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Moving Forward With Minimalism

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

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

All Minimalists or aspiring minimalists welcome!

fuzzpig Sat 05-Oct-13 09:17:14

Thanks for all the suggestions - looking forward to trying these!

clearsommespace Sun 06-Oct-13 17:04:32

Any progress to report this weekend?

delasi Sun 06-Oct-13 19:51:56

The silence is indicative of either two things: major changes afoot or a complete lack thereof.

I'm in the latter group grin

IorekByrnisonsArmour Sun 06-Oct-13 20:59:01

I made some -disgusting- progress today

Little Iorek was making a card for his friend and I thought I'd make sure the radiators were clear, I know it's been lovely this weekend but I can feel the cold creeping in grin

Anyway, the second radiator is in true dumping ground territory. Oh it was disgusting blush

I found a buggy, croquet set, 2 tins of paint,1 tin of floor varnish, 1 box of a dinner service we bought a year ago, (with 2 broken plates sad, DPs -very old and revolting- rucksack, an old pair of trousers that I last saw as I put into the rag bag months ago confused, lots of bits of wood from DIY projects and enough dog hair to knit a blanket out of !

I was so ashamed, I had just stopped noticing the mess

So I cleared it all out. Rehomed the buggy, paint and dinner service and DP put -his bits of wood in the shed ready for November 5th

I have to confess, DP was very fond of that -mouldy- bag. I didn't tell him it was there, I put it straight into the bin. I feel extremely bad about it, but if he hadn't noticed it had been shoved into the corner with the dog hair and become a home for spiders, surely it can't mean that much to him? [justifying emoticon]

The area is now clean and hair free -for now-

delasi Sun 06-Oct-13 21:36:52

Haha Iorek don't worry, I deceive help DH in the same way grin Now that it's clear I'm sure it'll be easier to keep clear ish too, and you've now got back some things!

Ugh, after doing some marathon changes earlier in the week I have totally flaked out. Feeling rough - body is tired, chest hurts, head hurts, way more work to do and too much on my mind at the same time. At least I have kept up the maintenance, which is a positive change for me. Laundry done, kitchen regularly cleaned, bathroom too, floors swept. I even brushed the carpet today - I last did that within the week, to brush it twice in the same month week is unheard of for me, but it looks better for it.

Felt I should push forward before the week closes so I went through some of those bags this evening. Got rid of a medium sized bag of stuff, plus some tie hangers, a filing box and a clock. Just couldn't carry on, I feel a bit deflated when I'm physically not up to doing stuff, but I just have to remind myself that any progress is positive and everything has gone really well thus far. Hopefully I'll pick up during the week and move onwards smile

inthetide Sun 06-Oct-13 23:23:08

Why, when I explicitly asked for no presents for ds at his mums cuppa and natter party, did everyone bring something? Even if it was just biscuits!

clearsommespace Mon 07-Oct-13 06:34:26

Definitely justified Iorek!

I'm a bit confused though, all this stuff behind/on a radiator?

I've been industriouss and made lots of gardening progress. There are less bulbs in the garage. Does that count?

fuzzpig Mon 07-Oct-13 09:00:34

I am definitely in the latter group too delasi!

Well, I think my mental state is getting even clearer as I become more pissed off with the mess and want to chuck everything resolute in my mission to declutter, but my body can't keep up. Recovering from a chest infection and generally run down.

Got a fun (though tiring) week ahead at work - library is closed for a refurbishment and we are all going to be moving/arranging stuff etc. It makes me really want to declutter everything but alas I have not the authority grin

educatingarti Mon 07-Oct-13 10:13:35

Me too - in latter category. Managed a full week of work for the first time since Dad died but then just vegged out a lot at the weekend! I did do one positive organisational thing in putting in shelf in my kitchen cupboard that has the gas and water meters and bin in (not too much room for anything else but a high up shelf now means rolls of bin bags and flower feed can be stored neatly).

I was so pleased that I was able to re-purpose a shelf from my IKEA Billy bookcase that I never use and was exactly the right size, plus those little shelf holder pegs that were in a bag of random bits the kitchen fitter left scattered all over the place behind when he put the kitchen in 4 years ago.

The thing is, this also makes me think I do need to hang onto stuff - what if I had got rid of that extra Billy shelf and random bag of kitchen fittings? I know I could have bought more but as it is, I have managed to get exactly the shelf I need at no cost and without having to trog out to B & Q!

I guess I may be only a semi-minimalist?

IorekByrnisonsArmour Mon 07-Oct-13 10:39:22

Yes clear I am perpetually confused grin

The -disgusting- radiator space in question is in the basement. It's a nice -dumping- space between a wall and DPs tool cupboards - did you notice the plural there? Apparently heneeds lots of tools etc

It's an area that doesn't get much attention until I put the heating on as I tend to put the indoor clothes airier there. So basically from when the heating goes off, DP dumps stuff there, because he is a lazy arse!

I knew the buggy was there, that's how the rest got discovered.

When looking at the interior options for the wardrobes, DP asked me what I had in mind. I answered drawers, rails and shelves, as much storage space as possible.

