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Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life - Page 8

post #141 of 199
Joede - Welcome! We have those spots also and I just have to stay on top of it. I try to go through it once a week. I think the more people in the house the harder it gets. I'm interested also in what some of the veterans on this thread have to say about the catch-all spots.
post #142 of 199
I just ran across this post on Unclutter. Though you guys might find it useful.

Teaching children to fight clutter
post #143 of 199

How I spent my Saturday

Spent a good six hours tackling the master bedroom this weekend. I pulled EVERYTHING out of the closets, sorted, purged, rearranged and put back only what really needs to be in there.

On the rods:
DH & my own clothing, our shoes (we keep the one pair we're using in the entry hall), DD's grow-into-clothing, memoribilia clothing (my wedding dress, baptismal gown, first communion dress, letterman's jacket, etc.)

On the floor of the closet:
Two medium-sized tubs of baby clothes (one for girl, one for boy--these could go out to the garage really, now that I think about it), dirty laundry basket, hidden Xmas presents in shopping bag (shhhh)

On the upper shelves:
one banker's box medieval clothing (my one remaining SCA dress), one banker's box of wedding momentoes, my second purse (needs repair), one box of costume fabric (for Halloween, etc), one small box of toys (future b-day gifts for friends, etc). Oh, there's also the foot spa up there. Hasn't been used in years. Gave myself thirty days to decide to use it or donate it.

I vacuumed out the whole thing, including the upper shelving. Eww! Got rid of a lot my DH's clothes as he lost 80+ lbs this year! Also tackled his dresser and my nightstand and the other areas of floor around the bed. One small pile of "things" left to find homes for (my artwork, some framed photos, etc) and still need to get under the bed and pull out a couple of bins of things under there.

DH's nightstand will be last. He is a determined clothes dropper and scrap keeper. Every pen, coin, score card, business card, sticky note, etc just comes out of his pockets and is laid on his nightstand never to be touched again. I have a system for dealing with it and we just purge it once or twice a year.

I would say I am 2/3 done but already it feels so much better because I know how empty that closet is compared to what it was! I pulled out seven kitchen garbage bags of things to donate!

Long-term there are things I would like to remove from the room to make it more minimalist, but getting everything off the floor but the furniture is a good start.
post #144 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden Life View Post
Spent a good six hours tackling the master bedroom this weekend. I pulled EVERYTHING out of the closets, sorted, purged, rearranged and put back only what really needs to be in there.

On the rods:
DH & my own clothing, our shoes (we keep the one pair we're using in the entry hall), DD's grow-into-clothing, memoribilia clothing (my wedding dress, baptismal gown, first communion dress, letterman's jacket, etc.)

On the floor of the closet:
Two medium-sized tubs of baby clothes (one for girl, one for boy--these could go out to the garage really, now that I think about it), dirty laundry basket, hidden Xmas presents in shopping bag (shhhh)

On the upper shelves:
one banker's box medieval clothing (my one remaining SCA dress), one banker's box of wedding momentoes, my second purse (needs repair), one box of costume fabric (for Halloween, etc), one small box of toys (future b-day gifts for friends, etc). Oh, there's also the foot spa up there. Hasn't been used in years. Gave myself thirty days to decide to use it or donate it.

I vacuumed out the whole thing, including the upper shelving. Eww! Got rid of a lot my DH's clothes as he lost 80+ lbs this year! Also tackled his dresser and my nightstand and the other areas of floor around the bed. One small pile of "things" left to find homes for (my artwork, some framed photos, etc) and still need to get under the bed and pull out a couple of bins of things under there.

DH's nightstand will be last. He is a determined clothes dropper and scrap keeper. Every pen, coin, score card, business card, sticky note, etc just comes out of his pockets and is laid on his nightstand never to be touched again. I have a system for dealing with it and we just purge it once or twice a year.

I would say I am 2/3 done but already it feels so much better because I know how empty that closet is compared to what it was! I pulled out seven kitchen garbage bags of things to donate!

Long-term there are things I would like to remove from the room to make it more minimalist, but getting everything off the floor but the furniture is a good start.
Good for you! Keep at it.

I got rid of our artificial Xmas tree yesterday. We have a live one this year and have decided to get a cut or live one from now on. That freed up a 3'x1' section of shelving in the storage room! Our place is so small that is going to make a huge difference!
post #145 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden Life View Post
DH's nightstand will be last. He is a determined clothes dropper and scrap keeper. Every pen, coin, score card, business card, sticky note, etc just comes out of his pockets and is laid on his nightstand never to be touched again. I have a system for dealing with it and we just purge it once or twice a year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisApril View Post
Good for you! Keep at it.

