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!

clearsommespace Wed 21-Aug-13 18:18:46

I don't want to cut out screen time entirely for the DCs. It can inspire their play. Eg DS has built Lego versions of favourite computer games and movie characters in the same way he has built a Lego chessboard and Lego versions of favourite scenes in books.

clearsommespace Wed 21-Aug-13 18:19:51

And when the DCs and their friend were into a particular quest computer game, they used to chase around the garden playing that particular game.

BlackBorderBinLiner Wed 21-Aug-13 18:38:02

My DDs (8 &6) love the Ghibl movies (although you have to vet the more scary ones), they have become the most requested for cinema Fridays and other peoples kids seem to sit through them quite happily.

DD1 has shot up in height so after going through he drawers and finding that she really does have nothing to wear, we've been internet shopping. Big mirror, 'old' clothes that still fit and a big trying on session. Most is going back- I don't want to see her looking like a toddler or my Per Una mother so it's interesting seeing what she's picked out. It was helpful for her to see the difference between something thats OK and something fantastic.

Although I admire from a distance I've never been one for disposable fashion. I love it when clothes are well worn, well loved and finally only fit for ragging.

If my girls can get a grip of their wardrobes, they'll save a fortune in the long run

Conclusion:
Next has some shockingly poor quality stuff for big money
John Lewis - I picked badly, too old, too young, too shapeless
Brora have their 'final' flash sale on I've the tweed skirt and a top for next summer on order, we shall see if frumpy or funky.

fuzzpig Wed 21-Aug-13 18:58:26

Playdate done, I am now flopping on the sofa.

Off to Tate Modern tomorrow so I am going to get my 2014 diary there. This year was the first we've ever actually managed to keep a diary/calendar longer than, um, the second week in January hmm blush and I'm sure it's because it was a nice sturdy and gorgeous one (a RHS botanical sketch one that came free with a Book People order) rather than the obligatory last minute £2 one on Dec 31st! So I looked up the Tate one and it is truly stunning, and I will enjoy it. Buy once buy well doesn't quite apply to diaries as obviously you need them every year, but I think it will be well worth the £13 to have something I genuinely love. I am ridiculously excited about buying it blush

teabagpleb Wed 21-Aug-13 19:21:09

We've been forced to declutter effectively (as opposed to shoving some things in a charity bag occasionally but still having loads of stuff), by knocking down our kitchen, so all kitchen stuff has to fit in the dining room or living room. And the spare room which is full of junk now has a lodger in it.

Freecycle has gained hugely - I've found that carrier bags full of similar stuff (bathroom items, food/kitchen stuff, kids creative junk) get snapped up, so things like half-full box of washing powder we don't use, jars of chutney, unopened spices etc are now all gone. Plus a mattress, duvet, curtains, loads of pillows and cases, towels, dustbin, 7 pans...

Also managed last weekend to go through all dd's clothes and any 12-18month ones not being worn right now, and any smaller ones, are in bags to give away - to a friend if I see her next week, otherwise Freecycle.

Ds has too much junk in the way of his drawers, but also doesn't have enough storage for his reasonable amount of toys - he will be moving into a new room shortly so everything will get vetted before moving. Probably by me while he's at school. smile

harrietspy Wed 21-Aug-13 19:27:22

mm we know the people we're housesitting for and it's working out v well so far.

About screen time, I'm not talking about cutting it altogether. Like clearsomme's dc, my ds2 makes lego models of his favourite tv/wii characters. It can be such a good thing but my ds2's behaviour is massively affected and he gets so hyper - I think it's to do with ASD and over stimulation perhaps... but it's also to do with what they aren't doing when they're on a screen... hmm. LOTS to think about this holiday!

MinimalistMommi Wed 21-Aug-13 19:49:19

We also didn't want to go go zero on the screen time as I think it's important that they can chat about current films at school so we figured a film a week would be perfect grin I've found that what they watch doesn't really come into their play though.

