Moving Forward With Minimalism

(994 Posts)
MinimalistMommi Sun 18-Aug-13 17:23:41

This is a new thread following on from the previous 'm' thread on Good Housekeeping!

All Minimalists or aspiring minimalists welcome!

NarkyNamechanger Sun 18-Aug-13 17:26:26

Not currently a minimalist but love the process and thought behind it. Doubt it's something I could achieve due to my job but will lurk if that's ok? smile

MinimalistMommi Sun 18-Aug-13 17:28:52

Welcome Narky - lurk away!
Here's the previous 'm' thread:
It's a bit of a long read though, 38 pages grin

NarkyNamechanger Sun 18-Aug-13 17:29:56

I did get through about half of it a while ago bit I admit I lost track after that!

MinimalistMommi Sun 18-Aug-13 17:31:11

Easy to do Narky!

JimmyCorkhill Sun 18-Aug-13 18:48:35

Hello Narky.
Am very chuffed with our efforts this weekend as we have been on a roll. Feel a bit silly though as everything bar one item I put on Gumtree has sold - why did I leave it so long confused. Lesson learned.

MinimalistMommi Sun 18-Aug-13 18:54:37

Jimmy does clothing sell on Gumtree do you know? I've never really looked at the site.

JimmyCorkhill Sun 18-Aug-13 18:58:50

I haven't tried clothes yet but there is a section for it.
I have gone off Ebay as it's such a faff and the Netmums nearly new site doesn't seem to be very active in my area. Gumtree though, seems to move REALLY fast. I have listed things very cheaply though as my aim is to shift it and use the money as a bonus. No idea if that's why my stuff sold.

harrietspy Sun 18-Aug-13 19:08:38

Thanks for starting the next thread, minimalistmommi. I'm on hols and trying to get through my reading prep for new job in Sept in every spare moment - ie when dc are happily occupied elsewhere - but will check in with the thread when I can.

buildingmycorestrength Sun 18-Aug-13 19:08:43

Jimmy, that is really good to know, not sure if it would be the same round here. grin.

Thanks for new thread, Mommi.

Bluecarrot Sun 18-Aug-13 20:06:58

I'm back as dd goes back to school for 3 half days this week and then full time from next Monday.

I really spend too much time thinking about decluttering rather than doing it, but a house cleaning blitz last night has left me feeling v sore today around the bump ( 20 weeks pregnant tomorrow) Might be unrelated but its so sore I'm not risking it again!

This morning I sorted pre-pregnancy clothes abd they are sitting ready to be vac pac sealed and stored in eaves ( waiting a few days as ill inevitably find another item after putting bag away! Also packed some stuff for charity.

Tomorrow I'm going through the eBay stuff that isn't selling but I keep relisting as its free and v easy. Instead I'm going to take down the stuff that's not worth much and give away to charity or friend. Then I'm putting all the scrap paper into recycling. After that I'm going to put my feet up til
Dd comes home!

Tuesday ill be out so won't get anything done.

Wednesday - packing up kitchen equipment and putting it in "6 month storage" when it'll go to charity shop. Everything, except stuff used daily/weekly without fail, it going in the boxes.

I'm back to work tomorrow so less de-cluttering time. I have ideas though of what else I want to do. I've more or less given up ebaying I just don't think it's worth it anymore especially with the increase in postage costs. Also I found I always had a "pile" of stuff waiting to be ebayed.

inthetide Sun 18-Aug-13 23:02:38

I'm looking forward to a lighter life and a more mindful approach to the craziness of Christmas, dare I mention it? I need to apply the same principles to my online activity and emails though. Damn MN for introducing me to blogs!

delasi Mon 19-Aug-13 00:55:08

Ooh! Ooh! I want to join!

I haven't read the other thread so I'll slowly make my way, but I am determined to live clean and minimalist as much as I can. I've already cleared out what must be the equivalent of at least one skip surely more?! of clothing, shoes, books, DVDs, CDs, furniture, toiletries, knick knacks... the list goes on. Still have more to do but we're getting there smile

buildingmycorestrength Mon 19-Aug-13 06:40:07

Hello lovely ladies, my DH actually helped with decluttering old cables last night. Total result. Anyone jealous? grin.

Have sorted a few shelves in the front room so there is more room for the things we do while watching telly. I now have a wee sewing cupboard...hurrah! Moved the battery recharger somewhere more sensible, moved DVDs up a shelf, got rid of a couple smile. and now need to go through a few bits that are left.

I am very very pleased with myself.

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 19-Aug-13 07:15:35

Hello all and welcome to the newcomers! grin

I like the name MinimalistMommi, very proactive!

We had a minor hiccup yesterday with the caselogic things and the CDs/DVDs - DH decided he wanted to keep any CD/DVD which was in a "nice" box... the definition of nice increased to about 40 CDs and several large box sets of DVDs.
However, it is still far less than there once was so I let it go without nagging.
Usually I am a prime contender for the nag helmet award so this is a win!

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 19-Aug-13 07:16:00

the thread name I mean MM (although I like your nn too grin!)

JimmyCorkhill Mon 19-Aug-13 09:23:35

Just been thinking about the Christmas concerns people have been having. Due to money issues my DP and I gave each other NO presents at all both last Christmas and the one before (DD had pressies). We had told friends and family that we weren't in a position to do presents for them and so we had nothing from anyone! Strangely it was absolutely fine. We still had the whole food/telly/drink (not me as pregnant last Dec!) and it still felt like a Christmas should.

On our decluttering journey we have got rid of many previous Christmas presents - lots were unused, some were still in the protective plastic wrapping blush. Our finances are slowly improving. It's my birthday today and I got ONE present and you know what? I REALLY appreciate it. It isn't lost amongst lots of other gifts. I will use it (it's the tiniest ipod, I wanted it for running) and it takes up no room!

My DD1 got a 6 month membership card to a softplay for Christmas from my mum and it was by far the best gift she got. We're already thinking about memberships to attractions/trips out as gift ideas rather than more stuff.

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 10:02:38

I'm jealous building! grin

I have the house to myself today as DH has taken DC on day out. Need to identify what decluttering to do and also what laundry to do. I'm baking bread rolls and and making veggie bean burgers for tea tonight too.

Re: name. Thank you Art

Sorry about the blogs inthe...can't remember ones I introduced to you now...blush

Welcome to all the newcomers to the thread!

brighter couldn't agree more about e.baying, but I do have some Mini Boden clothing which I could do with getting some money for...reluctant just to send them to the charity shop. Postage costs have really mess e.bay up.

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 10:04:36

jimmy snap, me and DH haven't exchanged pressies for years. Christmas for us is about the food, decoration, cosyness and candlelight! We love burning candles mid autumn and through the winter.

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 10:05:13

Happy Birthday jimmy
Will you have cake?

Great new thread name MM! Welcome to all newcomers. Currently trying to de-clutter my brain enough to get started with work!!

Hmmm - Staples are offering a free "4 person wicker basket" if I spend £140.

Do you think that means 4 people could live in it? If so it could be a bargain...?

BeCool Mon 19-Aug-13 11:20:08

Gosh we are here already!
Hello all!
I'm having a bit of a meltdown but looking forward to our glamping holiday starting Friday.

First I am trying to pack as minimally as possible, while taking enough stuff to keeps the DD's amused and clothing to cover all weather possibilities. This will involve taking lots of layers including a wet weather layer through to swimsuits, a hula hoop, a bouncy rubber cow, water ducks (for water fights) ribbons, fabric/sari's, paints and some dress ups.
Add paddock - should be lots of fun (holy cow I NEED IT).

Anything I'm forgetting?

delasi Mon 19-Aug-13 11:38:51

DH and must already be major minimalists in the present area as we don't do them for anything (I know, check us out grin). For birthdays we always go for a 'special' meal (read: dearer than I'd usually like!). DS isn't yet 1yo so no idea what we're going to do DC-wise confused

Today I have a goal for when I return from work: sort wires in living room, sort bags and bedding that are currently in the hall, remove footrest from kitchen (not sure how it got there hmm), get rid of old armchair. The biggest task is the bags and bedding so I really want to get that out of the way.

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 11:57:51

del we also don't do pressies for birthdays, rest of extended family think we are cheap skates but I literally don't 'need' for anything material. I also request no birthday card from DH as I think they are a waste of money and they get recycled next day anyway. I do insist on a huge slice of cake though grin

BeCool we went off with our bell tent at the beginning of the summer and had a lovely time, after I'm remember how much time you spend on your knees and bending down to get stuff from floor of tent LOL. Have you got hot water bottles for adults? I also found a clip board useful for each DC for clipping paper too and drawing. We just took paper/felt tips/baby doll and stroller for five year old and some play silks and that was it toy wise. Couldn't cram anything else in. Have you to water pistols if the weather is hot? I also find a tray for each DD useful for eating meals off, keeps plates, fork, drink all together. They have sippy cups even though they are eight and five, stops drink being tipped everywhere. Has each DD got crocks or similar? Essential for camping field. Oh, and camping friends to go off and play with...

fuzzpig Mon 19-Aug-13 12:17:51

marking place! love the new title!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 12:19:00

<waving> at fuzzpig

delasi Mon 19-Aug-13 12:32:18

Mini Haha! Yes family think we're weird for not getting special anniversary gifts either. All of our finances are joint so no point on wasting it on things we don't need or want!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 12:43:05

Our anniversary was recently and DH said half way through morning we got married years ago today and I was like, oh yeah! grin

clearsommespace Mon 19-Aug-13 13:16:55

Good to catch up with all the news.

We just had a week away in a glorified garden shed on a campsite in the south of France.

Healthy minimalist cooking is easy when it's hot and the markets are stuffed with delicious fruit and veg.

For the kids we took a few books (visit to the library a must before holidays), DS consoles (for the loooong car journey), inflatable ball and ring for the pool, drawing stuff plus scissors and glue, DD took a small amount of animal figurines which could be played with poolside and we took about 6 small games like Uno. It was enough to keep the kids busy.

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 13:20:01

clear what sort of stuff did you cook?

fuzzpig Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:55

I have managed to shift the elephant a little today. DH and I wrote a list of everything we need to do before term starts, and assigned it to various slots in the diary. We aren't having a holiday this year but we've got a couple more days out planned.

DD is having a friend over this week - this is a BIG deal as DH and I are very very introverted and have only ever had one friend over to play before (as her mum is a dear friend too) but I was determined to face my fear and invite somebody different during summer.

So DH and I cracked on with DC's room a bit more. Unfortunately much of this involved moving stuff into our room <sigh> but we did fill a binbag and we finally finished clearing the space at the back of DD's cabin bed (I think I mentioned that on the previous thread several months ago blush). We found an old rug/tapestry hanging thing that we have never used in our home, but DH is very attached to it (he has hardly anything sentimental from his horrible childhood, so I don't begrudge him!). So I said if we get it cleaned, we could make the hidden space into a little den for the DCs and use the rug to snuggle in. There are a couple of cushions we could use, and DH is going to fit a light in there too. We are going to do this one day when the DCs are both at school and keep it as a surprise.

fuzzpig Mon 19-Aug-13 13:52:27

And happy birthday jimmy! cake grin

fuzzpig - the den sounds like a fantastic idea. I would have loved something like that as a child.

BeCool Mon 19-Aug-13 15:50:06

our water pistols are water ducks!! sorted.
YY to crocs, and hot water bottles.

there are only 2 tents where we are staying. It's glamping so we have 'proper' furniture (and a flushing loo in the tent) so I don't have to take too much camping bits as it's all supplies - whew! After all I'm a single parent in desperate need of a holiday myself! (my first holiday as SP)

It would be really nice if the other tent has some young DC too. I imagine mornings will be filled running around the field, and afternoons we will be out & about (beach, camel farm, local lido etc).

I have a tendency to plan the days too much and try and pack too much in. So I'm reigning that all back and valuing the time we just hang out together as much as time out and about. Getting a little more minimalist this holiday - what we really need is some relaxed fun time together.

JimmyCorkhill Mon 19-Aug-13 15:59:58

No cake MinimalistMommi as I'm on Slimming World and blew all my syns for the week over the weekend (I forgot about my birthday blush). But I'm having a lovely day all the same.

It's nice to know that others don't do presents - we notice that we appreciate the other aspects of the day more (old gimmer emoticon!). I like the idea of the 'special' meal delasi - think I'll introduce this idea. I don't mind how much it costs so long as it's toddler free!

JimmyCorkhill Mon 19-Aug-13 16:02:26

Thanks fuzzpig - I'm assuming mumsnet cake is syn free!!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 17:34:06

BeCool that sounds lovely! I hope you have a fabulous time!

Fuzzpeg I'm also very introverted and have to force myself to have the occasional play date for DD's. I'm quite aware that we could be seen as a 'different' family because of different parenting styles, minimalism etc away from mainstream so I feel a bit 'separate' from other mums at the school because of this but do try never the less. I'm very shy which doesn't help. Your work on the bedroom sounds brilliant by the way.

harrietspy Mon 19-Aug-13 18:27:09

Hello minimisers old and new!

I'm starting to turn my mind to Christmas (like some posters above) because I don't want to panic buy and I suspect that my return to FT work will mean I won't have much time to think about it!

Having done such a massive cull of unnecessary stuff I don't want to fill the house again.

In their stockings, Ds1 will get new underwear, ds2 new socks, new pjs each and possibly a furry hot water bottle because we have a very cold house.. Also bubblebath/shower gel. Music/audio books. The makings of luxury hot choc (squirty cream, marshmallows, choc to melt). I've seen some excellent felt tips pens for ds2 and I might give ds1 some Microsoft points to spend in his Fifa game on the xbox.
A new slinky each. How is that sounding?

BlackBorderBinLiner Mon 19-Aug-13 18:47:37

The 'different' family thing sound familiar.
DH & I have been fairly 'minimal' in terms of possessions most of our lives but what we have is generally lovely and we've patiently waited for the right thing rather than settling for second best ever since we were students.

We've moved to a big unusual property just before we had kids in a small backwater, it's been a struggle to 'fit' in although we have tried very hard.

People are very keen to tell us about car boot sales, free ads, local sales so we can buy the kids more toys - they have loads, carefully chosen, sometimes expensive, sometimes not, which have lasted and are played with. We just did n't do anything to excess, the whole baby gym, toddler speciality stuff, millions of baby & barbie dolls rather then just the two beloved corelle ones.

I have sat through toddler coffee mornings listening to the decluttering chat and the screen chat and although never expressed any opinion at all have been quite aggressively rounded on by people who have seen our house because we happen not to have lots 'stuff'. Some folks will see your lack of excess as a criticism of their own burdens.

I like to met at the beach, neutral ground!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 19:02:38

Oh goodness Black you've got it in one, it seems people sometimes think because we have less/DD's have very, very limited screen time/live in a tiny house that we are criticising their style of living even though with people outside family it's not something I talk about in day to day conversation. It would be nice not having to feel like I ever need to justify my choices just because its not the norm.

Harriet great idea about the hot chocolate...if it's OK I might potentially steal that idea...Your stocking is sounding fab and very uncluttery and your DC's will love if. I know I did my list ages ago on the old thread, I've decided I might go crazy and add a Lego mini figure aswell...grin

The Lego free with the Dail Mail this week would be fab stocking fillers but my DH said I was a cheap skate and I couldn't put a newspaper freebie in their stockings blush My youngest DD is upset that I can't get Tuesdays free Lego which is the Lego Friends letter box...we're out very early tomorrow and I won't be able to buy the paper or get to WHSmiths.sad
At least I can get the Lego Friends picnic on Thursday grin

PolkadotRosa Mon 19-Aug-13 19:03:22

Hello all! Ooh a new threadsmile great title MM

Feeling like my 'M' Mojo is back. Elephant seems to have packed his/her trunk, thankfully!

Day off work tomorrow (yey) and going to deposit some stuff at the charity shop. Tonight I'm making a list of everything I want or need to get done and decluttered from my mind/conscience.

My DH and I haven't done pressies either the past year or so. We probably spent the same in the end though buying too much presents for our DD. How funny that my whole outlook on 'stuff' and feelings about bringing things into our home is so different to how it was last year. Father Christmas will be thinking more & leaving less, but hopefully what he does leave will mean more (if that makes sense?!)
First rule of christmas club - no plastic!!

MinimalistMommi Mon 19-Aug-13 19:08:16

Thank you Polka Re: Name of thread.

I sometimes feel quite stressed on the approach to Christmas but I'm hoping that as this is the fourth year we've done it very minimally that I've come to terms with not buying lots and not feel guilty, it's hard when the shops are stuffed to the gills. I always remind myself, after all, it's only one day and the important stuff is the excitement and feelings around Christmas, not the 'stuff'.

delasi Mon 19-Aug-13 19:21:25

I never knew people were really judged for the minimalism, but then DS is still so little and we live an area full of artists, textiles, trendy coffee shops etc and if you do anything vaguely non conventional then you fit in grin No idea what the school mums are like, I get the impression they can be super catty, but I'm fortunate enough to have a number of good friends with kids. Thr closest of whom is also on a minimalism drive!

I do buy stuff for DS, but only the stuff that I really like/think is good. A lot of baby stuff is so expensive, especially when he gets so much joy from empty plastic bottles...

PolkadotRosa Mon 19-Aug-13 19:21:58

So true MM the excitement and time together & being thankful for that is what's important. I look back on Christmas growing up and yeah I might fondly remember a couple of pressies I got, but mostly I remember that feative feeling of a 'special time'.

harrietspy Mon 19-Aug-13 22:42:05

Sadly my dc have got far too used to big heaps to open at Christmas so I will probably feel the need to add some more fun little things to their stocking...

If I were starting again with dc now I'd follow the example of my friend who only had very few toys and wisely recognised that her son would get more from banging spoons on pans than having an orchestra's worth of little musical instruments, etc... Part of the trouble for me - alongside my own inclination to get Stuff - was the heaps of toys they were given, especially as I was the first of my group of friends to have a baby... Getting out from under The Stuff isn't easy. I envy the new parents on the thread who are starting with minimalism in mind. Far easier never to accumulate it in the first place!

fuzzpig Mon 19-Aug-13 23:33:53

Indeed Harriet! I'm not sure I will manage to get as far as some on my M journey. Though it will still be miles better than where we are now so I hope I will find a balance I am happy with. I've not actually discussed it with any other parents with similar age kids basically as I have next to no mum friends as nobody in the playground talks to me but my best mate at work, who has just become a grandma for the first time, is very supportive and we chat about it.

