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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!

delasi Sun 20-Oct-13 15:24:37

fuzzpig <breathes sigh of relief> Feel much better about it now - I think sometimes the world of MN skews my views! It's only other MNers who I've known to say that TV is evil and you must discuss alongside if you plan on having one on whilst the baby is awake otherwise your children will be developmentally delayed until they're 10yo and may never fully recover.

Or something like that grin

If only it was to do housework though! I need to occupy him from time to time due to the endless studying/typing/documents etc needing attention... At least reading week is coming up and I can try to catch up on everything I've missed so far confused

Back to the house. I have put half of Rightful Owner's things in a very visible place - inconvenient for us atm, but, make it hard to miss and I am booking them in for this week and that half has to be dealt with at a minimum <optimistic emoticon>

BeCool Sun 20-Oct-13 23:37:57

INCOMING!!! I do not need incoming.

Today I recovered two boxes & four bags of random stuff and one silver case of CD's that I stored in a friends loft 6 years ago.

Some books I will keep. A lot of photos and 25 years worth of negatives (do I keep these???). Loads of CD's though the IMPORTANT Cd's are still MIA.

I have a box of rubbish, a bag for charity shop, and a bag of paperwork that belongs to an old BF I need to track him down and get them to him.

And I have a few bits I need to find a home for - old travel diaries etc.

Downfall Mon 21-Oct-13 08:41:49

Morning all. It's half term here, and I've got the week off, hence indulgent internetting on a Monday morning! Loved reading everyone's progress and survival stories.

Harriet re screen was the last week of summer hols and I wanted to get the boys back into a school routine, and we just know gaming causes their 'heads to go spongey', much more eloquently described by arti up thread.

So we went cold turkey. And it's been ok. They play more, write more. I haven't limited TV but interestingly they self limit this a bit more because they have a card game or board game or whatever they want to get back to.

I would reintroduce gaming if I could trust they would similarly self limit, but our experience is that they wouldn't.

It's tricky though, as DS1 is coming up to 10, and many of his classmates have sophisticated devices, and DS is aware that not even being allowed on the Wii is a bit lame. I need to find a way forward on this.

The ikea trip was to get them a desk each for their rooms, which they were really pleased with.

creepycadence Mon 21-Oct-13 10:07:50

Hi everyone,

delasi, that sounds perfect (re your ds and tv) to me. TV/screen entertainment is too readily available but a little won't do any harm IMO.

My youngest dc (3 and 7) aren't interested in tv at all. They do enjoy playing on the wii which I think is fine because it's a multiplayer device so the whole family gets together and play together/against one another. We usually do it for an hour on the weekend so not too often I think. They also enjoy a couple of apps on my phone but this is reserved for emergencies only - a long journey when one of them is getting antsy for eg.

My eldest probably has too much screen time. She watches half hour to an hour of tv a day and watches lots of 'funny' videos on YouTube too. Tbf though she's very creative and will be sketching as she's watching tv and then writes stories and songs about the characters from the shows she's been watching so not all bad. But I would like to decrease her screen time. Hard to do when her friends are all the same and the school encourages lots of pc use - though they're probably thinking for school research and not for watching the fox song on YouTube thlgrin

Not a lot done over the weekend but I'm finding it sooo much easier to keep the house clean and tidy now that there's no junk and clutter lying around. I haven't got rid of it all yet though, it's in the spare room but it is slowly being sorted and chucked/sold or given to charity smile Still my wardrobe to do as well and the dreaded shoe cupboard.

educatingarti Mon 21-Oct-13 11:30:38

Delasi ( and any others with very young DCs). Studies like this and this are the things I mean with respect to under 2s and TV.

I am a bit "evangelical" about this (and about mothers not drinking in pregnancy) because as a tutor I see so many children with subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) issues with attention and information processing. I see over and over again how difficult these issues are for children and how much harder it makes their learning and I would like to minimise things that may affect them.

