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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!

clearsommespace Thu 05-Dec-13 05:33:44

Adorabell, I had some trouble parting with late parents stuff earlier this year. Someone said on a previous thread that you don't need a lot of stuff to remember them by. Another thing to think about, would your parents have wanted you to feel burdened by their stuff? Wouldn't they rather it went to someone who needed it or liked it enough to display it?

Hello Poppy. Our bookshelves are far from bare! I would start with things to which you don't feel such an emotional attachment. Bedding, kitchen equipment etc. When you get onto books, you do one shelf at a time. Ask yourself whether you are really going to find the time to read it again or really want your DCs to read. If not, that book can go, to someone who wants to read it now so you have space for something you'd rather read or just some space so your house feels a little airier.

That reminds me, I unpacked some unread books that DH has picked up in charity shops when we moved here nearly a year ago and he hasn't touched them. Time to have a word with him.

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Thu 05-Dec-13 08:09:51

Hurrah Somme. I remember that feeling when all the furniture went in after we laid new flooring in the lounge. Clear shelf tops and all sorts. Didn't last too long though so am on the declutter again ready for all the Christmas cards.

pixiestix Thu 05-Dec-13 10:22:47

Minor breakthrough with DH - he got rid of six bin bags full yesterday!! So relieved and inspired smile

AdoraBell Thu 05-Dec-13 13:19:14

Somme Thanks.

My particular problem is I don't really want To remember them (tóxic) but don't feel I can leave the stuff here without at léast offering it To a sibling, who isn't communicating much, but has a slightly moré rose tinted view.

Part of me could just típ in the bustbin but DH is a "why is this being thrown away" merchant and I don't want To Get into that conversación over these pieces. What I need To do us shut out everyone and decide for myself.

And I have literally hundreds of books my father bought, no way I could fit them into a UK sized house - we're trying To move back- a lot of them are outdated now though, Encylopedia Británica circa 1960 Anyone? fhmm

Excrated moré out grown clothes from DD's wardrobes so that will be going either Today or Tomorrow.

Well done Pixie

clearsommespace Thu 05-Dec-13 13:27:00

grin at bustbin
The encylopedia is either worth a lot or belongs in the recycling.

Is it impossible to give the sibling a polite ultimatum along the lines of if you would like to keep any, please let me know before such and such a date when I plan to rehome the books. It may be worth typing up an inventory just to avoid blame being put upon you in the future.

SilverSixpence Thu 05-Dec-13 14:37:35

Hello all, have delivered 3 bags of toys and clothes to the charity shop and cleared some space in the living room! Unfortunately have bought some dining chairs to do up and now have them taking up space until I can get rid of the old ones!

I have realised i need to seriously cut down what we accumulate but also at this stage need to let go of things that I am unlikely to get round to using especially in terms of craft materials (i sew and knit but think the supplies have got a bit out of hand).

delasi Thu 05-Dec-13 19:39:35

Hello all - glad to see so much progress, it has been revving me on! Not so much on the minimal side, but I've been so busy and feeling so rough and today things have been picking up smile Did all of the laundry which is now all sitting in bags and baskets on the bedroom floor , proper cleans of the bathroom and kitchen, floors got washed etc. 'Tis a big deal for me as I've just been doing the minimum so far, but had a sudden rush of energy this morning! Countered by a long nap this afternoon grin

AdoraBell I think the inventory suggestion is good. One of my relatives had a similar problem with a sibling when their parent died, they aren't close and had pretty much zero communication after a falling out, almost nothing was left but the sibling then decided that there must have been some hidden riches that they had not been informed of, just to add to the animosity that already existed between them sad

Poppy Is it just you or do you have other family in the house to consider? If it's all like your post, main interests being books and CDs, then I would just watch the odd program you like on a computer, laptop or tablet if you have one on a catch up service. This is what I did for years - we now have a TV but no licence as we still only watch things using internet-based on-demand services. If you have lots of books that you like to re-read then have you/would you consider an e-reader? It could perhaps be a gift to yourself or something that people can contribute to, eg giving you vouchers to purchase e-books instead of something you might not use and could add to the clutter. Likewise CDs, you could digitalise all of those. However, if you like them in their solid form of books and CDs in cases then I don't see any problem in having a collection, if it's what you enjoy smile FIL is like this, he would never have them all digital as he goes to obscure indie shops and picks up all manner of CDs and likes to keep them that way. However, he does also sell them on when he doesn't want them anymore, I think the key is to keep stuff you like and will reuse.

AdoraBell Thu 05-Dec-13 21:11:11

The Encylopedias are going to the recycling centre, informed DH at lunchgrin. He looked a little wobbly for a couple of minutes.

