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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!

delasi Wed 11-Dec-13 14:28:20

Just checking in smile

Wow 365 sounds like a lot, but it's a cool idea, seeing it as chucking one thing each day. I may not keep track but I'll try to do one thing a day from now, it sounds like a good motivational task. I can imagine losing track but let's see! Yesterday I bought a new pan and made sure to chuck the old one it was replacing (was very well used!), but that's more of a swap than a loss?!

I've found recently that it's the little things that annoy me - there are bigger appliances that need to go but that's ok, however the number of different cleaning fluids we own is making me grr! How do I get rid of cleaning stuff? I don't want to keep it all, some of it is pointless (special wood floor cleaner when I rent and usually have carpet or laminate? And why do I have so many types of stainless steel cleaner when the only steel is the sink? And finally, no family needs 4 types of bleach...).

Well. Something to look forward to when I get home grin

clearsommespace Wed 11-Dec-13 15:41:21

More stuff has come into our house today. FIL was storing it for us but now our basement room is almost ready (floor is down, skirting boards in progress) he has started to bring bits over every time he comes here. We haven't had access to this stuff for two years so I'm sure there will plenty of things we no longer need. Although most of it is to do with DH's hobby so I expect a lot of that will be staying.
I might start the 365 on Jan 1st, after all the new old stuff has got here, otherwise I'll be starting with a serious disadvantage.

CadenceRoastingByAnOpenFire Thu 12-Dec-13 13:15:00

Hi all,

Really cross with myself today. I have lost a v important document that is needed TODAY. I thought that with my new minimalist organised rooms and my systems everything would have a place and be easy to locate. Alas, no. It's disappeared. The only place I think it could be now is the spare room and the thought of having to sift through all that crap today makes me want to weep sad. Still it's given me a massive boost to get the room cleared ASAP.

On a happier note, I brought the dc's presents down to wrap this morning and I was really pleased to see how little I had bought. I'd been feeling like I was letting the minimalist side because of the plastic my little pony stuff and the furbys but seeing their little piles of things they have asked for and will love and play with lots I don't feel so bad. I haven't bought anything that wasn't on my list even though I have been posting on the Christmas bargains thread and seen lots of good prices for things. Feeling quite proud of myself smile.

Having said that my pride will quickly disappear now when I enter the tip that is the spare room sad Wish me luck.

SilverSixpence Thu 12-Dec-13 14:07:43

Delasi I freecycled a big bag of cleaning products- there was quite a bit of interest so I'm sure you could offload yours

delasi Thu 12-Dec-13 15:18:32

Silver That's a good idea, I hadn't even thought of offering them to anyone! blush But now that you mention it I know a few people who may find them useful (regular cleaning in their work etc). I could Freecycle if no one I know wants them.

Trying to get rid of an appliance that we don't need, hoping someone else will want it. Find it hard having to hold on to things when I want to get rid of them, but I can't exactly throw it in the bin! We don't have a car so we can't really load up on things and drive to a charity shop (we only have one relative who could help with a car, but they're very busy), so it takes a little extra work...

TheRaniOfYawn Thu 12-Dec-13 17:03:40

I am very pleased with myself as I have done a big declutter of the kitchen and living room and it looks so much nicer. I have filled some of the empty space with candles and fairy lights and my house looks a squillion times nicer.

clearsommespace Thu 12-Dec-13 20:46:35

Cadence, I hope you found the document in time and found your way out safely. (I have visions of someone in a miner's helmet with a torch on top braving a room full of piles of boxes threaten to topple over!)

Rani, sounds lovely!

delasi Thu 12-Dec-13 21:02:34

clear Your vision is scarily close to our spare doom! grin (I have managed to carve out a path and have use of approximately one quarter to one third of the room, however!)

Rani Fantastic! You have spurred me on.

Well, today is the first day of challenge 365 for me - my intepretation being, every day at least one thing must go, and it mustn't be a thing that is immediately replaced or actual rubbish (eg old pan going and new one bought, or chucking out empty boxes).

So, on that note, a toy has gone today. It was never much good, DS doesn't play with it and it's amazing dust attracting qualities finally got to me. Makes me feel like I'm doing something, but also doing that one small thing motivates me to do at least a few others, which is even better. So I have also found a home for the blender and all of my excess cleaning products grin Yay!

