The minimalist quiche

(971 Posts)

This is a new thread to replace the minimalist journey one which is nearly full!

Xc post with you arti!

Right, what can we chuck out? Gazes around empty room.

pixiestix Wed 23-Jan-13 13:24:54

Hello! Thanks for the new thread Arti.

Now, shall I put up a lovely pegboard organiser for our craft projects? No? wink

IWipeArses Wed 23-Jan-13 13:27:40

Pixie! Step away from the blutak!

issimma Wed 23-Jan-13 13:31:13

oooh, what a lovely uncluttered thread grin.

I saw a bit of Bargain Hunt earlier and it made me itch. So much tat. So many treasures hmm in one room.

Pixie - only as long as you cover every inch with handmade stickers label everything very carefully.

harrietspy Wed 23-Jan-13 13:50:08

Thanks for starting, EA. Just putting this on my TIO list.

MrsPennyapple Wed 23-Jan-13 14:51:55

Hello all. My decluttering hasn't been as speedy and thorough as I would have liked. I had a bit of a meltdown at DP left week about all the STUFF that is everywhere, it's getting on top of me. He asked me if I wanted him to put more shelves up. Bless him, he does try but I think he has totally missed the point. I don't want homes for the junk, I want the junk to be GONE!

I have been through boxes, drawers, cupboards, and got rid of stuff, but it's all stuff that is normally hidden from view anyway, so the house doesn't actually look any different.

I did go in the spare room today and found the large box from DD's birthday present (her birthday being in July) so that's going in the bin, along with a few other bits. The bed in the spare room is now clear of junk, which has made me feel slightly better.

HellonHeels Wed 23-Jan-13 16:00:36

Mmmmm nice new thread! Hello everyone.

Smudging Wed 23-Jan-13 16:29:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BabCNesbitt Wed 23-Jan-13 16:46:40

Does this mean we should all be not posting to keep the thread nice and spacious? grin

hobnob57 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:20:03

I've fallen off the bandwagon somewhat. Too many groups and school runs and after school activities for me, and not enough time at home getting annoyed by clutter. Must Try Harder.

Have sent off another eBay load, more to go on Facebook once I get a minute to do some ironing.
Our carboot intention has stalled too with the snow. If I put it on the calendar maybe we'll manage...

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 17:42:56

You shouldn't be feeling guilty hobnob.

I was just thinking that if I was at home less I would prob have less connection to my stuff.

hobnob real life intrudes on a regular basis for me. I've been doing the FlyLady hotspot thing and that makes me feel more on top of things.

My office at work is being minimalised as I inherited it from someone who just loved printing things out. I'll get started on all the old files on the server soon (I am sort of in charge so it's not as reckless as it sounds!).

More excitingly I have finally worked out how to create folders on my Gmail account and am busy filing things away but also deleting the vast majority. I'm (almost) exuding calm wink.

harrietspy Wed 23-Jan-13 20:58:48

For me the minimising can be a diversion from things I'm avoiding. Nothing wrong with minimising in itself but for me it can become an obsessive avoidance strategy.

Really anxious about going to the Garage of Doom. Short version: it's attached to the house we used to live in 90 miles away. We've been renting house out (at a woeful loss) for a few years and have finally found a buyer. Garage is full of stuff we stored there. It has hugely stressful associations: 1) not being happy in the house or the village 2) packing house-worth of stuff into the garage when I was just over swine flu and taking care of 2 small boys & about to leave the country 3) returning to UK (but new city) when my dad died unexpectedly and trying to grab some essentials for our rented place the day before his funeral. Ugh.

I've been down once or twice to pick up some bits and pieces, but there is so much there that I want to dump. Like all my interior design scrapbooks - kept for years but with virtually none of the ideas/projects becoming a reality. That stuff is easy. Dump. The other stuff - boxes of quite-useful - not so much. Also may be hard because will be doing this with separated h who doesn't share minimalist passion - although he hates lugging Stuff from house to house too, so maybe that will help. It may be that it's all horribly water-damaged, in which case, it will all go in the skip. Last time I went down there was a dead mouse on the floor in the middle of the tiny path through the towering junk. Not fun.

I know I'll feel much better when this is all dealt with, when the garage is empty, when we hand over the keys - even if we have to bring some of it to our current house to sort out. It's not a big deal but there is so much emotion attached to this lot. When we sell the house we'll have cleared our debts but, at 40, will be starting again with no savings, a rented house etc. We will be getting divorced, too (which is a good thing and we both want it). So it's all pretty symbolic.

Sorry for the mournful essay. I guess that sometimes that shedding the Stuff we carry means we have to face our feelings, and that has to be a good thing. smile

harrietspy Wed 23-Jan-13 21:01:02

ps why quiche? (I've been on MN for a while now under various names but still don't understand the half of it...)

LemonBreeland Wed 23-Jan-13 21:07:02

Good evening shiny new thread. Thanks EA for this.

Hobnob life is really holding me back too atm. I am hoping to get on with more later in the week. Feeling rather run down too which doesn't make me want to do much in the evenings.

Queen I decluttered my office last year after my ML. We physically moved desks around to make the space better. I also decluttered the hard drive. Couldn't really delete anything just in case, so moved all old folders no longer used into a folder called archive. Tidied up our main drive a lot and made it much easier to find stuff.

BigBlackBagBorderBinLiner Wed 23-Jan-13 21:10:26

Harrietspy We've all got our Garages of Doom (stealth boast - mine is a double grin), be strong and yes you will feel better when it's all dealt with.

Prepared to be corrected but think way back there was a mis-spelling of 'clique' as 'used to describe a group of 2 to 12 (averaging 5 or 6) "persons who interact with each other more regularly and intensely than others in the same setting"

If you'd like a picture of Terry Wogan to cheer you up, let me know. - another old reference.

harrietspy Wed 23-Jan-13 21:42:13

Thanks, BB!

Old Tel? Why not! (None-the-wiser).

Well, didn't quite manage to de clutter kitchen as, with everyone else, real life intervened and I had to pick up dd3 from pre school and take her to gp, poor sausage.

Managed to de clutter very long sort if shelf stretching length if kitchen above rayburn, it was full if pots and pans but have got majority into cupboards and out now feels a lot calmer when you wall in. interesting.

MrsPennyapple Wed 23-Jan-13 22:26:39

Harriet the Garage of Doom does sound like a huge and daunting task, and obviously is going to bring back all sorts of unwelcome feelings. It sounds to me like the stuff that's stored there is like a millstone around your neck, holding you back and anchoring you to a place you want and need to move on from. Once it is done I expect you will feel so much lighter, and able to make a fresh, clean new start.

Old Tel

harrietspy Wed 23-Jan-13 22:42:46


notcitrus Wed 23-Jan-13 23:23:40

Hello again. More papers gone here, and furniture moved to enable dd's room to be done, but house more of a state as had to empty the loft space to put a water tank in.

But lots of toys from loft about to go to the charity shop, and 6 bulky baby items about to sell. And I have a bag of decent clothes and binliner of other stuff to take to a swap party this weekend, but need more clutter to take.

What about other makeup - surely eyeshadow and foundation don't get contaminated like mascara?

Luckily we don't have a garage...

TheWombat Wed 23-Jan-13 23:29:39

Hello everyone!
I have continued the decluttering - sold some costume jewellery, perfume and clothes on eBay, and music magpied our entire DVD collection.

I also sorted out my underwear drawer and got rid of all my old socks bras and knickers. A pile of books are waiting to go next, I don't think they would be worth selling so probably will just donate to charity.

Unfortunately I can't be smug just yet - there's plenty of work to do in my wardrobe before I achieve 'capsule' standards!

thunksheadontable Wed 23-Jan-13 23:31:35

New thread!

So... about empty sitting rooms. We currently have: tv/tv table, 2 grown up Poang chairs from Ikea, one child sized one, a travel cot for the baby and some toy storage.

I think we are going to get a table and a bench and then just live with chairs... trying to prioritise function. We don't have a dining area in our kitchen (well, a tiny wee bench that seats 2 max, the kids and I have breakfast there at a kiddy table but not suitable for all of us for main meals) and I really want a family meal.

Am I buying a dream or is this sensible....??????

thunksheadontable Wed 23-Jan-13 23:32:21

Oh I have done the capsule! 25 items... eeek!

IWipeArses Thu 24-Jan-13 08:33:09

notcitrus It all goes of eventually, though eyeshadow prob ok, unless you've had conjunctivitis etc, but foundation goes off in 12-18 months according to this.

thunk Go for it, dining table would be a priority for me, and floor space most of all.

IWipeArses Thu 24-Jan-13 08:40:13

25? Including...?

notcitrus Thu 24-Jan-13 09:37:47

Really, Iwipe? I only wear makeup beyond lipstick about twice a year and the foundation I've had for over 5 years seems fine...
I can't put stuff round my eyes so risks of catching anything are minimal.

Time to sneak some toys into a charity shop bag while the kids are at nursery!

IWipeArses Thu 24-Jan-13 10:03:59

If it seems fine, it likely is, but even with preservatives in, things don't last forever.
I haven't got much and only the eyeshadows and pencils are more than 18 months old, but my foundation needs replacing. Not sure what to get, but that's a S&B thread I think. grin

Harrietspy ( I enjoyed that book too when I was young!)
On the other thread someone said "we will be getting a minimalist quiche" (I assume it was an auto-correct of clique).

I thought it sounded funny so I used it for the new thread title!

"I'm trying to go for a capsule quiche with 5 ingredients or less. Has anyone got any suggestions?"

I do not have a garage of doom! <proud>
I have cupboards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of doom! I'm in a first floor flat. It has the most storage that you could imagine ( a lot of it arranged by me when I moved in 3 years ago - it seemed like a good idea at the time!)

I do actually need a fair amount of storage space as I run a tutoring business from home and as I teach a fair range of ages and subjects, I store quite a lot of books and teaching resources- really hard to get rid because I never know what student I will be teaching next and what will be useful for him/her.

Then my hobbies include DIY and "making things". Recent projects included using my inspiration from going to a Roman museum in Ribchester to paint hare designs on some pieces of slate (I'm pleased with them, they look like bits of Romanish wall painting) and using the curved piece that used to hold hymn books on an old chair from church to make a "pocket" hung on my front door (inside). I put stuff in it that I need to take out to post or whatever! All of this involves storing stuff from fabric to a "workmate" style bench, but I do need to go through it all as there is a fair amount of junk in amongst the useful stuff. If nothing else it needs to be sorted and stored more efficiently so I know what I've got! and to stop my spare room looking like a rubbish tip in which I also happen to dry washing

Oh harriet, sounds like your going through a lot. It's not just clutter your dealing with is it?

harrietspy Thu 24-Jan-13 12:27:08

Nope. But it's all good, it really is. I suspect clearing the Garage of Despond (it changes name on a regular basis) will free up a lot of energy. smile

hobnob57 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:55:20

Is it possible to imagine the person you'll be when it's all done and attack it from their perspective, rather than the perspective of the you who had to deal with all of that? I don't know if that even makes sense, never mind whether it is actually possible.

mazzi2fly Thu 24-Jan-13 12:57:28

I haven't done any massive decluttering projects, what with real life etc, but I did sort out the receipts yesterday. We stuff all our receipts into a wee drawer but it had got to the stage that it wouldn't shut any more, so I went through them all and found that we only needed to keep a handful ie iron, kettle, tumble drier etc. I put them in a poly wallet and labelled them and I can put them in the loft. I also found a cheque that we hadn't cashed.

I still need to do a bit more in the loft, I've got a wooden brick trolley and 2 bags of maternity clothes, a bookcase, a child's bike seat, an old TV up there, that all needs to go to charity. I'm sure I'll find more to go, once I get up there.

Banderchang Thu 24-Jan-13 13:23:37

Hi everyone! I was posting a bit on the old thread, but mostly lurking. I have taken a lot of inspiration from all your decluttering though, and have got rid of lots of stuff since Xmas. At the moment we are decluttering the attic, because we have to empty it to have work done. Quite scary how much stuff is up there, considering we only moved in 3 years ago. Needless to say, the biggest barrier to minimalism is DH who ALWAYS wants to keep things. We are compromising and keeping e-versions rather than paper versions of things.

harrietspy Thu 24-Jan-13 14:29:49

mazzifly I love it when the drawer shuts. smile

hobnob that does make sense, but I sort of do it in reverse: I often persuade myself to do things I don't feel like doing (like making my bed in the morning or clearing up the kitchen last thing at night) by bearing in mind how grateful the Future Me will be. So it feels like you're doing it for someone else, which is always easier than being kind to yourself! (This reminds me of the Calvin & Hobbes cartoon when Calvin time-travels in a cardboard box and confronts his future self about his undone homework).

Self-compassion is the answer!

I shall apply the Future Me theory to the garage clearing. And this afternoon, I'll practice on this piece of writing that I've been avoiding. This is mental decluttering of the 1st order. I have been hoarding undone writing projects. They either need to be dumped or finished. Here goes!

Ooh hobnob I like that! Not sure if this is what you mean but definitely remember starting secondary and deciding to be very neat and very organised. It worked. New, improved mammoth was born (with just a touch of ocd)

Ooh, any capsule wardrobe ers our 25 piece people, if you have chance please could you post inventory? smile

BabCNesbitt Thu 24-Jan-13 20:44:12

I'd be interested in a capsule wardrobe inventory, too - I mentioned that I keep buying pretty bits on eBay in an effort to replenish my wardrobe (don't minimise your clothes to the extent that you really have almost nothing to wear!), but I've never managed to create a workable wardrobe of basics. It's been all icing and no cake, iyswim, so I wind up wearing the same pair of jeans and two or three tops all the time.

harrietspy Thu 24-Jan-13 22:39:42

Just looked at some capsule wardrobes and now feel all dissatisfied with my clothes which was not the intention! However, will watch for capsule wardrobe inventories with interest.

blossombath Thu 24-Jan-13 22:57:23

This is the first time I've been on a thread which spawned a second! And my first MN quiche! <schoolgirlish excitement emoticon>

Have been keeping up to date with all your wonderful work and feeling increasingly despondent about my own. I have reached the point where I need to tackle some big clutter hot spots and my cluttery nemesis (clothes), but putting it all off. At least I have my nice clear living room (now with fresh flowers every week, to reward self for good work) to relax in.

On previous thread the issue of organisation vs minimalism was raised: one which I'm really having to work on. The old cluttery me was a storage obsessive; new, minimalish me is trying to let that go...slowly. In our living room I did manage to entirely get rid of one chest of drawers (well, they will go once I get them on Freecycle) and this inspired me to aim to remove once piece of furnitire/storage from each room I clear. That will keep me focused on actually getting rid of things rather than shuffling them round shelves to fit more in.

harriet when are you going to Garage of Despond? Keep focusing on how much free-er you'll feel when it is done, or at least begun, and let us know how it goes/is going.

harrietspy Thu 24-Jan-13 23:09:04

Mine too, blossom!

Prob going to Garage of Despond on Sunday. Will certainly report back! Feeling much more chipper now about getting the job done even though it will take several trips. smile

BabCNesbitt Fri 25-Jan-13 02:06:25

blossom, what you said made me think of this post (from a blog I love): "When you don't have a lot of stuff, it practically organizes itself." (I'm not sure how true that is as I don't feel like I've ever made it to the stage of not having a lot of stuff!)

I've been thinking about what harriet said about minimizing being a distraction from other things. It's definitely true that it feels much better to be in a less cluttered environment and to be able to lay my hands on anything I might need without fighting through dead batteries or a knot of elastic bands (always bloody elastic bands!). But what happens once you've really reduced as far as you can go? Sometimes I feel like I think about getting rid of stuff in the same low-grade background rumbling way I used to (sometimes still do!) think about acquiring stuff. The focus is still on stuff. What happens once there's no stuff left to get rid of? This is all hypothetical at the moment, of course!

BabCNesbitt Fri 25-Jan-13 02:11:08

(Also: I totally fail as a Scot. It took me a trip to 'Site Stuff' to realize why there were special Scottish smileys at the moment. blush Happy Burns Day!)

harrietspy Fri 25-Jan-13 08:08:21

Thanks for that link, bab. I think the open storage thing is interesting - I'm drawn to the Shaker practice too, and also ease of use. I don't think we would every hang our coats up if we had to open a cupboard to do it. I think her point stands for habits too - doing the same thing at the same time every day. (Not that I manage to do this!). Frees you up to focus on living expansively.

On utter simplicity (deeper than aesthetics or function...) have you seen Into Great Silence?

OK, so for those of you that asked, this is what I currently have in my wardrobe:

Indigo jeggings from M&S (just replaced a black pair that I have worn to death)
Short black dress with feathers design
Red flowery tunic top
Red/blue patterned tunic top
Long grey jumper
Purple cardigan (cheap eBay to be replaced with expensive cashmere)
Red fleece hoody

Long sleeved white t shirt
Long sleeved black and white t shirt
3/4 length sleeve black thermal top
3/4 length sleeve purple thermal top
Capped sleeve deep pink thermal top
Grey patterned top
Nordic style zip cardigan
Capped sleeve green wrap top

Black fitted dress with embroidered flowers
New dress I bought from Monsoon
Black and white dress (work)
Grey dress with tulips (work or smart going out)
Black wrap dress (work)
Grey pencil skirt (work)
Purple jumper (work)
Black ribbed jumper (work)

Denim skirt
Denim jacket (not worn together!)
Skinny rib purple top with lace
Sleeveless black velvet jacket
Black sixties style cardi

Brown fur lined boots
Black knee high boots
Blue suede Adidas trainers

And that's pretty much it but it feels like loads. I have 'loungewear' as they call it on Project 333 and leggings and t shirt for yoga as well as underwear, two nighties (art nouveau designs from V&A shop) and some vests/camisoles.

Haven't worked out how I'm going to bridge the tricky footwear gap between winter boots and summer sandals yet.

Forgot to add I also have a winter coat - orangey velvet.

These aren't the only clothes I own but the rest are currently packed away, e.g. Summer things. The idea of Project 333 is that you have 33 items for 3 months and then rotate 3 new things in - they can be new items or things you have that are for other seasons.

bab I've found that you do (eventually) stop thinking about stuff or not having stuff. For me, I'm finally having the space to think about the big things - what do I really want to do, how do I want to live, what do I want to put my energy into.

There's no great angst involved and I don't feel in any great rush to work it all out. But slowly my mind is unfolding and looking at other possibilities. It's not solely a result of decluttering of course. As quite a few others have said, there's some big life changes going on for me and the minimalism feels like an enabling step to making good things happen.

OK, I will stop posting now!

CremeEggThief Fri 25-Jan-13 11:29:47

In need of a little reassurance. I bought some new cutlery and a cutlery divider, which is much smaller than my last one. Six of everything (knives, forks, spoons and teaspoons) will be enough for me and DS, won't it?

I also need new crockery and I'm wondering if four of everything (plate, side plate, bowl and mug) will be enough, given that we rarely have guests? Or should I get eight of everything, keep six in the cupboard and pop two of everything away, in case of breakages?

xMinerva Fri 25-Jan-13 11:30:14

Wow, 2nd thread already.

Well we're in the new house now. Still sleeping on the floor for dp & me but that's no problem.

Haven't had the money to just go out and buy new furniture so what we have been buying has been really thought about, do we really need this? Type thing.

We still haven't bought a tv and you know what? It's been fab, even dp has been fine about not having one. There's a couple of programmes we like to watch so just plugged in the comp and watched them on catch-up. Means we won't be getting a tv for a fair old while yet.

I'm loving living with minimal furniture. We have a 3 Seater sofa in our lounge and that's it. Need a dining room table pretty badly but no coffee tables, lamps, rugs etc etc. It's just so calm and relaxing.

Looking at my clothes next.

xMinerva Fri 25-Jan-13 11:31:58

Ps: It's a living/dining/kitchen in one large square room so doesn't look empty with just a sofa plonked in the middle of it. blush

issimma Fri 25-Jan-13 13:32:24

A capsule wardrobe one:

3 x skinny jeans/jeggings
denim skirt

2 short sleeved Ts
2 vests
4 long sleeved ts
2 jumpers
2 cardis - I hate both of them, just use for emergencies!

1 formal dress for weddings, etc
1 silk blouse for going out but it's stained w baby sick

1 merrell (good mn girl) raincoat
1 gilet
1 trench

1 pair uggs
1 pair heeled suede boots
1 pair flat, tall leather boots
1 pair ballet shoes (punched out holes so for summer)
1 pair heels (formal wear)
1 pair supergas
1 pair flip flops
1 pair wellies

(am sahm, if not obvious from above list!).

For Summer, I'd like to get a blazer and also swap skinny jeans (all maternity ones!) for GAP long and lean ones. I also want to replace maternity Ts with normal ones.

sommewhereelse Fri 25-Jan-13 13:33:26

Cremeeggthief, I'd go for 6.There's not much point having 8 plates if you only have 6 sets of cutlery.

LemonBreeland Fri 25-Jan-13 13:33:52

xMinerva so pleased for you being in your new house, without all of the crap. I think the not having money and really considering your purchases is great. I think it's sometimes to easy to rush out and buy stuff to fill a space.

DH will always be like this so it needs me to rein him in.

Blossom my ideal would be to get rid of some storage items too. I have a very long way to go though.

cremeegg 6 is more than enough for cutlery. I would also say 4 plates, bowls etc. would be plenty.

I was hoping to tackle the dreaded cupboard under the stairs this weekend, however I now have a winter lurgy from DD and am feeling very run down. I have almost completed my home file, so will be throwing out the concertina box files that we have. This will free up so much space. Clearing space does make your head feel lighter. I may end up actually doing more than I thought this weekend as it may actually make me feel a bit better about being ill. grin Okay that makes me sound really sad! smile

harrietspy Fri 25-Jan-13 13:38:07

xMinerva, it must be lovely to be in such a clear space. (Am I right in thinking it was you living amongst your landlord's possessions?)

Hello everyone, I'm late to this party but I was lurking on the other thread. I started my own minimalist journey some time ago and DH have been gradually decluttering and de-owning for a few years - I read 'Slow your Home', 'Becoming Minimalist' and Dave Bruno's blog (100 Thing Challenge) pretty regularly. We're about to move flats so we're having another burst at the moment - moving in mid-March! So we're getting through another 'layer' of stuff. And we too have a Garage of Doom. But... we won't have a garage at the new flat, so everything in the Garage of Doom must go. We are considering the 'petrol and matches' decluttering system!

thunksheadontable - sounds perfect to me. Our new kitchen/living room will be:-

- Mac computer - this is multipurpose - DH and I use it for work, and for mumsnetting etc! But also we have it instead of a TV/DVD player, and instead of a stereo, and for DS's homework - it sits on a small desk. We've given up our TV, DVD player, stereo, freeview box etc.
- Storage unit for DH's records and a turntable
- Speakers for Mac and turntable
- Sofa, armchair, footstool
- A kitchen/dining table
- Four chairs
- phone

So you see we've kept a proper table too - for me minimalism is about making space for what's important. So DH has kept all of his vinyl records, and I've kept one bookcase full of books. It will sit in the hall at our new flat. But I only have five shelves on my bookcase, and I cull it quite frequently. I found that decluttering helped me to know what I really do treasure.

Do any of you guys struggle with people in RL just not getting this lifestyle? I struggle with people trying to give us stuff and people being judgmental about us having less stuff.

Also I get irritated (probably unreasonably!) by people who seem to assume that we're rich - because DH and I both work part-time and freelance so they assume we have lots of money and that's why we are able to do it. This got on my nerves a bit this week at work - I got some really mean envious comments yesterday about the fact that I work part time sad. 'Must be nice being a kept woman!' 'I wish I could afford to do that' etc. (DH and I earn exactly the same...) The only reason we can work part time is that we don't ever shop (we're trying to reduce our possessions, not increase them!), we live in a tiny flat, we have sold most of our possessions, we don't run a car etc. Of course there are people who HAVE to work full time just to put food on the table, but the colleagues making comments to me this week don't fall into that bracket. I shouldn't let it get to me, but it really did.

harrietspy Fri 25-Jan-13 15:02:04

bec that sounds really irritating (about the work comments) and inspiring (about your flat).

CremeEggThief Fri 25-Jan-13 16:09:19

I agree, that sounds really annoying about the work colleagues, Bec. People can be so bloody judgemental!

Thanks for tips on my cutlery/crockery! I actually bought two sets of four of everything for the cutlery, but as the new divider is so much smaller, it only holds six of everything. So I popped two away and then that made me consider if I can get away with just one boxed set of four for crockery, rather than automatically buying two sets and having enough crockery for eight.

That's sweet of you both to say harrietspy and CremeEggThief. By the way we've brought our cutlery down to four sets! We realised that when we entertain more than one person it's usually a finger food buffet anyway... We are usually four around the table for family meals so we have to wash up as we go.

I think the trouble is that my values have become so alien to the vast majority of 'normal' aspiration and people like my colleagues assume that I can't possibly be for real. Here I am, aspiring to own less. We're not supposed to want less, we're supposed to want more, to be dissatisfied, to strive so that we can buy the newest and latest... Not to be happy without buying anything - being happy in an empty room is considered a bit weird! Turning down an extra days work because you don't need the money and would rather spend the time with your child or doing something unpaid but fulfilling, well people assume that you'd have to be rich to do that.

But when you're decluttering doesn't it feel great when you've given something away? I had a moment of epiphany when I realised that I'd spent money on things and the greatest moment of happiness that that object gave me was the moment I threw it out. I admire people like Daniel Suelo and Mark Boyle who own nothing at all. I don't think I could live like them myself -especially living as a family I wouldn't impose it on DS - but as a thought experiment, I like the idea that giving up money and possessions is not the same thing as poverty. In fact the treadmill of buying more and more unnecessary stuff and working to pay off the debt you incur from buying it all - that looks more like poverty to me.

I know I'm going to feel a lot richer once our own Garage of Doom is empty! We're about to become the most popular people on our local freecycle grin

bluecarrot Fri 25-Jan-13 17:28:18

One of mine and my mums hoarding issues is food. Mum grew up constantly hungry sad and we reckon that's why she now keeps so much. I have then inherited this as normal practice.

We usually go to tesco together. I'm not bothered if we do, but mum likes it. However, instead I suggested that we each meal plan for 2 weeks. Once a month ill go and get both lots of shopping, and 2 weeks later, she goes and gets both lots. Less time we spend in supermarket, less opportunity to buy stuff! Plus if fitting both households groceries into one trolley, there isn't much room for extras. Since she likes the togetherness aspect I suggested we meal plan together instead.

Anyway, I went up today with laptop, list of current stuff in cupboards ( been doing store cupboard challenge) and my vouchers. She was bumbling about so after I made my list ( about 5 mins) I had a nosey in her cupboards. Then I started looking at the dates sad

That was 5 hours ago and all the time In between I was sorting through all the cupboards. I'd say a third of her food was dumped- some stuff was bbe 2008. A lot of aspirational food if you know what I mean.

So now I've had a good look, I think she has 3 months worth of dinners left, plus two weeks of soup/beans etc that her and dad have for lunch.

I'm throughly exhausted now (and strangely hormonal and slightly nauseous- please don't let this minimalist thing actually be nesting! Eek!)

Hi everyone

CremeEggThief. How often do you wash-up/run the dishwasher? If you wash-up after every meal, 4 of everything may be fine but I found that 4 cereal bowls wasn't enough for me and I live on my own. I only run the dishwasher if it is reasonably full which isn't always every day and I sometimes have porridge last thing at night so can get through my cereal bowls!

Anyway - the good news: -Another bag of "stuff" made it to a charity shop today!

the bad news - I managed to knock a full mug of tea all over the kitchen floor (and up the fridge freezer, over the drawer fronts and into the drawers, over the washing machine and dishwasher and onto the hall carpet.). I've done a quick temporary mop-up but it will all need wiping properly! which I will have to do this evening after I've done some work that I've failed to do earlier on in the day because of oversleeping and having to wait forever for an hour at the doctors!

