Anyone want to join me in a minimalist journey?

(953 Posts)
lucysnowe Thu 13-Dec-12 14:30:53

I've been reading a load of minimalist mum blogs and have been brainwashed inspired smile. We are undergoing some building work at the mo and the amount of stuff everywhere is absolutely doing me head in. Once it is finished I want to have a ginormous sort and throw out. We are getting a tumble dryer and I plan to start culling clothes, sheets, towels etc, with the aim of getting ALL washing done each week and not have massive full up bins cluttering up the place. Next: toys, ornaments, and random bits of paper. grin Anyone fancy doing the same for the New Year?

bluecarrot Thu 13-Dec-12 14:41:43

I'm in!

Already starting by giving DD non- cluttering gifts for Xmas. smile

What blogs do you read? I lost my favourite sites when laptop got a virus. mnmlist and and zen habits were the main ones I like

bluecarrot Thu 13-Dec-12 14:43:33

Btw, I have been attempting to do this for a year already. It's slow going as I'm trying to sell off stuff as I go along. eBay tends to be slow in Jan/Feb so ill use that time to really get into decluttering smile

Also starting reading fly lady and will do it alongside.

lucysnowe Thu 13-Dec-12 16:35:51

blue, I have been enjoying I like the whole ethos really. We live in a small house and I want to embrace it as a lifestyle choice rather than moaning about its pokiness smile.

DH is currently all about storage. He wants to buy more boxes, put up more shelves etc. This is something I previously was in big favour of but I'm slowly coming round to the idea that as soon as you buy storage, you buy things to put in it...

harrietspy Thu 13-Dec-12 17:04:32

I'm in. For the first time in my life I live in a big house to accommodate my non-traditional family arrangements, so I have space but still want to cull like mad, partly to pay down debt and partly because we have too much stuff...

Things I've started doing:
selling books I don't absolutely love or need. (I've raised £80 this way!)
using up all the random bits of cosmetics/toiletries a la Fly Lady
gathering other stuff to sell (although I get anxious about this because I've never managed to get my arse in gear enough to actually sell anything except aforementioned books)

blue, I like as well as the blogs already mentioned. I love any tiny house blogs too. Apartment Therapy has good ideas about living in small spaces, recycling/repurposing etc.

Simplicity Parenting (book) really helped me to cull the dc's stuff although I wasn't quite as hardcore as the author.

Ooh, thank you for starting this thread! I'm really excited about prospect of doing this with other MNers! smile

lucysnowe Thu 13-Dec-12 17:41:52

harriet, I will check out those blogs!

Another mindset I kind of need to get out of is buying 3 for 2s etc, esp toiletries. I kind of think it is a good thing as I like being frugal, but I usually end up where I've stored things and buy new ones anyway...

lucysnowe Thu 13-Dec-12 17:48:30

Oh and am intrigued by Simplicity Parenting - have heard of it before but don't quite understand the ethos - is it kind of an anti-consumer thing?

doublecakeplease Thu 13-Dec-12 19:27:54

I'm in. We are also doing work on the house so I've kind of started but will take a long time to minimise everything!

I dream of living with very little clutter and everything in it's place ~ preferably in a box behind a closed cupboard door.

Things i have a done already»

* sorted out ALL of our clothes. We only own stuff we actually wear.
*put all of my underwear, tights, socks etc into individual Ikea boxes in my drawer ~ saves ages finding stuff and putting away
*downloaded all of our CDs and books to the harddrive ~ kept a couple of special ones though.
* got rid of all the unopened toiletries to the charity shop . We have 2 baskets in the bathroom - 1 with toiletries we use and 1 with DS bath toys
*sorted DS toys, clothes etc (easy as he's only 9 months!)
*filed ALL of our paperwork

Only little things but we'll get there. Will watch with interest!

harrietspy Thu 13-Dec-12 22:50:52

Lucy, sorry I didn't get back to you till now. The main thinking behind simplicity parenting is that children are exposed to too much stuff, too much choice, too many activities, and they can get stressed, overwhelmed and anxious as a result. The author is a clinical psychologist, I think. He works with families to help children get happier and calmer by simplifying the physical environment (less stuff), by simplifying their schedules (because he's seen kids pushed to achieve athletically, for instance, who are physically burned out by 13 or 14 shock - no chance of that happening with my dc!) and he also recommends introducing simple, predictable patterns/routines/rituals. It's all fairly common sense but I found elements of the book v helpful. I think if you try to put some of his principles into practice you end up buying less, although it's not explicitly anti-consumerist. It made me think about what my dc actually love to play with and made me feel ok about getting rid of other stuff.

RarelyUnreasonable Fri 14-Dec-12 08:30:53

I'm in! I hate clutter and am pretty ruthless. Plus a keen ebayer and freecycler - but there's still too much stuff! Love the idea of simplicity parenting - will read more later.
We moved recently to a bigger house with less storage hmm so had a good clear out, but I want to keep things this way. DH is more of a hoarder although seems to be getting less so due to my nagging gentle encouragement.
Going to start with doublecake's list - done some but can't remember which as on phone and too lazy to keep scrolling...

doublecakeplease Fri 14-Dec-12 09:38:28

Thought of some other bits i've done so far»
* sorted all of the charges in the house - honestly, we had dozens clustering drawers. Kept the ones we need and put them into individual small labelled sandwich bags. Took 10 mins but saves lots of hassle / clutter
* i have a 'get rid' box. Anything i don't want gets put into it as soon as i come across it then Ebay or charity shop once it's full. Saves me keeping hold of crap.

Things i need to do:
*work on getting DP to sort his tools - they are everywhere but prob will be for the next couple of years whilst we're still doing work on the house
*get rid of stuff as we do each room and i get the boxed stuff from moving for that room out.

I don't want anything in the house that's not useful or lovely to look at! Lol

doublecakeplease Fri 14-Dec-12 09:39:53

*chargers - as in phone etc ;-)

lucysnowe Fri 14-Dec-12 10:30:17

Thanks for the info about Simplicity Parenting, harriet. I may start my journey by, umm, buying the book! you have to start somewhere though...

doublecake can I ask what Ikea boxes you use for your clothes - that sounds like a good idea!

I have already put my CDs and DVDs in a folder like this one but tbh I never watch or listen to them so uploading might be more convenient.

harrietspy Fri 14-Dec-12 11:24:35

One of my (many!) challenges is not to replace physical clutter with virtual clutter. I have a gazillion podcasts downloaded onto my mac and in truth I only ever listen to Tara Brach podcasts so it would be liberating to just delete the others that I might, one day, maybe, someday get round to listening to...

doublecakeplease Fri 14-Dec-12 14:52:35

Lucy - can't link on my phone - nothing special, just bought a skubb set from Ikea - you get 6 boxes for £6. They fit in my drawer and keep everything separated. Also made me get rid of the too small tights , knickers etc as they didn't fit in the boxes!

forevergreek Fri 14-Dec-12 15:03:47

Also get all your bills etc paper free. I have so
Much less junk now all bank statements/ household bills/ etc are online

IWipeArses Fri 14-Dec-12 16:32:50

I have been reading minimalist blogs and attempting to minimalise for a couple years now, love it!

BelinaTheChicken Fri 14-Dec-12 17:57:04

I'm definitely in, we live in a really small house, made smaller by the conservatory we use as a playroom being out of action because it is leaking, and I feel like I'm drowning in crap. I was in a really ruthless mood last week and threw out all the old paperwork from Uni, psychology articles I've been lugging around for 6 years despite never once having felt the need to peruse them.

I have a really bad habit of keeping hold of stuff I don't want/need because it was a gift. I got given a chocolate fondue set 5 years ago for being bridesmaid for a friend, and it's still lurking at the back of a cupboard, but every time I try to ditch it I end up in paroxysms of guilt and put it back in it's lair.

Will check out those blogs for inspiration

harrietspy Fri 14-Dec-12 18:03:35

Belina, sounds like you've done masses already!

We've got v little £ this Christmas so I can't buy stuff for anyone but my dc, but I've just been through a big box of things we've been given (or bought in more affluent times) that are in good condition - cook books, barely-touched toys, etc - to give as presents for Christmas. Another box of stuff will be gone! I was thinking of trying to eBay this stuff but tbh I think this is a better option. I used to feel guilty about doing this but I'm on a roll!

BelinaTheChicken Fri 14-Dec-12 18:46:47

Sounds like loads harriet, but it was all stored in the bottom of a dresser, so the house still looks just as cluttered. And I had to put the sodding Christmas tree up, which is enormous as we bought it when we were in a bigger place and had not DC to clutter the place, so that takes up half the living room.

Second hand gifts sounds like a good plan, I get most of the DC's presents at carboots throughout the year. Tomorrow I'm going to get a load of toys out and get DS1 to choose some to get rid of to make way for the Christmas toys.

I'm feeling quite motivated to clear out some crap from my wardrobe, have recently lost weight and am contemplating ditching all the bigger sizes, but scared I'll do that and then put weight on (though hopefully not as it was baby weight and I'm not planning on any more DC).

RarelyUnreasonable Fri 14-Dec-12 19:34:16

Wow, the minimalist blog is fab. I found it so helpful to read about what to do if you're married to a non-declutterer - should save a few domestic discussions and I'm sure DH will be relieved that his stuff is safe for now.

DC are getting very minimal gifts as they're under two and won't realise! Book and PJs for DD, um, nothing for newborn DS. [meanie mum].

When is a good time to sell on ebay?

bluecarrot I also plan to fly in the new year, and have also started to look for a cleaner. I'm at home a lot - part-time SAHM and part-time WAHM (although on mat leave now) so I crave/need a nice environment. Cheaper than Relate and essential for my mental health!

I've been through your tips and made my own list from them. Aim to do these by end of Jan and keep on top of ongoing ones:

-make a 'to ebay' box and have monthly blitzes when it's free listing
-read Simplicity Parenting
-sort out clothes for me and DC (will leave DH to do his own if he wants).
-Sort out maternity clothes, and decide what to do with baby clothes and baby -stuff - end of an era! Freecycle/charity/gift/ebay/what?
-buy those Ikea boxes and sort underwear drawer.
-use up toiletries before buying any more.
-catch up on paperwork filing.
-make a present box for unwanted/unused stuff to save buying more

kennyp Fri 14-Dec-12 20:53:05

marking my place ... love this thread smile

Fuchzia Fri 14-Dec-12 21:07:53

I'll be watching with interest. We live in horrible clutter which makes the place impossible to keep clean. I've decided I'll have to be ruthless if I don't want to spend every spare second cleaning. Trouble is I'm a born horder.

LemonBreeland Fri 14-Dec-12 21:56:04

I'm watching this with interest. Will have a look at the minimalist blog. My DH will never declutter, so I will be interested in that part.

I keep looking at things to get rid of in the house, ornaments etc. It gets me down having so much stuff. I recently cleared out my boys room and they have so much more space. I thought they didn't have enough storage, but actually they had too much furniture in there. It feels calmer when I walk in there now. I plan to make a go of the rest of the house in January.

I don't follow FLY, but I do the daily tasks. I don't want to shine my sinks and all of that, but I do liike the tasks as they keep you moving forward.

owlface Sat 15-Dec-12 05:16:59

Thank you for all the ideas and links to blogs, I want to get on board with this! I live in a 1 bedroom apartment and am expecting DC1 in a few months. Have already briefed DP not to buy loads of baby stuff we don't need and started selling a few bits on Ebay.
Harriet, where do you sell your books? That is a great idea.

harrietspy Sat 15-Dec-12 08:00:52

owlface, I sold them on and They both paid up really promptly and the system involves minimum faff. They are obviously only buying things they can sell on, so really obscure text books or general paperbacks don't tend to go, but it's worth trying anything. It's worth having both sites open at once and trying your books on both to see what price they offer. The prices aren't high - I got between 4p and £4.50 for the books I sold - but if you're trying to clear stuff and want to make a bit of money asap, it's a good way of doing it.

BelinaTheChicken Sat 15-Dec-12 08:55:56

harriet try putting obscure textbooks on amazon, you can leave them up for ages and I find I tend to get a decent price for them (had a load of old psychology or pain management textbooks and made over £100).

Found out last night that we might be moving to a much bigger place, and I'm determined not to cart all of our crap along with us. Really good incentive to declutter, plus if we do take this house we would be taking over the lease from a friend, so could start moving stuff in soon, so I can go through each bag and only take things we really need. Fingers crossed, will find out this morning if their land lady has agreed to it

Hello, may I join you? We moved in the summer and threw out masses of crap but somehow still have mountains of it. It makes me feel all panicky when the place is a mess, which it almost always is at least somewhere in the house as there's too much STUFF everywhere. I need to have a really good sort and get back to freecycling as much as possible.

harrietspy Sat 15-Dec-12 09:37:56

Thanks, Belina!

Hello Antonionette! We're in the process of selling our old house - been renting it out for 3 years - and the garage is still full of our old stuff. I have to clear it out in the new year and tbh I'm dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time. I can't WAIT to be shot of all that stuff - but I know it won't be an easy process... (If it were easy we wouldn't be on this thread!).

I'm determined not to bring it all to my new house (rented - so there's always that sense we might have to up and move again and I don't want to take boxes of randomness with me). I might try to clear the garage with a friend - someone who can be stern when I say I should hang on to x or y just in case...

What do I do with, say, my old tapes from my late teens? Will I honestly listen to them again? They're really good stuff - Muddy Waters, Van Morrison. I think I'll weed them and just keep the stuff I love. But if I haven't longed for them in the last 3 years, do I really need 'em, hmm?

owlface Sat 15-Dec-12 09:40:08

Thanks Harriet, I see you can sell DVDs and CDs too so I will have a go. I love my library wall but it is overflowing!

IWipeArses Sat 15-Dec-12 10:30:38

harriet, throw the tapes away. You can listen to most of it online, and if you really miss it, buy it again on CD or mp3, but I bet you don't.

We put all our CDs onto an external hard drive. They're an essential for backing up photos, documents etc. anyway, so buy a big one and then you can get rid of the CDs.
We've got a big CD/DVD storage folder like lucy mentioned above with all our DVDs in, the front room feels so much calmer without shelves and shelves of DVDs collecting dust.

Kitchen clutter, if you've never used it, lose it. I also boxed up spares of mugs, plates etc in an effort to avoid having to wash up everything we owned every other day. blush It's also freed up so much cupboard and drawer space, I've nearly cleared all the counters.

I got rid of all our ornaments. All of them. I like pictures on the wall, plants, blankets, but knick knacks just seem like clutter now and reduce dusting annoyance.

I'm still working on proper storage for the things we do have, but I'm loving my minimalising. smile

Blogs I've liked,
I'll think of more to add later.

This is a great thread for me, thanks for starting it OP. I'm fairly minimalist already but there's three of us living in a small, open plan house.

Reading this thread last night motivated me to get together a bin bag full of clothes to eBay. We've sold quite a few bits on eBay in the last few months and have made about £500.

I feel quite overwhelmed when there's too much stuff physically, virtually and mentally. My priorities are:

Sort out paperwork (I need to keep it for seven years because of tax returns but tend to hang on longer)
Delete the music on my iPad and iPod that I don't listen to
Keep my hot spots tidy - the most useful thing from FlyLady for me
Get a grip on all the sponges, brushes and cleaners under the kitchen sink. DP tends to accumulate all this

LemonBreeland Sat 15-Dec-12 10:46:13

This thread really has come at the perfect time for me. I was looking at my ornaments the other day as I dusted them and thought I really want to get rid of them. It really is just the guilt thing.

DH is not great at this kind of thing but I jusr remove stuff when he isn't there and he is unlikely to notice.

LemonBreeland Sat 15-Dec-12 15:19:14

So I decided to sell some willow figures that I had on our local fb sales
page. They sold straight away, I also sold our baby door bouncer that's been sitting around for ages. £25 in about 10 minutes.

However dh is not impressed. He thinks we are going to have an empty house because I sold 4 ornaments. Will just not tell him in future.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Dec-12 15:25:55

Our house is not empty even with no ornaments. grin
Well done!

I'm feeling a little guilty about how much I've got DCs for Christmas. It isn't a lot actually, compared to many, but it's still a lot of stuff. I'm considering keeping some of it back for Easter/birthday. I'll decide when I get it all out to wrap.
It's not long since we did a thorough declutter of toys, so there isn't really much we could get rid of now to make room for new.

baahhumbug Sat 15-Dec-12 15:43:40

I would like to join in, I hate my cluttered house and yet know it's not as bad as some. My dd is 11 so we started decluttering this year as she doesn't play with some of her toys anymore.

My problem is I hate housework so tend to put off tidying for as long as possible, then it's too much and overwhelming.

I will have a look at Simplicity Parenting although fear it may be too late for us. I hate the materialistic minds most children have but not sure how to avoid it.

We have loads of books but dh won't part with them. A lot are in the attic though as we both have kindles. I need to sort out clothes and sell bits and pieces but hate selling on ebay. Where do you sell your books?

Looking forward to reading all your posts.

baahhumbug Sat 15-Dec-12 15:49:20

IWipeArses, how do you play your music without cds? We put all our music on the ipod and put the cds away but I really miss them. We have an ipod docker but I hate playing music from the ipod, it's so fiddly and the docker isn't great. Dh is looking for an alternative but not sure what.

baahhumbug Sat 15-Dec-12 15:53:43

Sorry, just read through the thread and saw about selling books. Thanks for that.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sat 15-Dec-12 16:06:40

Can I join in? I live by myself in a 3 bed semi so I have plenty of space but am worried I'll just fil it with clutter.
I have a whole unit full of CDs that I very rarely listen to. Many of them have already been uploaded to my iTunes library but maybe I should just do the rest and then get rid of them. I also have DVDs that I never watch - need to stop keeping stuff "just in case".

MinimalistMommi Sat 15-Dec-12 16:22:43

I've been on a minimalist journey for the past three years. This is my favourite blog and she has just written a brilliant post about Christmas:

MinimalistMommi Sat 15-Dec-12 16:22:54
bluecarrot Sat 15-Dec-12 16:29:10

Ive set an alarm on my phone for every morning this week, with a 15 minute decluttering task.

My favourite decluttering ritual is getting boxes for "stays in this room" "belongs elsewhere" "paperwork" "sell" "give back" and "maybe get rid", plus a bin bag. Ive only ever done this with the least cluttered rooms admittedly, but basically everything in the room thats small enough to lift has to go in one of the boxes.

Im now left with two very cluttered rooms (that have no other purpose other than storage) and these are the ones I intend to clear this year. The other rooms are ok, its just purging the stuff I needed/ loved last year when I reviewed it, but dont anymore, or anything new that comes in as a gift or whatever.

Also, I found myself spending too long reading blogs looking for inspiration rather than getting off my butt and doing something about it so Im not allowing myself to read the blogs any week days.

I'm in! DH is totally on board, he is more minimalist than I am. We have a slightly different situation to many, in that we plan to move around the world every year or two. So, we simply cannot have lots of stuff. Our first move happened in April, when DS was 18mo. We moved from the home I'd accumulated crap lived in for eight years, to Germany. The amount of stuff we carted down to the charity shops was mind-boggling. Never again! I felt freer once I'd gotten rid of so much stuff. But we still have more than we need, and are still working on minimalising further.
Two things though. 1. We are trying for another DC, so have to hold on to all the baby stuff (currently stored in PIL's attic and garage back in the UK) and 2. I do quite like surrounding myself with pretty things! Especially at Christmas. But I need to let go of that mindset even more. One trip we plan is living for a year or so in an RV, driving around the USA, so I need to really be more free of material possessions. This is also how we want to raise DS (and another DC if we have one): to be free, and non-materialistic.

I now live with a very basic capsule wardrobe. Got rid of about 18 binbags' worth of clothing before we moved. Now I can actually find things in my wardrobe. I can actually get rid of more though. I will, before the new year.
Drastically reduced bedding and towels. Clears up so much space.
Got rid of all my books, bar about ten. I never re-read novels. I now only have a couple of novels, which I've not read yet, and a handful of parenting books. Really, I should just read that stuff online. DS does have quite a lot of books, I think it is important for him at this stage.
Told people I'm not doing gifts any more, please don't buy me cluttering crap stuff.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Dec-12 20:07:54

baah, we just have the ipod in a dock, or listen via the laptop. Our stereo bust years ago, so we got used to listening to cds through the laptop anyway.

WhatWouldSantaDo, you don't have to store all the baby stuff if you don't want to. Donating it/selling it and buying new is always a possibility. And if you've gotten more minimalist since your first child was born, you might find you don't need half of it anyway. grin I'm a bit envious of your travelling, I'd love to give that a try sometime.
Tell us what's in your capsule wardrobe please.

harrietspy Sat 15-Dec-12 21:09:28

I got an eBay lesson from someone today and plan to try to shift some of the kids' tshirts. DS2 has inherited more tshirts than he can ever wear. Any money I earn = £ towards debt repayment.

whatwouldsantado, tell us more about your capsule wardrobe. I can't buy more stuff but I can think more sensibly about using what I do have, perhaps...

harrietspy Sat 15-Dec-12 22:29:08

I don't want to dominate the thread, but for those wanting to sell books/cds/dvds, have got a voucher code at the moment which adds 10% to the value of your offer: WBBTWDLP7.

Just managed to get another bundle together for £20+ smile Another box cleared. Whoop! (Ok, so now I have to pack them up, but 6music is on and so is the kettle). There's a Christmas fair at school this week so I might take the rest of the cookbooks there.

sunnysunnyshine Sun 16-Dec-12 09:30:03

I'm going to tentatively join in. I'm sooo crap at decluttering, I'm drowning in stuff. Determined to make a big dent in it today though...

Harrietspy, when you sell books do they collect them all in one go or do you have to send them off one by one as they sell?

Also is it worth selling CDs? I've got loads just sitting in boxes.

Right, cuppa then getting started hmm

harrietspy Sun 16-Dec-12 09:38:47

sunny you have to get to £15 worth in your basket, then you send them off in one go - although you might have to put them in several parcels so they're not too heavy. Does that make sense? Have a look at the website if this is gobbledegook!

I haven't sold CDs but I know you can. Good luck!

Wipe, true, I could sell, but PIL are ok about having it in the loft for now, seems a lot of effort to sell and rebuy.. Especially as we are not in the UK at the moment.

Ok, it may not be an official capsule wardrobe if other people are judging it, but it feels capsule to me, especially going by what I had before!
Two pairs of jeans (down from about 10 pairs).
One pair waterproof skipant type trousers for snowy or torrential downpour weather.
Three skirts.
Eight tshirts.
Three hoodies/sweaters.
One sweater dress.
Three summer dresses.
Three summer blousey tops.
One chunky knit winter dress.
A couple of cardigans/shrugs
Two pairs of gloves. I do need one more pair for building snowmen though; my current two are not suitable. Three winter hats. Two scarves.
Two summer hats. One pair of sunglasses.
One pair of summer shorts.
Three swimsuits (I used to have over 20 swimsuits or bikinis blush). Plus a couple of rash vests.
Only one pair of different type of shoe: one smart pair, one pair of smart going out boots, one pair of sandals, two pairs of flip flops though, oops, one pair of snow boots, one pair walking boots, one pair running shoes.
Three bras, seven pairs of pants, seven pairs of socks.
Four sets of PJs. Two dressing gowns.
One coat for various weathers: one raincoat, one pacamac, one jersey blazer, one long thick winter coat, one autumn/spring coat warm coat, one light summery coat, one ski coat, one smart going out jacket, one bodywarmer, one fleece. (used to have way way more coats, it was a bit crazy. Coats and swimwear, my two clothing indulgences! Never cared much about shoes though.)
Two sets of sportswear (two pairs leggings, two sport vests, two sports bras), one tennis dress.
Two smart occasion dresses (e.g for going to weddings).

That's it off the top of my head, without checking my wardrobe, so I have probably forgotten a few things, but not much.

I could trim this down further, I know.

And I do still have my wedding dress (at PILs). I keep dreaming of having a girl, or DS's wife wanting to wear it! smile

Oh dear. Ok, so it's a big capsule. smile But it is a huge improvement for me, and hopefully I will whittle it down even further. We are now doing one in, one out, so if we buy a new jumper, for example, an old jumper gets donated. And we only buy new clothing if it is really needed. I do feel like I am making good progress, going in the right direction.

lucysnowe Sun 16-Dec-12 13:40:12

Hi guys

So glad you are joining this thread! Well we have our kitchen back now so we can go ahead and start organising things. I am making big decisions like... do we really need two bottle openers? What happens if we lose one? shock

Can I ask a bit about capsule wardrobes - what are in yours? and do you have a winter/summer one? I tend to buy cheap crappy clothes I really should throw out at the end of the summer but then I forget to throw them out.

Thanks for the additional blog links, I shall try and actually do some minimising before I read them tho. smile

Santa, that sounds reasonably capsule to me. I don't believe these people/articles where they only have thirteen items and two pairs of shoes. How do you cope for work, depths of winter and sunny holidays?