Downfall Wed 21-Aug-13 20:40:24

Blackborder - I think its great that you are teaching your DDs to appraise the clothes they choose to own. I'm 42 and its taken me til now (and a couple of years of S&B reading here) to get a sense of what suits me and what I like and need - hence the mountain of charity bags this year. I'm doing the same with my boys, although they are less aesthetically motivated!

I think children naturally unburden themselves of stuff - by just not playing with it. Its us that is left with the angst of it.

Im interested in your screen time rules. It needs better marshalling here, and seems to feature heavily in all play when they go to freinds homes. We do have rules, but its a constant source of conflict... and here we have only one TV, one wii, and two old nintendo's. They are not allowed internet use unless supervised and for homework. Even with these limitations they can rack up considerable screen time.

BazilGin Wed 21-Aug-13 22:43:22

Hello, can I join please ? I have been thinking of a big decluttering challenge ahead but I have no clue where to start!
The biggest issue is our attic, it's actually half convereted, but cannot be used as a bedroon yet, as it needs stairs. It is chock a block full of stuff. Everything goes up there, but neve in any organised order.

My wardrobes are also shocking, so are some of our drawers in the living room...

fuzzpig Thu 22-Aug-13 07:14:36

I think your clothes education is a great idea Black. My DD isn't really into choosing her own clothes yet (6) but I have come to learn what colours suit her brilliantly (turquoise, duck egg blue, black, khaki) which helps narrow it down when I am overwhelmed by choice. I also stopped getting plain tops for her a few years back - they do nice bright ones in Asda but they never got worn as understandably she would choose the more interesting ones when getting dressed

BlackBorderBinLiner Thu 22-Aug-13 08:26:02

The great thing with sorting out the kids clothes, apart from the expense, is that after a major growth spurt it's a fresh start with nothing like the emotional baggage that our grown up wardrobes have lurking.

The colour thing, Fuzzpig, took me a while to rumble but it makes such a difference. One dress was lovely, great shape,material, etc but made my blond haired DD look ill, would have made her dark- eyed, dark haired best friend glow.

I've also stressed to the kids what it means to live in a world of choice and plenty. Even in our small town there are lots of clothes options - shops, hand-me- downs, car boots with out adding in the choice via the internet. But we don't have to have it all and we can 'like' something but choose to leave it on the rail for someone else. They seemed to grasp that pretty quickly, kids instinctively like fairness.

TheYamiOfYawn Thu 22-Aug-13 14:07:06

Hello minimalists. I have been on a decluttering binge, and have done lovely things with the children's room. We have an 8 cube expefit case lying horizontally, and it now holds 3 cubes of the children's books, one cube of library books, one of board games/puzzles, one of small fiddly things, one of dressing up clothes and one of dressing up accessories. On top I got a load of big plain jute shopping bags for things like blocks, marble run, playlists etc. A toy car park and treehouse live downstairs, along with art and craft stuff. The room looks really lovely and easy to play in now. I will put down a cork floor soon, and get them bunkbeds, and then for their birthday they can get new bedclothes and wall stickers. DD will probably get violin lessons for her birthday, too.

I do Christmas stockings for everyone in our house. Favourite things have included gold-flecked marmite, cereal boxes, fancy toothbrushes and nice underwear. I also wrap up stuff that we already have - every year the same kazoos and swanee whistles go in for us to have a musical extravaganza on Christmas morning, along with some fingerpuppets.

I have been doing project 333 with my clothes, so a maximum of 33 garments (including shoes, jewelry and accessoried, nut excluding underwear, exercise clothes and pyjamas) per season. I have had loads of compliments on my "new" stylish wardrobe since I cut down to a few key things that make me feel fabulous.

Not at all to do with minimalism, but one of my students has just got absolutely full-marks in each of his foundation science GCSE papers. He spent a lot of last year telling me how he couldn't do science! I spent a lot of last year telling him he could!