I have a loooong way to go before anyone would say I was minimalist, but I am aiming to be a little less cluttered! Does anyone else find the crap just keeps piling in to the house faster than you can sort it out? I'm feeling like that just now!

Smudging Fri 25-Jan-13 17:44:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh yes educatingarti it's definitely an ongoing lifelong process! We've been at it for years, and we still find (a) pockets of stuff we haven't tackled and (b) stuff that comes in through the door - notes from school, gifts, post, free papers, and 'necessities'...

bluecarrot my father suffered food poverty as a child as well. It has definitely affected the rest of his life. He is relatively well off and elderly now but deep down he's still a little boy afraid of hunger. Terribly sad. Well done for helping your mum. It must have been pretty exhausting emotionally.

CremeEggThief Fri 25-Jan-13 18:07:27

Well done, Bluecarrot.
Educatingarti, I have a slimline dishwasher I usually run every other day.

Smudging Sounds like you've done brilliantly. As long as you don't buy anything and keep clearing the debris of each day while your DS is ill don't worry if you need to take a break. But when you can get back to it... Yes I promise you life will be easier when you've cleared it. You'll have space, cleaning will be quick and easy, you'll feel wealthier and the background stress that you feel when you look at the clutter will disappear so that you feel at peace in your home. Next time you have ten minutes just pick one drawer, grab a bin bag and blitz just that drawer... You'll get your motivation back in no time.

Sorry, blue carrot, are you pg and I missed that (nosy, sorry!).

Bec, I really, really, like your thinking. I like the values it encompasses and totally agree with you. Going to check out those blogs/book.

Minerva, am sooo jealous of no tv, I didn't have one til moved in with dh. Much preferred it. On plus side, we do only have the one and it's on a lot less than most peoples.

In other news, I moved three boxes if toys to the barn of doom. The intention is that we rotate toys. Dd4 turned two today and I'm putting money in her savings rather than buy a toy. She was very happy with chocolate cake.

Right, tomorrow I have a strategy for managing charity shop challenges! Have optician appt for dd1 and dd2 at nine in nearest town, so will leave at eight fifteen, get parking space right outside and stop stuff off as soon as it opens! An very pleased with this plan!

issimma Fri 25-Jan-13 19:54:11

Two success stories:
1 box of books for freecycle from the girl who never throws books away! And rather than missing them, I like how the remaining ones fit on the bookcase, and how I'll have space for any gorgeous and nourishing ones that may arrive.

DH has agreed after being worn down much discussion to freecycle the piano. It is cleaned more than it is played, so not much then, and we don't have a big house. He wants the DC to learn, so I said we could get them another off freecycle when they're old enough to do so. After some furniture reorganisation, we'll be in a much more gorgeous and nourishing space.

I am shocked that after purging/decluttering, etc before moving house, we still have so much stuff to freecycle/charity shop. A lot is, I guess, outgrown baby stuff.

Is anyone else on pinterest? I'm starting a G&N board for inspiration.

bluecarrot Are you the thread's first POAS? grin
minerva also jealous of no tv. Sigh, compromise and all that. We also just have one. Could not abide one in bedroom - introvert me.
mammoth Will think of you in the morning - big charity shop haul too.
smudging Just do 10 mins a day, and you'll soon be steamrollering once more!
bec I wah pt too and face similar attitudes. People referring to my 'little hobby' really piss me off. They never said that when I did the same job - with far more dossing - in-house.

bluecarrot Fri 25-Jan-13 19:54:23

I blinkin well hope I'm not pregnant but if I am it would explain every single symptoms perfectly. Except we planned to start trying later thus year, not now!

Now I'm hoping its a weird virus that makes my hormones go nuts, weep at everything and sleep. And occasionally hurl despite not feeling sick, as well as other times feeling nauseous without puking . Likely. Yes?!

Anyway. I'm just awake so had better get up and go something. Tonight DD and I are sorting photographs smile

blossombath Fri 25-Jan-13 20:01:48

bluecarrot that sounds really hard with your mum - it's bad enough dealing with your own 'stuff issues' but anything where you are also dealing with a parent's issues is so draining. brew and biscuit (which is surely a wee piece of shortbread) for you.

bec it's sad, but totally unsurprising, that you get that kind of reaction. But how satisfying to know that you and DH are living the way you want to, and modelling that to your DC, rather than just unthinkingly following the herds.

We are a long way from that sort of reaction - most of the people I have discussed my minimalist (or simplification, as I now prefer to think of it) journey have laughed at me but that is because I am known as someone who cannot get rid of things. It is definitely going slowly for me at the moment, but I don't mind that because I think that it will be better to take things slow and really make changes to my life rather than just do a big declutter/shuffle of stuff and not face the underlying questions and challenges around minimalism.

I want to get to a place where stuff (getting rid as well as acquiring) plays a far smaller role in my life. And a place where my hosue looks lovely and clean and beautiful <perhaps misses point of own journey...> And I suspect that will take a bit of time. You'll see me here on thread 10, still clearing one drawer at a time!

harrietspy Fri 25-Jan-13 20:09:21

Hello all. Good luck with charity shop run, silent. I have 2 bags waiting in hall. I too want to hear more from bec.

Did an hour on my work room (sometimes also a living room. Big house, unconventional living arrangements).

We have too much furniture at the moment for the room - 2 sofas and an arm chair, desk, sideboard, shelves, bookcase - so I want to get rid of the beautiful-but-too-cold-to-sit-on leather sofa, but dc's dad (I think I should call him Sport like Harriet the Spy's friend, because he's my friend but we're not together any more) doesn't like the idea of people having nowhere to sit on the rare occasions there are 7+ adults here at once. I know what he means, but the room's too full. I'd love to pass the sofa on to someone who'd love it and use it. We have TOO MANY SOFAS!!!! (I will tell you about the others another day.Yes, we have more).

Can anyone share with me experience of selling furniture, please? smile

bluecarrot Fri 25-Jan-13 20:50:51

Thanks- it was fine with mum. She's not a difficult lady at all smile only 55, v intelligent etc. She was v sad to see all the wasted food but reminded her as long as it stops more being wasted then she shouldn't be too sad. Will see what happens in the next few weeks.

Pulled photos out, felt v overwhelmed so packed all back up again except one folder that we looked at, dated and placed back in the box. Enough for now. smile

Re selling furniture, I used gumtree, but if you live somewhere with a high density of people, you could consider eBay (on free listing day probably, if its your first foray!)

issimma I'm on Pinterest and love it. What name are you on under? If it's your RL name, I can PM you my RL name and we can link up that way.

xMinerva Fri 25-Jan-13 21:55:11

Yes, you're right. We were living with the landlords possessions

Another good think about moving with no furniture is we haven't got anywhere to store the things we do have. Most of it is still in boxes in the garage and it's really proving to me how little we actually use this stuff. I've taken a couple of things out, a couple of books and what have you but I haven't missed my having the rest of it in easy reach.

As well as my clothes, I'm going to go through all the photos. They're on the mac but there's thousands of them and we can't appreciate the good ones when they're mixed in with loads of crap/uneeded ones. Need to sort them into proper folders and get rid of the others.

bluecarrot Fri 25-Jan-13 22:41:28

Currently enjoying a podcast called Simple Life Together in particular one where they interview Joshua Becker (from BecomingMinimalist) is anyones interested.

BabCNesbitt Sat 26-Jan-13 00:55:09

issimma and QueenofWhatever, I'd love to see your Pinterest boards. I'm mildly addicted to it, but as far as minimizing goes, it's got its pros and cons. Mostly I pin fairly calm, minimalist rooms (and clothes), but I get lured in by some of the more cluttered, bohemian/hippy looking rooms on there, and it undermines my desire to get rid of stuff. It's very easy to get suckered in by it! Should probably do a bit of virtual decluttering...

Good luck with everyone's weekend minimizing!

Minerva, I upload my photos to photobox every month and create a photo book every year, I find it overwhelms me a lot less, if that is helpful at all?

Got two items on ebay last night, I know it doesn't sound like much but one of the down sides of living where we do is am awful internet connection which takes ten minutes to load a photo after tring all week, so was pleased with that.

Have been eating up freezer and cupboard with aim if not doing full shop til feb and switching off extra freezer. Then will try and shop very frugally in feb so have extra money to do biiiiig shop when go on maternity leave and do lots of batch cooking. Well, that s the theory anyway! Dh away a lot of february which will help.

Thanks bluecarrot I'll watch that podcast, I like Joshua Becker. I was just re reading this post on Leo Baubata's minimalist blog (archive here) The image of a billboard in Time Square saying "you already have enough" and an amazon pop up that says "you don't need that my friend"... I love those images.

harrietspy we gave our excess furniture to a local charity that picks up furniture and gives it to previously homeless people who are moving into a council or charity property. But we have bought second hand furniture for our new flat from eBay and from with good experiences each time. (The desk that our Mac sits on and DHs record cabinet were the two purchases.) If you don't want the hassle of ebaying you could look through ebay seller ads to find sellers of furniture near to you - you might find a secondhand furniture dealer who'd pick it up from you.

SilentMammoth - I'm doing that cooking from the cupboards thing too at the moment. We just had lentil Dahl for lunch which was yummy and it was all store cupboard - there's something very satisfying about it isn't there?

Thanks for making me so welcome on this thread everyone - nice to talk to like minds smile

bluecarrot Sat 26-Jan-13 14:44:05

The popup is an interesting one as one thing Joshua said in that podcast was about taking his son to the toys hop to buy a skateboard. The son got distracted by another item but his dad was there to guide him with his spending. He had the aha! Moment- who keeps my spending in check. So while he was letting go of stuff he wasn't really paying much attention to stuff coming in smile that was interesting to me though I already do keep myself in check.

My cc is wrapped in a piece of paper with a pic of a vw camper van. I'd love to own one and it means that everytime I go to spend ( everything paid for on cc, except milk at corner shop, then paid off in full each month) I have a visual reminder of what my bigger goals are.

Today's keeping it simple job for me was food based. I did two weeks worth of shopping for £42 ( with £10 budgeted for milk and bread during the fortnight). Plus I have some stuff in freezer. Keeping it simple. No fancy meals ( well, dd is excited we are having naan- that's fancy to her!) no plans to bake random cakes "just because",

And broken freezer and borrowed fridge are both leaving the house in half an hour smile

I'd also be interested in seeing pinterest pages <work procrastinating> if anyone can send me details of their boards.

bluecarrot I love VW camper vans too!

wendybird77 Sat 26-Jan-13 18:55:39

This is such a lovely thread. I like it here grin. Well done to all making such great progress and process. I have stopped decluttering for the moment and have been focused on decorating a couple of rooms. We are having the bathrooms and kitchen done and work starts in 2 weeks. I need to have a couple of 'done' rooms so I can relax whilst everything else is being torn apart. At the moment the walls are freshly painted white with no holes or visible blemishes. It is lovely. I have plans for a small gallery wall to display photos in frames and will put something over the mantle, but think I'll leave the rest blank. I am really grateful that we are able to pretty much start from scratch and am trying to be very conscientiousness with what I bring in and ensure that everything has a purpose and a place. We plan to be here for a long time and I want to get it right, particularly getting the storage balance right so that I have places to store what needs storing without creating too many spaces that are easy to shove stuff in to deal with later. Lucky for me our garage was converted into an annex by the previous owners and the loft is getting new insulation which requires us to pull up the boards already there. DH doesn't realise I'm in clutter prevention mode bwah ha ha!

Who was the wise soul who commented that the happiest "stuff" had made her wad when it left the house.

Yy to that. Wise words indeed.

harrietspy Sat 26-Jan-13 19:35:21

Ok, so I'm off to the Garage tomorrow. Thankfully we're breaking up the day with lunch then tea with good friends who are looking after dc while we start to deal with the Stuff. I don't know how much we'll be able to achieve but it'll be good to look it squarely in the face.

I'm hoping that Sport will feel able to let stuff go too although I fear he'll want to bring back the 'useful' stuff, including the 50 wine glasses left over from his mum's 50th birthday party that we somehow inherited. (She's 70 now). We'll see.

Please send calm thoughts!

CremeEggThief Sat 26-Jan-13 19:57:30

Very best of luck with your garage, Harriet. Just think of how you will feel once it's starting to take shape.

Calm thoughts on the way. Hopefully you wont have to take refuge in a dumb waiter (doesn't she do that at some point?)

Hope things go well tomorrow Harriet.
Can you get Scout to take responsibility for storing any rubbish precious items he can't bear to part with?

Only just found the second fred and there's already 86 messages!

IWipeArses what you want is this: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation <nods wisely> I am a freelance make up artist (as well as rather more boring English teacher) and it is, hands down, the best foundation in the world. (If you have slightly dry, sensitive skin like me, that is.) <gavel>

We're still working on the attic of doom so I sympathise with all you garage avoiders. It somehow seems to be a never ending job confused

I have followed the example of the all the nice American ladies on YouTube and made myself a Household Management Binder blush It is a thing of beauty. Everything in one place, including pens, stickers, stamps etc, so it's done away with all my desk junk (which, bearing in mind I don't have a desk so this stuff was just all over the kitchen and sitting room, is quite important) and put everything together. If anyone is interested, <clears throat> my sections are:

A folder with stamps, Royal Mail postage leaflet, stickers and post it notes (this is cool - it's from Ryman's and I'd never seen one before. It's a v slim plastic folder but hole punched so it fits in a file.)
Calendar (one page with the whole year, one page with a list of birthdays, 12 months over two sides that get a section each along with a to do list, a menu plan and an empty folder for the random crap that I never have anywhere for, like train or theatre tickets booked in advance)
Important numbers (things like insurance companies with the phone number and account number plus the date the premium's due)
Master to do list
Cleaning (checklist, stain removal guide)
Goal planning (because I'm actually turning into one of those nice American ladies - DH thinks this bit is hilarious)
Holiday planning sheets
Christmas section (card list, thank you list)
Babysitter section (pre-printed info that just needs the place we're going to added each time)
A business card sheet (it's A4 and SO useful - before I had a drawer full of business cards, reward cards etc and could never find anything - now they're all together)
Tutoring section (so I can keep track of who's done what and who's paid what)
A notepad.

Now, am I not the coolest saddest person in all existence? I do love it so grin

Oh, and the very first thing in it after the folder is our family mission statement.

DH think I'm actually bonkers but did sit down with me to write it, after a little bribery!

Antoinette - glad you found the thread! Are you a fellow tutor? <nosey>

I've just spent an hour "decluttering" my admin "to do" list (personal one as opposed to work one). It's been a bit frustrating as I haven't been able to fully complete some tasks but I have:
Sorted a parcel to be returned to Amazon (needs to go to post office)
Packaged up a disposable camera to get photos developed (needs stamps)
Researched a the phone number of my local furniture recycling charity so I can phone them to offer a chair I no longer need.
Posted some ink cartridges ( fit a printer I no longer have!) on freegle
Packaged up empty ink cartridges to post in envelope to recyling company.
Picked out some paper work from one of many a box of doom on the side table in my work room. It contains random paperwork from more than a year a while ago. Most of it is so out of date now it can just go in recycling, but some needs to be filed. I reckon if I do a few bits each week, it has got to be empty sometime ( as long as I don't put more in!).

Feeling better but frustrated at not being able to complete some tasks. - Well I did come out as a completer-finisher on Myers Briggs!

You've been busy educatingarti! I'm a part time English teacher during the week, freelance make up artist at the weekends and English and Drama tutor in the evenings. And Mum, in between! What's your subject?

Just back from seeing Django Unchained at the cinema but wanted to say good luck tomorrow harrietspy.

blossombath Sat 26-Jan-13 23:05:17

Wow antoinette I am so impressed! Will definitely be following suit, in fact next room on my list is nursery/spare room where we have all the bills/manuals/household stuff filed/thrown in boxes. So your binder can inspire me.

And arti you, too, have been very industrious, inspiring me to keep plugging away so i have something to write about by tomorrow eve...

Trying to persuade dh merits of scanning in most or all old bank statements etc. wondering whether to also scan in manuals/guarantees, but it can be handy to have hard copy of manual with you when trying to fix/work things. Hmmm...

Calm and decluttery thoughts to you harriet, and to Sport.

notcitrus Sat 26-Jan-13 23:59:24

Back from declutter clothes swap party. Took more than an entire bootload of clothes and other stuff, came home with 5 tops and one toy set. The unclaimed stuff has been bagged up for taking to a charity shop tomorrow, along with a whole lot of baby toys and kids' books.

Last week I found myself wandering through Islington, past loads of shops selling nothing I want - not useful nor that beautiful, as William Morris might have said. I don't buy very much stuff as either I don't want it or shops dont sell what I want - I went round Croydon in the sales, wanting some pajamas. You can't buy pajamas any more, only bottoms plus a sexy slinky top. Even in the men's dept. And I wanted a handbag, but all were too big or too small or too hard to hold. So many stores yet nothing to buy!

Most of my friends are fairly cynical about consumerism so no pressure there for stuff. I think my main fear has been that I might have to buy new things if I got rid of stuff needed later, and not be able to afford it. And I'm getting over that, not because i have more money, but stuff is so much cheaper than it used to be. And the net means it's so much easier to find. Add numerous incidents when MrNC or I haven't been able to find stuff we own so have had to buy replacements, getting rid of the excess makes so much sense.

Equally, much of the stuff going to charity could be sold, but it's time-consuming. I'd be better off using that time to apply for new jobs...

Good luck Harriet!

Hope all goes well at the garage today Harriet smile

sommewhereelse Sun 27-Jan-13 08:40:10

I have decided to get rid of our spirits. Neither of us drink spirits and our friends so rarely do, that I have decided that rather than have all these bottles in the house, I will give them all to my in-laws next time I see them. I think we have served about 3 measures in the last five years!

It seems so obvious but I know that my mother would have thought that I should have this sort of thing in the house to be a proper hostess. I have difficulty doing things she wouldn't approve of, despite her not being alive to disapprove. I still feel her sense of what's right and proper when I fold away unironed sheets but she didn't go back to work until I was 10 so I feel that she would have probably let me off that one. Storing spirits or fish knives or whatever isn't time consuming so she wouldn't have understood.

pixiestix Sun 27-Jan-13 08:58:38

I've got so much to catch up on with this thread, but I just wanted to say good luck to Harriet for today - you will feel amazing once it is done smile and also to say, Bec I loved what you wrote about

"giving up money and possessions is not the same thing as poverty. In fact the treadmill of buying more and more unnecessary stuff and working to pay off the debt you incur from buying it all - that looks more like poverty to me."

Really beautifully put, and inspiring to read!

Back later after I have properly caught up with everyones news.

Just renamed my Pinterest board so I'm now on there as Queen of Whatever. Feel free to follow me and it would be nice to see some of your boards.

Going back to bec's earlier comments aout people judging, I get the same thing. DP and I both work part-time but still go out and also go on holiday a lot. My comeback is usually 'well, it's all about living within your means' and then silence. That usually does it!

Two big bags to the charity shop yesterday, still selling a few bits online so it feels like it's steadily heading in the right direction. I'm still aghast about how much stuff we have.

But I had a bit of a breakthrough this morning clothes wise. I bought a lovely dress from Monsoon three weeks ago but still haven't worn it. By reading some of the fashion blogs I'm signed up to now, I realise that I often buy dresses because I like the look of them but in reality it's not how I dress. So next weekend I'm taking it back - I don't think I've ever taken anything back before just because I don't like it.

Thanks to whoever put me onto the Putting Me Together blog. She's doing a really good series at the moment on a wardrobe from scratch. Today's article was about colours from a (sadly now defunct) clothes blog by a group of US feminist academics. Love it!

I think I've just followed you Queen - are you in Aachen? I'm Chadpie on there if you'd like to follow me, though I can't promise that my boards are very minimal... Well done on the Monsoon dress-v disciplined of you to take it back. I am bad at that, so I'm trying to focus on only buying things I know fill a gap in my wardrobe, as previously I'd buy ludicrous things like evening dresses just because I loved them, with no occasion to wear them blush

BabCNesbitt Sun 27-Jan-13 15:35:20

Queen, I had the "a-ha!" moment when I realized that I was trying to dress for the way I used to live. I hadn't really admitted to myself that the life I lead as a SAHM (and, frankly, the shape of my hips!) isn't going to be the same as pre-DD, when I was going out to gigs regularly (and drinking too many pints, ahem). So, lovely as they are, there's no point in buying little 60s dresses - no access for BFing, for one thing - and when I do get one from eBay, it's because I'm a little in denial about not being that person any more.

harriet, you mentioned Into Great Silence - I've actually had it on my Netflix streaming queue for a few months, but by the time DD is asleep, I can never be motivated to sit and watch a film that long! I do really want to see it, though. Hmm...

Hello all! Aw shucks blush thanks for getting my ideas... Makes a change from colleagues looking at me like I'm a dangerous lunatic!

Thats great about the Monsoon dress QueenofWhatever I had a clothes breakthrough recently too - I needed to cull my coats as the new flat doesn't have a hall closet. There was one coat that I felt a wrench as I put it on the 'to go' pile. A friend made it for me, to wear on a date with DH when we were first going out. It was gorgeous, but I hadn't worn it in ages. I asked my niece if she wanted to rummage through the bags before they went to the charity shop. She picked out The Coat and every time I see her, she's wearing it. She looks amazing in it, she loves it, and The Coat is living the romantic life of a young girl about town in London again just like it did when it was first made instead of hanging in my closet. It makes me smile whenever I see her. I held onto it, as if I could cling on to my happy memories, but seeing DN in The Coat reminds me to let go and allow life to move forward.

How'd it go with the garage harriet?

I can relate about your Mums approval sommewhereelse. My mum is horrified that I rarely iron, dont offer formal dining to our friends etc. I think we all own lots of things purely because other people think we should. And I still want people's approval. But you know that Dave Ramsey quote “We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't even like.” I did that for YEARS! I'm more aware of it now.

MrsPennyapple Sun 27-Jan-13 16:48:10

We took a trip to the amenity site today, to dump some boxes that were taking up space in the spare room. I also dropped off a few recipe books that I've looked through and found they contain absolutely nothing that I want to cook.

It's a slow process here, I'd love to have a massive blitz and get rid of loads of things, but tend to only have a few minutes at a time, so just have to grab a few bits when I think of them, and put them in a box.

I have found it surprising going shopping since starting this. There's just nothing I need. And even more surprising, there's nothing I WANT. I haven't even had to stop myself buying anything, or give myself a talking-to about not really needing it. In fact I had the opportunity to look round the shops, child-free, the other day, and didn't bother because I knew I'd just be looking for the sake of it.

Hope you've made some headway in the garage Harriet, and that you are feeling better for getting started.

Evening everyone.
I've come on here to get some more inspiration for getting on with something (anything) having spent a lot of the afternoon dozing! I do just need to have a cup of tea and a browse on mn first though!

notcitrus Sun 27-Jan-13 20:20:54

If this baby goes to sleep I'll put more toys etc in bags for the charity shop run tomorrow. Free listing on Ebay tonight if anyone is interested - I may do some and add photos later!

Mrs penny apple, yes to not wanting stuff! This thread really is changing me.

Harriet, how did you and Sport get on? Hope your having a suitably restorative glass of wine.

Right, my room is stressing me out. My dm came to visit yesterday and spare room was full of ebay stuff. So I sling it in my room where it now looks like an inferior jumble sale. I was going to stock it back in spare room but on second thoughts, dc5 may arrive before all stuff ebayed, so will put it in black bags in barn of doom to ebay at leisure. I know that sounds like a complete cop out but I'm working three days a week and dh is away for feb, so really need not to load to much stuff on myself.

On plus side, spare rom look s lovely! Need to find a lodger at some point but am rubbish at sharing space when hormonal so will give it a few months.

Hope everyone else ok.

issimma Sun 27-Jan-13 20:59:53

... and if this one falls asleep, I'll sort some DVDs. Have relisted stuff that didn't sell last week on ebay and bought some jeans.

blossombath Sun 27-Jan-13 21:58:15

wow silent a barn of doom is impressive. I have cupboards of doom, they are scary enough for me.

So this weekend, with your inspiration, I have:
taken two bags of stuff to charity shop
baked two cakes - decluttering all the random ingredients in my cupboards
uploaded photos from phone to laptop ready for photobooking
backed up photos and files from an old laptop and returned it to the people who lent it to us so they can dispose of it (they have data on there that they need to clean)
cleared pyjama drawer (now just two winter pairs and four summer pairs (more summer as I basically wear pants and vest and prefer to change once or twice a week, and having two would stress me out, washing wise)
cleared two box files in the spare room/nursery
spent some time thinking about why I cling to so many clothes
begun to fantasise about a household binder

psyching self up to start on the wardrobe as I'm starting to feel frumpy and rubbish about my clothes, especially for work, and I don't want to splurge on more until I clear the old.

Also hoping harriet's garage is less doom-laden now...

harrietspy Sun 27-Jan-13 22:06:26

Thanks so much everyone for the good wishes. What a lovely thread to open after a really tiring, but hugely productive, day! The Garage of Doom has been renamed the Garage of Letting Go (Sponsored By The Minimalist Quiche).

Ok, so we're not there yet, but:
- none of the furniture was water-damaged! Hooray! All the hard work I did to keep the stuff off the ground and properly stored has paid off.
- 2 car-fulls stuff to the recycling centre/dump.
- Everything remaining in the garage is now sorted into (a) keep and (b) sell. There is no junk left except for a very damaged mattress. We had disagreements over some 'keep' stuff (eg I really don't want any vases). It all got very emotional for both of us when we came across a big box of wedding stuff and we decided it wasn't appropriate or wise to try to decide about that stuff today.

Some of it was really easy. Do I need my Pope and Swift essays from college? The crappy clothes rail that always collapsed? Not so much.

Bizarrely I was hit by a wave of sadness when I got rid of my old portable telly. It was an 18th birthday present from my parents. I missed my dad today. SO much evidence of his practical care: little wedges of wood he'd cut so that our furniture would sit straight on wobbly floors. But I don't need the wedges to remember him. smile

We brought 5 huge Ikea storage boxes home to be sorted. One was all books - I've already despatched most of them to the sell/charity box. I was, however, DELIGHTED to come across my old Sara Paretsky "VI Warshawski" books: my favourite comfort reading. For now, they're staying smile.

The other boxes are wedding stuff, children's drawings (in HUGE quantity!), family memorabilia, my notebooks and diaries. I'm going to go through these a few at a time, photograph the best stuff and chuck the rest. One thing I won't get rid of is a diary my mum made of ds1's first year - she gave it to me as a Christmas present when he was 1.4. That is a present worth having. smile

All in all it was a far better day than I envisaged. We now need to get movers booked and to pack up the remaining 'stuff to keep' and bring it here, where we can make decisions about what we really need. Then we can let the house go...

We have so much work to do on how we navigate the next year as a family (because even though we're no longer a couple we ARE still a family). When do we get divorced? How do we separate our finances? Do we continue to share the same house? How do we manage to get time away from the family unit? For me, letting go of stuff is helping me to free up energy to deal with that stuff.

Thanks again for all the good wishes and good will. It really, really helps. thanks thanks thanks

harrietspy Sun 27-Jan-13 22:08:57

ps (with apols for mega-post) I got rid of the massive Ikea box full of Interiors magazines and scrapbooks without looking through them first. I felt so much lighter! I literally felt a weight lifting. Quite amazing.

CremeEggThief Sun 27-Jan-13 22:16:00

wine and thanks for Harriet. Sounds amazing. Well done!

MrsPennyapple Sun 27-Jan-13 23:21:23

Good work Harriet. What an emotionally draining day! I hope you have a really good sleep tonight, you must be knackered.