I think when we remember our own TV watching in childhood, we are remembering usually a watching at an older age than 2 and this makes a difference I think. Also, there was far less children's TV than there is now (at least for me but then I'm ancient and we didn't have a reliable working TV until I was seven which was unusual even in the 1970s)! TV was probably slower paced then too (could you imagine what a lot of today's children would make of Jackanory?)

For what it is worth though, I think what you describe about your DS watching TV for 10-20 mins and free to move with other toys available is significantly different to watching 2hours+ a day strapped into buggy or high chair (yes some people actually do this!!) In addition he is getting loads of 1-1 parent time which has to be good. If it were me I probably wouldn't be too worried about the odd 10 mins with all the other input and variety you have but I do want people to be aware that there are potential issues particularly for the very young.

The ability to move in 3d and stimulate varying senses simultaneously in under 2s is so important. For example, crawling is important as it helps children build a better connection between both sides of the brain as they move eg right hand and left leg at the same time. There are some indications that children who miss out crawling may have higher incidences of dyslexia/dyspraxia because of this. Of course this doesn't mean that every child who bottom shuffles will be dyslexic/dyspraxic, just that it is possible it could affect some children! In general, parents could do things perfectly and still have a child with attention/processing problems or be very relaxed about screens and have children with no learning problems at all but I'd want to be careful about it.

I can totally understand the need to find something to occupy a baby/toddler while you get stuff done and don't mean to sound preachy or judgmental so please forgive me if I'm sounding like that. I just want to say to parents "please please please be careful"!

OK - Please please don't hate me for saying all of that. I don't want to make anyone feel bad. It is just something I feel strongly about because of what I see in my job.

In other news I am still full of cold but hoping to work today when I finish messing on MN the spare doom definitely has to be tackled this week as Mum cones on Saturday. I'm making a list of household stuff to be done in the vain hope that it inspires me!

Sokmonsta Tue 22-Oct-13 05:06:11

Morning! Thanks for those links arti. Despite best intentions ds1's screen time has been creeping up, and I'm defending it by saying at least he's not hitting/climbing/biting anyone, he's calmer for a bit of Thomas etc. when he is having a bad day and needs some time out from everything.

Have managed to mostly clear the hidey space between our two sofas. When we laid new flooring and the lounge had to be cleared I filled two pop up baskets - those net type ones - with everything loose/hiding elsewhere. In the weeks since I've not done anything or needed anything other than the dc's red books, and dumped more stuff on top! Took 6 carrier bags of rubbish out of it last night and not quite finished yet. Plan on doing the last few bits while twins nap later. Ds1 is home too. But I plan on a day of music only for the dc today, at least until the dc go to bed. They all enjoy playing Lego duplo at the moment so I'm trying to expand our Duplo collection and avoid arguments over who has which bricks!! I know it seems like it's going against minimalism but it's one of those very versatile toys which requires imagination so I'm culling other, more specific things in favour of Lego.

Have also managed to sell a few of the twins coordinating clothes so happy there. And still waiting for a response from return to earn as to the value of my bag. They've had it nearly a week now and I'm getting impatient to order more bags and get rid of more things.

fuzzpig Tue 22-Oct-13 09:59:44

Arti that's a really good post. Do you think the damage is irreversible? Or can children 'catch up' with the right support?

I wish we'd not had the last couple of years, but at the same time I'm trying not to feel guilty about it. Between my illness and DH's injury there didn't seem to be any choice but to rely on DVDs when we couldn't manage anything else. I am seeing a massive change in them both since going screen free Mon-Thurs (technically it's not totally screen free, as they are still allowed 30mins each iPad time - but they are often so busy playing they forget to ask for it! shock) - can't actually remember the last time we had to use time out, they are concentrating on their toys really well and will play all evening with one thing be it magnetic letters or train track, both are doing loads of writing and are more enthusiastic about reading too. And they are eating better now that we've moved the table into the kitchen so no tv or music, just family chat smile

We've made some progress - DH has been using Wednesdays (the one day off where I'm at work) to tackle our bedroom, which is by far the worst room in the house. We can actually see floor now grin he has mainly just been throwing away obvious rubbish as he knows I panic otherwise if I don't see for myself what is being thrown away.

