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Big Family Minimalism! - Page 2

post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ygle View Post
I never know what to do with the bikes!


I have a small storage/laundry area outside of my apartment, DP put hooks in the ceiling and we hang the bikes from the hooks. The kids bikes are fairly small, so hanging from the ceiling they don't get in the way of my storage shelves. My bike is another matter, but it's better than having it take up floor space.
post #22 of 90
This thread is AMAZING!!!! I have been struggling with this for a while.
We just recently moved into a bigger house (had been 6 living in under 1,000sqft) and with the extra room, I still have so much to get rid of.
Toys per kid is a huge problem for me.
And clothes are a huge problem, with 3 girls they are always getting passed down, but I don't have a system and sometimes a kid will grow right passed a size I had, but just didn't know where the clothes were.
I LOVE the sharpie dot system!!! Will have to try!
post #23 of 90
Thread Starter 
We just installed a washer/dryer hybrid in our family closet! I am in love

Dirty clothes go in, clean AND dry clothes come out. I put them away right out of the machine as we installed it IN the closet in our room. All our clothes and the kids' clothes are in this closet. So efficient! Next step is to assemble a few extra shelves above the machine for blankets. That will free our linen closet for tools.

We also got rid of a bunch of kitchen appliances and other kitchen stuff. Enough that we are down to one pantry cupboard. The other will go downstairs in our unfinished basement for sports equipment and water toys.

I can't believe how we haven't missed anything we have gotten rid of. We really didn't need more space or more storage, just LESS STUFF. Our next project is to go through keepsakes and other important stuff. We are using as much as we can in our decorating and getting rid of stuff that isn't really important. Most of our vinyl collection is going on the wall. It looks pretty cool actually, plus then we can enjoy it. These records have been just sitting in storage in the basement for years now. I love having them in our living space, but in a functional way
post #24 of 90
i love those hybrids. i know i'm crashing a thread because we are only 3, but i think minimalist notions from all quarters to be helpful for me. if you have ideas, i want to know about them.
post #25 of 90
Watch out for the steam hybrid though, we have one of those and it sucks
post #26 of 90
Thread Starter 
What brand and why don't you like it? Just curious
post #27 of 90
LG Steam washer/dryer- because it uses steam to DRY, the most idiotic concept ever. Takes about 3 hours to dry things. And takes just as long to dry a few items because you are essentially using moisture to get rid of moisture
post #28 of 90
Thread Starter 
It doesn't actually use steam to dry, but it does have a steam cycle for drying to get wrinkles out. It uses condensation drying so it can be ventless. It dries the clothes with heat and the condensation is collected and drained periodically. It takes a long time because it uses only the 110V (regular dryers use 220). Its drying capacity is only half of what it's washing capacity is, if you overfill it that will add to your dry time. We wash frequently as I got rid of all excess clothes so that isn't an issue here.

We love ours (same model) as we did a bunch of research on all the options before we bought it and knew it would take longer than separate washers and dryers but we thought it was worth it given the benefits for us. We love the ventless option because we could put it on our mainfloor in our bedroom (where the clothes are) without having to install a dryer vent. Also, realistically it took us several hours to get downstairs and change the load over so we come out ahead in the end The idea of putting stuff in dirty and not having to bother with it until it was ready to be put away was MORE than worth the long cycle length. Did I mention I don't have to remember to toss the wet clothes in the dryer? Yeah, I love that!

And, I challenged myself to fill all the (6!) laundry baskets I no longer have laying around with clean but not yet put away stuff with things to be decluttered. Good incentive to get rid of things

I don't know that this system would work for everyone, but it has saved me a ton of time and space. Two things I never have enough of
post #29 of 90
Why does it keep taking in water throughout the drying cycle and heating it then?
post #30 of 90
Thread Starter 
The cool water doesn't go INTO the machine, it goes into a separate compartment to condense the water.

Quote:
How does it work?
All of our combos feature condensing, ventless dryers that require no ductwork or outside venting. Condensing dryers in combination machines use cool water condensers to remove the moisture from the air in the drum. The warm, moist air leaving the drum is circulated through a plastic chamber, where it contacts a mist of cool water. This causes the moisture in the air to condense into water droplets and fall to the bottom of the condensing chamber, where it is pumped to the same drain as the wash water. The warm, dry air continues through the closed system back to the drum to remove more water from your clothes.

This system saves you energy in two ways. Since little heat is lost when the air passes through the condensing chamber, it takes very little energy to raise the temperature back to optimal drying levels. Just as important, no air from the residence is exhausted outdoors. Conventional clothes dryers evacuate 200 cubic feet of heated or conditioned air from the residence every minute, approximately 10,000 cubic feet per cycle. Given an 8-foot ceiling, thatís the size of a room over 35 feet square! All of this air has to be replaced from the outside, which means energy must be expended to either heat or condition it to room temperature. In high-rise buildings with tight envelopes, this places an additional burden on intake manifolds and fans that may already be working close to capacity. Condensing, ventless dryers save you all of these headaches.
post #31 of 90
Wow, okay, thanks Its still takes 3 hours to dry, and I never put in over the 5kg. But I wish I had mine in the family closet! That would be awesome, Im so sick of needing 3 laundry baskets! One for dirty, one for wet that needs hanging, one for stuff out of the dryer. The washing is very steamy so if you leave it on the cool down cycle you have to do another half hour of drying to get it dry again, and if you take it out while hot you have to let it air a little ( I just use a pretty open washing basket).
post #32 of 90
subbing

We're a family of 5 living in 950 sq ft. DH is totally a hoarder but is getting better every day. Great ideas in this thread!
post #33 of 90
I can't wait to read the whole thread (limited time right now) but want to pop in and say we're aspiring minimalists with four children (14.5, 11, 5 and 3).