Well done, Harriet, was thinking about you yesterday and hoping it went well.

Becstar I followed that blog link and one of the titles jumped out at me "Stop making it complicated". You know when something is that simple, yet staring you in the face without you seeing it? That's distilled minimalism, imho anyway.

blossom, mmm, household binder, me too!

HellonHeels Mon 28-Jan-13 10:28:53

Wow Harriet that's an amazing lot of work you got done. Sounds emotionally tough, too - I felt a little teary reading about your TV and the things your dad had done for you x

Glad to hear you're reaping the rewards of the work, feeling lighter and with more energy.

Wow! Well done Harriet - I'm glad it feels better to have got some of that stuff started.
Antoinette I guess my subject is "children who are struggling or unhappy at school and parents want to do something about it but are not sure what"!! I do it as a full-time but not very lucrative career, but I love it!

Basically I teach literacy and numeracy at primary level, "special needs" English at secondary level plus sciences and maths to GCSE - oh and the occasional bit of 11+/independent school exam entry stuff too. I'm a physics graduate who then trained and worked in primary teaching which is partly why I can do such a Jack of all trades range of work. I see a lot of subtle learning difficulties as well as undiagnosed dyslexia and deal a lot with students who have lost confidence in their own abilities for one reason or another. OK - don't get me started or I could go on all day! grin

I've decided to start making a list of everything going out and coming into the flat. I'm not sure why but I think I want to be encouraged by how much I do whilst discouraging myself from buying too much extra to replace it! Also I get to use up one of my A6 ring binders to keep the list in.

I decluttered another drawer in my bedroom last night and got rid of a whole load of random paperwork and re-discovered some creative work I had done ( poems plus the start of a probably not so short story).

I'm just off to take some rubbish and recycling out before I get on with my work for the day - I've been avoiding doing it all weekend for some strange reason that I don't really understand other than I don't like taking rubbish out!!

BigBlackBagBorderBinLiner Mon 28-Jan-13 11:13:23

I think I have become an unofficial house clearing resource. A local mum with a tough upbringing feels she has to keep stuff 'just in case' but is now passing it on to me, I accept it with lots of thanks then drop it straight off at the recycling bins.

She has become more confident but still feels those worn out trainers and sad car boot bargains need a 'good' home, directly to the charity shop is a stage too far. Her kids are enjoying the space and have started inviting friends round. I think it's going to be a good year for this family.

issimma Mon 28-Jan-13 11:32:31

<waves pompoms for harriet and blackbag>

DVDs sorted. Keeping more than expected as we watch a lot of films (no social life whatsoever) and ones we might rewatch aren't on lovefilm instant yet.

Not sure what my next project will be - think I need to work on exercising willpower and reducing screen time, and read Simplicity Parenting. House is pretty clutter-free apart from DH's stuff in the roofspace, so now I need to focus more on minimalism, whatever that may be.

Charity shop and freecycle people are supposed to be collecting things, but radio silence sad.

Glad to find some more fabulous pincers. That's my one area that certainly isn't clutter free, and encourages me to collect. But at least they're just images on a computer, right...

hobnob57 Mon 28-Jan-13 13:59:42

Maternity stuff is all on eBay.
Been thinking about all the chat about reducing shopping. We don't shop really, due to distance from town, parking fees and total lack of disposable income, and that has been the case for about 8 years. I sometimes mourn not knowing what is in the shops when it comes to buying presents and when I really do need to go clothes shopping, but really I hate it all. Despite this our house is full of clutter, primarily due to dcs and also my sentimental issues with gifts. Need to get over that. Such as the crystal church we were given as a wedding present which needs to go, I now realise. I'll need to find another way to remember the giver. Also souvenirs from travels - my family lived overseas at various times and there were always niknaks and furniture from each country which had a story and I loved that as a kid. I need to think about to manage that in my life and my small home.

sommewhereelse Mon 28-Jan-13 14:16:09

Hobnob, how would you feel if you gave a gift that the recipient held onto if they didn't like it?

From the Banishing Clutter book (which I have acquired recently):

"You were given it. You own it. You can do what you like with it.... Do you want to keep something that you don't like even through you feel guilty for hating it?..... Anyone who wants to see you use what they have given you, as if they still have a stake in it, probably doesn't have your happiness in mind"

And on sentimental value: if such things bring you joy, you should keep them.

Could you have a table for niknaks which you rotate, keeping the rest in a box, like you might have a nature table? That way you can still pass on the stories to your children but you won't have to see everything all the time.

About the shopping thing, I went for years only getting to shops other than the supermarket every 6 months. For gifts, I got a lot of inspiration from mn threads, particularly around Christmas. Now I live in a city but I have the habit of doing all my stealing ideas research online before I face the shops.

Well, I bagged up all those clothes but put them in the car, not the barn to ebay. I'm too tired and it's just another thing to feel bad about not doing. And as soon as I did that I felt lots better!

BoffinMum Mon 28-Jan-13 18:25:35

Wondered where you are all hiding.

bluecarrot Mon 28-Jan-13 18:28:38

Hey Boffin smile

Still feeling a bit weird today so took it easy and just picked through a few boxes of "stuff" and will do a charity shop and dump run tomorrow. Should be able to fill the car again smile

My interest in eBay flags til I earn £50 then I love it again! But ill live the freedom from stuff more so I need to find some sort of rule re what value is ok to let go.

harriet I'm very, very pleased it all went OK yesterday. I know the whole process isn't finished yet but you've taken the biggest step. The rest will follow.

antoinette re Pinterest, I'm in Bristol but I'm now following you. No idea who you're following in Aachen!

I hadn't intended to do anything yesterday but ended up having quite a productive tidy up of one of our cupboards. I'm also getting to the tipping point of wanting to sort out all my old photos and letters. They're just annoying me now. I think I'll probably scan them onto DP's hard drive and then make some photo books.

Part of the reason I felt motivated to sort stuff yesterday is because I'm really thinking about how I want our home to be. It was built in 2011 and I moved in in June that year. DP then moved in last autumn and it feels like things are starting to settle and I can make it how I want it. I also want to get cracking before I get distracted by the garden in spring.

I want to get rid of one of our cupboards and get an armchair for a reading corner. We only have a three-seater sofa as well as a table and six chairs in our living room. I also want to get a chaise langue for the sofa (it's an IKEA Karlstad one which is modular) as there's just not that much room for the three of us to lounge around.

Poor DP, he has no idea that I'm now looking at his things and thinking hmm, let's get rid of that, that and that!

Oh no! When I typed in your name that's who it came up with...I have I followed her blush and found you in my followers list and followed back!!

I mean I have UNfollowed her, which my phone auto corrected as it's clearly not a word!

Checking in again.

After Christmas & partner's very extended Significant Birthday celebrations which seem to have gone on all month, we have a cupboard full of mismatched, chipped glasses.

Today I'm going to empty that cupboard, line them all up on the kitchen table & decide which to throw & which to keep & which sets need new additions. Going to be ruthless - I've done enough hosting this last 6 wks to last me for a LONG time so only going to keep/buy 4 x red, 4 x white, 4 x water & 4 x juice glasses.

This is making me ridiculously happy smile!

bluecarrot Tue 29-Jan-13 09:13:42

I love having matching glasses all lined up! (Would also happily have a cupboard of all mismatched where every piece was picked because it is beautiful and different from all others on the shelf. Alas, I have the first option.)

Today is dump and charity shop. I'm feeling so under the weather today but maybe keeping busy will help smile

ive started a list of deadlines for things ive been meaning to get around to. End of Feb (3 weeks really as im away a while) includes the 10 frames I own that have sat for 2 years, some 6 months and one an Xmas gift I couldn't wait to get. Ill have to pick the photos for them today and get then ordered (today is now my last spend day of month). They then have to be in the frames and on the wall by Feb 28th.

End feb - photo frames filled and hung, playmats made or fabric recycled, mirror frame repainted or charity shop, 8 items clothing repaired or dumped.

harrietspy Tue 29-Jan-13 10:02:15

Last night I spent an hour going through the vat of diaries, papers and notebooks that came from the Garage of Letting Go. I went through about a dozen books and threw away:

half-finished stories that I will never complete
anything relating to misery, depression or unfulfilled aspiration
endless lists of how to get organised or be different
diaries (although I tore out anything relating to ds1)
early drafts of my novel. I have my actual published novel on my shelf so I don't need to keep the early versions.

Still heaps to go but that all felt good!

Hi everyone!

You all seem to be doing well. Mammoth - well done on just getting rid!
Bluecarrot and Notquiteperfect - I still have wine glasses that were given away free with petrol in 1980's! I don't drink wine very often so they don't get used much. Maybe they need to be charity shopped and at some point I get a few really nice ones?

I didn't manage any de-cluttering yesterday - apart from taking out the rubbish but I've hopefully got a charity coming to pick up my chair this morning. I hope so as I've moved it into the hall in readiness and it is now officially "in the way"!

I do have another bag for the charity shop on the go though. Currently containing a few pieces of random bric-a-brac (or as one teenager referred to the church fair stall - "bric-a-crap"!)

I've just listed my phonics leaflet again on ebay. Not exactly getting rid of clutter though as it is an e-leaflet (and as I wrote it myself, it is obviously not rubbish!) grin I do have a box of stuff I want to ebay - so far this year I've listed one book! It did sell though.

Yay! Chair removed from premises. One more for my "out" list.

wendybird77 Tue 29-Jan-13 15:02:43

Things are still ticking over here. Mostly finished decorating the lounge and dining room - just need to touch up a bit. Got my taxes done (hurrah) and have been working though some paperwork today which I have been putting off for months. I need to clear out an upstairs closet this week which is being knocked through to make a bigger bathroom. It isn't overly full, but a dumping ground from when we moved in. Sadly our bookshelves aren't up in the study yet, so the stuff is just going to get moved around for a while until we can actually unpack. I'm also aiming to have the playroom decorated by the end of next week as my parents will arrive for a month - so trying to get as much done as possible before then!

notcitrus Tue 29-Jan-13 16:24:36

Phew - entire car load of clothes and few other things is now at the charity shop rather than in our house - turned out we were the only car owners at the declutter party so we got all the leftovers. Which are now out of the house. Should be a few hundred quid for Cancer Research.

Some hideous toys went, too. Sadly house not looking more spacious as have emptied a whole room for doing up, but dd should get her own room soon. Now need to sort out yet more outgrown baby clothes - a never-ending job!

issimma Tue 29-Jan-13 16:28:12

notcitrus love the idea of a declutter party - how did you organise it? Just bring your old stuff and take what you fancy, or was there more to it?

BabCNesbitt Tue 29-Jan-13 16:35:47

harriet, that sounds very cathartic! How does it feel having got rid of those papers? And how far back did your diaries go? I shipped to NYC a (bloody heavy!) box of journals dating back to when I was 11, but just as it has everywhere I've lived, it's been sitting in the same box at the top of the bedroom closet, unread. The only time I ever look at them is when I'm about to move! Think I might be ready to get rid of them, finally - not sure that I'd want DD to know how much time I spent writing about my crushes in high school! blush

educatingarti, my parents still have loads of those petrol station wine glasses, all mismatched, even though they never drink wine and even though they're hideous! What was the mindset of petrol companies in the 80s - 'oh well, people are learning not to drink and drive, so we'll give them some glassware so that they'll think of us when they're having their Liebfraumilch at home'?

Going through books on the shelf at the moment and trying to be honest with myself as to whether I'll ever read them. (There's a lot of unread ones!) The books are another example of things I've bought either to show off to others how literate I am (though I wouldn't have admitted that at the time, of course) or to try and make myself into that smarter, more literate person. So much of minimalism, I think, involves finally being honest with myself as to who I really am and what my life is really like, and just having what I need for that.

mazzi2fly Tue 29-Jan-13 16:42:24

I also loaded up the car for the charity shop yesterday. I got rid of
2 bags of maternity clothes (last pregnant in 2008),
1 bag of clothes
2 baskets
1 magazine holder
1 brick trolley
1 pair of boots
so I feel a lot lighter! It was all from the loft, so no noticable difference round the house.
sommewhereelse your getting rid of your spirits, has spurred me on to do the same. I've got a litre bottle of Vodka that has been in the cupboard for YEARS. I can't think of anyone that would want it, so I'm going to pour it away. There's also some other bottles -gin, bacardi, amaretto, that have just a little bit left. Then I could have some nice bottles of white wine there instead! Oops thats not the idea is it? grin

mazzi2fly leave the vodka outside the house and cheer up some local teenagers!

bab your comment about minimalism is spot on. It's a way for us to live the lives we want not what others expect or we're told to need/want. I identified with somme I think it was about hearing her mother every time she put unironed sheets away. My upbringing wasn't like that but I'm aware I do certain things because I 'should'.

I got over the guilt of giving away unread books a couple of years ago. I'm very much a reader so it was a real struggle for me and it felt quite sneaky. Now I like having no fiction books around. I buy everything on my kindle and much prefer that.

Whoever started talking about glasses has given me some inspiration. I have a wooden shelf above the sink where all my cook books live and I have given three to the charity shop so far. I realised I've been holding on to the others because I don't know what else to put on the shelf - completely back to front of course! But beautiful glassware and bowls are what I really want to be looking at so that's what I'm going to do.

I also went through a carrier bag full of photos today (such a glamorous storage solution!). Now that I have a plan to scan and make photo books, it felt much easier. I have far too many pictures of people I knew but didn't really like 25 years ago and out of focus sunsets.

oooh - before you pour vodka away - it can be used for cleaning!

eg - mix a little (couple of tablespoons) with some essential oil and put in about 500ml of water. This can be used for ironing spray (the vodka enables the oil and water to mix).

I'd guess it would also work as a solvent to remove things like biro and felt pen marks!

harrietspy Tue 29-Jan-13 18:50:09

bab the papers go back 20 years, more or less, to when I was 20... I think there must be a stash of diaries at my mum's too... It's really, really great to be getting rid of sad stuff although today has been all about the tax return...

Wow, you are all being incredibly virtuous today!

Mon and tue are my work days but did manage to get charity shop bags in car so might manage to drop them off tomorrow with luck and a fair wind.

Dh away this week. The house is tidy and theres not boy clobber everywhere. Have de cluttered bathroom hugely and it's just so peaceful on there now, I get a little lift when I walk in!

hobnob57 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:32:00

What do you all do with unwanted toiletries? I have been trying to use mine all up over the past year but I've been stymied by a) being sensitive to a bunch of stuff and b) being given much nicer stuff in quite large quantity. Our en suite is a cluttered mess with no storage. Happy about the no storage, not about the mess.
The thought of spending hours emptying stuff down the sink and endless bubbles to recycle the bottles has prevented me dong anything about it. Anyone had a declutter toiletries party? hmm

Hob nob, my local hospital used to accept donations of new stuff for emergency admissions. Maybe yours does similar?

hobnob57 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:56:06

Good idea, thanks. Any ideas for half used stuff?

If it's "safe" stuff id give it to the dc to make potions out of.

Probably doesn't work with teenagers though.

sommewhereelse Tue 29-Jan-13 20:03:32

I love white wine and don't see a problem with replacing an unused bottle of spirits with wine you will enjoy.
White wine and good quality chocolate does not cause clutter in my house.grin

I'm not sure I'm qualified to judge because I am only on the very beginning of my journey to minimalism and suspect that I may stop my journey when I am decluttered rather than minimalist, however I haven't read anything which equates minimalism with going without the things you enjoy.

Nor have I. Quite the opposite, imho it's about focusing on what you enjoy, and reducing what you dont.

Unopened toiletries can also be donated to charity shops and school fairs.

spongebobmum Tue 29-Jan-13 20:21:32

I had posted this on the other thread, then saw we had moved lol!!

Hi everyone, Id love to join, been reading through all the messages but I thought Id introduce myself, then go back to reading lol!!

So far, Ive got rid of about 18 black bags of stuff... a combination of rubbish, recycling and the charity shop.
Ive cleared out all my kitchen cupboards and thrown out everything I dont use or was keeping "in case"
Cleared out my sitting room, but ds toys and books are still taking up way too much space there, I have storage boxes but need to get more, then to find somewhere inconspicuous to put them as he plays with most of the toys!
Cleared out our room and ds room and the wardrobes in both, lockers, and got rid of anything I can
Ive done all the bathrooms, though there was really only essentials in them anyway.
Cleared out and tidied the hot press, got rid of old sheets and towels etc, and got rid of all the gift sets I "might use someday" (but really never ever will) and all the crap I know in my heart Ill never ever use but was keeping "in case"
Cleared out one spare room completely.
Ive got rid of every ornament and item I dont use/love, all the crap I collected as gifts and never liked, clothes I "might wear again someday" but never will, pots and pans etc that I never use.

Im feeling so much better with every step, I have loads more to get rid of and Im loving doing it!! One room Im dreading as its FULL of crap, but once I start Ill have it done in no time, its mostly just rubbish taking up space in there and when its done Ill have a lovely spare room with no clutter whatsoever smile
I cannot wait to get rid of all the stuff I dont want or need, the more I get rid of the more I want to get rid of too lol, its addictive!
Its also helping me de-stress which I find really hard to do... so heres to decluttering and minimalist heaven :D

BoffinMum Tue 29-Jan-13 20:25:39

Spongebob, you are some sort of decluttering heroine!!!!

Spongebob - amazing! How long has it taken yo uto do this? I agree it can be a bit addictive!

CremeEggThief Tue 29-Jan-13 21:45:40

Wow, Spongebob. I'm in awe!

bluecarrot Tue 29-Jan-13 21:47:13

You could offer all your opened toiletries on freecycle making it very clear they are opened! Im sure there will be some folk who will happily take them (thinking of doing similar. Whoever said BodyShop rainforest shampoo was great LIED)

issimma Tue 29-Jan-13 21:51:36

Wow spongebob!

Depending on the toiletries, try eBay. I sold some used Clinique and kiehls stuff before, and half empty perfume.

notcitrus Tue 29-Jan-13 22:17:16

issimma - it's about the 4th clothes swap party my friends have had, about 1 a year. It helps to have a bunch of friends of varying sizes and some who have changed size a lot, a couple who keep buying lots of cool clothes off Ebay, and a couple months notice to go through wardrobe. This was the first time we had some non-clothes - most of that didn't get taken but all the toiletries did.
Put clothes into piles vaguely by size, let people try them on. A full length mirror nearby really helps. If multiple people want an item, either first come first served, or toss a coin - this time people came over a long period of time so no arguments. Can also allow a few items to be for sale. pack up all items left over into bin bags to take to charity shop. Ideally drink booze and.convince people to try on more things. Last year BHF came by and collected all the bags, which was nice.

I know people that have organised large clothes swaps for charity - takes much more effort. The ones at my work weren't great as despite 400 women, the age range from 20 to 60 led to huge range of styles and not really enough clothes to make it fun, but on the other hand loads of clothes went to charity.

Now have a totally empty room ready for the carpenter. Shame about the others! MrNC has agreed I can throw out all magazines from 2003 and earlier, which is actually most of them as soon after he realised he wasn't keeping up with subscriptions and stopped buying them. Should be fun!

I now have a large empty bookcase in my room to use to collect all the bits of various toys etc together - might work...

DD, 16mo, has chicken pox and is very miserable about it, so I've been at home with her and getting miserable myself! Partly at her whining (legitimate as it is, bless her), and partly at the mess caused by us being cooped up all day. Tomorrow I'm going to wrap her up and play outside with her all morning to try and minimise the crap in the sitting room, and get us both some fresh air!

blossombath Tue 29-Jan-13 23:49:23

Well done spongebob!

I love the vodka ironing water tip, this is the thread that keeps on giving...

HellonHeels Wed 30-Jan-13 00:29:29

Some great work being done! I haven't any progress to report but wanted to say that you can use toiletries like shower gel to clean the loo - squirt some into the bowl, scrub and flush.

Oh, Antoinette I feel for you! Have you had to take time off or are you sahm? Hope it goes ok.

BoffinMum Wed 30-Jan-13 05:53:00

Vodka is also great for cleaning piano keys, and for extracting your own DNA or DNA from fruit in your own kitchen science experiments (although like my good friend BRIAN COX - see my other thread - I find it can take a few goes) wink

BoffinMum Wed 30-Jan-13 05:54:31

That was a demonstration of MN priorities at work, that last post, obv.grin

harrietspy Wed 30-Jan-13 10:12:41

Antoinette, I hope your DD is feeling a bit better today and that you get some fresh air.

I'm shredding a notebook from time to time and not much more at the moment. I need to get the already purged stuff out of the house (eg freecycle some suitcases and get bags to charity shop) before I do any more. We have to move rooms in prep for arrival of student lodger and I'm hoping that we can do some streamlining in the move.

Back to taxes! Take care, all, and have a good day.

Boffin - where is your other thread? I think extracting your DNA using Vodka sounds cool. I want to know how to do it.

I unexpectedly did some more decluttering last night - really think it is a bit addictive. I'd only intended to spend 10 mins but carried on longer and sorted all the most recent paperwork that has come into the flat. I think I might be starting a household folder blush - had no intentions of doing so but it just seems to be happening!
This morning a a pair of knickers that had seen much better days went in the "for rags" charity bag. Every little helps. So far my list is 16 items out and 3 in (paperwork only counts as an "out" item if it has been lying around for ages - new stuff coming in should be is dealt with as a matter of course.)

I have no idea why I am making all these rules for myself - I don't really like lots of rules. Again it just seems to be happening!

What it happening? Does this thread have mystical powers?

mazzi2fly Wed 30-Jan-13 10:34:43

Aww, I've just come on here and read all your tips for cleaning with Vodka. As soon as I posted I got up and poured it down the sink! Oh well, maybe the drains are a bit cleaner [hopeful] I've kept the Amaretto but I can't imagine that's any good for cleaning.

Today's little clear out was I sorted all the coins into the wee bags that you take to the bank. We have a money box by the front door where we put all the loose change. I've got £7 that I didn't know I had. I'm going to the bank later so I can take it then.

MrsPennyapple Wed 30-Jan-13 10:39:17

I'd use the vodka to make flavoured vodkas and then drink them all give them away as gifts, but if you don't know people who'd drink it then that's probably no use. If you do want to have a go, buy sweets like pear drops or cola cubes. Smash sweets up and fill bottle one third with sweets. Fill to the top with vodka. Shake occasionally til sweets are dissolved. (If you have a dishwasher, screw bottle top on tightly, put cling film round to ensure bottle is sealed, then put in top rack on a 65 degree cycle. Gets the job done a lot quicker.)

Back to decluttering though, I keep finding more things that can go. When I moved in with DP I kept finding really odd ornaments around the place, that just seemed really out of place, and not "him" at all. There is a random otter, a few bits of canal ware, and a really odd lamp that looks like it's woven out of grass. Turns out his mum bought it all to make his house more "homely" when he first moved here. It's currently all shoved in the spare room. I feel a charity shop run coming on.

wendybird77 Wed 30-Jan-13 11:12:29

In a random spurt of decluttering this morning I've got 6 bags on the kitchen table to go out. I had a quick go through of my closet and managed to cull a couple of cardis and a sweater dress I've not worn since DS1 was tiny. I found 15 (!) nursing bras that didn't fit properly, so they are going to my friend who just had a baby last night to see if any fit her and the rest for recycling. The rest is a bag of clothes from DH (which almost doesn't count as he bought 3 pairs of trousers the other day - but at least 3 are going out). I've also got a bag of socks/tights/knickers which are destined for the textiles recycling bin at the tip. I tidied up the boys Pjs and socks / undies and set aside stuff for DS1 to grow into.

I do think it is addictive. Once you get past that first big purge and realise you don't miss ANY of it it gets really easy to get rid of more.

I need to sort out my wardrobe though. I don't actually have much and only tend to keep stuff I wear, but I need some new jeans and some better quality clothes, particularly cardis and warmer layers. Most of what I have is really cheap and doesn't fit very well. I'm great for hanging out in the house in my mum role, but I struggle putting anything together when I go out and feel really frumpy. I'm not ready to do it yet as I'm still focused on getting the house done and sorted, but once that is done I'm going to focus on ME a bit more.

I am also desperate for a household file blush, but again, not ready to do one until we get to a point where we can fully unpack and I find my pretty craft papers and geeky organisational supplies.

issimma Wed 30-Jan-13 11:50:10

Yay, £25 from amazon (We had all of The Wire DVDs - love it, but will never watch again). That's after fees and postage, so not too bad. They sold pretty much overnight, so could have priced higher... but they've gone grin.

Need to chase charity shop re collection. And then I can start working my way through loads of notebooks. Am a stationery junkie and have too many. Or should I choose one and freecycle the rest?

Before that, though - sleep! Up since 4 with baby and toddler tantrums started at 5. She has been shipped off to nursery for the day, and although it's lovely having the free time, I will be sleeping when baby does, and trying to ignore my decluttering projects!

Ha - I'm not sure about "the first big purge" - I keep wanting to take photos to show you all how so not minimalist I am. What I'm doing is really hardly a big purge but I seem to be making random forays into bits of stored clutter! It's all got to be good!

Wendybird - I was thinking that I needed to have a really pretty A4 ring binder for my household file and was looking online but after my recent invasion of A6 folders I was a bit reluctant to buy anything. I settled on wiping down a really old green binder that had some worksheets in I'd been given from someone else but I was pretty sure I was unlikely to use. I ditched the worksheets into my scrap paper file, cut out two of the best pictures from previous years' Countryfile calendars (see how not minimalist I am - I keep old calendars for the pictures - but at least I do then use them!) and stuck one on each side. I have a snowy red squirrel on one side and a March hare on the other! It looks OK and is my temporary "for now" binder until I see or make one I really like!

harrietspy Wed 30-Jan-13 12:16:38

Just unearthed a horrible surprise while doing taxes: I earned more than I thought in 2011/12. This sounds like good news, but it isn't. I didn't see any of the earnings because we were massively in debt through serious illness/not selling house and basically paying mortgage and rent. This means a much bigger tax bill than I've accounted for - I should find out later/tomorrow quite how much. Life has been pretty chaotic these past 2 years but this is a huge lesson in keeping proper records!

So I'm taking a tiny break before the next job.

issisma I too am a stationery junkie. I haven't bought a new book for ages but in my clearing out I'm finding tonnes of half-used notebooks...I'm tearing out the used pages and will be keeping a limited number of what's left, because I do get through a lot of paper.

I don't have a household file - I use the folders (as described in "Getting Things Done") and have them in 'drawers' in an Ikea Expedit unit in the kitchen. Our paperwork fits in two drawers and it's very easy to file/find things. I'd like to get it down to one drawer if possible through scanning papers where possible. But I am slightly anxious about keeping so much in electronic form. Anyone else worry about that?

Ok. Time for some loud music to motivate me to clear these papers up and get back to work!

wendybird77 Wed 30-Jan-13 12:24:37

Educating - Put those A6 folders on freecycle! Here is what you need to remember, you were happy to pay the price you did for 1 - now let the others move on and fullfill their folder destiny, not sit in a box in your office sucking up your precious empty space.

I suppose I am no longer sentimental about very many things. I've watched my mum collect every dish, bric-a-brac, etc from any relative or person she once knew and she gets upset that I don't want it and am not waiting for her to die so I can inherit the 'treasures'. The money they have spent on nice display units, moving from house to house, buying houses larger than what they need to STORE stuff. She has a garage full of toys from when we were small she has been saving (and moving) for her grandchildren to someday play with. My brothers don't have kids, so just mine, and we live overseas. The kids don't play with them. The issue with her is she was saving stuff for the life she wanted (kids close, grandkids practically thinking she was their mum) but it was never the life I or my brothers wanted. I feel really sad for her and her garage of unused toys.