Will do the inventory as other than books the items I have would normally have sentiment value.

I've started buying ebooks but found I don't like reading Terry Pratchett that way, everything else is okay in ebook form for me. And I'm only buying CDs of Spanish language artists that I know I can't get back in the UK, everything else is off iTunes.

harrietspy Fri 06-Dec-13 12:16:12

Hello all.

Shifted four things via Freecycle today and finally ditched the last cassette tapes I was hanging on to.

I haven't listened to them (with the exception of Bjork) in years, so I've treated myself to Bjork on iTunes and made a note of the other tapes on Evernote in case I want to replace them in future.

I think my mindset has definitely changed over the last eighteen months. I walked through M&S lovely Christmas department yesterday and came out empty handed, not because it's not lovely but because I just didn't want to buy anything. smile

SilverSixpence Fri 06-Dec-13 14:25:36

Had awful stressful morning due to losing car keys hmm still don't know where they are. It's made me even more determined to declutter and will be getting rid of lots this weekend.

clearsommespace Fri 06-Dec-13 20:48:58

Oh I do hope you find them soon!

clearsommespace Sat 07-Dec-13 18:51:44

Did you find them Sixpence?

Harriet, I know what you mean.

A pair of sandals that has not been worn this summer is going to the shoe recycling. I'm pretty sure I didn't wear them last summer either but I wasn't paying attention then.

AdoraBell Sat 07-Dec-13 22:16:01

fangry at self. Forgot To take Those enciclopedias To the recycling and DH wants To box them up properly because "they'll be worth a fortuna"

No they won't - aaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhh.

This eveving's Job is To nag cajole and coerce DDs into sorting through closets and cupboards To decide what To keep. The rest is going

I shall report back later...

harrietspy Sun 08-Dec-13 09:17:36

Hope the car keys turned up, Sixpence!

So our landlord is putting the house on the market so we'll definitely be moving into a smaller house sometime in the next year, possibly in the spring. I'm so pleased we've got rid of so much stuff but want to cut back further if at all possible. I've moved five times in the last eight years and have no desire to box up anything we don't love or need...

The tent, for instance. Huge 6 person hotel. Takes 2-3 people to lift when wrapped. Takes up a whole cupboard. Used once. hmm

pixiestix Sun 08-Dec-13 10:05:07

There is nothing like a move on the horizon to get you motivated.

Hope that you have found your keys Sixpence. That is exactly the kind of situation that gives me the rage with myself about the amount of stuff we own. I was prompted to join this thread last year when I couldn't for the life of me find our Christmas tree stand. I ended up buying another one and it maddened me. Who needs two Christmas tree stands solely because they are so messy and disorganised angry

I don't know if anyone else reads it but I have discovered the Minimalist Packrat blog this week and I'm really enjoying it. It hasn't been updated for a while but there is a good archive of articles, really nicely written and very motivational. Its my new fave!

Is MinimalistMommi still around? I hope so. She is my Minimalism guru grin

Feeling so good and inspired this week. smile

delasi Sun 08-Dec-13 14:20:08

harriet Hope it all goes really well! Moving can seem like such a great opportunity for sorting and a fresh start yet so often ends up in a manic move of all of the clutter (says the woman with some unsorted bags from last year's move confused we'll be moving in 2014, no. 10 for me in 6 years!). Liking the description of your tent grin

We need a minimalist movers handbook! I so want to crack it this time fiiiinally .

Thanks for the link to the Minimalist Packrat pixie, having a look now for some inspiration. The first photo of the bedroom that I saw alone has given me a renewed boost.

Well, as usual, I'm a broken record grin Tired, busy, tons going on. Figured things would quieten down from next week but it looks like not so... back to working out more 'minimalism in 15 minutes' tasks. On the plus side I'm back on top of maintenance more or less, with the exception of the laundry! It's clean, just, um, not in drawers.

pixiestix Sun 08-Dec-13 15:00:24

Just quickly wanted to share a quote from this article - "When you are looking at children's gear, think of yourself as a curator, rather than a consumer". Love this, especially in the middle of all the Christmas craziness.

clearsommespace Mon 09-Dec-13 20:18:52

Thanks for the links.

Delasi, I've made good progress today in two 15 min sessions.

I did 'under the bed' which meant glancing inside some boxes which had been put there early in 2013 to see if I'd miss the contents. It can pretty much all go.

I also sorted through the medicine cabinet and bagged up all the out of date medicines to drop off at the pharmacy. I found an electronic ear thermometer we were given 10 years ago when eldest was a baby. I don't think it works properly, it said normal temp when my hand was telling me otherwise a couple of times and I didn't trust it again. It needs to go to the recycling centre. This sort of thing that makes me feel guilty even though I didn't manufacture it or buy it or even ask for it.

