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Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life in 2010

post #1 of 230
Thread Starter 
We had a great discussion, but I wanted to start it over. This is esp so we can have others join us.

Some of the things we discussed before:

here is the thread:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1139849


We can discuss what brought you to this place, how is this path and what has it taken you to? Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?

Understand, not everyone is at the same place and this is a support thread to help you reach what it is you are looking for in this lifestyle.

Some, it maybe just cleaning out material items such as decluttering,
some its finding happiness in their careers,
others its just trying to declutter their brain and life and find what it is that is missing.

So Happy New Year and I am looking forward to seeing old faces and meeting new ones!
post #2 of 230
I didn't read the last thread, but this is perfect timing. I am starting with my house, I figure clear the space then clear the rest

Just before the holiday I challenged myself to get rid of 50% of what we own. Being that we did 2 huge declutters last year this means we will be getting rid of things that we have some sort of attachment to but really don't use or need. It has been a challenge, but so far we have rid our house of maybe 25%. It feels great. More is leaving as I have the time.

I am striving for simplicity, for having and doing only what we need to do (as far as obligations) to save time and resources for the things that bring us joy and actually add to our lives.

Thanks for starting this thread. It will be nice to share our journey with others!
post #3 of 230
Hello. I'm new on this thread. Hope I might bump into someone I might know and looking forward to meeting new people too.

I've been struggling for a LONG time.

My mother is a hoarder, I'm much better about things but I still have some residuals I'm working on. I never lived in a spot more than 3 years during my entire childhood and I remember leaving certain locations in a matter of 12 hours time or less. Many times we left the entire country. I remember things not fitting in my suitcase and being terribly distraught about that.

I'm ready to keep going on my adventure so that I may only have the important things around me. It doesn't take much to keep us happy, why we have this entire culture obsessed with stuff only seems like a marketing gig if you ask me.

Here I am at home without "internet access" television or cell phone and somehow we make it just fine. Why would I hold on to this other old crap?!?!
post #4 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by echospiritwarrior View Post
I'm ready to keep going on my adventure so that I may only have the important things around me. It doesn't take much to keep us happy, why we have this entire culture obsessed with stuff only seems like a marketing gig if you ask me.
I hear ya!

My decluttering stops and starts.

One good thing that has happened over the past year is that nothing new is coming into the house. I am also very mindful now about every single purchase.

My area for improvement is definately motivation. I will do good for a while and then burn out. I want the house cleared out so we can enjoy it. I hate looking at whatever and thinking "I could put it away but that closet is so jammed with crap" and then I loss motivation and the stuff sits.

Example - There are beach towels haunting me right now. We swim a lot in the summer and the towels are needed. I can't put them away because the linen closet is filled with stockpiled items (shampoo, shaving cream), rags, cleaning supplies, etc.

I have stopped stockpiling. We live blocks from a grocery store and less than a mile from a big box so there is no danger of being denied access to toothpaste. And so what if we are, we can use baking soda for a few days.

I have been working at clutter for at least 30 minutes each night after work. DH is all "what are you doing?" and getting anixous about it. He understands the need to declutter yet will not participate.

Like someone else said, I want simplicity. In my house, in my mind, in my finances.

I can see how having too much impacts all three. I don't like areas of my home because of the just, I don't have the energy to work on things I enjoy because I am managing junk, I spend money in areas I don't need too because I spend too much time managing junk.
post #5 of 230
I could have written this message! We are on to the stuff that we like and use just time to time!!
post #6 of 230
i forget where i read it but here is how i decide what stays in my house:
is it used frequently? keep it
is it beautiful? keep it
is it precious/heirloom? keep it if it fits the two above.

i prefer to only keep things that fit 2 out of three categories, but of course, my can opener and colander only fit number 1!

i have rarely regretted taking things to the thrift store to give away. i am mostly manageable with my stuff although there are hotspots that i am working on (entry and laundry).
post #7 of 230
Im so happy that the thread is restarted...I got lost in the last one but loved it so. This year we are really striving get to where we want to be with "stuff" and obligations. This xmas we did really well with purchasing gifts. Dh and I exchanged books and yarn, both things we covet. So we each got a book or two and some yarn. Other then that it was food and practicle gifts. I got to say it was wonderful. The family got all consumable gifts(preserves) or practicle knitted gifts(socks). So I felt better not bombarding them with useless junk.