I probably have more than that but less than most people I know in RL. One of the blogs linked here said she had something like seven pairs of jeans. Tut I thought and then went and counted that I have eleven pairs of trousers. I tend to wear dresses and skirts for work and when the weather is warm so may have some work to do there.

With regards to music, I got rid of most of my stuff some years ago - I had shed loads as I am an epic music fan. I listen to my iPad or iPod via a docking unit. Mine is about five years old and is by Klipsch from amazon. The sound quality is good and it's reasonably small and well-designed.

I'm looking to sell my remaining CDs and DP has stacks of vinyl. come recommended as do eBay and Amazon. It depends very much if your stuff is rare. If it's mainstream from the last 20-30 years, it probably has very limited resale value so it might be better to use a site that will give you £20-30 to take the whole lot off your hands. I'm seeing a friend next week who has a sideline is selling rare vinyl so I'll ask him where he sells.

lucy, I don't currently put away winter or summer clothes, I have got mine down to a reasonable amount so there is enough room in the wardrobe. I buy clothes that last a bit longer, rather than cheaper stuff, but I am finding they last less long now I am wearing fewer items more regularly and they have to go through more washing machine cycles. But I like this, it means I can replace items and not get too bored of what I have.

Queen, true! smile Though I don't work (SAHM) and haven't been on a summer holiday since DS was conceived! I did find when I went on a sunshine holiday I'd pack more than I needed, I mean, I am mainly in a bikini and then a light summer dress for the evening. Don't need much else.

I've backpacked for a year before, and lived out of a rucksack, and it was amazingly easy to make do with much fewer clothes.

Yes, I probably had more than seven pairs of jeans too. So unnecessary for me now! And I do feel much better for trimming my wardrobe, much lighter.

lucy, well, things being tidier, with less clutter, you are less likely to lose a bottle opener. I'd be bad before for keeping hold of extras though in case something broke.

owlface Sun 16-Dec-12 17:24:33

Queen I'm interested in selling vinyl too - currently have a shelf full, but my record player is languishing in my parents' loft!

MinimalistMommi Sun 16-Dec-12 17:26:21

I have:
One pair of skinny jeans
Two short sleeved tops
Two long sleeved tops
Two coloured vests
One maxi dress for summer
Two fine wool fitted sweaters

One pair ballet pumps
One pair black boots
One pair flip flops

One pair of PJ's
One coat

That is all the clothing I own! Since 'finding' minimalism I hate shopping, it's so tough finding good quality clothes on the high street that I end up giving up and not buying anything. Obviously, with owning so little, my tumble dryer is essential grin

MinimalistMommi Sun 16-Dec-12 17:27:37

lucysnowe you don't need two bottle openers grin

minimalistmommi that's amazing, you really never wear underwear? wink

MinimalistMommi Sun 16-Dec-12 17:54:19

LOL Queen didn't really want to talk about my knickers and bras on mumsnet blush

Wow, Mini, that is incredible. Just wow!
One coat for all seasons though? What's it like?

I am hoping to reduce my not-so-capsule wardrobe even further, but I currently have a toddler who likes to wipe his mucky hands on my clothes, so I need a few options!

EdnaScoggins Sun 16-Dec-12 18:12:41

Have not read it all, but what an interesting thread. thanks

EdnaScoggins Sun 16-Dec-12 18:13:25

Oh, sorry, you probly don't want thanks cluttering you up....wink

MinimalistMommi Sun 16-Dec-12 18:23:37

What I forgot my Berghaus rain jacket (I'm exhausted right now and can't think straight) so I wear my rain jacket in the spring/summer or if its warm, go coat less, and I have a long, thick, navy jacket for autumn/winter.

Really, the truth is though, I'm so minimalist because I struggle to shop, becoming minimalist has actually made it really difficult for me to buy stuff/anything really, including clothes. Especially when the quality is usually so poor on the high street. It makes getting dressed/laundry easy!

MinimalistMommi Sun 16-Dec-12 18:24:32

Edna you made me laugh!

IWipeArses Sun 16-Dec-12 18:36:50

Ooh, one pair of jeans?? Living on the edge, I like it! No, you must talk about underwear, it's very important. For instance, What's 7 pair of knickers makes me feel a little nervous. I've never been great at keeping on top of the washing and underwear is the last part of my clothing I haven't considered minimalising. grin

SantasLittleElfycat Sun 16-Dec-12 18:52:30

I'd like to join. I've done some de-cluttering but DH and I have been collecting stuff in our lives for a long time. Both of us. I'm particularly guilty of collecting craft projects and books. DH was in the army, came with loads of STUFF, and spares. He's left now and we still have the spare in the garage.

We always have STUFF on every flat surface, the mantlepiece, the window-ledges. We finally keep the table clear so we can use it but every cupboard and drawer is full so we can't put things away neatly. It's untidy and I don't want it to be.

Edna, I minimalised my vases, and now have none! So no thanks for me, but thanks for the thought. It is the thought that counter right! I don't need real flowers!

Mini, that is still impressive. I do get good wear out of my various clots though. But maybe there is still much room for improvement. Hence my being here!

Wipe, knickers last twice as long between washes if you turn them inside out and wear them again that way! wink

Hi, Elfy. One box/bag at a time! I still have things on surfaces, but getting better.


*coats! Oh dear!

RarelyUnreasonable Sun 16-Dec-12 19:22:35

I have minimised my drawers and have an eBay pile and a charity shop pile. Woo hoo!

Still some to cull as am in maternity clothes too, but getting there.

I have 3 drawers (underwear, tops, bottoms). 3 dresses (one my wedding one), 2 shirts in wardrobe. Not exactly sure on the shoe and coat count. One handbag and one clutch.

Am buying a few clothes, mainly to replace worn or maternity ones. Making sure everything is in my colours and goes together. As a sahm/wahm this is easier for me as I can wear jeans plus top every day!
Aiming for 3 jeans, 3 jumpers and tops. Am operating a one in, one out system too.

Shoe cull is next.

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 13:40:36

Got my fill of blogs at weekend and feeling motivated now smile

Yesterday I cleared a shelf in bathroom cabinet, 2 drawers in my room and half my wardrobe in anticipation of dp moving in in the next few months.

Today Im sorting the hot press and top of my chest of drawers, plus kellys flylady mission. I think its meant to just be the bedroom, but Im going to look all over house. All in 15 mins...starting at 13.45 smile

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 13:42:07

btw, i also stumbled across youtube videos of people decluttering over the space of an hour / three days, but in fast forward. At first I was like "why the heck would anyone watch these?" then I watched 5 or 6 in a row....

IWipeArses Mon 17-Dec-12 14:04:25

bluecarrot, link please!

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 14:14:35
harrietspy Mon 17-Dec-12 14:25:33

Just checked what the dc have lined up for christmas, as yet unwrapped.

Clothes-wise, DS1 has 4 new tops, a dressing gown, 5x socks, pack of boxers, trackie bottoms because he's grown so much this year and nothing fits him. But I didn't buy new clothes for ds2 because he inherits his brother's, is 7 and thinks clothes of any sort don't count as presents anyway. I don't think DS2 will mind one bit. But I still feel bad that it's not "equal". Daft, isn't it!

I'm beginning to realise how many past purchases have been based on emotion rather than need. Obvious, I know, but I have to learn and relearn this all the time.

What helps me:
*remembering that I'm paying off debt
*calculating how little I'd get for a purchase if I sold it on
*leaving the house without a purse whenever possible
*not going to charity shops unless I'm looking for something specific (eg clothes that dc really need).

What helps you avoid impulse- or emotion-driven buying?

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 14:39:21

Financially thinking : I have a chart that it on the back of my glass/cup cupboard door. Everytime I open the doors (quite a lot!) I see it. On it I have what my savings are currently and my savings goals (weekly, monthly, yearly targets etc).

Selling stuff regularly on ebay remind you of the low resale value of items.

Reading Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin (not Alvin hall, though hes good too!) regularly is inspiring. As part of the plan you work out your real hourly wage. Suddenly buying magazines (1 hours real wage) became less important. I still look and consider buying, but remind myself I can get it online.

Clutter wise : As from next year, Ill be getting rid of something for every new item that comes in.

I feel quite embarrassed at my clutter, and dp is moving in...he doesnt seem to care but I pretend he does as extra motivation!

harrietspy Mon 17-Dec-12 14:44:44

bluecarrot I have (and love) Your Money Or Your Life but I need to revisit it - I never got as far as calculating my hourly wage because I've done so many temp jobs it felt impossible. When I've recorded my spending that's made a difference. My friend checks his balance every day and he says that alone has transformed his spending. The chart on the cup door is a brilliant idea. Thanks!

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 15:15:04

Well, I would imagine there are work arounds or ways to make good estimations, but just ignore it for now and move on. Even reading about why its good to know the hourly wage can be inspirational in itself.

My favourite tip from the book other than the charts and calculations <geek> is about anticipating need so you can look out for good deals, rather than panic buy and thinking outside the box. Its really simple but I hadnt really given much though. now has a "savvy buys" section which tracks prices and can send alerts. So, lets say you only buy Plenty kitchen roll, but rather than wait til you run out, you track the price and buy a pack or two based on your needs, when it goes on sale. A lot of things go on sale on a regular basis.... but now Im getting onto money saving rather than decluttering! (Actually, I tend to hoard long life food and cleaning products, but its not a major issue)

As I look around my house I see that a lot of stuff is "aspirational clutter" - the paint that I bought 2 or 3 years ago to paint the hall / stairs / landing, the stuff for my bedroom, plus the craft projects Ive purchased for but never had the time.

So, my thoughts have lead me to re-instating my craft room (currently full of ebay stuff) but will include all the other projects (the wall paint etc) and make a list of all the projects I already have supplies for. Ill store the list somewhere prominent to remind me the next time I decide that a project looks fun I DONT NEED ANOTHER PROJECT! I might eventually let go of some if it, but ill work on rest of house first.

Plus when all that clutter is contained, I can see what is left and what really needs addressed.

Going back to kids' clothes, I realised about six months ago that my daughter really doesn't need many. She's seven and so at school five days a week. Then it's after school club or trampolining/Brownies and at her Dad's every other weekend. That means she only needs non-uniform clothes five days a month which is maybe three sets, a few more for the holidays.

When I realised that it made me fell quite differently towards her clothes, especially as we do laundry about twice a week.

I'm also seeing how I can apply that to myself and DP.

harrietspy Mon 17-Dec-12 16:23:10

bluecarrot, the tip about anticipating need is really helpful.

I also really relate to the unfinished project stuff and I like your idea of having a list of things you already have materials for. I love starting things. Not so great at finishing. But recently I've been trying to use what I've got and that seems to have soaked up some of the start-up energy, eg in the past I would have bought new jeans instead of patching the old ones - I work from home 90% of time & I live in jeans - but I actually got round to patching them and they look/feel/wear just fine. I felt so chuffed! The sewing machine/box of fabric doesn't feel like clutter if I'm actually using it.

MinimalistMommi Mon 17-Dec-12 17:50:59

Watching this makes me realise how much there is in modern day life that isn't needed, amazing inspiration for (extreme) simple living:

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 18:39:55

oh, I love that youtube channel / author! I watched about 50 videos by her this weekend. My favourite home is this one though not great for anyone with kids and still wants privacy ;)

I toy with boxing up everything but bare minimum and unpacking as I need it. I think Im actually looking for the "perfect" system. This search is why Im so disorganised I think!

But was discussing this idea with mum and reckon its maybe worth a try. Off to beg for boxes tomorrow. Will see how long the enthusiasm lasts...

I just came across this on a frugal living blog and thought it broke it down quite well especially if you're feeling overwhelmed and don't now where to start:

MinimalistMommi Mon 17-Dec-12 20:17:08

bluecarrot have you seen the hour long video about lots of different tiny homes? I love it!

I'll check out your link!

I'm super interested in tiny house living & family life!

harrietspy Mon 17-Dec-12 20:22:34

I want a tiny house but I think, if I'm honest, I want it just for me. My equivalent of a canary yellow caravan with a place for everything like in the Wind in the Willows.

lucysnowe Mon 17-Dec-12 20:22:39

Hi guys

Thanks for the inspiring links and for the capsule wardrobe ideas.

You are all of course right about needing two bottle openers. WWSD - you've got it - but I don't feel organised enough yet so take the plunge. Poor old DD is running around in too small socks because all her other ones are yet to be washed. blush. Laundry (and paperwork) is the priority for minimising. As I say, I want to potentially rule out laundry baskets altogether. Has anyone managed this?

Here's a lovely inspiring image smile

MinimalistMommi Mon 17-Dec-12 21:20:15

As a family of four, we have four large plates, four small plates, four cereal bowls and four pasta bowls.

Really I would just like four plates and four bowls but my mind says, 'they're Denby and nice quality, so keep them.'

When the pasta bowls get broken they won't be replaced though, as I know we don't 'need' them at all. I bought them before I discover per minimalism grin

We have four cups and four glasses. I guess we could do without glasses really, but my family would think I was crazy, so Im keeping them for now. Just keeping four of everything makes keeping up with washing up easy.

MinimalistMommi Mon 17-Dec-12 21:24:11

Wouldn't be much to clean in this room:

I've sold about £80 of DVDs to Music Magpie recently (nearly our whole collection) and would like to lose some books in the same way but I can't seem to find anywhere that wants ours!

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 21:44:51

Since my last post I took the headstaggers and went and filled 14 bin bags, 6 boxes and 4 small carrier bags full of stuff that is now in my car and ready to be brought to the charity shop in the am. I was supposed to be selling it all but you know what? Its getting me down. Its too much and while I love the thrill of a sale, the "wage" i make from it is not worth the stress.

minimalistmommi - thats too minimalist for me!

lucy - that apartment is great - looks cosy, stylish and minimal smileWhat do you mean about not having laundry baskets? Wash every day? confused

harrietspy - i think I love you. I also want a tiny home, and yes, I have watched many many videos of them smile I love all the fold out gadgetry and inventive uses of space. I want to downsize when we buy (currently renting). Im dreaming of a campervan (vw blue!)

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 21:47:41

ok, help me here . I have a gorgeous baby blue le creuset casserole dish. The huge oval one. that I dropped sad so, its not usable for food anymore due to large hairline crack.

Do i discard in the name of minimalism? Can you think of a great use for it? I dont do herbs or anything so planters not ideal. If I use it as storage itll end up filled with crap for random bits of stuff.

Inspire me!

IWipeArses Mon 17-Dec-12 22:06:22

MinimalistMommi, I've done a similar thing in my kitchen, though ideally I want just 4 pasta bowls as they can be used for everything. I think I got that idea in my head from one of the blogs I linked to earlier.
I've boxed up my excess and stuck it in my secret hoard garage, for now at least to see if there's anything we miss. I may keep hold of spare mugs, plates etc. in case of breakage, while we live in this house with a massive empty apart from the junk anyway.

lucy, the easiest attack on the laundry mountain for me was reducing our towels by half. We were given about three sets of towels for wedding presents, but still had all the mismatched tatty sets we had before, so into the recycling they went. We still have plenty of towels actually, but I would regularly get down to the last towel and have at least three big loads of towels to wash. Now I occasionally run out, but I can never have that many to wash. grin
Look for easy wins.

Queen, that's a good article, lots of easy wins there. I like how it feels like you're being given permission to do it.

IWipeArses Mon 17-Dec-12 22:18:22

bluecarrot, well done on all the binbags!

I have stuff I've wanted to ebay for ages, just hanging around, it never happens. Most of my stuff gets given to a relative who car boots regularly, lots goes to charity. I'm going to have a go at ebaying the high ticket items cluttering us up in the new year, but then it's all going.
Well done.

bluecarrot, awesome work on the clearout! I bet you feel amazing! Sorry to hear about the cracked Le Creuset. sad Me, I'd bin it. Ideas wise, what do you need? A pot for coins/keys (emptying pockets when you get home)? A container for make up?

We have six bowls and six plates, for DH, DS and me, plus spare for visitors. I tell a lie, we have five plates, as one smashed the other day. I actually felt very ok about it, like oh, oh well, that's one less bit of stuff! smile DH works with a few single people who are possibly alone over Xmas (we/they are expats), he's inviting people for Christmas dinner if he finds out they are alone, but they'll have to bring their own crockery if we have more than two takers! smile

We have too many towels, we got given some by DH's new company when we relocated here. Will get rid of some. Aargh at towels for wedding presents! We got one set, despite requesting no gifts. DH and I lived in separate homes before we married, so already had enough homeware for one person, doubled when we merged, and people want to add to it! [ungrateful]

ReallyNotTotallyStupidPromise Tue 18-Dec-12 02:29:20

I was quite minimal smile Until my Mum came to stay - she has now gone home, but my place has more in it than it did before - she means well, but arghhhhhhhh I mean, who needs 3 bathroom mats?! One was fine, wash, dry, back down in a few hrs. Now I have 2 more to store in this tiny place.

Yes, I know I could get rid but she'd ask where they were when she comes back grin

Chottie Tue 18-Dec-12 02:54:08

I've just discovered this thread and would love to join you. I have decided to start with my own stuff first, clothes, shoes and makeup. Anything that is unworn, doesn't fit or suit me will be taken to the charity shop and old makeup will be binned. smile

Watching with interest & getting ready to join in the New Year. Hard to be minimalist at Christmas - so much crap in the house & returning teenagers leaving stuff everywhere. Trying to be tolerant - its only 'stuff', no-one died ...... angry ......

RarelyUnreasonable Tue 18-Dec-12 07:46:28

I'd put the le creuset on freecycle - someone may be able to use it and less wasteful than just binning. I feel your pain though - would love baby blue le creuset set (not in spirit of thread smile).

I have two pairs of shoes that need to go. Shoes I wore at my wedding (patent scarlet) and some black ones bought for dgm's funeral that I thought would go with anything in the future. Both have been worn once, but I just can't get rid - help me!
This is so unlike my decluttering persona that I feel it's a sign I should keep them...

I plan to catch up with paperwork filing today. Not too bad, and dh's just gets put in his box for him to sort out one day.

harrietspy Tue 18-Dec-12 08:08:30

blue, I'd either freecycle the le creuset (The le creuset?! Doesn't seem quite right) - or see if it could be genuinely useful to store something you need and use, like whatwouldsantado said. I'm sure there's a freecycler who'd love it.

I can't spend too much time/energy on minimising just now either, notquite - haven't started decorating house/tree for Christmas yet - but I'll clear the decks before I start decorating and then in January I can think about whether I really want to put everything back...

I love this thread.

RarelyUnreasonable Tue 18-Dec-12 08:10:51

grin * harriet* I had the same dilemma over the le creuset.

harrietspy Tue 18-Dec-12 08:30:15

I know, I forgot to say I was agreeing with you! smile

MsInterpret Tue 18-Dec-12 09:00:14

Feeling v inspired by this thread! Lots of principles of minimalism from Zen Habits blog is how we live already but we definitely have too much 'stuff'!

Keep the blogs, vids & inspiration coming grin

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 09:01:09

I have no need for it that I can think of. It's just pretty... Saying that, it's been in my cupboard for the last year so I haven't really seen it. Hmm. Will give myself another month to work it out smile

Today, after charity shop run, I'm packing up most of my Tupperware type things. I have too many. I've already chucked the cheap stuff but have a lot of lock and lock that I struggle to part with. Will pack away all but whats used daily and see what I need from it in next 6 months. Then it's on to books. I've already gone through a batch last night but we have probably over 1000 books here!

Good luck everyone smile

Anyone got any ideas on what's eBay-able? I've got rid of some clothes that way but what's left is either so old no one would buy it or so new I need it. (Lost a lot of weight this year.) We have an awful lot of crap in the house but it does mostly seem to be just that, crap...I would ideally like to combine decluttering with making some cash and am loathe to just chuck stuff out!

I have masses and masses of old jewellery that I don't wear. Not expensive stuff, mostly Accessorize and the like. Can I sell it? Is that even hygienic?

lljkk Tue 18-Dec-12 09:23:46

Join the Ebay Challenges Threads, Antoinette. You need to research on Ebay if anyone has sold items similar to your stuff.

I think you aspiring minimalists are nuts, but in a nice way. Am fascinated by folk who manage to reduce their stuff to so little.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 09:24:54

Good morning everyone!
bluecarrot your clear out sounds amazing!

Does anyone know the square footage of their homes? We're downsizing in the next couple of months and moving into a tiny home, at least a third less square footage than now, if not half. So that's why I'm very interested in tiny homes and family life/minimalism/decluttering.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 09:30:00

bluecarrot I'm half way through the video you linked, very interesting esp. Kitchen section. These videos tend to show how 'normal' life can be in tiny space, eg with small dishwasher, stacking bowls etc. I think I'm more interested in minimalism combined with Simplicity you know? Where you can wash dishes by hand and just ditch the dishwasher for example & just have one mixing bowl rather than 10 stacked. Although, I did like the stacking beakers for drinking squash/water. Although I guess, if someone was extremely minimalist a cup would do for water and hot drinks etc.

IWipeArses Tue 18-Dec-12 09:57:45

Tupperware - if you have the space ie. because you've cleared out your cupboards, store it with it's lid on, rather than stacked. Less time hunting for lost lid, easier to get out and you'll be more likely to use it. Not for tiny homes though I'd have thought. grin

broken le creuset, I think I'd go with freecycle. Even if I put it to use, I would feel sad, or guilty whenever I saw it.

Rarely, do you have another pair of shoes suitable for a funeral? If not, keep them. Do the red shoes go with anything you have that fits right now? If not definitely get rid.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 10:10:52

Ant I would get rid of the jewellery, or if you really want to sell it, sell it as a 'bulk lot' on eBay, so at least you get rid of it in one hit.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 10:11:59

broken le creuset, definitely send out of your home.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 10:16:02

bluecarrot we've got rid of hundreds of books in the past two months and two bookcases as well. They were just sitting there gathering dust, I'm so glad they've gone. We're using the library a lot now. I'd rather pay 80 p to order/reserve a book I would really like to read than pay full price then have to store it in my house after I have read it grin I'm ordering a lot of books through for my DC too, rather than buying from Book people website etc. My older DC doesn't re-read books so this seems a good way. It's free to order /reserve children's books too at my library.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 10:18:14

Here's the documentary on tiny house living incase anyone is interested:

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 11:06:24

I love the white in this tiny home, it looks so cosy!

lucysnowe Tue 18-Dec-12 11:07:46

Ah yes towels - our towels are ridiculous, I am constantly hunting round for a random one only to find they are all damp. We don't have a towel dryer per se so I will have to think of a different way to store them before they get washed.

bluecarrot - yes - basically be so on top of washing that I just do the clothes from the day before (this is more of a housekeeping thing than a minimalist thing tho!). In reality I will probably need at least two bins just to keep things off the floor. BUT currently we have two ginormous ones and they really look horrid and clutter up the house.

Another thing to declutter - art. I aim to choose just one or maybe two really nice pieces per room. I went mad and bought lots of cheap art on ebay and now my dining room looks like a pub parlour smile. I am going to have to be ruthless.

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 11:51:13

Not sure it's environmentally or financially sensible to wash clothes daily tbh. Can you not invest in a nice looking laundry basket? Keep laundry in linen closet or similar? I guess you could store dirty clothes in the washing machine a few days as long as the door was left open?!

MM - I was just thinking of that family- I couldn't remember enough if their story to google it. It's a very practical and pretty home but I got a weird vibe from them...
We live a minutes walk from the library- it's 50p for adult book reservation here, and £1.50 a DVD. Plus if you want a particular mag, you ask nicely and you get the old library copy when the next months comes in smile we are there at least once a week and dd gets the max 9 books per visit. I tend to get the audiobooks from their online section. Our downfall is library book sales. Fill a box of books for £3? Yes please! Our last batch we sent out into the world book-crossing style. That was fun smile

I've always stored the lock and lock with lids on- partly why they take up so much room! But I ended up giving majority of excess to my mum, and she wants any others I end up not needing. Since she lives practically next door, if I regret getting rid of a particular piece ill just go get it back!

Le creuset... Still can't bear to part with it.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 11:57:20

BC I like your thinking about sending your lock and lock boxes next door grin

I do know what you mean about that family and the weird vibe.

Do you read the decluttering forum over on Quite a bit of inspiration there.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:04:33

LS (LucySnowe) Towels: Presently we have two bath towels per person so eight in total. I'm thinking of cutting this down to one towel each though as we have a dryer and just storing hand towels in our airing cupboard. I haven't done it yet though. Then I can just wash and dry them all at once while the children are at school/DH at work.