ALL the laundry is done and put away (there had been some random old stuff that was lingering) so we've agreed to go through it all again and get rid of stuff. I actually realised, as DH has separated our clothes in the wardrobe for the first time, that he now has more clothes than me shock

I've had a rough few weeks health wise, but yesterday managed to do about an hour in our room going through less 'obvious' rubbish, we kept going until we'd filled a binbag.

And we discovered a load of empty Really Useful Boxes... Quite a ridiculous amount. I'm planning to dust them all and match up lids (they vary in size) and after using some for toys, I think I might squirrel away the rest for Xmas - we were thinking of putting together a big craft kit for the DCs with lots of little bits, so these boxes will be perfect for dividing stuff up and maybe even keeping it organised (ha!) - and it saves me buying a drawer stack as I was planning to, which was quite expensive. smile

Sorry for epic post blush

Sok, I just wanted to say, I don't think increasing the duplo is terribly unminimalist. If it's something they really love and get use out of, it's worth it. I've got the DCs some more lego (wheels, doors/windows, roof tiles) to build on their collection and make it more versatile. Another possibility is wooden train track - I need to go through theirs and get rid of any broken bits, but may get a new tunnel or bridge or something. I think it's better than, as you say, too many specific things. Often the more specific a toy, the less play it sees!

Jenologist Tue 22-Oct-13 13:05:05

Wow ladies. A massive thank you plus thanks and cake to all of you. I've spent a disgusting amount of time the past couple of days reading this thread and the last one. Just in time, as I was about to embark on yet another Massive Clean of The House. I've got this week off (smug teacher on half term) and was planning to do my "usual" clean up of our house. Which goes like this:

Empty container that is TOO FULL of stuff onto floor/bed.
Repack all of the "stuff" into the container (drawer, box, basket, whatever) but really neatly.
Repeat all over the house.
Get frustrated in approx 2 weeks time when all the drawers, baskets and boxes are a total mess again because they are still TOO FULL.

Repeat every 3 months or so for the rest of your natural life.

Since discovering this thread though, I have been oh so slowly going through every drawer and cupboard in the house and have so far cleared out 2 Cupboards of Doom (one had several pairs of mouldy shoes in. Useful), bedside drawers, under bed boxes, top of wardrobe. Car is now stuffed to the brim with black bags of utter rubbish and loads of stuff for the charity shop.

Lots to do yet, but I am feeling so calm and happy about the state of my house for once!

Hope you all have a productive and well day!

delasi Tue 22-Oct-13 13:22:20

arti Don't worry, different points of view and information are helpful, and reading through the links was helpful too smile I actually feel a lot more reassured as we mainly interact with DS, he doesn't get left alone in front of the TV (certainly not strapped into anything shock) and the times he is more independent is when he is playing with his toys. He has also just mastered standing without support (10mo, started crawling at 7mo and has just moved forward from there, has been cruising and pulling up for a while now) so feeling relieved that he seems to be fine with movement!

Sok, fuzz, and Jen (welcome!) - great progress! Glad to hear it's all moving along nicely smile Haven't yet had confirmation from Rightful Owner about this week but I will make them do it give them some gentle encouragement.

Still ill and rubbish sad Barely managing to keep on top of proper work, let alone minimalism work. But I should be getting some results this week and seeing GP on Monday so we'll see how we go, would be massive encouragement getting Rightful Owner around!

fuzzpig Tue 22-Oct-13 15:09:51

Welcome Jen! Glad you are finding thread helpful. I love your description of previous tidying routine - so true! It's taken a while to realise that just 'tidying' is POINTLESS if you have too much stuff. I feel lighter every time we throw something away smile

educatingarti Tue 22-Oct-13 15:22:13

Morning all I'm glad my post was OK!. Delasi Congratulations to your DS on his new "standing up" skills! He sounds a real cutie!

fuzzpig - in answer to your question about "catching up". It is really difficult to say because there are so many variables. In very extreme cases - eg the mother who drinks a lot or does drugs while expecting a baby - you would most likely get permanent changes to the brain that cause problems (and I have seen them angry ) that can't be "cured" although there are drugs and learning strategies that can help with learning progress. From the studies I've read, I'm wondering if excessive TV/screen use in under 3s (particularly where they are strapped into buggy etc and so are very limited in movement) and where they don't get too much other stimulation) could also cause more permanent problems with the brain.