Im also on a huge purge and doing the 2010 purge thread. This year Im trying to also minimize my cooking. Im trying one new recipe a week but also not going crazy with buying ingredients that ill never use again. Im trying to make simple yummy QUICK healthy meals...so far so good

And the biggest thing is im hoping to make the time to do more things for me!
post #8 of 230
Subbing because this kind of thread is so inspirational!

I have been mindfully decluttering our house for a few years, and I'm finally at the point where I really just need to maintain. That, and the fact that I'm not pregnant or nursing a newborn/baby, I feel like I can now focus on managing our everyday life to not be as chaotic as it once was.
post #9 of 230

Definitely in the decluttering phase...

Reducing material goods is my passion right now. Why am I doing it? To make my life simpler. To have less to clean. To have more space to do other things, new projects. To have more visual peace. To like my house more. To become more detached from the world and more attached to God (there's a lofty goal, eh?).
post #10 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden Life View Post
Reducing material goods is my passion right now. Why am I doing it? To make my life simpler. To have less to clean. To have more space to do other things, new projects. To have more visual peace. To like my house more. To become more detached from the world and more attached to God (there's a lofty goal, eh?).


well said!
post #11 of 230
Yea for organization and clean uncluttered spaces!

Since Xmas I have been going crazy getting rid of things! All of the things I have given away or thrown out are things we don't use and are taking up space in our small living space. I love getting rid of things!

I have gonethough closets and toys; now I need to look through our bins in the basement to see whats in them! We bought shelves and clear plastic bins to organize things last winter and they work great however I think I missed an important step, which was to sort though it first, especially my craft bins to see what I don't need or projects I (let's be honest here) am never going to finish.

Decluttering, I have found to be a very truthful experience. Will I ever use this or that again? Saying no means that you've changed, weither it is your circumstances or maybe even you as a person and getting rid of things means that you are okay with those changes. Has anyone else found that?

This morning I stuck up a "No Junk Mail" sign on the mailbox in an attempt to cut down on the paper waste that we don't read. I mean, really those flyers are used to tempt me into buying more crap I don't need. Anything I really need I can find on my own, thanks.

I hope we can all get to where we want to be in 2010.
post #12 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden Life View Post
Reducing material goods is my passion right now. Why am I doing it? To make my life simpler. To have less to clean. To have more space to do other things, new projects. To have more visual peace. To like my house more. To become more detached from the world and more attached to God (there's a lofty goal, eh?).
Amen

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisApril View Post
Decluttering, I have found to be a very truthful experience. Will I ever use this or that again? Saying no means that you've changed, weither it is your circumstances or maybe even you as a person and getting rid of things means that you are okay with those changes. Has anyone else found that?
While I get the whole emotional issues surrounding clutter, I only recently realized how much I am entangled by my own issues. Decluttering is causing me to be truthful with myself.

The clothing, kitchen stuff, ticky tack was easy.

Now that I am on to the truly emotional stuff, the decluttering monkey is hanging on tight to my back, so tight I have claw marks.

I have an entire blanket chest full of childhood pictures.

The thought of openning that lid raises my emotions. I don't want to see the pictures of loved ones that have died, parents that have divorced, akward personal times. I could use that chest for useful storage but the emotional hurdle of dealing with those albums is too overwhelming right now.

What I should do is going through each album and scan and label the pictures I want to keep and then get a book made. I could cut down a huge chest to a few books. Will I? don't know....
post #13 of 230
Subbing!
I want to thank everyone on this board for all their help getting me closer to where I need to be. You all have really, truly given me a gift. Thank you for all your inspiring stories, motivation, and helpful tips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden Life View Post
Reducing material goods is my passion right now. Why am I doing it? To make my life simpler. To have less to clean. To have more space to do other things, new projects. To have more visual peace. To like my house more. To become more detached from the world and more attached to God (there's a lofty goal, eh?).
You hit the nail on the head!

