I've just read this whole thread and am loving it!
So much resonates with me - in particular about Dp's family culture (low income, massive hoarding, living in clutter - just one example - his mother
currently has at least 3 microwaves in her basement plus the one in kitchen)
My family culture is also geared very much into building wealth and accumulating 'stuff'. We also grew up in a cluttered home that was always aggravating my mother. The main problem - and one I know I'm t reacting to majorly
now that I'm an adult - is that nothing made sense! We'd have these massive 'clean ups' and things would all get put away in really inconvenient places. It made life really uncomfortable until it went back to being
a huge clutter. My goal with my own home is to find the third way - that is, things are accessible, but tidy. The organization has to make sense!!!
I also strive for a cozy, welcoming vibe to my house. One that feels like a haven and a relaxing place to hang out with my family. We're big into just hanging out together with no big rushes, agendas, etc.
Our ideal day together probably involves pyjamas, a big cooked breakfast that lasts until noon, lots of book-reading and maybe a walk to the park. Super simple & satisfying.
Dp and I came to NZ from Canada (hi Zoebird, we're your neighbours 2 hours to the north!) with only 4 suitcases so I could study midwifery. Since then we've lived in a shared/furnished home
so we haven't accumulated much at all.
I'm focusing, at the moment, on gathering things for our new house - a small one in a very small town nearby . My job is govt funded so I would get the same salary regardless of where we live
but life is obviously much cheaper in a small town than in a larger city - this enables me to work only 4 days a week and hopefully still be financially viable (Dp will be at home with the babes). This freaks Dp out a bit as his family culture dictates
that you work hard out 50-60 hours a week making very little money. We've worked really hard to get me through university with no debt on this kind of crappy work situation/income, so I really hope
this proves to Dp that we can make it work and still enjoy life together. Ingrained fears are hard!
Anyway, I plan on only accumulating things I really love and/or that we really need.
We've got a towel each, plus an extra adult size one and an extra kid size one. Just 4 of plates, bowls, mugs, etc. I'm only taking a dozen kids books and we only own a few toys - I'm thinking they'll fill one very small bookshelf
plus a picnic basket for the books and another basket for the stuffed animals (I need to downsize those - I swear every person in our lives has given us some). I'm working on consolidating the kid clothes now.
It's a bit tricky in New Zealand because we have no dryer and the weather can ber very damp/rainy so it often takes ages for things to dry (think 3-4 days unless you do it inside - but this
can't be done too much as then the house gets overly damp and mouldy) and this has to be accounted for. I think we can live with
one bottom sheet for each bed (we have a single pushed up against a queen and all sleep together) and a large flat sheet for emergency use.
I have 2 duvetsand a wool blanket for each bed - but those are needed as it's cold in the winter - no central heating here either!
I'm excited to finally have our own space and I'm eager to learn and implement ideas on how to make our space and stuff accessible, ordered - basically simple & liveable.
Next up - purging all my student stuff - I'll keep the relevant texts, but all the notes and extraneous literature can go. Dp is really hard to wrench books away from though - see aforementioned family culture
issues. . . but books are probably the least offensive things to have around in a quantity (and really he hasn't gathered that many - he left tons behind in his mother's completely stuffed basement, lol). Personally,
unless the book made me cry or I actually read it at least once a year it has no business on my shelf.
There are a couple things I have issues with:
* hand knits people made for my babies - I knit and so appreciate the time and love that goes into them, but my MIL and other family friends have knit some horrendous blankets (with birthdates and names emroidered into them even)
and clothes that are 100% arcrylic and sooo impractical. I haven't been able to figure out what to do with them.
* my dear uncle knows I love poetry and so sends me lots of books of poetry from local poets - all personally addressed to me by the authors (he's in literary circles). I *love* the poems, but I don't return to them
over and over.. . if I really love a poem I'll memorize it, or paint it on my wall, etc.
*clothes - I'm tandem breastfeeding so I need major boob access in my clothes - ruling out tons of shirts I love and have worn for ages (but are still in great shape). Some of these I can wear to work - others not. But it seems
ridiculous to give them away when breastfeeding will be over in a few years (I think anyway!).
At the moment we're house sitting and it's been a really neat exercise in how little we need - I brough one box (like a small wine box) of clothes for *all 4 of us* and another knapsack of cloth diapers, and it has been so
simple to do laundry and clean up - it's great.
Anyway - that's me. Happy to be joining this thread and looking forward to the continuing discussion