Have spent an interesting evening looking through old poems I wrote when I was a teenager (before/during the time I was in a psych unit). Haven't looked at them for about 8 years (apart from 2 which we had read at our wedding). I've come a long way since then, but I'm wondering if there's something I could do with said poems.

clearsommespace Tue 20-Aug-13 11:21:49

MinimalistMommi Cooking was a bit of an overstatement. Mostly we just ate the plentiful and inexpensive delicious fruit and salad veg with bread and cheese and cold cuts.
For the main meal, I'd cook something like hard boiled eggs or rice during breakfast and then we'd have this later cold in a big salad. Occasionally grilled meat for the meat eaters.
We didn't have/need/use many pots, dishes and implements but I find it's different at home and in winter when you need more ingredients to make the meals taste as good.

fuzzpig Tue 20-Aug-13 11:36:48

I love that kind of meal.

MinimalistMommi Tue 20-Aug-13 18:02:04

Clear that sounds lovely, well the vegetarian bits bc I'm a veggie grin

I'm exhausted, just got back from an amazing day at Legoland but bc of my tiredness etc it has actually wiped me out completely. I think I will be paying for it tomorrow...DH is treating us to a takeaway on the sofa in front of the telly tonight after DD's are asleep so I don't have to do ANYTHING further today apart from climb into my pyjamas.

I don't often read the Daily Mail but had occasion to buy it today wink and it had an article about women and shoes. Apparently women own, on average, 20 pairs but only actually wear 5! < goes off to count shoes>

MinimalistMommi Tue 20-Aug-13 18:20:28

LOL Educating grin grin grin
These are for you thanks thanks thanks

buildingmycorestrength Tue 20-Aug-13 19:22:44

Oh my! Have just had a wonderful revelation.

Loving something, or knowing that my kids/husband love it, is a GOOD ENOUGH reason to keep something. Hurrah! I can keep something just because I love it. grin.

Sorry, that probably seems really obvious to you all.

Liking something a bit, feeling like I ought to keep it, imagining that one day I will get round to using it, imagining how much the kids would like to see that bit of tat again for five minutes before ditching it again, being worried that the giver will discover I don't like it....these are not good reasons.

Loving something is a good reason.

That makes me feel better. I can keep something just because I love it or I know the kids love it.

Yes Building - of course you can!

I have lots of random bits of tat things I really like and that I have no intention of ditching!

clearsommespace Tue 20-Aug-13 20:03:17

DD just sold a game which we advertised online. It has been bought by a physical development therapist who is going to use it to help children practise certain fine motor skills. DD and I both feel really good that it will be put to such good use and she's chuffed with the money too! Better still, DS (who saves every paper plane he makes) has been inspired to look through his stuff to see what he could sell!

Bluecarrot Tue 20-Aug-13 21:26:05

educating I have 1 pair of trainers (need replaced) 1 pair of wedge boots, 1 pair of pumps (worn only for job interviews/funerals etc) and 1 pair of flip flops. So... 4! I do need flat winter suitable shoes though.

Harriet I think the stocking sounds good except where's the clementine and chocolate coins?!

This will be DDs first Christmas "knowing" but will do Xmas eve hamper (pjs, slippers, dressing gown, Xmas DVD and hot choc stuff), and on big day im thinking 1 big gift plus voucher for clothes shopping trip (baby due on 6th jan though!) new duvet set, some books and theatre tickets.

DP will also get Xmas eve hamper and a theatre trip. He's so low maintenance I actually have no idea what else to get him.

Today we weren't out as long as I had thought so I'm 2 days ahead of my plan! Wrecked now though. Kitchen is all packed up except utensils as I cleaned out the drawer and put them all in the dishwasher. Ill sort them in the morning.

I also sorted a room that's holding stuff that use ago be in the nursery which was our attic alternative. I cleared 7 boxes of stuff to go (to charity/sell/give to specific person) plus a bag of paper to be recycled and a black bin bag of rubbish.

Not feeling great now though so will have an early night and then see how I feel tomorrow. Would like to get utensils drawer and utility room (2 small cupboards) cleared at least as I can be sitting down for those things.

I'm going to try local Facebook selling group that I just discovered today but not yet. Gonna wait and do it all at once. Maybe bundle some stuff for ease and earn some pennies for baby fund!

Feeling a lot closer to an easier to keep house!

Downfall Tue 20-Aug-13 21:34:32

Hello lovely minimalisers....I am a lurker...who has been decluttering for most of this year, and just wanted to say how grateful I am to you all for keeping threads going that I've delved into, and been motivated by.

I read the Slow Your Home blog from a link on these threads, and thought, 'get rid of 2013 things from your home? dont be ridiculous', but I think I've easily done that, with still more to go!

Its been a bit of a struggle to get DH properly on board (his dad had a very poor childhood, and is a hoard-everything-just-in-case-type, which DH naturally follows), but after much planning of ebaying, he has realised we are just storing sooo much stuff that we dont need and we cant sell, but that a charity shop probably could.

I have an empty (small) cupboard in our bedroom. Empty! smile

inthetide Tue 20-Aug-13 21:46:43

I've taken my minimising to work. I've spent years ricocheting around stuff that has always been there that might be useful, that has never had the time or opportunity to be explored nor used. So I cleared boxes and boxes today. I don't know how to dispose of it all, but I am excited that I might be able to keep control of my work environment.
What do do with boxes of dusty, out of date reference books?

Downfall Tue 20-Aug-13 21:52:11

At our tip/recycling centre there is a book depository thingy - I guess they get pulped and recycled.

Getting rid of files and stacks of old work reference material is the cause of my afore mentioned empty cupboard. I agree it's exciting!

delasi Wed 21-Aug-13 00:48:37

I just wanted to say that I can understand the just-in-case hoarding and I think a lot of people must get into this. DH and I both had poor households growing up, DH moreso than I, and so whenever we could get anything for free we would jump on it. It took me a while to come to terms with the concept of not only not always getting stuff that was free to us but even getting rid of stuff we already had. I sat down one day and realised that I had clothes that were 6,7,8+ years old and that were cheap in the first place so it was okay to not have them anymore!

Unfortunately I didn't get around to my tidying targets blush I think I was being a bit ambitious. I've been ill, tired, and had stuff to do all day yesterday and today. I think tomorrow or Thurs is more realistic... but I have set myself a limit: it has to be done by Friday evening, those are the rules and they will be abided by!

buildingmycorestrength Wed 21-Aug-13 07:17:58

I'm actually not getting much done right now but am hanging on til school starts. It is a magical dreamland of always having enough time for everything.... right? RIGHT. grin.

Hubbie is ebaying some region 1 Wii games we were given... £15 for the first one! Am v proud of him. That will almost pay to see Alpha Papa tonight. grin.

Downfall Wed 21-Aug-13 07:53:54

Ah yes, September, the promised land wink

Next month is actually extra busy for me, additional work committments, and we are away two weekends, so I desperately want to get organised before school starts again.

So far this summer we have got rid of every CD (DH put them all on the laptop and ipod) and most of the DVD's. He did use music magpie but found it so time comsuming for £6, I just took the last box to charity yesterday. Most of the books have gone, just a few well chosen favourites remain (I use a kindle).

This week I have tackled the wardrobes in our room. I have been clothing decluttering on and off all year - and buying wisely, but there was still a bin bag full to go yesterday.

I think that is what I have learnt most - the first big declutter is easy as there is alot if genuine detritus, but then subsequent revisits is when you need to get really serious about why you are holding onto something.

Todays mission is the kitchen...but the thing I am truly putting off is my nemesis - paperwork.

MinimalistMommi Wed 21-Aug-13 08:43:47

Down completely know what you mean about getting serious about what you actually hold on to or not. Fingers crossed renovations on our cottage start this autumn and then everything is being stripped back, re plastering, new door frames, doors, carpets ripped up, floor boards being stripped, the staircase is being moved, under-stairs cupboards being built, loft being boarded, wood burner fitted etc etc so I want everything to be organised and only keep what we really need by the time all this is done. I'm going to have a blank canvas to make beautiful and minimal grin

MinimalistMommi Wed 21-Aug-13 08:45:08

Bluecarrot are you packing up your kitchen and putting it into six month boxes to see what you miss and don't need or have I missed something massive and am too tired to think straight and you're moving house...blush

buildingmycorestrength Wed 21-Aug-13 10:06:39

Two big bags to the chazzer. grin.

harrietspy Wed 21-Aug-13 10:44:58

bluecarrot, yes, of course there'll be choc coins and some species of citrus fruit in the toe. I will try to do a completely honest what-actually-went-in-the-stocking after Christmas...

So we're on hols (housesitting in a gorgeous family house in a different county). The dc had a good week with the grandma last week but there were no limits on screen time and they were both bonkers. The massive reduction in screen time this week has made a huge difference particularly to ds2's behaviour. (They were allowed on the Wii last night and went bonkers. We also watched some stuff together). They hate the reduction but have been building Lego, playing the piano, drawing, talking... Makes me think about cutting back even more dramatically. Could be hard with ds1 (who's about to go to high school) but it is extraordinary how different life is without the screens...

buildingmycorestrength Wed 21-Aug-13 10:50:07

Our holiday chalet had no WiFi and it was brilliant. We all relaxed so ,much. Kids still played a few games on the tablet but we played more card games, went swimming, and DD did her usual making up games for hours.

clearsommespace Wed 21-Aug-13 11:36:21

Harriet, DS1 is also starting secondary in September. He will have lots more homework plus he'll have to prep his bag the night before according to timetable so I see it as a good time to reduce computer games to weekends only. We don't watch much TV and never have time for DVDs in the week anyhow.

Bluecarrot Wed 21-Aug-13 15:22:57

MM yes, 6 month idea - prob after Easter as its Christmas/Easter I seem to do most baking!

From the kitchen I rehomed 14 items this am, and counted 27 items in the sell/donate boxes and 19 items in the maybe discard box. Nothing left the utility room as its all consumables but its reordered and I've measured the shelves to see about boxes that will keep it more organised. Also made an inventory and stuck it up on the inside of the door.

I also went through food cupboards today and chucked stuff ( bit cross with myself over it, though its mostly flour and dried lentils I was sure I'd get around to using!) I should really have cleaned out cupboards as I went but belly sore so that can wait til another time.

Just had a nice nap and cuddle with DD while she read to the bump. Now to get the last of my clothes sorted and put away and then its feet up and relax for the rest of the day /night. Unless I feel like doing eBay later...

fuzzpig Wed 21-Aug-13 17:11:06

Playdate (hate that word but oh well) going well. Glad we are a little tidier especially in their room as it means I don't have to panic about them stepping on things etc! We didn't end up doing much more yesterday but I did free up another bucket by putting the remaining books onto a shelf - feels like wasted space though as it's quite tall (it's obviously meant for a computer base unit thingy - the cabin bed has a desky bit) but at least I don't need the floor space for the bucket now - and in their tiny room it makes all the difference! So now they have one shelf of books and one bucket (hidden away, so I can swap them regularly). I'm wondering if I could come up with a use for that dead space though.

I am really going to have to do very little over the next couple of weeks and that is really annoying sad we have so much on leading up to the start of school, and I still have work 3 days a week (only short shifts, but due to my health I can't really do much else on work days), and I am feeling on the verge of a relapse if I'm not careful.

The teacher visit is on Friday 6th so hopefully we can gradually make a huge effort with the living room by then, although I will mostly be directing from the sofa sidelines this time.

I agree about it being harder once you've done the first sweeps. It's much harder to stay motivated when you no longer have endless binbags leaving the house.

It's making a difference though, in all aspects of life. Just the lightness of heart that comes with having more space - and more direction in our life - is improving our lives. Usually we were flopping on the sofa watching the same DVDs but now we are making more effort to do other things, even if it is just watching something new (currently working our way through Studio Ghibli movies!) but we are definitely closer at the moment. I think we will go back to reading to each other soon as we haven't really managed that since our DCs were born!

fuzzpig Wed 21-Aug-13 17:18:48

Forgot to say, what we have mostly been doing is going back to shoving stuff in boxes and putting them in our room <aaaaargh> so our room is now even more hellish than before. I really wish I had energy to sort through them all at once.

I had my first session with a psychologist last week, and we agreed that the main aim is going to be tackling my anxiety. I actually mentioned my Stuff issues so I think we will be talking more about this.

MinimalistMommi Wed 21-Aug-13 17:19:38

harriet are you house sitting for a friend or did you organise it through a website?

When you talk about cutting back more dramatically on the screen time do you mean cutting it out all together or simply reducing it more? My DD's do well on one film once a week, the rest of the time they are playing ( a lot of Lego pay right now) or drawing/reading. I wondered how it would be this summer holidays now my oldest DD is eight but it has been competely fine!

MinimalistMommi Wed 21-Aug-13 17:19:56

Play not pay... blush

MinimalistMommi Wed 21-Aug-13 17:20:53

fuzz Im glad your play date went well!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Playdate done, I am now flopping on the sofa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was right! grin

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

Brilliant, arti! Delighted for both of you. grin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's amazing with the shoes Delasi!

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

How's your father doing Arti?

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

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

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

colour analysis

mix and match style blog

project 333

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

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

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

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

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

fuzzpig Fri 23-Aug-13 08:55:32

It was me with the August thing. Ain't gonna happen! Stupid health angry

fuzzpig Fri 23-Aug-13 08:58:07

Although we have still achieved an awful lot considering, so I can't be too sad really.

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 23-Aug-13 09:37:53

delasi/*downfall*, I have been clearing out my shoes quite vigorously but I still have probably 50 pairs of shoes and boots...

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 23-Aug-13 09:54:09

We have just returned from a trip to visit both sets of parents - my MIL is looking to sell the family home as FIL passed away 7 years ago and she is finding it hard to manage the house on her own now that my husband and his siblings have all left home and moved away.
The problem is, she is a hoarder on the lines of those TV shows, and utterly refuses to throw anything away. She has filled all 6 bedrooms and 3 reception rooms with stuff, in 2 or 3 rooms the stuff is piled to the ceiling.
So, she started pointing out a few things that were "ours"... these were 50% things which we thought had been cleared out years ago but which she had scavenged from chazza piles/refused to let the men take when they came to collect.
She was claiming that she "couldn't clear out" because all her kids kept leaving things in the house, so we filled the car with all the odds and ends which were ours and took it to a recycling unit and the better stuff to a charity shop. The pieces of furniture she decided were "ours" we gently but firmly explained we didn't want and could not afford to ship to UK (she does not live in UK) and that we would arrange for house clearance people to come and take them away, since they were "ours" and they were stressing her out.
She sulked all week and is still not really speaking to me!

We were genuinely trying to help by removing part of the hoard which is preventing her from moving - the house is on the market but what viewer is going to make an offer on an indoor land fill site??

I no longer believe she will be able to move as the extent of her problem was not clear before - she literally has old bottles of dog medicine which she won't throw out. (The dog is long gone...)

clearsommespace Fri 23-Aug-13 10:16:50


delasi Fri 23-Aug-13 10:37:34

It took a few stages - first clearout, second, third... over 2 years! - in order to part with all of them. But I had to be very honest with myself because in the end I was hardly wearing them. I injured my foot a few years ago, nothing serious but for a while I couldn't wear heels. When I could wear them again I realised how much I prefer very comfortable shoes. Then I realised I was always opting for the same two colours for any outfit! (I had many different coloured shoes). So I decided to get really tough and stick with those two colours (black and tan, btw), one pair of each across flats, heels and boots, but they have to be comfortable and good quality. I have one pair of black leather boots, one pair of tan flats, one pair of flat sandals and one pair of trainers! I am yet to complete my other categories... waiting for some more money and good sales to get something really good. So in the end, the idea would be to have actually 8 pairs. However my tan flats seem to go with everything and are serving me very well at the moment, so I'm no rush.

fuzzpig Fri 23-Aug-13 17:12:08

I'm not too bad with shoes. I basically live in trainers (one good quality pair at a time) as I hate having uncomfortable feet. For work I get Skechers ballet style as they are really comfy but smart enough. I have a few pairs but since I've realised my favourite ones can be washed - discovered this after I forgot to bring mine indoors after airing them out and found a slug on them <boak> - I might actually get rid of some that don't fit quite so well. I have one pair of winter boots which get compliments every time I wear them (furry lined ones, but also Skechers brand, with firework pattern, they are awesome!). A pair of converse which I'm considering ditching - they look nice but are a bit big. I got them for £15 virtually new when I was volunteering in a charity shop. Some cheap flip flops which I will chuck once I can find my other more comfy flip flops (those ones would actually be wearable to work I think, but I can't find one of them!)

Anyway, I had a little breakthrough today. Went to get DCs' uniform and although we were planning to get 5 outfits' worth for both of them (we did this when DD started school 2 years ago, as it would mean only 1 lot of washing/ironing uniform a week - essential as we were both unwell at that point) halfway through I suggested we put some back and instead have 3 outfits each. So uniform laundry day will now be Wednesday evening as well as Saturday or Sunday each week. I'm glad we agreed on that especially as we now have 2 DCs at school not 1!

Downfall Fri 23-Aug-13 21:08:35

Artemis - your MIL situation sounds very sad.

Downfall Fri 23-Aug-13 21:12:32

Thanks for the shoe thoughts - Ive often wondered how people cope with or feel about racks and racks of shoes. I know its a female cliche, but really, we only have two feet, and by and large in the UK only two seasons! I like comfy feet too. I think when my 3 current summer sandals give out, one pair of good quality tan flats in replacement will suffice.

fuzzpig Fri 23-Aug-13 21:33:06

Artemis I totally neglected to say, I agree it sounds really really difficult with your MIL. Don't know what to advise, it must be hard being so far away usually sad on that scale it really is a mental illness.

I am very relieved that my parents sold their severely cluttered house because I know I would've struggled to sort it out if it were left to me. I feel cheated out of my childhood home though. My mum has made huge progress but my dad hasn't and I can imagine he will remain a hoarder TBH. sad

I've been through my shoes it is amazing how many I seemed to have just in case. I want some comfortable winter boots my current ones were about 18 from asda I've had them re heeled about 3 times!
I'm going through my wardrobe again today and I'm going to put it in order see what else I can get rid of.

buildingmycorestrength Sat 24-Aug-13 11:09:13

Phase One of the loft/spare room project is complete. Hurrah! The mattress has been put up in the converted loft, while suitcases have been put under our bed and my out of season clothes up on top of our wardrobe.

There are about two hundred phases to this project, though. grin I have a ways to go.

Currently working our way through one of those 'fix this, decide about that, find that' lists. Depressing, really, but will feel better when it is done and some items ticked off.