He said "But if you leave your drawers open, I won't be able to access my side."

So I suggested that he could walk the 1.5m to my side and bloody close them -like I do with his when he forgets to close his drawers all of the time-

As I said lazy arse

Every year I think I should plant bulbs, they are so lovely when they just 'pop up'. But I think I'll wait until the dog stops digging up the garden first....

IorekByrnisonsArmour Mon 07-Oct-13 10:46:30

Inthetide edible is good though, they only temporarily clutter your house grin

I think people -like me- find it difficult not giving something. Maybe it was drummed into us as children, manners and all that?
Little Iorek went to the cinema with a friend at the weekend, I found myself thrusting a packet of sweets into his hand to give to his friend, you see some of us just can't help it!

I apologise

clearsommespace Mon 07-Oct-13 10:56:48

Arti, I think the answer depends on how much space you have for storing those sorts of items and how finished your home is.
Ours needs lots of work and we have a basement and there is no point trying to minimalist about the DIY stuff. DH has it all nicely sorted though so we can look for suitable screws at home rather than heading straight for the DIY store.

Iorek, we have tool cupboards in the plural too!

harrietspy Mon 07-Oct-13 11:02:05

Glad to see the thread is still going strong! It must be nearly a year since the first one...

Not much decluttering going on here because of work. I completely love my new job but it's all consuming at the moment... Thanks to whoever linked to Unfuck Your Habitat. I love it! Brilliant for when you only have 5 mins now and then to sort the house.

We're beginning to turn our minds to buying a house instead of renting. We don't want to stretch too far financially but need somewhere big enough to cater for our weird family set-up. (Separated parents raising kids under the same roof. One boy on AS who doesn't do well with sharing with his brother...). Whatever we buy will be way smaller then what we're currently renting so there'll have to be a major round of decluttering. Hoping to get family on board with idea that if we spend less on mortgage, we can spend more on great experiences as a family... As well as doing the stuff that doesn't cost a thing. smile

Have any of you actively moved to a smaller house? And those already in small spaces, any hints? (Until this house I always lived in small places but I've got used to the space here...)

Hope you're all doing well. I've just read through the last few pages and there seems to be lots of activity!

shiningcadence Mon 07-Oct-13 18:40:09

Hi everyone,

I've been quietly lurking over the last few days and enjoy reading about everyone's progress - I find it really spurs me on.

Massive wardrobe cull yesterday. 3 black bags for charity smile half a black bag for eBay which I'm going to stick on tonight - fed up of waiting for a free listings day, there hasn't been one for ages.I put some bits on last week for 99p and luckily people have been bidding upwards so I should still get a good price even though it's starting low..

I go through phases with eBay, sometimes I think it's the best thing ever and have fun photographing everything and writing the listings. As a sahm I feel like I'm contributing to our finances a bit too - not a huge amount but over the last few months I've saved enough in my paypal account to pay for all the dc Halloween outfits and a couple of Xmas pressies - every bit helps smile. But I also go through phases of loathing it and seeing it a big waste of time and effort... I never eBay the dc's clothes because we have lots of friends with younger children that benefit from them, it tends to be things that me or dh have bought without trying on and then got home and realised it didn't fit or look nice and then we haven't bothered taking them back to the shop. I know that sounds incredibly lazy - and it is. But it's more that we've just forgotten about it - with things being as hectic as they are or that the item of clothing has been lost amongst a pile of junk and by the time we've found it the date to return it by has passed. This won't be happening anymore though due to my new outlook on clothing smile. Thanks to this thread I will never purchase an item of clothing without trying it on first!

harrietspy I've lived in smaller houses before and I find that you do have to be quite tidy and organised but it wasn't a problem - in fact life was easier because I just seem to fill whatever space I have so small house = less stuff, less hassle, less mess etc. grin

harrietspy Mon 07-Oct-13 20:56:19

Hello Shining. I used to be an expert in small spaces but have lived in a big house for the last three years. I worry that I've forgotten all my small-space voodoo. My big boy is 11 and almost as tall as me. We may not have big toys any more but the boys seem to occupy a lot more space, if that make sense...

starfishmummy Tue 08-Oct-13 00:07:16

Last weeks "results" -
2 bags of books to bookbank - done
1 bag of books for friend (seeing her soon)
Sadly mil gave dh some more books yesterday. Grr
2 big bags of clothes/old bedding for a cash for textiles collection at school next week I am sick of tripping over them

I work at the start of the week so not much hastening until wed again

BeCool Tue 08-Oct-13 12:19:28

Please can someone remind me what what age small children stop being a walking whirlwind of mess.

My 2yo is out of the flat all day (we all are) and in the tiny window of time she is there and not actually sleeping, she creates a hugely disproportionate amount of dirt and mess. It beggars belief that it is even possible.

I'm sure DD1 was nothing like this (not that it was too long ago but its funny how some things fade from memory). Plus DD2 is extremely stubborn so "training her up" is no where near as easy as it was with DD1.