TheWombat Tue 18-Dec-12 12:25:21

What an inspiring thread! I am not a natural minimalist but I hate clutter. Can I join in?
I have about 100 DVDs that could be sold, will Music Magpie take them?
My main challenge is not throwing away or Ebay-ing - I'm quite good at that. It's just that I tend to be seduced very easily into buying new stuff. Grr. Perhaps 'not buying new stuff' would be a good new year's resolution smile.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:29:39

TheWombat welcome!
I'm pretty sure music magpie takes DVD's...I might be wrong though!
Minimalism becomes a kind of mindset with time, definitely start with baby steps. Why don't you start a mini challenge in January ? Go a week without buying new stuff ? (food aside of course!)

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:32:01

Oh & to motivate yourself, try to imagine all you stuff in your home in a big messy pile, & then before you purchase something new, just imagine adding it to the pile of stuff you already own.

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 12:42:01

Ok ladies. I have just raced through one of the storage rooms and filled a car with 14 bin bags full of stuff for dump plus some extra bits in a box- broken hifi etc.. Plus found another 18 boxes of stuff for charity and one of stuff to sell. Just keep telling myself I can re-buy if I really miss it. I'm in the zone.

Result? 59 empty boxes ( some tupperware, some i could fit inside) and 2 ikea bags ( plus boxes I've used to hold stuff for charity shop)

REALLY wish I had done a few before pics but I guess there's no point in creating extra digital clutter.

I did cheat slightly in that any paperwork got chucked in a box to sort later, and little "bits" - toys, Allen keys, jigsaw pieces, doohickeys all to sort later.

Feel more light and free already. smile

Lunch, laundry then to clean room and replace the "maybe keep" and "def keep" stuff. DD won't believe her eyes when she gets home from school.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:44:50

OMG BC I wish I could see pics of this , you're AMAZING & I wish I could see pics of this right now! WOW!

harrietspy Tue 18-Dec-12 12:47:53

Ok, so I just spent the morning clearing decks for christmas and haven't finished yet. Found my degree notes on Shakespeare under the spare room bed. I graduated in 1994. Hello, recycling bin.

I was supposed to be tidying up but I couldn't bear to just clear a path through the junk in the spare room where my mum is staying over Christmas. So I have a huge bag for charity, a box for eBay, a box for etsy, a box for car boot, a bag for the school fete and another batch of books to send to And I'm saying goodbye to a load of books that make me feel guilty, sad or regretful whenever I see them. (They're going to charity shop because I don't want to keep them in my life).

Hello to all the new folk! thewombat I don't use musicmagpie but take dvds and cds.

This feels gooood.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:48:57

I found out this morning that I might be exchanging contracts at the end of this week. I don't feel ready to move into our tiny home! I need to take a leaf out of BC's book and start decluttering some more. As I said we are downsizing, our new home is going to be just over 500 sq ft for our family of four.
Some furniture we have currently is going to have to go which is going to be tough.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:51:15

harrietspy wish I knew about before I did my big book clear out. :/
Is it free postage to them?

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:52:02

Right, I need to get of mumsnet & get to work!

Viviennemary Tue 18-Dec-12 12:53:12

I am the exact opposite of a minimalist but I love the idea of minimalism! I got a book called the Joy of Less. That was really interesting reading and quite inspiring to make you get rid of clutter and not buy a lot of stuff you don't need. I am trying to make sure if I buy something new I get rid of something. Especially books which are easy to accumulate especially if there is an offer on in a charity shop. And same with clothes and shoes.

Bonsoir Tue 18-Dec-12 12:54:33

Top tip: only have one set of sheets per bed and one set of towels per person. Wash, tumble dry and put them straight back on the bed/in the bathroom. When old, replace and recycle the old ones.

No linen storage = a huge gain of space.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:58:31

Bonsoir that's what I want to do with my towels! I already do that with bedding which I know with two children most people wouldn't risk but its worked out so far here.

Santaandme Tue 18-Dec-12 13:00:53

Just wow at this thread.

Today I am going to:

- Declutter kitchen: Throw out pots without lids and broken trays.
- Throw out Tupperwares. I am drowning in the stuff.

Can anyone tell me what they do with post? This is the bane of my life currently. For Visa purposes, I still receive paper statements. I like the idea upthread about scanning and saving bills etc..

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 13:03:38

Panic setting in that I'm discarding stuff I "need". Skipping lunch and heading straight to dump before I give in! Eek! Maybe I should have properly sorted the boxes.... <grabs car keys>

Bonsoir Tue 18-Dec-12 13:03:44

It's even easier with towels than sheets, I find. The best bit is never having nasty old out of date towels - you can freshen up the look of your bathroom with new towels/bathrobes etc really easily!

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:06:45

BC quick, go to the dump, you can do it! You will feel fear when you are at dump but just push ahead with it!

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:07:34

Bonsoir some towels are washing now, once they're dry I'm going to take a look a choose which four I'm going to keep.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:09:04

I've just found a skirt DD has outgrown, I find that once you are further into minimalism/decluttering journey it gets harder! I'm really getting down to bare basics here so it's hard to see how to go forward IYSWIM.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:10:20

I pass a clothes recycling bank on walk to school so I will take skirt this afternoon and see what other clothes I can find we don't need/outgrown.
Doesn't seem much compared to BC's progress!

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:12:03

Santa for starters with post, recycle all the extra leaflets that come with bank stuff and keep just actual bill. We have a large Really Useful box with dividers in it for bank/medical stuff for current years stuff.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:23:15

Just found outgrown pyjama set belonging to DD that can go this afternoon too!

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 13:23:49

Dump closed til 2! Going to have lunch in the cafe beside it as a wee treat while waiting for it to open. Silver lining and all that smile

Santaandme- do you have a smart phone? I saw a receipt stored app (on apple store but I'm sure android have it too)

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:33:05

Sounds like a plan BC!

forevergreek Tue 18-Dec-12 13:34:03

For post just get it all electronically. You can just log into you bank and find any detail you want there instead of rummaging through paperwork

We live in central London. Small one bed flat, 2 adults, 2 young children (I have no idea of sq ft). The only books we have are a few reference for work ( everything else for adults on kindle), and some children's books. We also use the library. We also own no DVDs and just subscribe to love film/ netflixs
Toys only exist if they fit into a certain cabinet we have ( is organised with baskets etc)

We all share a bedroom but have two sofa beds so can actually have a few people staying.

I think having such a small space we need to keep 'stuff' to a minimum. But a small space is great for us as it means we get out a lot and get to see Lots of new things and explore new places ( the money sved for having smaller accomadation, not impulse buying, no excess toys/ clothes etc means we can afford holidays/ flights to new citys/ memberships to national trusts/ zoos blah blah etc which are far more beneficial IMO)

IWipeArses Tue 18-Dec-12 13:39:44

Bonsoir, no tumble dryer here, but I pared the bedding right back. We currently have two sets of sheet, duvet cover and pillow covers, for all beds, plus a couple extras for the children. I used to have a third set for ours and there was always one at the bottom of the laundry basket as it just wasn't needed.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:47:16

forevergeek that sounds amazing, I really wish you knew sq footage, I'm a real geek for stuff like that! It's the reason we are downsizing, we are moving from suburbs to city centre (still very quiet street) and our mortgage will be less then rent we are paying now and our bills will be much much lower. We currently rent huge three bed house and are going to small two bed/two reception townhouse. With money saved, after things have been done to house that need doing, we want to be able to spend money on experiences rather than stuff. That's our long term plan anyway.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:47:49

forvergeek we don't bank like that at moment, I must sort that out!

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:48:35

We also use LoveFilm and don't buy DVDs apart from selection of Disney ones for DC's.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 13:49:36

Sorry, on iPad, mis-spelled your name ForverGreek so sorry!

IWipeArses Tue 18-Dec-12 13:50:23

forever, your place sounds great! What sort of size/shape is that toy cabinet? Photo/linkage? And what age are your kids?

blossombath Tue 18-Dec-12 13:53:33

Hello, may I join? What Fuchzia said is,me exactly. Haven't time to read all but seen great ideas already so marking place to read later

LemonBreeland Tue 18-Dec-12 13:58:03

Receipt app sounds interesting. Will have to look for one. I did the mn test on a new website to manage your finances but couldn't get it to work properly. It would be great to have an easy way to look at how I spend my money.

I am going to clear out our dresser and get rid of vile serving plates that lovely people bought for us and we will never use. I also have a fancy dinner service and a fancy cutlery set. I can't get rid just yet as my Mum would be offended as she bought them for us. But last year they didn't even get used at Christmas. They just take up space I could use for other things.

I must work on getting dh on board with this. Maybe show him some youtube clips. That might appeal to him. Haven't watched them myself yet as I'm at work and can't get youtube here, but will watch later.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 14:10:27

Lemon would your mum even know if you got rid of them? I had to have hard conversations with my family, but once that was over and done with, it was like a weight had been lifted. We just exchange cards at birthdays and Christmas's now and not presents for example.

lucysnowe we haven't had laundry baskets for some time now and it works fine. It just occurred to me that we were creating more work by putting them in a holding bay in effect before then putting stuff in the washing machine.

By definition if you have full laundry baskets and/or a backlog of washing, you must have more clothes etc. than you need.

I've been working on minimalising our wardrobes a bit more today. I came across Project 333. The idea is that you have just 33 items of clothing (excepting underwear, sleepwear etc.) for three months based on what you love rather than what's useful or you actually wear.

I went through my wardrobe and it came out at about 36 things, interestingly including things I don't wear that often. You then rotate things in and donate stuff out - haven't quite understood this bit yet.

It also 'motivated' DP to go through his stuff. I said he could keep five tops which shocked him a bit. However he's got rid of two thirds and now has about eleven tops - I guess it's a work in progress!

minimalistmommi our house is 59sq/m. Don't know what that is in feet, my friend's DH is an engineer and worked it out for me.

We have two beds, two baths, open plan kitchen/sitting room and a utility/office. But I have skylights in every room and trifold doors onto a walled garden smile.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 14:28:23

Queen how many DC do you have? Thank you for working it out for me!

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 14:29:32

635 sq ft Queen I just googled it for you!

One DD who is nearly eight, DP works from home and I work part-time so we're in the house a reasonable amount of the time but it doesn't feel cramped.

DD has triple bunk beds in her room which works for family friends staying over and should future proof us for sleepovers.

We also have a (very grumpy) cat.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 14:42:03

My DD's are going to be in bunk beds once they move, I'm hoping my older girl doesn't wake her younger sister when she climbs down from bunk bed...

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 14:42:36

they meant we grin

Santaandme Tue 18-Dec-12 14:51:28

Just decluttered my kitchen drawers and I have a bin bag full of stuff to throw out and more importantly I found £10 in loose change grin

forevergreek Tue 18-Dec-12 15:03:20

Hmm, we must have the measurements down somewhere, I will try looking this evening. From a quick glance at neighbours online ( think they are he same or roughly), I think it's 540sqft

Children are 18 months and 3. Currently in cot beds that are big enough until 6years approx. and then will probably get bunkbeds or move ( and still get bunkbeds). Clothes in draws built under their beds.

The cabinet we brought abroad, but is basically a low tv long cabinet size ( if that makes sense). It has a door at either end and 3 basket size gaps in the middle. So along the floor it goes door-basket-basket-basket- door. the equivalent can probably be brought at somewhere like ikea I would have thought. All toys at the smaller/ foldable option ( ie folding tabletop play cooker, that is hidden behind a door but can be put ontop at perfect play height)- ( until they grow!) . Cabinet is approx 65cm high ( with legs)

IWipeArses Tue 18-Dec-12 15:05:14

Similar to what we have Forever, baskets in a bench with large baskets on top.

RarelyUnreasonable Tue 18-Dec-12 15:50:44

bluecarrot Wow! <hands decluttering medal>

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 16:06:41

ForeverGreek I am moving into very similar sq footage to you then, my DC's are older though. The plan is for my two DC's to be in bunk beds, sharing a room.

Your toy cabinet sounds brilliant, would love to see pic!

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Dec-12 16:07:16

Santa great find!

PoppyAmex Tue 18-Dec-12 16:54:34

This is a brilliant thread - may I please join?

I'm only truly happy when things around me are ordered and clean; in an ideal world I'd live in the "American Psycho" flat / wardrobe blush

In the past 12 months we moved back from Australia (after 8 years in Sydney), had our first baby and bought a house, so all the STUFF from both our parents' houses, our childhood, our previous UK home and 20 boxes from our Australian flat converged in this house. Plus all new baby stuff!

Our new house is quite large and has a lot of storage, so I've managed to function as I don't necessarily see all the clutter, but I know it's there... lurking.

Another big problem I have is digital rubbish - I have too many blogs/sites on my feedly (best reeder and beautiful to boot, by the way), too many passwords, too many "read-it-laters", too many email subscriptions.... I need to sort this in 2014. Any suggestions on where to start?

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 17:48:43

I dont know how feedly works but what about not reading any and if you miss it, you can add them again? Maybe have a target time to spend on it a day? Or have 7 and only read one a day for 15 mins?

Passwords - simplify and record. lets say your parents are called adrian and beatrice, your kids called Callum and Danielle. and your favourite number is 42 and your first child was born in 2002.

mumsnet password could be Adrian42. You record (somewhere not in plain sight) "A4". ebay password could be beatrice2002 and you record "b2" etc. you can use anything thats significant enough to remember - honeymoon country, favourute doll as a child etc. You can have plenty of combos.

Or just use a password saver like roboform. grin

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 18:03:00

Ive just counted my stuff a la project 333

Autumn/winter/spring wardrobe
6 tops
3 leggings
2 jeans
1 pair black trousers
1 black cardi
1 navy cardi
4 vest tops for layering
rocketdog flat boots
heel boots
flat black pumps
dressy heels
dressy coat
duvet coat
gloves x 2 (ski and regular)
1 necklace

Summer wardrobe

most of above plus
two maxi dresses
heels sandals

dont count towards the 33...
2 sets "working clothes" for gardening / painting etc
"working coat"
1 set gym clothes
2 pairs winter pjs
2 pairs summer pjs
1 dressing gown
1 pair slippers
underwear (10 socks, 10 pants, 3 bras)
2 x swimsuits

harrietspy Tue 18-Dec-12 19:47:24

minimalistmommi, yes it's free postage.

Now have 4 bags for charity, have been through clothes and taken out tshirts I didn't wear last summer and bedlinen we never ever use, also through cosmetics and thrown out ancient make up.

The spare room is now looking lovely & welcoming - dusted, dejunked, decluttered.

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 19:53:57

Harriet spy- you should sleep there tonight and pretend you are in a hotel. With complimentary bottle of wine and some chocolates left on the bedside table ;)

You lot have inspired me today. I've listed some jewellery on eBay, given a load of brand new crockery to my sister (it was a present but we already had a set) and made a pile for the charity shop tomorrow. I've also thrown out all the pretty glass jars I was accumulating on the kitchen windowsill for 'candles, maybe' and properly cleaned under there for the first time in ages!

I feel much better grin

gracelesslady Tue 18-Dec-12 20:30:00

Hello can I join in? My house has got a lot less stuff in it than it used to but still, I feel overwhelmed with the volume of stuff that we have. Haven't had a chance to read those blogs, but feel so soothed by the idea of only having the bare essentials. Have just started a 27 fling a la flylady who I loosely follow, hence the less stuff, although that doesn't really explain why my house still weighs me down terribly! My mum is a hoarder and it took me until relatively recently to realise that it's ok to get rid of things that you don't need or love. My mother won't even put rubbish in the bin...

I read clear your clutter with feng shui by Karen Kingston which is dubious in terms of the feng shui but incredibly inspiring in terms of decluttering! Might dig that out and have a re read. And read those blogs. And fill that bin bag that currently only has 17 items in it....

Serenity and an empty house are on their way.... grin

buildingmycorestrength Tue 18-Dec-12 20:43:32

I like this thread. Joining in, eventually. grin

harrietspy Tue 18-Dec-12 20:45:39

blue, my mum is actually coming tonight or I might just do that. grin

TheWombat Tue 18-Dec-12 21:23:02

Thank you for the lovely and un-minimal welcome smile.
I believe I am rather amateur compared to many of you, but I have got started on the buymybooks DVD selling marathon (for which, thank you for the tips!). Well, I have put 'find boxes to post DVDs in' on my to do list, at least.

I shudder at the thought of counting the number of items in my (groaning) wardrobe, but I will go at this the Fly Lady 'one step at a time' way.

On the Xmas present front I am giving lots of homemade cookies, biscuits etc as presents so I guess I won't be contributing to the clutter of others - do I get points for that? smile

lucysnowe Tue 18-Dec-12 22:20:55

I like the idea of project 33!

lucysnowe we haven't had laundry baskets for some time now and it works fine. It just occurred to me that we were creating more work by putting them in a holding bay in effect before then putting stuff in the washing machine. By definition if you have full laundry baskets and/or a backlog of washing, you must have more clothes etc. than you need.

That is interesting (although I take your point bluecarrot!). I appreciate I am moaning and not decluttering, but I have so much laundry to do first before I can properly chuck things out. However have had a good go at DD's art (all good things in plastic folders, the rest unceremoniously chucked) and kitchen stuff.

I cleared out a carrier-bag sized lot of clothes today - old bras, socks, couple of tshirts, and it feels so good.
I really think I could do even more! One day at a time! Would be nice to have a fresh start for 2013.
Going to minimise the towels too. I think two each is a good aim, and a couple of spares for guests.

I have paperwork down to one large ring-binder.

Before we moved, I was ruthless and binned all greetings cards we'd been sent, wedding cards, DS's new baby cards, binned. I had about 10 photo albums, took out a few choice photos, scanned my favourites, then binned them too!

I now hoard a little on Pinterest! smile

bluecarrot Tue 18-Dec-12 22:55:10

lucy - what about taking it all to the laundrette? Its pricey, but its done far quicker and you are then on top of the washing. Maybe find out how much it will cost and calculate how much sanity you will save per £ spent smile

Photos are one of the things I want to sort when I finish the "big" decluttering. Plus the stuff I kept thinking Id scrapbook it. DD just turned 10 and none is in a scrapbook. Though I would consider outsourcing that job!

harrietspy Tue 18-Dec-12 23:12:25

I've given up on the idea of a scrapbook, blue. But I do have one of those white Kassett boxes from Ikea for each boy in the kitchen and I chuck stuff in there that would otherwise go in a scrapbook - tickets from the olympics, programmes from school plays, etc. The dc love looking through them and when the box is full I go through it and chuck some of it.

Before we moved country I had a whole wall of boy-generated artwork and didn't want to ship it all, but I took photos with my phone of each picture and I'm really glad I have a digital record - just because so much happened that year and the pictures form a diary. But I have boxes and boxes of physical photos from other years and dealing with them is on the list but way down.

Whatwouldsantado when I clear out the garage I know there's a box full of wedding stuff including some bunnies in a hammock. (Whoever bought those doesn't know me very well). I may photograph some stuff but your hardcore chucking is tempting.

harrietspy Tue 18-Dec-12 23:17:56

gracelesslady I read the karen thingy feng shui book too - I didn't buy all of the feng shui stuff either but some of the decluttering advice was really helpful.

blossombath Tue 18-Dec-12 23:31:39

Back again and trying to motivate self to make a start tomorrow - if I put it off to New Year I will only feel guilty and not get it done.

I am not a minimalist by inclination or aesthetics - in fact I am your dyed in the wool born hoarder, but the clutter is really depressing me, and making it harder to get things properly baby proofed for nearly walking DS. I go back to work after mat leave in four weeks sad so I want to try and get things going before then.

So many things up thread that I have nodded to - the many unfinished projects; the hanging on to pretty things; agonising over broken and/or hardly used but much loved kitchen goodies! Trying to stay off hte blogs, however, as my weekness is to waste time looking at other people's houses before getting very fed up with my own and sulking on sofa.

Think the idea I like most is the five boxes in a room thing - would like to do this in each of our rooms next year, but will need DH's help as our very active wee boy can't really entertain himself or be safely left anywhere, and only naps in half hour chunks. DH very stressed at work atm so now not the time to broach my plan but I was thinking of taking one room month and then
One weekend to 'five box' it and put stuff back which is staying
one weekend to dump/sell/freecycle/charity shop the leftovers
one weekend to do something nice in that room as a reward
two weekends off for family stuff

I know it will take longer this way but think that it would be easier to get DH to agree to this if he feels he will still have time off. Now to think of somethings I can achieve tomorrow...

mazzi2fly Tue 18-Dec-12 23:33:35

For storing washing, I use laundry bags hanging on the back of the children's bedroom doors. To carry the wet washing out to the shed to the tumble drier, I use a folding crate, then to store the dry washing for ironing, I use a large tesco shopping bag. I use the crate to carry the ironing upstairs to put away too.

For years I had a huge laundry basket that had no home. It was always propped up on the wall in the dining room. I felt so FREE when I got rid of it!

harrietspy Tue 18-Dec-12 23:40:47

blossombath I've stopped reading blogs for now because I use them as a substitute for taking action and then feel crap. My friend has this amazing house that looks completely minimalist in his photos - but when I asked him how he kept the house so clutter-free he said he'd put it all behind him while he took the photos. I felt so much better then! grin

harriet, bunnies in a hammock, what a thoughtful gift! We also received some random rubbish in a similar vein, I sent it all straight to the charity shop! Hahaha at your friend with his fake minimalist home! smile Maybe that's how it is for everyone, and real minimalism is just a dream! It's hard, I do want to be freer, be ready to jet off here and there without having too much to pack, but I also want to hold on to some heirloom pieces for DS, such as special toys we've bought for him, Christmas decorations (we do that Mumsnet thing of a new decoration for the tree for DS every year, so he has a nice collection full of memories when he moves into his own home), a few baby clothes that he might love to see he own children in! MIL has a collection of toys that DH played with when he was a tot, it is sweet seeing DS play with his daddy's old toys. Am I being a sentimental old crazy? Is this such a bad thing?! How to get the balance! I don't want to get to the stage of what I own owning me! I think I'm gonna start a Pinterest board for inspirational minimalist quotes! smile

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 07:20:46

whatwouldsantado, I know - the balance thing is hard. I don't think I'm a minimalist at heart (don't throw me off the thread! I like it here!) but I am trying to simplify and to be conscious, ie not acquiring or keeping things because they try to satisfy an unmet emotional need. In the Garage (which requires Capitals because it Looms so Large in my Subconscious) there is a massive box of old home interiors magazines and 3 scrapbooks full of my aspirational - and never realised - designs for the 10 homes I've lived in the last 20 years. The scrapbooks are very pretty to look at but they're basically all about yearning and not about making change. They're about running away from present pain and trying to drug myself against it with pretty pictures. So they'll be going in the bin because I don't want to live like that any more.

Wow. Didn't mean to get so deep but I do think there's a comfort-eating equivalent to having/keeping/getting 'stuff'.

RarelyUnreasonable Wed 19-Dec-12 07:29:29

santa At the risk of sounding harsh, I would:
*save a couple of favourite clothes for dolls and teddies. Let ds play with them, but don't save for his kids. MIL did this, and not only have fashions changed a lot, I found it a bit freaky when she once dressed dd in sil's 40 year old baby clothes. How about keeping a small blanket instead?
*toys. Mil did this too, and it is frugal/cute, but think how many years you'll have to store them. And your dc may choose not to have dc anyway. From mil's experience, a lot rotted over the 30+ years in the attic, and h&s rules change. Sell or charity shop them so someone else can enjoy them now, and you get more space.
*the tree idea is lovely. Am half-tempted to do the same for my DC, but actually think as adults they may want to choose their own decs and may feel bad about getting rid of the collection you bestow them - thus give f them sth to feel guilty about decluttering. How about starting a Xmas tradition like baking edible tree decs each year? The DC get the memories, but not the stuff.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 10:04:07

Good morning everyone!
BC how did it go at the tip yesterday?

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 10:23:46

I've found the main thing about decluttering is staying decluttered and not letting it creep back in. A good tip is when you vacuum your home, take a carrier bag along with you and as you move from room to room you can gather paper rubbish for example along with you...there's always bits and pieces with children around. That is a simple habit that can help you stay on top of it.

I think the biggest thing is to stop the buying/decluttering cycle because then money really is being wasted. I know it's popular to do a big declutter this time of year to make way for mountain of presents for DC's but about three years ago I decided not to get onto the Christmas bandwagon and really, seriously simplify at Christmas time and give each of my DC a small stocking and one present each. I know to some that sounds awful and not very Christmassy, but it just seems so wasteful to me, buying for the sake of it because its Christmas. We have lots of Christmas traditions, a pretty tree and nativity and my children aren't any less excited about Christmas. It is hard though, there is so much pressure from everywhere to buy a lot of things for your DC.

I guess the reason I have written this is to say that to make long term change, stuff really needs to be stopped from coming into you house otherwise it can be easy to get on the treadmill of stuff coming in, stuff being thrown away and on it goes. Obviously, that cycle works with clothes/shoes that have been worn out and needs to be replaced but its not a great cycle to be in with general clutter/stuff.

