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!

MissAnnersleyismyhero Tue 04-Feb-14 08:30:10
remotecontrols Tue 04-Feb-14 08:07:41

Yes please, this thread is getting quite big!

MissAnnersleyismyhero Tue 04-Feb-14 07:38:55

Hey all, just popping in to ask if we want/need a new thread? I have NC btw, was Artemisat before.

Lots of eBay excitement last night, first batch of stuff is off in the post today.

Just popping in to say hello and let people know I haven't vanished off the face of the earth! Not much minimalising at the moment ( finding it hard to keep up with any ordinary cleaning and washing) but your posts and links are inspirational and helping me to feel inspired to do a bit more when I have the energy!

evertonmint Mon 03-Feb-14 07:46:23

The most I listed on eBay in one go was 10, and the whole thing was so scary I haven't listed anything since. I'm a wimp! grin

I had a good look at the living room cupboards this weekend. So much pointless stuff was in there - e.g. fixings for putting the TV on the wall when we have had it on a stand for 2 years. We ended up with 2 shopping bags of rubbish and unsellable stuff in the bin, and tidier cupboards grin.

We now need to decide what we want to do with the remaining stuff - board games, wool and DVDs.
- My (admittedly not very big) wool stash will get knitted up for DC3 and then not added to unless I have a specific project in mind.
- DVDs - I guess I'll get rid of anything we have watched and won't watch again, and anything that is now on Netflix. But somehow getting rid of DVDs seems almost as bad as books.
- Board games - we have inherited loads and I highly suspect knowing our parents hoarding that there will be tiles missing from Scrabble, property cards missing from monopoly etc. so we need to go through those one by one.

Both sets of parents have recently downsized or started it. Consequently they keep bringing boxes of stuff they've held onto for us for years. There's the occasional gem but most is rubbish, unwanted, unremembered or half broken. And they've held onto it for getting on for 20 years. Sigh... We've started being ruthless even though for a while we felt like we should hold on to it because they had. But we recently realised that you can't let other people's emotions about stuff overrule yours, can you?

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 03-Feb-14 07:35:39

delasi
-gather the stuff into a big box/laundry hamper
-take all the pics on phone or with big camera if expensive item
-for most things I list using eBay app - much quicker as photos already on phone!
-More expensive things I would use computer, good camera for hi res pics
-I try to list things in batches in the evening of a Sunday/Saturday, so that they all end at the same time. This might mean taking pictures of them in advance.
-Package them up on Monday evening while watching House MD on DVD grin (this gives stragglers more time to pay)
-Post on Tuesday afternoon (I have a half day at School on Tuesdays)

Definitely work out postage as accurately as you can - if you lose out there it will hit your profits quite hard. Ebay now take commision on the top line (so item + postage, which makes me angry as I don't make money on the postage, so that does cut in a bit if something only sells for 99p) The thing is, that even if stuff only sells for a couple of quid it all adds up SO much, and you only need one or two things to sell for more to see a good amount coming back.

I am sitting on £167 so far from 12 items, the others have lots of watchers and should sell, so maybe £200 if I am lucky, for about 3 hours work plus packaging time (although I do it all while watching DVDS or listening to audio books so it's kind of relaxing anyway!)

delasi Sun 02-Feb-14 23:26:37

Artemisa Wow! Can I ask, do you have a particular system to make it easier? I have a lot of stuff to list but I've not done it before (bar putting 2 items of DM's furniture on years back, and they were both to be collected), so I'm thinking about when to list, what to post them in etc. I'm used to taking parcels for post because of work so I have a fairly good idea of postage costs of Royal Mail vs Collect+, but I'm still a bit nervous about it all blush Plus I think I should do some this week to replace some earnings...

...On that note, have just had to take the longest time out of work and study for health reasons since I had surgery 6 years ago shock Ok, so it's only been about 4 days so far, but I never take time off like that. Anyway, I get paid on my hours so time lost means money lost. Can't get sick pay, long story. So perhaps now is a good time to start listing! I figure if I put up at least a few bits and pieces, to end maybe on the weekend? Then I can wrap them up to post for the following week.

I was going to wait until closer to spring, when people might be more interested in looking for outfits, but I just want to get started and I'm not so bothered about waiting it out.

Am also itching to tackle the living room bookcase but can't for aforementioned health reasons. So just sort of glaring at it, willing it to get minimalised.

JimmyCorkhill Sun 02-Feb-14 22:35:26

35 things on ebay? shock That must have taken you aaaaages. I am very impressed grin

I decrumbed a baby rocker in readiness for Gumtree. I think I need to speed up!

