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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?

AuntieShirley Mon 31-Dec-12 17:45:01

Can I join? It has taken me a few days to get through this thread but am feeling hugely inspired!
We have 4 dc age 11, 10, 7 and 5, in a largish 3 bed house. They have waaaaay too many clothes and general stuff. My problem is books. I want a lovely, serene mostly empty house. My aim is to get rid of 50 % of the 'stuff' in our house, and limit screen time (although dd11 needs the laptop a lot for yr7 homework)
Yesterday I cleared the tupperware, got rid of a black bag full! Left us with a lunch box each, 6 small snack pots and 2 cake tins, but would like to cut it back a bit more (but need to allow for lost snack pots!)
Also have a stuffed IKEA bag for ebaying, a binbag of my old stuff has just gone to somebody on Freecycle (I have been waiting to slim back into it, never have. Maybe now it's gone I will drop that dress size!), dd7 wardrobe has been halved and a bin bag gone to another home, and ds5 has also halved his clothing and that has gone too! I want to get rid of at least 60% more clothes as I am drowning in washing waiting to be washed or ironed or put away.
Feeling very inspired and ready to really tackle it when the dc are back at school on my days off work!

LemonBreeland Mon 31-Dec-12 18:43:30

Sounds like a great start Shirley.

The thread came at a great time for me as my DSes bedroom was getting me down and I had just removed furniture from it and it is so much better. I kept thinking they didn't have enough space or storage, then realised that actually they just had too much stuff in their room. I decided to take the desk out as the computer monitor was broken so the computer wasn't getting used. We had planned to buy a smaller desk when we redecorate the room anyway. I've come to realise that more surfaces meant more places to dump mess. I also realised I don't need to buy a new computer monitor as I can use the tv in their room for that too. Less screens cluttering up the space.

I had also recently decluttered the plastic pots as dd has out grown purees and that is why I had loads, so I could freeze food for her. It was a relief to see them go as they were always a mess in the cupboard.

I'm looking forward to really getting into it when the dc go back to school.

Today I didn't have time to get into major jobs so I did detailed cleaning instead. Cobwebs from the corners of rooms and skirting boards dusted while the dc were watching a dvd.

bluecarrot Mon 31-Dec-12 19:35:11

Not much done today as just tidied and cuddled my poorly DD.

I did however lift a saucepan, a frying pan, a heap of excess hangers and a few of DDs tshirts, all for charity shop, as I did my chores.

Thats me for this year as DP arriving shortly. Have a great new years eve and day everyone smile

AntoinetteCosway Mon 31-Dec-12 20:42:26

Hope everyone has a lovely evening! We're doing nothing remotely exciting - sitting on the sofa having a read smile

We sent a car-full to Oxfam today and have another load already in the car for Wednesday. I attacked the kitchen and it feels SO much better knowing that the cleaning cupboard is organised and tidy instead of overflowing and impossible to find anything within! Even with the door shut it makes me grin

I also - albeit reluctantly - threw out a beautiful wicker chair from DD's room today. I bought it when I was pregnant as somewhere to feed her, and it's such a gorgeous piece of furniture, but when we moved the back got damaged and it would cost a lot to get repaired. It's sat, in her room, lonely and unloved since the summer, so I figured it was time to put it out of its misery and take it to the tip sad

One of the tips I've taken from 'Banish Clutter Forever' is the idea of the toothbrush principle which really, really works. (And is utterly obvious, like all the best ideas.) It's that even the worst hoarders never lose their toothbrushes, because pretty much every human being on the planet knows that your toothbrush lives next to the sink. So if you apply this to everything in your house, i.e. everything is in the most logical, useful place, and always replaced there, you never lose anything ever again... I have tried it out today by moving the teapot to the same cupboard as the tea and sugar (see, obvious!) and even DH thinks it's sensible!

Hope you all have a lovely time tonight - and here's to a clutter-free 2013 grin

CurrerBell Mon 31-Dec-12 21:35:43

I'm not doing much tonight either - just appreciating having a quiet night now the kids are finally asleep!

Three more bags to charity today and several packages to the Post Office - getting there gradually! One thing I've been thinking all day, is how easy it is to buy things that we don't really need - but it's such a pain having to get rid of stuff, spending hours sorting and listing and packaging stuff up. All this is time I could be spending with DH and the kids whilst they're on holiday. It's really made me think twice before I purchase anything again. That's not even to mention the money we must have spent on stuff over the years...