RarelyUnreasonable Wed 19-Dec-12 10:44:20

I agree mommi. We decluttered loads before moving, but am aware it's an ongoing state of mind. You never finish decluttering.
Hoping baby naps long enough for me to catch up w paperwork today.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 11:17:50

Rarely , you're right, it really is a state of mind.
Good luck with your paperwork!
I'm not getting on with much today, I'm not feeling well so I'm tucked up on the sofa thinking about the decluttering I need to do before moving. My family laugh at me as they think I'm so decluttered /simplified already that no more can possibly go, but I truly think its an on-going thing, things can always be simplified...& it makes such a difference to time spent on housework!

I think decluttering and minimalism are different things. To me decluttering is getting rid of the legacy of stuff we have. As others have said, part of the reason it can be so hard is because there is emotional attachment and it's often tied up with what we wanted to be or how our lives should/could be.

Minimalism is having less stuff but I don't think it means living in a white, empty house. It's about having what you need and not more - William Morris' everything should be beautiful or useful (although I want useful things to be beautiful too). Minimalism is for life, not just for Christmas!

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 12:03:10

I totally agree, minimalism isn't about living in a white house, it really is about having less of everything, the minimum amount and still be comfortable. It's about what you really need and use & no excess.

I think for a minimalist life to happen, decluttering has to happen first, the two go hand and hand.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 12:03:59

...when I move though, I do plan on painting a lot of the walls white though...grin

PretzelTime Wed 19-Dec-12 12:08:18

I think the biggest thing is to stop the buying/decluttering cycle because then money really is being wasted.
Absolutely, Mommi. It took a while to learn this...after a lot of decluttering and then filling up the empty space with new stuff, I have finally learnt my lesson.

hobnob57 Wed 19-Dec-12 12:11:00

wow, the unexpected things you stumble across when idling on MN! I had always thought minimalism was cold and stark, looking t the end result rather thn thge ideal. I had a read of the thread yesterday and a couple of the blogs and have surprised myself in a few ways. I live in a very cluttered house and it gets us all down. We are now a family of 5 in a reasonably small house. There is stuff everywhere. But I realised on reading yesterday that I do share some minimalist ideals at heart and indeed practise some too. I buy clothes once in a blue moon. I hate shopping. I crave storage solutions. But my downfall is chucking stuff out. I just never get around to it. My frugality/environmental bents hold me back and I get stuck in a cycle of procrastination: I think stuff might be worth something (and we need every penny we can get). So then there's the decision of how to get rid - FB, ebay, gumtree, car boot, local toy sales, charity, dump. Then there's finding the time (with a bf colicky baby) to sort, clean photograph, upload everything, research postage costs, post things, where to store stuff while it waits to be sold, what to do if it doesn't sell, etc. So the stuff stays put. And preys on my mind. And stops me from cleaning. I did a toy clear out last week and got 5 pedal bin bags cleared and in the garage for car boot sometime in the new year. But then is the new year the best time for car boot? and so it goes on....

This thread had inspired me to actually do a car boot. But any ebay advice welcome. It's working out the postage and how to package things that puts me off. And the prospect of going to the effort of listing and then things not selling.

hobnob57 Wed 19-Dec-12 12:14:15

I find the kids the hardest work - all the stuff the bring home from school and groups that they form emotional attachments to. I haven't worked out how to deal with all of it yet!

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 12:51:32

Pretzel it took me a while to learn... dissatisfaction soon sets in and new stuff become 'old' really very quickly. It's what stopped me shopping. I'm quite extremely into minimalism though, I day dream about living in a monk like room with just an iron bed, comfy mattress and blanket and a book blush
I get a lot of pleasure from things like cradling a warming cup of tea in my hands and sitting under a warm quilt in the evening with a good book.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 12:54:06

hobnob you need to take a long hard look and think if you really will ever get around to selling everything. Maybe weed out the highest value stuff to sell and send the rest to charity. I know from bitter experience that I had a built I cupboard filled to the top with stuff I was going to sell (Monica style from Friends, anyone remember that?) and three years later it was still there. Then I bundled up all my courage and shipped it out to charity.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 12:55:55

hobnob with the kids stuff, get them in board and ask them to choose say, 5 pictures from a pile, and then give them a folder with clear pockets in and they can store them away in that. Or, get together with them and scan them to make digital copies and then quietly recycle the originals.

hobnob57 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:10:35

Good idea. Must unearth the desk first blush

hobnob I use the eBay app on my iPad which makes life very easy as you take the picture with the iPad and it uploads it straight away.

My advice would be to take ten things at random and stick them on eBay always starting at 99p. I look at similar items for sale (e.g. a Monsoon skirt size 10) and then use the same postage. I often cut and paste the description and make minor amendments.

I list to end on Saturday/Sunday afternoon/evening and then take it the Post Office on Tuesday as it's my non-working day on my way to yoga.

Do that once a fortnight and you'll soon get through it. Anything that hasn't sold, take to the charity shop on your way to the Post Office.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 13:15:40

Queen that eBay app sounds brilliant! Didn't know about it!

hobnob57 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:22:02

I'll have to make do with my aged laptop I'm afraid. What I have started doing is photographing things so at least they are on the camera when I get around to things. If baby slept anywhere other than on me I might make progress!

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 13:25:55

hobnob have you thought about gathering together like for like and selling stuff as 'lots' bundled together to make it easier?

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 13:31:44

minimalistmommi I have that monk's cell dream too! Did you by any chance love Heidi on the telly in the late 70s/early 80s or are you too young for that? I loved Heidi's hut: a bunk, a table, a chair, a stove, a rug. And eating bread and cheese up on the mountain out of a big hankie. Heidi didn't need a professional organiser to corral her stuff, o no.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 13:37:44

Harriet too young for that, but what you've just written sounds awesome! Even the simple food...! I'm a big fan of The Little House in The Big Woods etc etc because of the absolute simplicity, although life must have been very hard for them in reality.

hobnob57 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:53:55

ahhhh Heidi - I always wanted to be her!

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 14:02:47

Yes, that's where the balance comes in, isn't it? I have no (real) desire to live off grid. I think what I'm aiming for is comfortable simplicity and to live intentionally. smile

4 bags and 20 cookbooks dispatched to charity this a.m., 2 boxes to webuybooks, 1 bag to school fete. Happy with that!

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 14:07:42

harriet that sounds amazing! How do you decide what to send to webuybooks? Do they only take certain titles?

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 14:25:39

mm you enter the barcode number and they tell you immediately what (if anything) they'll give you for it. When you've got at least £15 in your basket, you print off a label and postage is free. They pay up pretty quickly - cheque or transfer into bank account. I'll have got £120 this way in December!

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 14:27:51

I decide this way:

can I regift this book?
will I honestly read it or refer to it again? (I'm a writer so I do refer to some things quite a lot).

I don't decide by what they offer. I've sold some things for £0.35 when the book cost £7 new, but it all adds up.

Some of what you lot are saying is really fascinating. I don't think I'll ever be a real minimalist, but as I get older I'm getting more and more bogged down by stuff-it seems to weigh on me a lot, even when I don't notice it. This morning I chucked out an ancient bath brush that I haven't used for years. It's been sitting on the side of the bath for all that time, and even moved house with us in the summer, and I didn't realise until I picked it up and put it in the bin how much better the bathroom looks without it cluttering it up, and how much better I feel for not having it lying around being useless! Just a tiny thing but it makes so much difference.

I'm making an effort at the moment to throw out (or charity shop etc) at least one thing from whichever room I'm in. If I move room, I have to find another thing from the new room. Decluttering is going quite quickly!

bluecarrot Wed 19-Dec-12 15:47:33

Well done Harriet!

Hobnob- I know how you feel. Money tight and I'm an environmental degree student. I got rid of all but higher (£5+) stuff to charity. I worked out the 99p items were paying earning me less than 40p. The time it takes to store, photo, upload, write listing, answer questions, package up and go to post office to send REALLY wasn't worth 40p. At the start I was all " I have to squeeze every penny I can out if these" but tbh, my sanity is worth far more! It's not that my other stuff was junk or anything, but postage costs make some items too expensive via eBay. Eg board games will sell at my local charity shops for between £3-5. It will prob cost £4 to post them if sold on ebay. I'd rather donate and the charity get the few quid. I have a rag bag, and some clothes are kept for fabric. (Risk or hoarding but I'm addressing craft stuff separately!)

MM - felt good to get rid of the stuff smile

AC - like the idea of finding one thing on every room. smile

I was at a funeral this am and felt a bit low when I came home but an hour later dragged myself off sofa and started picking up bits from kitchen cupboards, gradually gathered speed and I now have 3 empty shelves and have learnt some conversational French (Michael Thomas language cd from library on in room) while I was at it.

What was really nice was I needed tape (taped fairy lights under wall cabinets) and blu tack (other brands are available ;) ) to stop the cutlery box moving when the drawer opens. I went upstairs to the nearly organised drawer that all my office bits are in and grabbed them within 20 secs of realising I needed them. This is good because 1) I knew where the stuff was instantly and 2) I didn't procrastinate. Normally I'd think "hmm, must find the blu tack" and "ill leave these lights on the counter til I find the tape."

I have a box of "maybe get rid" which is stuff I don't use daily or weekly. It still lives in my kitchen and anything still in it on June will be donated. I think most will come out but I might surprise myself smile

Only two cupboards left to go through, but dd is home and having a snack then we will watch an Xmas movie smile when she gets bored of me ill go do the last two while making dinner.

Going to dump and charity shop tomorrow morning on way to do other errands so trying to get enough to fill the car.

RarelyUnreasonable Wed 19-Dec-12 15:48:54

Love Heidi and Little House - mainly because of their living arrangements grin. Oh yeah, them and American Psycho.

Have halved the contents of DD's toybox and books downstairs - they're staying in the house as will be good for DS in a few months, but I still feel so much better looking now they're in the junk spare room. She's too young to ask where her toys are <evil cackle>.

Am Pinterest addict, so PM me your minimalist boards.

bluecarrot Wed 19-Dec-12 16:59:00

I like a lot of these but its not mine and I haven't a clue how to use pinterest even though Im a member....
how do i link individual ones?

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 17:44:10

BC just saw this on your link, it looks a like the modern equivalent of a monks bedroom grin

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 17:46:53

harriet sad that I didn't know about that book website before I did my book declutter last month sad thank you for explaining it to me.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 17:48:19

BC click on Pinterest image that like, once the page loads with that single image on just copy from address bar and paste onto here.

MinimalistMommi Wed 19-Dec-12 18:11:59

AC I think sometimes people live with an object for so long it becomes part of the furniture even though its never used. Something can sit on a windowsill for months for example that isn't used or touched, it's just left there. That's the sort of visual clutter I hate. Congrats for getting rid of the brush!

Antoinette I don't think there is any such thing as a real minimalist. It's about having what you need and that's different for everyone and also changes at different stages of your life.

I personally wouldn't want white walls and limited decoration. I'm a very visual person and also like warm colours and textures. What I don't want are cupboards full of sheets and towels - we've only had one bath towel and a hand towel each for years.

Little and often works best for me so I tend to do two or three things then stop. My attention span is about 15-20 minutes so I'll never do a whole room and then a charity shop run like some of you.

bluecarrot Wed 19-Dec-12 20:42:42

I am sort of opposite to queen in that If I do little bits at a time, I don't feel it's really got me anywhere! Occasionally I do an overhaul but never on this scale. For the future, I've cleared out under the stairs and placed a trofast unit with boxes labelled "charity" , "give away" (as in I have a specific person in mind) and "maybe". I'd like to think ill use them but it might be a case of grabbing box and walking round house finding stuff, rather than noticing something and placing it in box under stairs.

This evening I've emptied 32 boxes. 4 are refilled for charity, 10 bin bags of stuff for dump and about two bin bags full of cardboard for recycling. A lot of the cardboard was from the games that I thought we would find the pieces for. In June 2010! (dd and I had built all then stuck a post it to say why was missing plus date.) I figure nows the time to let go.

I also dumped the contents of the odd sock box. DD has just gone into te next size bracket and I have 10 pairs that are fine. I didn't even bother checking for matches.

I have also started "decluttering" the wine cupboard. ;)

Rarely, you do of course make sense! But my sentimental (sentiMENTAL!) selfs feels torn! I get you re clothes being out of style, but hey, I like a bit of 2012 retro! And yes, he may not have children! Toys-wise, wouldn't keep everything, but I bought a couple of really special things, e.g. some really gorgeous handmade alphabet blocks. I overpaid for them, thinking they'd last forever as an heirloom. Hmmm!
I am also questioning the new tree decoration every year. Part of why we are doing this minimalist thing is so DS doesn't grow up learning how to be attached to things, is not materialistic. Yet here I am, trying to imbue a tree decoration with some sentimentality. I do have impeccable taste though, he can't not love the decorations I choose! wink Maybe I can buy a new decoration each year but keep them, and if he wants some of them, he can choose. Our tree is decorated in a less is more style as it is, so it wouldn't be too bad if I added one or two a year.
We already do lots of festive baking, making memories etc. I need to let go!

I think I'd like a clear, simple, white-painted home! How cute is this!? smile

I am going to get rid of more clothes later. Tonight or tomorrow, depending on when DS sleeps, as I have yet to wrap his too many Xmas presents.

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 21:52:24

queen I love colour and texture too, although one creamy, quiet room like the pinterest one mm posted would be glorious.

I've just come across a tub of painted glittery fir cones while unpacking Christmas decorations. I actually bought these, from a proper shop. Nngh. I have a bag lined up to take to charity shop after school run tomorrow so I'll put them in there, along with 3 spools of horrible ribbon I never use and only bought to shut someone up. (We walk the mile to school but we're always late, so it is the school run).

bluecarrot you are on fire! 32 boxes!

Off to finish clearing the hall before doing some wrapping with Last Tango in Halifax.

Advice, please: we have two Mousetrap games, neither bought by me, neither of which have all their parts. They get dragged out once a year and ds2 tries to put it together and gets cross. Do I bin the whole lot or do I save the pieces so that he can stick em together (he wants to be an inventor)? Just writing this I suspect I know what the consensus will be...

RarelyUnreasonable Wed 19-Dec-12 21:55:13

Bin both harriet! grin

I'd like a calm house, perhaps painted shades of grey (NOT 50 ;) or pale green. No ornaments, but artwork on the wall, blankets on the sofa, lots of plants.

pixiestix Wed 19-Dec-12 21:58:49

Hello, I think I belong here! grin Am in the middle of a flat full of chaos. The final straw came yesterday when I had to go out and buy a Christmas tree stand, knowing full well there is one somewhere in this house, amongst all the crap and dust. Four bags off to the charity shop this morning, another two for tomorrow, and have started to read Simplicity Parenting. Now I just need to keep up the momentum!

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 22:05:41

Yep, thought so, rarely. Bin men come tomorrow. Away with the mice.

Calm house. Yes. That's it. Calm and authentic, by which I mean a home that doesn't harbour stuff that's aspirational stuff, guilt-ridden or trying to fulfill unmet need. Only stuff I love and honestly need. Blankets, artwork, plants - that sounds gorgeous and nourishing.

Haha, harriet! I walked past some glittery fircones today, was tempted, but resisted!
If he's going to play with it, I'd merge them. I hate waste. If they are going to be used, keep. Otherwise, bin!

Hi, pixie! Welcome to the uncluttered madhouse! smile

Gorgeous and nourishing. Perfect way of putting it. Must remember that!

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 22:06:49

Hello pixiestix! I have 2 Christmas tree stands too for the same reason! smile

blossombath Wed 19-Dec-12 22:08:31

Hello all, you have been very busy! I, on other hand, have been with a baby who has a cold, a tummy bug and, I noticed tonight, has just cut a tooth. Poor sod wanted lots of cuddles today and slept only on my boob or in the pram. And once he was asleep tonight I wanted my first shower since Sunday, then my tea. So I haven't had much time for minimal journey today. Binned two broken toys; two half empty bottles of horrid flavoured vodkas and put three toys in a bag for charity shop (DS in 9mo so doesn't have that many and most were gifts. I am not yet ready to get rid of them!). So 7 items gone; tomorrow I will aim for 8... it may be some time before I am at bluecarrot's level.

I have, however, had time to read and ponder your discussions. Think it was mm who mentioned difference between minimalism and decluttering. Totally agree that decluttering is an emotional thing, and I think it helps to have some sort of 'philosophy' driving you to make those emotional decisions. For me the 'what we need and no more' description is very appealing - both from an emotional but also a religious viewpoint. Also it chimes with the sort of parent I want to be and the way I would like DS to grow up. So I guess next time I am agonising over something I can ask - what is more important to me; this item or the person I want to be?

Does that sound too woo/up myself? Anyway, I am enjoying reading about your journeys and thinking about my own.

blossombath Wed 19-Dec-12 22:12:01

Oh, and I missed it before but today read the reference to bunnies in a hammock. grin [frgin] What possessed them??

And Harriet I would be tempted to keep, too, since I'd want to encourage DS's inventive play. Maybe get him an inventors box, fill it with his bits and bobs but he can only have that and if he finds new stuff then old stuff in the box must go?

pixiestix Wed 19-Dec-12 22:12:53

Thanks for the welcome smile Gorgeous and nourishing is now going to be my mantra for 2013!

harrietspy Wed 19-Dec-12 22:18:08

blossom, if you're woo, I am too. I can't simplify without thinking about why I let things get complicated. Sounds like you did masses today in the circs!

blossombath Wed 19-Dec-12 22:18:11

Oh, and just read the posts I missed while wittering on myself. Calm and authentic, gorgeous and nourishing will be my mantra, too. Beautifully put!

bluecarrot Thu 20-Dec-12 08:13:43

Anyone got big plans for the day?

A hallway to WC is now stacked literally floor to ceiling with boxes. While satisfying to look at, it obv can't be a long term fixture so decluttering my "useful" boxes is top of my list before I leave for the dump.

Then it's onto my bedroom which is holding all the boxes of tiny things I felt needed proper sorting, plus boxes of stuff to put away properly. I felt the "need proper sorting" boxes would slow me down last two days but no point in doing all this hard work and having these last three shoeboxes kicking about.

Then I'm stopping the main work for Christmas smile Though will def keep an eye out and try to use those boxes under stairs. I photographed the bin bags of stuff ready to leave and keeping it as a reminder that I often buy stuff that has limited purpose/ I didn't take care if well enough / was never worth space in my home.

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Thu 20-Dec-12 08:29:00

Hi, could I join in too please?

I was very happy to find this thread yesterday, read the whole thing. Ideal timing for me as we have recently completed a massive '1st stage' purge, I estimate we got rid of 30% of our possessions. The house is gorgeous without, much calmer and cleaner.

I now need to do 2nd stage - which is go right back through the house and get rid of all the small fiddly bits I couldn't face doing first time.

After reading yesterday I was inspired to start and did more linens, spice cupboard and other kitchenalia.

I am amazed how easy I find it to purge once started. Also just a month later I can honestly say there is nothing I regret getting rid of! The kids really got into it and were surprisingly positive. We had a fairly tidy home before just overfull, now every cupboard has a little space, which makes it so nice for them as they can find their things easily.

Am just 'wow' at some of the mega decluttering described upthread! Well done to you.

RarelyUnreasonable Thu 20-Dec-12 08:30:29

bc you are doing great! My plan is to take a bag of stuff to the charity shop. I checked eBay and it wouldn't sell for much (am only going to sell stuff for £5+), so just getting shot. Oh, and posting a book I sold on amazon for £8.

Cuddledup Thu 20-Dec-12 08:36:23

Inspiring thread ! Thank you. I'm writing this as surveying a scene of chaos in our open plan house with limited storage. (Grr)
One great book is Organised Simplicity and the author's website :
Simple - also her podcasts are REALLY good to listen to, especially when tackling the ironing mountain or doing a declutter.

Has anyone here tackled the attic? That's where the real mountains of crap are in this house. It seems like such a big job, I'm not sure I can face it till after Christmas, though I'm itching to get up there.

Binned some storage pots last night that I had been keeping 'in case' I needed them. It has finally clicked for me that if I buy storage I will use it, and therefore create a hot spot of mess and unnecessary stuff. I have a lovely stair basket, for instance, which has been full of crap for months. If I didn't have the basket, the crap would have to go.

The basket is going today!

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Thu 20-Dec-12 10:09:16

Hi Antoinette, I have no attic here but the garage was full to the brim. My approach was to move the stuff inside in big chunks, put it somewhere annoying/conspicuous so I couldn't ignore and I was forced to get on. I was also totally determined if it hadn't been used in the 3 years since it went in, we didn't need it so it went. Garage still not empty (my target) but only a quarter left I think. Hard work tho.

harrietspy Thu 20-Dec-12 10:24:01

hi stillsmiling and antoinette. No attic here but I have a garage at my currently rented-out house. The house should be sold in Feb so we have to clear the garage before then. I am dreading it, but I know I'll feel so much better when it's done. It's 1.5 hours drive away so I can't do it in small chunks of time. I will need this thread when I tackle this.

lljkk Thu 20-Dec-12 10:27:30

there's a very sagging shelf in attic from all my old work papers. There are 2 shelves full of books & papers, but one shelf looks perilously close to collapse.

I am thinking to get back in touch with my old employer because impossible to find any other job.
So that's my excuse for not tackling it yet & I'm sticking with it blush.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:10:13


MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:17:43

BB you're not up youself! You talk complete sense, it's not about the stuff, it's about spending time and connecting with people (if anyone wants to read a great book on connection, 'Playful Parenting' is right up there along side Simplicity Parenting)

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:18:12

...should have read 'yourself' of course not 'youself'.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:25:13

'StillSmilinginteresting you called it a first stage purge, I feel that decluttering definitely happens in layers. Once one layer is pealed away, I've gone onto the next and so on & your home just gets cleaner and calmer. BB was talking about it being a philosophy, that is certainly he way it is for me. Again, without wanting it to sound too much, we've simplified to the extent that for the past four years my children have been Screen free apart from a family film once a week. I know people tend to eye roll about reduced screen time etc but for us it has made the most enormous difference to the atmosphere in our home. I guess simplicity/minimalism is a huge part of our day to day lives here. It is our philosophy and our way of being.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:27:47

AC in the home we've rented for the past five years we haven't had an attic which is probably why I started on the minimalist journey in the first place!

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:28:48

...and we have no garage either...

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:31:06

cuddleup thank you to the link to the podcasts.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:33:35

Cuddleup I've found her site but can't find podcasts on there? Could you post direct link to it?

IWipeArses Thu 20-Dec-12 11:34:37

MM, are the adults screen/tv free too? In the evenings? Do you have a tv or use pc?

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 11:43:39

IWA no adults aren't screen free. The TV is strictly off until children are sleeping and then I try to watch TV intentionally rather than just on in background. I watch an hour in the evening, something like Mad Men, we use LoveFilm to order series mostly. I spend the rest of my evening reading, resting. So, yes, we have a TV. I know some families who are TV free adults and children, it's an area I'm interested in but I don't think DH is interested in being TV free 100 % . I know not everyone will agree with this at all, but we do not let DC watch news or see newspaper headlines as I feel like they are too young to have to have the worlds problems on their shoulders. Anyone who has read Simplicity Parenting will know why we chose to take this path several years ago. I think there is plenty of time when they are older to see pain and suffering in the world sad I know not everyone would agree with this at all as its not very usual but it's what we do.

pixiestix Thu 20-Dec-12 11:54:02

Morning all. Its the basement thats the dumping ground here. I have no idea whats in it, whether its usable or not as I can't really get in to it to have a look. Its just a wall of crap.

MM we are screen free here as well - apart from half an hours MNetting every so often wink People generally look at me in horror and say that when DD starts school she will have no cultural references to connect with the other children. I think that the fact that they believe that is pretty tragic in itself.

IWipeArses Thu 20-Dec-12 11:56:23

It's interesting to hear different approaches. We've been tv-free on occasion, but ended up mainlining iplayer, so it wasn't much of an improvement, though nicer than just having it streaming in. DH likes his Xbox and it's nice to watch films on the big screens, but I'm making a conscious effort not to put tv on automatically and I'd get rid in a heartbeat if DH was happy about it.
I need to limit my internet use mainly now. It was simple when we just had the one desktop in a separate room, with a laptop that sits on the arm of the sofa I'm permanently online. It's addictive.

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Thu 20-Dec-12 11:59:35

I think opting for screen free etc is a distinct issue from minimalism, one can be a screen junky minimalist or a screen free minimalist! in fact many leading exponents of minimalism seem very attached to screens.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 12:05:56

IWA I agree, the Internet can be addictive. I have a rule, when the children are in the house, the wireless Internet is turned off and my iPad is banished to my bedroom. Needless to say, they're are both in school now. If you want to help limit yourself, I've found packing it away is best. In the evening, it is very rare I'm on-line. At 6pm my iPad is put on top of my very tall wardrobe in my bedroom, I have to stand on tippy toes to reach up there! That way, I'm not tempted to hop on line and I can truly rest/relax properly in the evening as I'm downstairs, far away from my iPad!