Afternoon all
I'm struggling today because of a Fibro flare up - caused mainly because I've been back to the archaeology site for another 2 days this last week - it does take it out of me but I love it so much! I am aiming to do another 2 days next week if I can - after that the site is closed during the week and only open on Saturday mornings for volunteers. As I work on Saturday mornings, this makes it difficult for me and I'm unlikely to be down there much, if at all until next summer. Hence the determination to make the most of it now!

In decluttering news, I took a bag of stuff to my local chazzer this week and managed not to buy anything more from the chazzer I visited today ( I'd walked into my local town - just 10 mins to go to the bank and pick up a few bits but found myself randomly trying things on in a chazzer. How did that happen shock ) The trip into town nearly finished me off (and it is literally only a 10 minute walk) - I was so stiff and achy by the time I got back, but at least it's done!

I need to consider the shoes I have, as it is possible I could lose a pair or two - although I have already had one cull!

This afternoon I am hoping to get some housework done in 15 minute bursts and hopefully a bit of work-work done too. Though part of me just feels like flopping on the sofa! I may include a 15 minute venture into the spare doom!

Meant to say also :

somme - thanks for asking about my Dad. He is very stable ( though still very disabled). He had a hospital appointment a month or so back and they assessed his mobility an he is walking better than he was a year back. So much for the * nurses who told my Mum he would never walk again and, I believe, had written him off as "in end stages".

Having said all of that, Mum has said he's not been brilliant all this week - but that could just be something simple like he is going down with a cold.

He is going into a nursing home for a respite for a fortnight on Tuesday and Mum is going away on holiday. He seems quite happy about going there; he visits the same home for day care once a week usually, so he know people there. Mum I think is very over-tired and struggling a bit atm so hopefully the break will be good for her too.

Artemis - sorry to hear about the problems with your MIL. It does sound as if her hoarding is severe enough to be a mental health problem. I thionk you did the right thing because she was saying the stuff was "yours" but you didn't want or need it. But I think that when hoarding is so severe, it is very hard for families to help. Would she be open to some counselling do you think?

delasi Sat 24-Aug-13 14:29:43

Well, MIL had an extended stay and I got very little done blush However I did sort through all of our documents, they have been filed or destroyed accordingly and I've chucked out the annoying big boxes they were in so that's a bonus. Also rehomed the footstool from out of the kitchen.

It is really interesting to see how so many people on this thread are affected by illness or disability, perhaps it lends both to the 'chaos' and the drive for minimalism. DH and I are both in this boat and it does have a big impact on how organised we are or how much we can do with the house, which in turn I think makes us really want to have a simple home with only a few but well-picked things.

delasi Sat 24-Aug-13 14:31:04

PS MIL took some of our stuff too! She has a large house but rarely buys things for it due to cost and we had some really good, new things that we realised we didn't need or want so she has happily rehomed them smile

fuzzpig Sat 24-Aug-13 15:14:27

Yes that's a good point delasi. I have always been a clutterbug, having been brought up that way and having a lot of MH issues too. But while I've been aware of this problem for a long time, it was only once I became physically disabled that I really hit my 'rock bottom' and became genuinely ready to change. I realised how much harder my life was because the house is constantly at crisis point, cluttered, disorganised, at risk of avalanches of Stuff. For example even if we could afford a cleaner (and I am considering it if I get the DLA I applied for recently - still waiting for decision) they wouldn't be able to achieve much because there is too much clutter in the way.

It's just a cruel irony that the very reason I have become ready to attack this is also the reason I can't physically manage it. Arti, I am also suffering from the Done Too Much plague today, feel like I'm fighting a flare up. Totally worth it here too, DD absolutely loved seeing some of her favourite paintings, we went on a boat on the Thames too. It has been lovely doing stuff in the holidays as I was unable to last year. I am on the first of 4 days off though and I feel horrendous today, as much in mood as in pain/fatigue, DH is at work all weekend, the house is dark because of the shitty weather/poor light and the DCs are going stir crazy and and and UURRGGHH.

Rant over, sorry blush

Sokmonsta Sat 24-Aug-13 15:19:45

Pooh I lost you all. Still floundering in school holidays. One step forward, two steps back. Counting down the days.

fuzzpig Sat 24-Aug-13 15:23:42

Oh and on a more positive note, can anyone recommend a bookcase? Is the ikea one (expedit I think) decent?

I think I mentioned it on the previous thread but in the corner of our living room we have a bookcase. Well actually I think it was supposed to be furniture for a baby's room but it was the only thing I liked in idea at the time - in hindsight that's probably why the shelves have collapsed under the weight of all the books blush. Anyway. The point is it needs replacing sadly.

I've been looking for a decent bit of older furniture, to match the large unit we have, but no luck in the charity furniture store yet, and it's hard to move forward with the living room with the bookcase being unusable. Don't know what to do - considered packing the books into airtight boxes for now but don't really have the money or space. Argh!

fuzzpig Sat 24-Aug-13 15:28:30

Or is the bookcase called Billy? Want something sturdy anyway, mostly for A4 size books, we could also put our DVD books on there to get them off my piano!

delasi Sat 24-Aug-13 15:35:42

fuzzpig I hope you get the approval on the DLA front, it can be a real nightmare going through the process (and the government aren't exactly making improvements with the new PIP system) but every little helps and it makes a big difference in our household.

Also wanted to say that I've used the IKEA Expedit, it's a simple and clean looking thing and there's no underneath to get dusty. However the only problem I had is that the division of the cubby holes means that there is actually less space than undivided shelves of the same length, so I could just about fit my books in a bit of a haphazard arrangement - also because I had some large books so only a certain amount could fit in each hole. We had a half size one, about 8 or 10 holes. We now have a different bookcase which is another modular one but with a mix of cabinets and regular shelves.

delasi Sat 24-Aug-13 15:38:08

Oh, the Billy is more like a regular bookcase with shelves instead of cubby holes. I've used that too (we adopt and relinquish furniture as needed!) and it's much more practical for us for the reasons above. However I do think the Expedit looks prettier grin

fuzzpig Sat 24-Aug-13 15:56:38

I had a look on the website and the billy looks a bit flimsier IYSWIM? Either would fit in the gap though as they are around 80cm wide, or there is a half width expedit (one column of 5 'cubes') which would fit in a different gap and actually would free more floor space... hmm.

Not that we can really afford it right now anyway! I was really hoping to get one to match our unit which we bought for games - got it in a British Heart Foundation for £43 delivered, and my mum has since got 2 similar ones in her local branch. I don't really want to throw money at this issue if I don't have to.

Sorry am in a grump. I thought PMT is supposed to be at the beginning not end of a period but I am proper mardy today <sulk>

Although DCs just came downstairs playing zombies which cheered me up a bit because they are so funny. Although DS has no bottoms on hmm

fuzzpig Sat 24-Aug-13 15:58:51

Can't remember if you can get those fabric or wicker drawers for expedit, that would be helpful for the highest shelf I think.

leeloo1 Sat 24-Aug-13 17:57:28

You can get fabric drawers for the expedit (they're about £2.50ish) and last time I was in there I noticed they've started making them in prettier colours - from recollection deep pink, lime green/yellow, turquoise blue and red. smile

I've been lurking and reading the threads for months now... and have finally started doing more radical decluttering to try and be able to fit the new baby's things in (at 37.5 weeks pregnant better late than never!). I'd stored everything from previous dc, so at least there isn't anything really to buy, but it has meant massive bags of clothes/blankets/washable nappies etc coming down from the attic, plus cribs, carrycots etc etc.

We don't have another spare room, so my dc's stuff is having to be rationalised somehow to fit some baby stuff in there too which is hard work!

What I have found really helpful in these threads is ideas about letting go of stuff - I've had big bags of 'saleable' things kicking round for years months and am now just accepting I won't get round to ebaying them and just letting the charity shops (chazzers?) have the joy/nuisance of it all, which is a real relief. 5 more bags went this morning - hurray!

fuzzpig Sat 24-Aug-13 18:46:50

That's great leeloo! Looks like the nesting instinct has really kicked in grin

Think I will more likely go for expedit then. They do look much sturdier. I'm not going to order online though as it costs horrific amounts to deliver here. I will see if my dad wouldn't mind taking me there (Croydon one) as he did a few years back. I expect mum would like to go too. Dad has an estate car so should be able to fit it with one seat folded down. I will definitely have to make an exact list if I go though, there's no way I'd manage just wandering aimlessly now.

Said list will definitely include moose shaped pasta if they still do it...

buildingmycorestrength Sat 24-Aug-13 19:15:57

fuzz I believe Argos has similar too? Lots of people have mentioned Argos equivalent on other threads.

ArtemisatBrauron Sat 24-Aug-13 19:41:14

Thanks to all for the sympathy! smile it is getting on top of us a bit because she leans heavily on my DH for support, but won't let him/us do the things which would actually make the move possible.

educating I wish she would go for counselling but sadly she was a nurse and thinks therefore that she has nothing wrong with her, that she knows everything they would say etc... she really resents it if anything like that is suggested. confused

I am so impressed by all those struggling with health problems and still de-cluttering - it is hard enough when you don't feel ill!

fuzzpig - I had billys and they were actually really sturdy, and held loads of DH's large A4 and larger than A4 archaeology textbooks and handbooks. We only got rid of them because they didn't fit into the new house.

FreshWest Sat 24-Aug-13 21:45:03

I have lurked on this thread from the very beginning and try to catch up with it every day! I am inspired by it but have mainly delurked to say to fuzzpig it may be worth checking on ebay first. We recently got a Billy (as it suited our needs) and there were a few on there.
Keep up the minimalist good work flowers to you all!

JimmyCorkhill Sun 25-Aug-13 00:28:04

Another voice to say that Billy bookcases are sturdy. We have a wall of Billies (!) and also have expedits in other rooms and they all seem the same re: construction/strength/looks. If you're just after storing books I would get the Billy bookcase as the expedit shelves are so incredibly deep they end up being clutter magnets (unless you use the storage boxes).

buildingmycorestrength Sun 25-Aug-13 08:14:10

Artemis I also sympathize. My mum started picking up things from freecycle that she didn't want or need or have room for, just because she was worried that someone she didn't know would throw something out. sad She's a bit better than she was but I think all the advice is not to confront it too strongly. If my mum ever offers me anything I take it just to get it out of her house, but then do what I like with it later.

It has helped me to too on the 'children of hoarders' website, and to think about my 'training' through childhood to never throw anything away, always be very grateful for gifts, etc. I'm now a monster in my mum's eyes (not really, but she really doesn't understand). grin

fuzzpig Sun 25-Aug-13 08:29:53

It's no wonder some of us have clutter issues when we have been brought up with it! I mentioned on the last thread an example of my mum improving - when she offered me something over the phone and I said no thanks, she actually replied "ok I will just get rid of it then" <falls down in shock> - this was a big deal. Anyway, next time I saw I her I did actually say that to her, that it showed what a big change she is making. She laughed, but I think she took it on board and is (quite rightly) proud of herself.

Thanks for all the advice on the bookcases. I'm going to leave it a while (although the teacher visit is in less than 2 weeks, eeeek) and hopefully just fit in the ikea trip sometime before Xmas, going with a specific list of exactly what we need to get.

Right, well I'm determined to actually DO something today, I've spent one day wallowing grumpily on the sofa, today I need to get off my sorry arse and sort out a few bits throughout the day. Although DS is currently demanding snuggles, I can't really say no to that! smile

PolkadotRosa Sun 25-Aug-13 08:41:42

Morning all. artemis building and fuzzpig I sympathise too. My mum is a hoarder, although she disputes this. I didn't know about the website, I will check it out. It's very hard isn't it? I was there yesterday and actually got to help her sort some things as Dad's redecorating their bedroom (1 bin bag of useless stuff, receipts, guide books from places we visited in the 80's, 3 charity shop items(!) and the worst find...teeth. Presumably mine, brothers and even the dog!! Ffs) Lots of stuff belonging to my dear Nan & G.Dad. I get that it's hard. And I feel for my Mum, she's a wonderful lady & has worked hard (snap Artemis a retired Nurse too!) just wish she could enjoy her home. It has a massive effect on Dad too. The house is clean but every drawer, cupboard, wardrobe and orifice is crammed.

SlightlyItchyBraStrap Sun 25-Aug-13 08:57:00

Wandered off for a bit and there's a whole new thread! I have passed on 3 bags of baby clothes (ds2 is growing like a mad thing). Also, dh gave me a better tablet case so I freecycled the one I had. I was very proud of this as I had only bought it a few weeks previously. But no point letting it mope about for months when someone could be enjoying it now.

SlightlyItchyBraStrap Sun 25-Aug-13 09:01:59

Oh yes, and billys are awesome. We are saving up for a wall of them also!

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 25-Aug-13 09:03:08

I've had a very un-minimalist few days - we are trying to sort out the garden in the New House, it is very overgrown and jungly. After a week of strong de-cluttering, we have now brought in lots of wood/bricks/soil/plants to make some raised beds and fill in a huge hole (old pond?!) in the centre before winter comes. We want to grow some vegetables and fruit so we need to clear the ground now and cover it in sheeting all winter to kill the weeds the garden is going to look awful

MIL is still not really speaking to me after the charity shop incident when we were over there. She keeps claiming that we can take the furniture, it "can just be put in a crate"... whatever that means. It would cost £1000s to ship to the UK, but the thought of throwing it out is undoing her.

DH and his siblings all live far away from her - his brother near us in UK and his sister in NYC/Bordeaux, so none of her kids are in a position to take this stuff. DH suggested a house clearance company, who would come, take everything and give her some much needed cash, you can imagine how this went down like a lead balloon

I think I need to stay out of it as much as possible, while supporting DH all I can. Otherwise I will be cast as the evil, son-stealing witch who wants to bin all her dog medicine treasures...

Sokmonsta Sun 25-Aug-13 11:35:45

Fuzzier, we have the expedit for storing the dc's clothes that don't need hanging. It's certainly sturdy as a then toddler dd found when she climbed on top of it from her bunk bed...

We also have the pink/turquoise/black fabric drawers to go in them. They've lasted 2 years so far and no sign of shabbiness yet.

I am loathing the school holidays at the moment. They have really put a block on my minimising. With having the dc around I can't just sneak stuff out they aren't using as they see it and want it back.

fuzzpig Sun 25-Aug-13 13:57:51

It is hard, sok. I can only really manage to chuck/chazzer stuff when DH is here too as he can distract the DCs downstairs while I sit in their room.

fuzzpig Sun 25-Aug-13 14:41:16

I have accomplished some stuff today. Minor in the grand scheme of things but still an achievement considering how rough I feel. I have basically gone through all the DCs' remaining board games and jigsaws (having already culled lots of lost-cause ones a couple of months ago) and fixed up any broken boxes with tape as some were so crushed they were spilling out everywhere.

I cleared cabinet space for the complete games and puzzles, and the incomplete ones have gone to be stored out of reach in our room - I don't really want to get rid of these ones as they are loved, but if we don't find the pieces after more tidying obviously they will be chucked.

I also cleared another shelf in the cabinet for library books/DVDs as due to my job we always have loads - so the DCs' ones will remain upstairs but mine/DH's and any DVDs or CDs now have a set place in the living room rather than being strewn everywhere.

The rest of our games cabinet is still a mess though. Some we can't even really get to as the sofa blocks it (this room is too damn small!) but hopefully we will gradually make a difference!

fuzzpig Sun 25-Aug-13 15:43:22

Oh and I forgot to say, I solved my problem of what to do with my DCs' drawers in DD's bed. I moved the underwear/socks out so now all their clothes are organised in two things (a Trofast unit and a wardrobe) rather than three, and I have put workbooks/colouring/sticker books in one drawer, school books in another and in the third I've put a few miscallaneous (but now organised) things. Not sure if that'll be the final arrangement but it'll do for now!

I've been wondering if I'll actually find we need less storage when we've finished. We even have a cupboard and a bookcase inside our wardrobe. hmm Unfortunately some of what we've got is not suitable for our needs or house at all, I was just taking anything going in desperation!

A lot of the problem is that we aren't using any storage space very effectively really. It's going to take so much jigging around I think, although obviously getting rid of stuff is helping too!

PolkadotRosa Sun 25-Aug-13 16:24:54

Spurred on by not wanting a home even a bit like my DM's and the harsh reminder that too much stuff is suffocating in so many ways, today I have:
Sorted 2 big Next Sale carriers with children's clothes and some of mine for le chazza, 1 bag of un-chazza-esque garments to weigh in, cleared out double cupboard of pans/baking tins/pyrex so only keeping the bare minimum, decluttered/tided wall cupboard and collected some old meds for pharmacy, and about to declutter some more. It's just stuff (my mantra!) and I'm curious to see how it feels not to have anything unneccessary, un-useful or un-beautiful to me and my family around us. My life with them is more important, as yours will be too.
In words taken from Fight Club; "the things you own end up owning you" and that's not what I want. So I'm off to do more minimising whilst I'm in this frame of mind!!

fuzzpig Sun 25-Aug-13 16:49:26

Sounds great rosa! Well done!

I haven't had such a good afternoon as DCs winding each other up constantly, so I am glad I got a bit done earlier. Tomorrow we are supposed to be school shoe shopping (I actually wrote shoe shooing first time, Freudian slip much?) and getting a few essentials for DSDs and getting DS' first proper haircut. Tuesday I may have the day to myself as DH is taking DD swimming and to a local fossil exhibit, but it depends if he is taking DS too (not taken him swimming for a couple of years due to his eczema). I could soooo do with a day of peace and quiet at home. I think I could achieve a lot in between eating Ben and Jerry's and watching DVDs resting.

Remembered something else I forgot to tell you all - remember DD's bed issue? Well since we cleared it and started a reward chart she has been sleeping in it pretty much perfectly for 3 weeks smile

buildingmycorestrength Sun 25-Aug-13 19:07:14

Day out today so hardly even managed the. breakfast dishes (am such a slob). blush.

But have plans to go through all meds next week and out restock dates in my calendar, and also sort linen cupboard (which may involve a few pretty baskets!).

BadPoet Sun 25-Aug-13 21:34:23

Hello, I am joining in here - joined the 40 day thread but this seems busier and I need the regular motivation to keep going :-) You are all inspiring! Been on a decluttering frenzy all summer and really beginning to see the benefits. We have the builders starting in a fortnight (turning our upstairs from 2bedrooms to 3) but I have a minor op in a week so really need to get as much as I can done before then because I doubt I will feel like it for a few days after.

We need to clear the upstairs out but realised it would all be easier if the whole house was decluttered, making room for the displaced possessions. Major breakthrough today as for the first time ever we have a completely clear garage, painted and freshly put up shelves holding only useful stuff and plenty room for boxed up stuff.