SilverSixpence Tue 10-Dec-13 13:05:42

hi everyone, sorry i haven't been back to update sooner!

The key was in the corner of a box of fabric in our bedroom. I was about to put the box back on top of the wardrobe where its supposed to go and happened to spot it right at the bottom. This is after a good 4-5 hours of searching so I was pretty fed up by that point!

I have been decluttering with even more of a vengeance since but have a bit of a problem when it comes to the craft stuff - I know that realistically I won't use it all up for several years at the current rate but I do make quite a lot so don't want to get rid of it. I did go a bit mad buying lots and lots of fabric last year though and it tends to sell well on ebay so will sell some. Does anyone have any suggestions for good ways to deal with it all? I think I have 5-6 large boxes of fabric , 2-3 bags of scraps and 4 boxes of wool blush. I'd like to ideally get that down to 2 boxes of fabric, 1 of scraps and 2 of wool.

I might keep 4-5 projects worth handy and hide everything else in the attic for now so it doesn't get in the way all the time.

CadenceRoastingByAnOpenFire Tue 10-Dec-13 18:37:20

Hi all, marking place as you'd dropped off my 'threads I'm on' list. Not a lot to report here. Went through some kitchen drawers and cupboards after my last post. Now have a good, organised system for receipts, carrier bags and stationary. Threw away loads and loads of menus from takeaway places, we very rarely have takeaway and when we do tend to use the same place so no idea why I was keeping all those menus! And even if I was going to try a new takeaway I'd look at their menu online anyway so absolutely no need for all those bits of paper flapping about inside my drawers. Also gave a load of saucepans to charity - we only have 4 rings on the hob so owning 8 saucepans seemed pretty pointless. These things seem like common sense to me now but before I found this thread I just seemed to hang onto everything, even though I really really resented all the space it was taking up.

Since my kitchen blitz no more decluttering has taken place though as been very very busy but (apart from the spare room) I've been maintaining the lovely minimalist spaces. I find now that things are starting to have their own 'place' cleaning and tidying is much quicker and easier and as a result I have more energy and am less stressed and more relaxed.

Off to read those links now. Chat soon.

clearsommespace Tue 10-Dec-13 21:31:31

Can you share your carrier bag system please.

CadenceRoastingByAnOpenFire Tue 10-Dec-13 23:15:38

Sure, though 'system' probably wasn't the best description, though compared to shoving them in the drawer it's a system I guess grin.

It's actually something my grandma bought years ago which I found in one of the kitchen cupboards when I was sorting through them. It's called a carrier bag dispenser but is basically just a tube of fabric with elasticated ends and a loop to attach it to a hook. So you put the carrier bags in the top end and pull them out of the bottom when you need one. I've hooked it to the inside of the cupboard door. Tbh I don't use plastic bags often as I try to stick to a couple of canvas bags which live in the kitchen cupboard but it's inevitable that plastic bags end up in the house from time to time so it's nice for them to have somewhere to 'live' finally!

clearsommespace Wed 11-Dec-13 06:14:21

Yes, we have on those. It works fine for the little bags (the ones I reuse as bathroom bin liners). The bigger bags are the ones that annoy me.
It's amazing how plastic bags multiply even though I try to use other types. They don't recycle them here so I end up storing them until I go back to the UK.

pixiestix Wed 11-Dec-13 08:37:05

Glad that you found your keys Six, that is a seriously random place for them to have ended up grin

We are all dying of a cold here (melodramatic) but Cadence has just inspired me to go through the kitchen drawer. I can't face a big project today but I can definitely do that .

Arti was it you that was trying to get rid of 365 things over the course of the year? I was doing it too but I started once we had already done the initial purge of the flat and I'm finding it much harder than I anticipated. We are up to 225 things and there is only half a month to go angry

educatingarti Wed 11-Dec-13 11:10:37

Morning all

Still struggling with work, trying to get pressies etc bought for Christmas and continuing earache!

pixie - Yes it was me but embarrassingly I stopped recording things during the summer so I've no idea where I got up to. I found it hard - especially as I was counting a net loss - ie every time I brought something new into the flat it counted against my loss figures!

On the plus side, I've been a bit quieter work wise over the last few weeks which has led to me being able to start to organise/declutter my workroom ( as well as nearly get my tax return sorted!). It is only a start, but it is looking better already! (Perhaps I should start up my 360 things list again while I'm clearing this room, although how many pieces of paper counts as an item? If only one I must be well on my target!)

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