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(950 Posts)
educatingarti Sun 02-Jun-13 15:47:55

This is the new minimalist/decluttering thread! I hope everyone likes the minimal title!

Dackyduddles Fri 16-Aug-13 08:07:45

We are moving. I'm fed up of dusting and new house has loft conversion. There's therefore little storage. May I join?

What do you do with stuff you like but don't want out? I want less but struggle with 'it might be useful' 'was a present' 'like it too much to dump but don't want out either'.

Will lurk around. Thank you

harrietspy Fri 16-Aug-13 08:29:18

Hi dacky. I live in a house with a loft conversion and very little storage. I also can't be doing with dusting.

I think you have to start gradually.

I started by getting rid of the easy stuff: things I didn't like and wouldn't be useful. I got rid of lots of duplicates, things that were broken and realistically wouldn't be fixed. I read websites ( for inspiration.

We used to give money to charity every month but then hit our own financial crisis. Giving good quality stuff to charity shops felt like I was doing some good.

We are all doing it differently but I hope you can find things here that help!

fuzzpig Fri 16-Aug-13 08:36:32

Welcome dacky smile

I am really tired today after an awesome day in London with my mum and my DD - we went to a couple of art galleries. DD totally overwhelmed by National Gallery (we went there because she loves Van Gogh, Monet and Seurat!) and didn't really enjoy much of it (there was also a mortifying moment where she lunged forward to touch one to point something out - thankfully I caught her on time! blush) - it was hot, crowded and stuffy. Whereas the Tate she loved - it was much airier and calmer and she had a much better time. Sorry I know that's not relevant to m really but it was another example of too much/overwhelm, and I have learnt from it. I can force myself to swallow my fear of crowds for the sake of DD experiencing things, but totally neglected to consider the fact that she seems to have the same sensory issues as me and can't yet articulate them!

I did actually buy something in the Tate shop. A really beautiful set of Memory/Pairs cards, 24 different works of art (mostly modern). I remembered this morning that we do have some pairs/happy family type sets in the cupboard - mum had bought some in a cheap store, I think it's called Tiger? And they are nice and bright, but we actually never played them as they aren't that interesting and they are more like playing cards so they are flimsy... so those two will go in the chazzer pile to make up (or rather down) for my purchase smile

Sokmonsta Fri 16-Aug-13 08:40:07

I wouldn't be sorry about the job. I will miss the people I worked with but due to maternity and sick leave I haven't been there for over 18 months now.

Financially we will be no worse off as I won't be working just to pay a childcare bill.

I just feel sorry for the guy who was sitting there desperately trying to save my job for me. Had we have met months ago, I think he would have done it. But it was very hard to decline his offer to give me a phased return starting with one hour a month without seeming rude.

We are also finally getting some much needed help with ds1 and being at home means I can attend all his forthcoming appointments and say yes to meetings at time which would otherwise have meant waiting weeks or months if I couldn't get time off work. They are looking at assessing him for ADHD and ASD.

Being at home means I can create a safe space for ds1 and also create the home dh and I need to relax in after a shitty day at work (we worked in the same place).

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 16-Aug-13 08:42:13

We bought 2 desks yesterday, 1 each, from a local antiques/junk shop. I love them both, but especially mine grin we didn't buy chairs as they didn't have any I loved and since the desks aren't being delivered until the week after next we have some time.
I also want a futon/sofa bed for the spare room, it feels very illicit to suddenly be buying things again after months of throwing things away!

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 16-Aug-13 08:44:12

sok so glad you are able to make a nice home for your family - you sound like a great mum and wife! smile It is so hard to work and have a decent home life, we struggle so much with just keeping the house cleanish and having time to cook/eat together.

fuzzpig Fri 16-Aug-13 08:58:26

I agree with Harriet about doing the easy stuff first. I used to try going through one box at a time but found I would get caught up with particular items, agonising about them, unable to move on. So now I do 'sweeps'. I go through stuff only looking for one type of thing at a time. The first is 'obvious rubbish' (this depends how messy it is to begin with of course... blush) which includes any broken toys. The next is 'separated toys' so things like animal figures, Lego pieces etc which have got spread around the house and I know we are keeping, so these all get pulled out and put in little piles next to me (I do most decluttering while sitting on the floor) until I'm done, when I put them all in their places. Then I might do pens and pencils, then 'stuff for charity' etc. While I'm doing this, anything I'm not sure about I just leave for now rather than worrying about it. This gradually whittles down the amount of Random Shite. On a really productive day recently I got about 7 boxes reduced to one doing this method. smile

I might do some Digital Decluttering today as I'm not really up to the physical stuff! I have been deleting some apps on the iPad as just like real toys, too many means it's harder to focus on the good stuff. Also, now we are starting to think about Christmas (sorry grin), I am going to go through my many Amazon wish lists. They are huge (and divided into about 10 categories) as I tend to add stuff without thinking - partly thanks to their recommendations/'also bought' type widgets, but also due to MN! So many things get recommended on here and I tend to just hit 'add to wishlist' rather than actually considering the item there and then. I don't go on Xmas bargain threads anymore and I am going to delete lots of the items now.

fuzzpig Fri 16-Aug-13 17:17:35

I have achieved some Digital Decluttering. Lots of things deleted from my wishlists, and lots of iPad apps deleted properly (from my iTunes account rather than just from the actual iPad IYSWIM). I wish I'd taken before and after numbers! Also tidied up some music files. Still got a way to go but my brain is frazzled now.

brightermornings Fri 16-Aug-13 18:15:28

Well it's weekend so back to chucking stuff out! I've had a really busy week at work I've been going in early so I'm shattered. I need to go through DD's wardrobe pull out what doesn't fit/she won't wear. Also need to declutter her toy boxes.
I've already started christmas shopping but don't want to and don't need to buy big massive things.
Was hoping to de-clutter ds this week!! He didn't do aswell as he wanted in his a-levels so didn't on the course he wanted. He would have been moving away. He's still going to uni but the one where we live. I know he's disappointed but I'm proud he's managed to sort something else out.

buildingmycorestrength Fri 16-Aug-13 20:54:59

Lovelies, I am back from holiday with a new determination to spend the autumn getting my HOUSE. IN. ORDER.

So. I am going to write up a list of jobs with realistic time estimates and just do the one I fancy on days that are free. I have no real work to speak of and two goals...make (already converted) loft into usable spare room, and redecorate son's room. Deadline Christmas, so December 15 to be realistic.

I will need your help. thanks thanks thanks

I am going to put DVDs in a case logic type case...are caselogic really better than others? One for grown ups, one for kids. With running times written on the DVDs, probably.

I'm going to buy that decluttering hypnosis now and listen to it tomorrow.

And I'm going to trust myself not to ruin my family's lives by chucking anything really precious, because I am not an idiot or a monster.

I can do this. <prepares as if climbing Everest>

JimmyCorkhill Fri 16-Aug-13 21:24:44

Thanks for the baby congrats and big congrats to MrsP [grin}.

I have been attempting to declutter our bedroom which has been the house dumping ground since we moved in over 2 years ago. I really liked it when someone posted about taking the 'Ebay pile' to the charity shop if you never get round to ebaying it. In our room there are loads of items we keep meaning to sell but we've just been living around them for years. Well we gave ourselves till this weekend to list them or it was down to the chazzer, and lo and behold, I have them all on the internet! I had been procrastinating because I wanted to clean the item/research prices/pack it up nicely... but I have just got on with it, dust and all. Am now waiting on a guy to collect the IKEA chair and footstool that has been under a pile of clutter forever grin.

On the procrastinating front, I read a great quote "Great is good, but done is better".

Someone earlier (I need to read this thread with a notepad to keep track!) was asking about how much a child actually needs for fulfillment and I realised that all my great childhood memories are of outings and events, not really stuff. I wasted some loads of time searching for 70s/80s toys on Pinterest do this at your peril and most of the toys I recognised belonged to other family members/friends. I'm very guilty of buying my DD a toy just because she enjoyed playing with it at someone's house.