I've done linens, clothes, books, kitchen, shoes, toiletries and makeup - need to tackle toys and art/craft stuff and my own stationery.
I have been seriously considering doing a 'project 333' type capsule wardrobe for the duration of the work - has anyone done that and has any useful advice?

I was really struck up thread by a poster talking about getting rid of the first round of clutter before being able to tackle the 'real' clutter - Dh and I both come from cluttered homes and both lots have had a stab at decluttering but think they have succeeded having thrown out the out of date tins etc, but thinking nothing of hanging on to, e.g 15 tablecloths. I have really struggled to shed the mindset of surface clean but junk filled drawers being normal. Onwards and upwards! Good luck this week everyone smile

fuzzpig Sun 25-Aug-13 21:42:00

Hi bad poet! I noticed the 40 day clutter thread but resisted temptation to open it because 1) one thread filled with lovely people is enough and 2) there's no way I could work to such a fast schedule!

I'm annoyed tonight, I really wanted to do more decluttering but I am in massive pain, especially my legs. However we have postponed the shopping tomorrow so we will have a quiet day at home where hopefully u can manage a bit more. DH was impressed with the more organised cabinet.

fuzzpig Sun 25-Aug-13 21:43:06

I, not u confused

BadPoet Sun 25-Aug-13 22:25:01

Thanks for the welcome fuzzpig :-) and sorry to hear you are in pain - hope you feel better tomorrow and you have made huge improvements while feeling so rough, hang on to that.

Bluecarrot Sun 25-Aug-13 22:25:34

HI everyone smile Seems you have been getting on well!

DD back to school properly tomorrow so as soon as I get back from walking her to school its time to sort my bedroom out as I need it to be returned to the calm haven it was before we started tearing apart the nursery (which adjoins our room) It should only take an hour or so then Im going to finish at least one of the library books I have sitting on my bedside table smile

Good luck for the new week everyone

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 26-Aug-13 06:29:17

Hello badpoet - lovely to have someone else on board. I also dabbled with the 40 days thread but this is more of a lifestyle change than a crash diet for me, so this thread suits me better.

I spent most of yesterday removing the disgusting fitted carpet from the upstairs hallway and half the stairs - each stair was a separate mini fitted carpet with wooden "carpet gripper" nailed all the way around each stair!! It took 4 hours and I now have a staircase which has 5 carpeted steps and 7 uncarpeted ones... I dread to think what the interior decorating thread would say grin

But it felt very cathartic! I am now pricing up laminate wooden flooring for the entrance way and living/dining room downstairs (upstairs turned out to have real wooden floors throughout, WIN!).

Anyone have any experience of laminate? Is it £££? Does it wear well?

TheYamiOfYawn Mon 26-Aug-13 06:51:10

I think I will be taking a break from big decluttering (although I have a couple of bags to take to the charity shop) until both kids are at school/preschool on 9th September. But I've planned a big challenge for that day - the desk and all the paper on it! I've been reading the old how to be organized thread in AIBU and it has inspired me.

Also, has anyone here used Anyjunk for getting rid of big items? We don't have a car, so trips to the tip involve asking massive favours. We are planning on building an extension next spring, so I would really like to get rid of all the big bulky clutter by December.

That reminds me that I need to put the cot on Gumtree, too.

fuzzpig Mon 26-Aug-13 08:44:41

More of a lifestyle change than a crash diet - love that!

Going to try and sort a bit more stuff out in the living room (staying down here as I sent DH back to bed for a lie in!) and then have arranged lunch with a new friend - haven't had a meal out with anyone except family for... erm... well over a year anyway. Quite excited!

iWillDoItInAMinute Mon 26-Aug-13 09:24:20

Well you go away for a week and a whole new thread starts - great title MM !

Fuzz hope you're feeling better today flowers well done on the two HUGE achievements DDs play date and her sleeping in her cabin bed. You should be really proud. Don't worry too much about the teacher home visit. As long as the house is clean(ish) I don't think you'll have too much to worry about. You obviously love your DC and want only the best for them. The teacher will see that -and make sure there is tea/coffee and biscuits/cake available-

Harriet we have another convert to the Lego blanket, my friend thought it a fab idea, thanks again! You must be getting very excited/nervous about the FT job

Artemis happy anniversary and I have serious desk envy I need a desk but I think it'll be ikea for me sad re laminate we have laminate in the basement, we paid for about mid range 6 years ago. It's wearing well. It's in a high traffic area and looks fine -old carpet and grippers are the work of the devil-

TheYami any chance of a link to the old get organised thread, please?

<waves> hi to everyone, you are all doing so well!!!

fuzzpig Mon 26-Aug-13 10:17:09

Aargh I made the rookie mistake of getting too much out of the cupboard to clear it and now I have nowhere to put stuff. I need more boxes. Hmmph. Feeling all hopeless now hmm

buildingmycorestrength Mon 26-Aug-13 12:39:02

Hi Fuzz. I know the feeling. Not hopeless....just put it in a carrier bag or three and carry on tomorrow. Work in progress. thanks Not a crash diet.

Downfall Mon 26-Aug-13 15:30:00

Hi badpoet I think it was me talking about needing to do several 'rounds' of decluttering. It's just different and deeper to being tidy ands organised isnt it? The fab posters on these threads are great inspiration.

I feel calmer knowing the insides of some of my cupboards are neat and orderly, but I wouldnt really admit that in a RL convo!

That said my task for one remaining kitchen cupboard and under the bathroom sink has remained untackled this weekend.

Great to read everyone's progress.

Downfall Mon 26-Aug-13 15:31:38

Oh, and fuzzpig surely you've earnt a brownie point for sending DH back to bed for a lie in?!

buildingmycorestrength Mon 26-Aug-13 15:45:30

Have accidentally decluttered three of our kitchen drawers. Two junk drawers rationalised into one drawer of useful bits, found a couple of genuinely useful things, and now have room for a drawer of tea towels and a separate drawer of cleaning cloths, rather than trying to jam them all into one.


Am so pleased I have suddenly got my head round this.

delasi Mon 26-Aug-13 16:06:37

Well I did nothing all weekend blush In my defence, I'm still getting over a med mix up so I'm just climbing back up to normal energy levels. No excuse now though!

Have actually adopted something else (oops) but it's for DS and fits into his 'area' in the living room, so it takes up no more room in the house. So I think that's okay. And it was free! And I wanted it but decided not to buy it in the name of money saving and minimalism. I think it's all okay grin

Artemisa Tbh I don't know how much it was, but the laminate where we live was laid about 10-15 years ago, would not have been top end (probably a mid-range, on offer, something like B&Q) and was laid as DIY (ie no one was brought in to do it). It has seen a lot of use - foot traffic, renovations, heavy duty items and so on. Amazingly you would think it was relatively new, no scuffs/dents/scratches so it's held up very well, better than the real wood flooring of some of my relatives that have deep scratches and scuffs after only a couple of years.

buildingmycorestrength Mon 26-Aug-13 17:10:37

Oops, decluttered another kitchen drawer. grin

delasi Mon 26-Aug-13 17:42:14

<cheers for building>

Please feel free to send some of that accidental decluttering this way grin

buildingmycorestrength Mon 26-Aug-13 18:12:07

I honestly think that a free hypnosis session on motivation helped me. I listened to it once, came out with a plan, and am now executing that plan in a completely uncharacteristic way.

I think it is an app by a hypnotist called Joseph Clough.

Weird and fantastic.

delasi Mon 26-Aug-13 23:29:29

I actually did some stuff this evening (yay!). Finally cleared the stuff in our hall, we now have a couple of bags (small/medium carriers, not bin bags!) to sort but it's all stuff needing a home (eg wires, stationery) and not random things I'm unsure of. Took a few big bags/boxes to the bins so I feel that I have made up for my shortcomings last week smile

My aims for this week are:
- a general organise of the kitchen (already complete but got a bit untidy with a massive redo of the living room, plus need to home surplus baby snacks etc arriving tomorrow)
- sort the remaining bags into homes
- occasional table back to living room
- some stuff into loft

I have other stuff to do of course! but this is the basic level I'd like to achieve this week.

Now a question for you all: we buy a lot of stuff on offer and stock up, in order to save money. We have a kitchen cupboard for cupboard goods, freeze meat and fish, but we don't have a set place for larger items like toilet roll packs, nappy boxes etc. Where do you fit your stuff if you do the same? Ours currently tend to end up in any room at random confused

iWillDoItInAMinute Tue 27-Aug-13 08:50:52

Well done delasi !!

I have de-cluttered 2 DC out for the day, so I'm hoping to achieve something today as the clutter bug has been to visit and left furniture/Stuff everywhere and it's making me exhausted thinking about it and moving Stuff to access the wardrobe again confused how did it happen????

Loo rolls I stash in the bottom of the airing cupboard, DH hasn't put any shelves in there yet. Nappy boxes used to go on a shelf in the nursery, no nappies in this house anymore sad

When we had a garage/utility room I used to put the offer things in there. TBH I no longer do offers as our house was-is- so disorganised when I was clearing out our bedroom, I found a large quantity of hand wash/shampoo stashed in a cupboard blush I had totally forgotten about it!

But I do have a lot of loo rolls, so if there is a world loo roll shortage, you know where to come to wink

Bluecarrot Tue 27-Aug-13 09:20:30

We have a room that collects stuff with no other place to go. Sounds like a disaster.... And is little more than organised chaos. i know what every box contains but no one else does.

However, in the wardrobe (that has lots of shelving on one side) we store extra shampoo/conditioner etc plus toilet rolls on top. Due to a tescos great offer about 2 years ago I bought a lot of Andrew. I reckon ill get another year out if the stash- it is all on top of the wardrobe. We don't have nappies ATM but similar size boxes of clothes etc live under the bed. Can you fit an under bed box under the cot? You know those thin ones? You could pack it with nappies ?

Going into town today- have a few thing ago find / try on but lots of room for buying nonsense as well so need to stay focused! Also treating myself to a nice lunch. Just need a day away from my (lovely... Mostly!) family and time for me.

iWillDoItInAMinute Tue 27-Aug-13 09:32:52

I had success yesterday, DH agreed we have too many chests of drawers! (I think at least 2 can go) I didn't make a big deal of it -although inside I was shouting "at last at last"-

I think the first step is done, he knows, now I just need to get them out of the house before he changes his mind hmm

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 27-Aug-13 10:11:33

I am an unashamed loo roll hoarder grin not only do I have a horror of running out of it, but I also resent paying £££ for it, so if there's a good offer I always go a bit mad. DH has been known to phone me from work to tell me the co-op near him has buy one get one free...

The desks are arriving any minute, so once they are here I can unpack the rest of the boxes which are all office stuff and get the PC set up.

Have decided on laminate flooring for the hall and living/dining room I think - I was tempted by bamboo but this is a rented house and we don't want to spend too much in case work offer us a better house 2 years in,
although we get it through my work at a vastly reduced price, and we are "responsible" for installing all flooring, curtains, curtain poles etc, so we will have to put something in, even if not bamboo!

fuzzpig Tue 27-Aug-13 10:43:28

Ooh Artemis I am so pleased (and somewhat envy grin) for you having a nice fresh start! I would love to start over somewhere new.

I am consoling myself though with the fact that we have plenty of time to adjust to a new simplified/minimalist type home and lifestyle, so when we do move, we will be ready and uncluttered... That's the plan anyway!

Yesterday I asked DH to bring down the bookcase that was in our wardrobe, I cleaned it and then moved all the DCs' non-picture books (mostly stuff like art/science/history books, plus stuff like where's wally and big books of old fairy tales etc) onto it, ooh it looks absolutely gorgeous and it is finally accessible (it wasn't when it was on the broken bookcase behind the table!) - DH took the DCs on a nature walk yesterday and they were able to go straight to the right books to identify what they'd seen (including a dragonfly nymph!) so I'm really glad I moved them. We've moved our DVD books onto the top of it too so they are finally off the piano.

Our homestart volunteer is coming on Thursday so I might see if we can go and get some boxes to store the other books in (adult non-fiction mostly). I was tempted to ask dad if we could do that today as then we could take the old bookcase to the dump, but I am too tired anyway. Just me and DS at home and I can't really see me getting much done.

I am annoyed about something though. We inherited some furniture (a brand called Ercol) years ago and we've been using it all, and there's a cabinet with cupboards and a drawer that we use to keep our telly/DVD player on. The inside is still full of random shite and I was going to organise it, but one of the handles is missing and another is broken, so I was thinking of buying some new handles from homebase or wherever to spruce it up a bit (also a matching chest of drawers in our room) BUT it turns out they aren't screw-in handles, they were just on little bits of dowel, is there any way I can put new handles in? I don't really want to get rid of it as there isn't anything else we could put our telly on really. Unless I moved the chest of drawers downstairs... Hmm.

Any ideas?

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 27-Aug-13 11:20:37

keep the Ercol!! It is worth a fortune now, so fashionable grin we have an ercol coffee table that we got in a charity shop and I saw a "replica" in John Lewis for £300 shock

I reckon you could glue or peg new wooden handles on - worth asking in a hardware shop (I have found the men who work in local hardware shops to be invaluable sources of information on things like this and they really go above and beyond)

I am a bit angry as I phoned my landlord to ask for a massive tree in our back garden to be trimmed as it is casting the whole back half of the space into deep shade. Apparently he needs planning permission to trim it!! I am all for preserving nature but it is ridiculous that people aren't allowed to trim trees in their own property. I'm not talking about cutting the damn thing down, just giving it a haircut ffs.

buildingmycorestrength Tue 27-Aug-13 11:48:23

Artemis Post in property and DIY about that, there's a v helpful poster called mistlethrush who helped me with a tree issue.

Medicines rationalised. Dates of expiry in diary. Huge bag of expired meds going to chemist later. Hurrah!

BadPoet Tue 27-Aug-13 11:58:50

Thanks for the welcome everyone. Still making progress here, I am on my own this morning (have a meeting this pm) so getting on with my own wardrobe. I have decided to embrace Project 333 (and having read the thread properly on the computer i see it was TheYamiofYawn who I need to stalk for inspiration smile).

This is really going to help - long story, but basically my clothes are not stored in our bedroom but upstairs in the room which is shortly going to be pulled apart by builders. I've persuaded dh to clear out the HIS clothes from the small wardrobe in our current bedroom and make space for my capsule wardrobe. And I'm doing it! (so is DH i guess grin) I'm not finished yet and have not limited my accessories (scarves and jewellery) because there's no space issue and because I wear them all a lot. I figure if I can do it out of necessity and see how it goes, I can adapt and keep going after the building is over. After all it's a lifestyle change, not a crash diet! (love that). More clothes will be going into recycle bin (today, on way to meeting!) and I'm packing up the rest in suitcases.

Artemis We've put down laminate and moved into houses with it already - I think it's a good choice in your situation, it's very hard wearing AND I have put down bamboo before, in last house - gorgeous but it did scratch. That's mad about the tree - it's actually in your garden??

fuzzpig I agree, keep the Ercol! Quick google found this blog and other links which may help? That's so lovely about your children after their walk, it's amazing how reducing and properly storing stuff you choose to keep makes such a massive difference.

Everyone else, enjoy your day/week! Lots of great goals.

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 27-Aug-13 12:02:08
iWillDoItInAMinute Tue 27-Aug-13 12:10:18

Thank you thank you thank you

Will read it and hope some of it sticks flowers

Bluecarrot Tue 27-Aug-13 12:28:32

* building* putting dates in diary of when meds expire is genius! I have a list on the inside of the cupboard door but its not really that useful unless I remember to check it! Will transfer dates into diary later smile

buildingmycorestrength Tue 27-Aug-13 14:29:29

Blue that's what I had. Never looked at it. If it isn't t in the diary it is as a good as gone round here.

Downfall Tue 27-Aug-13 14:44:50

I remember that thread TheYami! <confesses that I can remember even individual posts it was that inspirational!>

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 27-Aug-13 16:59:30

badpoet yes, the stupid thing tree is in the dead centre of our garden ... according to my work, who are our landlord, the whole area is subject to a tree conservation order and we will need a full report from an arborologist (?!) and to give justification of why we want it pruned etc.

I unpacked the last 5 boxes today... they were all DH's stuff and it was a real shock. Full of little boxes and containers stuffed with random clutter - e.g. in one small cardboard sweet box I found: 4 used and empty tea light candles, 2 padlocks, 2 passport photos, a broken bead bracelet, a rubber eraser... you get the picture. I spent 2 hours categorising it all and putting it in his new desk. The annoying thing was that I found 8 passport photos and he's recently paid £5 for new ones, when he had loads which would have done. I also found loads of duplicates - stamps, 5 rubber erasers, 3 pencil sharpeners and other things we have paid out for. This is my main issue with hoarding -he has no clue what he actually has in all these mini boxes of shit.

evil wife award grin

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 27-Aug-13 17:01:55

I also found 7-8 small ornaments which have all been given to me as gifts over the past 10 years and which live in a drawer as I don't like ornaments... some of them are lovely and were from people I adore... keep or chuck??

iWillDoItInAMinute Tue 27-Aug-13 17:41:37

Keep - but not on a shelf or you'll have to dust them <shudders>

delasi Tue 27-Aug-13 18:49:11

I finally looked up Project 333, having seen a mentioned numerous times. Very interesting, I feel almost proud that I have been drifting that way already, but it has also given me another boost to keep re-evaluating my wardrobe. I've already done my huge shoe cull, which was preceded initially by a handbag cull. I think an accessories cull is necessary now, but I also still feel like I have too many clothes even though I've got rid of so much - I've started to bag more stuff to go to charity. However I think I also need more staples, things that can be worn easily, as I don't really have any confused I favour dresses above all so some comfortable, easy-to-wear dresses would be best. One of my favourite skirts is finally starting to get worn out (it has served me very well!) so I think I need one or two more like that. I'll wait until I've definitely cleared everything before decided what few items I need, so that I can properly evaluate things and just buy a few bits. And then shop for them in the sales!

It's strange to say I hadn't considered taking the nappies out of the box to store them blush We have little space here, but I think I have a couple a drawers I could use and that would help. No under-cot space as it's a travel cot that nearly touches the floor at its base, and all the under-bed space is currently gone (mainly to stored furniture, it's a long story!). I think drawers are the way to go!

delasi Tue 27-Aug-13 18:50:37

Oh dear the spelling and grammar... grin

BirdingWidow Wed 28-Aug-13 07:20:38

May I join please? I have read this and the previous thread and feel inspired to take action.

We (me, DP, DS) live in a decent sized house but even so we have piles of stuff- DP is a hoarder of CDs, old magazines, newspapers etc. I am not as bad but still not good. I hate trying to relax in a messy space so think I am going to have to get a bit drastic about the clutter and ask myself what we really need to keep.

