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If you are a minimalist, come tell me about it

(64 Posts)
CheerfulYank Sat 27-Dec-14 10:30:29

Is it lovely? It seems lovely. <wistful sigh>

We just have so. Much. Crap. We are drowning in it, and for what? I have actual daydreams of the house burning down and taking everything with it. ( Said lightheartedly!)

Where do you start? I want to get rid of things but I'm not sure where they would go. blush That sounds stupid, but...

CheerfulYank Sat 27-Dec-14 19:03:36

Are you all off swanning about in your lovely houses full of space? envy

BL00CowWonders Sat 27-Dec-14 19:06:29

Not sure DC and minimalist can be uttered in the same sentence. They're such pack rats!

Velocitractor Sat 27-Dec-14 19:14:30

We're pretty minimalistic but that's mainly due to 2 reasons: dc and I have moved a lot (8 yr old dd has lived in a new home per year of life on average) plus we've always (and still are actually) lived in smallish flats.

I like it though. My parents 'downsized' from a fecking mansion in the80's and having been decluttering ever since and I think that has put me and my siblings off cluttering for life. (Was married to a hoarder for some years - I never learned to live with his clutter. We split for other reasons by the way).

arlagirl Sat 27-Dec-14 19:18:47

I am very minimalistic and also very unsentimental about things.
I have teens and couldn't care less what their rooms are like.
I just shut the door.

I hate ornaments.
I gut wardrobes/cupboards every 6 months and am ruthless.
I don't keep cards/school books.
I have a good filing system and shred regularly.

Violetta999 Sat 27-Dec-14 19:26:45

Have you read the Marie kondo thread and book? Totally enlightening for me. I've gone from queen of clutter/mess to streamlined

Waswondering Sat 27-Dec-14 19:27:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Violetta999 Sat 27-Dec-14 19:32:26

I'm amazed how it's transformed our house!

meandjulio Sat 27-Dec-14 19:33:17

I'm a sort of mess explosion - STUFF extrudes from my aura and lands in circles around me. I hardly dare click on the Marie Kondo threads.

Having said that, I'm actually quite good at throwing stuff away, and my cupboards and drawers are in pretty good shape now. That's because all the stuff that should be in them is lying on the floor.

I can give you two tiny pieces of advice - do you get phone calls from elderly relatives offering you things because they hate getting rid of stuff and because nobody bought or threw anything away in their era? It's OK to say 'no thanks'. Secondly, borrow books from the library, don't buy them. Both quite liberating.

I await further posts.

HeyheyheyGoodbye Sat 27-Dec-14 19:37:23

I'm a wannabe minimalist married to a wannabe hoarder. We find a middle ground, although both of us would like it a little more our own way! When it comes to possessions I am ruthless, unsentimental, and almost immune to guilt.

Velocitractor Sat 27-Dec-14 19:37:46

Meandjulio - yes, you don't need to inherit castoffs if you don't like them. You can politely decline with a 'no thanks'. Took me years to learn that - what really helped was moving abroad. I appreciate that's a little extreme though grin

HeyheyheyGoodbye Sat 27-Dec-14 19:51:42

In terms of where things go - you know when you say to kids 'let's clear out your toys and give some to children who don't have any toys' and most of them really buy into it? They like the idea of themselves as tiny philanthropists grin I think that's a good place to start. Look at stuff you really don't find to be beautiful, useful or SERIOUSLY sentimental and imagine what it could mean to someone else. If you can imagine it: charity shop, eBay or freecycle. If you can't: recycle or bin.

Just try doing one box of things. Go around the house, fill the box with stuff you really don't want, and try to redirect just the things in that box to a new life with someone else or to the great white elephant stall in the sky.

Vivacia Sat 27-Dec-14 21:34:49

We are quite minimalist, but I'm not really sure what you would want to hear smile.

I like empty, clear surfaces. Cupboards rather than shelves. Absolutely no clutter, piles of stuff or ornaments.

MincePiesPiesPiesPies Sat 27-Dec-14 21:39:17

I want to get rid of things but I'm not sure where they would go.