ArtemisatBrauron Sat 01-Feb-14 18:45:02

35 things on eBay and about 10 more to go up tomorrow. Am gathering pace on the less nice stuff which is in a pile in the garage for car boot.

Loving a new system of buying dvds from a local second hand place, then trading them back in to the same place for tokens to use on "new" dvds to watch. we've spent money once but watched loads of dvds!

pixiestix Sat 01-Feb-14 14:44:11

Afternoon all. I've had a slow week. I'm so so tired now. Finishing work at the end of next week so hopefully my energy levels might pick up a bit then. About ten things into the house for the labour bag/ baby this week and nothing out so far so I really need to pull my finger out.

In frugaleering news though we had a really positive January. Paid off 4% of the total debt and didn't use the credit card a single time. There is an awful lot going on in February so I will need to be really single minded to keep up all the good work. And all I really want to do is snooze under a big duvet with a bar of chocolate and Sense and Sensibility on the laptop grin

I need to find some specific areas to focus on this week to reset my energies. Preferably something easy yet satisfying... hmm

evertonmint Fri 31-Jan-14 16:19:47

Here's the link that didn't work again in case anyone is interested: www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/feb/11/less-is-more-age-of-minimalism It was the comments as much as the article that interested me.

BeCool we have a square trunk in our bedroom that is the size of a side table and could easily squish a duvet and pillow into it. We use it for our scruffy, ancient yet comfy post-work house clothes so they aren't on display but easily accessible. Indeed at the weekend, it is the place we put our tray of morning bed tea as if we live in some sort of posh hotel with room service grin. Could you maybe buy something like that so it can be multipurpose and be a nice side table during the day if that is the sort of thing you might use during the day/evening?

Otherwise I reckon the bunk is perfect - after all, one duvet resides there so no reason why 2 can't!

I have 2 rolls of wrapping paper on the go usually - one for children (usually multicoloured stars or stripes or dots) and one plainer one for adults. I do however still have a bag of old cut offs of wrapping paper supposedly saved for smaller presents that are just never used up. I think I'm going to give the 2 ill-and-watched-too-much-telly DCs a craft project right now so I can declutter those bits via the art wall...

BeCool Fri 31-Jan-14 13:57:22

Re wrapping paper I prefer the buy one roll for all purposes route - silver has been suggested on MN.

harriet where to keep the duvet/pillows is The Last Great Question. I've not solved that one yet. ATM I'm thinking I will keep it on top bunk when not in use at least until DD1 goes to bed. But I would ideally like to find a better solution - the sofa bed is too shallow to keep a sliding drawer underneath. maybe there will be room in the wardrobe??

I defo think you should invest in some new comfy PJ's - just think how much time you spend sleeping. You deserve/need some nice sleepwear. I never wear the tops, so I just buy Primark cotton bottoms (good, cheap, nice & soft and comfy) and wear them with tight stretch vests to keep boobs in order.

Flat is in utter chaos - DC with XP this weekend and there is lots to be done. Bunk beds arrived this morning - flat pack!! Tomorrow morning XP is coming to collect Kingsize bed which he is having & I need to breakdown DD1's IKEA extendable bed too.

Then I will build bunks with a friend. And move 4x4 Expedit into bedroom along with ALL THE TOYS!! The clothes/wardrobe etc need to be gone through again, and I need to find somewhere to keep 2 suitcases. Some shoes will be leaving me - but as there are shoes I haven't worn since my initial declutter a year ago, I'm feeling confident I can let things go easily now (???).

Old unneeded/unwanted bits need to be freecycled - cheap shelves, DD1's old bed, oak habitat cupboard. Anyone in West London who wants any of this please PM me quick.

At the end of this weekend hopefully the one last issue will be where to keep duvet/pillows grin

harrietspy Fri 31-Jan-14 09:44:17

Thanks, BeCool, for the sofabed suggestion. I already have a Muji footstool/fold - out bed which has been super useful over the years. I have an inherited but v good quality sofabed that I'd try out first, but the Muji one certainly looks lovely. I have a white Stuva single wardrobe (with 2 rails) and a Stuva tallboy with my clothes in and I reckon they'd look fine in a living room because they're so versatile. Where will you keep the duvet and pillows?

I'm considering buying pyjamas. I have 3 pj bottoms, one of which is falling apart and the other 2 very staticky and synthetic and uncomfortably warm unless its absolutely freezing. I have 2 old tshirts as tops, also falling apart. I have gift vouchers I could use BUT I'm struggling so much with the idea of spending them on something non essential. I would definitely throw out the holey pjs and skanky tshirts though, so I wouldn't be bringing stuff into the house...

good to catch up on the thread.