I got rid of our artificial Xmas tree yesterday. We have a live one this year and have decided to get a cut or live one from now on. That freed up a 3'x1' section of shelving in the storage room! Our place is so small that is going to make a huge difference!
Good for you guys!

THL - I have this same problem with DW. Wicker baskets right at the spot of the crime are my best friend!

PA - 3x1 is a lot in a small place. That's excellent.

I went and got Your Money Your Life and I'll start on it tonight. It looks awesome.
post #146 of 199
A couple of other Book recs:

Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin

The Simple Living Guide

Choosing Simplicity

I've read/or currently all those and they are good.

On my to read list are:


Living Simply with Children

Debt is Slavery

Work Less, Live more

Secrets of Simplicity

Zen to Done
post #147 of 199
de-lurking for a bit to say hi! and gather a bit of energy before getting hit by the holidays to maintain focus and keep our activities simple and not getting overwhelmed.

This is a fabulous thread and is packed full of ideas & resources - thank you to everyone!
post #148 of 199
Oh I forgot

A Reasonable Life: Toward a simpler, secure, more humane existence by Ferenc Mate

It's one man's manifesto for the simple life, I have this book and I reread it whenever I feel myself slipping.
post #149 of 199
marimara, these are awesome. I'm saving them to my to-read list right now. Doesn't look like my library has most of them but I'll request them from interlibrary loan soon.

Speaking of interlibrary loan. I find this to also be a good tip for simple living. I only purchase books I need to reference like cookbooks and book on my spirituality. Saves a lot of room and you still get to read some great books. Most library's have an ILL system for books they don't carry.
post #150 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtsGirl View Post
marimara, these are awesome. I'm saving them to my to-read list right now. Doesn't look like my library has most of them but I'll request them from interlibrary loan soon.

Speaking of interlibrary loan. I find this to also be a good tip for simple living. I only purchase books I need to reference like cookbooks and book on my spirituality. Saves a lot of room and you still get to read some great books. Most library's have an ILL system for books they don't carry.
Thanks! and heck yeah! on the Interlibrary loan system. That's how I read most books (the few that I mentioned owning are a part of my very small library-at least compared to what it used to be). Currently there are about 20 books on my ILL waiting list. I go to the library at least once a week. I like to read books from them, and like you-unless it's totally awesome or a reference, I get them from the ILL first. On a side note, I meet the most awesome people at the library too!
post #151 of 199
Oh and since I'm all over this thread lately I thought I'd share my goals and plans.
My new years resolution (or promise to myself) is to get HARDCORE(!) about simple living starting 2010. The short version of our plan is to have dh retire from military in 6 years and travel on a sailboat (talk about small spaces!) for a few years (3-5) with dd before she is high school age (and won't really care to hang out with her parents in such a tiny space). We are already debt-free (except our mortgage) and currently save about 45% of dh's income for future use. And once we are done traveling by sailboat, we intend to live in our house (that we purchased for cash in 2010) while our dd attends school and the local community college.

So the short plan, is sell our house that we currently live in (putting on market Feb.1). Move on base into a much smaller home (which we will have to downsize some of our stuff to do so). Buy a home in our target area for cash and rent it out.

So we are most definately Striving for a More Simple/Minimalist Life () so that we can afford to do this.
Just last week I took about 7 garbage bags of stuff to Goodwill. I already have another bag going. I streamlined my wardrobe. I'm feeling proud
post #152 of 199
Wow, what an awesome plan! DW and I had something similar planned but when I decided to go back to school that kind of pushed some things back. Sounds like a wonderful adventure and a well thought out plan, Mari.

Here's to 2010 being the beginning of your adventure and moving out 7 bags!!
post #153 of 199
Marimara 7 bags great job!


Every 6 months I turn all my hangers in the closet so they face the wrong way. After 3 months the clothing on any hanger that is still turned the wrong way gets donated to the second hand store. (Taking into account the seasons of course.)

We went to decorate our live tree last night and we couldn't find the star for the top. We forgot to take it off the old artificial tree I donated on Monday! Luckily when I called down this morning the tree hadn't been sold yet and they set the star aside for me. Thank goodness we were very sad.
post #154 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisApril View Post
Marimara 7 bags great job!


Every 6 months I turn all my hangers in the closet so they face the wrong way. After 3 months the clothing on any hanger that is still turned the wrong way gets donated to the second hand store. (Taking into account the seasons of course.)

This is such a great idea! I know I wear the same clothes all the time, but this would really help remind me.
post #155 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisApril View Post
Every 6 months I turn all my hangers in the closet so they face the wrong way. After 3 months the clothing on any hanger that is still turned the wrong way gets donated to the second hand store. (Taking into account the seasons of course.)