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 12:08:05

StillSmiling I certainly didn't mean to be minimalist you should be screen free, I just meant for me the decluttering/minimalism/simplicity all go hand in hand in my family's life. It is like a philosophy for us.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 12:12:04

PS people is RL at school gates don't know we're screen free, it's not worth the looks of disbelief and 'You're not being serious' expressions. The reaction tends to be negative so thank you to IWA for being interested in different approaches.

IWipeArses Thu 20-Dec-12 12:13:18

Simplicity and minimalism often go hand in hand though stillsmiling.

There isn't an ideal level of minimalism for everyone to aspire to either, everyone finds the place on the spectrum from extreme minimalism to extreme messy hoarder that they feel comfortable with.
Bare walls all the time would make me miserable, but I love my futon bed.

I wouldn't want to be completely screen free all the time, but I'm attracted to the idea of not having unlimited broadband at home, like this.

I lived in a student house with no tv, no outbound calls, no internet and this was before mobiles, for a few months, just music, little radio, lots of talk and crazy fun. If we'd had a telly we'd have sat watching Star Trek all the time.
I used to check my emails on a Sunday at my Mum's. grin

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 12:43:41

IWA I read that article a few months ago! It's a great article. I have a love/hate relationship with the Internet. By the way, I'm very jealous of your futon bed.

IWipeArses Thu 20-Dec-12 12:49:10

I love it, it's a seven layer kingsize futon, just on the carpet. I fold it over every morning and roll it and flip it once a week when I strip the bedding. Lots of floor space during the day, it's the only way we could fit a kingsize in our room too.
Best of all, baby can't hurt herself when she rolls off it. grin
I'd love to try the much thinner traditional style of futon sometime too.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 13:15:22

Oh my, IWA you're so lucky! It must be very comfy. I have a beautiful white king size iron bed but no matter how hard I try, 'stuff' still get shoved under it somehow, and we are pretty minimalist here! Nothing could get shoved under a futon. I'm struggling with bedding issues at the moment. In the tiny house we are moving into my children will be sharing a small room. I'm on the brink of having low bunk beds hand made (so the bottom bunk is almost on the floor, but not quite. The overall height of the bunks would be 123 cm, which isn't that tall) but I'm worried when my older girl clambers down will she wake my youngest girl? I hadn't thought about futon beds. My gut instinct tells me they might feel too 'temporary' for a child to feel secure if they got folded away each day? Hmmmm. There isn't space for two single beds to be up full time in room IYSWIM which I why I automatically chose bunk beds. I did think of a trundle bed under my older girls iron bed but didn't think that would seem fair on my youngest. I find making what should be quite simple decisions hard!

IWipeArses Thu 20-Dec-12 13:21:22

Definitely worth thinking about futons for them. I bet they'd love being responsible for helping fold up and unfold them each day. They could put them in different places, or right next to each other. smile

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 13:24:05

IWA I don't know what to do now! Where would I even find good quality children's futons on-line? I need to make the decision as soon as possible as we're exchanging contracts on the house any day now.

IWipeArses Thu 20-Dec-12 13:31:47

We got ours from this company- it was on sale, they aren't cheap. But you can get cheaper ones on ebay. I don't think it's much different to the cost of a good bed and a decent mattress that will last.

forevergreek Thu 20-Dec-12 13:41:04

What age are your children? Would they like to share a double? If so take a look at the ikea daybed for ideas. It has storage under in drawers and converts simply for a single day bed to double ( can be a sofa in the day)

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 13:47:25

Forevergreek they're 7 & 4. I asked them about sharing a double a while ago and they both said no. I think my youngest would most certainly kick my oldest in the night! I love the idea of a sibling bed though!

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 13:50:32

I'm basing the bunk beds we're having made loosely on this design:
There will be a small gap under bottom bunk slats for ventilation though.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 13:50:44
IWipeArses Thu 20-Dec-12 13:56:27

That looks really nice. I know my eldest is looking forward to having a bunkbed when the youngest is big enough, but he can be a little risk-unaware, so I might try and persuade him to have a futon too. grin

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 14:02:24

IWA that sounds like a safe option to me!
I'm going to talk to the children when they get in from school and ask them what they would like and then go from there as it needs sorting out, if the bunk beds are being made they take at least three weeks.

bluecarrot Thu 20-Dec-12 14:22:18

I'd love a Murphy bed. Or any other type of hidden/transforming furniture like in the links I posted a few days ago. I have even designed some tables myself ( wouldn't trust myself in making a bed though!)

Two carloads of stuff away today and I've two boxes of things that friends have first refusal over before the remainder goes to charity. Ill see them tomorrow.

I have one room entirely empty except for the stuff I plan to sell, and another room ( equivalent of our attic) clear except for Christmas /Easter decorations boxes, the dismantled spare bed, boxes or photographs ( which needs sorted) and my craft stuff ( which also needs sorted). The layers analogy has been in my mind too. I've got the initially obvious excess away now, it's all the little bits need done now!

I'm exhausted though!

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Thu 20-Dec-12 14:28:32

I'm a bit hmm at the notion of not watching much telly being classed as a different approach! I grew up with no tv and we rarely watch, it just seems normal to me. But I would happily watch more at some times if its what I felt like doing.

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Thu 20-Dec-12 14:34:26

On beds my sis got her kids beds made (cheaply) where the lower bunk had its foot end only under, they were right angles in a corner.
The higher was only about 12 inches above. This meant neither bed was high for safety and both kids had a sitting space during the day.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 14:36:05

Stillsmiling when I grew up and at school the TV was rarely on during the week (At breakfast time, after school etc) and nowadays TV bracketing the school day seems very, very commonplace.

I do think it is unusual today for a child not to watch TV/play computers/be on an iPod/iPad at all during the week and simply watch an hour of TV over a period of seven days or watch no TV at all. TV/screens are so very commonplace in today's society I think kids are expected to watch TV/play computer games so I personally feel it is a different approach in modern day living.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 14:37:18

Stillsmiling that bed solution sounds good!

ariadneoliver Thu 20-Dec-12 14:39:50

Antoinette my place is pretty well on the way to being minimalist , but only because I have an attic of doom. I really need to tackle that in the New Year.

MinimalistMommi Thu 20-Dec-12 14:39:58

bc the Murphy beds look amazing!

It sounds like you're transforming your home! How is it making you feel? I used to feel exhausted after a big declutter, it's quite exhausting both physically and mentally.

forevergreek Thu 20-Dec-12 14:41:49

For space saving, multifunctional furniture is the way to go. My favourite thing in our flat is a coffee table, with four little seating stools stored under/ within it. Each stool when taken out can also be opened at the top and is hollow inside for more storage. It's great as when guests come over there is four more places to sit without taking up space.

LemonBreeland Thu 20-Dec-12 14:45:20

MM on the idea of bunk beds I was nosying at righmove and came across this set of built in bunkbeds, picture no. 8 Maybe that would be an idea for you.

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Thu 20-Dec-12 14:48:14

Haha at 'attic of doom' - I had a loft of doom in my last house!

I realised last week one of the best things about this decluttering is I feel calm about anyone coming round, at any time. My house is not a show home type house, that's not me, but it is always ok now. Such a nice change.

CremeEggThief Thu 20-Dec-12 15:27:17

Loving this thread! I don't like clutter and already do some of the suggestions, such as getting rid of excess tupperware and paring down bedding and towels to two sets each (plus extra for any guests), but I still have too much stuff. I don't feel too bad about it, as everything is stored neatly and organised, but I need to work on getting rid of some of it. For example, I'm a huge believer in a place for everything and everything in its place and I am obsessively tidy. All the playing cards are stored the same way around, it would make me uncomfortable knowing that some are 'out of order'. What I need to work on is why do I still have four or five sets of playing cards when we play cards a couple of times a year confused!

I shall carry on reading.

bluecarrot Thu 20-Dec-12 15:50:59

It feels good in a way but I'm also feeling anxious about it. My head hurts and I feel close to panic attack but NOT because of stuff i have got rid of, but stuff I haven't yet. I actually feel more overwhelmed now than I did a few days ago because now I realise the extent of my "stuff" and urgent feeling is making adrenaline rush. I broke down in tears last night and my dd says "mum, you are exhausted. Ill run you a bath then you can go to bed and ill read you a story" grin though tbh yesterday was more to do with the funeral than stuff. Today is different though.

I realised a while back that the accumulation of stuff was how I reassured myself that I was well off. Once I really got in my head, I felt guilty and couldn't let go of stuff because I had spent money on it. It would be wasteful to throw it away. But then I realised, the money was wasted when I bought it, not when the item was in my cupboard or when I disposed of it. That gave relief. Now I need to work through this anxiety... Mantras work well but I haven't found one that "speaks to me"

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Thu 20-Dec-12 16:01:41

Hi bluecarrot, I also felt more anxious/stressed after starting than before. I think it is facing the reality of the stuff, and I guess whatever has led one to accumulate it. For me, I think I buy things to distract from sad feelings. So it was very hard to deal with. But I feel so much lighter now.

Would a really basic mantra like 'I'm working my way to a better space' do for this?

harrietspy Thu 20-Dec-12 16:10:51

bc it sounds as if you've had an exhausting few days. I think the anxiety is completely understandable. Hope you're being kind to yourself. Your dd sounds so lovely!

I'm feeling anxious and panicky today, tbh - again, not about having got rid of stuff. It's great that it's going/gone. I'm anxious because as I strip away the stuff, I come face to face with the feelings I was trying to avoid by acquiring the stuff in the first place. It's never (or rarely) just about the physical stuff, is it?

harrietspy Thu 20-Dec-12 16:11:17

Ha, cross-posted with stillsmiling!

ChristmasIsAcumenin Thu 20-Dec-12 16:15:38

We don't have a tv (though have an intranet and media server that serves to multiple screens so we're not exactly media-free) and are screen free from 7.30pm (the blue spectrum light from screens inhibits your production of melatonin and makes it harder to sleep/sleep deeply). It makes for a much more serene environment - our friends remark upon this.

I went minimalist because we essentially now live in a pharmacy with enormous amounts of equipment, some of it HUGE (gantries and hoists etc). We're in a small house, and the necessity of having completely clear floors everywhere for the wheelchair really focuses the mind! But now I find I prefer it. It takes one hour to top-to-bottom this house, and less than fifteen minutes a day to keep it tidy. I have a box for my tops. If my tops don't all fit in the box then I give away or sell some, because they cannot go anywhere else (the floor, frex). This is the same with everything. I do not have a clean laundry basket, or any similar tools of procrastination. I would just leave the laundry in the basket, I know I would!

harrietspy Thu 20-Dec-12 16:26:34

christmasisacumenin (not sure how to abbreviate that one!) we don't have the gantries and hoists but we do have to keep the house wheelchair-accessible. When we lived in a tiny terrace I seemed to spend 90% of my time trying to keep the house accessible. Now we live in a bigger house it's less of an issue (and maybe our good habits are more ingrained) but I still don't want to spend my life marshalling stuff!

ChristmasIsAcumenin Thu 20-Dec-12 16:42:59

Oh I am normally Acu.

Yes, we live in a tiny wee two up two down terrace! grin So you know what I mean. It's a very good discipline actually, for making space. My mate swears blind my house is bigger than hers. I had to show her with the tape measure that in fact hers is about 150% the area.

bluecarrot Thu 20-Dec-12 16:49:43

Thanks stillsmiling and harriet. Glad Im not the only one!

DP finally on his way up tonight (was supposed to be last night...and the night before but familt drama ) so ill not get excited til i know hes on the bus BUT its encouraging me to at least clear away the stray bits and then dd going to vacuum for me smile

Elizabeth22 Thu 20-Dec-12 18:15:44

I've just found this thread and would like to join in. We're moving to a smaller house so I need to declutter.
One thing I'm doing is going through all my interior mags that I've collected over the years and tearing out the pages that I actually want to keep rather than the whole mag. I know most of you would say chuck the whole thing but I'm finding this is working for me as I like to refer back to things.
I have also bought a lot of ziplock bags and am using them to bundle together similar items (eg tights). In doing so, I'm starting to see duplicates in what I buy so I will pare these down.
I also bought 14 pairs of grey socks (easy to separate from my DH's) and will ditch the countless odd socks that I seem to have.
Also been going through books. Was planning to put into an auction but will try that book selling website mentioned up thread! (Thanks)
I'm chipping away at it in the only way I can with two little ones to look after at the same time!
This thread is really helping with my motivation

harrietspy Thu 20-Dec-12 19:42:03

Hello elizabeth22! I've spent a good chunk of time on clearing space these past few days mainly because (i) dc are at school and (ii) I'm a freelancer and am always too distracted in the week before Christmas to get my proper work done. My boys are 7 and 10 now and I certainly couldn't have done anything other than little forays when they were little.

So in half an hour this evening I've got another 3 bags for charity (curtains someone gave me that don't fit our windows, too-small wellies, etc), 3 bin bags of junk (why was I saving 3 table legs?) and I've collected together our many bags-for-life, rucksacks, laundry baskets. I've kept out a few bags, but the rest I'm going to put away in deep storage (ie behind the suitcases in a difficult cupboard) and see if I need them at all in the next 6 months. If not, they're going.

bc I hope your dp is on that bus!

Banderchang Thu 20-Dec-12 19:51:05

Hi everyone. Just came across your thread and have been reading for inspiration. I've decluttered some of our spare room today (lots of out of date toiletries chucked out!), and am planning to tackle some kitchen cupboards tomorrow. We're having a loft conversion in the spring, so an ongoing project is trying to empty the attic. It's hard figuring out what is worth selling, what to give away and what to throw away, as some of you have already said.

Trying to weed through some of DS's toys now while he's in bed. I'm trying to get him to identify things he doesn't need/want (he's 3 and a half), but I need to be a bit more ruthless than he's been so far!

Thanks for the inspiration

Cuddledup Thu 20-Dec-12 20:42:37

Here's an update on

and here's her podcast (it's shown on the front page of Simplemom)

minimalist I'm v vv impressed by your no tv lifestyle.... this evening DD has been watching the iPad, DH watching his IPad and me on the laptop. blush

Cuddledup Thu 20-Dec-12 20:48:48

BTW when I'm doing decluttering blitz I follow FlyLady rules and go for the 27 fling boogie:
This means putting on some inspiring upbeat music and running around the house finding 27 things to chuck out/ pass on / bin within 15 minutes. HUGELY satisfying.
I also like passing things onto friends which you know they'll appreciate. EG: I made a photo album for the family of a friend who died. They loved the photos and I freed up some space. (I scanned the pictures before passing them on so I haven't lost them IYWIM)

pixiestix Thu 20-Dec-12 21:00:37

I'm a big fan of Flylady as well Cuddled. I don't follow her religiously but I know that my house would be far nicer if I did!

I'm struggling a bit today. I was trying to go through the paper piles I have but so much of it is little notes, photos, reminders of people who have died, or people I fully expect to die before me, and I got myself into a twist trying to get rid of it, and then wondering if there would be a point in the future when I wouldn't be able to picture their handwriting, their tone of writing etc etc. Argh. Its stupid, I know, but so much of the crap that I have here has sentimental value and is no use to me at all. Has anyone found a succesful way of conquering this??

harrietspy Thu 20-Dec-12 21:36:49

pixie I've really struggled with this too. My dad died in 2010 and I find it v hard to part with anything that has his handwriting on it. Maybe this is where digital photos can be part of the process of letting go...

We don't have a futon mattress, but ours is similar (no springs), and no frame, so it's just on the floor. It is blooming huge though (200cm x 200 cm) and we don't roll it up. This works great, especially as we are co-sleeping. Only have the one DC so far, but I love the idea of a bedshare for them! How cute.

DH came home today with a Christmas gift from the office - a gym holdall and a towel! Another towel, aargh! The holdall is very nice!

IWipeArses Fri 21-Dec-12 13:00:14

Oh no! Free stuff! People always bring more stuff in after a good decluttering session.

I must admit, the thought of all the very kind and thoughtful unwanted gifts that are about to enter my house next week is making me a bit grumpy.
I hate excess and I like quality, modern Christmasses just aren't for me are they? grin

harrietspy Fri 21-Dec-12 13:07:40

IWipe, my dc came home from school Christmas fete with a game called Pig Goes Pop. I think the aim is to stuff the pig with plastic burgers till the pig explodes. Lovely. Ds2 said it doesn't work. I'll wait till the NY, then the pig gets it.

ChristmasIsAcumenin Fri 21-Dec-12 14:02:18

Pixie, scan it into Evernote

All our papers are scanned in and shredded. I only store the legally required minimum. We scan everything. With OCR, you may as well!

gracelesslady Fri 21-Dec-12 15:45:15

Blimey you lot have been busy!

I've been at work and busy with the kids, but have still managed:

3 bin bags to charity
2 to the bin
1 to the recycling.

I've not had a thorough read, but have seen a few posts on the subject of reselling things. This decluttering thing has been going on for me for about 5 years (when I found flylady) and I totally agree with what people have said about layers, and it being a continuous process. Of all the stuff I've got rid of I have given almost everything away. It's a flylady thing: you'll never get back what you paid for the thing, so forgive yourself and just let go of it. I've let go of expensive stuff to charity, to a local refugee service, to strangers on freecycle. We are in huge financial difficulty at the moment (part of the reason for my current round of decluttering, it makes me feel like I have some control over my surroundings) but I always think, I could go to work, earn £100 or more for a shift, and that's a lot quicker and easier than trying to sell ten things for a tenner. Not for everyone I know, but it works for me!

Banderchang Fri 21-Dec-12 15:54:00

That philosophy makes a lot of sense graceless. One of my major obstacles to decluttering is the desire to resell stuff, so it all gets sorted and bagged and then sits in a heap for months. I have given a bunch of things to the charity shop today, and put more in bin bags in the garage ready to go to the tip after Xmas. Determined to have less stuff around, especially things with plugs on (DH's domain and my nemesis)!

My turn to update as I've just finished a wall of busyness with work and child stuff. But I've been reading the thread and it all ticks away in the back of my mind.

So far we have two full bin bags of clothes to eBay
Two pairs of boots and four pairs of shoes
Plus a set of bedlinen and a couple of random towels

I've listed some CDs to sell on and DP has (bizarrely) started a spreadsheet of records to sell rather than just listing them straight onto the Internet.

There will be more stuff over the next few days as I'm now off work until next Thursday. I've also done some virtual decluttering and have deleted a load of apps (I don't need Twitter as I don't really get the point).

I can see where gracelesslady is coming from. In the last ten years I've nearly always given stuff to charity and free cycle. It's only more recently we've started selling it online. But the money so far has paid for a new sofa cover and will pay for our February half-term trip to York. This next lot of stuff will put money towards our summer holiday in France.

harrietspy Fri 21-Dec-12 16:02:37

I'd forgotten that Flylady thing about forgiving yourself and letting go, graceless - thanks for the reminder!

I have my ebay, etsy and car boot boxes, but if I haven't shifted them by a certain date (yet to be decided) the contents will go to charity.

Pixie, tell me more about Evernote. I had a quick look at your link. Do you scan paperwork or just take photos with phone?

bluecarrot Fri 21-Dec-12 16:42:29

harrietspy DP was indeed on the bus... But has had to leave this evening sad probably wont see him til after Christmas now which is hard!

He asked what all the boxes were for and I explained. And helpfully pointed out I've too much food in my cupboards! He thinks its the same stuff there as when we started dating but he hasn't considered the fact I just buy the same things smile some have been there a long time though. Working through it will be my challenge for next 6 weeks I think. But I'm def finding a new home for the mung beans- ewwww.

I made about £2k since the summer selling stuff but now I'm down to mostly 99p items, plus about 4 boxes of items I estimate will sell for £5-10 each. The 99p items will go to charity shops ( will get more than 99p for them there - it's only as postage involved that I'd get less profit- n

bluecarrot Fri 21-Dec-12 16:43:55

Aww, mobile site has gone wonky again!

I was saying.. I'm not using charity shop as dumping ground!

harrietspy Fri 21-Dec-12 16:53:52

While we're talking about selling, can I call on your collective wisdom? I've inherited a gorgeous blue enamel c1930s 'Telephone' sign that I want to sell. I've seen an identical item go in an antique shop for £150 - which is more than I earn some months so I'd like to give it a try.

Where would you try to sell something like this?

bc sorry dp's had to go. I hope your Christmas is as good as it can be.

bluecarrot Fri 21-Dec-12 17:25:40

How much time do you have /what value do you put on your time?

Would you approach the antique shop and ask if they would buy it from you? You wouldn't get £150 obv, but it's low hassle!

Also, any auction houses near you? You could maybe email them with good quality photographs and ask what they think. Low - medium hassle.

I'd forgo £20-30 on a £150 item rather than spend days researching it in fine detail ( I used to do latter! )

But I love how it sounds. Got a pic? grin

Chottie Fri 21-Dec-12 17:47:08

Well, I have finally started smile DS came home and we went through two wardrobes and some drawers which were full of his 'just in case' clothes. And 99% of them have been recycled. It took us about 25mins to do, so quick. I held everything up and DS said 'yes' or 'no' and it was DONE shock

gracelesslady Fri 21-Dec-12 18:19:33

I have just done a small but momentous thing. I had a tub of files from my nursing degree sitting at the bottom of the wardrobe. I qualified 11 years ago and have moved house four times since. Not once have I ever looked in the box. Well I have been through it all and taken a few dozen interesting or useful things out to keep and the rest has gone in the recycling. I've got other boxes like that to deal with. It only took me half an hour!! grin

bluecarrot Fri 21-Dec-12 18:47:12

Well done graceless and chottie!

I haven't done anything today so far ( except bring a new book into the house that the library didn't have. It's on job hunting and highly recommended so its my Xmas gift to myself smile )

Think tonight DD and I will start looking through her stuff but she gets overwhelmed so 15 mins max. Maybe 15 mins of fiddly stuff decluttering. Then ill read my new book smile

Tomorrow I'm going to clear the car port. Fencing put up a few years back means we can't get a car in it ( nor did we ever park a car there before fence!) but it does end up as a workshop/dumping ground. I'd like it clear and just keep the recycling and two wheelie bins in it so I don't have to go outside in dark and rain ( or change out if my slippers...)

blossombath Fri 21-Dec-12 20:33:50

hello mimimal ladies, sounds like you're all doing well - great to read about your success to keep me going. Not much progress yesterday as spent evening with a family member who has had bad news, but tonight am going to try and clear odd sock box and find 10 items to make up for yesterday's pause and not, repeat not, comfort buy something from Amazon because everyone else is out having Christmas fun and I'm at home with DS.

I agree with bc on the sign, I would approach the antiques shop first and see if they'll take it off your hands. Or wait til a no insertion fees weekend on ebay and then list it with a starting price which is either close to or exactly what you want to get (bearing in mind selling fees of course). But they only come round once a month or so, so you might have it round for a while.

blossombath Fri 21-Dec-12 20:34:12


We took a load of stuff to a charity shop today. It was in a laundry bin, which was also intended for the charity shop, but I was waiting in the car with DD while DH took everything in and he came back out still holding the basket! He was embarrassed to go back in but I was damned if I was going to bring the bloody thing home again!

Small change compared to what some of you have been achieving recently though. V inspirational!

gracelesslady Fri 21-Dec-12 21:39:47

Hurray for all the stuff leaving our homes! Sorry am on phone and difficult to scroll back but someone made £2000??!! That's amazing. And you clearly have a much higher calibre of excess stuff than I do - I've made maybe £50 on eBay over the past year or so but it's been torturous! And the book buying website that's been mentioned, well I put the isbn's of about 30 b

gracelesslady Fri 21-Dec-12 21:42:03

Hurray for all the stuff leaving our homes! Sorry am on phone and difficult to scroll back but someone made £2000??!! That's amazing. And you clearly have a much higher calibre of excess stuff than I do - I've made maybe £50 on eBay over the past year or so but it's been torturous! And the book buying website that's been mentioned, well I put the isbn's of about 30 books into it the other night and it didn't want a single one of them! Not even 10p! So they've gone to charity. And like I said, with the extra peace in my life from the calmer emptier home, I could do a shift of overtime and get £100!! There's no price for calm is there?


gracelesslady Fri 21-Dec-12 21:42:43

Oh bugger. Sorry for the double post!

blossombath Fri 21-Dec-12 22:07:30

Graceless I am very much in your camp - a whole box of CDs and DVDs made us about 15 from music magpie earlier this year. Ah well, freed up our mental space for that great invention which will make our millions. Or something.

I know this is skipping back a bit but I am also really impressed and inspired by mm and your screen free and internet rationed home. I am awful at just wasting time on internet during day when I could be paying more attention to DS or making better use of his naptime. So might try to implement your rule of no internet while he's around/awake. Don't think we'd go completely screen free, not least cos I use our TV for radio - does this count??