My attitude towards the stuff is that it moves THROUGH our lives, use it and enjoy it while it is useful and then pass in on when it isn't. If you hang on to all your old 'stuff', both physically and emotionally, you don't have room for new. Acquisition isn't the goal, having an enjoyed life is.

sommewhereelse Wed 30-Jan-13 12:26:24

Ugh, nasty surprise.

I'm ashamed to say last week I bought some archive boxes and a ring binder to sort out the office but I ended up throwing away so much that was in our exisiting archive boxes that I don't need the new ones. And I now have 4 empty ring binders. So well done educating arti for holding off on a purchase.

I'll console myself with the fact that DS will no doubt need the ring binders for school next September.

sommewhereelse Wed 30-Jan-13 12:31:52

PIL has a huge basement and his grandchildren have had a lot of fun playing with their parents' toys. They would have a visit from grandchildren at least once a month.

But now they are bigger, youngest is 7, I wish he'd give the toddler toys to a new home. Even if we wanted to, we wouldn't be able to store it all when he's gone.

wendy your post was quite poignant sad - it is so true what you said about holding on to 'things' for the life we wanted, not the life we have. So much better to face up & move on smile

Today I have passed on a coffee table, lamp, storage basket, vase, pedal bin & a box of cups/mugs/glasses to a young mum setting up home. We were both very happy about that!

Now off to the tip (been meaning to go for last 3 days). Charity shop on Fri a.m.

Ordered new pens from amazon & going to clear desk in study if I get time later.

This thread is very inspirational.

DD and I managed a walk to the post box and then almost got blown away so have come home and she's having a nap while I mumsnet tidy the sitting room. I work part time so theoretically I should have time to kee everything nice and tidy but somehow it doesn't seem to work like that!

Can I ask a probably silly question? How much of the paperwork you get when you buy a house do you need to keep? We've got all of it (from mortgage offer to letters from solicitor re. next thing to do) and I'm sure it's not necessary but it's our first house so I'm nervous to throw any of it out in case when we come to sell and buy again I find I was meant to keep it all!

TheBlackBagBorderBinLiner Wed 30-Jan-13 13:03:17

My parents have kept far to many of my brother & I's toys. Stored, with original boxes for 30 years. They gave me & I binned the Sindy stuff in 1998 (pre e-bay explosion), I liked it but it made me sad that I was n't the girly girl my mum really wanted and I did n't have any kids at that stage.

The Fisher Price animals have plastic fatigue, the rocking horse springy thing looks lethal and rusty to modern eyes. It briefly nice to see the cars, lego and a few other bits. I asked my mum for pictures of me and my brother playing with stuff but she has very few in an album most are still in their packets in the attic and it would create too much mess to go through them. because their attic is full of all the stuff they've kept to coming in handy

A lot of other kids could have had a lot of fun with this stuff back in the 80s/90s...... I find pristine 'vintage' toys sad and unloved.

wendybird77 Wed 30-Jan-13 13:43:43

You know though, I will keep a few of my kid's toys. We have, from the start, invested and requested for gifts higher quality, mostly wooden toys and we have a lovely collection. I don't hang on to stuff that doesn't get used, no matter how much it cost. We have an old fisher price circus train from MIL from DH's childhood and the kids love it, though the animals don't stand up and are starting to fall apart! I won't be keeping a garage full though, only the very precious and meaningful ones. And some are so lovely they make nice objects to have around for me (Grimm's rainbow stacker for one!).

Harriette - so sorry to hear about the taxes situation, what a nasty shock!

NotQuite - Well done on passing along all that stuff! I bet it feels good to shift some bigger items. I've got my eye on an inherited bookshelf that is going to do once we no longer need it for stacking unopened boxes on. And a random and very heavy coffee table that was kindly left for us by the previous owners.

MinimalistMommi Wed 30-Jan-13 14:16:52


I've been lurking recently because I've been so busy decluttering/packing for move.


Lots of stuff is going, off to friends, charity shop etc. We're letting go of furniture ready for moving into our tiny house (500 sq ft approx, family of four) Two 'Billy' Ikea bookcases have gone, a cream Ikea toy shelf, a chest of drawers, another tall bookcase.

Currently we have a cream two seater sofa and two Poang armchairs from Ikea, to fit the new space, we will be giving that seating away and buying two Ektorp two seater white Ikea sofas (with washable covers!) It should look neat against the floorboards that are in the house once we have ripped up carpet in the 'new' house (well, it's a period property)

Anyway so I thought I'd jump back into the conversation...

The packing is going very well, if anyone remembers me from last thread we are quite extremely minimalist and we have packed ten boxes (5 small, 5 regular size) and we need to bag up clothes and pack foodstuffs but that's it really! We don't need to hire a lorry, we're making do with a small van grin

BabCNesbitt Wed 30-Jan-13 14:21:17

MrsPennyapple, ah, the curse of buying stuff to make the place seem more like home! It's taken me a while to learn that what makes a place feel like home is actually living in it, and that takes a wee while - no shortcuts at Ikea or the knickknack shop!

issimma, I think if you're going to use all the notebooks within a reasonable time, then it's probably fine to keep them, but if you're just holding onto them because 'they're bound to be used eventually', then I'd get rid unless they're really pretty.

harriet, sorry about the tax shock (if that doesn't sound too tabloidy). Had a similar situation about eight years ago, because I was a total idiot and it was the first year I'd earned enough to actually pay taxes, and I remember the fainting feeling and cold panic when I found out how much I actually owed!

'My attitude towards the stuff is that it moves THROUGH our lives, use it and enjoy it while it is useful and then pass in on when it isn't. If you hang on to all your old 'stuff', both physically and emotionally, you don't have room for new. Acquisition isn't the goal, having an enjoyed life is.'

wendybird77 that is such a great post. I totally agree with you (but could apply it better to my own life).

antoinette the rule of thumb is to keep paperwork for up to seven years - this is the standard for tax and medical records. After that I keep things like the Land Registry entry and basic contract. You don't need to keep every letter about every change to the mortgage rate of T&Cs as I've done in the past. When I went through my paperwork recently I got rid of about three bags for life's worth of old paperwork (I have buy to lets).

harrietspy Wed 30-Jan-13 16:54:23

Hello again minimalistmommi! smile You're an inspiration!

Tell me, people, are your families on board the minimalist boat, as it were? Or are you rowing alone? (Forgive the metaphor. Head addled by tax and 'chocolate' jammie dodgers). I'd love to know how you've got children in particular to love less stuff.

(Sorry if you get 2 posts from me. Weird stuff going on with my mac).

BabCNesbitt Wed 30-Jan-13 17:03:45

Hey minimalistmommi! That's so impressive! I'm wondering what the layout is of your new place? We have 575 sq ft here, and the bedroom is much bigger than it needs to be (could probably split into 2 rooms), but if we had another DC, I could see it feeling quite snug. Will your DCs share a room? What age are they?

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 17:17:07

My DP is minimalist in that all he seems to own is DVDs (loads, but v few moving here with him), clothes (not many) and toiletries.

DD is letting go of things -more when she can see they are going to a good home. She was a bit sad when a magazine she left at the dentists wasnt there two days later. NOt sure if they didnt put it out or if someone took it home. I suggested the latter and she was happy enough. If I have more DC, Ill be more form about what comes into the house. Being a childminder brought a lot of excess toys in and DD is gradually allowing them to leave the house. Im letting her process it rather than force it.

MinimalistMommi Wed 30-Jan-13 18:01:36

<waving> at Harriet thank you blush it's taken we'll over two years of on and off hard work to get to this point!

Bab the layout is quite good, we have two small reception rooms downstairs, living room and dining room (the front door goes directly into living room).

Going off the dining room is a small galley kitchen. There's a back door there that goes out into tiny courtyard garden.

In between living room and dining room there is flight of stairs. Upstairs there is the front 'master' bedroom and next to that is the slightly smaller room overlooking the courtyard garden (on the details they were both called double rooms, but they are smallish)

At the very back of the house, directly above galley kitchen is tiny bathroom, but it does fit a bath tub with shower overhead it. The house we looked at previously didn't have a bath tub just shower so we see this as our luxury!

MinimalistMommi Wed 30-Jan-13 18:04:53

So yes, our girls are sharing, which they haven't done before so I'm expecting teething problems. They're four and seven. People always ask us if we will 'upsize' in the future, we don't see ourselves 'upsizing' unless we really have too.

MinimalistMommi Wed 30-Jan-13 18:10:01

Bab what's your layout?

MinimalistMommi Wed 30-Jan-13 18:16:41

Minimalist blog links for anyone that's interested:

Thanks Queen. It's so tempting to either keep it all or chuck it all but I think I need to be a bit more discerning so I'll go through it this weekend I think.

Anyone who's done the scanning photos thing-do they look good on the computer or do they look 'scanned' iyswim? We've just invested in a printer (was feeling guilty about sneakily printing stuff at work blush) and it has the ability to scan so I'm thinking I should get on with that job as we've got boxes and boxes of photos, but I'm worried they'll look rubbish on screen.

spongebobmum Wed 30-Jan-13 20:00:36

Wow its impossible to keep up with all the messages on this thread, Im still not through the other one lol!!
I started my decluttering about 2 weeks ago properly, up to then I had maybe 4 black bags of clothes lurking in a spare room for the charity shop, then sat before last I just said right, Im doing something about it!!! So got stuck in that wkend then ended up off work most of last week with sick ds, so did lots then and I plan to do more this wkend, Ive been doing a bit every evening this week too... Im finding as well as anything else that its motivating me to do the housework I usually avoid like the plague, eg clothes washing, as Ive less clothes in the wardrobe it seems like less of a task, and if Im wearing something and see my reflection during the day and it looks like its had better days or just does not fit (half my wardrobe until now lol) then I take it off that evening and straight into the bin or washing for charity shop if its in an ok state!
Everyone is doing so much, well done to us all :D

pixiestix Wed 30-Jan-13 20:51:27

Hello MM, nice to "see" you again. I am in awe of your ten boxes.

Three massive items to the skip today and another two bags for the charity shop so I am getting there slowly. A little too slowly for my liking, but there just never seems to be enough time in the day.

Three big bags to clothes bank today, also selection of broken glasses kept meaning to deal with.

Lovely to hear from everyone.

harrietspy Wed 30-Jan-13 21:35:16

I spent half an hour moving toys out of ds2's room in prep for the big room shuffle. I thought he didn't have many toys. I was so wrong! He just has a big bedroom all to himself so it didn't look all that cluttered! How did this happen?!

When we move the boys into their new shared room, I want to be really judicious about what toys and books go back in there. I might do an experiment and keep all the toys that don't get played with under the spare bed for 6 months and see if the boys notice... I feel they're too old now for me to whip stuff away without consultation. Maybe I'll talk to ds1 about the ideas in Simplicity Parenting and make the experiment one that he's involved with.

Hope you all have a restful night! smile

pixiestix Thu 31-Jan-13 08:22:01

Morning all. DH is coming home early tonight so we can tackle some more of the basement together. Without this thread I know that our enthusiasm for dealing with all our crap would have waned two weeks (at most) after starting. But here we are six weeks later, still ploughing on! smile

wendybird77 Thu 31-Jan-13 08:28:09

Harriete - I think that involving the kids in it is a great idea. Perhaps also involving them in designing the room would be a good idea too. Just thinking if they help plan the layout and the storage and decor then they are more likely to understand and agree that only so much will fit on / in that storage. Also culling toys that they are 'too old for' may also help?

When we moved I did the same and put most of the toys into the playroom. In DS1s room he has a bed (new truck bed!!!) a small wardrobe, bookcase, rocking chair and a car mat and a basket of cars. It is very easy for him to keep tidy himself and he LOVES his new room, insists on showing it to anyone who comes to the house (delivery men, builders, plumbers, etc). But he's only 3, so I can still declutter things away without consultation - may be more difficult with older ones.

I read on a forum ages ago a woman who had 5 kids sharing 1 room. She said that in their house everyone's bed was sacred and you were not allowed to touch anyone elses bed or anything on the bed without the owners permission. It was each child's personal space and toys they didn't want to share, etc went on the bed (I think they were beds with storage). She said it worked well for them and I've often thought that if/when mine start sharing a room I would also implement this as each then has private space as well as the benefits of room sharing. Having said that, given DS1's sleeping we may never get to a point where ours can share from a practical getting enough sleep standpoint. grin

MinimalistMommi Thu 31-Jan-13 09:15:04

Hello Pixie!

I'm enjoying the talk of shared bedroom spaces, I'm taking all the tips on board. thanks

Today I'm focusing on washing as I'm not sure how quick DH will get washing machine plumbed in. I am planning on looking out for stuff to declutter while I'm getting through lots of washing and drying (bedding, clothes, etc)

MinimalistMommi Thu 31-Jan-13 09:15:59

harriet I think your experiment sounds like a really good idea. Let us know how you all get on.

harrietspy Thu 31-Jan-13 10:54:34

Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement re the boys' sharing & keeping their stuff to a minimum.

I craved private space when I shared a room with my sister so I want to make sure I build that in for the boys, especially for ds1 (he's 10). It is a big bedroom, so hopefully that shouldn't be too hard. I love room planning a bit too much. smile

MinimalistMommi Thu 31-Jan-13 11:02:01

Just been packing my foodstuff's up and seriously thinking about not doing the buy two and save X amount. I don't think it's worth it to me to store the extra dried goods when we will have a small kitchen.

Morning all! I love reading this thread, you guys are such an inspiration. Love what you wrote about letting stuff "move THROUGH" our lives wendybird77 - I totally agree. It's about flow, just letting everything move forward, letting go of the past. Has anyone ready this week's post on Slow Your Home about Legacy? I thought it was one of the best I've read in ages, really thought-provoking.

Really interesting to read about bedroom planning - DS is an only, but because we've been thinking about decor for our new flat and doing lots of moodboards, I've come across some gorgeous photos of shared kids bedrooms - try here

DS is pretty good about decluttering his own stuff. When we do a car boot sale we bring two fold out tables - one trestle for us to sell our stuff and a small table for DS to sell his. He has a bum bag for his change and he's quite the little salesman smile The money he gets for his stuff he can keep and he usually chooses to spend it on one 'nice' thing instead of the piles of tat that he sold. The process has made him quite relaxed about stuff going. The only thing I have to be a bit sneaky about are his paintings and 'craft projects' (ie a few cereal boxes sellotaped together...).

So my progress this week - gave my old computer to my niece who was totally made up. I got a new one for birthday/christmas combined, but it's taken me this long to transfer my files over. I also took back some computer equipment that my work had leant to me that I wasn't using any more. IT were saying 'But you can keep it to the end of your contract! You don't have to return it now.' But I did, I really did, it was so bulky and cluttering up my desk. They thought I was mad not to keep something valuable for as long as I could. I probably am. grin I also took a pile of blank or almost unused notebooks that I seem to acquire all the time and left them in the stationery cupboard at the place I'm freelancing at the moment. One of my colleagues came in and said 'Ooh, there are AMAZING notebooks in the cupboard', and they all went over and grabbed them. I didn't tell anyone they were my old ones grin They all seemed so happy about it. I've just thrown a pile of free magazines and newspapers into the recycling, and put a few glossy magazines out to give to my sister. I think we'll have another mini-blitz this weekend.

But I struggled with my DPs this week. We're giving up our car. DPs originally gave it to us, so we offered to return it to them, or give them the money from selling it. They ummed and ached for months (meaning we've been paying parking, tax and insurance while they made their mind up which in central London is no small beer). Then mum sent me an e-mail saying 'Dad and I have talked and feel really sorry for you giving up the car, so we'll keep it for you at our home'. I said that they are welcome of course to have it - but that they would own it, not us. It would be parked 200 miles from us, so we didn't want to keep paying to tax and insure it, and we wouldn't be using it again. They ummed and ahhed some more and said:

'okay then, we'll pay to tax and insure it and park it and you can keep it at yours'.
I said 'No, we don't want to keep it so please don't tax and insure it just on our account. We're happy to let it go. If you want it, please have it. Otherwise we'll sell it. We can give you the money.'
Mum said: 'Well you can keep it at ours, and we'll pay to tax and insure it, and you can have it back when you want it.'. ... And then Mum said 'There, that's the best offer you'll get this week isn't it!' and was expecting me to be happy.

I felt a bit frustrated. We don't want to own it. We want to get rid. It wouldn't be right for us to sell it, because it was theirs and they want us to return it. But this idea that 'oh, we're keeping it for you'. It's intended to be kind, but it drives me slightly nuts. Because they're keeping something that we have no use for, doing us a favour that isn't actually a favour IYSWIM?

Wow that was a bit of an essay! But I think you guys will understand the frustration in a way that others might not?

harrietspy Thu 31-Jan-13 12:03:16

bec that does sound incredibly frustrating. It sounds like your dp are trying so hard to be thoughtful but not understanding the underlying point...

And on a much more trivial matter, I've started emptying a fabulously cheering box housing (amongst all sorts of other stuff) a scrapbook I kept in my teens about an actor/director I was obsessed with, and my Paul Young scrapbook, with Live Aid supplement. This stuff is 30 years old. It's really made me smile, but it's passing through...

Great idea re car boot and letting ds have own little stall. He'd be really up for that, I'm sure.

MinimalistMommi Thu 31-Jan-13 14:07:28

bec it seems like they're really not understanding you and not hearing what you're saying.

Thanks harrietspy and MinimalistMommi - I need to call the DPs later today to confirm when we're bringing the car up to them. I need to just reiterate that we'll bring the documents up to transfer ownership to them, and that they will be free to sell it, give it to someone else or whatever they want. That it will no longer be ours. But I want to stay calm and cheerful throughout. I find it very difficult to deal with not being heard. Ishoos....

Stuff isn't just stuff, is it? When people talk about 'emotional baggage', well sometimes the emotional baggage comes in the form of... actual baggage full of unwanted stuff!

sommewhereelse Thu 31-Jan-13 14:34:05

Isn't there anyone they know who could benefit from the car? Maybe someone who struggles to get to work or to find work because of transport issues. They have a chance to really make a difference to someone's life.

When my Mum died we gave her car to her cleaner who was really grateful despite the fact that the sunroof leaked. IIRC she could fit in more hours and still be on time for school pick up.

Oh you're so right sommewhereelse! I have said this to them... The trouble is they don't want DH and I to give the car up. I think they'd be okay if we were trading it in for a fancy new car, but us returning a gift without having something more expensive to replace it upsets them. It's very difficult to not accept things from them - they're always phoning me up saying they've seen something and do I want them to buy it for me? And when I say 'no thanks' it's like I've said 'I don't want your love' - they get all silent and 'okay. fine. whatever.'.

They also had a bit of a flip-out about us moving out of this flat into our new one - they kept phoning every day, several times on one particular day, and offering money for us to stay where we were or move to a property that they'd feel better about (but not enough money to cover our costs). I do love them dearly but they drive me nuts! In fact my minimalist journey probably has a hint of post-teenage rebelliousness about it!

harrietspy Thu 31-Jan-13 18:13:33

DS1 is interested in the fewer-toys experiment. smile

I'm proposing that they have Lego, a tub of little soldiers, Playmobil, Match Attax cards and books in their room.

That may not sound like much but we have huge quantities of Lego, mostly sorted by colour (blush) and in different sizes of container (so not nicely stacking), so it does take up a lot of space. But I've just realised I can swap some of the boxes from the stored toys for the Lego and they will then stack. smile

I realised today that if I'm at home I find it really hard to work at the moment. I keep getting distracted by stuff. (Getting rid of stuff, but still obsessing over stuff). SO not the point. I think I need to start getting myself down to the library instead...

Bec star that sounds so frustrating I can't I imagine. Argh, the potential for either upsetting loved ones or being angled into a situation you don't want!

Wendy, my four share a room, it's surprisingly hassle free! Not saying it will be like that when they are teenagers though...

Harriet, I had dd1 when I was doing my first degree and had cast iron rule that work stayed at uni and I spent eight til six in the library give five days per week, do know exactly what you mean!

wendybird77 Thu 31-Jan-13 20:02:00

Becstar - How utterly frustrating! And slightly intrusive. I think I would also be annoyed about a 'gift' that had so many strings - like you can't sell it and keep the money without consulting them. Somehow they need to get something back - either the car or the money. In which case, it wasn't really a gift was it?

My mum can be a bit like this, though she has gotten much better. She does write on any books she sends for the kids 'Love Granny and Grandpa' in big letters so that it is very clear who the book is from. My mum is one who needs credit and recognition for everything, I think that is why she just can't give stuff to charity - no glory in it. If she gives stuff to people she knows then she gets gratitude. I suppose my attitude towards stuff has more than a bit of rebellion in it as well grin.

Harriet - I am a real nester and have a very hard time doing anything if the house is a mess. I need an organised and clear area to get any written work done. I have also been using decluttering as a very good procrastination tool whilst avoiding my taxes.

Pinch, punch first of the month!

Off to the charity shop I go this morning with 3x bags of 'stuff'.

Using up 1 bottle/pot of body lotion/cologne/face cream at a time, throwing it away when empty then moving on to the next. Gradually my bathroom cabinet is decluttering itself. Very satisfying.

Also chucked out a load of ugly, dated costume jewellery yesterday, plus some "memories" that no longer meant anything! smile

MinimalistMommi Fri 01-Feb-13 08:39:15

Silent I would love to hear about your room set up with four sharing, I love hearing/seeing pics of stuff like that! Are they in two lots of bunks?

wendybird77 Fri 01-Feb-13 09:05:28

Minimalistmommi - Have you seen the story about a family in California (I think) who literally produces no waste? They take their own containers to the whole foods store, recycle and compost everything. She has a very minimalist house and only 1 basket of toys for her kids. I'll see if I can dig it up. I think that is too far for me, but was really interesting to read about.

wendybird77 Fri 01-Feb-13 09:07:16

Looking forward to checking out that nk wendy, on mobile at mo.

Mm, two are in bunks, dd3 is 3 and I'm not happy with her in a bunk yet so shes in a single, but we had our bunks made to order so another can be slotted om top iyswim? Dd4 still in cot at present, but will be purchasing new no bed soon I expect. It helps that we have very old house with large victorian rooms, we'd never manage that in a new build.

IWipeArses Fri 01-Feb-13 10:51:15

Antoinette,that foundation looks lovely, I'll give it a try.

wendy,nice link, compostable toothbrushes! Brilliant.

Ooh, good link wendybird77, I like the look of their house. I wonder if there's any dry goods stores like that near us to avoid buying packaging. I haven't seen any...

Thanks all for your understanding about my DPs - I feel so much better just getting off my chest to people who can relate and understand why it annoyed me!

I spent far too long faffing about on MN yesterday so I've resolved not to come on here for the next week. I've got a project I really want to finish and I find MN so addictive! I'm better at going cold turkey than I am at limiting myself. I emphathise with your 'library rule' SilentMammoth and your distraction at home harriet - that's exactly what happened to me yesterday. But this morning I went off to a cafe without an internet connection and blitzed through yesterday's work. I need to do the same through next week I think.

Then the week after that I'm going back to the office where I've been freelancing a lot recently... And in that office I have The Inbox of Doom. Over 2,500 unfiled e-mail messages when I left on Tuesday to do my current project, 300 of them unread. By the time I return to the office it's going to be 3,000 messages. I'm covering sick leave for someone who I think is actually off sick with exhaustion due to her work load! I've arranged to hand over half of her responsibilities to someone, and I've got a strategy to clear the in-box to empty (or to just that day's email anyway) by March. It really is virtual clutter. Just opening Outlook makes me feel slightly nauseous!

Hmmm--Went into Wlikinsons to buy one thing today but at a time when I was feeling tired, hugry and low - came out with 5 things - all stuff I want need but even so!

I want to get back to de-cluttering but real life and work keep getting in the way!

issimma Fri 01-Feb-13 18:45:57

arti wilko's is one of those shops that's hard to leave without a bucket of pic n mix few things! Blips are allowed anyway, especially at the weekend grin.

charity shop collected bin bag of clothes, box of books, carrier of dvds and carrier of kitchen stuff. I'd struggle to name more than 5 things that have gone. Ridiculous. Also registered for nct sale to shift baby clothes.

I'm still winning with my "in vs out" list though not by as much as I would have liked!

sommewhereelse Fri 01-Feb-13 19:55:24

Are you keeping an actual list or is it just in your head?

I'm keeping an actual list for the moment. I'm not sure why. I just feel like it!

sommewhereelse Fri 01-Feb-13 21:03:38

It's a good way of keeping track :-)

I might try it for the month of Feb. Not counting food.

I'm not counting any "consumables" eg food, loo roll, toothpaste! Or any items I buy for work ( most of which are consumables anyway)

blossombath Fri 01-Feb-13 22:40:09

Hello all, good to read you are still going strong. Lovely to see you again mm, I was wondering where you were, had forgotten about the move. I only have one DC but love the idea of DC sharing. I have quite a bit gap between me and next Dsibling so was a bit like an only and I always wanted a sibling my age to share with. You have inspired me to think seriously about whether we would 'upsize' if we have more DC, or stick with what we have and try to pay off mortgage sooner. I love the idea you spoke about way back on the other thread, of having more money for holidays and experiences because you have chosen a small house.

bec iirc you're off to the DP this weekend, hope you can remain cheery and calm yet firm about the car.

I am feeling a bit stuck. My to do list today had an entry: "Clear ANYTHING out" as I just need to get things going again, get some momentum. So I have cleared a small box of random papers, some thrown out; some scanned; some waiting for tomorrow to be filed in nursery/spare room where we keep folders for statements etc. Feeling a bit more positive but I think the real issue is that I need to do something about clothes...back at work after mat leave and bit annoyed with lack of nice clothes which are suitable for pumping milk in lunch hour. Don't want to buy new without first sorting through wardrobe but I am AWFUL at throwing clothes out. It seems such a big job, the fear of it is paralysing me. Any advice or inspiring words?

blossombath Fri 01-Feb-13 22:47:06

Oh, and can you freecycle booze? (not vodka, obviously, that's all moved into my cleaning supplies area....)

blossombath Fri 01-Feb-13 22:50:21

And wow wendy that family is amazing - going to be reading that blog in my allocated blog time this week and when my self control fails me all the time. Not completely sure on the uber minimal all white decor though, bet the kids grow up to have super cluttered kitsch mansions.

harrietspy Fri 01-Feb-13 22:51:53

blossom I don't know if this would work for you, but I too was reluctant to throw things out unless I loathed them or they just didn't look right. (Much as I'd love to start a new wardrobe from scratch, I don't have the money for anything non-essential right now). I'm finding the suitcase thing to be a useful transition. (I kept out a few items, then filled a suitcase with clothes that I thought I could do without & then put the suitcase away). I'm really thinking about what works/what I like as a result. Not very inspiring but might be a possibility?

blossombath Fri 01-Feb-13 23:04:36

Yes harriet I think something like that is what I'll end up doing - already do something similar with wrong season/notsure clothes folded into drawers and boxes. But maybe I'll try to vac pac all but a 33 items and shove em under the bed...
then I could see how I go with a few items. Problem is, I've done similar before and even if something has been in a box for a year and I've not missed it I still find it hard to throw out, just in case I one day do miss it and would kick myself at having to rebuy it.

sommewhereelse Sat 02-Feb-13 04:17:49

How about forcing yourself to wear those 'suitcase items' out and about? If you really can't do it, it has to go?
I have a top I never wore but couldn't part with and I've realised this week is that it isn't warm enough for this season and the colour doesn't go with what I wear in the warm weather.
But I've realised I have the ideal item to layer it with and had a genuine 'New top?' 'What this old thing?' conversation with DH grin
For everything else I've put on since I started doing this, I've been reminded why it always lingers in the drawer and has been put in the 'give away' bag.

I like the idea of 'forcing' yourself to wear items that you feel scared to actually ditch, sommewhereelse.