I called down this morning the tree hadn't been sold yet and they set the star aside for me. Thank goodness we were very sad.
We do this also but for seasons. I tossed a ton of summer clothes few months ago of clothes I wasn't wearing, didn't like, or didn't fit anymore. That's so great about the star! Whew!
post #156 of 199
Fantastic thread! I told DH this morning we need to simplify our lives and he agreed!
post #157 of 199
YAY I have two books you guys suggested come into the library today. Looks like I'll have lots of holiday reading material!
post #158 of 199
IS it time to start a new thread yet?



and...


Who is sending holiday time cards?
post #159 of 199
Hmmm. So, I caught up on this thread again, and I have to say, I really don't feel like I fit in here. I mean, yes, I want to enjoy a more simple and non-consumerist experience, but I guess that looks different to me.

For instance, I am fine with having two cars that we use. Three or four cars and two ATVs and a motorcycle would be keeping up with the Jones' around here, and that's what we're not going to do. I am fine with having 20 different skirts, because I love them and wear all of them. I am not going to fill a whole walk-in closet with clothing I don't wear, though.

Also, some of you sound kind of judgmental of those who haven't adopted your values yet. I know it can be frustrating, but for me, living a simple life is also spiritual-- about feeling more zen and just at peace with myself and the world. I'm not going to let other people's consumerism ruffle my feathers. For me, simple living is about living in a way that is more sustainable and wholesome for my family-- not about trying to be holier than the next person. Who knows but that they are doing what is best for their family right now? It's not my place to judge.

So, yeah, I am not about trying to pare my belongings down to 100 items or anything like that. I am happy with my iPod, my two computers, my Rubbermaid box of Christmas decorations. I just don't plan to expand my decorations to two boxes . . . And I am okay with ferrying my kids around to errands-- we LOVE errands. What's wrong with going out and seeing the world and experiencing life?

I guess I am posting this in hopes that other people might be inspired by this. Simple living isn't just for those who seek the extremes-- it's for regular folks, too!
post #160 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
Hmmm. So, I caught up on this thread again, and I have to say, I really don't feel like I fit in here. I mean, yes, I want to enjoy a more simple and non-consumerist experience, but I guess that looks different to me.

For instance, I am fine with having two cars that we use. Three or four cars and two ATVs and a motorcycle would be keeping up with the Jones' around here, and that's what we're not going to do. I am fine with having 20 different skirts, because I love them and wear all of them. I am not going to fill a whole walk-in closet with clothing I don't wear, though.

Also, some of you sound kind of judgmental of those who haven't adopted your values yet. I know it can be frustrating, but for me, living a simple life is also spiritual-- about feeling more zen and just at peace with myself and the world. I'm not going to let other people's consumerism ruffle my feathers. For me, simple living is about living in a way that is more sustainable and wholesome for my family-- not about trying to be holier than the next person. Who knows but that they are doing what is best for their family right now? It's not my place to judge.

So, yeah, I am not about trying to pare my belongings down to 100 items or anything like that. I am happy with my iPod, my two computers, my Rubbermaid box of Christmas decorations. I just don't plan to expand my decorations to two boxes . . . And I am okay with ferrying my kids around to errands-- we LOVE errands. What's wrong with going out and seeing the world and experiencing life?

I guess I am posting this in hopes that other people might be inspired by this. Simple living isn't just for those who seek the extremes-- it's for regular folks, too!
I am not sure where the judgement is?? I for one am just trying to do what is best for my family as I have posted several times. I dont remember anyone saying we had to have 100 or less belongings, but yes there are people who do just that.

FTR, I also have 2 cars- one is a pickup truck DH drives and needs. I also have a larger rubbermaid box of xmas decorations that fits snugly back in its storage space the other 11 months out of the year. We do pare it down year to year but yes, I have Christmas decor as well.

What makes you think I am not experiencing life? I think you need to re read my OP in this thread to see- yes experience life! But take you time, do what you enjoy and dont fill up your time just because you have to by doing what someone else decided you need to do- such as attend 3 holiday parties this season instead of 8 because you need the time to catch your breath and spend the time with just your family or whatever you wanted to do.

If you wear 20 plus skirts all the time, what is the issue? If you wear 2 and have 18 taking up space that are not the correct size, out of date etc, that is space you can use for something else and someone else can wear those skirts.

As far as errands, yep take my kids or go alone and I have to do them. And no, I have gotten more judgement for adapting my lifestyle and I really do not care if you or anyone choose other but if you're not happy with living that way, than yes, I might suggest trying a simple lifestyle.
One of my best friends IRL is living totally opposite of what we do. Her house is packed to the rafters with stuff, they eat out literally everyday. They are always running late, yelling or snapping at each other, leaving this activity to get to the next one, dragging the kids with tears or hungry and then trying to figure out what to do next for the next meal. Not for me. Both are great people but just different than what we live. She does not judge me nor I her, we LOL about how we do things different.
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