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 31-Jan-14 08:16:01

wow, that lady has a LOT of stuff! There was a you tube video of someone very similar doing a house tour, she had a special "wrapping station" in her house to wrap gifts with more selection of paper and ribbons than my paperchase!

Turnoffthelights Thu 30-Jan-14 18:24:58

babc getting very excited that lights will be up and no longer cluttering in 2 days time!

Really interesting what everyone is saying about minimalism and spending. I think I buy very little, this is due to a lack of money, however I could spend many times over on things to help me be more minimalist/organised. I'd be much better at getting rid of unwanted/unloved things if I could replace! My current bugbear is the dining room table - a big, old, cumbersome gate-leg thing which is the wrong shape to go up against a wall. I need a rectangular one!!!

I felt my recent efforts having a positive effect last night. The past month's focus has been on the bathroom and related drawers of paraphernalia. I felt clear enough last night to have a soak, a scrub, a relax and then manicure afterwards. Not a regular occurrence as I'm often rushing about in the evening trying to organise life through chaos. Now the chaos is receding, I already have more time for myself.

BeCool Thu 30-Jan-14 12:40:52

I am so much better with the actual buying of stuff than I used to be.

I still have the URGE to buy all the time though. I know exactly what you mean re kindle books - I have managed to stop myself from buying several kindle books in recent months, as I still have several unread "goodies". I can buy a new book when those are done. No problem.

It's the constant occupation of my mind with spending I need to address.

And it is mainly all online "shopping". I very rarely go shopping in proper shops having neither the time or the inclination (though I have been to IKEA a few times recently but that was for mostly genuine needed and researched purchases). When I do go tho physical shops I do have an "while I'm here" mentality.

everton your A link didn't work. Love the blog though she is OTT - and yes lots of it is just organizing clutter. But some nice ideas too.

clearsommespace Thu 30-Jan-14 12:06:08

Everton, I haven't bought any books or been to the library for about a year now while I steadily work my way through books on my shelves that I haven't read or I couldn't remember enough about to decide whether they were 'keepers' or 'pass-oners'. The pile made last January is still quite big. I probably have another couple of years to go.
I did the sitting in a different place thing last night and saw a briefcase to investigate so found lots of paper to chuck in amongst some useful things.

evertonmint Thu 30-Jan-14 11:33:27

I've just started trying to be better about not spending so am in the enthusiastic phase of getting excited every time I have a NSD and watching my bank balance not decrease. However, I just looked at my latest credit card statement and all 13 transactions were to Amazon, all but 2 being for Kindle books. Ooops blush I clearly have unconscious spending tendencies and One-Click plus digital device means I don't even realise I am spending. Clearly I have work to do and can't just replace physical cash spending with digital One-Click spending and think I've solved my spending habit. So I have resolved to not buy anything more on my Kindle until I have read some of the books on the shelves that I've not yet read. We'll see how that goes...

Oh well, at least digital clutter takes up less space than physical clutter! <wry shrug>

A couple of links for you:

1) I thought this was an interesting article with good comments too.

2) Has anyone seen this blog? It's terrifying how organised somebody can be, and how much time she can devote to it, but it is strangely compelling. Plus I have learnt some useful tips from her on organising my home. There is always a danger with good organisation that it means you store even more clutter and so feel more minimalist than you actually are, but equally being organised means you don't then end up needing to buy more tweezers because you can't find any one of the at least 8 pairs you already own [guilty as charged emoticon] grin

delasi Thu 30-Jan-14 00:48:28

Bab and BeCool I am mid-way in this. In certain areas I don't feel that need, in others I do. So getting food out, or snacks, lunch at work and such, very easy for me to bypass that - now, that is something that has changed slowly over the last 2 years, I used to feel down if I didn't get a coffee on the way to work, as it was part of the 'ritual' and not taking part felt like I wasn't doing it right confused Now I breeze past as I can't bear to waste my money on those things.

On the other hand, baby things and homewares are my weak spots. I can avoid the actual spending, but I shop mentally. I already have things saved in my favourites for future DC blush (and no, I'm not pg!) I do the same with furniture that I think I want. I will spend ages working out everything I might need to go with it. What I will need to get rid of to accommodate it. I can spend the entire evening mentally renovating my home hmm Sometimes I'll spend about an hour, adding things to my basket, and then I have to stop, look at each item and realise one by one that I don't need them and delete. I would like to move past this because, obviously, it's a waste of time! I shouldn't be thinking about these things until I actually need something, and then it shouldn't be hours of planning. Sometimes, I look through pushchairs. For ages. We already have 2, for 2 separate purposes. They're fantastic and I don't want to replace them. I don't want new ones for future DC. So why am I looking at pushchairs?!