Happy 2010!!
post #14 of 230
I have read through the other thread, and I am ready to join!

The things I plan on doing in this new year to simplify my life are:
-Decluttering. Mentally this is happening by quitting my part-time job, allowing myself to say no without guilt when saying yes will bring more stress than joy. Physically it means getting rid of things we don't use, don't need, and don't love.

-Make our house more of a home. Fill it with scents, sights, and colors we love. Don't worry that a project may not be what's best for resale, but worry if its what's right for US. I want to come home and feel like I'm in a sanctuary and a haven, not look around and see the paint color I don't like, or the drywall that needs fixed. I want to see HOME.

-Exercise. For me, this will simplify things. When I feel good physically, everything else seems to fall in place.

-Remember to take care of myself and BREATHE. This year is full of uncertainty, and some scary possibilities (we are welcoming a new child, I am potentially facing a surgery after baby is here, some financial questions are way up in the air right now). Remembering to honor ourselves, breathe, and just have faith that God will get us through whatever is thrown our way is going to be paramount to simplifying everything.
post #15 of 230
Thread Starter 
Good to see new faces! I did the whole decluttering thing years back and its so healthy!

I still do it every 3-4 mos or so, starting now. Mainly, since I have 2 growing young girls, out grown clothing after dd2 can be passed on as well as
toys etc.

I started working out and wow it has made a difference in the clutter in my brain! Nevermind I have more energy, better sleep, and I am looking hot well I will in another 6 mos too!

One thing I am learning in my simple living journey is to really live in the present. Yes, its Jan and we are literally snowed in. So I took out the sled and got dd1 to school that way. Dd2 is loving the snow and rolling around in it. Sinces its hard to run errands etc, staying in and putting something on the stove and baking is in order.


We are also striving to pay for today, not work to pay for yesterday.
post #16 of 230
My main goal is I just want to be free...we are working adamantly on getting out of debt...should be about 2 more years if we keep at it. I don't like the idea of things being held over my head-credit card debt or otherwise. In the last 3-4 years, I have completely just stopped shopping. Beyond the basics and the occasional 1 or 2 things from Goodwill that are functional, I have not really bought much and I am very happy.

We have decided to focus on the things that we really want to right now...
1. Family and Fun
2. Careers
3. Continuing education
4. Creativity and education of our DS

It's nice to have less stuff and more room to do these things and I can completely clean and organize the whole house in 1 day of cleaning. No more worrying about company coming. No more coming home to a mess and not knowing what to do.

I realized a long time I can live with very little and be VERY happy and comfortable. It is our ultimate goal in 20 years to walk away from our jobs and retire to the beach...just taking the clothes we will need, a few personal items and a great big sense of adventure. One can always find what they need...whether you spend full price or thrift or yardsale...I am always pleasantly surprised when I can find everything I need...and I have started over 3 times now---2 not by my choice.

I have seen so many family members retire and move stuff from place to place and not enjoy their actual retirement. They are always worried about their things. My Aunt just moved a HUGE moving van..those BIG 16 wheeler ones, of stuff to Florida. When I saw her packing extreme cold weather gear and her former work clothing, it really hit home with me. When I asked her about it, she was paralyzed. I told her "Why not sell the stuff and buy 1 beautiful outfit for her new warmer life." She could not comprehend that and still went shopping for more warmer stuff. We could not even walk through the tiny house she bought with all the boxes of stuff she really doesn't need. She has 10 complete sets of dishes... HUH???? I try not to judge but I do try to recognize in myself and be in the moment.