The tip.
Charity shop.
eBay / Facebook selling / Gumtree (if you can be bothered and it is actually worth something).

But above all: stop buying stuff. If it doesn't come into your house, it won't clutter it up, and you won't have to agonise about how to get rid of it.

Violetta999 Sat 27-Dec-14 22:23:41

I've done a mix of all those - plus gibing the odd bag of stuff to friends.

lovelylara Sat 27-Dec-14 22:48:07

I really recommend this site

Minimalism has changed my life. Less stress, more free time, less cleaning, less thinking about keeping up with the Jones', to name a few benefits. DH isn't totally on board but we try to compromise!

CheerfulYank Sun 28-Dec-14 18:53:56

Thank you for all the advice!

Which Marie Kondo book, the Life Changing one or the Magic Clean one or both?

Tonacata Sun 28-Dec-14 19:27:08

It is better. You honestly don't need half of what you own. Less, but I know that's probably too scary. The easiest thing to do is to carry on as you are but stop buying/acquiring things you don't need. No more speculative acquisition: no more just in cases, one days, whatifs. No more buying things for the life you will have, or the person you want to be (farmer, craft worker, french speaker, size 8, whatever). Just things you need for your actual life,house,bottom, whatever. The fewer things you buy the fewer things you need. Just stop going shopping.

I suppose I would caution you to try not to replace "stuff owning" with "minimalism" as an activity, where you spend ages reading minimalist blogs and buying minimalist lifestyle products and posting on minimalist threads (says I!), as that's perhaps missing the central benefit of minimalism, which is that having fewer things to deal with gives you more time to yourself.

More time, less stress, more money, fewer expenses. And hardly ANY cleaning. It is better.

It doesn't matter where you start, it only matters that you start. Start now. grin

Violetta999 Sun 28-Dec-14 19:40:47

I've got the magic clean one but I didn't know she had another. Will check it out now on amazon

CheerfulYank Sun 28-Dec-14 20:05:44

Ah, Tonacata, how your post speaks to me. smile I do buy all kinds of things in a subconscious effort to have a different kind of life. Uncomfortable, ruinously expensive, hiking sandals, for instance. In an effort to seem more outdoorsy. When really, all you have to do to be outdoorsy is, you know...go outside. blush

I will have to determine what I actually need. With the DC and being a PT childminder, some toys and craft supplies are inevitable, but surely not so many.

The garage will be the biggest challenge of all. It's huge and full of mysterious stuff. It's big and insulated and my dad has said he and DH will put a guest suite out there if we ever clean it out. Which would be nice. Incentive! smile

Greencurtain Sun 28-Dec-14 20:19:42

Our house is covered in clutter. I can't stand it. I can't figure out where it's come from either as I am minimalist and not a big shopper! I think it's because of the dc. Every single item in the lounge belongs to the dc apart from the sofa and the TV. We don't have ornaments etc, we only have useful stuff so it's really surprising my house got like this! I was saying to dh that I'd like to shove the entire lot into a skip.

GodRestYeMerrySlatterns Sun 28-Dec-14 22:00:10

I'm watching with interest. I'm surrounded by clutter.

We recently completely redecorated our 'good room' from top to bottom. It cost a fortune looks fab, why - no clutter in it. It was a blank canvas and we said we wouldn't let the stuff creep in. Unfortunately after a Christmas spent in here it's now more DCs stuff than anything. But I will get it back, I will!

annabelcaramel Sun 28-Dec-14 22:01:58


True minimalist post fwink

Tonacata Mon 29-Dec-14 07:50:25

You know where to start already. Get rid of the sandals. It's irrelevant how much the sandals cost, as the money is gone whatever you do with them. It's a sunk cost.

Most of us (me definitely included) are prone to a sort of cargo cult consumerism! It's a natural mistake of causal reasoning. But you're absolutely right: the sandals don't make you outdoorsy. Going outdoors does.

Good luck. x

florentina1 Mon 29-Dec-14 08:15:56

If you had to leave your home, what would you take with you. Get that straight in your mind, then look at everything else and think ' would I go to the bother of packing that up, transporting it and then unpacking it at the other end'? If the answer is no...bin it.

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