A new slinky each. How is that sounding?

BlackBorderBinLiner Mon 19-Aug-13 18:47:37

The 'different' family thing sound familiar.
DH & I have been fairly 'minimal' in terms of possessions most of our lives but what we have is generally lovely and we've patiently waited for the right thing rather than settling for second best ever since we were students.

We've moved to a big unusual property just before we had kids in a small backwater, it's been a struggle to 'fit' in although we have tried very hard.

People are very keen to tell us about car boot sales, free ads, local sales so we can buy the kids more toys - they have loads, carefully chosen, sometimes expensive, sometimes not, which have lasted and are played with. We just did n't do anything to excess, the whole baby gym, toddler speciality stuff, millions of baby & barbie dolls rather then just the two beloved corelle ones.

I have sat through toddler coffee mornings listening to the decluttering chat and the screen chat and although never expressed any opinion at all have been quite aggressively rounded on by people who have seen our house because we happen not to have lots 'stuff'. Some folks will see your lack of excess as a criticism of their own burdens.

I like to met at the beach, neutral ground!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 19:02:38

Oh goodness Black you've got it in one, it seems people sometimes think because we have less/DD's have very, very limited screen time/live in a tiny house that we are criticising their style of living even though with people outside family it's not something I talk about in day to day conversation. It would be nice not having to feel like I ever need to justify my choices just because its not the norm.

Harriet great idea about the hot chocolate...if it's OK I might potentially steal that idea...Your stocking is sounding fab and very uncluttery and your DC's will love if. I know I did my list ages ago on the old thread, I've decided I might go crazy and add a Lego mini figure aswell...grin

The Lego free with the Dail Mail this week would be fab stocking fillers but my DH said I was a cheap skate and I couldn't put a newspaper freebie in their stockings blush My youngest DD is upset that I can't get Tuesdays free Lego which is the Lego Friends letter box...we're out very early tomorrow and I won't be able to buy the paper or get to WHSmiths.sad
At least I can get the Lego Friends picnic on Thursday grin

PolkadotRosa Mon 19-Aug-13 19:03:22

Hello all! Ooh a new threadsmile great title MM

Feeling like my 'M' Mojo is back. Elephant seems to have packed his/her trunk, thankfully!

Day off work tomorrow (yey) and going to deposit some stuff at the charity shop. Tonight I'm making a list of everything I want or need to get done and decluttered from my mind/conscience.

My DH and I haven't done pressies either the past year or so. We probably spent the same in the end though buying too much presents for our DD. How funny that my whole outlook on 'stuff' and feelings about bringing things into our home is so different to how it was last year. Father Christmas will be thinking more & leaving less, but hopefully what he does leave will mean more (if that makes sense?!)
First rule of christmas club - no plastic!!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 19:08:16

Thank you Polka Re: Name of thread.

I sometimes feel quite stressed on the approach to Christmas but I'm hoping that as this is the fourth year we've done it very minimally that I've come to terms with not buying lots and not feel guilty, it's hard when the shops are stuffed to the gills. I always remind myself, after all, it's only one day and the important stuff is the excitement and feelings around Christmas, not the 'stuff'.

delasi Mon 19-Aug-13 19:21:25

I never knew people were really judged for the minimalism, but then DS is still so little and we live an area full of artists, textiles, trendy coffee shops etc and if you do anything vaguely non conventional then you fit in grin No idea what the school mums are like, I get the impression they can be super catty, but I'm fortunate enough to have a number of good friends with kids. Thr closest of whom is also on a minimalism drive!

I do buy stuff for DS, but only the stuff that I really like/think is good. A lot of baby stuff is so expensive, especially when he gets so much joy from empty plastic bottles...

PolkadotRosa Mon 19-Aug-13 19:21:58

So true MM the excitement and time together & being thankful for that is what's important. I look back on Christmas growing up and yeah I might fondly remember a couple of pressies I got, but mostly I remember that feative feeling of a 'special time'.

harrietspy Mon 19-Aug-13 22:42:05

Sadly my dc have got far too used to big heaps to open at Christmas so I will probably feel the need to add some more fun little things to their stocking...

If I were starting again with dc now I'd follow the example of my friend who only had very few toys and wisely recognised that her son would get more from banging spoons on pans than having an orchestra's worth of little musical instruments, etc... Part of the trouble for me - alongside my own inclination to get Stuff - was the heaps of toys they were given, especially as I was the first of my group of friends to have a baby... Getting out from under The Stuff isn't easy. I envy the new parents on the thread who are starting with minimalism in mind. Far easier never to accumulate it in the first place!

fuzzpig Mon 19-Aug-13 23:33:53

Indeed Harriet! I'm not sure I will manage to get as far as some on my M journey. Though it will still be miles better than where we are now so I hope I will find a balance I am happy with. I've not actually discussed it with any other parents with similar age kids basically as I have next to no mum friends as nobody in the playground talks to me but my best mate at work, who has just become a grandma for the first time, is very supportive and we chat about it.

Have spent an interesting evening looking through old poems I wrote when I was a teenager (before/during the time I was in a psych unit). Haven't looked at them for about 8 years (apart from 2 which we had read at our wedding). I've come a long way since then, but I'm wondering if there's something I could do with said poems.

clearsommespace Tue 20-Aug-13 11:21:49

MinimalistMommi Cooking was a bit of an overstatement. Mostly we just ate the plentiful and inexpensive delicious fruit and salad veg with bread and cheese and cold cuts.
For the main meal, I'd cook something like hard boiled eggs or rice during breakfast and then we'd have this later cold in a big salad. Occasionally grilled meat for the meat eaters.
We didn't have/need/use many pots, dishes and implements but I find it's different at home and in winter when you need more ingredients to make the meals taste as good.

fuzzpig Tue 20-Aug-13 11:36:48

I love that kind of meal.

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