I am also thinking a lot about what I want for DS. I will have to go back to work full time soon and I want the time I have with him to be quality time. He is not yet 1 and we don't really do screen time and that's how I want it to stay. But I am looking at his toys and want to get our 'philosophy' sorted out now. He has a few annoying toys that beep ( including the dreaded vtech walker!) but the toy he loves most is his stacking cups. I am sure we don't need all the beepy stuff and I want to get a grip on that before we go too far down that path. It's his first birthday coming up and PILs and others are asking me what they should get him... I am thinking I will suggest a good quality wooden train set that they can all add to, so he has one good toy that will last well. Any other thoughts?

Anyway, re decluttering, my first task is to call a company today about getting our loft boarded and a proper ladder fitted. Currently there is nothing in the loft at all, which is great, but there's a lot of stuff which we need to keep (mostly baby equipment and outgrown clothes which we are keeping for hopeful future baby) which is sitting round the house. Also Christmas decs and the like. Would love to be able to move them out of the way but access easily when needed.

Other first tasks are to clear the little piles of paper and clutter on the surfaces in the sitting room and have a first cull of books. That is enough of a challenge to start with!

clearsommespace Wed 28-Aug-13 08:19:22

Birdingwidow, the train set is an excellent idea. I would also suggest Duplo and if you haven't got one yet a shape sorter and those wooden puzzles where you lift out the pieces. And good quality animal figurines: farm yard, dinosaur, safari animals, I they are great for imaginative play. He may not be developmentally ready for some of these for a while but they all provide hours of play.

We just had a long weekend in the UK so I was able to drop off a big box of books in English to the charity shop (and only came back with one which my Dad was getting rid of).

I'm going to take a rest for a couple of days as the house is a mess, laundry basket is full and I'm tired after a fair amount of travelling and I have long day work-wise on Friday. Monday the kids are back to school so I'd like to be full of energy, being back in routine will be helpful to achieving more I think.

Downfall Wed 28-Aug-13 08:44:24

Hi Birding the wooden train set is a good toy with longevity. My DS's are 9 and 7 now, and we have donated/given away 75% of their toys. The one 'infant' thing we've kept is the train track. Yesterday DS1 had a friend to play and the three of them played with it, winding a long convoluted track all over the place. It's had so many hours of constructive imaginative play. And not a single beep (although be warned GP's will want to buy the electric train that takes a hundred batteries and brakes after 3 goes...) grin

TheYamiOfYawn Wed 28-Aug-13 08:50:31

BirdingWidow, you might like to read Simplicity Parenting which is really inspiring if you want to bring up children with not much screen time, a few simple, good quality toys, a simple, gentle routine etc.

The toys my children (6 and 3) still love most are the ones that are suitable for a one year old - wooden blocks (with Kapla blocks and a wooden marble run added later), playsilks (popular with 4 month olds and 8 year olds, too - I bought the silk from Dharma Trading and dyed it with food colouring for DS's first birthday), wooden train set, a couple of toy cars, a soft doll each). Musical instruments: drums, shakers, tambourine, bells and later on, a xylophone. Good waterproofs for outdoor play, a mini micro scooter, a balance bike and a playhouse/slide etc if you have a garden.

TheYamiOfYawn Wed 28-Aug-13 08:52:43

Also stockmar crayons - they are really strongly pigmented, easy for little fingers to hold, and very hard to break.

BadPoet Wed 28-Aug-13 10:11:13

Hi Birding, my dc are 10 and 7 and I would echo what everyone else has said - wooden train set is a fabulous idea. Ours was a shared gift from Santa and we've added lots over the years and it is still played with. (Together as well) The other thing is Lego, he's too young for that yet but Duplo is great for the first few years. Soft toys are massively loved and played with here but it's too early to know. How about fun yet functional things - eg Trunkis and Little Life Daysacks (I know opinions divided on reins but I used them) - they are good as grandparent gifts and don't clutter your house with beeping plastic. Wheelybug was also another huge hit in preschool years. These outside chalks are lovely and bright.

Looking ahead, I'm very much encouraging experiences or memberships for mine now - e.g my dad renews my dd's RSPB membership for Christmas every year and ds went to an Olympic event around his birthday last year. Or useful things like lovely bedding or pure cotton nighties/pjs. Now if only I could stop them bringing a gift every time they visit...

BadPoet Wed 28-Aug-13 10:23:11

Delasi Yes, join us on 333! I agree about dresses and have included a few. Mine is mostly staples - black skirt/trousers, jeans, plain coloured tops/vests/cardigans - but a couple of lovely printed things to make me less boring. I have never owned a lot of shoes or handbags - gone from grungy teenager/student who made DMs and a rucksack go with everything to realising that grown ups do actually have shoes and bags to match - so I have a few neutral pairs/bags that I carefully choose. Just realising I can extend that to everything I buy is a revelation!

BirdingWidow Wed 28-Aug-13 12:56:12

Thanks so much for the ideas everyone. We do have a shape sorter toy (which he likes) but not any of the other stuff. Re. Small figurines of animals etc, would you recommend any particular brand? He has a set of happyland farm animals but is there anything better?

fuzzpig Wed 28-Aug-13 17:05:21

I think happyland is good for his age and he should get plenty of use out of it - my DCs are 4 and 6 and they still play with all their happyland. Alternatively there is playmobil 1-2-3 which is chunkier and more toddler friendly than 'proper' playmobil. I used to put individual happyland figures in DS' stocking. For more realistic animals, schleich (or however you spell it) is unbeatable IMO, but expensive and not suitable for a baby so perhaps one to remember for the future.

I have to agree about the wooden train set, this was something I always really wanted when I was little so I actually bought their first set before our eldest was born blush and we have added to it from charity shops etc.

Wooden blocks are great too, I can't imagine getting rid of ours (which include mine from childhood) and also wooden threading beads are nice.

I'm thinking of asking for musical instruments for Xmas from my parents (they don't like choosing which is great in some ways! grin) - we have a gorgeous djembe drum, and of course my beloved piano (so won't bother with a xylophone I think - they've had them before), but a wooden shaker and that sort of thing would be lovely. At a local llama farm they had lots of fair trade handcrafted instruments which were very tempting.

fuzzpig Wed 28-Aug-13 17:07:08

Although I am quite tempted to get DD her first recorder... hmm.

Hello everyone. I've had a couple of very tiring days down on the archaeology site again. I've really enjoyed it and actually found part of a Stone Age knife blade and another piece of worked flint! grin

The down side is that it has played havoc with the Fibromyalgia ( as I knew it would but soooo wanted to do more archaeology) and I'm exhausted and struggling to do a basic tidy-up let alone anything more . I didn't really get up properly till 3.00pm this afternoon! I know I needed to give myself this "collapse" day but I'm feeling frustrated nevertheless!

You all seem to be doing really well and I'm actually just adding slightly to things ( bought 3 items of clothing off ebay!).

buildingmycorestrength Wed 28-Aug-13 18:30:49

Feel for you, educating. Another collapse day here...well, actually trekking round a couple of shops in the morning for daughter's shoes, and napping followed by not much decluttering.

I did buy a gorgeous basket though. That will definitely help with organisation. grin

Gorgeous baskets always help with organising building! wink

fuzzpig Wed 28-Aug-13 18:52:55

Gorgeous baskets are good for storing gorgeous, minimal much loved items grin

Sooo envy of your archaeology arti. Hope to get the DCs into that next summer. Sympathies with the pain though. I am really really struggling today.

Downfall Wed 28-Aug-13 20:54:09

Sliding off the minimalist topic, but your archeology volunteering sounds so interesting educatingarti, and fuzzpig you mention getting DC's involved. Can either of you give me pointers? DS1 is 9 but has loved history and palentology (in a basic child way) for ever, and believes he will be a paleontologist when he grows up smile. A dig would be a great experience for him if it's possible for younger people?

Downfall - there are lots of opportunities for adults to get involved with projects, less so for children because of health and safety issues however some projects will still take children if accompanied by parents.
Archaeology Today website is a good place to start to look here and there are branches of the Young Archeologist Club all over the country that your son could join [[ here}}

oops - Young Archaeologist link here

mrspaddy Wed 28-Aug-13 22:26:16

After months of decluttering I will be finished tomorrow.. Yippee. That is.. If we are ever really finished. I have to bring one more bag to the chazzer and sort the hot press on last time. Then I have plant pots to give away... That is it!!! Bookcases, years of clothes, resources, Christmas decortations, every drawer snd cupboard, memory boxes made, photos.. The lot..
Just want to defrost the freezer and give the house one last freshen up. Ready for baby then.

Have bought simplicity parenting and going to upload photos to picassa and bonusprint regularly and have storage boxes labelled 0-3 3-6 etc ready to go. So no more clutter is coming my way... Anything we get tht we wont use will go to a good home... Good local charity here and we have politely refused hand me downs til we are ready..

BirdingWidow Wed 28-Aug-13 22:53:06

Was a bit brief earlier because on the move with DS and parents but thanks to BadPoet and Fuzzpig for your comments (didn't see Bad's until afterwards as hadn't refreshed). It's lovely that your DD is into birds, DS is unlikely to escape the RSPB's clutches either, courtesy of DP (I refer you to my mn name!).

Anyway, train set from GPs it is after consensus on longevity, thanks all. And I will look up the simplicity parenting book - not sure I will ever be truly minimal but all downward pressure on 'stuff' will help.

Not got anything done today as was out all day but tomorrow the decluttering starts. Should have a good run at it as DParents are here to distract DS. Did buy some stuff on our travels today though: next size clothes for DS (am sure I could have been much more minimal there, so much to learn!) and a duplicate for the favourite soft toy that he has fixated upon and I am terrified of losing (an insurance premium, effectively, and well worth it).

Educating, buying on eBay is helping someone else declutter so not entirely in vain, perhaps <grasping at straws>

delasi Wed 28-Aug-13 23:29:28

mrspaddy Fantastic! You sound so organised for the new arrival, congrats!

DH and DF started putting the cot together when my contractions became noticeably stronger 12h before DS was born... confused This is indicative of our state of preparedness and goes some way to explaining our current need for a home overhaul!

In actual fact, I don't think I've lived in a real life properly organised home for the last 5 years. And I've always been so disorganised in my bedroom, since infancy. That will be my biggest task and likewise my biggest achievement home-wise once it's complete.

No advances made today; despite being a day off work, DH and DS are both ill and I slept very little last night as a result of DS being very disturbed in his sleep so my time was spent tending to them. Next free time will be Friday after midday so I plan on continuing with this week's tasks. Have to remind myself what they are first...

Also I've been following this line of conversation with Birding and I've adopted the train idea! Thanks all!

JimmyCorkhill Thu 29-Aug-13 09:56:29

Hello Birding. Just a thought re the duplicate toy you have bought as insurance. My friend did this but when the original greying, bedraggled toy disappeared her daughter refused to accept the pristine, glowing white replacement even though it was the same toy. Have you thought about alternating them so they age at the same rate? grin

fuzzpig Thu 29-Aug-13 12:26:39

Yes, definitely alternate them while he is hopefully too little to notice, so they both get a bit grubby grin

With the new one, you could perhaps sleep with it, hold it lots etc when he's not looking so it has your smell on it too.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 29-Aug-13 16:59:41

Got rid of all those little bits of wrapping paper that seem like they'll come in really useful but actually end up scrumpled at the bottom of a pile somewhere. grin.

Also hoovered out car. Wrapped actual presents. Had my face painted by my daughter....very relaxing and so sweet.

Storage bags arrived! Huzzah! A new organisation and decluttering push can commence. grin

Nellelephant Thu 29-Aug-13 19:03:55

Ooh can I join in grin

Bit of background: It's just me and DH. We currently live in a rented flat filled to the brim with our landlords crap belongings so can never declutter as much as I would like. However, we are now looking to move somewhere unfurnished so I'm clearing our stuff a bit to make sure it doesn't all end up in the new place unnecessarily.

In the last week I have thrown away four manky pillows and 2 duvets that I found in DH's suitcase. They have not seen the light of day since 2008 and looked and smelled like a boys student flat. Urgh!

I got rid of a bin bag full of old bedding and towels and another bag full of my old art college work. I have filled two big charity bags full of random knick knacks and I'm going to give my wardrobe a going over and take a look at our extensive DVD collection.

I am mentally already moving out!

BirdingWidow Fri 30-Aug-13 05:42:39

Hello Jimmy and Fuzzpig. Thanks for your advice about alternating. I had planned to do it anyway but in the event it went without a hitch: DS saw 'Doggy' on the shelf in the shop (luckily on a display so only one of them!) and made urgent noises as original Doggy was at home. So I bought it, gave it to him, he slobbered over it and is sleeping with it now while the other one goes into rehab the washing machine.

As it was such a lovely day I didn't do much inside but weeded the garden and cut the grass instead. I did venture into my study only to back straight out again.... It is basically a vile pit of junk. I weeded a box of books out of the snug instead, where we have an entire wall of bookcases. It doesn't look any different as it was a drop in the ocean!

Can't see today being very productive - DS had a coughing fit at 3.30am and while he went back to sleep I didn't... Am going to look and feel mighty rough today. Waiting for my wake up call any minute, ug.

BirdingWidow Fri 30-Aug-13 06:02:16

And we're up.

I have realised that the phrase 'an entire wall of bookcases' will make many people on this thread itch grin

BirdingWidow Fri 30-Aug-13 07:10:58

A questiom: I have an old laptop ( very old, maybe 8-10 yrs?) that I nonlonger need. It's main virtue is that it is very small and light. Anyone know if there is anywhere I could donate it to? And how I can ensure all personal info is irretrievably removed?

inthetide Fri 30-Aug-13 10:52:52

I think the on,y way to irretrievably remove info from laptops is to smash up the hard drive. That's what we did to our old laptop but it was defunct. And getting to the hard drive was a bit of an irreversible process too. Sorry not to be more helpful.

BirdingWidow Fri 30-Aug-13 18:37:34

Thanks - I have heard that. Seems a shame though...

buildingmycorestrength Fri 30-Aug-13 19:39:27

Just ventured up into the dreaded loft. Tackled a small pile for approx five minutes (am spending longer writing this but at least I can lie down!). I made some decisions which is usually very hard for me. Ended up with three bags for the a physical board game of the game Hangman which someone passed on to us. Never played it BECAUSE WE HAVE PENCIL AND PAPER, FGS.

I don't want to keep out of rotation toys in the loft. I will put them in their rooms but they can't reach all the spaces in their rooms so they will still need to be 'got out'. Duplo (which at nearly 7 and 9they have pretty much outgrown but will always get played with if brought out) will come down from the loft too.

Instead of keeping sentimental baby toys in a box, they will go on the childrens' bookshelves on display. Hurrah!

I need some storage boxes for my husband's childhood treasures, so will get him a nice box for those. To generate goodwill towards my (to him) bizarre project. grin

And I also spent time today while the children were tearing round a play barn ... writing lists! I found I could visualise the piles items that need attention and made some decisions while drinking tea. We keep the telescope, for instance, despite it almost never getting used, because we love it. grin

clearsommespace Sat 31-Aug-13 06:50:45

Building, I was decluttering from a distance too yesterday as I had to do a lot of travelling for work!

The only baby toy my parents kept was my comforter (they didn't really have a choice as I still slept with it when I was at secondary!).
I don't have any baby clothes. It doesn't bother me. I have several early years books from when I was a child.

I definitely keeping the sentimental baby stuff for me rather than for them.

buildingmycorestrength Sat 31-Aug-13 07:05:40

Oh, yes, I'm definitely keeping the baby bits for me. I was given a few of my old baby clothes (and in fact older too) and I though they were pretty horrible and that my mum was barking for hanging onto them all this time. grin

delasi Sun 01-Sep-13 09:10:07

Birding If you still have the laptop, I was just wondering - would you consider giving it to a friend/relative/child who might need it but wouldn't be inclined to try and resurrect your old info? I only say this as DH has had two laptops in working order but not fit for his needs (on two separate occasions, I've just realised he's been getting through these laptops...hmm), he wiped everything (I mean everything, including the OS), installed a new OS, and gave them to friends who needed them at the time. Technically somewhere on that hard drive is personal info, but it would take some hard work to access it, the kind of knowledge that not a lot of people have, plus the inclination to want to get at it in the first place! So, he wasn't worried about that.

On a separate note, I have decided that I think I would make a good SAHM grin But whilst we haven't had some windfall enabling me to give up work altogether, I have instead decided to get up 30-60mins earlier than usual (and so, go to bed slightly earlier too). Going to bed earlier wouldn't have a huge impact on evening 'down time' and time with DH, but getting up earlier would mean a lot more could get done around here (especially with possibly DH and DS still asleep!).

Haven't done much this week, DH and DS have both been quite ill so I've been taking care of them. Finally ran out of energy yesterday and succumbed to the sickiness, spent the entire day in bed, was up in time to play with DS a little then put him to bed, then make dinner. However it seems to have done me good as I'm right as rain for now today.

fuzzpig Sun 01-Sep-13 09:47:55

I've had another busy week. My dad is taking DH and the DCs out and mum is staying with me to do a wee bit of housework but also we will probably laze around reading a bit too!

rosyryan Sun 01-Sep-13 20:19:24

I've finally found you again!! I was on the first few threads under a different name and got on so well. Just lazily drifted away from it, as you do, and have been regretting it for ages. When I tried to find you again I couldn't. I'm so excited! New month, new start. I am getting back on board!

Off to catch up on this thread from the beginning. smile

clearsommespace Mon 02-Sep-13 06:19:43

Yes, one of my DC starts school again today, the other tomorrow. I'm hoping for a 'back to school routine' boost.
My 'home management' desk is all cluttered again so that's the task of the week.

CoTananat Mon 02-Sep-13 07:03:03

You don't need to destroy your hard drive unless you are a spy or similar and suspect government agencies with supercomputers may try to recover your data.

IDK what OS your old laptop is running but if it's Windows then DBAN will do it. The term you would want to google is "securely erase hard drive"

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 02-Sep-13 08:54:57

I've sold a few laptops on eBay etc and never worried too much about destroying the hard-drive - we just restored them to factory settings and wiped all the drives.
Most people wouldn't have the expertise or money to recover data from that deep within the hard drive.

This moving house business has meant buying a lot of stuff, although mostly it has been things like paint, curtains etc which don't take up any room!

fuzzpig Mon 02-Sep-13 09:35:03

Well we made a little progress yesterday, although it doesn't much feel or look like it! Emptied the falling-apart bookcase so now have large boxes of books. Unfortunately dad's car broke down so didn't get to take it to the tip. But he is coming back on wed so we will do a tip/chazzer run then. Hopefully I can get more stuff together by then.