Despite taking stuff to charity shop yesterday ( including a beautiful cardy, £45, never even worn, don't know what I was thinking when i bought it, it was SO not me! ) I'm still niggled by things in my wardrobe. it's guilt that makes you hang on to things, I think. But every time you see that unloved item hanging there you feel guilty again so may as well just let go ( and let somebody else enjoy it ).

I'm also doing one in, one out on the wardrobe front. Binned 2 x pairs jeggings that had bagged at the knees/waist yesterday & bought 2 x smart new pairs.

Just had a minor revelation. At least 2 of the unworn items I donated yesterday ( including THAT cardy ) were things I bought when shopping with friends: "no, get it! It really suits you! Makes a change from your usual dull monochrome look!".

Mental note - do not buy clothes when out with friends!

For sorting out clothes, I found it helpful to start small. So I started by going through my sock draw and getting rid of solo socks, those with holes, tights with ladders or that had gone bobbly etc. Then I moved to my underwear and threw out everything that didn't fit (a surprising amount-but I guess pregnancy/the post natal period does that to you!). Then I did my pyjamas (does anyone need 14 options? Nope, me either. Not sure why I ever thought I did) and sport stuff so by the time I got onto my wardrobe proper I was on a roll and if felt much easier to donate beautiful ball gowns that I knew I'd never wear again but had held onto for 10 years just in case!

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 09:41:56

Do check out the putting myself together blog. It shoes how to accessorise things you're not wearing much.

notcitrus Sat 02-Feb-13 09:42:41

Lots of underlay and some other items put on Freecycle today.
Have another large bag of baby clothes to go on Freecycle (mostly the stuff that charity shops can't sell with little stains or holes or just looking worn, but gets snapped up on Freecycle by foster carers, HVs or just parents). So that's all the 9-12 months gone and I'm getting rid of about half the 12-18mo clothes that have been handed down to me - dd doesn't need more than 6 pairs of trousers! Actually I got rid of lots as soon as they were given to me, but now I can judge her size and the season a lot better.

We're now down to one niece handing down clothes, so that will reduce the influx to sensible quantities.

Ds's bedroom is in the middle of having cupboards for toys and games built in, and will be big enough to play in, dd will have ds's old boxroom, so that can have toys in, and most of the toys can be removed from downstairs. THough next step is moving everything in the kitchen into the dining room (including appliances...) while the kitchen is knocked down and rebuilt, so the house is only going to be more crowded for a while.

notcitrus Sat 02-Feb-13 09:49:01

Neighbour tried to encourage me the other day by saying as the kids get older, the toys get a lot more expensive but at least they take up a lot less space. Do people find that's true?

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 10:01:33

I think it is true because they go out a lot!

notcitrus the toys get smaller, but no they do not necessarily get more expensive. DD is now eight and her favourite toys are Moshi Monsters. She has about 15 but they all get swapped with friends. She has a couple of plastic houses and zoos for them.

But friends of hers have 50 to 100, they have the accessories, other board games, lots of unread books, iPods and so on. The same principle applies - they only play with a fixed amount so they can have less or you put the excess away.

This week real life has been a bit intrusive - stress at work, applying for a new job and DD's birthday party so minmalism and decluttering have taken a back seat. But DP is still selling records and CDs every day, I'm finding it easier to get rid of things straight away (no, it really won't come in useful) and we have nearly £1,100 in our Paypal account. The house also only takes ten minutes to tidy now which is great.

pixiestix Sat 02-Feb-13 13:20:43

£1100! shock Thats phenomenal Queen!

But like issimma, I would struggle to name more than five or ten things that have left. Our holiday in Spain this summer is looking better all the time!

Ok - so I would like your opinions! I'm not sure I'm totally getting the hand of this decluttering lark! This afternoon I dropped off a bag of stuff at the charity shop and went to do an Aldi shop. Several unscheduled items got bought. I present the evidence!
Item 1. brown vest top from charity shop £3.00
Item 2. 2 energy saving GU10 bulbs ( at about £3.50 each - an Aldi special)
Item 3. a bottle of sticky stuff remover ( Another Aldi special at £3.99)
Item 4. a chocolate covered marzipan log (reduced in Aldi)

So am I completely off the programme or given the following:
a) the top was a Lakeland one so v good quality, in good condition and will go under lots of other tops I already have,
b) the energy saving bulbs mean a difference between 50 watts and 11 watts in my kitchen and bathroom light fittings. I have plenty of replacement bulbs but only 50 watt ones.
c) I had a bottle of sticky stuff remover years ago and found it very useful but have managed without it for years .
d) the chocolate marzipan log has already been decluttered grin
are these acceptable purchases for an aspiring de-clutterer?

My current in/out score stands at 23 items out / 7 items in ( not counting the bulbs or the chocolate as they are "consumables/consumedables" )

Your verdict ladies ( and gentlemen if there are any) of the jury!

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 19:07:34

I think you have lapsed but as you have decluttered the chocolate log we will let you off. wink

Thank you Boffinmum! I'm aiming not to buy too many things - I'm certainly thinking about it all a bit more and I'm enjoying my less cluttered bedroom - which is where I have concentrated most of my efforts so far. I'm not aiming to be a proper minimalist as i do like to have weird eclectic bits and pieces around but there is a lot of stuff I can get rid of!

sommewhereelse Sat 02-Feb-13 19:32:32

We use window cleaner to remove sticky stuff.

I expect I could use vodka too wink . Should have remembered that in Aldi and bought vodka instead!

wendybird77 Sat 02-Feb-13 19:49:40

Educating - So are you going to freecycle the other bulbs? If so, then I think reasonable purchases. If you keep all the bulbs you have fallen off the wagon and must get back on! grin

I have spent ALL DAY painting the play room / conservatory today. In a bit of a rage at the state of it this morning I managed to find some more things to declutter (fucking cars, they are everywhere and seem to breed). DH took one out of the last charity bag as it is good quality. DS doesn't actually play with it though, so I've stuck it back in a secret charity bag and no one will ever notice it is gone. Anyway, I'm pleased with the work - just some touching up tomorrow (hopefully) and that room will be done. We've a new cabinet being built this week and going in next - so that will mean I can tidy the games away, which will reduce visual clutter in there.

DH is meant to be listing our dining room table and chairs on his work advertising board - we are giving the thing away. It came, explicitly unwanted, on a lorry with other stuff from DH's parents when they moved this summer. Cost us an extra £60 shipping and I was very clear I DID NOT WANT IT. Anyway. I need the space for general storage at the moment, stuff for the kitchen / bathrooms is starting to arrive and we to store it in the dining room. Also will be trying to freecycle old appliances and bathroom suites (one a lovely blue 70's classic!).

So my plan is to finish the playroom and then get the upstairs cupboard cleared out by the end of the week.

I'm having problems with freegle at the moment. I keep listing things and it says they have gone for moderation and will be listed but then they don't appear on any of the digest lists. I don't know what is going on! And don't want to spend lots of times messing!

pixiestix Sat 02-Feb-13 20:53:54

PMSL at the chocolate log being decluttered grin Thats my kind of tidying up.

Am working on a few charity shop bags for tomorrow and putting off the massive pile of paper clutter in my bedroom. That might be my Anti-Procrastination task for this week. I was feeling a bit down about the Basement of Doom but my bf came to visit this week and when she saw it she yelled "Oh my god, its got sides!! And a back wall!! Who knew??!" blush so I may have made some progress on it after all!

Pixie - I'm really good at that kind of decluttering! I'm thinking of offering it as a commercial decluttering service!

Fed up of chocolate all over the place?
Arti has many years experience of chocolate decluttering and offers a friendly and caring service! Prices on request.

Just been to check my light bulb box and I only have one of the old 50 watt type left and a 35 watt one. I thought I'd got a few more than that! The new energy saving ones will be put up immediately to replace ones that have died and I hadn't got round to replacing and I'll keep the 2 I have for when some more go! That doesn't feel like a too bad purchase after all!

It's made me look in my "general electrical crap items box though and I've identified 3 plugs, a plug in timer, and an old land-line phone to offer on freegle. Let's hope the messages get posted this time (wondering if I didn't do it right last time). I'm not sure anyone will want this stuff though so they may have to go in the bag of stuff to take to the tip!

BabCNesbitt Sun 03-Feb-13 01:27:22

Arti, if you ever need a partner in that service, I'm currently unemployed... happy to assist should you ever decide to expand Stateside!

I don't think that acquiring more stuff is necessarily un-minimalist. As long as it's stuff that you actually need and will actually use (within a reasonable time), then it's probably OK. And chocolate logs will always get used.

MM, you asked how our place is laid out - you enter the flat straight into the living room (where we also have a small dining table and a couple of chairs), there's a closet immediately to your left and a tiny bathroom on your right, and a small* kitchen just off the living room. Then there's a corridor down between the kitchen and the bathroom that leads to the bedroom, which is pretty much as big as the living room, kitchen and bathroom combined! It's kind of a daft layout, but it works for us!

*It's actually the same size as our old kitchen in London, and certainly bigger than a lot of Manhattan kitchens, but according to my Midwestern in-laws, it's tiny! grin

BabCNesbitt Sun 03-Feb-13 01:41:22

Sorry for the double-post, but on the subject of whether acquiring stuff is un-minimalist: I was reading The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno a couple of weeks ago, and really hated it. REALLY. In principle it ought to have been right up my street: describing how he came to the decision to downsize his things, and how he went about it. But because he was obsessing about the 100 things gimmick challenge, he spent half the book explaining why he picked that number, what it didn't include (nothing that he and his wife co-owned? Well, that's nice and easy!) and why he wasn't really breaking his rules when he went out and bought something new after all. (Seriously - he spent about six pages explaining why he bought something at the mall on Black Friday!) So much self-justification, ugh!

Anyway, I think that as long as you can usually keep in mind why you're reducing, and what you ultimately want your life to look like, then you don't need to stress too much about bringing the very occasional thing in here or there. Balance, innit. smile

pixiestix Sun 03-Feb-13 08:12:14

I haven't read the book Bab but I've scanned the website. I liked the idea of the 100 Things but I couldn't get to the heart of the website and get a sense of him. Its seemed quite hard to navigate. What I did get from it though - and loved - was his realisation that actually, if at the end of the process, you are still fixated on the number 100 then you have missed the point, because you are still obsessing about "stuff" and thinking about it way too much. As you work your way down to that figure you naturally work out how much/ little you need and the number itself becomes irrelevant. So at the end you have no idea how many things you own - but you know that you don't own too many! That struck a chord with me - that you can be just as obsessed with material goods if you have 100 things as if you have 10000. A trap for all us would-be-minimalists to avoid!

BoffinMum Sun 03-Feb-13 08:34:18

I think there's something in that. Another way of looking at it is the William Morris 'have nothing in your house that is not beautiful or useful', which encourages more mindfulness in relation to acquiring objects. That is what matters here - mindfulness, choosing quality objects, that bring you joy or assist your everyday life.

Banderchang Sun 03-Feb-13 14:41:07

I need some inspiration. In tidying the spare room wardrobe I have located 4 (yes, 4) bags of new balls of wool. None of us knits.

Is there any reason why I might suddenly need wool, or should I get rid? And, if get rid, where to?

To meeeeeee! I love knitting.

But no, in all seriousness, any charity shop would be glad of them I expect. Or, lean to knit!

That would be leaRn...

hobnob57 Sun 03-Feb-13 15:08:50

I've just taken up crochet and am currently acquiring wool as fast as I declutter blush. Yes, any crafty type would be over the moon to find it in a charity shop.

Banderchang Sun 03-Feb-13 15:57:44

OK, maybe I'll charity-shop it then, thanks smile Antionette I can knit, I just don't seem to have/make the time. And this isn't very pretty wool. I can't think where it came from but we have obviously bothered to bring it when we moved house!

Banderchang Sun 03-Feb-13 15:57:57

Sorry Antoinette

I have come on here to get some inspiration to get going this afternoon. So far I've been to church, come home and had a snack lunch and slept for a couple of hours! (Think I needed the sleep). Since then I've emptied the top layer of the dishwasher, made a cup of tea, put one item in a new charity shop bag and booted up the computer!
<goes off muttering to self, "I will not spend all evening on the computer. I will not spend all evening on the computer...">

summerglory Sun 03-Feb-13 16:41:17

Love this thread!

I'm breastfeeding but desperate to give my wardrobe a real cull, my ds is 11wks old so I can't really get rid of any of my clothes (I'm a stone heavier at the mo than my pre pg weight) as I'm at that in between stage sigh.

I am decluttering my toiletries & cleaning products which is giving me great satisfaction, I'm no longer saving my best toiletry products for special occasions but instead using them everyday & feeling (& smelling) so much better for it. Don't know why I haven't done it before!!

The cleaning products that I've been hoarding under my sink I'm slowly using up & refusing to buy any more til I've run out.

They r just little things but make me feel so much better.

Nishky Sun 03-Feb-13 18:00:09

Ooh - great thread. I was on a thread before Christmas and made progress but then slipped so need to get back on track.

Welcome, Nishky!

Well, like summer I've decluttered my spare toiletry box (theres only so many bars of dove soap a girl needs, nine perhaps surpasses this), but am most proud of the fact we've eaten up the chest freezer. Well, the contents anyway. Have switched it off pending filing again when I finally go on maternity leave, officially scheduled for three weeks time but I might see if I can start earlier as am exhausted.

Arti, need to copy you and have constant charity shop bag on go, rather than have stuff tumbling round my car.

hobnob57 Sun 03-Feb-13 20:07:10

Most of my maternity clothes sold last night, and our local Facebook selling site is working well for non-clothes items at the moment grin
I now have a permanent eBay/charity bag. It's so permanent I'm wondering if I should replace it with something prettier. But that would probably take up more space...
I've still to attack my toiletries but they are next on the list.

LemonBreeland Sun 03-Feb-13 20:33:31

Hello all. I've just been having a mammoth catch up on how everyone is doing. I've not been on in over a week as was ill last weekend then had a crazy week at work.

My decluttiering had really got lost, and as someone said upthread (sorry so many pages to catch up I can't remember who) I would have lost the will altogether if it hadn't been for this thread.

Last weekend I had great plans to sort the cupboard under the stairs but was laid up with a stomach bug.

Fortunately in the last few days I have got back on track. My friend came and took some books for his DC, the leftovers will go to charity shop tomorrow. I took 3 big bags to charity on Friday and today we sorted out the cupboard of doom. DH is leeting go of his rowing machine (never used). I have listed that and a couple of other things on the local FB site. Including an ironing board that hassold straight away.

We laso took a coupel of large bags to the dump today from the cupboard. It looks amazingly tidy and spacious now. I feel a weight has been lifted.

It also gives me the impetus to continue. Sorry for mammoth post.

LemonBreeland Sun 03-Feb-13 20:46:23

Forgot I also sorted DD's clothes and listed a couple of Boden itmes on Ebay that have been hanging around for ages. Can't be bothered with Ebay most of the time but Boden sells well so should make some decent money.

notcitrus Sun 03-Feb-13 21:42:49

For once, Freecycle worked a treat - all the underlay and everything else taken within 36 hours of listing! Only had to reoffer one item. You can see my front porch again. smile

The thing with that William Morris quote is 'know to be useful', which has to be fought with 'would only be useful if...' I'm trying to think about how bad the consequences of not having a widget could be - so not having some article in some magazine, probably OK. But as MrNC will remind me for the rest of his life, having some plumbing olives (priced in old currency!) saved us a few thousand quid the time we came home at 3am over Easter to find the hall inches deep in black water.

Time to list more stuff on Ebay and other selling forums. Bye-bye breast pump!

harrietspy Sun 03-Feb-13 21:48:52

Hello all!

So the great room swap has begun in readiness for our lodger's arrival in March and, thanks to a neighbour who helped me shift beds and wardrobes, the boys are now sharing a frankly GLORIOUS room. I deliberately only put back in a fraction of what came out of their separate rooms and it's so calm but cheerful in there. It's not minimalist but it isn't cluttered. Ds1 asked about when we're going to do a car boot today, so he's still on board with the experiment. smile I have no idea how the sharing will work - my boys are so different and have a very volatile relationship, but today they talked and played loads in their new room. It'll be interesting to see how room sharing will affect them. When we empty the garage we'll get our old bunk beds back - which means 2 sets of bunks. (Hardly minimalist I know but we often have a gang of cousins come to stay so they'll definitely get used). I plan to make the bottom bunks into dens so that the boys can each have their own private quiet space.

Of course the spare room is now full of toys that didn't go back in their room and with all the room rejiggery I have tonnes of things to find places for - eg spare duvets & summer clothes, but I'm relishing the challenge. I also have 6 huge boxes of stuff to sell or give away and these are currently in the lodger's room, so they absolutely have to go.

I have loads of work on this month too so I'm hoping that I can be super-efficient and get all the house stuff done without compromising my work. I'm sure this thread will help, though - it's so encouraging to read what everyone else is up to! smile

sommewhereelse Mon 04-Feb-13 05:16:52

It's been dry here most of the weekend. I have been outside scraping moss off the patio and drive. (The house was empty for over a year before we moved in.) It's tedious but I find jobs like that strangely restful. I think it's because it's useful but I can let my mind wander. Making decisions about which stuff to get rid of can be quite hard work especially with 'memories' and 'gifts'.

I did deliver my charity shop box on Saturday and have started a new one as I occasionnally come across an item to go in it. I seem to be seeing the house contents with new eyes.

Mum2Fergus Mon 04-Feb-13 08:20:16

Marking place for later!

Anyone know any we buy books voucher codes at the mo?

MrsPennyapple Mon 04-Feb-13 09:59:50

sommewehereelse I like jobs like that too, they are a form of meditation for me, you are only using the bare minimum amount of your brain which leaves the rest free to wander. I think that's why I enjoy crafts like weaving and spinning too, it doesn't take much brain power, yet it's productive and creative. I have some of my best ideas when doing jobs like those.

summerglory I'm in a similar place with my clothes. I am 14 wks pg, and there are things lurking in my wardrobe that I would dearly love to get rid of, but I know that in a few weeks / months I'll need them. Some of it is maternity stuff that I'm not using yet, but will be soon, but there are also things like t-shirts that normally are a bit too big, but are ok for bf.

I took a few more books to the amenity site yesterday, and a couple of weird brass ornaments that the dealer threw in when we bought DD's toy chest. I've been re-arranging my bookcase, the tallest books were all on the bottom shelf, down the side of DP's chair and therefore hard to reach. So I moved the shelves and found that I still couldn't fit them how I wanted them, and then realised that the tallest books were ones I hardly use any more, so I got rid. Now everything fits, and I can actually reach the books I use most.

I also have a charity shop bag permanently on the go. I'm struggling with a few ornaments though, given to me by people I really care about. (My favourite is an handmade blown-glass elephant, about the size of a frozen pea!) I don't want to get rid but I don't want to keep dusting them either. (Well, to be fair, I don't dust them.) I wonder if I should box them up in some kind of memory box. I know they'll still be taking up space but if they are boxed up and put away somewhere, it will make the place look tidier and it'll be easier to clean. I suppose a pea-sized elephant doesn't take up much room, does it?

sommewhereelse Mon 04-Feb-13 10:13:58

I have a few tiny bits like that which were gifts from my late mum. But I've stopped seeing them on the shelves through habit so they only remind me of her when I occasionally dust. It's not a great association, particularly because I wonder what she would think of the quantity of dust. I need to put them somewhere where I can remember her other qualities.

I read somewhere (perhaps on previous thread) about putting photos or kids drawing in books so they are protected and it's a pleasant surprise when you come across them. I need a place like that, only where things which aren't flat can go. Let me know if you get any great ideas....

"I plan to make the bottom bunks into dens so that the boys can each have their own private quiet space."
Harriet - a fab idea - I would have loved this as a child - although I don't think I would have loved sharing a room with my sister!

Mrs P and somewhere - I actually have a small set of shelves in my hall that I have filled with a random eclectic mix of all kinds of things from a really tiny wooden "dutch" doll that fits into a carved acorn to a couple of really nice handmade mugs and an old wooden cotton reel. I have it at my eye level so I do notice the stuff and the bottom shelves are really quite small so the tiniest things go in there. It does need dusting (but doesn't get dusted that often) and I love it. See I told you there was no way I would make a proper minimalist!

I tried using some perfume ( a gift) yesterday that I like the smell of but hadn't used for ages. I have decided that it makes me sneezy and snuffly so that is going out today!

You could use a deep box frame to mount and display some precious things box frame You can put coloured paper or nice wrapping/scrap book paper on the back rather than leaving it white if you wanted!

wendybird77 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:00:26

Ha ha! I was feeling very smug and useful when reading about the pea-sized elephant, thinking 'I know just what to do with that.' Then I got to Arti's post and she'd beat me to it. So I second, box frame!

I've been very productive this morning - getting through laundry, made some phone calls, got some house stuff ordered and MOVED THE GIANT TRAIN SET. DH never did look at it decide where to put it, but I know he'll get the hump if I charity shop it, so it has gone to live under the bed in the annex until such a time that I know he's forgotten or until such a time that DS needs another train set with a million tiny pieces AND the box of accessories. At least I don't have to look at it or keep moving it around out of the way. I also managed to declutter a few things and put some things to use. like a doormat that I haven't been able to get to for all the stuff piled on top of it.

I confess I'm starting to feel overwhelmed with all the stuff coming into the house. I have been trying to combat it by labeling everything so that it should be easy to find when it is needed. I don't have a clue where I am going to store the bathtub or 20 boxes of tiles. I just keep reminding myself that it is short term and it will all be lovely when it is done goes to rock in a corner.

MrsPennyapple Mon 04-Feb-13 11:23:44

Thanks for the suggestions re: box frames. As it happens, I did buy one from a charity shop, one of those with multiple tiny squares that are all full of lentils & shit, I tipped all the stuff out, intending to fill it with pretty sewing things as a gift for my sewing friend, but it turned out the squares were too small and I couldn't do that. I wonder if I could remove some of the inner panels to make some of the squares into rectangles, and then fill it with my own tiny ornaments? Hmmm. The thing is, I've an idea I decluttered it into the bin after the sewing thing didn't work. I'll have to check.

pixiestix Mon 04-Feb-13 11:35:01

Just taken 34 items to the charity shop so I am doing my happy dance! grin

Trying not to be cross with DH for blowing my "no spend day" by spending a tenner on chocolate and smoothies. We are on our arse ends this month because we are going away for a weekend we really can't afford, and there is no room in the budget for treats or snacks or any kind of frivolity if we are going to have any spending money at all angry

MrsPennyapple Mon 04-Feb-13 12:04:48

I binned the frame sad. I think it's great that people say they've never regretted getting rid of any of the things they've decluttered, but I'm afraid it has happened to me plenty of times. I keep something for ages, then decide to be sensible and get rid, and then I need it. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find something else suitable.

Oh pixie, my dh does that too! Argh! One of the ways I have dealt with this is by not allowing him a joint account card!

It's worked so far!

sommewhereelse Mon 04-Feb-13 12:51:03

That's frustrating Mrs PA.

The deep box frame wasn't the solution for me as I've realised I didn't notice those ornaments any more as they had become part of the scenery (except when dusting) and a box frame would be another dust gatherer.

So I've made space in a drawer where I kept love notes and home made jewellry from the kids so that all the sentimental bits and bobs are in the same place.

In the process I've found 6 euros in loose change :-)

But on the subject of deep box frames, a friend with 5 children has made a frame for each one containing a newborn baby grown, bootees, birth announcement card (they were always very creative) etc. They look great and it's a much better idea than having stuff stored in boxes. With the five frames it makes a big display that you can't fail to notice.

pixiestix Mon 04-Feb-13 13:35:10

How annoying MrsP. I think the only times that has ever happened with me (and its been hardly ever) I have consoled myself with the fact that if I had kept it I wouldn't have been able to find the bloody thing when I wanted it anyway!

Silent that is a good idea grin I like to be able to see what he is spending though - I don't trust him with his own account!!

Just had a moment when I stood back and realised just how much there is still to do. Its made me feel a bit sick. Because I have been working away quite slowly there has been no immediate transformation, and I'm getting used to how the flat looks without seeing the benefit iyswim sad I've also got my mum coming to stay next week and she is as neat as a pin. Nothing is ever out of place in her house and everything in it is useful or beautiful. Sickening! (She lives alone though - no spendthrift husband or grubby two year old to battle with!!)

HellonHeels Mon 04-Feb-13 13:57:33

Pixie get your mum to help you tiday and sort? Or is that asking for trouble?

ASk your mum to entertain the grubby two year old her grandchild while you get on with more de-cluttering?

hobnob57 Mon 04-Feb-13 14:18:59

Sometimes I wish someone would just come and do it all for me, or at least stand over me and say "keep" or "out". But I feel that may be missing the point grin

harrietspy Mon 04-Feb-13 15:06:04

Ok. All stuff to sell is in a tidy mountain of plastic boxes. I think I'm going to car boot it all in March unless I can find an eBay friend in RL to hold my hand through the process...

LemonBreeland Mon 04-Feb-13 15:36:11

pixie my Mum is also a neat freak. She has given up on commemting on the state of my house, to me at least. grin I am never going to care about perfect tidiness as much as her. She is good at helping with cleaning and stuff though.

hobnob I think having someone help you can be quit good. If you are prone to procrastination, as I sometimes am, a friend sees things with a fresh pair of eyes and can help you part with things. I had a great childhood friend who used to help me tidy my bedroom, and me hers. It made it less of a chore.

I have done a deep clean of my bedroom today and in the process I have several pairs of shoes for the charity shop. One pair I've never worn and was hanging onto them as it felt like such a waste of money to get rid of them. I finally realised that them sitting there never getting worn is just as much a waste of money.

My two ebay items have a couple of bids and loads of watchers so I should have a few more pounds next week. smile

pixiestix Mon 04-Feb-13 19:21:45

Me too Hobnob. I need a booming voice to say "Don't be so bloody stupid! BIN IT!" at crucial moments grin

My mum would probably be glad to help but I would feel weird on two counts. Firstly the utter shame of it, and secondly, its her holiday. What kind of a holiday is it, sorting through someone elses mouldering old crap? blush

issimma Mon 04-Feb-13 19:29:10

If anyone's local to me, I'd be happy to provide a BIN IT service grin. I'm v ruthless...

TrinityRhino Mon 04-Feb-13 19:52:40

evening all, can I come in and sit a while
I'm very scared of decluttering but absolutely determined to no longer live as I do

can I buy a label maker?

<whispers> I already have a laminater (sp)

TrinityRhino Mon 04-Feb-13 19:53:30

oooh where do you live issimma?
I have cake and cheese and lemonade

Marking place for when I get round to declutteringwink

I love decluttering other people's stuff! Much easier than doing my own. Happy to oblige if you are in the Bristol area.

I'm not sure if this is a turn in the right direction but we're now looking at moving the furniture around in our (very small) house. There's an armchair I've got my eye on on Gumtree to create a reading corner. I'm also back to longing for a chaise longue. As we haven't got rid of anything big, I can't decide if this is moving in the wrong direction as it's more stuff but it will make the house work better for the three of us.

sommewhereelse Mon 04-Feb-13 21:04:18

Thanks to piss-taking by stylish colleagues, DH has finally got round to sorting through his shirts and socks. He still has far too many IMO but there are less now and they all fit.

pixiestix Mon 04-Feb-13 21:59:02

Welcome Trin. We will whip you into shape in no time grin

I would looooooove a chaise longue Queen. We have the most uncomfortable sofa/ futon thing in the world, fondly known as "the park bench". Due to the ridiculous layout of our flat we cant get any decent sized pieces of furniture in.

harrietspy Mon 04-Feb-13 22:49:38

queen I think it's perfectly ok to get furniture that makes your space work better for your family!

Hello Trinity! I have a label maker. smile

Another pile of books ready (for this time because webuybooks didn't want em).

