The march towards Minimalism continues...

(594 Posts)
MissAnnersleyismyhero Tue 04-Feb-14 08:29:22

Hey all, thought I'd make a new thread to encourage us all to keep going on the journey to minimalism! smile

evertonmint Thu 18-Sep-14 13:16:56

Thanks erin - I would have done it but didn't want to take any credit for it smile You articulated what I'm trying to achieve with my minimalism project but I hadn't been able to coherently describe it even in my head. It really resonates with me and thought it might with everyone else, and wanted to know it was here to refer back to smile

erin99 Thu 18-Sep-14 12:58:45

Reposted from the Konmari thread at everton's request... I'm all mouth and no trousers with this:

Re more stuff coming in, the trick with the [aspirational room sets in magazines] is there is nothing else there. It's not just the "stuff" in that picture, it's also the empty space where there isn't the pile of school paperwork, argos catalogue, kids' shoes and toys etc etc. A funky box on an otherwise empty bench is appealing. 15 of the same box in that same space, not so much. Part of the appeal is really (arguably) the empty space where the other 14 boxes are not. Buying one funky box will not create the 14 boxes' worth of empty space for you.

For everything you want to buy, balance it up against the empty space it would be filling. Most of the time, wouldn't the room (and your own sense of tranquility, or whatever you're aiming for) be more enhanced by the space than by the thing? That is the theory I'm working on anyway.

Likewise with toys, I try to buy only those whose play value really "earns" the space they take up. You can buy massive plastic castles, enormous toy hoovers etc - whatever you like - but only if you think they will be more played with and loved than some different toy you could put in that space. Do DC need 6 different happyland houses or would two, or even one and a couple of nesting cardboard boxes, do near enough the same job and take up 1/3 of the space? Think what else DC can do with the extra space created - space is such a valuable thing in play.

erin99 Thu 18-Sep-14 10:58:13

Liking the blanket thing. And IMO a blanket is more minimalist than a dedicated lego mat. Multifunctional is good.

Arti, glad to hear that your recovery is going well.

I unearthed some wall stickers I bought for the playroom 4 years ago, and never got round to putting up. They are now finally up on the wall, packaging in bin, and a nice empty space on top of the bookcase

Harrietspy Tue 16-Sep-14 13:24:20

I've seen that, Jimmy, but realised I was never going to make one, grin so it's just a big old cream fleecy blanket for us - and the pieces (except the cream ones) show up really well.

Freecycled some more stuff. So much more to go...

JimmyCorkhill Tue 16-Sep-14 12:02:59

The Lego blanket is a thing!

I've started making the curtains for the DDs bedroom. Got to recut all my wrongly measured fabric today sad but luckily it's got to be cut smaller so no actual ruined fabric. But my knees, MY KNEES...ouch! Is this a sewer's injury? All that crawling around on the laminate floor, I have actual bruises.

Went to a newly set up council run toddler group today. It was bliss. Set in the same hall with the same toys the parent run toddler group uses, but what a difference! Less toys out and lots of space. Some mums were actually moaning about the lack of toys but the children were all engaged. DD2 spent 50 mins in the garden with a piece of chalk. Less is definitely more.

Hi Erin. I'm doing fine on the hip front. Pretty much fully mobile and although it can still be painful, I'm beginning to think that it is now less painful than before the op. I seem to be taking less painkillers anyway. wish my aim to tidy and declutter was going as well! very superficial stuff going on here ( which, I suppose, is better than nothing!)

Harrietspy Tue 16-Sep-14 08:06:45

Erin, I'm with you on the Lego. Even after all the culling, there is still too much in ds's room for him to tidy up easily... The blanket trick is one of my old faves, though.

Been too busy with work and stuff to do much of anything at home, and the same boxes for chazza have been sitting on landing for 4 months! Everything is feeling so bloated! My house is nowhere near minimalist...

I did really well at not buying things for ages but have bought new clothes and shoes recently and an unnecessary set of reduced price table mats in M&S. (Actually the ones we have are 18 years old and a bit the worse for wear, but I didn't get enough of the new ones to throw them away...)

Still craving the scrubbed wooden table with the simple bowl in the middle...

clearsommespace Mon 15-Sep-14 16:26:00

Grown out of kids magazines rehomed today.

MollyBdenum Mon 15-Sep-14 15:04:35

The tops of my kitchen cupboards are bare. I still have to wash up all the spidery crockery before I take it to a charity shop, but everything else is sorted. The only thing on top of a high kitchen surface is the medicine box on top of the fridge.

erin99 Mon 15-Sep-14 13:36:04

That's a good tip clearsomme, thanks.

Well done fuzzpig. I have cleared the airing cupboard this morning, which admittedly is fire fighting rather than decluttering as such, but I am still counting it. And I now have a big pile of children's clothes for recycling.

I also have a pile of shoeboxes, which is a dilemma smile. Think I have to keep the for Useful Future Purposes.

evertonmint Mon 15-Sep-14 13:21:31

Fuzzpig, I always thought the same but clearly in our case there is such a thing as too much lego. Peak lego reached! grin

I am going to try the blanket tip. It's been recommended to me, but I hadn't got round to it. Might need to now though!!

fuzzpig Mon 15-Sep-14 09:59:47

Ah now I agree that there can be too much of any toy... except lego. No such thing as too much lego.