Hmm - one step forward two hundred steps back here. Dad is quite ill again (while Mum is on holiday and he is in a nursing home for respite care) so instead of a quiet day tidying and catching up on ironing yesterday ha ha who am I kidding! I did a 300 mile round trip to see him (blessedly a friend drove me!) and I'm now at the "give me caffeine and paracetamol intravenously NOW" stage. Am waiting on the GP's visit this afternoon to see what the next step might be before I decide whether to contact mum who desperately needs a break and time away!

I'm just tacking jobs one at a time as that's all I can manage. Off to try and sort soft tyre on car before I need to use it this evening!

delasi Mon 02-Sep-13 13:42:17

brew and cake for everyone - it seems to be one of those starts to the week!

I have a slightly more radical plan for this week, as I feel I'm reaching a plateau and need the kind of boost that is brought about by seeing major changes. I have some stuff that needs going in the loft, so I am going to attempt it (I thoroughly dislike going up ladders confused). Then, I am going to try and clear out a freestanding cabinet and say goodbye to it for good. That should hopefully be a start...

BirdingWidow Mon 02-Sep-13 14:25:50

Thanks for laptop advice everyone. I don't have a lot of secret squirrel stuff to worry about, just the usual bank details etc. Will try the suggestion of CoTananat and see if I can figure that out.

I spent yesterday evening in front of the telly going through piles of paper that had collected on a chest of drawers in the sitting room. Lots of receipts etc - all now shredded or filed as required. Hasn't made much difference to the overs volume of clutter in the house but I feel mentally uncluttered and am enjoying looking at one newly cleared surface.

BeCool Mon 02-Sep-13 15:00:27

I've just got some great ELC/HappyLand bargain toys from the chazzer - in excellent condition for DD2.

The very first thing I will do when I get home is pass on some older toys to XP to create room for the new bits.

I love my new life!!

fuzzpig Mon 02-Sep-13 22:33:07

I was just wondering, has anyone read Minimalist Parenting?

I loved Simplicity Parenting but could do with more inspiration.

DH has made progress with the living room. It looks great and my piano is clear so I will be playing it tomorrow! Basically we agreed to just focus on the living room due to impending teacher visit (4 days away!), and after that we are going to be strict with ourselves and do one thing each evening - mostly sorting through a box/drawer etc. But we've agreed we MUST do something every day now as it is so SLOW. Hopefully if we both agree to do stuff every day it will happen faster. I wish I could write an exact plan but I'm not entirely sure where to start. We did agree though that we will always designate something to do at least the day before, so we don't get to the evening and not know what to do IYSWIM? I don't know though, should I just write a list of every single bloody thing that needs sorting through? Even though we've done loads, there is still SO MUCH.

Wednesday should be good as hopefully we can get lots more stuff to the dump. DH dismantled an exercise bike to take too. I was given it for free (except courier cost) but it doesn't work properly and makes a hideous screechy sound unless DH takes the gears apart every single time. So we've agreed to ditch it and I will be getting a mini one instead (it's literally just pedals on a tiny stand that you use when sitting on a chair/sofa) - only getting that because I have to start Graded Exercise Therapy as part of my treatment, and my therapists agreed cycling (starting at 2 mins a day!) is the most practical option for me.

BeCool I love HappyLand stuff. I am thinking of more toys that can be ditched but HappyLand is staying for now! I was pleased today when DCs spent their birthday money (a fiver each) on reduced Lego sets as it can just be added to their existing bricks rather than adding a whole new toy/a tenner's worth of tat if that makes sense.

Jeez I am soooo sore today - always am after working on Mondays (3-7pm) but the room looks nice. I'm glad I didn't rush to Ikea - may still get either the Billy or Expedit at some point, but at the moment it looks good with just the DCs' books out on the little Ercol bookcase, and extra space in the room (DH put up my other Banksy picture on the new wall space!) so hopefully we can get by without spending more money.

delasi Tue 03-Sep-13 01:16:18

fuzzpig Great progress smile In terms of lists, I think it all depends on what works for you psychologically, personally I can't write down everything as it just makes me feel down and I spend ages adding tiny detail after tiny detail. However I can walk into each room and know exactly what needs doing and in what order (eg drawer x might need to be sorted first, before box y can be dealt with, then bag z can be done... etc).

So instead I make a list of the first lot of things that need doing. Once they're done I can go onto the next phase, and then the next, until we're done we're not yet done!. I do it across all of the rooms as I have a limited attention span for these things blush and get a bit fed up of working on the same space for an extended period of time. I can then go back to each room as I work through this cycle and see what needs doing next, which I can't always visualise if I focus on it consistently as I just get tired and think, "Well this will do". For example, our kitchen and bathroom are more or less complete - probably 98%! It's the really small details that I'm picking up now, like, "Why do I have these bath toys in here that never gets used?" or "I don't actually use the kettle often, so let's put that in the cupboard".

Sokmonsta Tue 03-Sep-13 08:14:18

Progress! I've decluttered two lunch bags. They were very tatty after last year and being used over the holidays. As dh caved and bought the dc new ones, I've binned the old ones without a pang of guilt. And stopped dh from retrieving them as 'they may be useful'. No they won't be! They will sit on the side in the way or end up in the loft for me to throw out later.

Looking forward to tomorrow when dc back at school. Onwards and upwards!

clearsommespace Tue 03-Sep-13 08:50:20

Making an exact plan sounds dangerously like procrastination to me. There is such a thing as over planning. It makes me think of my uni house mate who used to write and rewrite her essay plans and not leave enough time to write the actual essay properly.

I like knowing what I am doing the next day and having a little list of jobs that I can add to when I think of them, to refer to if ever I don't know what to do. (I find I usually notice stuff to deal with when I don't have time.)

rosyryan Tue 03-Sep-13 10:11:58

I'm sorry to hear about your dad Arti. I hope today brings better news and your mum doesn't have to come home.

I had an excellent day yesterday, so positive, and have a small list to be cracking on with today but I feel so sick and tired this morning. I'm 11 weeks pregnant and waiting for the glowy, energetic bit to hit! So all I have accomplished so far today is a mug of tea confused

fuzzpig Tue 03-Sep-13 10:59:41

Ha, yes, procrastination indeed blush

OK, so I will resist temptation to write an epic whole-house plan. I like the idea of planning only one stage at a time, that seems like a good compromise. A week at a time maybe?

At the moment we are just clearing as much stuff as possible from the living room but there are still some cupboards/drawers in there that are full of random crap so I guess that should be the first stage after Friday as then we can actually store stuff properly in them? I'm thinking each Sunday we could write in the diary or make a list for the following week. That would only take a few minutes.

I did play the piano this morning which was great as it is one of my goals from Occupational Therapy to fit in stuff that I enjoy, especially on my days off as otherwise sometimes I end up resting too much.

Hope everything is ok arti. And rosy I hope you feel better soon. First trimester can be horrible!

fuzzpig Tue 03-Sep-13 11:02:03

Also good point about not sticking with the same room all the time due to boredom, I'll bear that in mind.

delasi Tue 03-Sep-13 15:11:52

Yes rosy it gets better!

for most people confused

<not bitter that 'nesting' didn't seem to kick in until DS was 6mo and instead of glowy I got acne, no not I>

Ahem, but that's for a different thread grin

Anyway, I've been less productive today - had a good clean of the living room though. Slept till quite late (oops blush). DS' sleep has been a bit erratic lately, not too bad but waking a couple of hours early and taking a while to settle again so I've been quite sleepy.

Maybe today I will do a mad tackle of one of the bigger tasks and see where I end up.

Tommetipsy Tue 03-Sep-13 15:14:01

Hello, can I join in?

Hi Fuzzpig! I was on your fab declutter for xmas thread last year. I made loads of progress then but this year it has all slipped backwards I'm afraid.

Part of my issue is I work from home so I see everything in a mess all day as opposed to DH who is only home in the evenings.

I'm hoping to get things going this weekend starting on the DD's bedroom and moving a wardrobe into the room for their clothes plus will streamline the clothes as they have far too many!

buildingmycorestrength Tue 03-Sep-13 15:41:18

Hi all, am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the scale of the task today. Tired and premenstrual too. Cannot wait till kids go back tmw and I can tackle jobs properly. blush

I think I have been trying to do too many jobs and end up leaving them half done, so it feels like everywhere is a mess now. sad This is not good for my mental state. The pile of stuff to go is growing but I haven't actually got it to the chazzer for ages, and so that is a bit daunting too.

Massive wardrobe declutters coming over next week or so, and think I need to have bags ready for who the handmedowns will go to!

iWillDoItInAMinute Tue 03-Sep-13 16:19:29

Arti so sorry to hear about your dad, hope he is getting better and your mum has had the holiday she so desperately needs flowers

DC returned to school today. I had grand plans, but nothing came of them blush

I HATE September, the DC return to school and it's the anniversary of my mums death. I had thought this year would be easier but it isn't sad I do miss her so very much.

Also this September is the first anniversary of our DDogs death. I had him for 13 years

I can feel the waves of sadness and depression hit me at the most unexpected times-like now

But it does mean the house will be very clean as that's how I usually deal with it smile

DSIL gave me a huge bag of boys clothes -she was reslly pleased to get out of her house- but a Salvation Army clothes bag came through the door. Fantastic timing !

Thank you all for your kind thoughts. Dad did manage to eat and drink a bit yesterday and his GP doesn't think he is in an immediately critical situation so I'm waiting till Mum gets back form holiday to talk to her. Think it will be a big shock for her though.

I've managed a little bit more work today but my brain is still all over the place!

Does anyone get rid of things and then regret it? Lots of people on her say that they don't really regret or miss things but I'm finding that I do and it is holding me up a bit. I'm regretting getting rid of a torn-in-half (but thick and good quality) single memory foam mattress topper as I'd now like to use a bit of it to make a neck roll to go inside a pillow and see if it will stop me getting so much neck and shoulder ache at night.

So because of this I'm hesitating on getting rid of a closed cell carry-mat type camping mat, even though I've got a self-inflating camping mat and didn't use the carry-mat when I went camping. I'm seeing myself using it as maybe a mat for sitting/lying out on the grass in summer or cutting it up to use as an outdoor mat or whatever. I'm also struggling with an old bright orange blanket I have used for camping in the past but didn't use this summer, because it might be useful.

Then there were the older bras that had got very uncomfortable to wear. I'm glad I didn't get rid of them as it turns out they had got uncomfy because I'd lost weight. I've put a bit back on blush and now they are comfy whereas the new ones I bought aren't!

Sorry to utter such minimalist heresy on this thread but it is just what I've been thinking and wondered what others have thought/decided.

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 03-Sep-13 16:47:08

Today, I was skirting round the huge pile of shoes in our teeny hallway (too small for a shoe rack) when a lightbulb pinged on above my head as I realised that since I decluttered the toys, the carved wooden chest in the bay window was empty. It now holds shoes and a basket full of hats and gloves.

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 03-Sep-13 16:51:41

I'm sorry things are so rough with your dad, arti, and I hope that your mum is ok.

I regret decluttering a few things, but never anything irreplaceable. I've rebought one book, and am currently improvising the very light handweights with tin cans until I am stro.g enough to use the heavier weights I kept. I think the minor inconvenience I'd outweighed by the benefits. I assume that sometimes I will need to rebuy something, and that is ok.

One problem for me is - I guess - that I'm on quite a low income so although of course nothing is irreplaceable, I can't just go out and buy more.

fuzzpig Tue 03-Sep-13 17:45:34

How much stuff are you (understandably) dithering over arti? Because if it's not literally everything, I would just skip past the difficult items for now and do the easy stuff.

delasi Tue 03-Sep-13 19:27:04

iWill and arti thanks for you both.

I understand the hesitation brought on by income, we're in a similar spot and it took me a while to get around getting rid of some things as I was worried I might later have a use for them but not be able to afford them. It means when I come across something that might be useful, I try to go through what I would use it for, when that would be, and how much it would cost to replace it if necessary. I usually only get through the first two questions now though as I have become better at spotting when something just won't get used. However I came across a tip on here which I have employed for a couple of things right now that I'm genuinely unsure of - keep it somewhere, eg where you know it is but out of sight. Wait a little while to see if you go back to it. The way I'm employing this at the moment is I have a locking metal box for sensitive files, which I emptied and now have a new filing system. However the box more or more not be useful - I'm unsure! So I've put it in another room whilst I finish the tidy/declutter. If I find a use for it whilst I'm going or at the end then it stays, otherwise it goes. I found two small folding boxes (they're like little organisers) and thought at first, "Well, haven't used these in ages", then decided to hang fire and see if I could repurpose them. Found a new use for them quite quickly and saved me trying to replace them with something new.

However I find that this only applies to a few items, not the majority of the house, so I feel that the handful of stuff is not what is cluttering the house and therefore is not the issue. I think if you find you're holding on to everything then it's time to try and think everything through very logically to try and work out what you really do want and need rather than hanging on to everything.

delasi Tue 03-Sep-13 19:28:35

*the box may or may not be smile

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 03-Sep-13 20:51:01

Oh, flowers for both Iwill and Arti I hope you both feel better soon (and Arti's dad too of course!)

I have literally never regretted throwing anything away... I must have thrown out 15 carloads of stuff and sold 100's of things at carboots/eBay and I struggle to remember anything specific that I once had.

I have regretted buying things in the first place though, so I am much, much more careful now and I try only to buy things that I love - this week I have been scouring the town for new tops for work and haven't bought any as all the ones I saw were either too expensive or not that nice. I'll wait until the perfect top comes along!

I am being really strict on keeping our bedroom, the kitchen and the living/dining room completely tidy and clutter free. The bathrooms, study and -junk- spare room are all rather less perfect, but I am finding a house is much more work to keep tidy than a flat even though we only have 1 extra bedroom!

iWillDoItInAMinute Tue 03-Sep-13 21:18:53

Yes Artemis I agree re more space = more mess/clutter. It just seems to spread out. Thanks for the flowerssmile

After the dog chased the chicken into the kitchen and caused her to fly up into the coat hooks, I had a thought. How many coat hooks does a family of 5 need? We have 2 rows in the hall, 2 rows in the laundry room and 2 rows by the back door. All of them have something on them confused we have too many coats/bags for life-something else that multiplies.

I haven't regretted throwing out anything, I have regretted buying things though.

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 03-Sep-13 21:59:27

I did an amazing thing today grin

My tights customarily fill an entire drawer of my CoD, and like to nest in a giant, tangled ball of nylon tentacles out of which I have to extricate a specific pair, usually discover they are ripped, find another pair, realise they are the itchy ones I hate, finally find a decent pair, shove the giant tentacula back into the drawer and repeat every weekday for a term.

Not any more. 3 coat hangers - one for black opaque, one for tan tights, one for black sheer tights. Fold 6 pairs of new, unripped tights over the cross bar of each hanger and pin with clothes peg. Hang in wardrobe. Binned all old, ripped, nasty tights and kept small bag of patterned crazy tights in top of wardrobe for future consideration.

Now I can instantly see all my tights, find them without effort and know when laundry is urgent! Also I plan to only put them back on the hangers after checking if they are ripped, so I will hopefully never have to put on 8 several pairs of tights in the dark winter's days ahead.

It's the small things grin wears saddo hat

LimeLeaafLizard Tue 03-Sep-13 22:04:41

Hello, can I re-join? I was on earlier minimalist threads but have lapsed over the summer holiday and need a new boost. This thread just came up in active convos and how timely since school is back tomorrow.

buildingmycorestrength Tue 03-Sep-13 22:08:28

Artemis I laughed out loud at your description. I Don t wear tights because of that scenario. grin But this sounds like a much better solution.

fuzzpig Tue 03-Sep-13 22:28:33

Forgot to say hi TommeTipsy! I was really pleased with the Xmas decluttering thread last year and managed a reasonable amount considering what else was going on at the time. I'm not starting one this time though since I feel so at home here - this thread has been great, and I hope that all the decluttering will be for life not just for Xmas grin

Welcome Lime! My DD is back to school tomorrow too, with DS starting next week (first full day next Thursday).

I'm panicking about the next ten weeks. DH has been put on 2 training courses - great as it will improve employability, but in the short term I am really worried how we will cope, let alone do our decluttering - he will be out 2 days a week as well as working most weekends, which has a huge impact on my health. Just trying to remember it is only short term, and that even if we only do a tiny bit each day it will still add up.

LimeLeaafLizard Tue 03-Sep-13 23:07:18

Thanks fuzzpig, is your DS starting reception then?

I'm really hoping with two of my DC out of the house for a few hours a day I can start dealing with all the crap that has entered the house over the summer. So many little bits and bobs collected from trips and sent by Grandma and some from the front of magazines and pictures they've drawn and library books to return.

All I've managed over the summer is to ebay the 4 bags I decluttered way back in the last thread! I got £80 for them though which is brilliant! have already bought new jeans for the DC and have my eye on some new boots for myself.

fuzzpig Wed 04-Sep-13 08:39:17

Yep, DD in yr2 as of today, DS has his first half day in reception on Monday. He only turned 4 on Friday! He's still so little. Am trying not to worry, and I know his teacher is fab (she had DD for yr1). And while I'm certainly not wanting to wish these years away, I do think it will make things a bit easier to have both DCs at school all day, particularly as it cuts out the midday school run!

Dad coming today so will take stuff to chazzer/dump, but then tescos as we have gift cards (FIL kindly sent some to help with uniform costs) to get the last few bits like wellies, plimsolls etc... shame to be bringing in more stuff but still an overall gain in space for the day. I am so glad we only got 3 of each item for uniforms rather than 5 as we did when DD started. It'll mean washing/ironing them twice a week but I think that will be better than having a bigger mound of stuff hanging around! And my sore fingers are grateful too as we are sewing labels in for the first time. Now I realise what thimbles are for <wince>

buildingmycorestrength Wed 04-Sep-13 09:29:54

Just a quick tip to save your fingers, fuzz - we use Stikins and they are great.

Does my link work? grin.

buildingmycorestrength Wed 04-Sep-13 09:30:29

Bugger, no it doesn't. sad.

buildingmycorestrength Wed 04-Sep-13 09:31:35

Sort of hurrah. I did double square brackets followed by the URL followed by closed square brackets that time, but where do I put the text that I want to show?