<sigh> Every time I'm here I find more reasons as to why I joined this group...!

BeCool Wed 29-Jan-14 21:13:25

BabC oh hello grin
I have made fundamental and wonderful changes in a year. But it's my head, my head my bloody head!! Still I'm engaged with it. I acknowledge it - I acknowledge I'm a shopaholic - not an obvious on. But one nevertheless.
Having NSD's aren totally possible but fill me with anxiety. Not spending anything at lunchtime makes me anxious. It's like I exist less if I don't spend.
I'm determined to turn this around - mentally.

then I'd have to try to get used to being OK with myself and my home as they are, and that feels rather uncomfortable. this nails it really.

I think some focus on self acceptance will be of use.

BabCNesbitt Wed 29-Jan-14 19:02:18

BeCool, I definitely know what you mean. Externally, I appear to live a fairly minimalist life - I don't buy much and only what's needed most of the time and I clear out unnecessary objects from our house (and having moved countries, we didn't have a massive amount of stuff to start with). But internally I still don't feel like I've managed to make that shift, and it's scary to think what that might actually entail.

Right now I still spend an inordinate amount of time looking at and thinking about things I might buy, which sounds rather pathetic. I don't want to think of myself as such a pure consumer. But then if I weren't constantly undertaking this process of continually re-imagining myself and my surroundings (better skin, better clothes, better decor, etc), then I'd have to try to get used to being OK with myself and my home as they are, and that feels rather uncomfortable. hmm

It seems from this thread that some people are instinctively minimalist and for others it's harder work to change from an acquisitive mindset. Does anyone here feel like they've felt that internal shift while going through the external motions?

delasi Wed 29-Jan-14 15:42:56

<sigh> So many errors... I want kids to play, not be placed grin

delasi Wed 29-Jan-14 15:41:29

Bab I agree with everton, it's about how you make it your home in what you do have, instead of throwing stuff in to seem homely. Although we're also far from minimalist, our home actually feels more like 'us' as there's less rubbish and more of our personal favourites on dislay.

For example, by doing a major clear in the bedroom I now have 2 very lovely small tables in there - one as a bedside table, as it's a good shape for that, and one at the foot of the bed, again as it happens to be a good shape for it. They both serve a purpose, they're both special tables that I will not let go of. They're not white and simplistic and they don't match anything, but they're just 'us' and the room still looks simple because there isn't just stuff lying around. And that makes it homely, because we can now see our important things and enjoy them.

For me, one of the best aspects of minimalism is the space to move around. DM has always been one for open plan, and she renovated our home when I was young to instil that (as much as you can in a little post war house!). So for me, space to move around, for kids to place, for guests, or just to sprawl, that's homely for me. I am uncomfortable in clutter, even though we have it, because it feels like I'm not making the most of my home.

In other news, I have been getting carried away with Ikea hack sites blush I have grand ideas for when we move that involve being very clever with a few bits of furniture...

clearsommespace Wed 29-Jan-14 15:26:51

It's quite the contrary here. I really don't like shopping apart from browsing for books. It seems to take ages to find things I really like so it's mostly a frustrating experience, and there's so much I'd rather do. That's why I used to keep everything. E.g. When my Mum died I kept her hiking boots for when mine wore out so I wouldn't have to spend money and I wouldn't have to make a purchasing decision.

BeCool Wed 29-Jan-14 14:07:55

I need to address spending. I seem to be programmed to spend. Even when I don't need or want anything, I have a urge to spend. It fizzes in every cell.

Lately it has been satisfied when researching and buying the new bits from IKEA and bunk beds etc that we need to make our home more livable. But that period of life is soon to end.

I'll go to the charity shops at lunchtime, even though I'm better at NOT BUYING I still engage with the process of 'shopping'. I will browse online and put things into baskets. yes I have got much much better at not completing a sale unless it's something we really need, but still it's a pointless way to spend my time.

I want not to spend ££. I want not to waste time online "not shopping". It feels so complex - like if I stop spending/researching/shopping etc I'll just be left with ........ me. "Me" could actually do with a bit of my time and attention too. Why then does it feel so revolutionary and terrifying?

Anyone else grappling with this?

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