There are physical exercises you can do with older children that can help remediate against missed development earlier - eg the child that doesn't crawl and then has dyspraxic problems later can be encouraged to do games and activities that involve similar actions to crawling and this can help but I think it is harder to put things right if the child has missed out on the normal window for that stage of development.

It doesn't sound as if your dcs are suffering from any attention problems though (not sure how old they are?) if they are able to concentrate on games and toys and are enjoying reading and writing activities. That's particularly true if they are sometimes playing at a relaxed pace not "over-focused" all the time. It certainly doesn't seem as if they have got the dopamine type addiction to fast moving screen stuff mentioned in the article otherwise they certainly wouldn't be forgetting Ipad time! I would also really say that you should try not to feel guilty. They sound great!

sok There is a reason why the plural of Lego is Lego (except in US). It is because however much Lego (or Duplo) you have, it still only counts as one item! Only US minimalists need worry! It is such a brilliant toy for learning and development too. If you get way too much you could always build an extension to your house with it!

I am still proper poorly and ended up in A and E last night on the advice of the NHS phoneline. I have had to cancel more teaching sad and could really do with using what is left of today to get some house things done, but I'm soooo tired! Unless I sit or stand upright I just end up coughing. I had a coughing fit last night that really scared me because I just couldn't stop or breathe for ages. Thankfully A and E seemed to think all I needed was some antibiotics so I'm hoping they kick in soon.

The spare doom is haunting me! shock

fuzzpig Tue 22-Oct-13 17:53:28

Oh gosh arti you poor thing sad hope the ABs kick in ASAP.

Thank you for writing such a great reply despite feeling so crap! I thankfully have no cause for concern in terms of their early physical development, they were average/earlyish for milestones. It was more the attention issue I was worried about but as you say they seem able to concentrate on play really well - I think the DVDs were distracting them before as they are naturally very active so they would never sit and watch something for hours. It was more that they were playing but also keeping half an eye on the telly if that makes sense. They are so much happier now so I'm really glad we decided to cut down. smile

fuzzpig Tue 22-Oct-13 17:54:08

Oh and they are 4 and 6 btw smile

fuzzpig Sat 26-Oct-13 08:21:29

Where is everyone?

We've been making great progress. 4 more binbags over the last couple of days and more general sorting too smile

creepycadence Sat 26-Oct-13 15:37:36

Hi fuzzpig, I'm still here. Not a lot of progress being made though as I've had a flu like virus. Feeling on the up now so hopefully can get a bit done over the next few days.

I have been good regarding the clothes sales and offers I keep getting emailed. A few times I've gone through and added stuff to my basket but I've quickly come out of the site to avoid any temptation. Although I have to admit to buying some lovely black leather boots I've had my eye on for a while, a pair of high tops that will go with lots of my outfits and a nice sparkly dress for xmas day. I really thought long and hard before purchasing them, honest.

I'm glad you posted actually because it's kind of given me a kick up the backside to get going with all the decluttering again. I seem to go at it really well for days and then have a massive lull where it seems so overwhelming and I really can't be bothered with it all. I think being ill contributed to it a bit but it happens even when I'm well. I just have to keep thinking of the end result, already the house is cleaner, tidier and more organised than it was before I found this thread.

Well done on your progress smile

delasi Sat 26-Oct-13 17:06:42

Hello all! RO as sorted out some of their stuff so we're getting there!