ArtemisatBrauron Wed 04-Sep-13 09:47:46
ArtemisatBrauron Wed 04-Sep-13 09:48:11

It's [[ website url Name Labels ]]

ArtemisatBrauron Wed 04-Sep-13 09:49:24

First day at new job today - starting with an INSET at 10.30-5.30!! Nervous! I'm sure more black coffee will help.... grin

Have cleared out three handbags today (I rotate between a navy one, black one and canvas shopper) and the amount of receipts, tissues etc was blush

LimeLeaafLizard Wed 04-Sep-13 09:59:53

Good luck in your new job Artemis!

I use the sticky name labels and they are fab.

Yes, I'm with you fuzzpig on keeping school uniform to 3 of each item (well, jumpers, trousers etc - they need more pants socks and polo shirts). Good luck to your little one for next week. I have two summer borns but my nerves were last year and will be next year!

Now I need to stop faffing around and start the tidying!

iWillDoItInAMinute Wed 04-Sep-13 10:41:36

eBay question - we have an ELC wooden island kitchen that takes up a lot of space -and drives me crazy as DSs like to use it as a barricade and spread the food/cutlery around- should I wait until closer to Christmas and then list it? we also have a child's bike.

buildingmycorestrength Wed 04-Sep-13 12:56:05

Thanks Artemis for the Linky tutorial. thanks Hope new job okay.

Some bags to the chazzer today - hurrah!

fuzzpig Wed 04-Sep-13 17:22:51

Good luck at work Artemis smile

IWill - they would probably make more nearer to Xmas but I do think lots of people start looking for gifts around now so you may still get a good price. Depends how much you need the cash really! I have some duplo that I am holding onto for a little longer but I might try local facebook groups as it would save the hassle of posting.

I am chuffed today as Dad took a carful of stuff to the tip - bookcase, exercise bike, mattress, old car seats, scooter and trike! And when I was digging stuff out of the cupboard I found a play tunnel I had totally forgotten about so the DCs have been playing with it all afternoon.

delasi Wed 04-Sep-13 17:49:18

All of your successes and big days are motivating me! Thank you all!

Just dawned on me today that I have 3 weeks until I go back to study confused I went back to work a couple of months ago after mat. leave and all the big 'returns' have been conveniently staggered (wasn't planned! I do a mish mash of things). However the enormity of next year has just dawned on me. It's a more intense year than the last, and I was on mat. leave for the majority of last year so I had more flexibility. Otoh, I had a newborn and the accompanying tiredness... Oh I just can't tell how much harder it might be!

So, anyway, that gives me 3 weeks to get as much done as humanly possible as I think that this year is going to eat at my time in a big way. And I could really do with a super organised home to both maintain more easily and be more conducive to study. Fewer baby steps, massive leaps for me now. Maybe it's the espresso speaking, but I am now very motivated. Always have worked better when time's run out under pressure grin

buildingmycorestrength Thu 05-Sep-13 09:17:57

Did sick today. Soooo many unrealistic plans will have to wait another day. sad.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 05-Sep-13 09:18:16

Sorry dd not did. blush

Hi everyone - just popping in briefly. Dad sadly died late on Tuesday night so having problems de-cluttering my brain atm - probabl

Opps - not sure what went on there - just to say I'm not sure I'll be around so much for the next couple of weeks and decluttering put on hold rather!

fuzzpig Thu 05-Sep-13 18:13:33

Oh no arti sad I'm so sorry thanks

See you back here when you're ready, and in the meantime take care and go easy on yourself ((hug)) xx

BirdingWidow Thu 05-Sep-13 18:55:13

Oh no Arti, I'm really sorry to hear of your loss.

iWillDoItInAMinute Thu 05-Sep-13 19:00:57

Oh Arti, so very sorry flowers

As Fuzz said, do take care of yourself xxx

buildingmycorestrength Thu 05-Sep-13 19:25:28

So sorry, Article. What a sad time. thanks

ArtemisatBrauron Thu 05-Sep-13 20:10:39

sorry to hear your sad news Arti flowers take care. We're all thinking of you x

inthetide Thu 05-Sep-13 20:21:12

Oh no, Arti. Did your mum get back in time? Thinking if you.

I've just read a fabulous blog post about minimising and realising what is important in life here

TheYamiOfYawn Thu 05-Sep-13 21:18:44

I'm so sorry, Arti.

delasi Fri 06-Sep-13 00:59:06

thanks Arti

JimmyCorkhill Fri 06-Sep-13 09:57:30

I'm so sorry for your loss Arti flowers

starfishmummy Fri 06-Sep-13 10:20:37

Getting back into the swing after the long summer hols. Ds has sn so I don't get much done when he is here and the house is chaos. But had a doorstep chazza collection (and this is a proper one who use it to fill their shop) today and a huge bafull has gone as a start.

I have also made a decision to really cull the number of clothes ds has - he has had a growth spurt which should help. I will just not buy as many replacements!

fuzzpig Fri 06-Sep-13 14:35:28

Just wanted to report that the teacher visit went brilliantly today smile nice clear living room with some of DS' favourite toys out to show them. Living room is by no means perfect (lots of mess behind closed cupboard doors...) but I'm glad we have achieved this much and can now work on a little bit at a time all over the house without a looming deadline (unless you count Xmas, but that's 110 days away grin)

delasi Fri 06-Sep-13 14:55:17

fuzzpig Yay!

inthetide I just read the article you linked, it was nice, I think a lot of us have our own 'margarita glasses' and I lol'd when I read about her 'what ifs' for needing them smile It was also interesting how she then decided more stuff was not needed - I'm hoping to get here, I look around sometimes at the things that have already been decluttered and think, "Surely, this is still too much".

Children's things are a problem blush I am happy to live a stripped back life but the thought of throwing away baby clothes or toys is too much! Tbh DS doesn't have loads, but he does have more clothes than necessary for the 0-6mo category (which we are now past), which makes me think it's too much for our next DC whenever they come along, so why hang on to everything?, but then I think, "It's just a tiny vest!". That one might take some work wink MIL also likes to arrive regularly with toys she's picked up, and to be fair she gets some nice stuff, but there just seems to be a bit more than he can realistically play with! We'll see.

Haven't done much here in terms of big changes, but I traded in lots of old DVDs and a couple of games and got £10 so that felt like a success. Also got some boxes for the bathroom to organise our toiletries better. Now I need some vacuum storage bags for the aforementioned baby clothes...

delasi Fri 06-Sep-13 18:22:03

Okay, I've had another rush of wanting to get sorted asap although I'm not really in a position do lots right now (it seems to strike at odd times hmm), but anyway I have adopted a new mentality.

We're Moving.

Well, not right now. I don't know when we'll move, or where to. But one day we will move, because we can't live here forever. So I am going to look at the house with that in mind: do I want to move with this again? Will this be more hassle than it's worth to move? How can I make this specifically easier to move? I thoroughly dislike moving yet have done it 9x in the last 5 years so I want my 10th move to be the best yet grin

fuzzpig Fri 06-Sep-13 18:48:17

I am thinking about moving too. Probably in about a year. I really really hate the thought of moving with all this crap and wasting the chance for a fresh start. I need us to get used to a simpler life and home before we move!

Nellelephant Fri 06-Sep-13 20:41:49

I have had exactly the same mindset for a few months now. 'We shall move at some point so let's clear all this junk' And the good news is that we will have the keys to our new flat in a few weeks! Moving from a furnished rental flat to an unfurnished so have the pleasure of buying lovely new stuff and being able to take our wedding gifts out of their boxes.

I've got two big bags of clothes to go to charity, although a colleague mentioned that if you take them into H&M you get a voucher so may check that out. I also sold a Sat nav on ebay for £60. It's been sat on a shelf for two years since my mum bought it for us (not knowing that our car has built in sat nav) and that's paid for a dressmaking course that I've just enrolled on.

delasi Fri 06-Sep-13 21:08:55

Ooh, Nell you've made me all excited now! grin Good luck with your move!

I have been compiling a list of things that I would like to have in my imaginary new dream home blush DH thought I was kidding until I showed him my very own dedicated folder on the computer... It's not much really, it mainly involves a super kingsize bed and a Tripp Trapp! But I would like to be in a position where I can say, "Ok, now let's fill in the gaps, sensibly" rather than, "Aghhhh I keep walking into the bed/box/door/playpen" (all of which have happened to me today). It also involves having the money to afford those things but I'm saving up!

We've also decided to try and make the items work for us, either to re-purpose or make money from, but only in a straight forward way as I don't want to hang on to everything. So, like my £10 upthread for a bag of old DVDs. I have a necklace and a bracelet to sell and going by recent eBay I should hopefully get somewhere between £60-90 for them in total. I also have some very good clothes to eBay (as in, good labels and excellent condition, everything else good condition has gone to charity). I haven't spent any more money so far on household things, except for £5 on boxes to organise toiletries and cleaning items.

I have already seen some more things today where I have just thought, "Nope, that's got to go", so hopefully things will continue to improve.

Just popping in to touch base! Thank you all for your flowers and good wishes. I seem to have reacted so far by my brain not working properly. I keep starting sentences and then not having a clue what I was going to say. I am OK though. I have lovely friends and I stayed with one set for a couple of days this week. Wednesday was pretty awful as I knew I had to tell my mum. She was travelling back from holiday and I thought it was no point her travelling a long way on public transport being upset so I waited until the evening when she was at a relative's house. Knowing I had to tell her but not being able to till the evening was pretty hard.

On the plus side - it is putting decluttering into a better perspective - why am I agonising over an old orange blanket? - it can just go!!

fuzzpig Sat 07-Sep-13 13:10:16

I agree about putting things into perspective (well done on ditching the blanket!). Not quite on the same scale but I do think it was my illness (chronic, not life limiting) that helped me turn my hoarding ways around by forcing me to reassess what is really important. Generally, stuff is not.

There are a few exceptions though and I think rather than just getting rid of EVERYTHING, minimalism helps us find out what we really love. I have a few pieces of art (not genuine obviously, just nice framed prints) that genuinely make my heart swell every time I look at them. So that is what I will be asking for this Xmas/birthday! There is one I have been wanting for years (the snail by Matisse) and yet I never asked or saved up because I automatically go for more obvious 'stuff' which doesn't make me nearly so giddy with joy happy.

Finally bothered getting myself a winter coat today - old one falling apart and missing several buttons, not to mention a bit small, so no guilt. I put the old one straight in the bin!

I downloaded the Minimalist Parenting book, not reading it until I have finished the current novel (I am strictly sticking to one book on the go at a time!) but I will let you all know how it goes.

MinimalistMommi Sat 07-Sep-13 18:04:20

Arti I'm so sorry sad thanks

MinimalistMommi Sat 07-Sep-13 18:05:59

Fuzzpig what is the minimalist parenting book?

fuzzpig Sat 07-Sep-13 18:09:00

Can't link on phone but it comes up on amazon if you search minimalist parenting - one of the author's surnames is Koh.

MinimalistMommi Sat 07-Sep-13 18:38:12

Thanks fuzzpig will do!

rosyryan Sun 08-Sep-13 09:45:09

Oh no Arti, I'm so very sorry. Your poor mum flowers sad

rosyryan Sun 08-Sep-13 10:18:36

Delasi I love your moving strategy. I am going to look at my flat with fresh eyes having read that.

Well done on sorting your tights tentacles Artemis. I sorted mine all out in January and was very proud of myself, but the sea-monster has returned and I need to give it another good going over.

I know its a bit of an old topic now but on the subject of regretting things that have been decluttered - I got rid of hundreds of items in the spring and I think that if I really put my mind to it I could probably remember about 10% of them now. The only things I regret are the donating of my "fat" clothes. I wasn't expecting to spend the entire first trimester eating to stop myself vomiting, and I have really piled the weight on. I could do with those clothes now! Everything else - all the knick knacks, shoes, books, cds, dvds - I am well rid of.

I have had a slow week as the nausea has been intense but I managed to go through my three kitchen cupboards and my fridge. They are now all lovely and clean and streamlined, everything is in date and more crucially, I actually know what is in there! Its not exactly minimalism but its a start! This week I am going to have a cull of my wardrobe and dressing table and find a bag for the chazzer. If I don't feel too pukey grin

I want to do everything all at once and live in a beautiful, minimalist show-home but I'm telling myself that slow and steady wins the race. confused

fuzzpig Sun 08-Sep-13 11:29:52

Same here rosy, it's very frustrating not to be able to do everything at once (and I've wittered on about it sooo much on these threads, sorry everyone blush) but we WILL get there eventually.

That said, I do wonder if I need another epic cull to get us kick started again after a difficult couple of weeks...

buildingmycorestrength Sun 08-Sep-13 11:53:35

How many spare little bags does a child need? Almost none, I imagine.

Something other than their school rucksack, for day trips and playdates, and a kit bag for swimming/ballet/etc. They MIGHT need one for their teddy/baby to have a bag.

They do not endless tiny outgrown rucksacks with broken zips just because they are cute or because they might come in handy.

Things are becoming

Interestingly I am having to declutter a couple of critical functional areas before my vision gets a look in. This is all fine...constructive procrastination, I call it. grin.

inthetide Sun 08-Sep-13 12:05:32

Argh! DS has decluttered my iPad notes containing all of your collective wisdom on stockings and Christmas presents, as well as my wish list for birthday/ Christmas so that I have something in mind,rather than accepting any old clutter as usual sad.

fuzzpig Sun 08-Sep-13 12:36:02

Oh no! How annoying. Can you remember any of it and just write that down ASAP?

There might be apps for keeping notes where you can password protect memos, might be worth a look!

Well done building, keep it up grin

clearsommespace Sun 08-Sep-13 12:41:01

Arti I'm very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you've got good support. How about your mum, has she other people to lean on as well as you?

Really like the house move idea too.

I don't seem to have made much visible progress despite avoiding mn for a few days. Lots of paper has left the house so I know I've been working but it doesn't show.
I decided that to tidy my desk I needed to reorganise the filing cabinet so that there was space ongoing projects in there. I rationalised the filing cabinet two years ago at the time of a house move but so much has accumulated since then which could be binned/archived.

Going through the filing cabinet needs to be an annual task like spring cleaning.

delasi Tue 10-Sep-13 00:53:55

rosy shock well done on the kitchen organising! I couldn't even go in there during the first tri! I tried twice but both times ended in vomit... blush

Not much different here but had a very busy weekend. Hopefully I'll make some more progress this week, we'll soon see smile

My mum seems to be finding that bereavement is helping her declutter. She was up at dawn cleaning down shelves and sorting stuff in the kitchen cupboards yesterday. Not a strategy to be actually recommended though!

fuzzpig Tue 10-Sep-13 11:48:20

Well, I guess not, but I suppose whatever helps her get through this time is a positive thing? Hope you're doing ok xx

delasi Tue 10-Sep-13 21:16:36

Oh I've been so useless lately angry Have done nothing other than my boxes. Actually, just remembered I finally put together our laundry basket (which we bought 2 years ago blush we've been using the floor during that time...) so at least there is a proper place to put the washing.

<sigh> Just too tired! DS is going through his 9mo sleep regression so for the first time in... well, since the 4mo regression, I've had to do some night wakings confused On the other hand though we've had a total parenting win as DS has decided to go to bed earlier all of his own accord, so we have reclaimed the 12h night! He used to go 9:30pm-9:30am, but things just sort of changed from 7mo and it became more like 9:30pm-7:30am. Waking at 7:30am isn't a problem, it's just that we needed some time either side to be able to do stuff! I used to have the mornings to potter, clean etc, now I have the evenings so hopefully this will mean some extra time at last to minimalise smile

I've also been totally rubbish with what I'm eating, which I realise is not a topic I think we've covered on here but regardless I'm counting it as part of my overall rubbishness lately grin It's not terrible, but I've rediscovered biscuits. I've not put on any weight yet so I need to nip it in the bud! I'm also drinking far too much coffee (it's never more than 2 a day, but I try not to have too much as it can interfere with meds) but I think that's down to the aforementioned sleep regression...

Ah well, we'll see!

inthetide Tue 10-Sep-13 22:33:58

Is everyone too busy now school has gone back? I certainly am after going back to work. Minimising is taking a back seat but I am oh so grateful for the progress I have made so far. My house is far from minimalist but I no longer feel weighed down and panicked by stuff. I can now recognise that feeling and I have strategies to deal with it effectively. This journey has been amazing. Now I can concentrate better on life. I know in all the blogs this sounds utopian, but in my life that means still trying to stay afloat in the chaos. There is just a slightly less chaotic environment to do it in.

clearsommespace Wed 11-Sep-13 06:07:03

Delasi my youngest is 8 but I still remember vividly the over-reliance on the sugar caffeine combination to get through the bad sleeping phases.
All the stuff I've read since say that if you can cut it out you'll have more energy but that's easier said than done.

Inthetide, I'm glad your first steps are working out for you. I actually have more free time when the children are at school as I work from home so I have my lunch break. Also they sleep more because school tires them out.

Having said that, this week I have slightly less time because there is lots of admin to do signing them up to extra-curricular activities, obtaining the additional supplies on the list issued at the beginning of the holidays.
Plus FIL came with his chainsaw and chopped down some leylandii from the garden (we moved house last winter) and I have uprooted the stumps. I need to dig over, fertilise and replant so in the meantime have added gardening books and sketches to general clutter on my desk while deciding what to put there instead.

fuzzpig Wed 11-Sep-13 08:40:21

I'm still trying to summon the energy for another massive cull! <yawn>

I'm glad we've already got rid of loads, but with the speed at which it all gets messed up again with 2 children, it still just feels like two steps forward and one step back (better than vice versa, but still!)

clearsommespace Wed 11-Sep-13 09:50:33

I've just done an hour of digging followed by an hour of helping DD tidy her room and move furniture. If I was 20/10 ing that would entitle me to an hour resting!

Sokmonsta Wed 11-Sep-13 10:19:12

Condolences arti. thanks

Just popping on for a quick hi and catch up before operation: get
Rid of summer clothes commences. Now the weather seems to have finally turned towards autumnal I've realised when my friend gave me a bag of next size up for ds1, that he still has lots from the current age he hasn't worn or won't wear again now. So off its going back to my friend smile have also decluttered 4 big toys of the twins' and replaced them with 2 from the loft. So we're continuing with the loft emptying. Unfortunately dh has decided we may not be able to afford to keep the storage unit on long term so I really need to buck my ideas up and get a move on.