Life in the military really hammered home that I could live with less and still have a fabulous life. I strive for minimalism and simplicity everyday. I guess it is a hobby with me.
post #17 of 230
we are definitely on this path.

when we travel, we travel very lightly, and my husband has always felt that that minimalist approach was very easy and made life so much more simple. we focused on the experience of being together, enjoying the adventure of the day, meeting people and making life long friends (which we have on every foreign trip we've taken!).

when we got home from each trip, we brought with us simplifying tricks and tactics that made our lives much, much easier. simple joys like "big breakfast" where we make breakfast and tea once a week and sit and linger over it from about 7 am until 9 or 10. sometimes, we invite friends to join us (most don't wake that early, though).

in 2009, we decided to move to NZ. we realized that we wanted to release everything that we owned save 25 boxes of books and kitchen supplies, some fine art, and the 12 suitcases of clothing, toys, and computers that we will will take with us on the plane (4 each for each of the three of us). we were able to let go of so much.

we know that we will start from scratch in a lot of ways, but we also know that we will choose carefully and purchase wisely. in the last two-three years, we've really changed the way that we spend money or do things. we only buy exactly what we want at the highest quality that we can. this way, we know we want it and we know it will last. it is the frugal way. what we purchased in the past was often based on what other's thought we should like, have, want, etc. but we learned what we wanted, how we want to be.

so, we are moving to a harbor city where we can be car free. we are going to run our own business so that we can have a more integrated family-work life. and when we purchase a home, etc, we will get one that is right for us (or build one that is), and we will purchase for that home only what we want for it.

our focus is really on our family life--creating happiness and abundance in that. sure, we have financial goals too (like being debt free in 5 yrs or less--only one debt left, my school debt!), but most of our goals focus on spending less and doing more, focusing on family and community, and just living a happy, integrated life.
post #18 of 230

Changes is 2010

I commented on the old thread a couple times, and I just caught up on the last few pages. Subbing to the new thread and the 2010 in 2010 thread as well!

This year will bring a lot of changes for our family. My DH will be deployed most of this year and we have finally made a major decision regarding our living situation. Our original plan was I was going to live with my parents during this deployment, (to save money) and we would get our own place when he got back. Well...after being at my parents for 2 weeks over the holidays I decided there was no way that I can do that and keep my sanity and a loving relationship with them.

So...we're moving into a tiny, cheap, 2 bedroom townhouse for the next 2 years so we can pay off our medical debt and prepare to buy our first home! DH and I sat down and talked about it, and what we really want is a small house, some land, and room for a bunch of kids and animals. So, we are just going to have to suck it up and live in a not so nice place for a couple years. Which is fine by me. Im one of 5 kids so Im used to being cramped!

Im also working on decluttering. Last move, I got rid of about 1/3 of our "stuff" and Im hoping to do so again. My main two issues are clothes and books. My weight fluctuates a lot, so I have clothes in about 6 different sizes. Hopefully one day when I get to the point where Im not longer having babies Ill be able to cut down on my wardrobe.

With the books, I have a hard time getting rid of them. I dont know why, I dont have a hard time getting rid of any other "stuff". But I want to keep all my books! I have hundreds though, and I know logically Im not going to read all of them again. But I love them, and I love looking at them and just having them around. I dont know how to get over it!
post #19 of 230
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post #20 of 230
I'd like to join in too

I read some of the old thread, but I don't think I ever posted there.

DH and I are pretty minimalist, I think, although it's definitely an ongoing process/journey. We used to do a lot of backpacking and kayaking before DS1 was born, and we really enjoyed seeing just how little we could take along (not too minimal in the food department though, lol). Our long term goal is to move our family onto a sailboat and travel extensively. Right now our family of 5 (DH and I, plus our 3 boys - almost 6, 3.5, and almost 1) live in a 650 sq ft apartment and we feel like we have plenty of space. It wasn't always like that though - I remember feeling SUPER cramped when DS1 was a baby. Over time though, I realized that often what seems like not enough (with many aspects of life, not just your physical space) is actually a case of too much - ie. too much stuff, rather than too little space, or too many activities, rather than not enough time.

We have really pared down our stuff over the last few years, and did another huge declutter in November 2008. We've mostly just been "maintaining" since then, although I am getting rid of more and more stuff lately because I enjoy it and am also finding that there are lots of things that I thought I needed/would use that I really don't, so, out they go...

Books are my weakness I did get rid of one entire bookcase a few months ago though (the bookcase itself, as well as all the books). Like I said, it's a process
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