Good things are happening here. My friend had a spare ticket for Les Ballets Trockaderos at the weekend and I asked Sport if he was up to looking after the kids instead of assuming he couldn't. (He has a chronic health problem, and usually I use that as an excuse for not doing things). I had a great time and Sport & dc managed fine without me, of course...
I got a leaflet for adult beginner dance classes. (This becomes clutter if I don't actually go to a class, of course!)
I got my dad's acrylic paints out and ds2 and I both painted after school.
We danced around the kitchen to Dolly Parton and Queen after dinner. (Classy).

I think this is happening in part because I'm letting go of physical things that make me sad, guilty or dissatisfied and because I'm doing regular mindfulness practice for the 1st time ever. I feel like I'm making space, slowly, for living now instead of putting my life on hold till everything is in order.

This thread, at its best, feels like that scene in The Secret Garden when Mary first gets into the hidden garden and gets on her knees and starts to clear space around the green shoots...

notcitrus Mon 04-Feb-13 23:06:49

No real decluttering today, but filled a bin bag with wallpaper. Peeling off poorly-attached wallpaper is a real pleasure of mine. smile

So hoping to move dd's cotbed and all other stuff out of my room soon. Which should leave space for my possessions.

I'm giving myself until next Christmas to fit into pre-pregnancy clothes. Hoping giving up breastfeeding will make weight magically fall off, but suspect it may require also giving up biscuits. At least being back at work keeps me away from my home biscuit tin for the duration.

It's paper that keeps breeding round here despite my best efforts. MrNC is severely dyslexic so never throws any out in case it's important - so I find sneaky piles of junk mail mixed in with important papers. At some point I must tell various charities to stop mailing me bumf except for one annual confirmation of my donation, or I'll cancel.

thunksheadontable Mon 04-Feb-13 23:21:28

Fell off the thread again, why is that happening?

Sort of stalling on the initially amazing progress here. Officially we have started sorting the porch/hallway at the back of the house that functions as our "utility" area so there have been more dump trips but it feels as though progress is suddenly slow. There are a lot of boxes of stuff for selling in the front hallway and a number of boxes of old documents for shredding/sorting in our room so I don't exactly have the clean minimalist spaces I desire.

Harrietspy, talk to me about your mindfulness practice! This is how I came to all of this too. I have made a "mindfulness space" where I used to have a cubbyhole of doom... I wish I could link to the pics of before and after, it sort of exemplifies the whole process. I have been doing mindfulness for nearly a year now but I find regular formal practice very difficult to manage.

harrietspy Tue 05-Feb-13 07:08:14

thunks I'm doing an 8 week course (once a week) for stress. We all come together with a trainer once a week and are given 'homework': the 1st week's was doing a body scan every day (with a cd), this week we have to alternate body scan with a mindfulness of breathing exercise. We're also supposed to do a few 3 minute mindfulness practices every day but I find it harder to stop and do those than I do to make time for the 20-40 minute practice!

I've had Jon Kabat Zinn CDs for a couple of years but it's only with this course that I've done the practice every day. I'm finding that doing it with a group (even though the daily practice is on my own iyswim) is really encouraging. smile

BoffinMum Tue 05-Feb-13 09:20:25

Yo Trin!!! Welcome to the pleasure dome! You will love it once you get going!

TallulahTwinkle Tue 05-Feb-13 09:28:07

Marking my place. Lurked at the beginning of the year as have resolved to lead a simpler, more minimalist life but then we've all been ill so it's been on hold. However, feeling better now and can't wait to get started!

I live in a 4 bed room (but 4th really is a tiny box room) semi with my dh, ds (14), dd1 (9) and dd2(3). Every room is cluttered to a degree and paperwork out of control, as are clothes blush. Also books. And toys. And as for the garage and I have my work cut out!

Going to read whole thread later today for inspiration smile

LemonBreeland Tue 05-Feb-13 11:54:32

My shed of doom is being put off until nicer weather is upon us. grin DH also needs to help with that as there are lots of heavy items in there. Also most of it is his junk.

My ebay items have loads of watchers now. They are only small and not exactly taking up loads of space but if I get money for them then I will be more willing to let go of other clothing items for free.

My music magpie stuff has finally gone and I just need the snow to stop so I can get to the charity shop with another 4 bags of stuff.

Interested in mindfulness, will look into this more.

I'm studiously ignoring most of my cupboards of doom though the spare room of doom is slowly getting a bit more sorted! (very slowly).

Was hoping to get rid of a landline corded phone via freegle this morning but it looks like it may be a "no show"! angry. I need to be able to add something more to my "out" list!

Hello TrinityRhino - this is such a lovely thread, I'm a latecomer but have been made really welcome. Not remotely a quiche. More like an open buffet...

Oh harrietspy I should get back into my mindfulness practise. A teacher at school taught us all to meditate when we were 16 and going through GCSE stress (Dr. Gold if you are out there and reading this you were a WONDERFUL teacher). I find it hard to make the space for it these days - occasionally I'll do a walking meditation on my way to work. But I could do with more of it for certain. Thanks for making me think about that.

Sorry about the declutter-too-far MrsP but maybe it wouldn't have been exactly right anyway (she says hopefully, straws in hand!). I have had that slight pang of regret when I look for something and realise it's gone. But then I have to look around at our flat and think - 'but if I'd kept all my 'just in case' stuff, what would it look like in here?'

I had a lovely surprise at the weekend. I told DH that we really needed to set aside time to do the garage and he said 'I did it this week when I had those two days off work. It's all sorted - the only things left are the furniture we need to return to X and Y. We'll hire a van in a couple of weekends'. Done. The Garage of Doom is done and I didn't even have to get involved. What a hero.

So - there is one thing niggling me. We have three or four big plastic boxes which contain our camping gear. We love camping, but at our new flat we don't have room to store it. We can store it in BIL's garage, but he doesn't live near us, so we'd have to go to his every time, and then go wherever we were going camping which would be a faff. But I had another idea. I wondered if there might be a family/couple living near us that want to go camping, have the space to store the gear, and would be prepared for us to share ownership of the gear with them. So they wouldn't pay us money for it - they'd just provide the storage space and we'd provide the gear and we'd have a 'timeshare' type arrangement for who gets to use it when. Does that sound like a crazy idea, or possible? It's very much just an idea at the moment... And it would have to be 'nice' people who'd look after the gear...

My next charity shop run will be on Friday - already starting to gather things into the 'out' basket that sits at the bottom of my wardrobe. So far there are two pairs of shoes, a few books and CDs in there. Going to add some clothes on Friday morning and then drop everything off.

Hello to TrinityRhino - feel free to just sit and watch for as long as you like!
Hi too to Toastie and Thunks - try not to fall off again will you grin

Trinity - if you wanted to start - maybe you could just start by finding one thing to chuck out every day?

Oh yes, Trinity, I can vouch for educatingartis advice - one thing a day is how I started. I decluttered just one thing a day, every day and stuck to a one-in-one-out rule for everything else. I built up momentum very gradually. I'd been doing it for about a year before I started to get rid of things that I'd been really clinging to. For the first six months it was just stuff like 'oh, an empty diary from 1996. Yes I could keep it on the off chance that I'd use it as a notebook, but no, it's going'. Just one thing like that per day - usually they were such 'easy wins' that I felt like I was cheating. Then after about six months I started to blitz individual areas and was a bit more ruthless... and now, two years on, people are amazed when I say we're going to do some decluttering on the weekend 'But you guys don't have ANY clutter!'.

Do just hang out with us. You don't have to throw away a single thing if you're not ready to, but just one thing is the best place to start.

LemonBreeland Tue 05-Feb-13 13:21:24

Trinity you are getting some fab advice here. I was Eglu btw, visited you a few years ago.

One thing a day sounds like it may be useful for my DC. I'm going to try them with that for a few weeks.

bec vv envious of your decluttering dh. Wish my dh would be more proactive. Although he does work 6 days a week so doesn't have a lot of time.

Items decluttered today:
Sneezy perfume - tipped away - bottle recycled
Pair of shorts with bleach splash on them that I don't look any good in anyway, besides I have 2 other pairs of shorts I don't look good in without the bleach splashes! charity rag recycling
Old paperwork - recycled

26 items out - 9 items in! It is actually harder than it looks to increase the net total out!

Oooh - and I've put my random electrical items in a bag and will re-offer on freegle, otherwise I'll take them to the tip. -so that's another 5 items out!

Trinity - feel free to post your progress on here. one item at a time - you can get less cluttered!

pixiestix Tue 05-Feb-13 16:54:21

I was just catching up on the thread and thinking "I really should be decluttering rather than reading this" when my charity shop bag fell off the shelf and on to the floor! Ooh, the minimalist spirits are at work in my house! grin

Bless your DH Bec. I wonder if he could be handed round to give all our DHs lessons? I would need to go and have a lie down if I found out my DH had spontaneously done something like that.

Arti, wish I'd started logging in and out items, think that would have ben encouraging.
Trinity, just take it at your own pace. And welcome!

Mammoth - no reason why you can't start now. I didn't start logging until a few weeks after I started and didn't want to backdate it as I didn't want to count all 60 A6 binders on my in list and can even send you an A6 binder to keep your list in if you like!!

sommewhereelse Tue 05-Feb-13 17:47:48

Yes Trinity do get started.

I wasn't planning to do any decluttering today because I had to grocery shop during my lunch break and then from afterwork until 9pm it's full on with DCs activities, dinner etc by which time I'll be too tired to think. (This is just a quick log in while DDs bath is running) but I thought I can surely find one thing to put in the charity shop box in a day and I found a two plus three things to bin.

I find it's a question of making yourself do it and getting into a good habit. You know how some people get unload the dishwasher during the ad breaks. There's always going to be a spare three minutes in your day to walk around opening drawers and really looking at your stuff and popping an item in a box. I think even if you don't have a large stretch of free time you can still acheive something.

The more time consuming part is disposing of it appropriately: finding the person who will benefit from it, selling it etc.

Mmm, yes, but I can thoroughly recommend the ebay app if you have a smart phone, very user friendly and les hassle than finding camera, taking o
Photos, listing items.

Arti, yes, ok, I will!

Oh yes, I had a bit of a revelation today! I've got a nappy bag because years ago I lived in a city and didn't drive, so pushed pushchair into town.

Now we live in the sticks and I drive everywhere. I'm rarely far from my car and if I am I stick two nappies and wipes in bottom of pushchair. Wallet with cream, antibacterial gel, reins and tissues live in car tidy, so does porta potty.

And with new baby due next month, I'm charity shopping the nappy bag!

Downfall Tue 05-Feb-13 21:20:38

Hello... I've been lurking and following your links. Just wanted to say how inspirational your thread is.

I had made a start before Christmas and took around a dozen bin bags of clothes,books and toys to the charity shop. That felt great,but didn't really seem to change our lives its iyswim?

Then I started reading here, and have made some huge progress this weekend. Just wanted to delurk and say thanks!

Boonyjinkies Tue 05-Feb-13 21:21:08

Have five carrier bags in porch waiting to go to charity shop. Have already 'done' the house once since New Year, and am now revisiting areas as I've got more ruthless. Just found another 2 pillow cases in airing cupboard that can go, 4 cushion covers, and a DVD. Also just sorted out loads of make up and some perfume which I'll offer to my sister.

Today I wore a ring that I haven't worn for 15 years and a pair of my mothers earrings which I was complimented on. One of the great joys of decluttering is re-discovering and enjoying some of the lovely things I own. It's quite sad how much stuff I'd forgotten I had. However 2013 is the year of change. My new mantra is use it, wear it, enjoy it, read it, watch it or get rid of it! grin

This thread is great at keeping me going. I wasn't planning on sorting any stuff out today but then thought I'd take a jigsaw out of the cupboard and put it on the eBay pile.

I ended up sorting out five drawerfuls of stuff and went through a bunch of 'sentimental' paperwork and a carrier bag of photos of which I threw about a third out.

I realised I was getting quite aggrieved when I was doing some of this stuff and have been thinking about it most of the day. I think it's partly that I'm pissed off that I've been carrying this baggage around all these years - physically, mentally and emotionally.

Some of the stuff went back to when I was a child/teenager and many of those memories are not happy ones. I know I've tried to sort through this stuff before but thought 'well, I've kept it so long that I should really just keep it for ever'. Not sure why but I feel much better for having binned some of it today.

Oh, and DD manage to declutter a glass by breaking it - a freebie from McDonald's so I'm secretly quite pleased. We seem to have got through quite a bit of crockery and glassware recently.

boony I too have rediscovered a lot of great antique jewellery that I'm ashamed to say I'd forgotten I had. The cheap Accessorize and holiday tat has gone and I'm wearing things that I really love.

Hi everyone, just checking in. Looks like everyone's making great progress-wish I'd thought of an in/out list ages ago too!

We FINALLY completed the attic of doom this evening, having spent one weekend taking everything out, one weekend sorting/chucking/charity shopping the contents, and now one evening putting the things we really do want to keep back in there. Feels very freeing and also a blessing to have our spare room back, and that was where we were keeping all the crap in the process!

We got rid of the TV a few weeks ago and put it in the spare room, partly because of not wanting DD to get reliant on CBeebies and partly because we were watching so much rubbish. We've not missed it at all and so we've decided to get rid of it altogether-we've offered it to my DM whose TV is about to go bang, and are feeling v virtuous! Of course she lives at the other end of the country so it won't physically leave our house till the end of March, but I feel so much lighter at the thought of being rid of it!

Ooh amtoinette I am so jealous of that!

wendybird77 Wed 06-Feb-13 08:37:18

Hi all and welcome newcomers! Sounds like everyone is making great progress! Antoinette, I am very envious. We got rid of sky a few years ago and stopped watching any grown-up TV (though still bbies for the kids). DH got BT vision though when we moved and now has it on every night again. And there still isn't anything to watch! At least there is only 1 TV. I've banned any others as I find with more that one TV families tend to split up and I don't think that's good.

I have been making progress on the stack of stuff in the entryway / utility and have another bag of stuff for charity in the car. I need to tackle the upstairs cupboard, but I need a plan for where I'm actually going to store the stuff that needs storing. I have a lovely old desk that I've inherited from my parents that is in pieces as I've no where to put it. Eventually it will go in the conservatory when that is no longer used as the playroom, but what to do with it in the meantime? I think there is an old coat in there that can be charity shopped though as now I'm a country bumpkin I don't need my slick pre-DC, not very warm, winter coat.

Right, will stop pondering decluttering and start actually doing some. grin

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 12:10:17

Not so much decluttering as taking action. I'm trying to work in short bursts and spend a limited amount on house-jobs today. Just booked removal man to clear the Garage of Letting Go NEXT WEEK! Hooray!!!!!!!!

I've put the disgusting saggy heap of cushions that have been overwintering in my garden into bin bags, and put 6 bags of garden waste ready for collection. I've bagged the paddling pool as rubbish (because it's not been used for 3 years, has spent 2 winters in the garden and didn't inflate last time I tried to use it). I've put the balance bike on Freecycle.

Now for tea and some brain work. smile

Hello all, welcome to the delurkers wink. Tell us about your progress Downfall - I always find it really inspiring to hear what people are letting go of.

So I just finished a big work project which means that I can take a couple of days off tomorrow and Friday. I've got some paperwork on my desk - post that needs filing or shredding etc. - and a VERY messy accounts file, haven't done my accounts in ages, so I'm thinking I'll sort those out and do a bit of wardrobe decluttering.

Has anyone got any inspiring pictures of home office filing? I use one of these IKEA desks here for working from home, which is great as I can shut all the files away in the cupboard at the top and the computer and In-tray in the bureau so it literally hides a multitude of sins! But it's just become rammed full of files and all of them overfull. I'm starting to feel that familiar 'ugh' feeling when I open my desk up, which is not good.

I am so tempted to go out and buy lots of matching files... But I suspect that the main solution, as usual, will be to reduce the amount of stuff in there rather than buy more boxes to put it in - this much I have learned from my years on this minimalist journey (slow learner!!!).

Congrats on the lack of TV Antoinette - that was huge for us. Not having two screens staring at us (computer and TV) in our living room has made it feel much bigger and a more restful place to be. And we've arranged furniture to face each other rather than grouped around the TV - it feels more welcoming.

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 13:25:15

Hello all.

bec if you decide on balance that you need somewhere for your files, I use these from Muji for my work things: one box per project. (the price is for a 6 pack). They look very neat on the shelf and are easy to get to. smile

Ooh, thanks harriet. I do love stationery. I'd rather wander around Muji and Paperchase than a clothes or makeup shop. I've decluttered masses of notebooks in the past six months! I think I'll start by reducing the amount that's in there, and then when I've brought it down to the minimum I'll assess whether I can rationalise my way into buying need some new files. I've taken some 'Before' photos to motivate me... Maybe I could post 'Before' and 'After' on my profile...

MrsPennyapple Wed 06-Feb-13 13:41:02

Hello all, just a quick one: Listed about 6 things on ebay last night, also took a bag of stuff to the charity shop this morning and picked up a booster seat so that DD can eat dinner at the table "like a big girl." I did actually go with the intention of seeing if there was one there, so I don't feel bad about it, it's needed and means the high chair can go in the spare room until next 'un needs it.

Bec, me too! Love stationary especially muji. Wish there was one near me, I didn't find their website very user friendly st all!

I'd love to see before and after photos becs

sommewhereelse Wed 06-Feb-13 14:47:11

I agree you should sort first and then buy storage bits when you know what you need. I can't remember if I've already mentioned that I bought archive boxes to sort out the office but I ended up destroying nearly everything that was in the exisiting archive boxes so I didn't need the new ones.

Today I found a file with all the receipts for wedding gifts I have bought over the last 15 years. I guess if any of the items are faulty the recipients would have been in touch by now so that's gone out. It was interesting to see what we gave to different couples but the only ones I could actually remember without looking were my brothers'. They weren't all wedding list gifts, many I had chosen personally. This is going to be helpful to me in the future. When I am struggling to dispose of gifts that were never or are no longer treasured or useful I can reassure myself that the donor probably can't remember what they gave us all those years ago!

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 16:04:50

Yes, definitely wise to sift/cull first and get storage later!

I'm a bit of stationery addict, too. I've spent hours in the past searching for the perfect diary, etc. (No wonder I don't earn much as a freelancer...). I have a self-imposed moratorium on buying any new stationery until all of the current stuff is used up. (I can't give it away because there are lots of half-used notebooks). The one indulgence I allow myself is Muji pens because I do a lot of drawing and they are the business! But I don't think I'll need to buy a new notebook this year or a new pencil for the rest of my life...

I love before and after photos too! smile

hobnob57 Wed 06-Feb-13 16:09:57

I'm feeling a bit defeated today. Like I will only ever be a wannabe minimalist who would even be happy with a decluttered home rather than minimalist one, but with a cluttered schedule and clingon baby and tendency to be untidy I will only be able to dream. Currently stuck to the sofa with said baby and I daren't move. If I do manage to get up there is cooking and washing to do ahead of decluttering.

An in/out list would help me keep perspective but add another unwelcome chore the the procedure. I have decluttered lots of toys, a few bags of clothes, my maternity stuff, and I have a table at a sale for the kids stuff soon. But even that will require a lot of prep which I am not sure baby will let me do sad.

I so want a clutter free life which is simple and easy to clean! I still seem to spend my time with the kids haranguing them to tidy up. They are so resistant.

Think I need to have a snack to get my blood sugar up and cheer up!

BoffinMum Wed 06-Feb-13 16:13:14

Have posted out a load of Ebay stuff and I feel cleansed, I tell you, cleansed. And £100 richer. grin

Paintyourbox Wed 06-Feb-13 16:13:27

Can I de-lurk and join you?

I have been slowly trying to declutter and go minimalist for a while now and have just finished reading the book Simplicity Parenting (which I made DP get on kindle so it wasn't another book coming to find a home on our rather large bookcase!)

So far, I have given away our "office" chair and a bookcase as we never actually used the spare room as an office- more a dumping ground and latterly DD's room.

I have put several bags of clothes to charity and sold quite a lot on ebay (but the fees and postage seem to be getting higher and it's putting me off a bit!)

wendybird77 Wed 06-Feb-13 16:14:06

Ugh, I have gotten very little actually done today. It has taken me HOURS to source and order a new bathroom suite and taps. As it turns out, the perfect taps don't exist anywhere I can actually get them (but they do exist on pinterest - which is annoying). But it is done and I can declutter an item on my ToDo list, so progress. I did find the coat I mentioned earlier and also another coat I'd forgotten I had - so those are going. Also moving a clothes rack out to the annex for guests to hang clothes on - so at least it is out of the house (or will be when I can summon the energy to take it out).

I think that is it for me today. I'm off to the interweb to find a bathroom cabinet, wish me luck....

TallulahTwinkle Wed 06-Feb-13 16:15:56

Gosh, this thread moves quickly!

Got in from work today and 2 charity bags have been put through the door, one for clothes and one for bric a brac so I am going to start my decluttering journey by filling those tonight...

sommewhereelse Wed 06-Feb-13 16:52:50

Hobnob, don't be discouraged. It's great that you're finding time to do anything with a clingon baby. Until we had children I was relatively good at clearing out and we moved regularly.
We were lucky in that about the same time children came along we got a home with load of storage space but because there was no much need to get rid of stuff and there was always something more pressing to do it has built up and built up.
Then we had to move and I realised we had stuff I didn't remember owning. That made me very uncomfortable.
(The only thing I'd been good at passing on was the baby stuff as I know lots of people a few years behind us and when my last child was born I knew the family was complete.)

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 17:21:27

Hello delurkers!

hobnob it sounds like you've accomplished masses. When you've got a small baby (or any pre-school age children frankly) clean pants are a massive achievement, and anything else is a bonus. Sorry you're frustrated though. Hope you're being compassionate towards yourself smile and found necessary chocolate/biscuit/jam on toast. My dc hate tidying up after themselves too. I think I might institute a quick tidy before bed or something. If I can be bothered. smile

Just been through 2 boxes of papers and random other stuff that have been hogging a corner of the kitchen for months and reduced it to a small in-tray.

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 17:21:48

But hall is still full of boxes of papers!

Mum2Fergus Wed 06-Feb-13 17:28:24

Temporary delurk til I can compose a post worthy of your support grin moving house in approx 17 days...where to start?!

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 17:53:12

boffinmum I've not tried to sell on eBay yet. I am, frankly, scared of it. How did you start off?

sommewhereelse Wed 06-Feb-13 18:04:56

Mum2Fergus, I would start by identifying the voluminous items that you won't be keeping and trying to find new homes.
If you are packing your own stuff, try to be selective while you pack boxes rather than packing a whole cupboard without thinking.
But if you're anything like me, you'll run out of time and just tip drawers into boxes without even looking at the contents. It wasn't so bad because I labelled the boxes according to where they came from eg top kitchen drawer. Then I forced myself to sort through as I unpacked. Which is why the office is still not fully unpacked 1 month later.

CheerfulYank Wed 06-Feb-13 18:09:10

I want to join! I lurked/posted a bit on the last thread, I think.

I've got a 5 year old DS and a DC due in May, and would really like to get rid of lots of stuff before the baby gets here!

BoffinMum Wed 06-Feb-13 18:50:24

The bursar at my Cambridge College wanted to pay for a skip to put the token ring main equipment into (we were taking it out in order to install ethernet instead). I said I thought this was a waste of money and I could actually flog it instead. I listed all the parts on Ebay and they were snapped up for quite a lot of money by someone who wanted to extend a token ring main system. He collected the whole lot in a massive estate car, College got loads of money and the bursar was about as chuffed as I had ever seen him. I got a pay rise on the back end of it! grin

You did ask ....

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 18:54:01

grin at Boffin!

BoffinMum Wed 06-Feb-13 19:04:33

Well I am a Boffin!!!

Mum2Fergus Wed 06-Feb-13 20:04:32

Soooo...17 days to go til house move. Ive been a bit poorly and DS had chickenpox so packing wasnt top of my list. Ive halfheartedly done a few boxes but being newly inspired by the thread Im going to unpack them and start again in earnest!

Today Ive made a start on one of the big bedroom cupboards...Ive filled a carrier bag for bin and a bin bag for charity shop. DP will drop that off tomorrow and post 6 Ebay sales for me. I cleared my make up and hair stuff drawers too. Tonight Ive sat and cleared out the filing box, keeping note of all the change of addresses I need to do. The eternal long should I keep wageslips? Ive mine dating back to 1998 lol...

Oh, hob nob those days are tough.

Slight aside here, I meet with a group of women to read the Bible each week and we were reading Daniel and talking about challenges we face as Christian s (obv along the lines of persecution, ostracism etc). I piped up that I found it far harder to juggle work, motherhood and marriage and ensure four children go to school, pre school and nanny in fed, in clean clothes with packed lunches and homework done.

We all agreed that was far harder than merely being chucked to hungry lions.

In my convoluted way km trying to say, be kind to yourself because it's the hardest job on earth.

Hi cheerful yank, what date are you due? I'm due third april.

Harriet, ebay is really easy (I'm techno illiterate). It walks you through every step. Do you have a smart phone? The app is really good.

Downfall Wed 06-Feb-13 20:49:22

I found the sentiment someone posted here about things 'moving through your life' hugely helpful in letting things go, and seemed to chime with DH as amazingly he bought into my minimising wish, and this weekend we spent two 12 hour days properly clutter checking.

Out have gone all sorts of things crammed into baskets on shelves in alcoves either side of fireplace. Then we thought 'they'll just fill up again', so we are getting rid of the baskets (9 of them!). Then why stop there, so two of the shelves have gone too, leaving 'white space' (well, grubby off cream)! This weekend we have to go through cd's and dvd's to donate or sell. All will go if I get my way.

I've also had the revelation that instead of trying to store, and regularly trip over coats, boots, shoes etc in our tiny hall, we should just own the average number we can realistically store, allowing for visitors. This sounds obvious, but I have really struggled with getting rid of perfectly good coats etc, but now I have, and its made me very oddly happy!

Already I feel as if I can breathe in the house, and I've noticed that this week we've been more of a team with the routine daily chores, which is great.

Welcome delurkers, lovely to see you all! Mum2Fergus we are moving too in about 25 days! Very excited. We've been chipping away at the clutter for a while now, but moving has given us new impetus. We keep saying "But do we like it enough to pay someone to carry it for us?" And "But the new flat looks so lovely with nothing in it - will this thing make it lovelier, or a bit less lovely?"

hobnob don't be down on yourself. Just by aiming to reduce, and having a mini declutter when you can, you're already thinking differently to all the people wandering around shopping centres blindly buying more and more stuff and then paying for a storage unit to house it all. That's the path we're all encouraged to follow by advertising and peers - and it's hard sometimes to keep pushing against it. Plus, when DS was a baby I had whole weeks where I achieved less than nothing ie by the end of the day I was in slightly more of a mess than I had been at the start despite continuous toil towards getting things sorted.... And I've only got one kid! It's a process, every little item in the charity bag is a victory.

How funny that we're all stationery junkies harrietspy and SilentMammoth

I will post my desk 'before' and 'after' pics at the weekend! Gulp!

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 21:26:10

bec you are so right. Just paying attention to the stuff we have is a huge step. I'm really interested in all the neuroscience around paying attention and how just noticing our behaviour is transformative. (I heard a great interview with Kelly McGonigal on the neuroscience of change but I can't find the link!)

sommewhereelse Wed 06-Feb-13 21:47:16

Someone mentioned earlier about getting the kids on board with minimalism.
I admit I haven't really tried. I'm hoping to lead by example and that when the communal spaces are more pleasant, they'll be inspired to tackle their rooms which are cluttered with junk models, nice shiny paper from chocolate bars etc.

But on the environmental impact of excessive consumption, they really like the story of stuff animation:

pixiestix Wed 06-Feb-13 22:03:29

Another stationary junkie here. I have "minimalised" down to four empty notebooks and two half filled ones which is amazing for me but still too many really.

