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Anyone want to join me in a minimalist journey?

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

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

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

I'm in!

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

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

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

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

Also starting reading fly lady and will do it alongside.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

harriet, I will check out those blogs!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things i have a done already»

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*chargers - as in phone etc ;-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will check out those blogs for inspiration

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

Belina, sounds like you've done masses already!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When is a good time to sell on ebay?

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

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

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

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

marking my place ... love this thread smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AntoinetteCosway Sat 15-Dec-12 09:12:03

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

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

Thanks, Belina!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QueenofWhatever Sat 15-Dec-12 10:39:40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking forward to reading all your posts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MinimalistMommi Sat 15-Dec-12 16:22:54

bluecarrot Sat 15-Dec-12 16:29:10

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

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

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

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

WhatWouldSantaDo Sat 15-Dec-12 17:07:04

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right, cuppa then getting started hmm

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

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

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

WhatWouldSantaDo Sun 16-Dec-12 12:09:34

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

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

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

I could trim this down further, I know.

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

WhatWouldSantaDo Sun 16-Dec-12 12:35:54

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

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

Hi guys

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

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

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

QueenofWhatever Sun 16-Dec-12 13:41:34

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

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

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

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

WhatWouldSantaDo Sun 16-Dec-12 14:34:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One pair of PJ's
One coat

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

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

lucysnowe you don't need two bottle openers grin

QueenofWhatever Sun 16-Dec-12 17:40:18

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

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

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

WhatWouldSantaDo Sun 16-Dec-12 18:09:06

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edna you made me laugh!

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

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

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

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

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

WhatWouldSantaDo Sun 16-Dec-12 19:13:19

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

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

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

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

WhatWouldSantaDo Sun 16-Dec-12 19:13:49


WhatWouldSantaDo Sun 16-Dec-12 19:17:55

*coats! Oh dear!

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

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

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

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

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

Shoe cull is next.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bluecarrot, link please!

bluecarrot Mon 17-Dec-12 14:14:35


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QueenofWhatever Mon 17-Dec-12 15:31:23

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

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

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

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

bluecarrot, the tip about anticipating need is really helpful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QueenofWhatever Mon 17-Dec-12 19:43:42

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

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

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

I'll check out your link!

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

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

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

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

Hi guys

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

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

Here's a lovely inspiring image smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wouldn't be much to clean in this room:

AntoinetteCosway Mon 17-Dec-12 21:33:14

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

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

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

minimalistmommi - thats too minimalist for me!

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

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

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

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

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

Inspire me!

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

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

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

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

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

bluecarrot, well done on all the binbags!

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

WhatWouldSantaDo Tue 18-Dec-12 01:31:37

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NotQuitePerfect Tue 18-Dec-12 07:26:11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love this thread.

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

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

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

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

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