I'd heard of playful parenting, too. Sadly our library has neither but I plan to buy them in NY as a reward for some (as yet undecided) simplifying/minimalising goal.

bluecarrot Fri 21-Dec-12 22:29:43

lol, cluttering up our digital space graceless?! ;)

The £2k was some big things - a freezer, play kitchen, stair gate...actually lots of stuff that I cant actually remember now! I was boring and saved it all though because my job ended in October and I needed a buffer.

Do also consider school libraries and regular public libraries when getting rid of books. Or which is rather fun <geek> Some of my local charity shops are selling 10 kids books for a £1 as they are so overrun with them.

This evening I challenged my daughter to find 30 things in her room to leave the house. I went first, though since Ive already cleared so much I only found 17 before the buzzer went off for her turn. She was doing v well and found 35 things before clicking that it was much longer than 5 minutes. Silly mum "accidentally" turned off timer before the buzzer... grin but she def enjoyed the challenge.

Her wardrobe contents are confirmed as follows:

School stuff
1 trainers
5 school polos
3 school joggers
2 school jumpers
5 white crop tops
5 white socks
2 white tops that she will wear as vests under uniform
1 pe kit (tshirt, shorts, socks, trainers)

Other stuff
3 tops
3 leggings
5 crop tops
1 fleece
10 pants
3 socks
1 "dressy" skirt - currently no tops to wear with it

2 thermal pjs
2 nighties
2 bed socks
1 pair slippers
1 dressing gown
1 swim suit

1 long coat
1 short coat
hiking boots
1 hat
2 scarves
1 ski gloves
1 wooly gloves

a backpack / lunchbox combo
a cross body bag for day trips
an overnight/carryon bag
2 purses

1 pair of fairy wings
assorted hair accessories.

Cant really streamline any more than that.
Her underwear all needs replaced (santas job) though needs properly fitted bras asap, which ill obv need to do! But will be disposing of old stuff as soon as new stuff washed and ready to wear.
Also need warm flat black boots - currently wears mine.
needs new school uniform tops too as gone through growth spurt but has had current stuff for 2.5 years. again, giving away old stuff as new stuff comes in.
and needs a top to go with her party skirt.
and will look out for wooden hangers for adult sized clothes and get rid of all the kids ones.

so 2 new things needed, but everything else is just replacing.

<pondering the current desire to start a spreadsheet detailing everything I own>

blossombath Fri 21-Dec-12 22:53:51

bluecarrot you would love my MIL. When she moved out of the big family home years ago she presented DH and DSIL with a spreadsheet listing all the items of theirs she still had. They had to fill in whether to bin or keep until they could collect. If they didn't fill a space or come within a certain timeframe it was going. Thanks to her my DH is not so much of a hoarder.

My DM, on other hand, still has all of my school books in her loft as I wouldn't let her throw them out without me going through them which I never have. Now feeling a rather bad daughter and considering telling her just to bin the boxes. I haven't looked at them in over a decade so can't imagine there is anything actually worth keeping. Does decluttering another loft count??

bluecarrot Fri 21-Dec-12 23:04:08

yes of course it counts - its your stuff and you feel a bit guilty, so free yourself from the guilt and tell her she can get rid smile

I do love spreadsheets....except Id need to be doing it for stuff in my house that belongs to other people. I have an entire room filled with other peoples stuff!

bluecarrot Fri 21-Dec-12 23:06:58

bit of inspiration ladies [ Hoarder Next Door Christmas Special]

bluecarrot Fri 21-Dec-12 23:07:39
bluecarrot Sat 22-Dec-12 11:10:46

Clearing carport and room we store gardening /outdoor stuff in. Lots of old paint out there that will have experienced frosty conditions so should be brought to skip for disposal. Will make sure all gardening tools are cleaned and then store them properly for winter.

That will be a fairly big job so that's all I'm expecting of myself today ( as well as actually taking the stuff to dump.

I have an old buggy that no longer folds but is otherwise great condition. At some point I intend to add tool belt round the handle bars, remove the hood and fabric seat and insert a flexitub on top and an old kitchen basin ( has a crack so no longer usable for water) on the shopping basket and voila- a gardening cart! My garden is quite long and I want something that carts all my stuff around easily so I'm not running back and forth to tidy up after gardening session smile

ChristmasIsAcumenin Sat 22-Dec-12 12:11:17

harrietspy, I have a doxie go handheld scanner that lives on my landing strip so I scan stuff in as it comes through the door and put it straight in the shredder/recycling. You can also just take photos with your phone, and I autoforward any email receipts and statements as well.

About once a week I plug the scanner into the network and upload everything to Evernote, and some things I might also forward to iPhoto or whatever. It means I can easily find any bill just by typing in keywords (like: Electricity 2006 August).

(We also have all our data mirrored with as I am required to manage data and IP sometimes for clients so I can't lose anything!)

forevergreek Sat 22-Dec-12 14:06:54

I scan using an app on my iPhone smile

I've just been listing some stuff on eBay and it's free - don't know if it's a free listing weekend or anything. I've put three pairs of winter boots and a down jacket on, all starting at 99p. I've listed them for ten days to try and pick up the Christmas and New Year crowd.

bluecarrot Sat 22-Dec-12 16:22:29

You can list up to 100 x 99p items for free a month (though new users are limited to 10 listing a month I think)

Items over 99p attract listing fees. smile

I cleared car port and back room but still needs a lot of work. 1 v v full carload away to skip and about half a carload still here but skip will close before I can get there. There's a lot if boxes and pots that need washed out. Maybe a plan for tonight- watch iplayer in kitchen while washing them. Then a lot of the pots will be donated to the local gardening group who keep our town blooming smile ill keep some but I tend to get so many throughout the year there's no point in keeping them all.

I took before pics but it too dark outside now to take after pics. Ill do that tomorrow.

Meeting a friend later and DD is giving her little girl some of her old books and fancy dress clothes. Will give DD a bit more time playing in the laptop then give her a "give to Sarah" challenge to see if there's anything else. (Friend already knows I'm calling up tomorrow to lift anything her daughter doesn't want, and it'll be whisked away to charity shop on Monday)

lljkk Sat 22-Dec-12 18:20:28

99p listings are usually free, were they all start at 99p?

I've just sold a load of books, DVDs and games to We Buy Books and Music Magpie and made £180! Rather chuffed with that, I must say.

I'm having an existential crisis (!) over a bit of bathroom decoration. My mum gave me a piece of wood with spaces for candles in it a couple of years ago. It's perfectly nice, if random. We don't need it, it takes up space on the windowsill and I've never lit the candles. Everything says charity shop it! But I feel really guilty...argh.

gracelesslady Sat 22-Dec-12 20:19:42

Antoinette, what do you feel when you look at it? Is it beautiful, do you love it? Does it make you feel light inside?

If you love it, keep it and use it.
If you don't love it, release it to be loved by someone who does.

(All flylady, not me!!)


harrietspy Sat 22-Dec-12 20:44:16

Antoinette, that's fabulous!

bluecarrot, sounds like you're making really good progress!

I am really going to need the wisdom of this thread when I face the Garage of Despond.

So much of the stuff I've let go of so far has been comparatively easy. But now I'm faced with a lot of children's paperbacks that I loved. My dc aren't big fiction readers. Ds1 prefers factual books and ds2 loves comic books. I want my dc to know that reading is life-enhancing... but just writing this I realise: 1) I keep watching telly on my laptop in bed instead of reading so I'm expecting them to behave one way while I behave another; 2) they have lots of books that they love; 3) they're never going to read my Cynthia Voigt and Margaret Mahy collections. So why am I keeping them?

In the new year I'll see if the school would like them as freebies to give to the older children.

I'm not ready to let go of our vast library of picture books yet. I find it so hard that my boys are growing up so quickly... I feel sad...

This isn't just about decluttering, is it?

bluecarrot Sat 22-Dec-12 20:56:43

Harriet- Push past this wall and I swear it gets easier much faster. Even though I've felt a bit low, I've kept going at a rate I can hardly believe myself.

Is there a sure start center, tots group, women's aid center etc nearby that would appreciate a few of the picture books? Are any friends having children that you can gift them saying they hold happy memories and you hope they enjoy them as much?

Can you resolve to let go 50% of them?

I hope to have more kids in the future and I've kept 10 books that were valued by me and DD in her first few years. There's loads that I found hard to let go of but when I see other kids getting joy from them I feel great. I can always re-buy ones I regret letting go. The ones I kept all haw inscriptions in them for dd.

But if you can't do it now, just come back to them. Maybe next month, maybe next year. It's allowed you know ;)

gracelesslady it's going to charity. I don't love it! Thanks smile

I know the feeling about of the reasons we have so much stuff is because I have never been able to bring myself to get rid of books, even ones I don't like. It was quite therapeutic today though-I went through them and realised that even selling the 50 odd I am, none of which I like or need or will ever read again, I still have hundreds and hundreds to adorn my walls and provide DD with something to read over the years! Getting rid of her books would be harder I think, but try to see it as a way to clear space for your DC to have only books they love, and space for future heirlooms...

I'm on a roll today (this thread is bloody marvellous for me in terms of inspiration and kicks up the bum!) and have just spent a happy hour going through my wardrobe. I've now got two bin bags of clothes for charity, one of shoes and bags for charity, one of the very good quality stuff that I'm going to give to a friend and some as-new shoes and a bag that I've stuck on eBay. Now I just have to go and put 30ish hangers on freecycle!

bluecarrot Sat 22-Dec-12 23:12:51

Very productive antoinette!

Proud of DD who has now reached 80 items by sorting though her magazine collection. Aiming for 100 (total) by tomorrow.

I've spent last two hours washing out and disinfecting the plant pots and kids toys from the carport ready for winter storage /giving away. My back aches and I'm not finished but I've no more room for them to dry so it's time to stop for the night. Except for the wall of boxes. It's now approx 10feet deep x 4ft wide x 8 ft high. And a lot of the boxes are filled with other boxes! If, after a cup of tea I still feel like doing it, I'm going to put all the cardboard boxes aside for filling for charity. The plastic ones and bags ( carriers already recycled- these are fabric, bags for life, ikea type bags etc) ill start deciding what can go. Ill try and keep only the boxes that will stack well together and and odd sized ones can be donated. The bags - ill make up two bags of bags to take to the supermarket- one to keep in house, one to keep in car.

bluecarrot Sun 23-Dec-12 14:05:17

Another run to dump this morning.

Don't plan any more today- I have a little bit of painting to do then a bit of wrapping, then a bit of baking smile if I come across things I'm ready to let go of then they will go in the boxes under the stairs but otherwise focus is elsewhere today. smile

Ah, that makes sense about eBay- thanks for explaining. It's surprisingly busy on there and three of my four items already have bids against them after less than a day.

So before the light went this afternoon I took some more pictures of stuff to list this evening. DP asked me to do some of his as well while he went over to his Mum's. I was happy to do it until I realised I had to iron half of it first - grrr.

DP has (without any prompting) started listing a chunk of vinyl for sale online, sorted out loads of stuff for eBay and sorted through some of his mystery cupboard contents.

It feels like it's starting to come together a bit and I'm finding this thread very motivating. Antoinette £180 is very impressive. It sounds like you're on a roll.

RarelyUnreasonable Sun 23-Dec-12 16:54:45

I'm only managing to do short bursts of Sorting Out as ds is still in the sleeping on me at all times stage! Still, have put some bits on freecycle and have a mental to-do list.

MinimalistMommi Sun 23-Dec-12 18:11:25

It's funny how during the holidays my kids seem to go to bed earlier wink
I managed to declutter some play - doh things that don't ever get used (play doh letters of the alphabet cutters) my children were happy to see them go and I washed out the play doh box and placed the remaining bits all back in again. Haven't done much else other than that as I have been busy with children and Christmas baking.

MinimalistMommi Sun 23-Dec-12 18:18:01

blossombath being screen free can be tough sometimes but I found I got used to it very quickly, there are lots of benefits too. My oldest girl, her reading level is amazing for her age, probably because she spends at least two hours a day reading. She is very content to lay on the sofa with a quilt with her books. We use the library a lot.

lljkk Sun 23-Dec-12 18:46:18

You could resolve to offload any paperbacks that public library has, anyway? Would that be more comfortable.

I have been culling toddler books (youngest DC is nearly 5). We've enjoyed them but time to move on.

I am still hiding my head in sand about sagging shelves in the loft.

Washer dryer has given up the ghost sad

House is full of half washed, very, very wet clothes sad sad sad

DH has gone out to give cards to friends and left me in charge of the remote grin

hobnob57 Sun 23-Dec-12 21:41:55

We are at the same stage RarelyUnreasonable. BUT spurred on by Queen, I have 4 items on ebay. Baby steps...

The book thing is something that I have to face. We have a children's collection rivalling the library. I was looking forward to a cull, then got pg with #3 hmm And my eldest is a book worm so is enjoying being able to read her old books for herself. But they are everywhere

Oh no, Antoinette, sorry to hear about the washer-drier. Now this is the time when it is not good to have just one towel per person and one set of bed linen per bed! Hope you manage until you can get a new one/repair it.

Lots of impressive work upthread, well done! I am making smaller progress, mainly because we only moved countries in April so had a mammoth clearout before coming, but still I want to reduce the stuff in our home.

I'd struggle with getting rid of DS's lovely picture books. They are just so gorgeous. Also hoping for another DC, so I have reason to hold on for now, but in a few years, I guess I shall have to pass them on. I didn't have any difficulty getting rid of my own books, as once I've read one, I don't re-read, apart from a couple of reference books, which I've kept. Though I suppose I can read anything I need to learn about online. Unless our Internet connexion goes! smile

Feeling happier being more minimalist, though the frugal me also sees sense in investing in a few things to keep for years, rather than replacing regularly. That balance again.

harrietspy Mon 24-Dec-12 07:52:20

Just want to wish everyone on this thread a very happy Christmas filled with comfort and joy smile.

Antoinette, I hope your dryer problem is fixed soon.

See you after Christmas.

gracelesslady Mon 24-Dec-12 10:37:28

Thanks Harriet grin

Merry Christmas everyone xxxx

Merry Christmas! Hope you don't get anything you don't need, that isn't gorgeous and/or nourishing. smile

Yes, Merry Christmas one and all!

Yes Merry Christmas everyone, looking forward to this thread in the New Year! smile

RarelyUnreasonable Mon 24-Dec-12 13:48:32

Wishing everyone a gorgeous and nourishing Christmas!

ariadneoliver Mon 24-Dec-12 14:07:33

Happy Christmas all. I'm also hoping to get rid of lots of stuff in the New Year by this time next year my whole house will be sleek and minimal. grin

bluecarrot Mon 24-Dec-12 15:37:14

Merry Christmas everyone smile

Already benefiting from organized, minimal(er) home as I pack overnight bags and find bits to take to a wake, leaving home 6am on Boxing Day. And yet here I am, on Christmas eve drinking mulled wine (non-alcoholic) and surfing Mumsnet (DDs xmas eve gift included a MOshie Monster mag. Havent seen her in nearly an hour...thought I would have needed the time to get organized, but Ive run out of things to do!)

Heres to simpler living smile

CheerfulYank Wed 26-Dec-12 05:45:10

I'm a little late to the party, but can I join? smile

I often feel overwhelmed by "stuff" and hate it. Also, I'm pregnant (DC2 due in May) and would really really really like to pare down before she/he gets here.

BoffinMum Wed 26-Dec-12 11:12:17

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

IWipeArses Wed 26-Dec-12 11:21:27

I've really enjoyed your blog before BoffinMum, thanks for the link again.

Hope everyone has had a nice time this Christmas, and only got stuff that is useful or beautiful. smile

BoffinMum Wed 26-Dec-12 17:03:27

Oops, sorry MNHQ,if that went too far as a plug. <contrite> Meant well.

CheerfulYank Wed 26-Dec-12 17:25:59

Boffin if that was a link to your blog you could PM it to me, if you want. smile I've read it before and liked it but I lost the link.

BoffinMum Wed 26-Dec-12 21:31:17

Right, sorted things with MNHQ. There are new rules, because apparently some people have been signing up to MN with the sole purpose of promoting their blogs in an inappropriate way. Being good school prefects, they have to apply the same rules to everyone, even well loved and approved bloggers like oneself. So that was why they deleted the post. However I gather it would be OK to invite interested parties to google the words Austerity and Housekeeping, which would make the blog easy to find. BTW the Kindle version is offline because of formatting issues, but all the stuff's free on the blog anyway so you're not missing anything.

BoffinMum Wed 26-Dec-12 21:34:35

PS The well loved thing should have had a bit of a wink after it wink grin

RarelyUnreasonable Thu 27-Dec-12 07:27:40

Hello again! So it's eBay free listings this week - any idea if stuff sells particularly well or badly at this time of year (mainly maternity and baby stuff)?

MinimalistMommi Thu 27-Dec-12 08:22:05

Just hopping on before our day begins! Decluttered three very full carrier bags full of worn out/grown out of clothing yesterday to the clothes recycling bank yesterday. We also returned a beautiful quilt I had been lent that has hung over over bannister but the new house has a boxed in staircase so we will have no where to display it.

There was also a worn bath towel too that went into the recycling bank. I've decided just to keep four bath towels, one for each member of the family and a bunch of hand towels too.

In the new house we are moving into in the next few weeks there is only one bathroom (we have two currently, we're downsizing by at least a third if not by half!) so I'm wondering how many hand towels to keep. I have a dryer which makes the towel turnaround quick! What do you think?

Now it's the new year I really want to focus on decluttering. We're already very minimalist but I still think there is stuff cluttering the place up!

I've heard of one method of decluttering where everything is taken from a room and the only what is truly, truly needed is put back (or beautiful) and then the rest has to be dealt with! Thinking of doing that in our bedroom. Pondering getting rid of bedside cabinets as they are such a clutter catch but they are original French pieces and expensive too which always makes it harder!

Anyway, must go and start our day now, good luck decluttering today anyone who is doing it!

RarelyUnreasonable Thu 27-Dec-12 10:13:27

I'd keep one hand towel as it can be washed and dried daily. I'm replacing ours today - not v minimal, but think the new white company ones on order will be much more nourishing than the stained purple ones!

DH and toddler are out, so as long as ds naps, I'll be clearing the house (surfaces, laundry mountains, general putting away and decluttering w eBay and freecycle) As he only naps on me, I'm not sure how much I'll achieve hmm. Trying to enjoy the snuggles and not get frustrated...

IWipeArses Thu 27-Dec-12 10:44:12

Have you got a sling Rarely?

IWipeArses Thu 27-Dec-12 10:47:06

MM, we only have one bedside cabinet at the minute, as DD was in a bedside cot before, so I got rid of mine, but we are going to get rid of DHs soon as it functions mostly as a dangerous and endlessly enticing treasure basket for DD. grin

CheerfulYank Thu 27-Dec-12 10:57:50

My parents are taking DS for a few days soon and I am really looking forward to a good sort and donate of all of his stuff. He has approximately a million toys hmm and never plays with any of them lately, just wanders around complaining that he's bored. Yet, when there's very little choice he can play with the same car for hours. So out it goes!

I'm just tired of having so much crap! It's everywhere, all the time, and no matter how many declutterings I do, it's not going to matter unless I buy less. So I really need to work on that!

RarelyUnreasonable Thu 27-Dec-12 12:04:28

arses I do and I love it. DS doesn't agree though...
Still, am very gifted at doing things with one hand.

IWipeArses Thu 27-Dec-12 12:53:33

Rarely, oh dear, maybe a different type would work?

cheerfulyank agree that the more toys they have, the more 'bored' they are. DD and I got rid of a shedload in November (we do every year for Christmas and her January birthday) and she hasn't missed anything.

This year she couldn't face working out what to give away so I told her to go through the drawers and take out what she wanted to keep. She preferred it and we got rid of about 40% of her stuff. Unfortunately no cuddly toys have left the building.

blossombath Thu 27-Dec-12 14:44:49

Merry Christmas ladies, hope you all had a lovely time whether minimising or just merry making.

I tried to turn off the nagging frustration,about stuff everywhere for two days but today it is back with a vengance. Starting to plan my full on minimalist mission but just don't know where to begin. I want to do a box challenge in each room but it will probably be a slow process as, like rarely, I have to do it while ds naps or with him in the sling.

Current procrastinate/faffing hurdle is which room to start in... Nursery/ junk room which is junkiest, bedroom which is messiest, living room where we spend most time, smallest room for easy win? Please help me to stop dithering

No bedside tables here, agree they just store clutter.

Broke another plate too, AND a cup - so I am accidentally getting more minimalist! smile

I love the idea of clearing a room then only filling it with what is gorgeous and nourishing!

RarelyUnreasonable Thu 27-Dec-12 17:46:56

We have bedside tables. Mine is empty, dh's is full of crap essential stuff he hasn't used in years. We have different definitions of minimalism grin.
blossom I'd start in the room you use the most. This way you get a gorgeous and nourishing place to relax in.

MinimalistMommi Thu 27-Dec-12 18:29:54

Thanks for the advice on the bedside cabinets, I imagine they will have to go as our new bedroom is small and we have a kingsize bed, so it would end up looking cramped anyway. I'm very use to decluttering, but these are going to hard to part with as we bought them with wedding present money and as I said they were expensive. I'm going to find it very hard!

Haven't done any decluttering today although I have been thinking about it...really need to start work on my bedroom, it's been done several times already in the last year but it needs another sweep through plus I need to start packing.

Next week furniture that won't fit into our new house needs to start leaving, I have some friends that I know want a few pieces so I need to arrange for them to get picked up or ask my sister to drop them off. As we're downsizing, we just need to keep basics, like dining room table but getting rid of two bookcases and a toy shelf and a chest of drawers as my children are going from a room each to sharing a room and only one chest of drawers can fit into their bedroom.

I'm finding it hard to focus on one area of house at the moment! It really does need to be my bedroom! I'm thinking of hauling it all onto the landing into a pile and then going through it...

blossombath Thu 27-Dec-12 18:43:45

I like the idea of no bedside table but would need somewhere for water, book and phone to pass time in night feeds. I have been furniture-lusting over thesefor a while. Mounted on wall By bed, just space for essentials. Like you mm we have sentimental attachment to our tables so will probably remain just a dream.

MinimalistMommi Thu 27-Dec-12 18:56:56

BB I too need a glass of water at night and somewhere to put my book...

Thank you for the no fees on eBay tip a little down the thread-I've just listed a load of books! Don't know how well they'll sell but I figure if they don't I'll just charity shop them.

books to look at though don't buy them and re-clutter your bookshelves [wink]

IWipeArses Thu 27-Dec-12 19:45:07

When DD was in the bedside cot I put all my stuff in a basket at the bottom of the cot. And now, we've a futon, so it's right next to me on the floor. I started having a bottle of water rather than a glass so it's safe whether it tips over etc.

For a normal height bed I like headboards with storage, even if it's just a shelf above.

harrietspy Thu 27-Dec-12 20:59:52

Hello all.

Re cutting down amount of towels, sheets etc, what if you're trying to minimise and also cut down on tumble drying for ecological and financial reasons? For me this is a good reason to keep a few sets of something in circulation. Any thoughts?

CheerfulYank Thu 27-Dec-12 21:04:01

Well. I just took all of DS's toys out of his room, but because he will have to earn them back with good behavior, not in the name of minimalism. angry I am at the end of my rope with that boy!

However, I was shock at the amount of stuff that has crept in since last time I did a good clean out! It's like it breeds or something.

BlackBagFestiveBaubleBinLiner Thu 27-Dec-12 21:21:23

We're ditching, re-arranging and slinging stuff. My head/house feels better for it but I have to keep reading blogs/books/threads to remain motivated in my quest.

A few months ago I binned three large boxes that were sat on the landing. Low value, bulky random stuff it would have raised a tenner at most. DH did a carboot a month later but it was worth £2.50 a week not to have it sitting there.

<Mutters Yodi style about being mindful of money wasted at point of purchase not recovered by storing for future>

IWipeArses Thu 27-Dec-12 21:23:05

harriet, I think I've posted up thread, but I keep two sets of bedding for each bed, plus a couple extra cot sheets and pillow covers for spare.
I change the beds once a week and a week is plenty time for it all to be washed and dry, so having more than that would be excessive.
I drastically reduced the number of towels we have, but we still have plenty. We have no tumble drier and towels can take a while to dry.
That being said, I may get rid of a few more when I'm more on top of the washing.
Training ourselves to reuse towels several times has helped with the ridiculous amount of laundry I used to have to do though.