Hello de-lurkers! I love hearing everyone's stories, its so motivating.

Have picked another 18 books off the shelves today - now to input them into We Buy Books. Did you find a voucher code in the end Antoinette?

harrietspy Wed 06-Feb-13 22:09:50

pixie, it's worth searching webuybook's twitter feed to see if they have an active voucher code at the moment. And this week I managed to sell stuff books with that I couldn't sell on WBB.

I didn't, pixie, sorry-I joined their Facebook page to try and find one but they directed me to their google+ page and I'm not on that so didn't want to join up and bring more virtual clutter into my life! Hope you find one though-do share if you do smile

Has anyone ever ebayed perfume? I have quite a few half full bottles that will take me decades to get through and I'm not even that fond of. I don't know whether it would be an odd thing to eBay though!

Boonyjinkies Thu 07-Feb-13 00:24:28

Half used perfume sells really well on eBay. You'd be very surprised. I sold a Cd this week and a DVD box set for £25 on eBay. Both of which were sitting on a shelf doing nothing. I've also cleared out a bag of make up, perfume, toiletries for my sister. Nobody needs 6 tubes of hand moisturiser and 20 eyeshadows!

I've noticed that a lot of stuff I'm getting rid of were either impulse buys, cheap, stuff that I didn't try on in the shops, or items that I thought I should own (despite not living a lifestyle to use them). I love shopping but I've stopped physically going to the shops, taking my purse out and have in subscribed to lots of store emails. I am determined to stem the tide of unneeded stuff into the house!smile

Wow - so many amazing stories of de-cluttering progress. I don't think I de-cluttered anything yesterday sad . I've got some time off work next week though so I'm hoping I'll feel inspired then!

Not posted for ages but just checking in prior to ascending into the loft of doom.

Boonjinkies I second your determination to stop 'stuff' coming into the house - the only way in which we can insure ourselves against future de-cluttering trauma!

This week I have had a light-bulb moment. I'm sure all you experienced de-cluttered organisers already knew this ages ago, but LABELLING is the key to being organised!!

I don't know why it's taken me so long to learn this. It's all well & good to have 6 x smart looking identical storage boxes on the garage shelf but if they're not labelled you can guarantee that the one thing you need is in the 6th box. I've always kind of smirked at labelling queens before, now I am a zealous convert.

So, this week I have tackled the cupboard outside ds1's bedroom, chucked loads & clearly labled that the bags contain 3 x single duvets, 2 x singe duvet covers etc etc. we don't even have any single beds in the house anymore so a more ruthless woman would chuck, but they are useful for when cousins sleep over etc.

Dreading the loft, which I seem to try to sort at least every 6 months, but end up just re-arranging. Today I have a completely clear day smile so I'm going the extreme route. That means taking (almost) everything OUT of the loft and then deciding very carefully what to put back. Obvious to some I know but I need to actually commit to that statement & now it's on MN I will have to stick to it!

Thanks for all the help & tips on this thread, it's a huge help!

pixiestix Thu 07-Feb-13 11:03:12

Thanks for the book selling tips Antoinette and Harriet. I am now in that annoying situation where WBB want three books and FatBrain want two different ones and neither make up a full basket! I am going to have to pester the life out of DH to add to my collection.

Good luck with your loft NQP. I am in the exact same situation with my basement. You have just inspired me to plonk DD in front of a film and empty it into the hallway. If we cant get down the hall then we will HAVE to do something about it! grin

pixiestix Thu 07-Feb-13 12:10:14

Change of plan as DD is taking a rare nap and her room is opposite the basement door. I have been forced into having a cup of tea and a Cadburys Creme Egg instead.

harrietspy Thu 07-Feb-13 12:21:30

oh pixie! Haven't thought about creme eggs
for years and now i want one!

LemonBreeland Thu 07-Feb-13 12:28:58

Wow loads going on here. Welcome lurkers, the more stories I hear the more it inspires me to continue.

Hobnob DD was a clingy baby and I also had days where nothing got done. In fact she is now 19 mths and my DSes still haven't had their bedroom decorated. I was going to do it on ML. grin

I find Ebay a lot of effort tbh and the postage etc is making it harder to sell stuff, so I will only sell things that I know will sell well and for good money. Our local facebook page is good for other things.

I am actually going to look at a coat to buy off the FB page which seems to go against the whole decluttering thing. But this coat is what I need for the summer and if I get it then I will chuck out about 4 other coats that aren't quite right. Wrong length, no hood, not waterproof etc. I am definitely thinking about what I bring into the house now.

I think tomorrow I will go through the end of my wardrobe that I rarely open, most of the stuff in there can probably go.

bec I look forward to seeing your pics.

boonyjinkies I totally relate to your comment:

'I've noticed that a lot of stuff I'm getting rid of were either impulse buys, cheap, stuff that I didn't try on in the shops, or items that I thought I should own (despite not living a lifestyle to use them).'

That describes me and I hate shopping. I'm finding I'm going back to a lot of old stuff and the common theme is that it was stuff I bought mindfully. The answer seems to be not to worry about buying stuff but to think it through first and understand how it will bring benefit rather than shiny, shiny, I want.

pixie I find that it is very important to declutter any creme eggs that might somehow have made their way into your house! Well done!

Crocklebog Thu 07-Feb-13 19:33:21

Hi everyone,

I have been lurking since the beginning of the first thread and I have really enjoyed all your comments and the links to other interesting stuff. I have never been a hoarder and always thought of myself as quite minimalist until I read some of the blogs linked on here.

So, over the last few weeks I have been trying to decrease all our "stuff" and live a more mindful existence. I have 4DCs so taking that into account I think I have done very well grin

What has promted me to join in with your discussion is that I had a bit of a "moment" this morning, which may sound bonkers so just bear with me grin I had the realisation that the world is only made up of so many molecules that can be made into stuff and these just keep getting recycled into new stuff. So everything on earth now was around as other stuff millions of years ago (I think and happy to be corrected, a scientist I ain't!). This then made me realise that by keeping things that I don't need, I was stopping the things getting recycled into other stuff more useful and it is rather selfish as their are people who are in need of other things and there is only so much to go round. As a consequence I have had a big sort out today and parting with things that I was keeping "just incase" has been so much easier.

Sorry for the epic first post, I had to share. I am sure some of you more experienced minimalists will have already had this thought too.

Ok, who mentioned creme eggs? Nearest shop is eight miles away and I'm not going put now!!!

harrietspy Thu 07-Feb-13 21:23:59

I ended up going into WHSmith and buying 2 creme eggs for £1. That was not in my budget. smile.

Hello crockle!

crockle I love that way of looking at it!

pixiestix Fri 08-Feb-13 11:29:52

Sorry! blush grin

Paintyourbox Fri 08-Feb-13 11:48:21

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask the seasoned minimalists, do you ever get to the point where you think: "We're done"

I have been trying to pare down the amount of stuff we have (DP had total hoarding tendencies so its an uphill battle!). I thought I was doing well and had the kitchen sorted then this week have changed my mind and there seems to be so much more "stuff" we could get rid of! I don't know when I will stop!

Yes I know what you mean Paint.

I often return to areas and give them another, more thorough, de-clutter. Then I look at things I 'saved' last time and wonder "what was I thinking?? I'm never going to wear/use that - out you go!"

Practice makes it easier to let go & liberate yourself from all those energy-sapping 'things' smile

wendybird77 Fri 08-Feb-13 17:33:36

Hi all, just checking in to keep myself accountable. I had a productive day and managed to fill the car with items for recycling centre / charity shop / friends. I even managed to actually take all the items to their new destinations. I also managed to clean and organise the annex thanks to a massive nap by DS2. It is a very good thing as my father arrives tomorrow for a month!

I also got the upstairs cupboard emptied, but realised that most of it is DH's stuff, so I can't really minimize any of it. I find this really frustrating and exhausting as it feels really out of my control, but I am always the one having to move / clean / work around all of his stuff. Thing is, it isn't stuff that is even important to him, mostly he just can't be bothered to actually think about whether to keep or let go, so he just throws it all in a box and leaves it wherever then asks me repeatedly where said stuff is. Someday he is going to have an AHA! moment and if he doesn't I am going to declutter it all for him and ban him to silence on the matter hmm.

Hope you all have lovely weekends!

Evening everybody. wendy - well done - you've done loads. I think you should give your dh an ultimatum! If he hasn't sorted a box within a specified timescale you are going to ask each person that visits your house to take one item from the box to keep or dispose of until the box is empty! We will all come and visit!

Well - I've been very minimalist today. I went to my nearby very large shopping mall to get my hair cut and didn't buy anything else except some foundation that I did need more of. I even had a browse in the Muji, Paperchase. White Company and Cath Kidston sections of Selfridges (walked through on my way to car park rather than made a special visit) and did not buy anything!

Hi all!

wendybird - my DH was like that for the first year of my decluttering. But then he started to notice how much nicer things were in 'my' bits of the flat...!

So the 'Before' and 'After' pictures of my desk are on my profile for anyone who wants to see them! Three huge bags of paper went into the recycling bin and one bag of non-recyclables went in the bin.

I should mention that the 'Before' shot of my desk is from Thursday - it's not the state my desk was in two years ago, before we started decluttering. Back then I couldn't shut the doors of my desk and the seat lid wouldn't close at all.... (In answer to PaintYourBox, I think it's a lifelong process - I've been at this for two years and I'm nowhere near thinking 'I'm done! We've still got far too much stuff and more goes every week...)

The really exciting thing about my newly organised desk (well, it's exciting for me!) is that there is a system for all incoming paper and items that used to clutter up the surface of the desk. I've moved all my work-related books into my desk (some of them were in the living room before), so when I open my desk I'm at 'work' and when I close the doors 'work' is done.

Thanks harrietspy for the recommendation on the Muji boxes - I did do a bit of very un-minimalist shopping as you can see!

I'm back to freelancing in an office from Monday until the end of May so I won't get to spend my working day at this desk for a while...

And when I finished I had a creme egg. (*pixiestix*...! I'm really impressed that you've minimised down to four empty and two half-filled notebooks. Notebooks are my clutter kryptonite! I'm not telling you how many I've got. But I haven't bought any for six months - going to work through all of my empty ones before I buy another one... And as for half-filled ones... I will only say that I now have about a hundredth as many I used to have!!)

sommewhereelse Fri 08-Feb-13 19:39:17

Just wondering whether you are 'minimalist' in your design choices?
We don't have many items of furniture that we've chosen ourselves. A fair amount was inherited, pieces with barley twist legs etc. But I've realised that everything we've chosen ourselves has very simple lines.

LemonBreeland Fri 08-Feb-13 19:43:11

Evening all. I went through half of my clothes incredibly ruthlessly yesterday. There were so many items that I had kept for ages because they were expensive and hadn't been worn much. I filled a black sack and more.

Also dh found a place in a nearby town that buys clothes by the weight. So I'm sending it all there. Anything is better than nothing. smile

Wendy I know what you mean about cleaning and tidying around other peoples clutter. DH is starting to get more on board with it as I think he sees the improvements to the house since I started this.

notcitrus Fri 08-Feb-13 20:02:42

I put two magazine-holders worth of out of date computer mags in the recycling before MrNC could change his mind! And in fact he then looked at the CDs that went with and agreed I can recycle the lot! And added a couple more later mags!! And asked me to do the same in the lounge!!!
His new mantra is "can I find this more easily on the internet?" which means all those "useful" mags can go - as he's severely dyslexic it's far easier for him to sift the net than flick through one sheet of paper.

I'm back at work so slowing down on the house. But dd had a minimalist 1st birthday, with going out for lunch (bowl of peas was the best possible present anyway), few cards, and a cake that's been mainly decluttered already! And bringing out the Megablocks and walkers. Can't wait to chuck out the Megablocks which get everywhere...

Have also found the camera cable so hope to do Ebay again soon - actually first the local parents Facebook group. Great advantage over Freecycle and Ebay is everyone sees your real name, so they Actually Turn Up when they say they will!

sommewhereelse Fri 08-Feb-13 20:08:46

I'm still plugging away with 'forcing' myself to wear bits in my wardrobe. I almost got rid of a skirt today but I've put it in the dressing up box. It's a long black jersey tube so with a scarf could be a strapless evening dress for DD and friends or be cut into a cape. At least I'm sure it'll be used.

Sokmonsta Sat 09-Feb-13 08:06:14

My name is sokmonsta and I live in a tip!

Well. Not literally but it feels like it. I was directed to here from a thread I posted.

Quick intro: we live in a 2 bed house and have 4 children. We are drowning under a mass of 'stuff' at the moment and I need inspiration to keep me going. At the moment lots is ending up in the loft 'to sort out later'. My intention being to get on top of the rest of the house and then tackle a bag/box a day from there.

So far it's taken me two days to do what amounts to half a bedroom. Last night I got criticised for my side of the bed being clean and tidy while dh's just has stuff there. It's all his/stuff he's put there. And it's not that I won't do it, more a) he'll grumble he can't find anything b) I don't know what to do with it anyway.

I decided regardless, his stuff will be tidied/organised and if he can't find it, tough. He'll get used to my way of organising and lump it.

It really doesn't help that he's recently started running a business from home and we've got boxes of paperwork. They were ins cupboard, and will be going back. But I need to spend money we don't have on decent boxes as mine are falling apart. Any ideas folks?

Hope you don't mind me joining but I really, really need some help to become a domestic goddess.

Downfall Sat 09-Feb-13 09:05:34

Ooh, sokmonsta your minimalism project should sound daunting but to my ears it sounds an exciting challenge! I'm new to this having just delurked on this thread myself, but if you read back through this and the previous thread there's tons of tips and information. There are some posters here who have large families with children room sharing.

One thing that strikes me is that you seem to have a lot of stuff. Can any of it be sold to raise cash to buy the new storage boxes you need? Or maybe check free ads or eBay to see if anyone is decluttering the items you want?

Downfall Sat 09-Feb-13 09:09:43

Oh and btw, on my predictive text your nickname changes to 'dominates', which might be fitting for getting your dh on board! smile

sommewhereelse Sat 09-Feb-13 09:50:34

Sokmonsta, looking on the bright side, if your DH is grumbling that his side of the room is messy whilst yours is organised, he obviously can appreciate the benefits of a clear space.

If your loft is big enough to cope, I think your plan is a good one because you'll probably find as you sort through it, that you realise you've been without it for months and don't really need it.

Ok I've think I've made a huge mistake somewhere along the line.

Been ruthlessly going through loft & various cupboards this week and chucking/refining/decluttering as I go. Gradually like a worm in my head I'm starting to realise that I can't put my hands on the two folders containing dc1 & dc2 primary school/class photographs that I know I carefully put together some years ago.

Am starting to feel upset. Could I seriously have accidentally binned them on a previous clear out? I am quite sentimental about things like this (as my own parents never kept anything, prob never even bought the photos in the first place but that's a whole other thread) sad

Am going to have an even more thorough search today but have got a horrible sinking feeling ........ sad

BoffinMum Sat 09-Feb-13 10:35:39

I binned my wedding veil like that <sob>

Sorry to hear that Boffin sad

Ironically I only posted on here recently asking if anyone regretted binning something. But I meant doing it mindfully, not accidentally. Can't actually believe I've done it but I'm running out of places to look. The folders also contained each child's certificates - swimming, gymnastics, good schoolwork etc sad sad sad

wendybird77 Sat 09-Feb-13 11:06:57

Oh no NotQuite fingers crossed that you find them!

Thank you all for the support re: DH. He will never be minimalist, but he does like things organised, he just doesn't want to do it / get rid of any of HIS stuff. Sigh. He has many other lovely qualities thank goodness! On a good note, we have heat in the study as of yesterday - so am hoping to move a bookshelf in there to store the boxes of books, etc that will live there once the built-ins have gone in (will be at least a month as joiner is having surgery). This should help with the working around DH's stuff issue. I'm also going to try to get DH to go through some of it and get rid of some. Baby steps. I am also going to try to get the lights hung in DS1s room - they've been sitting there as putting up lights is not one of my favourite bits of DIY. However, I'm tired of looking at them sitting on the wardrobe. It is also the last thing that needs doing in his room - so I can cross it off my list.

I know someone mentioned wedding dresses up thread / on the previous thread. What has everyone done with theirs? I'm thinking about selling mine - does anyone know any good websites to do this through? Or maybe made into something else - what though? Any ideas appreciated!

Ok, off to do some work!

harrietspy Sat 09-Feb-13 12:16:08

notquite I hope you find them. But you are a lovely parent to have made the folders at all and I'm sure your dc know that.

This morning I was going through a huge crate optimistically marked 'for family scrapbook'. I found 2 letters that I wrote to my boys on the eve of birthdays (ds1's 5th and ds2's 2nd) and I know I wrote many, many more than that but I can't find them... sad

Reading through the letters I still have made me so happy, so I suppose I should just be really glad I've got these and not worry about the lost ones.

I've also been chucking away 99% of the notes/drafts of my novel, given that it actually got published and it's on the shelf. (The dc have a big pile of scrap paper for drawing now!). 2 plastic crates cleared!

pixiestix Sat 09-Feb-13 13:25:13

Bec the fact that it took your husband a whole year to get on board cheers me up and worries me in equal measure! I really want DH to be as enthused as this as I am, and some days he really wants to sort out his stuff - but other days (i.e days when I don't pester and pester him) he sits back on his laurels. I keep hoping he will have that lightbulb moment and start doing it for himself. Not sure I can wait a year though....

That said, we took six items to the tip this morning and he has gone home to try and start on his CD collection while I go to work. So fingers crossed he is slowly getting the declutter-bug.

I really hope your folders are just buried under more stuff NQP sad Its so unlikely that you would throw them, I'm still very hopeful they will turn up.

Welcome Sokmonsta . I agree that you need to find some way of getting rid of some stuff, rather than just organising. As somewhereelse suggests, the loft may be half-way house to doing this.

The key things for me ( and I'm only doing little steps and ignoring the cupboards of doom for now ) have been not forcing myself to part with stuff if i don't want to, but trying to store stuff as near as possible to where it is actually used. This has given me a new perspective on my stuff and what I really want to keep. I'm also enjoying every little decluttering step and keeping a list of what comes into the house vs what I get rid of, to make sure I'm going in the right direction. .

sommewhereelse Sat 09-Feb-13 14:25:59

Any chance those folders are just inside another folder?

I lost my jeans for 6 months because they got folded into a sheet. It wasn't until the colder weather came and I couldn't get the sheets off the bed, washed and back on in the same day that I found the jeans inside the spare bedding!

I bet you find those folders when you're looking through other stuff NQP so sorry though - that's upsetting.

Technical hitch on before and after pics is now fixed if anyone missed them who wanted to see.

Will post more later on - just checking in really. Hope you're all having lovely weekends

I've just looked at your photos bec .
You've done really well! The desk looks so much better. <sits and glumly contemplates the stater her own desk is in!>

harrietspy Sat 09-Feb-13 19:54:08

Great work on the desk, bec!

Amazing work becs! Also, I love your desk unit. We're on the search for a very slim desk of some sort for our spare room/office.

Hope you find your stuff, not quite.

Wendy, I'm considering selling wedding dress also. Haven't quitee committed to idea but in pre contemplation iyswim.

Harriet, I'm seriously impressed you've published your novel!.would live to know what it is but fully respect you probably don't want to out yourself! Congratulations though!

Ugh, insomnia! Shall I get up, polish girls shoes fore church and make cakes listening to radio four, or mn in bed?

harrietspy Sun 10-Feb-13 08:01:06

Thanks, silent. I do hope you got back to sleep. 3am is too early!

The brilliant thing about going through (and chucking) all the notes was remembering that my writing process is organic and not linear. I've been telling myself that I should be able to write book 2 in a more direct and tidy way. Daft, and very self-defeating.

So I have a daunting few weeks ahead, including a big presentation for an unavoidable and terrifying work thing that I have been procrastinating about, clearing our old house, getting house straight for imminent arrival of lodger, and no childcare for half term. Deep breaths!

I think I need to accept that the house will be in chaos till the work thing is over, and then focus on moving furniture to the right places and getting the house straight.

Have a great Sunday, all of you!

Morning fellow minimalists!

Thanks so much to those who sent support yesterday. Sadly, the school photos folders have still not turned up. But DH & I went through five boxes of 'memory' stuff from the loft with the aim if getting it down to one box & we managed it in about 2 (v enjoyable) hours.

I haven't mentioned the missing folder to him, so it was good to 'share' on here.

And sorting though 25 years of cards/invitations/letters/mementoes was both cathartic & fulfilling. Managed to bin everything from my father (no contact for nearly 10 years) without any emotion. Kept every hand-made card from the children, some of which almost had us crying they were so funny/cute. Now they are all in one smart, archive box & there is nothing in there that doesn't mean anything (new house cards from old neighbours we never see any more - why? Why?)

So I'm starting to resolve the issue by thinking that schooldays were only a part of their childhood. There were loads of other things going on and 1000's of photographs & hours of video to 'prove' it. I had lots of issues with their primary school anyway - it gave me almost no pleasure to see that they failed their recent Ofsted wink

Thanks again Mumsnetter minimalists flowers

Oh NotQuitePerfect that's really inspiring. I'm sorry that you didn't find the folders, but glad that you found some peace of mind with it.

(slightly off-topic - That's really interesting about your writing process harrietspy - I write too but am not published. I am just about to self-publish a thriller I've written via Kindle - I'm meeting up with an editor today who's going to copy-edit it for me. The hanging files in my desk seat are for my next book - each file will match up to a 'scene' in Scrivener... My process is definitely NOT linear - good to hear that a 'proper' writer works the same way!)

Hope you got back to sleep SilentMammoth. Insomnia is rubbish.

I've had a couple of sleepless nights too recently. Our neighbours are infested with mice - not surprising, since they pile their bags of rubbish against their front door in the communal hall... And the night before last a mouse ran in through our front door as I was opening it, ran past me and straight into DH and I's bedroom shock. We tried and failed to catch it, then since it was late we went to bed. And the mouse went to work - climbing the curtains, swinging on the coathangers inside DH's wardrobe shock - you've never seen/heard a small creature make so much noise. Eventually it went out of our bedroom and into our kitchen where I think it still is... Yikes. Hence lack of sleep! I had a big declutter of the pantry and put all dry goods into tupperware or glass jars, and every surface has been wiped down. I'm hoping it will find a way to get next door where it will have access to more food. Bleargh! I'm not usually scared of mice but this one isn't scared of humans and is a bit big (baby rat??? Oh I hope not...) and is black and... I'm really scared of the damn thing! I'm still in shock from seeing it running up the curtain - it was dark but I could see its tail hanging down. Brrrrr...

Thanks for the nice things you said about my desk educatingarti AntoinetteCosway and harrietspy! I'm so excited about it.

MrsPennyapple Sun 10-Feb-13 09:31:06

Hello everyone,

I too am curious about Harriet's novel smile I used to work with a published author, he was quite successful but had returned to "normal" work after getting rather too fond of Las Vegas! He wasn't bankrupt or anything, just ended up having to go back to work whilst he wrote his next book.

Notquite I hope you do find your folders, as they are obviously important to you. I think you're thinking the right way about them though. My mum gave me a folder of my school reports and swimming certificates etc a few years ago, and to me, that's one of the cluttery things I don't feel I can get rid of. I've re-read my old school reports once or twice, which was fun, but the swimming stuff and sports badges are just going to sit around forever, taking up space. I think she only gave them to me so that she didn't have to make the decision to throw them away. But then, my relationship with my mother is less than ideal in a lot of ways, you are probably much more proud of your DCs' achievements smile

I think I am going to look back for some of these blog links and read some, for motivation. I normally avoid clicking links that I think will keep me at the computer for ages, I spend enough time online, but I could really do with a boost to keep me going. I've hardly decluttered anything really, and the house isn't really looking any different.

Paintyourbox Sun 10-Feb-13 09:47:54

Morning everyone!

Great decluttering here yesterday- I managed to sell several bits of silver jewellery on gumtree. They'd been sitting around for ages and this now means I can get rid on my giant jewellery box and keep the rest (which is all inherited bits which will be passed on to DD or gifts from DP that I really like).

My favourite part however was sitting down with a cup of tea and some chocolate and going through the "memory box" I keep under the bed. There were some things I had completely forgotten about- leaving cards from old jobs, cards from ex boyfriends, magazine articles I had cut out as I thought they were interesting. Most of it now resides in the bin. I have kept a couple of special bits (photos and a couple of cards) but that's it!

I don't know if anyone else has experience this but it looks like I will now have too much storage! I am emptying lots of things out so the drawers/baskets/boxes I bought to get things in order hide all the crap are slowly becoming redundant.

Still haven't tackled the demon bookcase. It's DP's domain and every shelf is full to bursting with books. Now DD is crawling and has discovered how to remove books from the bottom shelf we need to come up with a solution.

MrsPennyapple Sun 10-Feb-13 09:59:34

Paint our solution to that problem was to store the clothes airers down the side of DP's chair, so that DD couldn't squeeze down there and pull all the books off. It doesn't look terribly minimal though, in fact it's downright unsightly, but it's a temporary measure.

On the other bookcase, the books are in double-layers, so I took the outer layer off the bottom shelf and put all DD's books there, so she drags those out and gets distracted by them smile

Let's just overlook for now the fact that the double layers of books are DP's war stories that he will never, ever read again. I keep planting the decluttering seeds, but have to leave them a while to germinate. It's a slow process.

Downfall Sun 10-Feb-13 11:10:51

mrspennyapple that's interesting about your disinterest in your own childhood school record. Our school gives us all of the children's workbooks at the end of the school year (their own stealth decluttering), and its delightful to look through but with one in year 4 and one in year 2, they stack up. I really didn't know what to do with them, then thought if mine or dh parents gave us a crate of our own primary stuff I would flick through then shove it in the loft. Which is exactly what our dc' s will do. So - gasp - I burnt them! In fairness I've kept a few funny or interesting bits from each one so far, and plan to make a (slim) memory book to keep as a memento for us all...but I won't oblige them to take it with them into their adult lives!

Downfall Sun 10-Feb-13 11:15:52

paint yes, I've done two weekends of hard decluttering, and now have ten storage baskets to sell or donate smile

pixiestix Sun 10-Feb-13 13:31:18

Yes Paint - I bought five plastic storage boxes in November, with the plan to buy some more once I had sorted some more stuff. The first five are still all empty!

Some good work done last night and am planning some more tonight but then we are on holiday for the week. I need to make sure it doesn't become a permanent holiday from decluttering - I tend to veer off the rails with spending, dieting and all sorts when I take a bit of a break from "real life".

lljkk Sun 10-Feb-13 16:07:35

today's dilemma: I have heaps of photos in nice (solid real wood, but nothing too decorated or valuable) frames that I want to transfer into photo albums (that part settled).

Probably is: do I just flog & give away nearly all the frames? I'm not using them, but it feels a bit profligate to just get rid.

Sokmonsta Sun 10-Feb-13 16:51:47

Re the school stuff. When I left home, my mum gave me every piece of school work I had ever brought home, every reading record, every card made with love for them. My secondary school books from year 7-11 and the folders of gcse coursework. I already had my a-level and btech folders although I never quite knew why I was keeping them.

I carefully sorted through all of them. I have kept my very first project book from infant school, when I was 7, and some from junior school about space, Tudors, the latter for my dc to look at when they do those projects. The rest all went on a bonfire. I thought my mum was going to cry! It was nice of her to have kept them, but they didn't actually mean anything to me. I am ruthless with my dc's pictures. They get stuck up in the kitchen until the next one comes home, then carefully filed in the recycle bin! The only thing I am keeping are all their certificates.