Other than that, mega busy, totally under the weather, so everything else is on hold. managing to keep the house relatively organised and a friend actually commented that my bathroom was so clean and tidy, so that made me feel positive about the state of things!

fuzzpig Sat 26-Oct-13 17:36:08

Delasi it took me a while to work out what RO meant but yay! That's great. And I bet they got more sorted than they would have if you hadn't done that pre-sorting for them.

Unfortunately the bugs seem to really fly around this time of year, sorry you and cadence are both poorly sad I wonder if it's more common when the weather suddenly changes between seasons?

I'm really pleased I've managed a bit more lately (a lot is thanks to DH just powering on with binning rubbish on Wednesdays when he's off and I'm working - provided a great kick start) as we'd got very demotivated over the previous few weeks. But seeing more improvements is really inspiring. And we found a box of junior meccano that I'd got in a charity shop a couple of years ago, but hid away as the DCs were a bit young, and we've been building with it today smile (if I'd been more organised, I would've wrapped it up for Xmas - but DCs spotted it!)

Does anyone else have an issue with flipping game pieces disappearing everywhere? We're now using a big box to put all game pieces in as we tidy in the hope that we can then assign them to their correct boxes. We did have a clear out of games but what remains I want to keep assuming we can find all the bits. When we do play with complete games I am now much more vigilant at checking them when we pack them away!

In other news... 60 days til Xmas grin

Sokmonsta Tue 29-Oct-13 14:42:20

I'm here! Buried under 4dc and half term!!

I've just (literally, so taking a break) finished emptying a very stagnant fish tank and relocated it and all the paraphernalia to the shed.

Moved the two storage box/coffee tables and sofas and hoovered around. Found endless pieces of jigsaws that the twins have scattered. Ds1 will be happy. Also found his Edward engine which has been missing for months and believed to have been left at my sister's.

I'm in a period of wanting to declutter and resenting anything which comes into the house of late. Even groceries! Silly I know. I love an offer/bargain, but I'm trying desperately to get things we need in the here and now rather than might fancy in a few weeks.

Have decluttered the freezer by taking loads out to defrost and be eaten. Then ordered my Christmas meat to be delivered in a week or so. I know that goes against the needing it now. But it's £30 cheaper if I order it by the end of the month. Plus we will only be keeping the turkey until then. The beef/sausages/pork will all be eaten earlier.

fuzzpig Tue 29-Oct-13 15:20:05

Ah yes half term doesn't exactly help the decluttering mission does it. <sigh>

creepycadence Tue 29-Oct-13 16:55:19

Hi all,

delasi congrats on getting RO around to clear some of their stuff! Have they much left to clear now? Sorry to hear you're under the weather.

fuzzpig well done on your improvements and on finding the meccano! I'm often amazed by the things I find lurking under the clutter grin. And yes to losing game pieces, nightmare. My eldest is ten and I learnt my lesson with her toys/games when she was little so thankfully we're in the habit now of counting the pieces when we've finished playing with things, having said that, no matter how careful we are things still get mislaid!

sokmonster, I know what you mean, I'm buried under 3 dc and half term. Well done for cleaning your fish tank though and the other bits you've done - bet your ds was pleased to be reunited with his Edward!

Well, not a great deal done here because of the dc being home but I'm managing to keep the house clean and tidy - apart from the spare room which is a tip! I was hoping it'd be cleared and decorated by Christmas for a new playroom for the dc but it's looking less and less likely. The sorting of the rest of the house means I need somewhere for my big sorting boxes - one for eBay, one for friend, one for charity, one for 'maybe' things and as no one dares set foot in that room for fear of being buried alive I'm also storing Christmas presents in there. On the plus side I sold 2 items on eBay and 2 that didn't sell have gone in the charity bag ad I got rid of a dress that has been in my 'maybe' pile for a couple of weeks. Also went through my pyjamas and put a few pairs in the charity box as I have too many and they just don't get worn. Also been really on the ball with the dc toys, the things they haven't played with for a while I've been putting out on the lounge floor and even encouraging them to play with the toys. Any that aren't played with I've located to the spare room and if they aren't asked for over the next week they'll be off to charity. I feel really mean but it will really benefit them to have more space and just the toys that they love and play with - it will also save my sanity grin