I can't remember where I read it, but there was one take on minimising laundry by actually having 30 days worth of clothing in order to only do laundry once a month. This seems a reasonable approach if you're just adults, so no food spills to go mouldy, who are time poor and use a laundrette for example, but would not work for me when a lot of what I wash is cloths for cleaning faces and banana sodden t-shirts.
On the other extreme is the 6 items or less challenge, where you have a tiny capsule wardrobe, but will need to wash every couple days at least. If you're on your own, this will mean less than a full load, however if there are several of you, making up a load every day or two will be easy.

So it's about what will be efficient for you and your own family I guess.

blossombath Thu 27-Dec-12 21:23:33

harriet I think that is a very valid reason - we don't have a tumble dryer for environmental reasons and even with our very wonderful ceiling dryer we couldn't manage to dry sheets and towels in time to put them back into use straight away. Plus I would feel very stressed about having to get the sheets etc through the wash right away. I already only have two sets of bedding for our bed - never saw a need to buy more - but the rest of our bedding and towels I plan to sort out tomorrow.

It's all about that balance isn't it? I keep coming back to mm's definition of 'what we need and no more': I guess you could say that 'need' varies a bit with lifestyle choices though obviously we shouldn't be stretching that to say that we need four sets of bedding for the spare bed and heaven knows how many towels for a family of three...

RarelyUnreasonable Thu 27-Dec-12 21:27:04

blackbag I'm making similar mutterings having listed stuff on freecycle. Am using ebay for £5+ items, and am shock at the low resale value of pretty much everything. Still, I will have more space once the baby clothes are sorted!

harrietspy Thu 27-Dec-12 21:55:35

I probably don't need as many towels and sets of bedding as we have, for sure! Thanks, blossom and iwipe. Balance, and focusing on what works for your family - v wise.

We managed not to accumulate too much stuff this Christmas. I won't get much sorting/sifting done till next week, but I managed 10 mins to weed out some of those young adult paperbacks from a couple of shelves. DC acquired loads of good books but as I'm letting go of other books, this feels ok!

Maybe we're minimalist extremists <wistful look> but we only have one set of bedding each - one for me and DP and one for DD (slight lie as we have a summer and a winter one which get used at different times of year).

One of us always gets the bedding washed, dried and the bed remade within the day but that's more that we don't have anywhere to leave it overnight. I strip the bed when I get up instead of making it, DP then hangs them up when washing is done, outside on line or inside on DD's bunkbed. I thought most people did this.

Maybe we're quite manky but we only wash our towels once a week. DP and I both have a bath towel and hand towel each and DD just has a bath towel (Scooby Doo though).

It sounds like some of you do serious amounts of laundry.

IWipeArses Thu 27-Dec-12 22:38:28

We generally use bath towels at least 3 times now, so 4-6 a week for the adults in total I guess. 2 for the kids and 2/3 hand towels. Our towels are mainly white, so they just go in with other white clothes to make up a load as and when. I'd prefer all our clothes to be dark colours to save me sifting through to make up suitable loads.

I wouldn't like the insecurity of not knowing that there would definitely be dry bedding to put on in the evening Queen, though if you know your own system, I'm sure you know that it'll be dry, but it's one thing I like to have spare. But just the one spare set.

Most of my laundry is due to my messy children. Trying to come up with some work arounds though.

BoerWarKids Thu 27-Dec-12 22:42:38

Hello, can I join in?

I'm single, no DC. Live in a dinky studio flat, no attic or garage, my storage space is basically one cupboard! I'm drowning in a whole load of shite sad

I have to take washing to the launderette - will be sorting washing machine in 2013! - so I have quite a lot of clothes, four sets of bedding and about 7 towels. It means I don't have to do washing every week, it's bloody expensive (!) but my dirty laundry pile often gets out of control.

Bedside table - I use a chair, so I can have my book, water and phone by my bed but no drawers to stash clutter smile

I got rid of my telly but noticed I'm now on the Internet more than ever, just swapped one screen for another.

I have an eBay pile that I didn't manage to shift before xmas. Is January slow for selling, would it be worth waiting till Feb/March?
I've got some summer clothes to sell, think I'll list them April/May.

harrietspy Thu 27-Dec-12 22:43:27

Queen, it sounds like you have a great system going.

harrietspy Thu 27-Dec-12 22:47:52

Our stuff wouldn't dry in a day (cold, cold house!) so I couldn't do what queen does. (Respect due, though! Most impressed). But I know that having less bedlinen will focus my mind and make me get stuff washed rather than leaving it lying around.

boerwar I am totally with you on the screens. This is my major challenge for the coming months.

BoerWarKids Thu 27-Dec-12 22:51:24

Yep, harrietspy I think I need to give myself one hour a day.

I have a lot of digital clutter, as PPs have said. 100s of photos and docs that I could probably delete. I subscribe to about 150 blogs on Google Reader. This needs serious culling!

I need to deal with my physical clutter first though smile

We're a one wash a week for towels and sheets family too. We do have several sets but tend to wash and dry on the same day and replace with the same stuff. Which is a reason to cull the linen draws I think...

LemonBreeland Thu 27-Dec-12 23:27:55

Hi all, not been on since before Christmas. My next projects are going to be bedding, towels and books.

Bedding and towels will be easy. We don't have too many for our bed but have loads of old kids sets that don't get used. Towels there are too many of. A whole bunch of random sizes and colours bought for the kids by others.

The thing I will find hard is the dcs book. DD is only 18mths so a lot of books still have a future with her. However we have loads. I need to go through them and keep some of the really nice ones nad free up shelf space for my boys in their room. First to go will be the huge encyclopedia sized story books boight for ds1 (9) when he was born. Never even read due tp their huge size and weight.

MinimalistMommi Fri 28-Dec-12 08:17:04

harriet about the towels/sheets and tumble dryer and environment: We would still be using our tumble dryer everyday as a family of four regardless (like Queen I am quite an extreme minimalist so we have only had one set of bedding per family member for ages) so I guess I'm saying we don't put it on extra for our towels and bedding. The tumbler dryer dries a mixture of clothing/sheets/bedding and I use the Dylon colour Catcher sheet things in the washing machine so I can do mixed loads, so we don't put it on separately just for a bath towel. I will definitely have more than one hand towel though for drying hands when it is physically in washer/dryer.

We don't line dry, (apart from the childrens Mini Boden printed skirts etc, tumbling tends to fade the print) with tumble drying I know that if I fold the instant the dryer stops stuff rarely needs ironing and it can be put right away. We're a one car family and I walk everywhere, so I guess the tumble dryer is my enviromental splurge?! Hoping that offsets our carbon footprint...wink

So general stuff about laundry:
It took me ages to work this out, but having more clothes for example doesn't mean less washing. You will still wear things for approximately the same length of time and then need to wash that item. With a family of four, we get a full load including towels/sheets etc at least six/seven times a week. I think it is the same for towels, having more doesn't mean less washing/drying, the towels will still be used for certain length of time and then washed. I guess this is talking about family laundry though, if it was a single person or a small family it would be different.

Having more clothes/towels just mean having to deal with more physical laundry around the home, a bigger laundry pile waiting to be washed that can be abandonded for that little bit longer because there are reserves in the drawer and needing more space to store it in bedroom. And for people that iron a bigger ironing pile too.

Of course, if a family simply line dries laundry then of course this needs to be taken into account.

IWipeArses Fri 28-Dec-12 09:22:23

Oh yeah, if I used a tumble drier I'd be tempted to just keep one set of clothes each. grin

harrietspy Fri 28-Dec-12 09:46:06

This is all excellent and making me think!

Been doing a post-Christmas tidy up this morning (although the decs are staying up till Epiphany) and there are a few presents that are going straight into the re-gifting box. Is it bad that I feel no shame about this?!

RarelyUnreasonable Fri 28-Dec-12 10:25:20

harriet I've been doing the same. I feel guilty but I know I'm being sensible - trying to have a frugal year as well as a minimalised one...

Bag of newborn baby clothes going today (freecycle), and someone else has offered me a bag of bigger clothes. I like this muchly - good for my wallet and the environment!

My NY resolution is to work on reducing screen time. Don't want DC to think my iphone is actually attached to my body...

Harriet I am feeling slightly guilty as I've already taken some presents to the charity shop...blush But why did my inlaws give me a plastic tool set?! DD is too young for it as it has quite a few sharp, pointy bits, it's obviously useless as everything's plastic, I'm not a child so I'm not going to play with it... It's a good joke present as I'm always complaining DH doesn't do any DIY, but what am I meant to do with it now?!

lucysnowe Fri 28-Dec-12 13:45:43

Hi all

Hope you all had a great Christmas! Very inspiring to read all your posts, and pleased to find everyone is as obsessed with laundry as I am smile Well have officially started the decluttering now. Have filled about 10 bags, am feeling pretty pleased. BUT we have recently got more roof space so am tending to add things to that as well - and the packed-to-bursting shed! but can deal with those things as and when... The kids' new room looks fab and I plan to keep it as uncluttered as possible, putting toys and books etc in another room. Antoinette, don't feel guilty, I have already done the same with some pressies I got that I know I won't use.

SingingSands Fri 28-Dec-12 13:58:35

Have only just discovered this thread so I'm just marking my place for now so I can go and stick the kettle on and read all 16 pages!

I've started decluttering recently and started in the bathroom. Smallest room in the house so I felt a nice sense of achievement when I'd finished. I built a new cabinet to house our bathroom cleaners and " bathroom bits" in and got rid of stuff we'd been accumulating for years. It felt great and I'm now very possessive over the cabinet and police it's contents! I don't want a jam-packed cabinet of crap, I want a nice tidy orderly one!

Onwards and upwards with the rest of the house so I'm looking forward to reading all your tips smile

summerglory Fri 28-Dec-12 13:59:10

Ooh love love love this thread! Have started decluttering dd's bedroom by making a pile of clothes for charity shop to make way for all the new clothes she got for xmas and sorting toys & games that she no longer plays with to give to our childminder. am feeling v guilty & silly for the amount of xmas presents we bought her, wish we'd given money into her savings a/c instead & that I'd found this thread sooner!

CheerfulYank Fri 28-Dec-12 14:26:43

Small steps today...DH is obsessed with saving every lidded plastic container we get and they are taking over the kitchen. I just brought a few bags of them to the recycling and already feel a bit lighter smile

ariadneoliver Fri 28-Dec-12 15:45:50

I've listed a bunch of books on amazon and also have three bags for the charity shop; I've pruned my handbags and bags and have got rid of 8 that I never use; I have a bag of clothes for the charity shop and another for recycling; shall press on and make a start on a pile of paperwork.

hobnob57 Fri 28-Dec-12 15:59:13

Yep, small steps. Old VCR and tv to the dump (but DH won't part with the videos hmm. 2 bags of eBay stuff identified, and now, thanks to some v generous relatives, I am looking forward to trying the eBay app!

I need to do another cull of toys. The kids are very possessive of the mountain of cuddly toys gathering dust in the corner of their room so unless I do a stealth mission they're here to stay. I am also irrationally wary of throwing out too much in case they get bored mid year as their birthdays are all right before Christmas. I know they claim to be bored all the time so I don't know what my logic is there.

We are getting precious little achieved with colicky baby. We need to farm the kids out and have a blitz.

CurrerBell Fri 28-Dec-12 17:40:13

Hello all - I've been following this thread, and keep getting inspired by the ideas and being too busy to post! We are having building work done too and I really want a calm, minimalist space once we have the house back together. So far I have filled a large box with clothes and DVDs and am sorting through and selling on eBay/Amazon. I am keeping a spreadsheet of my earnings to keep me motivated. The thing I am struggling with is my CDs. We have them stored away in several boxes, as we only really listen to music on the iPod/iPad or Spotify now. But I am emotionally attached to my CD collection... I think I have to be ruthless, or achieve a state of Buddhist detachment and just let it go (am conflicted right now!).

MinimalistMommi Fri 28-Dec-12 17:44:14

Currer are you a Buddhist?
Totally off topic but I read 'Buddhism For Mothers' and its such an inspiring book! One of the best parenting books I've read!

About your CD's, try and imagine the space you would reclaim once they're gone? That's how I'm trying to think about my bedside cabinets I need to let to off...grin

Try getting rid of a few and see how you feel?

MinimalistMommi Fri 28-Dec-12 17:53:27

I spent the morning at ikea and didn't buy anything! Minimalism certainly saves money grin

I walked through the kids section and checked out bunk beds there (recap: moving soon and my kids will be sharing small room) and the bottom bunk felt so closed in I wouldn't feel comfortable having my youngest sleep there, it doesn't seem fair. Luckily I was having them hand made and I haven't placed the actual order yet! So bunks are out of the question now. Now it's an option of a floor bed for each child or a single bed with a roll out underbed trundle, Ikea do a cream daybed iron version. Or looking at the option of losing the kids dresser shock and squeezing two singles in somewhere and thinking of another way of storing kids clothes.

LemonBreeland Fri 28-Dec-12 17:59:08

Well, I did the childrens books today, and it wasn't as hard as I thought. Even dh seems to be on baord with that part of it. I have offered them to my friend who has recently split from his wife so is building up things for his dc at his new house. Anything he doesn't take will go to charity.

I'm going to leave the towels and sheets for a couple of days as I have nowhere to put the bags until my Mum goes home from visiting. The towles and sheets will be going to the rag bag bins at school, and the dc are not back until 7th Jan so the bags will be cluttering up for a while.

Then I need to think about my next project. It will be easier once the dc are back at school.

MinimalistMommi Fri 28-Dec-12 18:26:51
IWipeArses Fri 28-Dec-12 18:31:37

MM, two singles with underbed storage?

Currer, we stopped buying cds in around 2003(?) as we were downloading everything, so I found that a collection that sort of stopped then didn't really feel like a 'collection' iyswim. I got rid of mine, sold as a job lot and feel great.

harrietspy Fri 28-Dec-12 19:56:17

Just been through clean laundry taking out trousers ds2 has grown out of in massive growth spurt in last 2 months - this leaves him with 3 pairs of non-school trousers and 1 pair of trackie bottoms that fit. This really should be plenty!

The more stuff I let go of the more I realise that this is about so much more than space, aesthetics, over-consumption. I find it so hard to live the way I want to! (More reading, more making and mending, more time with friends and dc, gardening, working hard and supporting my family - less screen-time and basically less faffage...). I have put so much of my security in having thjngs just in case... Which is why getting rid of stuff feels risky and liberating at the same time...

Harriet, totally agree. There is much more to this than just getting rid of stuff. It shifts your mindset in lots of ways. For me there's a lot of stuff about self-sufficiency (mental and emotional as well as physical), consumerism and environmental issues.

We had a good day and DP seems to be doing more than me. He cleared out some of his stuff from the cupboards and I had a sort through of DD's room. We ended up taking five bagfuls of stuff to the charity shop. We've also listed over a hundred things on discogs - and sold one for £6!

My stuff on eBay (19 items by the time DP had done some of his) is going well. I've got five days left and the bids total over £40 already.

Currerbell, I've got rid of most of my CDs. You can pick up hard drives quite cheaply and store them on there or iCloud will store it all virtually for £25 a year if you upload it via iTunes. Or be brave! Get rid of it all except the stuff you have listened to in the last year and then buy it as an MP3 if you find you are actually missing it.

harrietspy Fri 28-Dec-12 20:42:56

Looks like we may be getting a student lodger in the spring for 3 months or so - so another reason to clear out extraneous clutter. I will lose the utter luxury of having my own private bathroom (which has been amazing) but it's a great opportunity to clear stuff out. I'll be moving into a tiny room and I have the monk's cell image in my mind...

IWipeArses Fri 28-Dec-12 23:18:16

I love that monk's cell imagery. In truth I like slightly more comfort, but I remember my bedroom when I was ten and we moved and before it was decorated all my wallpaper was stripped and there was hardly any of my toys in my room, and I would sit in my little bare haven reading my Mum's ancient yoga book. <sigh>

It's definitely about mindset for me, and peace of mind. I tidied the towels up the other day, having moved them into a different cupboard a while ago. I pulled out a few tatty flannels and sorted and folded the hand, baby, bath towels and I thought to myself "Now I really know where my towel is". grin Think I might re-read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy again.
I hate not knowing exactly where all my stuff is, I find it very unsettling and I intend to put a stop to that.

CurrerBell Sat 29-Dec-12 09:23:20

MinimalistMommi, I've read Buddhism for Mothers too (discovered through MN!) and it's wonderful. I wouldn't say I'm a Buddhist in the religious sense, but I'm certainly aiming for a more Buddhist mindset. I think the idea of being free from unhealthy attachments, ie the attachment to 'stuff', is what I'm trying to do - and being able to pay attention to what's important right now, rather than being distracted by clutter and shopping and guilt etc.

I've slept on the CD dilemma and realised you're all right. The fact I think of it as a 'collection' involves anxiety, as it can never be complete. I have stopped buying as many CDs in recent years, but but periodically I'll buy a few thinking I have to add to my 'collection'. Sometimes I'll hear something on 6Music and think 'oh I have to own that'. I really want to get away from that mindset and enjoy music more as an experience. Since all our CDs have been in boxes we haven't really missed them, and we don't really have anywhere to display them when our building work is done, so there's not really much point hanging onto them...

Currerbell, I really get the music thing. I have literally thousands of songs stored electronically and get anxious at the thought of not having them all. DP is an ex-professional musician and is nearly as bad.

As PP have said, the amount of virtual clutter can build up really quickly. I cannot fit all my music onto my iPod or iPad even though both are the bigger versions. I'm trying to archive music I don't listen to hence the hard drive although I recognise that's a halfway house.

Two things have helped me on the music front: I have a £10 a month budget to buy songs which usually goes on stuff I've heard on 6Music and the other is going to see more bands. Seeing bands probably works out as more expensive but the experience sticks in your mind more. We went to see The Hives a couple of weeks ago and it was just brilliant but that alone cost £50.

IWipeArses Sat 29-Dec-12 10:29:04

Ooh, I'd love to see The Hives Queen!

One of the things I want more of in my life is experiences. I'm hoping that getting out of the habit of buying things, and the time spent researching and buying things, waiting for things, unpacking things, curating and cleaning things, then feeling guilty about and decluttering those things grin will mean I have more time and money to do the things I'd like to do, for me and the children.

Dh usually listens to music while he's on the computer, so subscribes to Spotify for £4.99 a month - which gives him unlimited music to listen to while he works, but doesn't involve any actual CDs or downloads. Obviously not an option if you listen to music on the go via phone or mp3 player.

Also (I've been lurking for a few days picking up hints) - anyone else found that the bookbuying website doesn't want any of their books?

ShirleySharpeyes Sat 29-Dec-12 11:54:21

I have been lurking and have been inspired - I am not sure I could go quite as far as you lot - I would really struggle with reducing the clothes/bedlinen bit, and I am a hoarder of food (and get panicky if there is less than 6 tins of tomatoes in the cupboard) but I do want a less cluttered, more ordered house.

Since discovering this thread, I have sold all our CD's and a few old books and they are now packed up and ready to post to music magpie or webuybooks (thanks for the code, I will have made nearly £100!). I have subscribed to spotify, which is brilliant. Two old mobiles are on their way to Mazuma and the ebay pile has grown. I have also spent a very satisfying day (sans DD's) sorting all our filing drawers and have ditched a huge amount of paper. Oh and I have also sorted out the tuperware cupboard (it no longer falls out when you open the door).
So thanks to you lot I'm looking forward to starting the New Year feeling lighter and clearer....and determined not to let more stuff in.

Just got the girls room to tackle but will wait til they are back at school....

LemonBreeland Sat 29-Dec-12 16:48:01

This thread has been great. Just reading what everyone else is doing really spurs me on.

DM went home today so I did the towels and bedding. The cupboard looks so much better.

I am going to be doing this a lot more slowly than some on here as dh is not fully on board, so it will be small amounts of things at a time, mostly so he doesn't notice, will just realise we have a tidier house.

RarelyUnreasonable Sat 29-Dec-12 17:09:11

2 bags to the charity shop, a bag awaiting freecycle collection, and a bag of stuff to be ebayed grin.

blossombath Sat 29-Dec-12 19:36:44

Well done rarely, that's an awful lot of bags with a baby and toddler to nurture as well...

And, following your advice, we have begun clearing the living room. It's an incremental thing at the moment as we have to obviously do it at night when DS isn't cruising round looking for trouble but we have filled a baf of recycling, half a box for charity, half for selling and a whole box of stuff to keep but put in other rooms. I suspect some of this stuff will eventually go when I get to the other rooms but I just didn't feel ready to part with some of it.

However, inspired by you lot, we have removed the last remnants of our CD collections - earlier in the year we trimmed out almost all of the CDs and kept just a few sentimental ones each. But now we have popped even those in the 'to sell' box. All I have left are two christmas CDs one of which is very sentimental and one is a lovely object in itself with nice artwork and lyric books etc. So those will go in my box of Christmas decorations and the CD holder will also go from our living room.

DH is currently putting DS to bed so am off to shove dinner into oven and then get on with the clearing...funny how I have begun to look forward to it.

blossombath Sat 29-Dec-12 19:37:38

Oh, and we sorted bedding and will sort towels tonight - then I think I can say we are fully paid up members of the minimalist journey thread smile

BlackBagFestiveBaubleBinLiner Sat 29-Dec-12 19:44:08

I've just read Banish Clutter Forever which has helped me focus on what I doing and highlighted a few reasons where I struggle. The author is British which means that she does n't assume we all live in massive houses with laundry rooms, dens and attics.

BoerWarKids Sat 29-Dec-12 19:47:36

IShallWearMidnight You can get Spotify on your phone. A smartphone anyway.

RarelyUnreasonable Sat 29-Dec-12 19:48:44

Congrats on the clearing, blossom. It's taken a couple of weeks of snatched time. And stuff was mainly pre-sorted as is maternity/newborn stuff...and there won't be any more DC here!!

LemonBreeland Sat 29-Dec-12 20:18:48

blossom I wish I could get dh on board as I am also enjoying it and it would be som much easier with him involved too.

Blackbag that book looks good.

IWipeArses Sat 29-Dec-12 20:40:10

Wow, some brilliant decluttering done here, well done!

I've listed some stuff to sell that I've been putting off, and decluttered the excess playdough cutters which I'll take to playgroup.

CurrerBell Sat 29-Dec-12 22:06:18

Just sold 155 CDs on MusicMagpie! I got £65 for the lot, which isn't that great when I think what I originally paid for them, but not too bad when I think that they were just in boxes taking up space. I really don't have the time to sell them all individually, but have kept back some higher price items to sell on Amazon. We have kept one box of CDs for sentimental reasons, but that will probably go eventually too.

Going through them all brought back so many memories of different times, eg student years. Some good memories and some bad. I think it's definitely time to move on and not be stuck in the past. This is much more than just a decluttering exercise! smile

bluecarrot Sat 29-Dec-12 23:54:31

Well done for keeping it up. Haven't really done any in almost a week now as was out of town for DPs grans funeral, then DP came to stay a few days with me and I didn't want to declutter then. He went home today so i will be getting back on track tomorrow and Monday for one last push for 2012!

Really enjoying the extra space already and the extra time it's allowed me to spend with my DD in her Xmas holidays, and supporting DP through his loss. Has really hit home how little of this stuff I really need at all!

Can't wait for second purge wave smile

lolalotta Sun 30-Dec-12 06:33:00

Blackbag, thanks for the book recommendation,I need all the inspiration I can get!!! Are you glad you bought it, id it a good read? I'm just wondering if I should get it too, I need all the help I can get! blush

harrietspy Sun 30-Dec-12 10:14:40

I'm thinking about the Buddhism for mothers book too but I have so many unread books so maybe I'll order it from the library when I've read the others... I'm really interested in mindfulness but went a bit crazy a while back in a completely unmindful way buying every book on mindfulness I came across. The irony.

I think the discussion about music is really interesting, especially the desire to 'own' something that we hear... My issue isn't so much feeling the need to own music as automatically reaching for the same thing again and again. I love 6music too but I am so ignorant about music and end up listening to the same stuff on cd again and again. I think all of this is perhaps part of the same thing - wanting to be conscious and not to fall back into easy patterns/take the path of least resistance. I always feel SO much more alive when I've heard something new to me. A challenge for me would be to put aside ALL my recorded music, not to choose programmes on BBC iPlayer and just to listen to whatever is on 6music.

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 11:53:50

harrietspy definitely try to order it from the library, I've read quite a few mindfulness books and Buddhism for Mothers talk so much sense for family life! It really is an amazing read & has so many light bulb moments. I've read it twice already!

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 11:58:16

My DH is watching the children this morning while I have been have a two/three hour intense clear out in our bedroom.

I've cleared one fully stuffed 'bag for life' carrier bag and two extra carrier bags on top of this, these have just left the house in the last half hour grin Three books are going to book bank on our way out this afternoon. The problem is I've been decluttering for so long now, the satisfaction is quite short lived and I'm already looking around for still needs to go. We had family visit a few weeks ago and I was asked if I'd already packed for the move (I hadn't) but too me, when I look around, there is still so much 'stuff'.