<just ranting>

Will use the Unfuck Ap tonight! <desperate>

educatingarti Tue 08-Oct-13 13:19:19

Ummm - I think at about 18 years ( when they leave home) is an approximate estimate ( and even then they bring their dirty washing home!)

clearsommespace Tue 08-Oct-13 13:21:21

Judging from some of the threads on here, it can go on into adulthood!

I think my DCs starting thinking about the consequences of tipping out boxes around the age of 5.

Found a new home for a piece of furniture we no longer need. Will be delivering tomorrow.

delasi Tue 08-Oct-13 19:28:36

harriet Moved last year to current property, about half/two thirds the size of where we were living before.

The minimalism approach makes a huge difference, as you'll already be in the right mindset for downsizing. The short version of what we did (huge open plan 1 bed flat with massive utility/storage space, to a compact 2 bed - 1 double, 1 single - no utility or storage): only very necessary or loved furniture - bed, two small lovely side tables, a retro shelving unit, an old rocking chair, 2 small bathroom organisers. These all flat pack/fold though so easy to stash if needed. Only necessary/loved appliances: kettle, toaster, smoothie maker, coffee machine (we do use them all!). Best pots and pans. Only enough crockery - 2 of everything per person, ie plates, glasses, mugs, bowls. Ditto with cutlery (though we have a ridiculous number of teaspoons hmm ). Basically repeat with absolutely everything!

Likelihood is, especially if you're buying and therefore likely to live there a while, you're going to end up buying stuff new/second hand as previous furniture may not work in the space. In our case (a bit different because we moved into another rental) that surprisingly only meant a wardrobe, a TV unit and a sofa (all of which were provided by the LL). I've got rid of so much and still going, so you come to realise how little you actually want or need.

My other tip is not to buy anything for the new place, as far as is possible, because you don't really know what you need or what will be best until you've got to know it. Have your basics - beds, sofa/s, a table, that kind of thing - and see how you get on. Even if you look at it and think, "This could do with a different wardrobe/dining table/bathroom cabinet", just wait and see. If you find yourself constantly saying to yourself, "Gah! We need a new table!" then you know it's time grin

Also, prepare yourself for moving as soon as possible. That means sort through all your stuff as if you were moving tomorrow (this is actually what we're doing now even though we're not going anywhere yet!). Of course you can keep a maybe pile, for the stuff you're really unsure about, but start looking at each room and think about what you'd actually take with you. Anything that you wouldn't take can go now (or at least, if you prefer, find out if any friends/family/local charities would take it).

delasi Tue 08-Oct-13 19:39:48

Broke my phone screen today. Am so embarrassed too. Got my first mobile phone 11 years ago and this is the first time I've actually broken one. The kicker? It's 5 days old... sad Costs £170 to replace the screen shock Currently has a cling film cover so I don't cut my fingers on it, got some screen protectors coming to act as temporary finger protectors. Moaning to the manufacturer (well, it's worth a shot!). Guy in the phone store today actually felt really bad and kept apologising to me even though it clearly wasn't his fault!

<sigh> Going to have to get it fixed eventually, but will try to get some help/make some extra money in the meantime. DH not at all fazed by it, one of his best qualities is his detachment from material things, so at least he's not miserable too.

Anyway, back to minimalism. So tired, so achey, and so very much to do - the phone issue has made me a bit more deflated (picking up now, I'm okay with these things but the first couple of hours I'm always a bit down about it, hopefully that'll improve with time!) and the time spent in the phone shop/shopping centre (originally thought it would be more straight forward) was time I didn't really have so now I've got loads to squeeze into the rest of this evening. Super long day tomorrow too, I know I'll get home and just flake out so I'm on autopilot with the house until Thursday at the earliest.

FreshWest Tue 08-Oct-13 21:05:48

delasi oh no shock at the cost tho. Do you mind me asking what phone it is? Only cos I broke the screen on my iPhone not too long ago and there is a bloke near us (in the market on one of those stalls where they sell phone covers etc) who fixes them. Cost me £40 instead of the min. £120 quoted by the shop. Might be worth searching for someone similar?

delasi Tue 08-Oct-13 21:22:51

It's a HTC 8X. I've been on the lookout, as the guy in the phone shop casually mentioned that it'd be £30-40 from a 3rd party but that it would void the warranty. In the shopping centre near me everywhere was £100, same online - I'm not entirely if it's because I live close-ish to central London, or if it's because this phone happens to be a right hassle. Apparently the screen and digitiser (or whatever they are) are pretty much connected, so instead of just replacing the glass they have to replace the whole thing. Pah.

FreshWest Tue 08-Oct-13 21:36:34

Ah that might be the problem with one of those guys. I got mine second hand so no warranty anyway. Hope you get it sorted tho.

delasi Thu 10-Oct-13 12:32:16

Got someone coming to collect some furniture tomorrow and help clear some stuff, which is great, but it means I need to clear a lot of stuff before they get here too. So now was probably not the best time to come down with a virus! Very ill last night, feel all rough today, just going to have to see what I can do confused

It's a bit complicated but basically it's not all my stuff, but I'm tired of waiting for it to be sorted so I'm deciding for them what is worth keeping, boxing up and getting it stashed. There's a lot to sort through though!

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