ArtemisatBrauron Sat 17-Aug-13 08:23:23

DH is still asleep so I'm catching up on Kirstie's Fill Your House for Free on 4oD. It was recommended by someone who knows I like old furniture and crafts but it is a very odd show...someone made a chair out of a bath, it looked very uncomfortable!
I also think "fill your house" is a bad title - I don't want a house full of junk, I want a house with the perfect things I need to live a happy and comfortable life!
Will report back with any wisdom....grin

mazzi2fly Sat 17-Aug-13 10:17:05

Good comments further up the thread re not just decluttering for decluttering sake but to simplify life and spend more time with the children. I've been decluttering on and off since the first thread started in Jan and still manage to find black bags of clothes in the loft etc.
Yesterday, I had planned to take DDs out (7&5) to the park and have a picnic, but it started to rain, so we had an indoor picnic!
DDs loved getting it all ready with all soft toys and dolls invited, while I made lunch (sandwiches with crusts removed for a treat!). So we had lunch on the living room floor together and DD1 kept saying "You're so kind for letting us do this, Mummy"
We did craft kits in the afternoon too, it's all about spending time with them -something I'm not very good at. The DDs are so good at playing on their own, I normally let them get on with it.

hobnob57 Sat 17-Aug-13 11:18:50

Got to love Gumtree. One car decluttered before 10am after the advert went in after midnight! Plus 4 spare wheels gone from tyremageddon in the garage. And one bike going today too, with several items finishing on eBay tonight grin. It's all finally coming together. In fact, kids are off for a sleepover tonight so I might even brave the car boot tomorrow shock. If not, it'll be a trip to the chazzer next weekend.
I'm still losing my cool with kids and tidying up so there is still more work to do, but I've been thinking on everything I've managed to achieve so far and the house must be so much more manageable than it was. It just doesn't feel like it because I've been getting used to the new space gradually. I think we are getting to the point where our stuff might actually fit in the house now. My mission is to make extra room next.
As well as time with the kids. That is a biggie.

educatingarti Sat 17-Aug-13 16:13:06

"You're so kind for letting us do this, Mummy" grin
I love it! How old are your dds mazzi?

hobnob57 Sat 17-Aug-13 17:20:20

Mazzi you've made me think about how much I rely on my kids playing alone to get stuff done around the house. I still need to work on a) ignoring the stuff to spend time and b) reducing the stuff to stop it getting in the way.

Harriet your link to the story of stuff was really good. Does anyone know of any resources for helping to teach kids about consumerism?

fuzzpig Sat 17-Aug-13 17:37:53

Aw don't feel too guilty about letting your DCs just get on with playing alone! It is VITAL for DCs to do that (whether literally alone or with siblings). It allows the mind to wander and imagination to develop. smile

mazzi2fly Sat 17-Aug-13 19:30:29

arti DDs are 7 and 5, so there will come a time when they want to do that sort of thing any more.

brightermornings Sun 18-Aug-13 13:30:39

Today I've managed to get rid of a few things. I'm doing my usual cleaning, ironing getting ready for the next week. It's so much easier because there's less stuff. I've still got a way to go but I can already see the

hobnob57 Sun 18-Aug-13 15:12:54

A crate of books and VHS tapes sorted for out today. Apparently there is a firm in Bristol that will recycle vhs tapes but you have to pay for postage and they are heavy!

DH coming on board and letting go of the 6 paving slabs that have been decorating our garden wall for 3 years, waiting for him to get round to doing something with them. Now on Freecycle smile

fuzzpig Sun 18-Aug-13 16:12:51

I am getting really sick of this elephant! angry

We are nearly running out of room on this thread. Who is going to start the next one and what will it be called?

buildingmycorestrength Sun 18-Aug-13 17:05:54

Won't start new thread as am simply not a good role model. grin.

Wonderful wonderful day playing play mobile castle attacks with the kids but the tidying up, my lord.

Have decided to NOT go down my usual path of going a bit mad at them and talking about how they have too many toys and their rooms are too hard to keep clean. I often do that and it gets me nowhere fast.

So, I've decided to be very patient because it is only two and a half weeks til they go back to school...I've just told them I'll be having a sort out then. I will do it all behind their backs. I don't have the energy to keep going through this issue with them, so I'll just do it on the sly and get a result I can live with.

Haven't bought the decluttering hypnosis yet as I actually had nightmares about it. I moved a lot as a child and I think I have major issues about loss generally.

MinimalistMommi Sun 18-Aug-13 17:21:18

I will start one!

MinimalistMommi Sun 18-Aug-13 17:24:38

Here's the new thread here:

MinimalistMommi Sun 18-Aug-13 17:26:22

I hope the title is OK?!

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