Planning a car boot for a couple of weeks time with my parents and sister. Should be fun.

delasi Wed 11-Sep-13 12:03:44

clearsomme Yes, 'tis not ideal! But we have a coffee machine and I like good, strong coffee - as in I enjoy the taste, and am not satisfied with decaf or 'coffee alternatives' (I don't want any more brown looking roasted wheat business!). So it's about limiting myself as it's kind of a daily treat. Tiredness means I want it even more, but it's a vicious cycle as drinking it too much makes me more tired. I plan on having a coffee free day for tomorrow at least (already had my morning espresso today!) and going from there. I've been accustomed to having coffee just a couple of times a week, and once a day when I do, so I know I can do it... I just miss the taste!

fuzzpig shock I said the exact same thing to a friend the other day about 'two steps forward, one step back'. Glad to see it's not just me.

Interestingly when I just wrote that, I put 'one step forward, two steps back' initially... I've definitely been there too... grin

fuzzpig Wed 11-Sep-13 15:34:29

Haha delasi, Freudian Slip much grin (and yes, I've been there too!)

I think it's good to limit coffee and only have nice stuff. I try to do that with cake etc and not just buy cheap stuff all the time, instead having occasional lovely posh ones.


delasi Wed 11-Sep-13 17:21:19


It's a good point, I don't like to get, eg, untasty (is that a word?!) takeaway that costs £15 or £20, but if we get something every now and then that costs a little more but tastes really good then that's fine by me. I don't usually buy coffee out for this reason, as I don't like the coffee made in most places blush I'm not a snob, honest, I think Problem is I get too carried away when at home!

We do the same with mozzarella. DH has a thing for proper mozzarella, but it costs so much for what it is, so we don't often buy it and just pick up the good stuff every now and then as a treat. Likewise for ribeye, because I do so like a medium ribeye every once in a while smile

I'm so hungry, I'm totally losing the point of my minimalism now...!

ringaringarosy Wed 11-Sep-13 17:33:56

can i join?i have 4 under 6 and another due in december,we lve in quite a big 4 bedroomed house and ive never really got to grips with keeping on top of it all.

we just came back from holiday on a farm and we didnt take any toys with us,only a few outfits each,and it was great!kids never asked for toys,there was no arguing over toys,no mess and they just played outside all the time!

i would like to move towards that slowly.did sign up to flylady but it was just too annoying and the emailes about blessing her darling husband by cleaning his shower for him make me feel like puking.

buildingmycorestrength Wed 11-Sep-13 17:40:42

Hi ringaringa...coming back from hold is always when I feel most inspired...the kids just do better with less, I find. And the extra pair of hands doesn't hurt.

Welcome Ringa - wow 4 under 6 and another one on the way! Hopew you find it helpful here!

buildingmycorestrength Wed 11-Sep-13 21:59:20

Ringa with that many children on hand to entertain each other, I expect they must never come to you whining that they are bored...or is that just a misconception? Anyway, if they can entertain each other, fewer toys needed, perhaps?

<tries to avoid getting broody>

delasi Wed 11-Sep-13 23:58:05

Welcome ringa, and wow - you have simultaneously impressed me and made me more optimistic at the prospect of more than one infant at a time not yet though!

We have new neighbours moving in who seem to be doing all manner of home improvements day and night whilst moving their stuff in. Seeing their empty home (front door open, not sneaking in!) makes me long for my own, so it's been an odd sort of motivation for me. Part of me just wants to pull out all of the stuff, put it in the outside hall, and decide what I'm putting back and ditch the rest.

...Can I do that? Maybe I should actually do that... during the day, when I'm less likely to annoy people.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 12-Sep-13 06:43:31

delasi do it, do it! That's what they used to do on the Life Laundry show and it looked so cathartic...

ArtemisatBrauron Thu 12-Sep-13 08:20:47

Hello all! New Job is very hectic so I haven't had much chance to do anything other than work all week. On the other hand I haven't had the chance to buy anything or be tempted to bring new stuff into the house either!

We are having a laminate floor put down on Sat/Sun so our living room is full of packets of planks and underlay, can't wait for it to be done!

ringaringarosy Thu 12-Sep-13 09:45:15

buildingmycorestrength-yes definitley no time for boredom in this house,i dont think ive ever heard the words im bored.

They do have too many toys and they hardly play with any of them except the dressing up stuff and my daughters toy kitchen,theyve got a bit of playmobil which they play with a lot too but apart from that they mainly run around pretending to be mario and luigi or sonic and tails or cops and robbers or cowboys and indians etc etc

I really want this weather to make its mind up so i can pack away/get rid of the summer stuff and organize everything,hate this inbetween stage i never know what to wear!

I bought a lambswool duster from lakeland which came yesterday and dusted all the downstairs,ive never done it before(usually just wipe a cloth over windowsills and surfaces) but i did all the corners and cielings and everything, it was actually quite fun,but disgusting too!

JimmyCorkhill Thu 12-Sep-13 14:51:43

Hi Ringa, if Flylady is too twee for you check out Unf**k your habitat.

There's a mumsnet thread on it too here.

BeCool Thu 12-Sep-13 14:57:18

is anyone planning a Minimalist Xmas?
And what might that look like?
I'm not quite brave enough to start a thread under Christmas on it (yet).

harrietspy Thu 12-Sep-13 17:15:33

So, it's been a while. I started wonderful new FT job. So much to do and it will only get busier. Just wanted to check in and say thanks for all the inspiration and support. If I don't post often I may whizz by for a quick lurk. May your lives be full of lovely moments and less stuff. smile

delasi Fri 13-Sep-13 09:12:06

Well done everyone on new jobs, best of luck smile

Still haven't done anything yet blush But, did manage a coffee-free day yesterday! Have a blood test today due to all of the tiredness, as it's been much more than the usual I-have-a-baby tiredness. Part of me thinks it might come back normal (possibly in need of iron) and if that's the case then I need to move back on to a stricter diet (boo). I eat healthily, we get takeaway about twice a month and a couple of days a month I get a bit treat happy with the biscuits/chocolate, but it's only those few days so I don't think it's a big deal. Nonetheless sometimes I have to go a step further to improve the absorption of meds, so perhaps I will just move that way anyway.

Looked up Life Laundry! I've decided to pull some stuff out, haven't done it yet but perhaps later today I will, it's not actually the whole house that requires it but there are a couple of areas which would benefit.

buildingmycorestrength Fri 13-Sep-13 09:43:07

I'm trying to sort my daughter's toys (am trying not swear as I am on a sweaty threads about this and keep getting confused grin. )

Am ditching / rationalising and so on. Have pulled everything that is not in its proper place out of the cupboard and will have a mini Life Laundry. grin.

Will try to be done before lunch...urgh.

Well done on new jobs, all! So exciting. And sorry about health delasi, but me and *fuzz and others sadly know all about it. sad Try to get some proper rest.

delasi Fri 13-Sep-13 16:27:05

building My mum used to replace swearing at the clearing of my stuff/building of furniture etc with screaming "Argh!" repeatedly and eventually kicking or hitting the offending items/s. There was an occasional shout of, "Oh shhh....SUGAR!". I appreciate that she didn't want to use bad language in front of me as a child, but the alternative didn't exactly appear too healthy! According to her DP she still does it... grin

Had a 2h nap today blush Same as yesterday, but at least feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to do so as I'm not at work FT and DH stays at home so he can help with DS. He has his own health issues more serious than mine though, when I got up he went for his own nap! But we're both in health slumps right now, we've had months of good health so it's swings and roundabouts. Nevertheless I get my results Tues, in the meantime I just have to do what I can to boost my energy. Today so far has been yet another coffee free day!

...Well, I've had decaf. But I figured that was better smile

buildingmycorestrength Fri 13-Sep-13 19:50:18

Ooh, am so pleased with myself. So many bags to charity shop this week. And I managed to ignore the little voice saying, 'You should just check with Mum whether she wants this...or wants me to keep it.' grin.

Daughter's room is lovely and tidy, with space on the shelves and in the cupboards. shock

Hall is lovely and tidy, verging on empty.

Things are gradually coming out of the loft to make room for spare bed up sooooo pleased/smug.

Hurrah for me. Now I will have a fun weekend feeling like I have worked hard this week, and hopefully not collapse with exhaustion. grin

buildingmycorestrength Fri 13-Sep-13 19:51:54

Oh, and generally manage not to routinely swear in front of the kids except in moments of duress, but am also not wanting to swear like a trooper on general MN in case it offends! Am trying to keep my beloved foul language to a sweary thread. grin

starfishmummy Fri 13-Sep-13 23:20:45

I am not doing very well sad.
Was ready to start the post summer sort out and it jasnt really started yet. I did tackle the ironing mountain today and now there is a bagful of outgrown clothes to go to the charity bank.
Ds does need some new clothes but I am determined that he won't have so many!

fuzzpig Sun 15-Sep-13 09:45:27

Just dropping by to say I'm not doing well either. Really struggling physically/mentally and not done anything at all on the house so it's a mess again. Keep reminding myself that at least some stuff went this summer so even though it's messy, it is less messy than before...

buildingmycorestrength Sun 15-Sep-13 10:20:18

Sorry to hear people are struggling.

I sent a load of old stuff to the chazzer on Friday, including a broken crappy old Disney Princess clock that never really worked and has been in the loft for a year and has been replaced by a working clock and has not been mentioned in all that time.

DD asked for the Princess clock last night. It's like SHE KNOOOOOWSSSS. shock I just said it was in the loft and I'm sure we'd find it sometime. blush

delasi Sun 15-Sep-13 10:47:59

brew for all.

Mentally I'm in 'the zone' for clearing, but physically and time-wise I haven't yet caught up. However yesterday I was feeling much better and got a little lie in today so I think/hope I'll have more energy this week. New neighbours seem to be gutting their place envy grin so I don't think they'll mind a few bags and boxes in the hall when half their home has been out there! Also had 3 caffeine-free days so I feel like I've reset a bit and I've bought all of our groceries to reflect the minor adjustments to the diet, so it should all be good.

building shock Just keep distracting her, she'll forget! I think

buildingmycorestrength Sun 15-Sep-13 11:29:33

My husband was just trying to squash the recycling bin down and asked the kids for help...he puts them in the bin and they jump up and down, all good fun.

Except DD saw her old creations in there and went absolutely mad and we had to fish them out. And now she is v suspicious and I've had to have a chat with her. Ffs.

Sokmonsta Sun 15-Sep-13 11:35:24

Oh no building! Dd1 got wise to that as we have a recycling bin in the kitchen. I have to wait until she's gone to bed/school now to get rid of some things. And tell her I've sent them to great-grandma (who she hardly sees).

Have been busy selling dts summer clothes this morning! 3 outfits sold. Figured while I was putting the ironing away, now the weather has turned the majority of the summer clothes can go away/be sold depending on what will be used again.

Sokmonsta Sun 15-Sep-13 11:42:20

Congratulations ringa. Ill envy your size of house as we've got 4 dc 5&under in a 2 bed. Decluttering here is saving my sanity slowly and will help when we can eventually get into a bigger house.

ringaringarosy Sun 15-Sep-13 19:18:24

wow i bet thats a squeeze!We lived in a 2 bed until dc3 was 8 months,so we had a 19month old and a 3 yr old too,it was a relief when we moved here,it felt really empty!doesnt take long to fill it though.

I am going to clear out my big drawer of plastic shit in the kitchen tomorrow,and maybe the drawer with all the random shit in i boyt too!its full of chargers,receipts,bits of change,hairbands etc.

I bought some underbed storage boxes from wilkos last week and put all the clothes that ds3 can wear when hes big enough into them and under dds bed,along with some of the toys the boys dont play with but are sure to ask for when theyve noticed their gone!hoping i can rotate them to keep the amount of stuff out to a minimum.I did go through all the toys and threw out all broken ones and gave away some stuff on freecycle.

starfishmummy Sun 15-Sep-13 22:51:53

I have just needed to look for ds's birth certificate and waded through several drawers of crap from two different drawer units.
A bit of stuff - really obvious rubbish - has gone into the bin/recycling/ in the shredding pile but as I had a mission I didn't really have time to do much of a sort through. That will be addressed although I suspect things will get temporarily worse as I try to amalgamate the stuff to keep into some sort of logical system!

But I have found the birth certificate!!

clearsommespace Tue 17-Sep-13 12:05:25

It's quiet on here! I feel we collectively need motivating, but I don't know how to do that.

Here are my little bits of progress (in case it helps anyone):
-sold a playpen that returned to us from the last people we lent it to. In the past I would have stored it until needed again (big basement) but all our local friends have completed their families and I'm not holding onto it until I'm a grandmother.
-chucked two almost threadbare pairs of swimming trunks when helping DS get his kit ready last night.

fuzzpig Tue 17-Sep-13 12:21:36

Yes I agree - we need an injection of motivation as a group! Unless everyone is so busy minimising they don't have time to post of course grin

It might just be difficult with settling back into school routines etc. I have been exhausted with so much going on and hadn't done anything for a couple of weeks.

I am proud today though - DH and I had the morning to ourselves and wanted to play a video game (last of the romantics, we are grin) but I said hey, why don't we try and fill a binbag up first? So we did - almost entirely from the kitchen. We did more than a binbag really as also got lots of stuff in the recycling.

BeCool - re the Minimalist Christmas. It's something I'm still forming in my mind, but if you started a thread I would definitely pop along (I'm already on the countdown thread... I love Xmas!) unless people would rather talk about it here knowing we are among people who 'get it'?

delasi Tue 17-Sep-13 12:35:29

clear Agreed! Definitely slowed down over here, had a very busy week last week so just chucked out a newspaper here, an empty box there, no real difference.

The colder weather is reminding me of how time is moving on however. Really didn't want to add to my workload but I think I need to get some double glazing film for our windows and spend some time covering them - we moved in here last winter, not long before I gave birth, so I didn't really do much here at that time but noticed lots of little things (eg how the windows get condensation, which can lead to mould voice of bitter experience ). So I think I should do that within the next week before it starts to get colder and actually have an effect. I'm also thinking about the best ways to keep warm in here, we don't have any central heating, just some convector heaters (no gas in the building), but the loft is insulated and as we live in a flat our front door isn't exposed to the wind which is good.

The weather is another good reason to sort out our clothes. Tbh my clothing doesn't vary massively from winter to summer, tights get thicker and boots get worn, but a lot of my clothes are the same and the difference is simply layers. Regardless it would be good to have everything organised and know where it all is. On an older thread someone linked to Life Hacks, and when I saw the drawer organisation tip I squealed like a geek with delight. DH thinks I'm strange. But that's going to be my new approach to the drawers!

I may also spend the day trying to master the ninja fold...

Right, today is clothing day! Once DS gets up from his nap, that is. His cot is still in our room and I don't want to disturb him or get up right now grin

delasi Tue 17-Sep-13 12:39:20

hmm I think DS knows I was using him as an excuse for laziness, he's just got up... well, off I go to organise the clothes then!

Sockywockydoodah Tue 17-Sep-13 12:52:32

Marking my place to come back later - think I need his thread!

clearsommespace Tue 17-Sep-13 13:09:08

That's more like it!

My excuse is gardening in every spare minute. Over the last few weeks FIL chopped down some leylandii (sp) and I've dug out the stumps and roots and turned over the earth and planted some pretty shrubs with variegated leaves and flowers. I've also dug up a sycamore tree which had planted itself about 25 cm from the house. It was only a small tree but the under earth trunk was about 10cm diameter so it has obviously been chopped back over a long time by previous owners.

PolkadotRosa Tue 17-Sep-13 13:21:10

Afternoon all! It's been a while - hope you're all well. Will have catch up thread sesh soon.
Earlier today, driving along, I realised I've turned a corner. I was actually looking forward to getting home!! Sounds silly but DH and I have been on a mahoosive mission involving a skip, and a whip-cracking/duracell bunnyish M-in-L. I like our house again! Got rid of loads to charity/friends/family/random people outside - garage crap, old stuff,un-needed/un-liked furniture, and (my biggest challenge) more baby clothes/things. Weighed in lots of tatty, bobbly, not-fit-for-selling clothes. Bathroom cupboards cleared, furniture moved around, bookshelf bought, put up straight away (miracle) and books/'beautiful' things put in it. Still an ongoing project but definitely getting there.
Want to clear out then I can get going with the cleaning (want to get back on the flylady thang, and also check out the sweary-er UFYH) and put nice things up like pic frames etc. Felt like jibbing out reclining infront of TV so
many times but just kept at it. Proud of myself. Should hire M-in-L out!!

I want a minimalist Christmas too! Thread sounds great. Love Christmas. Already asked for the Simplicity Parenting book and started mentioning there's a 'no-plastic' policy for kids pressies this year.

clearsommespace Tue 17-Sep-13 20:18:35

With DH's family we are 11 for Christmas. 7 adults and 4 children. At Easter it's the same group. So the adults pull a name out the hat at Easter and they only have to get one adult a gift for Christmas. We all (three couples + 1 single) buy gifts for the children.

We usually all contribute to the kids stockings too (which requires a fair amount of coordination and sneaking about). I like that, it means that there is genuine surprise in finding out what FC left. This years I aim to convince everyone that stocking fillers should be edible or useful rather than gadgets.

Tommetipsy Tue 17-Sep-13 20:37:48

Hello again

Stuggling a bit here as lots of work on (freelance so have to take work when it comes in) plus DD2 has started school but mornings only.

DD1 has started year 3 and is very unsettled. She an august birthday and she just seems so tiny compared to the other kids. They are getting a ton of homework too which is exhausting for her. They've both been waking a night and/ or really early so I am like a half shut knife these days.

Onwards and upwards though I guess...

delasi Tue 17-Sep-13 20:53:27

confused Oh I've done nothing today... basic cleaning, cooking, some typing, but no major work. I did, however, take on another commitment blush So I really need to get sorted asap so that I have an easy space to do all of this stuff in (a lot of my work and study involves doing things from home).

However we may have to go away for 2 days this week (argh!) which eats into my free time, and then there's next week... noooooo! The time is running away! I don't like it!

I'm seriously considering just chucking the bags I have left to sort. One has shoe polish, another hair clippers, so I'll take those out and just bin. Can't be doing with this. 'Tis ridiculous. Ridiculous!

inthetide Tue 17-Sep-13 21:53:24

I need to do a season/size check on the dc's clothes this weekend. Small steps now, so busy.

I've been adding to my possessions blush
Some new boots and a handbag ( though these are for Dad's funeral so I guess it is allowed) then some more leggings ( may well get rid of tattiest pair in time - when i can work out which pair is tattiest?!) Then I bought a new dress (expensive -for me anyhow) just for no reason at all other than I like it and think it will suit me ( and some of my other clothes are a few years old and starting to look a bit tatty for work). The dress is mail order so yet to arrive! OK now this post is sounding more like Style and Beauty than minimalism!

Have a bit of time today to do at least a bit of hotspot fighting etc if I put my mind to it which I doubt I will <sigh>