AdoraBell Thu 12-Dec-13 22:17:40

Those enclopedias are gone, along with DD1's out cast clothes. DD2 has too many piles on her bedroom floor for me to know what's current, too small or what a friend left behind.

harrietspy Fri 13-Dec-13 07:21:02

Hmmm... space for fairy lights... Rani, that sounds gorgeous.

Lovely-but-unnecessary sideboard has been freecycled! Yes, it's making room for the digital piano that's coming at Christmas, but that's fine by me. (SOOOOO excited!)

So we've decided for our house purchase that we want to prioritise location over floor space so that we can still have short commutes and walk/bus about the city. I'm looking about my big and uncluttered rented house. We have got rid of more or less everything we don't love or need. But now I'm wondering if we really need so much and how on earth we cull further. Way too much stuff for a small space!

TheRaniOfYawn Fri 13-Dec-13 08:14:02

Harriet, can you budget for replacing some things with smaller things and getting really good storage in your new place as part of the move?

I live in a small house and having smaller furniture does male everything feel more spacious. So a sitting room with lots of expedit or built in shelving with a small sofa and maybe an armchair with very small side tables (ideally with storage) rather than a coffee table.

harrietspy Fri 13-Dec-13 14:53:46

Hi Rani. Thanks for the suggestions. To be honest it's not so much the furniture: in the living room we have an Expedit, 2 x 2-seater sofas and a useful bench thing for the telly. It's more the quantity of board games, books, toys, etc stored in various rooms through the house... Over the last 2 years we've got used to having a spare room AND two reception rooms, after 15 years of small (and some really tiny) spaces. I'm not complaining, I just want to make wise decisions. But I guess we can make better decisions about what furniture to keep when we actually know where we're moving to!

I've been culling determinedly for over a year and have got rid of so much, but if I didn't have to consider the 3 other members of the family, I'd happily part with at least half of what we own. (My own clothes, for instance, now fit into an Ikea STUVE single wardrobe and three drawers).

Now that I know we're moving (at some point!) I'm determined to tackle the SEVEN Expedit drawers of paperwork. What can't be shredded I'll photograph with Evernote, I think...

Happy Friday to you all. Very dark, grey and soggy here, but the fairy lights are going on soon!

delasi Sat 14-Dec-13 13:39:41

Well, had a good clear of those cleaning products today. I have one bag of empty bottles for rubbish blush (why did I keep empty bottles?!) and 3 whole bags for life full of products! Everything from nearly full to never been opened. I thought there would be a bag, I didn't realise 4 would be going. I've cleared a fair bit of shelf/cupboard space as a result and it's so much nicer now, I just have the things I need (detergent, about 4 or 5 cleaning products in total, and sponges/cloths). I've decided to give away my mop and bucket at the same time - I said somewhere upthread a very long time ago that I'd be getting rid of it, then I got worried that I might need it (for some urgent floor mopping?! Fwiw I bought an E-cloth mop, it's not like I have nothing to clean the floor with!), still haven't used it once in that time so it's going. Today!

I think I've met the whole one thing a day so far then. Okay, it's only been a few days grin But I'm still on track!

harrietspy Sat 14-Dec-13 15:37:44

2 more bags to charity shop. smile

clearsommespace Sat 14-Dec-13 16:59:47

I know why you end up with all those empty bottles. There's a dribble of product left but you can't wait for the bottle to be upside long enough for it to come out so you open a new one and when you finally get round to dealing with, the dribble has evaporated! Or is that just me?