Dad took the contents of the outdoor cupboard to the tip yesterday so that was good. Hoping to find some more stuff to put in there for the next trip!

clearsommespace Mon 15-Sep-14 09:52:43

Train your kids to tip the loose lego on a blanket or towel (if you haven't decluttered them all). Then at the end of the day, just grab the four corners so the lego slides to the centre and pour it into the lego storage box.

erin99 Sun 14-Sep-14 22:25:31

That's interesting Everton. I definitely think less is more toywise - when you are 5 there is only so much you can take in/sort/mentally process, let alone play with.

Still, the main problem remains my stuff!

evertonmint Sun 14-Sep-14 21:50:08

Erin - on Friday I picked up all the loose lego on 6yo DS's floor and hid it. I'd been asking him to tidy it for 10 days. He hasn't yet noticed!!!! It's a huge pointer that he has too much of the stuff - I left his creations and the stuff in the lego drawers and he's been happily playing with that. I suspect he thinks (assuming he's thought about it at all) that I tidied it back into the drawers.

It's a big insight for me - although they don't have a huge variety of plastic stuff, I've been thinking they have too much of the things they do have (lego, trains, jigsaws, soft toys, cars) and this kind of proves it.

I now need to decide what my next step is.

erin99 Sun 14-Sep-14 21:11:45

Hmph. 5yo chose to pick up 5 bits of Lego, from the several hundred he had tipped out on the floor. I may have to tweak this a bit.

We used to clear the playroom every night as part of their bedtime routine, but that went by the wayside as they so often play with one thing for days on end these days... Plus we have got lazy...

Tomorrow I will be clearing the top of a bookshelf that's had the same pointless junk on it for 4 years. Looking forward to that!

evertonmint Sun 14-Sep-14 09:18:07

Erin - I'm really struggling with my DCs inability to tidy. Been on the warpath the last few days. Deffo going to try your 5 things - might work as it's a manageable number for them (they're 6 and 4)

Did a big sort out of toys yesterday. Culled the broken annoying stuff and have my sights set on decluttering some other things.

erin99 Sat 13-Sep-14 16:44:09

Hello Miss Annersley! I'm liking that approach, it fits v well with the "things that bring you joy" philosophy.

Arti how are you doing, are you fully mobile again yet?

4 bags of clothes out to recycling today. I don't think I'm winning, we have bought so much clotheswise for the start of term. But the fact that I'm trying is a help. I think I need to get everyone in the family tidying up a bit more downstairs, day to day. Maybe I can get everyone to tidy away 5 things a day or something.

PeoniesforMissAnnersley Sat 13-Sep-14 07:32:54

Hello all smile I had my colours done and it's been a real help in de-cluttering clothes - more importantly, I am now v much more reluctant to buy clothes, especially online, as I have seen how important getting the right colour is.
It is expensive, but I've rationalised it as the cost of several items wrongly purchased, or a pair of shoes I wouldn't wear.

Still here! Jimmy - I think I went downhill over the summer too (and no children on holiday to blame)! But being on crutches for 4 weeks didn't really help. I've made some inroads into general tidying/cleaning this week, but how much I get to do with a full workload remains to be seen.

Achievements this week - clearing out paperwork from student files where I have stopped tutoring the student - done some and some ongoing but is creating it's own filing piles!

Done some sorting/tidying decluttering on my overflowing work/desk space, but still a load more to be done!

The spare doom is a nightmare though! Mostly just stuff that needs putting away though.

I have a student who is going to be coming to me for lessons - strange how that is inspiring some cleaning/sorting tidying!

JimmyCorkhill Fri 12-Sep-14 18:27:11

The book that is, not the thread grin

JimmyCorkhill Fri 12-Sep-14 18:26:24

I'm here <waves>

Felt like we went backwards over the summer hols, didn't realise how crucial the daily 3hrs of preschool was to me.

2 bags to the chazzer yesterday. 2 bags of baby stuff waiting in the wardrobe to pass on to a friend.

We have finally swapped bedrooms with the DDs. I am really excited to be making their curtains next week. DD1 will be in school full time and I am hoping that I can get them done and dusted during DD2's naptimes. Our new smaller bedroom is lovely but...DH is self employed. He usually rents office space but due to both cash flow and an irritating man in his open office space he has decided to work from our bedroom. So my oasis is still out of reach. The room is full of post it notes and has a whiteboard hung on the wall <sobs>

Loving the Marie Kondo thread on good housekeeping at the moment - I must read it again.

evertonmint Fri 12-Sep-14 16:37:54

Clear - I'm here but drowning under laundry (holiday stuff plus newborn plus threadworm induced (bleugh!) bed linen and towel overload...

I loved that blogpost fuzzpig. It's been bugging me for a while, the amount they have versus what they play with, and the lack of gratitude. I'm in a post-holiday/newborn phase overhaul - the house is sadly in a "looks worse before it gets better" phase and I'm filtering out lots of stuff. DS just used Lego and cars, DD just uses pencils, paper and den-building equipment. And everything else is sitting there untouched. I've offloaded a lot, I rarely buy for them myself, but there is more to be done!

clearsommespace Fri 12-Sep-14 15:38:20

One outgrown spacehopper rehomed. Kids bookshelves thinned out. Where is everyone?

clearsommespace Thu 11-Sep-14 05:35:18

Arti I file all paperwork that needs to be kept. I think you definitely need a full system that works for you other wose it's a PITA filing.. I remember a thread on here where people were talking about their systems in detail. I think it was called ' those of you who are really organised'.

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