Downfall Sun 10-Feb-13 17:30:58

lljkk sell or donate your frames I say. I gave a set to charity yesterday, and have a few more to deal with. Some were gifts, so a bit harder to let go of, but I imagine someone being pleased to come across them and giving them a new home.

lljkk Sun 10-Feb-13 17:40:27

I think that I will keep maybe 6 or 8 frames. Variable sizes and only the nicest quality. There must be at least 20 others.

LemonBreeland Sun 10-Feb-13 18:48:06

Some good work going on here. The desk is looking good bec, I'm sure it will make you want to sit there and work more.

I seem to have had another breakthrough, a sort of spurt of decluttering energy. I was lying in bed this afternoon nursing --my hangover, and suddenly had ideas of how I could organise my wardrobe and DDs wardrobe. Both are built in and store loads of crap. DDs has lots of baby stuff she no longer needs that I haven't got around to selling/dumping. I will list for sale or dump a fair few things tomorrow.

I have two Ebay items to post tomorrow and have listed one baby carrier. The other I hope to list later in the week. I should make £100 easily for the two carriers.

The boys decided to let go of some more toys yesterday. Not sure if I mentioned this already, last week DS2 was wanting a toy car in the supermarket. I said he could have it if he let me sell his Bob the Builder toys. I've been trying to get him to part with them for ages, but every time I mentioned it he would play with them, but only for that day. Long story short he agreed and someone is collecting them on Wednesday.

I also managed to sell a spare ironing board I had. Wishing I'd taken before and after pics of my hall cupboard now as it looks amazingly different.

Think I should leave it there as this is a bit of an epic post.

Lemon, I do that with dds, if they need to discuss how to make room for it.

Do you keep popping back to admire the cupboard?

LemonBreeland Sun 10-Feb-13 19:50:21

Every time I go into it for something it maked me smile. That is quite sad isn't it smile

I will be so happy when opening all of my cupboards make me feel like that though.

harrietspy Sun 10-Feb-13 20:30:32

Back from the Garage of Letting Go... with so much crap!

I shall ask Sport precisely where in this house-with-no-storage the 30 wine glasses will go (as well as all the other stuff we carted back...). He doesn't drink. I drink very rarely, and if I do it's brandy or whiskey. We don't have huge parties. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!!

smile However, we're one step closer to being shot of the house, which liberates us to talk about separating out our money and formalising separation, which is all good stuff. smile

harrietspy Sun 10-Feb-13 20:32:55

bec happy to talk books/writing with you. Could we pm? (Never pmed before but I'm sure I could work it out).

lemon I love your cupboard and I haven't even seen it.

Isn't it amazing how much crap we all have? I can't understand why we are all finding ourselves in this position.

Most of us have gone through the baby and young child stage (or are going through it) and that brings with it it's own mountains of stuff, but even so. I'm realising more and more just how culturally programmed we are to consume.

it's all relative I guess though. I was reading one of the U.S. blogs and she was saying that a comment had motivated her to declutter her scissors. She counted up and she had ten pairs in her house. Ten pairs! How? But she did declutter them, down to a pairs! Why would you ever need seven pairs of scissors?

These thread is keeping me on track though. Four bags of stuff to the charity shop yesterday, I've just listed 18 items on eBay (free listing weekend) and DP is settling down to do another 30+.

More importantly though, in the last couple of months when things have come into our house it's been mindfully and after discussion about how much we will really use it.

SilentMammoth laughed out loud at the thought of Lemon going back to admire her cupboard because I keep doing that with my desk. (And when I'm not at home I occasionally glance at the photos on my phone - but let's just keep that between ourselves, shall we?) It's not sad at all that you feel happy when you open your cupboard Lemon, we're all working towards that - it's such a great feeling!

I checked out the garage that DH today - he's done so much hard work... but he was exaggerating a little to say that it was done. There are still a few things in there that need Freecycling and sorting. That will be my job for Friday.

Have PMed you harriet - it's in your Inbox.

Happy decluttering one and all.

Sokmonsta Sun 10-Feb-13 21:34:10

Went to the tip today. Took our old tv which has been sat in the hall awaiting final insurance cheque, iron which dh replaced a few weeks ago as ours spluttered and died a death, and our toaster which went pop one side on Friday, and the other went yesterday.

Kitchen has been fiddled with. I picked up a spice rack in Sainsbury's for £3.60. Have needed something for all my small jars. Decluttered a load of stale crackers and OOD food (dh insists they're fine, and they possibly are but we haven't used them this far, two years later, so probably won't use them...).

Am feeling ruthless with the downstairs space atm.

sommewhereelse Sun 10-Feb-13 21:43:17

I thought that sounded like a lot of scissors but I have to stand up and say 'my name is sommewhereelse and I have 13 pairs of scissors'.

We have 7 "essential" pairs : nail scissors in the bathroom, scissors in the first aid kit, office scissors, kitchen scissors, 1 x scissors in 2 school pencil cases (one for each child), sewing scissors in the sewing box.

I can find good reasons for having all of these: sewing scissors are much bigger and sharper. I cut meat with kitchen scissors so they only get used in the kitchen etc

We also have scissors in a travel first aid kit and five pairs of scissors which make pretty patterns for craft projects. These aren't so essential but they make life easier and more fun.

Paintyourbox Sun 10-Feb-13 22:24:28

Evening all!

Another productive day here today. Went to the tip and recycled some old electricals that don't work. Also took lots of cardboard and bottles for recycling.

Cleared out the magazine rack and took that to the recycling too. I also managed to pack up lots of DDs old clothes and gave them to a very grateful friend!

Right now we are looking at some furniture (to replace DH's giant bookcase which he has promised to downsize!). I think a nice sideboard would be good and make the room look lots bigger as its dominated by the huge, dark, bookcase.

MrsPennyapple Sun 10-Feb-13 23:20:14

Downfall making a scrap book of your favourite bits of the DCs' school work is a good idea. I think it probably means more to the parent that the producer of the work. I'm not at that stage yet, DD is only 18mo.

Now, scissors. I am having a mental scissor round-up now.
Nail x2
Kitchen x2
Decorating x1
Hair trimming x1
Dog hair trimming x1
My craft scissors:
Fabric shears x1
Embroidery x 3 (that I can think of)
Paper x 1

Twelve pairs. Hmm, that's quite a lot. I may have to do something about this.

Went to SIL's tonight and she gave us another stack of books and puzzles etc for DD. Most in good condition but a couple of those noisy books with only two out of seven buttons working, so although I'm grateful for the good bits, I do wonder why she doesn't just put the rubbish in the bin. Ah well, it'll go in our bin just as easily I suppose.

BoffinMum Sun 10-Feb-13 23:23:49

Have managed to give away 2 boxes of pristine and gorgeous girls' clothes, and completely fill a cash for clothes bag with others.

lljkk Mon 11-Feb-13 07:52:08

I reckon I have at least 12 pairs of scissors, too, and I insist that I need another.

harrietspy Mon 11-Feb-13 09:55:57

Oh, scissors. I bought 12 pairs for a workshop - why I didn't tell the participants to bring their own, I do not know - and was given 7 pairs of varying sizes free with my sewing machine. Add that to the little sewing scissors I inherited & the 2 pairs we already had and we have a grand total of 22 pairs.

Sport is recognising that we need somewhere to store all the stuff from the garage and also sees we should radically reduce what we have. Not minimalist, but a start... We have 2 big boxes to add to our car boot stock. He wants to have the ceramic vases and jugs in his bedroom, so that's a good result.

Scissors blush
Work pairs - 3 in my "pencil case" I take when tutoring - 1 left-handed, 1 rounded end right-handed and 1 pointed end right-handed.
On my desk - my precious and wonderful large pair of left-handed scissors, another large right-handed pair.
Sewing - small sharp pair for embroidery and delicate cutting out, Larger sharp pair for cutting fabric, pair in hand embroidered holder given to me by godmother, pair of thread snips - new Christmas present.
Craft - 2 or 3 pairs in random sizes that I don't mind blunting by using to cut cardboard, tinfoil or other stuff.
Bedside drawer - nail scissors
Kitchen drawer - kitchen scissors

I make that 14 pairs!

harrietspy Mon 11-Feb-13 11:54:13

Just remembered: 2 pairs of hair cutting scissors. blush

Loving Scissor Gate!

Ok, childrens pairs, 11 each, so four total (no, they can't share, this is asking for trouble)

Large kitchen so scissors
Small kitchen scissors
Sewing scissors
random pair in stationary drawer
Pair in work stationary folder that lives in my briefcase

Chicken scissors (for clipping wings)

Well, that's ten! I do need them all though (slinks off)

Have been considering the barn of doom. Part of me thinks, ace, I will tackle it on maternity leave (next week, whoo hooooo!). Part of me thinks, who am I kidding?

One pair childrens scissors each!

MrsPennyapple Mon 11-Feb-13 13:19:23

Hey folks. I've sorted out a few bits to go to the amenity site this morning. I'm struggling with one item and the emotions it's bringing up though. How do you get rid of something that reminds you of a time when you were strong, independent, and confident, if you are currently none of those things?

harrietspy Mon 11-Feb-13 13:25:35

silent, you're seriously considering tackling the Barn of Doom while heavily pregnant/with a newborn? What does the Hive Quiche think about this? I guess that we might permit you to do things that don't involve heavy lifting... smile

harrietspy Mon 11-Feb-13 13:27:56

Penny, that's a tough one. It's easy to ditch the stuff that makes you feel crap, isn't it?! Take a photo of it, maybe?

MrsPennyapple Mon 11-Feb-13 14:13:06

Nah, I'd feel stupid taking a picture of a lamp smile. I bought it after I threw out my cheating, weed-smoking, non-financially-contributing, non-housework-contributing, no-personal-hygiene ex, and moved into a beautiful new flat all of my own. It was one of the very few times I have bought an item that I actually liked, rather than having to buy the absolute cheapest I could find. Even then it was only £5. How stupid, to be struggling to get rid of a £5 lamp. It does go with the decor that we have now in the living room, it just never gets used. Maybe I'll put it in the spare room for a while. I just feel like I shouldn't be attached to it, because I'm with DP now, we're happy. I suppose being a SAHM at the moment, I don't feel strong and independent, and I'm currently having a very shallow hair / body / clothes crisis, so not confident either. But anyway... in an attempt to remedy a small part of that, I'm decluttering my hair tomorrow. Going to the hairdressers, to have it cut. Either short enough so I can't tie it back, or very very short, pixie-style. I CAN'T FREAKIN' WAIT!!!!!

LemonBreeland Mon 11-Feb-13 16:44:55

Good afternoon everyone. I am really on a roll at the moment. Unfortunately I'm at work tomorrow and that tends to stop me a bit. I'm only working one day this week though so hopefully will get back on it on Wednesday and Thursday.

Today I have taken a couple of large bags to the dump and organised a lots of clothing to go to the cash for clothes shop. I have also listed a few more baby items on FB, Gumtree and Ebay.

I have been thinking about hpw to best arrange DDs room as she gets older. She will be moving from a cot to a bed in the next few months and needs som toy storage too. I've managed to almost empty the bottom of her built in wardrobe as it was full fo stuff to sell or charity shop that I had never got around to doing. I have also bought a bookcase for her room to store most of the toys. It is from a shop that closed down and was very cheap.

I have almost decided on the new storage for the boys room too, it is going to be half of the original sixe I had planned. I realised that we do not need more storage in the house, we need less stuff.

I als emptied out some of the bottom of my wardrobe today. Why on earth did I have a large vanity case for so long. I never use it. Also sending my wedding shoes to the charity shop. I will never wear them again.

I think I've lost some motivation sad don't know why - It's the first proper day off work today and I've done very little - but perhaps I did need some chill time!

Harriet, I promise I'm not stalking you but saw you were giving up screen time for Lent! What are we going to do without you!?

Downfall Mon 11-Feb-13 20:04:40

I'm a bit late to the scissor register, but I am sooo the poor relation on the scissor front of this thread! My friend does a lot of sewing, and recently at her house I did some gratuitous fabric cutting...oooh, oooh, the crisp slice snip. Joyful. So, judging by you connoisseurs, scissors get to stay and are off the decluttering agenda.

Sokmonsta Mon 11-Feb-13 20:16:11

Silent - I had to get in my loft at 39 weeks pregnant with Ds. My mum was having kittens at the bottom of the ladder. So go steady smile

Have sorted hall - stuff to go in loft when kids finally get to sleep.

Cleaned a very grim kitchen floor and decluttered a few more ood bits dh was trying to hold on to (if I do it slowly he won't notice right?).

Was planning on sorting out the ironing pile of doom ready to go to my ironing fairy. but one of the twins is having a bad evening so she's currently trying to sleep on my lap.

Am having a mental count up of my scissors, inspired by your comments here.

One pair in each wrapping paper box
Two pairs of kitchen scissors
Pair in the baby changing bag (for cartons etc)
Medical scissors in my travel first aid kit
Nail scissors
Pair upstairs in the bathroom cabinet of packet opening etc
Sewing scissors
Pinking shears (do they count?)
I know I've got another 2 pairs somewhere. I just don't know where!!

harrietspy Mon 11-Feb-13 20:25:46

That's very sweet of you, silent! I really hope the minimalist quiche is still going strong after Easter. I guess you'll have a new baby when I come back!!! Still, I have tomorrow and then -eek- no Internet or telly for 40+ days. Oh my. Hardcore mental decluttering. Not sure I'm ready...

Btw I don't intend to keep my 24 pairs of scissors, but I will be hanging on to more than one pair for sure. smile.

MrsPennyApple did you see this week's instalment of the Slow Your Home blog about holding onto items that remind you of something - here? It really struck a chord with me, and it reminds me of your situation with the lamp. I don't think there's a right answer to it.

educatingarti - you sound a bit hard on yourself. You were decluttering your time by chilling - doing nothing is fine. We all need to do nothing sometimes or we burn out.

harrietspy you will be missed. Come back and find us won't you?

LemonBreeland you are on a roll! Very inspiring!

Well I went to work in the office today and found a teetering pile of contracts and an email in-box of 2,500 messages waiting for my attention. I am determined to declutter the lot of it - deleted, filed, or done. By the end of March there will be only one day's e-mails in my inbox and my desk at work will be as clear as my desk at home. I'm going to plan my attack over the next few days and then storm the backlog - the next decluttering project.

(We only own one pair of scissors... Only on this thread can that be considered boasting!)

blossombath Mon 11-Feb-13 21:39:44

Hello all, catching up on my MN late this week ( I try to stay off it during the week but was away alot at the weekend so allowing myself a monday peek)...

As ever your updates keep me motivated to keep taking my baby steps along the minimalist road. Not too much this week - a few items in charity shop bags, and threw all my old make up out yesterday in fit of enthusiam. I really struggle with getting things out of the house - they fester in charity bags by the door as there are no charity shops on my usual routes so I have to go out of myway to dispose.

Or it languishes in a 'to sell' bag while I wait for a no fees weekend or umm and ah about where to sell.

Still, will keep plodding on.
harriet you will be missed, but hope you have a lovely lent, and at least we know the garage of letting go is in a good place before you leave us!

arti you definitely need to have time off to replenish energy, you are always a prime declutterer.

MrsPenny I don't think you should feel you have to get rid of it just yet, sometimes you need time to let go of things, and if you still like the look of it then it passes the beautiful or useful test.

A question from ages ago...antoinette you mentioned your household folder has some snazzy calender pages in it - one with all the year and hten one with a to do list by the months (I think). Where did you get them? We are currently working on decanting shelves and shelves of folders into:
- a household binder
- a finances binder
- maybe a firesafe box for things like passports
- rest of stuff scanned or shredded.

Slow progress...

I ventured into one of the cupboards of doom this evening shock . I am renovating an old wooden framed mirror that I got on freegle to go over my mantlepiece. So I needed some DIY stuff which comes out of one of the C.O.D. Scrabbling around in my "tool box" I felt almost physically ill at the thought of having to sort it all out! The thing is - I do actually want to keep most of the random bits of wire, screws, rawl plugs, wood etc because they do come in handy when you make things - as I like to do! The thought of actually finding a way of sorting it all out though fills me with horror! I have so many boxes etc of bits and pieces!

OK - having got all that off my chest, I think I need to take things in very small pieces. Some of the cupboards have more "random junk" than DIY stuff. Maybe I need to start there!

sommewhereelse Mon 11-Feb-13 21:52:23

becstar thanks for that link. I enjoyed reading that, it has helped me clarify some thoughts about some 'souvenir' items of my grandparents that just aren't to my taste and I cannot display so have been languishing in boxes for over 15 years. They bring back vivid memories of bored Sunday afternoons staring at my gps ornaments and pictures for relief. I've decided to get these memories down on paper, along with the ones where I had fun with my gps, and sell the ornaments. After a quick google I have learnt some of them are collectibles so they should go to someone who can appreciate them and I can give the money to my Grandad's favourite charity.

LemonBreeland Mon 11-Feb-13 22:05:47

bec it is very kind of you to call me an inspiration.

On scissorgate, we have at least 8 pairs. Yet I do not have nor have ever used a left handed pair. Keep meaning to get some as I can not cut straight.

I had my first proper pair of large left-handed scissors as a 40th birthday present - whata revelation - I do recommend them for cutting in straight lines if you are left-handed!

BoffinMum Mon 11-Feb-13 22:31:20

I have been attempting to sort out the loft and discovered a) loft ladders are hard with a dicky hip, and b) it is too bloody cold to be up in lofts at the moment.

However I have managed to cull some of my extensive hoard of children's clothes awaiting DC4, and sorted the ones I want to keep. I'm getting a system going up there so it's all labelled and neatly accessible in a row. I also found DH's sleeping bag liner, which we have been looking for for ages, as well as some useful things that fit DC4 right now.

My proudest moment up there has been installing a shoe rack for the children's shoe collection, again awaiting DC4. We have 28 pairs of shoes and wellies for him to grow in to! Except now they are all neatly in rows so I can find what I need as he grows, and not have to navigate a mountain of random shoes. I did discover some duplicates where we had clearly not been able to find the sizes we needed for the other kids, so bought new ones instead <blush>.

I think it counts as minimalism as all the stuff will be used, and as he grows out of it space can be readily vacated now there's a system.

harrietspy Mon 11-Feb-13 22:34:11

bec, that link was fantastic.

Unpacking boxes this evening, I came across a little blue cardboard box with bone-handled butter knives in. We've been carting this from house to house for 15 years. It belonged to Sport's much-adored, ferocious grandmother. I love toast. I love butter. The little butter knives are gorgeous. I have put them in the cutlery drawer and will use them every day. smile Strictly speaking I don't need them, but I like the idea of taking time over something and paying attention while you're doing it. My own little toast ceremony...

MrsPennyapple Mon 11-Feb-13 22:42:37

Bec thank you for the link, I will go and read that now.

blossombath Mon 11-Feb-13 22:44:06

Oh and I meant to add, thanks for wardrobe ideas last week still haven't tackled it properly but got out some old skirts and been working through them to see if I can wear them again and if not they are going into bags by door.

bec I love your desk, so neat!

And also thanks for link, reading it now and pondering, letting go of memory items is a tough one

LemonBreeland Tue 12-Feb-13 11:01:29

I was lying in bed last night thinking about how much stuff has been leaving my house and it becomes a bit scary. However I decided that it is just stuff that should have gone in small amounts over the years but hadn't, so it is okay that lots of things are going.

I think that as DD is my last child it makes letting things go a lot easier. Since she was born clothes that she outgrows immediately go. that is not something I could do in the past so stored huge amounts of things.

arti I must get a pair of left handed scissors. I hope they will be a revelation to me. It looks like DD will be left handed too, so definitely worth getting.

Boffin I've always had an issue of storing clothes/shoes for the next child to grow into. Particularly wellies as they are not fitted shoes. I have a cupboard full but must organise them better. DS2 currently has 2 pairs of wellies as I bought him new ones then found DS1s old ones a week later. Very frustrating.

I am finding lately that I feel more relaxed in my house as I see a future of it being organised and knowing where everything is. So far I have not set myself any goals of when I want the major declutter finished. But we have a huge amount of work to do in the garden so would like the house to be done by late spring at thelatest so I can focus on the garden.

eminemmerdale Tue 12-Feb-13 12:33:19

I have joined you due the thread I started earlier in chat wherein I sobbed like a small child about my house sad Will read it all later smile

LemonBreeland Tue 12-Feb-13 12:52:39

emi love your nn btw. Just had a wee look at your thread in chat. It sounds like this is the perfect place for you.

It is difficult if your DH isn't on board. It sounds like he has real issues with letting go of anything, especially the clothes. That sounds completely out of control.

Little things at a time can be a real help. Just a carrier bagfull here or there can really make a difference.

I am another one who had too much furniture. Not as bad as your bedroom sounds but you find yourself thinking you need more torage when the answer is less stuff. and for me that hasn't meant throwing out anything we actually use. In fact the things we do use are beginning to get proper homes as all of the cupboards etc. are no loinger full of crap we don't use.

Good luck with half term.

welcome emin
I'm in the process of dealing with one of the more minor shelves of despair in an awful, but nowhere near the worst, cupboard of doom. I'm enjoying listing all the things I am throwing out!

eminemmerdale Tue 12-Feb-13 12:57:21

He's kind of on board, but when it comes to it - just seems to think that he needs everything, you know 'just in case', or 'I can't get rid of that - I got that in 1976' etc... <despair>

emin Just read your other thread. Can you start small with some of yours/the dc's stuff in the 2 weeks before you have your time off work? It might help to encourage your DH?

Agree that he sounds as if he's got a problem with letting things go. Do you have a charity like this near you? He might be more willing to let some of the furniture go if it is going to people who really need it? I think you need to sit him down when neither of you are in a rush and tell him just how badly his hoarding is affecting you!

eminemmerdale Tue 12-Feb-13 13:17:45

Yes, we do. I have taken three days off work the week after next and am going to ask him to have things ready for me to get rid of that week ( he works p/t so can do it - despite his 'oh i never get time')

eminemmerdale Tue 12-Feb-13 13:19:10

Meanwhile, I will start doing little places - drawers etc. We have tons and tons of paperwoprk from insurances and house purchase and god knows what in files all over the place as well. He and I have to sort through them together or I'll just throw out the deeds or something grin

sommewhereelse Tue 12-Feb-13 13:20:29

Emin if you have time I would suggest reading the blogs linked to in this thread and the previous one 'mimimalist journey' as well as the threads. You will find lots of thought provoking stuff which will hopefully get your DH to question his 'I might need it one day' beliefs.

I'm still far from mimimalist but thanks to these threads I am thinking about our belongings in a way I didn't last time we had a clear out and making a lot more progress rather than just boxing stuff up again with clearer labels.

eminemmerdale Tue 12-Feb-13 13:22:38

Brilliant. Thank you, I will. So pleased there may be some light thanks

harrietspy Tue 12-Feb-13 13:49:00

Hello eminem. I'm not going to be around for long as I'm going to be off the internet for Lent, but just wanted to wish you all the best. Starting small is absolutely the way to do it. One item at a time. And be kind to yourself while you're doing it. I think the message you'll get on here is that huge change doesn't happen all at once, only through simple tiny actions. smile

I say this facing a completely chaotic house with almost no room on the kitchen table. 180 mile round-trip tomorrow to get the furniture from clearing our old house. There's already a sofa in the hall waiting to be donated so I'm not sure how we'll fit more in... I have to move existing furniture before school pick-up so that we can accommodate the 'new' stuff temporarily, even if we're not planning to keep it.... However, the Garage of Doom has already become the Garage of Letting Go and soon it won't even be my garage any more grin. Spent 20 mins shredding a batch of papers from my horrible, stressful, utterly awful old job. I have had 'em for 8 years. More to shred, but it feels good.

Now I can't wait till the car boot season starts up so that I can get rid of the boxed-up clutter.

I'll check in again later - I'll miss this thread sooooooo much!

eminemmerdale Tue 12-Feb-13 13:53:25

a shredder is a wonderful idea

Hope you don't mind me joining so late - our tiny house that we moved into 11 months ago is cluttered to the hilt as we both brought our collections of stuff, then had DD so we have all her tat stuff too and now we are ttc #2 I really feel like we need to get things sorted!

Our lounge has been sorted and through use of wicker baskets, a new shoe cupboard and moving a couple bits of furniture out it is looking 'minimal' hoorah!!! Now just to attack the rest of the house with the same vicious hand

Our dining room is currently acting as our junk room and I've upended the under stairs cupboards to rearrange, sort throw out and possibly sell whatever crap was there!

DD's room is sorted, toys in hamper, spare nappies/wipes in under cot storage, all clothes that don't fit in size labelled boxes for DC2 if we get one ( grin ), new bigger drawers to fit all clothes in and all medicines now in a tupperware pot in a top shelf in a kitchen cupboard downstairs.

Half way through mine and DH's bedroom too, sorting old clothes, clothes that don't fit and general crap!

I want my home to feel homely not cluttered!

Sounds like you're making excellent progress blondie.

It gets easier too - we had a massive clear out at the weekend, I didn't honestly think there was anything else to chuck, but I've managed ANOTHER trip to the tip this morning!

Ruthlessness is becoming a habit, cupboards are 'breathing' and becoming a joy to open.

The harder bit is reminding myself not to bring any more crap IN to the house!

Good luck, and to emin too. smile

So all my shoes - I know I only wear each pair about once a year but they are probably the only thing (apart from books) I have real trouble getting rid of...

Do you guys just go ruthless and chuck or are there things you find really difficult to let go of? Also - summer/winter clothes and shoes - do you store them out of season?

MrsPennyapple Tue 12-Feb-13 15:51:00

Well, my hair is now well and truly decluttered! I feel so much better for having short hair again, I feel like me again smile

I got a few bits out of the kitchen cupboards the other day to get rid of, and asked DP to check if there was anything he didn't want to go. He has put back in the cupboard two stainless steel dishes which are divided into two inside, and have lids. I think they are for serving veg, when you have company. They have never been used since we've been together, and I am certain he had forgotten they even existed. So I'm a bit annoyed about that, but I shall keep my gob shut, as most of the stuff that's going is his.

eminemmerdale Tue 12-Feb-13 16:45:02

I know things haven't started in my house yet, but I have just walked in from work and cried at the thought of what needs doing. DD has had a friend over these past two days so her playroom is a tip, not to mention overspilt into the dining room, with pens and drawing paper all over the table, I said to dh we WILL be chucking the videos and he's all of a dither looking through them and saying but we must keep this.why why why? I'm on our bed looking at this monstrous silver 6 foor rotating mirror thing a tatty 60's chest of drawers, a very nice 30's mini 'gentlemans wardrobe' an ironing board (yes) a cupboard that won't close, a barstool (?) a bedside table and a glass fronted 20's cabinet full of royal family teasets (Mils, that dh couldn't bear to get rid of...) Just went into ds room and he told me dad had got him to clear under his bunbed, so I had a look and basically, all the tat under there (including the green top of an ancient min pool table (!) ) is still there, just in a different position! The kitchen has a broken chair in it (for firewood) and a bag of logs, a bout six pairs of shoes - oh shoes - there are hundreds of pairs of shoes in each room. I really am on the edge tonight which is totally ridiculous - I am apparently getting 'into a ridiculous state' And this is a snapshot.... sad
And breathe

Sorry. Thanks if you made it to the end!

harrietspy Tue 12-Feb-13 17:03:26

Oh, eminem that sounds really overwhelming. Is there anything that's completely within your control (and nothing to do with your dh or dc) that you could start with, just so that you feel a tiny sense of achievement?

Some of us on this thread have started with junking unwanted make-up, toiletries, tights, etc. A really easy win is to sort out the piles of paper into might-be-important and junk mail, or chuck out pens that aren't working. It might not feel like much, but maybe it's a tiny movement towards a calmer house...

It doesn't sound ridiculous. It sounds overwhelming.