Nothing out yet today but meeting with some friends tonight and one of them is getting a small bag of some of DDs old clothes.

pixiestix Sun 15-Dec-13 09:02:02

4 bags of cleaning products?! Wow, I bet your cleaning cupboard looks amazing now Delasi. I'm so glad you are doing the 365 challenge now too. Its really motivating. Although I say that from the position of having dropped off the wagon for months and now need to get rid of about ten things a day to meet my target blush

I'm thinking that next year my target might be to not allow more than 365 things into the house, over the course of the whole year. That probably sounds like I am cluttering rather than decluttering, but I reckon we all get at least 20 things each for birthdays and Christmas, plus we are having a new baby in March, so when you add in all the clothes needed for two growing kids it might be trickier than it sounds. Or maybe I'm just not pushing myself hard enough blush I seem to need stupid random "rules" in place to keep me on the straight and narrow - Project 333, Buy Nothing New for a Year and all of those minimalist groups really, really appeal to me grin

I am working really hard to not be too far off my 365 target now that I am back on track. I have a massive bag to take to the charity shop tomorrow and it contains things that I have ummed and ahhed over for, literally, years. Its slowly dawning on me that if I just get rid of those things I will never have to think about them again. And I really believe that will be a relief, after all the guilt and desire and nostalgia wrapped up in them is gone.

clearsommespace Sun 15-Dec-13 16:11:15

So true Pixie.

Just went for a foray in the basement which is our equivalent of the spare doom (d'you think Cadence is still stuck in hers?) and found a wok which I haven't used for a year. It isn't compatible with our induction hob. It is now listed on a giveaway site.

NowBringUsSomeFuzzpiggyPudding Sun 15-Dec-13 18:40:36

I am soooo not decluttering at all right now blush all the focus has gone on Xmas!

Mind you we did actually manage amazingly well when our washing machine died, over a week ago - and then we had about 10 days without until our new one arrived. DH has now totally caught up with the laundry which is pretty amazing considering there was quite a backlog before the old one went!

Also just wanted to share a positive thing - had no telly on this morning (despite there being no real rule about it on weekends), and they had their 30 mins each on the DS console. When I offered a movie, DD was about to choose one and then just said "actually mummy, I think I'd rather just play" <falls over in shock>

So they carried on with lego and DD made paper chains for Xmas smile

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Mon 16-Dec-13 04:39:51

Tree is up... Not sure how long due but so far twins have ignored it mostly.

Decluttering came to a stop. All went in a box and shoved in loft. hmm

delasi Mon 16-Dec-13 17:42:45

pixie There were 2 cupboards blush but yes, it is now much improved!

fuzzpig That sounds great about your DD preferring to play!

Thinking about more things to go, there are some tough areas for me to combat - mostly books and kitchenwares - and I think I shall slowly start to approach them. I have added to the 365 list some wedding gift salad tongs and a photo frame we've never used. I should be all up to date with that smile

Still have big ideas and hopefully some free time on the horizon so I can crack on.

AdoraBell Tue 17-Dec-13 02:50:57

Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhh! Despite my best efforts at To the contrary DD1 bought 3 (yes three) Teddy bears for DD2's Christmas gift. They are aware that if we ever do sell this house we will be down sizing. I did manage To convince her To only buy me small boxes of chocolates.

Sounds like you've all been doing much better than I these last few days. Keep it up, I need people To embarraras me into getting motivatedfgrin.

clearsommespace Tue 17-Dec-13 07:58:12

I had a bout of insomnia so I went into the basement at a silly time of night and found three things to bin and a couple of bits that could go to a more deserving home.

delasi Tue 17-Dec-13 17:40:24

Well. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but something seemed to snap in me today. The result was an all-out assault on the spare doom. It's almost complete shock Just a couple of things to put away...

I really don't know where all of that force came from but I hope to make the most of it whilst it's here!

clearsommespace Wed 18-Dec-13 08:30:47

Ooh, exciting. Did you think to take before and after pics?

delasi Wed 18-Dec-13 09:41:03

clear Yes and no smile I didn't take pics yesterday, but I had taken some before (a record of the horror?!) and then took some pics yesterday once I was done.

This week however will see some small tweaks. DS will now move into that room (eek!), so moving the cot in there today and some very small decoration.

All of the clearing unearthed about 4 different baskets/organisers, which is great as I wanted some to organise the nappy area and I found a caddy which is being use now for paper craft supplies. The funny thing is, we had this huge bulky bag for life full of stuff but having moved it into the caddy it looks so small and neat! That's what you get for stuffing things into a bag blush

I even tidied the cables shock We got rid of so much stuff yesterday, and more to go to charity either this week or next when we can get some help with a car. I think I'm now definitely on track with 365 grin

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