BlackBag thanks so much for recommending Banish Clutter Forever. It's the first book of its sort I've read that actually seems practical rather than idealistic and impossible! Just done the bathroom, now onto the next room...grin

MoomieAndFreddie Sun 30-Dec-12 12:08:19

marking place on thread - tiny house with way too much STUFF esp after christmas

gracelesslady Sun 30-Dec-12 13:19:28

Hiya been reading this thread and doing no decluttering over the past week: poorliness and Christmas getting in the way but I keep spotting things and thinking "why am I hanging on to that?!" which is going to make the chucking out much easier when I get started again. I think that's the best thing about decluttering ~ it comes in waves, you're never finished and you can give yourself permission to let that be okay.

If I don't get back on here, happy new year. Hope 2013 is serene for all of us xxx

I wanted to post about how I've been getting on with my clothes. Thanks to this thread I came across Project 333 which is about having a minimalist wardrobe but is less extreme than it sounds.

The idea is that you have 33 items of clothing for three months (excludes underwear, sleepwear, stuff you lounge around in at home and exercise clothes). Then after three months you rotate three old things out and three new things in. Being American, they suggest you pack everything else up and put it in storage but the reality of the size of my house is that the stuff I'm not wearing is living at the far end of the wardrobe.

I decided to give it a go and have been doing it for a couple of weeks now and much to my surprise, I'm really enjoying it. Courtney Carver, the woman who writes the Be More With Less blog came up with it and says more than anything it should be fun. I thought 'yeah, yeah, so far so American' but it really is. It's making me wear the clothes I really like and feel good in.

It's also helped me massively in deciding what I can get rid of. I couldn't work out why I had three pairs of jeans which I rarely wear - it's so obvious but it's because I don't like any of them and I also don't really like wearing jeans. I like dresses and have counted that I have (kept) eleven. They've all had relatively little wear and I realised it was because I was keeping them for that mythical 'best' that never comes.

Anyone fancy giving it a go with me? It's a good one if others in your house aren't into the whole minimalism thing.

pixiestix Sun 30-Dec-12 15:14:32

Hello, back again! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I'm going to have a catch up with the thread now. Accumulated waaaaay too much crap over the holidays and am already stressing about it sad

TheWombat Sun 30-Dec-12 16:06:04

Hurrah! And a big thank you to all the minimisers on this thread! Thanks to you I have music-magpied 3 boxes containing 116 DVDs, identified a pile of old costume jewellery to eBay, and emptied out my drawer of hole- ridden, ancient Pjs (nice). Long may the minimising journey continue.. smile

Glitterkitten24 Sun 30-Dec-12 16:55:41

Phew all caught up with this thread, am feeling inspired and ready to declutter! grin

I have a one year old who has just found his feet so can't do anything now, but as soon as he is in bed I'm tackling the towel cupboard- it never occurred to me to have only a few per person, I have loads.
And the worst of it is that I'm using scabby old towels when there are lovely new ones packed away from our wedding which are 'to nice to use everyday'. Not anymore, I will chuck my old crap and use my nice stuff everyday!

The bit that stood out for me is 'is it beautiful, is it useful?' Ill definitely be using this mantra while starting my clear out!

Thanks for inspiring me ladies, looking forward to getting stuck in now!

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 17:26:36

Go Glitterkitten go! Enjoy the journey! Yay to using nice everyday!

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 17:29:10

Some interesting links to e books here on minimalism:

lolalotta Sun 30-Dec-12 17:30:22

QueenofWhatever I don't think I own 33 pieces of clothing!!!! I'm sure it's less than that... sad
What I find works for me is I buy from one shop (White Stuff grin), spend a little bit more on stuff I REALLY LOVE then buy less IYSWIM? It works for me!

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 17:34:36

I definitely don't own 33 bits of clothing...way, way less blush

lolalotta Sun 30-Dec-12 17:36:38

Just did a count...I have 24 items of clothing (not including coat and nightwear/underwear) It's not something I have done intentionally, clothes ate just do blumin' expensive!!!!

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 17:38:00

...just counted up it's ten pieces of clothing plus a winter coat and a rain coat, that includes pj's and I don't have any loungewear or exercise clothes!

lolalotta Sun 30-Dec-12 17:39:15

Forgot to add what Watson the laundry basket...make that 27!!! wink

Seriously, you have 24 and 10 pieces of clothing each? How do you cope with dressing for work, being at home, going out let alone the different seasons? I genuinely don't understand how you manage. Excluding underwear I've been wearing six items of clothing today - thermal t-shirt, wool tunic, skinny jeans, fleece, jacket and scarf. Oh, and gloves and boots.

Most of my clothes are from charity shops or eBay, I don't find clothes have to be that expensive.

33 times of clothing...shock I probably have more like 133 blush

I've got rid of a LOT of clothes over the past couple of months, but I still have a wardrobe and chest of drawers full. I think it's an area I just don't want to de-clutter any further-I like clothes and don't want to wear the same things all the time!

I am seriously in awe at 10 items. I have a trench coat for when it's cool and I need to be smart, a winter coat, a gilet for in-between-y days, a padded jacket for spring/autumn, a tuxedo jacket for evening wear, a blue suit jacket and two boucle thick cardigans for less formal but still work-smart cover ups when my classroom's cold. My coat collection of 8 is almost the size of your entire wardrobe! Do you not end up literally wearing the same one or two outfits every single day?

blossombath Sun 30-Dec-12 19:13:16

queen I'm in...have probably been wearing about that number of clothes per season for last year due to being pregnant then breastfeeding and trying to buy clothes which area as ethical as possible which limits choice and ups cost.

However would be good to do this challenge as it might make me feel better about wearing similar things all the time, rather than fed up to back teeth. One thing I don't get-am I meant to throw out three items at end, or back to storage? And do accessories count? Maybe I should read the blog....

blossombath Sun 30-Dec-12 19:18:30

Oh gosh, accessories count?! I have cold feet, I was thinking I could have fun wearing the same top with different jewellery...but maybe I should attempt to put together a wardrobe before chickening out

GrumpySod Sun 30-Dec-12 19:19:48

If I was happy as a SAHM I could get rid of about half of my wardrobe. I never go out so don't need smart clothes except for the once-every-5 years wedding type event.

I have a lot of nightwear, too, because I get so very cold.

When I first read the site I thought oh god, that sounds awful. But I've found in life that when I instantly start resisting an idea, it usually means that I'll get loads out of it. I just counted things up out of idle curiosity and it went from there.

I'm between Antoinette and blossom. I'm no fashionista but like having clothes to play around with but find I wear the same things all the time. I'm not sure why but I've found that a lot of the clothes I had been wearing most of the time I didn't really like that much. Even in this short period of time by having chosen what I love, I'm enjoying it much more. I think I've subconsciously been saving a lot of things - I really like this so I don't want to wear it out so I'll wear this sludgey, worn top instead IYSWIM.

lolalotta Sun 30-Dec-12 19:59:05

I work from home and don't go out very often in the evening, lol! I'm a bit of a home bird and all my friends have young DC too so we tend to meet in the day rather than for evenings out IYKWIM? I LIVE in skinny jeans/ boots and just mix it up with different print tops/ vests/ cardi/ chunky necklaces! I only buy tops I LOVE so it's taking a while to build my wardrobe! I hope to add more next season! grin

lolalotta Sun 30-Dec-12 20:03:03

I think the fact that I don't need work wear /evening wear makes a HUGE difference...

lolalotta Sun 30-Dec-12 20:04:56

If necklaces/ footwear counts it's more than 27 items, though not a lot, I have wide feet and hate shoe shopping!!!!

lolalotta Sun 30-Dec-12 20:12:35

Now this is probably going to sound stupid but I find if I buy cheap with clothes I don't care for them as well as I might for a top that I have been hankering after. I line dry rather than stick them in the tumble dryer and press them really carefully etc. I definitely find less is more when it comes to taking good care of your clothes, it's just not so overwhelming!

TheWombat Sun 30-Dec-12 20:18:51

Oh dear blush. Clothes are my cluttery nemesis. I am at the Antoinette end of the scale! In fairness I'm good at throwing out stuff I don't wear, and I wear all the clothes I have. My job demands quite a varied wardrobe (not just suits) and I get cold easily to tend to layer up a lot.

I am working on the 'just don't buy any more' mantra for now..

BlackBagFestiveBaubleBinLiner Sun 30-Dec-12 20:25:33

Banish Clutter Forever I bought on Kindle after reading the sample chapter. I'll probably keep it, I've reread bits and tried to reinforced the bits I glossed over first time through.

With the Kindle you can return your purchase within 7 days even if you've read it. I don't know if there's a limit on this but Francine Jay was just a little bit too smug for me so is no longer cluttering up my screen.

Here's a bit from Appendix 1 to see if you like the Banish Clutter Forever tone
Five Ways to build a new mindset.

Forge your vision
Why do you want to clear your clutter? How will doing so enhance your life? What is your personal 'tidiness style'? 'Cosy' or 'minimalist'? Visulaise the way your space will look when you have finished. How will you feel?

Deal with resistances
What are your personal 'downsides'to clearing you clutter? I s there anything that scares you about doing it? How can you take care of these concerns seperately?

These areas are all enlarged on in a first person, 'chatty' way in the early chapters along with detailed discussion on bathroom, kitchen, bed and a good chunk on home office/paperwork management.


Thanks everyone finding this thread inspiring.

blossombath Sun 30-Dec-12 20:39:19

Wombat clothes are my cluttery nemesis too, I love that phrase! I have used every excuse in the book to keep a huge amount including many I haven't worn for years but keep because they still fit and what if they come back into style and I have to buy a replacement dark pink satin pencil dress (or whatever)???

I have tried all sorts including the 'box up and if you don't wear in six months bin/give away' but I can never do it. I, too, like having different things to suit different moods and play about with, but I do often wear a core wardrobe (even before breastfeeding limitations). I'd like to try something like project 333 partly as a challenge and partly cos I always read that capsule wardrobes save you time in the morning and I'm about to go back to work part time after mat leave so saving time is big on the agenda.

However, given it will take time to sift through stuff I might leave the project til I've finished clearing our living room. One thing at a time, or I'll never finish anything!

LemonBreeland Sun 30-Dec-12 20:46:49

Blackbag I didn't know that about returning your purchase on kindle. I did download the sample chapter and thought it looked good from that

TheWombat Sun 30-Dec-12 20:51:04

Blossom I believe I have the pale pink twin of your satin pencil dress! grin
I agree with you about doing the quick wins first. My next step will be dressing table and bookshelves.

ShirleySharpeyes Sun 30-Dec-12 21:04:03

I have just tried to count the clothes in my wardrobe, ignoring those in the chest of drawers and the heap of summer stuff I'm already at an embarrassing amount. I am with Antoinette and Wombat - I love clothes, love new clothes but am now operating on the one in one out policy (which is how I'm justifying my sale shopping!). I am considering trying the Project 333, I reckon I probably only wear about half the stuff in my wardrobe anyway so it could be easy, I would love to test my new found resolve but would struggle limiting my scarves and necklaces....will continue to mull it over.
Anyway I've managed to list a few (15) items on ebay (more to do this evening) and have also sorted out all our towels and bed-linen so another huge bag is on its way to the tip. We now have one towel each, the DD's have two each and we all have a swimming towel each. Guests will have to bring their own grin.
Blackbag - thanks for the book recommendation - I have downloaded it and am looking forward to going through the working from home/home office bit as that is something I struggle with.
I am feeling so much lighter and clearer as a result of all the excellent advice and tips on this thread - I went into town today and felt no desire to dip into any of my usual haunts for a quick fix of clutter; we went in for new school shoes, and that is all we came out with. So even if my posts aren't minimal (!) my home and head feel much more ordered....I do hope this continues into 2013. Thank you.

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 21:11:02

I'm a stay home mum which helps with my minimalist wardrobe, so yes, I have just what I said at the beginning I'd this thread, recap for people that don't want to go hunting back:
I have:
One pair of skinny jeans
Two short sleeved tops
Two long sleeved tops
Two coloured vests
One maxi dress for summer
Two fine wool fitted sweaters

One pair ballet pumps
One pair black boots
One pair flip flops

One pair of PJ's
One coat

That is all the clothing I own! Since 'finding' minimalism I hate shopping, it's so tough finding good quality clothes on the high street that I end up giving up and not buying anything. Obviously, with owning so little, my tumble dryer is essential

I don't own accessories, I decluttered them all grin as you can see, I'm quite an extreme minimalist!

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 21:11:44

Sorry about typos, meant 'beginning of this thread'

MinimalistMommi Sun 30-Dec-12 21:13:00

Does the footwear count? If so, then it is 13 items I own wink

I think I have about 66 items of clothing, rather than 33. 33 seems like a good amount. I have work to do!

We only have one set of bedlinen for our bed, and one set for the spare bed.

I do feel some conflict between who I think I would like to be (simple-living gypsy monk minimalist) and someone who likes being surrounded by nice things! It is the former mindset that I'd prefer DS to grow up with, not someone who is puts value in possessions. I do feel better every time we clear a little bit from our home.
I think I will compromise: live as minimalistically as possible January-November, then treat December as my month of indulgence, with all my lovely Xmas decorations. grin

RarelyUnreasonable Sun 30-Dec-12 21:37:56

I minimised my screen time today - no MN/facebook/twitter while the DC were awake, and I did some batch cooking while they napped in the day! <shines halo>. Just had an ebay listing frenzy to get shot of some maternity wear.

I am a sahm, and when I go back to work, I'm a wahm. Like lola, my social life revolves around daytime stuff, so I don't need workwear or going out stuff. Excluding coats, accessories, shoes and underwear/sleepwear, I have:

2 naice, smartish jumpers (cashmere/merino). I refuse to believe acrylic keeps you warm, and prefer quality over quantity.
2 skinny jeans. I need one more pair.
1 denim skirt.
1 tea dress that I hate and will probably go to the charity shop tomorrow
Countless short and long sleeve Ts. I need to work out how many I actually need. These are all in my colours, and I can just grab one in the mornings.
2 going out/work party/wedding dresses. One is in action, one should probably be culled, but I was wearing it when DH proposed and I love it. It will never fit me again, a size 10 Reiss bodycon dress
my wedding dress!

I do plan on buying a few more items though - a wool blazer is top of the list.

Wandawingsthe2nd Sun 30-Dec-12 21:40:51

Just checking in. What a great thread. So many inspirational stories and people. I'll update you all with my progress as and when.

Rarely, why are you keeping your wedding dress? I have kept mine, I mainly feel so that a DD, should I have one, could wear it if she wants to (her 'something old'!), or do something nice with it (it was adaptable, could be worn short and not look like a wedding dress). But a part of me thinks it's taking up a lot of space (although it is out of sight, in PIL's loft). Just interested in why others keep theirs! I did try on my mother's wedding dress when I was about 13, and it was nice to wear it, but I grew much taller than she is, so of no use to me.

Btw, I have no merino/cashmere/wool anything, and manage to keep wonderfully warm in other fibres, so it is very possible!

Am going to cull more clothes tomorrow, ready for a fresh start to the new year.

Hi, Wanda, and welcome!

Glitterkitten24 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:10:38

I have had a brutal cull of underwear, jammies, towels and bedding and I already feel better and less cluttered. Got rid of 2 bin bags of rubbish and one to go to the charity shop, as well as a few bits I might try and eBay.
DH is off work tomorrow so he can do a trip to the dump and jobs a goodun!

Next on my hit list is coats and shoes. I can't believe how small some of your capsule wardrobes are, I'm very jealous but think I need to build up to that, it sounds scary to have so few clothes. I know I'd be invited to some event and then panic buy new clothes cos I don't have nothing suitable.. Thus how I have too many clothes on first place, eh?

harrietspy Sun 30-Dec-12 23:26:13

Evening all.

I don't have heaps of clothes - they fit in a kids' size chest of drawers and a hanging thing on the back of a door - but some of them I never wear because I don't like the colour or the fit or I don't have anything to go with them.

I work part-time, mainly from home, and about 4-5 days a month I need to be moderately smart for work-related events. I'm in awe of minimalistmommi and your minimal wardrobe but like glitterkitten I'm not ready for that yet. One of my challenges is thinking 'there's loads of wear left in this' and feeling that it's wasteful to get rid of clothes because I can't afford to replace things at the moment... What I might do is give a minimalist wardrobe a trial run - just pick out the things I love and always wear and put the rest in a suitcase and see what (if anything) I miss and see how it works practically to have a smaller amount of clothes.

I might also look at the clothes that I don't love and see what I could do to make them work: eg could I dye them? (eg the slightly sad pale grey cardy that's a really great shape). Could I remake them? (eg the charity shop skirt in a gorgeous fabric but a terrible cut). I've made a mental list of what I love to wear and it's amazing how many clothes I'd happily say goodbye to!

Good work, glitter!

I don't really go to fancy events, apart from weddings, and I have a couple of dresses set aside for those (though I think I've hit that age where most of my friends are married, so not many more weddings expected). I am thinking if I do need to go to a fancy event, I will hire a dress.

harriet, putting clothes away to see if you miss them is a great idea! I have done that, and ended up just chucking loads! Though I did make a nice cushion from one dress, so it's still kinda around.

harriet, that's really what the Project 333 has done for me as it's motivated me to pack up the stuff I don't really like and/or wear that often. What I didn't expect was for it to motivate me so quickly to getting rid of a bunch of stuff.

Also by packing it away rather than just getting rid of it straight away, it's given me time to see if I do or don't need stuff. Much better for my anxiety levels! The very capsule wardrobe stresses me out a bit but this way it still feels quite indulgent.

A good tip I picked up on a blog was to turn around the hangers of your clothes and only turn them the right way round when you wear something. After a few weeks or months you can easily see what you're using and what you aren't. This is more an exercise in minimalism than decluttering.

I too love the phrase 'cluttery nemesis' and will be adopting it smile.

PeppaPrig Mon 31-Dec-12 14:04:04

Hello my fellow minimisers! I namechanged (from RU), but in answer to the wedding dress question, I've kept mine as I plan to get it altered to a non-wedding dress. It's a tea-length dress, non-meringue style, but still ivory lace which begs the question of will I ever do this? Did just sell my wedding shoes on ebay though, so that was a good break with sentimentality.

My clutter nemesis is books. I find it very hard to get shot, even of those I will never read again. Get a bit panicky in places with nothing to read (my job is an editor, so I guess books are an integral part of my life). I also like minimal room decoration, apart from big bookcases full of colourful spines, not that I have this, the books live on the landing! I will, however, get shot of the box of books under my desk that hasn't been opened since moving here. But they're DH's... Decluttering dilemma.

More stuff to go on ebay later, and perhaps shelving to go up in the understairs cupboard <flutters eyelashes at dh and ignores own feminist leanings>. It's a major dumping ground and perfectly useless as so chaotic. I envisage lots of shelves and everything dumped more neatly.

BlackBagFestiveBaubleBinLiner Mon 31-Dec-12 14:57:16

I asked my DDs (7 & 5) last week about their toys, as I suspected some of them which I choose they don't really like. So the lovely wooden fire engine & dolls house are leaving. The Barbies are going to, we all dislike them but friends thought my DDs were missing out on a childhood necessity and donated them. I am trying to master my guilt over sheddiing that lot. My parents would have made me keep the lot and consider me ungrateful for admitting I did n't love the naice, good quality possessions.

Anyway, this will leave more space for the favourites and ones to grow into like construction sets/marble runs, etc. i am the parent and I say that lovely things we don't like have no place here.

Wandawingsthe2nd Mon 31-Dec-12 16:41:34

2 recycle bags and 1 bin liner out of the main bedroom plus general tidying. Not finished yet either!

AuntieShirley Mon 31-Dec-12 17:45:01

Can I join? It has taken me a few days to get through this thread but am feeling hugely inspired!
We have 4 dc age 11, 10, 7 and 5, in a largish 3 bed house. They have waaaaay too many clothes and general stuff. My problem is books. I want a lovely, serene mostly empty house. My aim is to get rid of 50 % of the 'stuff' in our house, and limit screen time (although dd11 needs the laptop a lot for yr7 homework)
Yesterday I cleared the tupperware, got rid of a black bag full! Left us with a lunch box each, 6 small snack pots and 2 cake tins, but would like to cut it back a bit more (but need to allow for lost snack pots!)
Also have a stuffed IKEA bag for ebaying, a binbag of my old stuff has just gone to somebody on Freecycle (I have been waiting to slim back into it, never have. Maybe now it's gone I will drop that dress size!), dd7 wardrobe has been halved and a bin bag gone to another home, and ds5 has also halved his clothing and that has gone too! I want to get rid of at least 60% more clothes as I am drowning in washing waiting to be washed or ironed or put away.
Feeling very inspired and ready to really tackle it when the dc are back at school on my days off work!

LemonBreeland Mon 31-Dec-12 18:43:30

Sounds like a great start Shirley.

The thread came at a great time for me as my DSes bedroom was getting me down and I had just removed furniture from it and it is so much better. I kept thinking they didn't have enough space or storage, then realised that actually they just had too much stuff in their room. I decided to take the desk out as the computer monitor was broken so the computer wasn't getting used. We had planned to buy a smaller desk when we redecorate the room anyway. I've come to realise that more surfaces meant more places to dump mess. I also realised I don't need to buy a new computer monitor as I can use the tv in their room for that too. Less screens cluttering up the space.

I had also recently decluttered the plastic pots as dd has out grown purees and that is why I had loads, so I could freeze food for her. It was a relief to see them go as they were always a mess in the cupboard.

I'm looking forward to really getting into it when the dc go back to school.

Today I didn't have time to get into major jobs so I did detailed cleaning instead. Cobwebs from the corners of rooms and skirting boards dusted while the dc were watching a dvd.

bluecarrot Mon 31-Dec-12 19:35:11

Not much done today as just tidied and cuddled my poorly DD.

I did however lift a saucepan, a frying pan, a heap of excess hangers and a few of DDs tshirts, all for charity shop, as I did my chores.

Thats me for this year as DP arriving shortly. Have a great new years eve and day everyone smile

Hope everyone has a lovely evening! We're doing nothing remotely exciting - sitting on the sofa having a read smile

We sent a car-full to Oxfam today and have another load already in the car for Wednesday. I attacked the kitchen and it feels SO much better knowing that the cleaning cupboard is organised and tidy instead of overflowing and impossible to find anything within! Even with the door shut it makes me grin

I also - albeit reluctantly - threw out a beautiful wicker chair from DD's room today. I bought it when I was pregnant as somewhere to feed her, and it's such a gorgeous piece of furniture, but when we moved the back got damaged and it would cost a lot to get repaired. It's sat, in her room, lonely and unloved since the summer, so I figured it was time to put it out of its misery and take it to the tip sad

One of the tips I've taken from 'Banish Clutter Forever' is the idea of the toothbrush principle which really, really works. (And is utterly obvious, like all the best ideas.) It's that even the worst hoarders never lose their toothbrushes, because pretty much every human being on the planet knows that your toothbrush lives next to the sink. So if you apply this to everything in your house, i.e. everything is in the most logical, useful place, and always replaced there, you never lose anything ever again... I have tried it out today by moving the teapot to the same cupboard as the tea and sugar (see, obvious!) and even DH thinks it's sensible!

Hope you all have a lovely time tonight - and here's to a clutter-free 2013 grin

CurrerBell Mon 31-Dec-12 21:35:43

I'm not doing much tonight either - just appreciating having a quiet night now the kids are finally asleep!

Three more bags to charity today and several packages to the Post Office - getting there gradually! One thing I've been thinking all day, is how easy it is to buy things that we don't really need - but it's such a pain having to get rid of stuff, spending hours sorting and listing and packaging stuff up. All this is time I could be spending with DH and the kids whilst they're on holiday. It's really made me think twice before I purchase anything again. That's not even to mention the money we must have spent on stuff over the years...

We are now working on thinning out our DVDs and Wii games, as we have way too many to appreciate them all. We mostly watch stuff on LoveFilm now so don't need to buy any in future. I have managed to get everything to fit inside our sideboard shelves, so now we don't need to buy any DVD storage, and we will hopefully have clutter-free, newly plastered walls in the new year. smile

Thanks to this thread I'm a complete convert to minimalism, and am even sitting here on NYE thinking about what I'm going to tackle next - which I realise is quite sad. smile Happy new year to everyone!

MinimalistMommi Tue 01-Jan-13 02:39:54

Thanks for cheering me up everyone, I'm lying in bed at my MIL's not sleeping and feeling queasy from drinking wine last night, reached for my iPad in the dark to see what you are all too...thank goodness the wireless is still on...grin
Happy new clutter free year!

MinimalistMommi Tue 01-Jan-13 02:41:10

'all up to' typos again...

MinimalistMommi Tue 01-Jan-13 03:21:19

Cash for clothes website, postage free, payment within 24 hrs of them receiving it: