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The march towards Minimalism continues...

(794 Posts)
MissAnnersleyismyhero Tue 04-Feb-14 08:29:22

Hey all, thought I'd make a new thread to encourage us all to keep going on the journey to minimalism! smile

kawaii Tue 04-Feb-14 08:46:22

Hi, I'd like to join!

I am living in such a disorganised house, I can't claim lack of space as it is just two adults and one toddler in a large 3 bed semi. But I can't find anything. I think less to do with clutter, although there is some. More that nothing has a place and I have no storage and no system.

I would like to change a pattern of a life time and live in a nice, tidy home!

pixiestix Tue 04-Feb-14 08:53:28

Just checking in. Thanks for the new thread MissA flowers

evertonmint Tue 04-Feb-14 09:10:45

Place marking for now - thanks Miss A. Welcome kawaii! I'm a fairly new member of this thread too but it's making me both think and do, which are good things smile

educatingarti Tue 04-Feb-14 11:09:58

Popping in briefly to mark my place - should be working!

TeacakeMax Tue 04-Feb-14 14:37:56

Afternoon all and welcome to all newbies! Thanks for the new thread MissA - thanks.

Slow progress here but managed to get rid of a carrier bag full of plastic tat collected over the last 3 years off the front of comics etc. Have left some of the more popular bits but nothing else has been missed so far.

Really need to get a grip on the spare doom - whilst searching for something else I came across 5 separate (brand new and unopened) nail files. All in different parts of the same cupboard and obviously all bought at different times blush. I'm annoyed with myself, both at the waste of money and at my lack of organisational skills, but it has strengthened my resolve to get the house properly sorted this year...

MissAnnersleyismyhero Tue 04-Feb-14 14:44:10

Posted eBay stuff today! Of course one person didn't pay, and then as soon as I got back from the post office, they had paid, so now I'll have to go tomorrow!

Two more things set aside in outbox for the car boot.

delasi Tue 04-Feb-14 14:55:44

Thanks for new thread!

Getting the urge to purge again but still not well enough, so I'm hoping that by the end of this week I'll be able to do something big to make me feel good - nothing like drastic change to cheer oneself up!

So, my very vague and general plan is:
- the bookcase, the one I've been glaring at for months now. I realised today that it's not just a bookcase, it's a rather gorgeous retro piece. I want to make more of it. I may repurpose it, move it, and put the tv on it. The current tv stand is very bulky and we only have it as it was left here. I'm going to have to think about this properly though so that it fits along walls etc. I may end up completely redesigning the living room again!.
- all DVDs and CDs are going in some of those cases you can get with the sleeves (have to buy some first). Tired of the jewel cases and we don't need them as the DVDs we have were all cheap and are just the ones we want to keep, so I'm not bothered about ability to sell them later.
- we have shelves in our room that aren't really being used but would be perfect for some books we have, so I want to sort that.
- EBAY! I have a box of stuff to go.
- I will eventually revise the clothes and accessories again, as I wanted to get a couple of things but I'd rather wait until I've checked what we have.
- baby clothes in vacuum bags... Still haven't done it blush

There are more things I want to do, but some won't be possible until we move as some of the stuff here is the LLs whereas when we move it will be into an empty place (whenever that is, still haven't found anywhere!).

Ruprekt Tue 04-Feb-14 14:57:32

I minimalised my workbay at school last week......very therapeutic!

evertonmint Tue 04-Feb-14 15:30:13

A bag of charity clothes/fabric recycling sorted and my non-maternity clothes finally boxed away. Now I just need to do a Project 333 overhaul of my wardrobe. Thought it would be good to start while wearing maternity stuff as I have less of it and loathe buying it for just a few months so I have 4 months to get used to the idea of a minimal - but hopefully matching and classy grin - wardrobe.

I'm also doing a Project Pan kind of beauty thing. Using up bits of cleansers and moisturisers lying around before I crack open my favourite of each that will be the ones going forward, and just using the make up I have (I don't wear it much so really don't need to make more purchases). Perfected (well worked out how to do!) 2 looks and that should be enough for me - and means I'll no longer be swayed by make up offers that are just pointless for me given the few times I wear it.

JemimaGina Tue 04-Feb-14 16:44:45

Hi, please can I join in? I'm 27 weeks pg with DC2 and desperate to minimalise all around the house.

We have two junk rooms (dining room and spare room) that need gutting - esp. as I want to decorate and set up the birthing pool in the dining room - so I'm really on a deadline here grin

frugalfuzzpig Tue 04-Feb-14 16:45:31

Signing in. Got to catch up with the last thread first blush

CremeEggThief Tue 04-Feb-14 17:40:01

I would like to join too. I have got rid of probably half the stuff we used to have over the last couple of years, so now it's a case of maintaining it and letting go of anything we no longer need. I have some stuff listed on eBay currently and I want to send a few DVDs and CDs off to Music Magpie by the end of the week.