I was right! grin

buildingmycorestrength Thu 22-Aug-13 18:51:37

Brilliant, arti! Delighted for both of you. grin

Have managed a surprising amount this week, for me. A bookshelf in the loo if now free of old magazine and will have some copies of Dilbert and Far Side compilations moved into their place. Also sorted out one of the various craft areas in the house which is good. <pats self on back>

MinimalistMommi Thu 22-Aug-13 18:55:03

That's fantastic arti! He must feel incredible and it must be a lovely feeling for you too.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 22-Aug-13 21:09:21

Have got a plan which involves putting various things into those pretty storage bags you can get to make them more easily stored and accessible. Can store on top of wardrobes without it offending the eye then. Dotcomgiftshop does beautiful ones.

One for too-big clothes for kids, one for my out of season clothes, one for husband's, one for each of the out of season duvets, and maybe one for the out of rotation cuddly toys. I will be culling those, though, it is ridiculous.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 22-Aug-13 21:17:05

The children's rooms are making my teeth itch. Cannot WAIT to have a good clear out once they go back. grin.

fuzzpig Thu 22-Aug-13 21:34:24

I am pleasantly tired today! Really enjoyed our day in London and spent some of the train ride home lovingly leafing through the new diary grin DD got 2 more postcards, which will be added to her little gallery that we've made on the newly cleared desk space on her bed. It wouldn't have looked very nice on a cluttered bed but the desk looks lovely now that it's only got a couple of well organised toys in boxes, and the postcards round the side. She was really excited to show it to her friend yesterday. smile

Working tomorrow and getting uniforms but hopefully as I then have 4 days off thanks to bank holiday, we will be able to do some decent work on the house. We still have such a huge way to go!

delasi Thu 22-Aug-13 22:10:09

Tomorrow is my deadline for this week's tasks and nothing has been done due to surprise MIL visit... confused Looks like tomorrow will be a busy day!

Also yy to keeping a few clothes that are really good. I did this recently with DH and I - I've gone from 40+ pairs of shoes to 4 shock - and the change has been so surprising. I feel so much better in what I wear as does DH. We don't have much budget for clothes but I saved a little and then hit the sales and I'm so glad I did!

inthetide Thu 22-Aug-13 22:31:14

I need to have a better idea of what suits me so that I can buy more wisely. Where/how can I learn quickly? I'd love a capsule wardrobe for all occasions. I have lots of clothes, very few of which I like. None of which are nice enough for a night out. Thankfully that is less than once in a blue moon these days.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 22-Aug-13 22:53:34

I've joined one of the House of Colour threads in Style and Beauty ...they have style consultants across the country and so on. Also Trinny and Susannah, of course.

clearsommespace Fri 23-Aug-13 05:23:56

That's amazing with the shoes Delasi!

Hadn't someone set themselves the end of August as a deadline for achieving something? I wonder how that's coming along.

How's your father doing Arti?

We have gradually emptied a piece of furniture and it's all cleaned up and ready to be re-homed (after our weekend away).

Downfall Fri 23-Aug-13 06:22:04

inthetide have a look at these sites, links I picked up from the ever helpful S&B posters.

colour analysis

mix and match style blog

project 333

Downfall Fri 23-Aug-13 06:29:54

I'm making headway here. Kitchen sorted (of sorts, I have two corner cabinets that are so inpractical to use, unless you can dislocate your shoulder to reach in, consequently they harbour mucho clutter, one is empty now, one has rarely used items, not really a satisfying solution).

To do this weekend - bathroom sink cupboard and remaining one kitchen cupboard, both hoard medicines, first aid, and other hard to define randomness. Also sort the two hall drawers and check for any needed winter items/discard lone mittens etc.

Downfall Fri 23-Aug-13 06:37:09

delasi 40 pairs of shoes! Was it hard letting go of them? Im not particularly shoe passionate, but that seems like a big purge down to 4 pairs.
I have:
Summer - 3 pairs sandals
Winter - 2 pairs boots, one pair brogues, wellies
Year round - 1 pair work shoes, 1 pair trainers, 1 pair 'occassion' heels.
So 10 pairs seems a lot, but not sure practically I could weedle it down much more.

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