Our desire for minimalism is related to our desire to achieve financial freedom, so we started with purchasing a house well within our means, to allow us to pay off all debt and eventually buy a hobby farm some day. It's a much smaller and simpler home than most of our acquaintances' homes (large two stories are all the rage here which is crazy with the heat imnsho) but we did this also to minimize utility bills, especially summer A/C bills, as well as our mortgage payment.

So the frugality ties in a LOT with our minimalism. If we're trying to save money, then we're trying not to spend. If we're spending less, we're bring less into the house and then have less clutter and less waste.

Our kids share bedrooms. They wanted to share...my daughters in one room and sons (we have two girls and two boys) in another. We've reduced their toys, books and clothes so everything fits in their closets, furniture and in one armoire we have in the family room for toys, puzzles and games. Before this we had 3 kids' rooms set up and lots of extra space in each one and in each closet...and it just bred clutter somehow.

I've also reduced the number of clothes dh and I have by a LOT! This was painful for him, poor guy. LOL I've reduced my books and my personal junk and he's reduced his. I've pared down the kitchen too as well as things like towels, linens, etc.

We still have too much--in fact, I'm in the middle of another office and and household items purge right now.

We still have a lot more fluff than many minimalists' standards I'm sure, but paring down is a long process and the way I've done it, the kids and hubby haven't "felt" it so much, if that makes sense. Minimalism is something I never even considered until about6 years ago, so it's been a process for sure. I hope to be 100% where I want to be by the end of 2010.
post #34 of 90
Well, we're about to have #5 this fall so I should join in here! We've been down to about 700 sq. feet of living space and now have 1800, but it almost seems more cramped. We've gotten rid of soooo much, but it somehow accumulates from well-meaning family.

It has helped that my two oldest have started to do their own laundry (with help). Our bedrooms are pretty small for the kids to share and set up poorly for multiple beds or anything, so that is a huge hinderance. We only have two closets-both rather small-for everyone in the house. Our master closet has the washer and dryer in it and that's all that will fit. I'm thinking of converting the master bathroom "toilet room" thing into a w&d closet and moving the toilet to the big bathroom part. We really need the space!

I need to do a major house purge this week and I plan on building some new cubbie things (like pottery barn from the knock off wood blog) this spring and summer to help with storage.
post #35 of 90
Good post Amyamanda. I always like your stuff.
post #36 of 90
subbing... fussy babe... I'll be back though!
post #37 of 90
Great thread!!!! We are expecting number 3 in October and while our house isn't tiny it does NOT have good storage or an ideal lay out so... clutter is a problem!! I am trying to tackle one thing at a time... like toys one week or clothes the next. I am going to need to switch out my regular clothes for maternity clothes soon so I think I will purge my regular clothes when I do that. I have a ton of stuff that I haven't worn in forever so yeah... too much stuff. Does anyone have good ideas for toy storage that are sturdy and easy for kids to put things away in? We can't install anything since we live in military on post housing... I have a 23 month old and a 9 month old.
post #38 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryLang View Post
This thread is AMAZING!!!! I have been struggling with this for a while.
We just recently moved into a bigger house (had been 6 living in under 1,000sqft) and with the extra room, I still have so much to get rid of.
Toys per kid is a huge problem for me.
And clothes are a huge problem, with 3 girls they are always getting passed down, but I don't have a system and sometimes a kid will grow right passed a size I had, but just didn't know where the clothes were.
I LOVE the sharpie dot system!!! Will have to try!
Another thing I do is keep a bin for each kid marked "clothes for (NAME) to grow into" - this is in addition to all the storage bins by size. If one kid outgrows something I generally don't have the time or organization to find the "right" bin to put it back in...so it just goes into the "grow into" bin for the next kid. This is also the bin where I put the stuff that they almost fit into...but not quite... We sort all the clothes out twice a year, spring and fall - I bring in all the relevant size bins from the shed, spread everything out in a semi-orderly way, and fill up some giveaway bags in the process. It's a PITA but only doing it once a year helps. But if some kid grows too fast for the system, it's easy enough to look in their "grow-into" bin. The biggest thing for me is just to do it all at once, as no-nonsense as possible, and be as organized as I can be, so the next time it's not a big mess to sort through.
post #39 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
Good post Amyamanda. I always like your stuff.
Prudence, the appreciation is mutual!
post #40 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by chely7425 View Post
Does anyone have good ideas for toy storage that are sturdy and easy for kids to put things away in? We can't install anything since we live in military on post housing... I have a 23 month old and a 9 month old.
The easiest for us was to get one of those 9 bin storage things from Target. They go on sale every few months too. What I like about it is that it's at their level....and that they can take one bin with them to play or clean-up or whatever.

Another option is a simple low two or three shelf bookcase. We put books on the top shelf, and then the bottom shelves are for trucks, cars, etc. Things that don't fit into the bin system. You could also simply put bins (with or without tops) on the bookshelf... similar to what is done in most PreK/Kindy classrooms.
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