We are now working on thinning out our DVDs and Wii games, as we have way too many to appreciate them all. We mostly watch stuff on LoveFilm now so don't need to buy any in future. I have managed to get everything to fit inside our sideboard shelves, so now we don't need to buy any DVD storage, and we will hopefully have clutter-free, newly plastered walls in the new year. smile

Thanks to this thread I'm a complete convert to minimalism, and am even sitting here on NYE thinking about what I'm going to tackle next - which I realise is quite sad. smile Happy new year to everyone!

MinimalistMommi Tue 01-Jan-13 02:39:54

Thanks for cheering me up everyone, I'm lying in bed at my MIL's not sleeping and feeling queasy from drinking wine last night, reached for my iPad in the dark to see what you are all too...thank goodness the wireless is still on...grin
Happy new clutter free year!

MinimalistMommi Tue 01-Jan-13 02:41:10

'all up to' typos again...

MinimalistMommi Tue 01-Jan-13 03:21:19

Cash for clothes website, postage free, payment within 24 hrs of them receiving it:

blossombath Tue 01-Jan-13 07:09:09

must not comfort buy clutter because of early waking son and imminent return to work. must not comfort buy anything in 2013 but make only considered purchases

<re-reads thread attempting to firm up resolve>

Happy New Year minimalist maidens

AntoinetteCosway Tue 01-Jan-13 07:50:19

Yes, my NY resolution is to THINK before I buy!

We had a lovely evening last night. I'm not sure I should admit it but I spent a good 4 hours organising my email accounts. Approx 6000 emails now deleted or filed. I am both grin and blush

Hope everyone's got a clear head this morning wink

MrsPennyapple Tue 01-Jan-13 08:56:19

May I join in? I can be quite ruthless when it comes to clutter but we still have far too much STUFF hanging around. I'm in the process of reading through the thread, but thought I'd introduce myself and then go back and read the rest.

I am a big book lover, and I do often re-read them, but there are quite a few I could get rid of. I picked three at random and the webuybooks site wouldn't have any of them! And the CD I chose was so old they didn't recognise the barcode. I think a car boot is in order. I'd take it to the charity shop but could really do with the cash, so would rather sell. I've had an ebay box on the go for a while, but it is left with a few stubborn bits that won't sell. It might be time to admit defeat on those bits and charity shop 'em.

We are also accumulating too-small baby girl clothes at an alarming rate, as DD grows. She's 17mo now, but I'm pg again so most of the stuff will be needed again soon. If I have a boy I will dye anything I can, and then get rid of anything unsuitable. So I have plans for it, but for now it has to stay where it is. It's in vacuum storage bags so at least it's not in the way.

I am also a bit of a craft hoarder. I am buying no new craft things until I have cleared some of my stash, ideally by using it for the projects it was bought for!

Now, how can I persuade DP that we don't need that 1997 travel guide to New Zealand?

HellonHeels Tue 01-Jan-13 10:37:06

Happy New Year everyone. MrsPenny your comment on the travel guide for New Zealand made me think of what a friend did when he decluttered all of his travel guides - he stacked them all up vertically then took a pic of the spines all stacked up. Made a fun pic and then he sent them all off to a charity shop. I have a stack of guides that should go, I find it hard to release them but am pretty good about other stuff.

This thread has inspired me to clear out my books and clothes, feels great to have a clear out and I'm enjoying the space.

harrietspy Tue 01-Jan-13 10:47:51

Hello all and happy new year. Hellonheels, that's a brilliant idea re travel guides!

If any of you aren't into New Year resolutions (like me) but you might like this article by Kelly McGonigal.

harrietspy Tue 01-Jan-13 10:48:18

Sorry, didn't do a clicky link.

harrietspy Tue 01-Jan-13 11:41:56

Before I forget, a couple of questions:

What does a minimalist bathroom/make up bag look like? What lotions and potions, creams, make up, etc do you use?
What would be a minimalist approach to cleaning products?

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Tue 01-Jan-13 12:52:39

Can I join? I started on the toys last night and cleared ds's wardrobe of the thousands of spare hangers we stores in there "just in case". My plan is to consign everything that isn't needed or wanted to the loft if it isn't for the bin that is, then start going through the loft and ebaying or freecycling what isn't needed anymore. Dh is doing the same with the garage.

IWipeArses Tue 01-Jan-13 13:05:23

Good questions harriet, be interested to hear others.