I only have one box left of proper clutter, but I've been ignoring it for months. It's full of my DS's old artwork to sort through (I will probably photograph most of it and then recycle), a new address book I need to transfer addresses to, and some postcards I want to make a scrapbook of. I also need to carry on decluttering the computer and sorting through the digital photos on there. I have made quite of lot of progress with this since last year, but not recently. So, all in all, a lot of time consuming clutter in one storage box!

remotecontrols Tue 04-Feb-14 17:49:42

Thank you MissA thanks

My bedroom is looking better, got everything off the floor that was piled up so that is a start anyway. Trying to go through each drawer and minimise it

Trying to sort out my filing cabinet so when it is car insurance time it is not such a nightmare

Anatana Tue 04-Feb-14 17:57:17

Joining on too. I've pretty much got to grips with the house by now; we have a regular outbox, an empty loft etc. I'm moving on to the business of the house now. I read a thread on here about giving up shopping, and I thought to myself that actually that's a big chunk of time, of my life, that I'm spending on something not exactly good for the soul, so I'm working this year on my casual consumption. It's not so much about saving money as not putting so much mental/intellectual energy into something that can be mostly automated anyway. And getting to grips with the inflow will pretty much automatically sort the outflow.

So I've decided to buy no clothes this year and make only planned purchases for the house. (I can't give up buying things for the house as I'm renovating and need things like taps and floors, but these are all already in the budget and agreed.) I'm also working on giving up grocery/food shopping, as, perhaps weirdly, I used to spend a LOT of time on this. I cancelled my Ocado pass and signed up to Hello Fresh and an Abel&Cole delivery, where you just subscribe once and then everything is delivered once a week, with no further active shopping on my part.

I've set my browser so every time I try to load my frequent flyer sites (Ocado, eBay, millions of product blogs...) it redirects me to my Chinese course, and I learn a few characters of that instead. This has really brought it home to me how much time I waste in these unfulfilling activities. Jeez. Depressing.

I've also bought a cryptic crossword book as tbh that is all I want from the paper anyway, so I've stopped buying one!

I'm sort of trying not to tell anyone much about all this IRL as 1) I don't want to come off as a sanctimonious tofu welder and 2) I might not manage it 100% perfectly: I'm finding it surprisingly hard! But I figured you lot might get it, a bit anyway. I just feel like, you know, I might die tomorrow and this, this is what I'm doing with my time? I don't want to use my life in this way. I have more interesting/fun/fulfilling things to do!

evertonmint Tue 04-Feb-14 18:20:46

Anatana - that's really interesting. I too feel I need to be doing something a bit more worthwhile with my life, more noteworthy. I mean, I do volunteering and I read quite a lot and I do exercise and hiking. But I still waste so much time on non-essentials like shopping and website surfing.

Speaking of which, how do you redirect your browser away from certain sites? I really need to have that trick in my life!

mazzi2fly Tue 04-Feb-14 18:45:48

Hi, today I've put three bags of books, puzzles, clothes etc in the boot to take to the charity shop tomorrow. I do need to buy DD new trainers though as hers are too small (they've lasted a year and a half) and all her casual tops are getting a bit small. Must not be tempted to buy anything else.
I might get started in the loft tomorrow, there's old toys, unused wedding gifts from 12 years ago, old clothes etc.

Anatana Tue 04-Feb-14 19:17:41

evertonmint, I use Chrome Nanny, but there's also Leechblock for Firefox and Mindful Browsing for Safari. IDK about Internet Explorer, but I googled quickly and there's and article on self control software that might be useful.

I think the thing is, if I really enjoyed this endless sifting/surfing/obtaining then that would be one thing. But I don't, really. It doesn't make me happy. It's like eating a Ginsters pasty in the miserable flurorescent glare of a petrol station at 2am because that's all there is and you just need to mechanically stuff something into your face so you can keep driving. Except it's not all there is and I don't need to; I've just gotten into the habit somehow and now it's hard to get out.

evertonmint Tue 04-Feb-14 19:47:46

Me too! I am weaning myself off it by having The Good Wife on Netflix in the background while I do stuff (decluttering, filing, laundry folding etc). Hardly much better, but it feels like a step up the intellectual ladder somehow.

We've got Firefox so I'll give it a go. Just need to decide what my 'divert to something worthier' website will be smile

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Tue 04-Feb-14 19:57:48

Oh my word, I lost you all!

delasi Tue 04-Feb-14 20:23:55

Anatana You're Ginsters pasty analogy is just so very spot on grin

pixiestix Tue 04-Feb-14 21:29:04

Welcome to all the newbies!

