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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?

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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