Sorry for the essay btw! grin

fuzzpig Tue 29-Oct-13 18:10:49

Your way of whittling down the toys sounds great cadence!

fuzzpig Tue 29-Oct-13 20:59:21

Thinking more about Xmas. I succumbed to bargain playmobil - swimming pool which DD is absolutely desperate for (but hasn't officially asked for so will be an awesome surprise) and pirate ship for DS... but had already got the pyramid in summer as it is no longer being made and I know they will love it. So we've decided to maybe put the pyramid away for DD's birthday and the pirate ship away for DS's birthday so that'll save the money in June/August. We have cupboard space to hide it now that we've decluttered so much smile

Basically decided it as there's other things I'd love to get them but that plus 3x playmobil would be major overkill (some will be from my parents as they hate choosing themselves, but as they are with us on the day this year it'll still all be opened on one day unlike in previous years).

I just love choosing toys for them! It makes me happy to give them toys they love and enjoy throughout the year. I know that is not minimalist and I am somewhat letting the side down <hides>. Xmas is the time I allow myself to think "fuck it". No tat, just really nice things with a lot of play value. Xmas means so much to me, I am just making up for a crap childhood (as is DH) so I know we go OTT.

We have no electronic stuff this Xmas as we agreed, that's been surprisingly easy as throughout this decluttering process I've realised just how much I hate beepy gadgetty flashy toys, and how little play value they generally have, so if I see anything like that while browsing I just rule it out with a slightly snobby eye roll blush grin and move on. I will make an exception for a decent electronics kit one day but they are a bit young at the moment! I know in a few years they'll be more swayed by advertising/peer pressure so I'm taking the opportunity to choose wisely while I can.

Another thing I've hoped to achieve (not just at Xmas, but generally) is reducing the amount of character/brand stuff my DCs have. I've been gradually siphoning off toys to this end (exception being character figures as they are cherished and played with endlessly among normal animal figures etc) and not buying any branded clothes etc. Although we had no outright agreement on this for Xmas (unlike the electronics thing) I've been bearing it in mind so for DS his jigsaw will be an animal one from Melissa and Doug rather than the Pixar ones I'd been looking at earlier in the year.

They will be getting character pants/socks/flannel in their stockings plus Totoro figures (shared between them) and monsters university top trumps (DD) and a Pixar diecast plane (DS). Possibly a Turbo snail teddy for DS and a Totoro teddy for DD as having a new cuddly with their Xmas eve jammies seems to have unintentionally become a cherished tradition confused. They also get a tree decoration each that I'm planning to paint at a pottery party - I was going to do a character one (I did a Lorax and thunderbird plate for them at the previous party that I was really proud of!) but maybe I won't now. I daresay even their initials or a little snowman or something would be magical enough since the elves deliver them! smile Any little thing like toothbrush or hair clips can happily be brand free so I am hoping little changes like that make a bit of difference overall. I just realised though, I still have an a thunderbirds mug hidden that I found at a hospital charity sale - it's ancient but DS will love it... I actually squealed when I saw it.

Jammies were character ones last year so I thought I'd struggle with that this year, but DD is suddenly desperate for a onesie so I think one with animals on will be just as exciting as a character one. DS I'm not sure about, maybe dinosaurs or aliens or something. Although he is totally obsessed with the Gruffalo this year so I may give in on that one and hope DD isn't jealous (but then would she even see the difference? Am I just assuming an adult, brainwashed commercialised outlook here?).

I no longer buy character books as they are generally shit anyway, same goes for sticker/colouring type books too. I've never got annuals for them so won't be starting now. Although I really want the famous five one blush. Will be getting some classic chapter/picture books that I know they will love, The Grinch (Dr Seuss) for Xmas eve, and naice activity books that tie in with topics they love. Crafty bits are not character related either, same with board games as they are usually lame and/or poor quality.