Anatana, DH and I have just had a good chortle at your "sanctimonious tofu welder" comment grin FWIW I think that your project sounds amazing - bloody hard, but so worthwhile. I'm looking forward to hearing all about your struggles and triumphs as it goes on. A couple of years ago I would have thought that it was impossible, but I read a few Buy Nothing New blogs now and I am constantly amazed by how eminently do-able a frugal, minimal lifestyle is.

delasi Tue 04-Feb-14 22:31:34

Ok, I think I have a new living room layout (in my mind, that is, I'm just impressed it's relatively clean at the moment). I am really getting into using space to its utmost, which isn't what most people do - most rooms just have conventional layouts regardless of the size or shape. I like all of the hack blogs of how people make something different and totally awesome out of average things they have and I want to make my home feel more useful in that way. Note, this isn't about installing 101 different storage cupboards into every nook and cranny a la super coordinated American blog lady in the previous thread. Rather, making the most of it so I can feel the space that we have. As much as I want a sprawling loft-style apartment with floor to ceiling windows, I live in a low quality housing stock part of London where rents are high and square footage minimal and that doesn't look set to change any time soon. So I have to kind of inject my own loftiness into our small 2 bed (that wouldn't be the dictionary definition of loftiness, btw!).

Although thanks to the steam cleaner thread I have just gone and ordered one... blush But I did get rid of the mop last month, so it's not so bad...

Anatana Wed 05-Feb-14 16:23:26

I highly approve of The Good Wife. grin Highly! I am currently living in Bonnets: the Nineties - have just finished Pride and Prejudice and The Buccaneers and now moving on to Persuasion, hurray. (Doing lot of brainless gruntwork at work atm so can have telly on.)

Right now I am trying to limit the inflow of ads and exhortations to consume. It sometimes feels like an unstoppable tide, despite the fact that I don’t: watch live TV, listen to commercial radio, buy womens magazines, and have had AdBlock installed since it came out, so I must already see drastically fewer messages than most people.

A few years ago I read this interesting article about willpower being a depletable resource, and more and more I’m figuring out ways to make those choices once and then no more. It’s basically just the difference between buying sweets and then spending all your time not eating them, vs just not buying the motherfucking sweets.

(So to use this idea around not shopping, I’ve done the subscription services = no more meal planning, no more grocery shopping. I’ve just signed up to basically healthy varied meals and now I don’t have to actively choose that every evening or every week. )

I had a rule that catalogues would not be opened but go straight in the recycling. But I was just signing up with Junk Buster and it’s just occurred to me (I’m slow!) that they should just go straight back in the post. So that’s my new rule, and today Boden, The White Company, Hush, MeandEm, Wrap, and Plumo have all been posted back, return to sender. I get so many crazy catalogues and I don’t know why! House of Bruar?!? Over time this should reduce the inflow, tho, anyway.

I used to unsubscribe to all the bazillions of marketing emails I get through my Gmail and have written a rule on my Apple Mail to divert every message with the word “unsubscribe” into a task folder so I can do just that.

My hope is that over the next few months this stuff will disappear and I can stop thinking about it completely. I do worry that minimalism can become as big a distraction/timesuck as consumerism!

ladybranston Wed 05-Feb-14 17:17:02

hello minamalists! i've been lurking for ages and have mustered the courage to join in. I've been really inspired by this thread, so thank you.

i live alone in a 2 bed flat in NYC, and am looking to return to the UK this summer - it's time to clear out all the stuff that accumulates, even though i am not really a packrat and am ruthless about getting rid of stuff usually. i moved into this flat with an armchair, a bed and 4 boxes of clothes, so you can see that i am familiar with lightness. still, 3 years and lots of entertaining/etc later things have changed! i am still fairly minimal compared to some, but definitely could use some decluttering ahead of the move.

so far, thanks to this thread i have removed the following from my house:
gigantic fishtank (empty)
5 boxes of books (about 3 more to go)
4 bags of clothes
1 box of assorted household goods (cake stand!? i only bake bread, never cake!)
1 huge bag of towels given to vet - v grateful and now i have 1 set of naice towels for guests, and 1 set of naice towels for 2 more bath sheets for boy guests :P and a scraggy one for cleaning/muddy boots etc.

still waiting for collection/sales:
bunch of books on
armchair (to be collected Sat)
paperwork to shred at work (no shredder at home)
books to be donated (not sure when the charity comes to collect)

still to attack:
hallway closet with varied flowerpots/soil bags/gravel/etc
shoe rack in hallway
coat closet (i love coats <blush> and there are 5 seasons here in NYC!)
master suite closet (books/archives/clothes)
master bathroom cabinet (3 cupboards wide!)

hope everyone is doing well's a snow day here in NYC with sleeting icey rain and general unpleasantness.

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