At the moment I use Aveeno cream, on prescription which I use on my face as well as hands and legs for eczema. Plus deodorant, and flatten my hair - that's all I do when I get out of the shower. I have very minimalist hair, it's about an inch long. grin
I do have make-up but don't wear it much at the moment.

The holy grail of bathroom minimalism I've been in search of is an effective and pleasant all in one for the shower. I tried out the Tesco/Aldi style that's like Wash and Go but we didn't like it. I also tried Dr Bronner's liquid soap, which I think I might have gotten used to, but it's not conditioning.
I've also read a lot about just washing with water, but I'm not quite brave enough to give that a go yet.

ariadneoliver Tue 01-Jan-13 14:06:44

Harriet my bathroom/make up stuff is: body wash, creme bath (I wouldn't buy it but it's from a past gift set and I have more in a present from this year) facial cleanser, exfoliating scrub. For hair I have a shampoo and separate conditioner and a styling gel. Toothpaste and mouthwash and brush and floss of course! Deodorant, body cream a specialist foot cream, face cream and eye cream (haven't found one that does anything for me yet so when that's finished I probably won't get more), I have hand wash and hand creams by the sinks. Make up is primer, foundation, lipstick, blusher, eye shadow and eye pencils and nail varnish/nail care stuff. I also have several perfumes and a body spray (I won't be getting that again but it too came with a gift set).

Last year I did a no more buying make up and toiletries challenge on MSE so last year I only bought replacement products for stuff that ran out. I'm carrying on with it as I have a few bits of toiletries left and also the stuff from Christmas and I have loads of make up/perfume so I'll be unlikely to get anything this year and I probably won't need any toiletries for a few months at least.

AntoinetteCosway Tue 01-Jan-13 14:26:54

My make up collection is anything but minimalist (I'm a MUA) and my toiletries, lotions, potions and perfumes are similarly plentiful. I do weed out the things that I don't get through but I find the trick is effective storage. I have hundreds (actually, possibly thousands) of tiny bottles and boxes but my kit is in two specially designed kit boxes under the bed and the stuff I use personally is in the two top (smaller) drawers of my chest of drawers, meticulously organised so I know where everything is. I used to keep it all out on top but, even though it looked quite 'artsy' and pretty, it was a bugger to dust and just irritated me.

IWipeArses Tue 01-Jan-13 15:31:05

What's an MUA Antoinette?

BoerWarKids Tue 01-Jan-13 15:31:50

2013 will be the year I use up all my toiletries!

I'm continually seduced by BOGOF, 3for2, etc. It's not really a bargain if I've already got several of the thing I'm buying. I'm also using my travel size stuff. I was saving them for trips away but I don't go anywhere! hmm I can probably go to April/May without buying anything.

My dream is a minimalist bathroom where I only have one soap, one shampoo, one deodorant, etc.

BoerWarKids Tue 01-Jan-13 15:32:26

IWipeArses a makeup artist smile

BoerWarKids Tue 01-Jan-13 15:34:18

Btw, IWipeArses what did you think of Dr. Bronner's? I really want to try it, but not before I've used up all my soaps and shower gels! wink

QueenofWhatever Tue 01-Jan-13 15:36:26

Happy New Year to you all. I was out dancing and drinkng until two o'clock last night so planned on doing nothing today. However just wandering around while DD is still with her Dad and DP was at the football, I tidied up the cupboards under the sink and also have a couple more bags for the charity shop of random stuff. I think because I wasn't planning on doing one area, e.g my bedroom I ended up doing things as they caught my eye which has been very satisfying.

In terms of toiletries I'm also a convert to using things up. We all use soap (but fancy soap bought on holiday in the south of France last summer) and I'm a big fan of Aldi's toiletries since I found out most of it is Nivea thanks to a style and beauty thread. So I have body lotion which I use religiously, day and night cream plus shampoo and hair styling stuff.

I'm using bare minerals make up but not loving but want to use it up before buying more foundation. I have plenty of make up brushes but do use them all plus eyeshadow, mascara, perfumes, nail varnish etc.

I wasn't v taken by Dr Bronner's but I loved the packaging. The smell was lovely in the bottle and horrible on the skin.

I've honed my make up down to the following, which fit in one of those little perspex drawers from Muji:
under eye stuff
One creme blush and one tiny sample sized pot of Benetint
One mascara
One Mac eyeshadow
Urban Decay Naked palette
2 lipsticks (one lives in my handbag)
2 bottles of scent

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