But even with reducing it there's lots of branding especially in the stocking it seems. It seeps in everywhere. It is still an improvement though; I can only think of one main gift that is branded and that will be home made (Fix It Felix outfit for DS - DD will be getting a costume dress from TK Maxx as she's outgrown her Snow White etc from 2 xmases ago but it'll be a naice medieval type one not a Disney thing this time). Then there will be DVDs - this is our main vice as a family so there is no way in hell we would give that up. So stuff like Despicable Me 2, Planes etc. I've got little popcorn pots to arrive with them so the focus will be snuggly movie nights. May do Room on the Broom for Xmas eve, we've not done an Xmas eve DVD before but it's quite short and hopefully they'll bring a new JD film out every year so it'll be a nice tradition. The no-tv-mon-to-thurs rule will be relaxed over Xmas hols - as it is now for half term - but we are already finding it easier NOT to have DVDs on all day like we used to so that's still massive progress and watching the new movies together will be more of an event than last year when they were just on back to back if that makes sense.

Good grief sorry for that epic waffle. My name is fuzzpig and I am a Christmasaholic blush <runs away>

educatingarti Wed 30-Oct-13 13:34:53

Afternoon everyone
I've been having a very non-minimalist time with my mum staying. The spare doom did get cleaned and tidied in time by the way!

Mum just wanted to do lots of shopping (she didn't get so many chances to shop while she was caring for my Dad) so we did and she bought me quite a few things grin. A lot were replacements though ( new coat - old one to go to chazzer once washed, new oven gloves - old one to rag, new hot water bottle - old one thrown out as has started leaking, new double duvet for spare bed - old one to chazzer - it was a queens size and didn't fit my double duvet covers properly!) I also have a new dress and jumper which is nice. I may need to reassess my wardrobe in the light of it!

This afternoon I need to do some housework and lesson prep before going to teach and then on to music practice. I want to go to sleep!! I'm quite a bit better than I was but still coughing!!

creepycadence Wed 30-Oct-13 14:13:50

Hi all,
fuzzpig, I am a Christmasaholic too blush. I am really organised this year and have been buying for the last month. Have you seen the Christmas Bargains threads in the Christmas section? They are fab and worth a pop over if you haven't yet been. Not very minimalist over there but I have been very good and despite there being loads I'm tempted to buy I'm sticking to my list and not getting carried away!

We are very similar fuzzpig in terms of the dc presents. I too love to give toys but only ones I know will be treasured. I hate branded tat. We've bought it in the past and nothing's ever been good quality, you're just paying for the 'name'. The things that get played with most in this house are the role play toys so doctors/vets/hairdresser sets, the dressing up box (builder, pirate, ballerina etc) the wooden dolls house and then the toys that would be counted as branded: my little pony, barbie, sylvanian family - but I've found these brands to be of good quality and they are treasured by all 3 of my girls. A few years back the dc were obsessed with Hello Kitty and I succumbed and bought them a load of stuff for Christmas - play kitchen, night light, soft toys, books, pyjamas and slippers, quilt covers, books, games, play sets etc., and honestly it was all so poorly made and was all binned before the following Christmas. Never again. Electronic stuff never gets played with here so none of that for us either.

Also, fuzzpig, I don't think you're letting the minimalist side down because you are thinking carefully about the toys you are buying - they will all be loved and used. Anti minimalism would be buying loads without a lot of thought and organisation. I say that as though I'm a minimalist expert, I've only been here a few weeks grin. But that is my humble opinion smile.

I love doing the Christmas DVDs as a family event with the popcorn. I haven't heard of Room on a Broom, will have to look it up.

creepycadence Wed 30-Oct-13 14:18:25

educatingarti, sorry to hear you're still coughing, horrible time of year for bugs. Hope you're better soon. Your shopping trip sounds great, bet your mum enjoyed spoiling you and good that you got so many useful and needed things!

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