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Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life Tribe - Page 3

post #41 of 177
So here is my list for this week:

House:

I am going to go through my clothes. Really go through them, toss anything that is worn beyond repair (an embarrassingly large portion of my wardrobe falls into this category), donate stuff I don't want and put everything away neatly.

Put away china we used for Easter. Pack it up and tidy the storage area in the attic.


Garage and garden:

Donate kids' old bikes. This will clear some space in the garage.

Scrape another side of the garage to prep for painting.

Put up tomato trellises in garden. Done!

Seed some more swiss chard. Done!


Family:

Headed to the beach tomorrow for a family day.


That should keep me busy over the next week...and focused!
post #42 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
Love this.

So Introduce yourself: I'm Jenna, SAHM of a 4 yr old, nearly 3 yr old, and a newborn.

discuss what brought you to this place: I guess "ecologically friendly" living brought me to the concept of simple living and I got really excited about the freedom associated with ditching the "stuff" in my life.

how is this path and what has it taken you to?
Unfortunately, life has sorta gotten in my way in terms of ditching my stuff (and emotions, can't forget that! ), so I'm still sort of in the beginning of my path, imo, but I am conscious of our purchases, etc...
Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else? I think i sort of answered this - definitely overbundance, but also living thoughtfully/planet-friendly...
What she said! Except I'm the mom of an 11 year old and an 8 year old. Between our umpteen moves and the stresses of life, somehow we seem to have all this material junk. I would love to become more self-sustaining and leave less of an ecological footprint, so I am investigating how to do that... I think recyling/repurposing/blessing others with our unused stuff is a start (am also gardening and looking at worm composting, but I think that's another board ).

I own a housecleaning business so I see every day how people "really" live. For the life of me, I don't know how some people have so little clutter but I want to go there too!!!

I will also be thinking about time management this summer, with all the camps and things that are available... just letting my kids veg some and be kids, not be scheduled all summer (though with my work there has to be some kind of schedule).

I've been encouraged by these posts. Thank you!
post #43 of 177
Thanks for the responses to my post about making decisions with purpose. That's definitely something I need to focus on, along with culling the junk.

My boyfriend and I emptied our storage unit, which contained a cedar chest my grandmother purchased for me years ago. I packed away our winter gear in there (snow pants, heavy jackets, snow boots, etc), so now there's more space in our hall closet. The winter gear is all good stuff to keep, but it doesn't need to be out within reach during the rest of the year and now there's less stuff to look at.

Like another poster, I've been keeping jars from sauces, mayo, etc. to keep loose spices and teas in. I also have four jars with little terrarium-type of plants in our kitchen window now. So far they just have moss, and I think I want to get African Violets to add to them.
post #44 of 177
So Introduce yourself and..
-discuss what brought you to this place
I am a neat freak, hate clutter, and my husband and kids are not like this. We have way to much "stuff" and I feel the house is always a mess, and full of clutter. I am tired of spending hours looking for something, seeing to much visual clutter, and tired of spending the money on "stuff".

-how is this path and what has it taken you to? I have spend way to much money on stuff that I can't even remember a week later what I bought at a particular store. It has taken me to recommit to saving money and consuming less!

Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else? Material things, and probably some OCD that are driving me to want to clear out all the un-used Stuff!
post #45 of 177
Thank you for posting Amy, I am inspired by all that you said!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
My turn!


Introduce yourself
I am Amy, sahm to 2 dds aged 8 and 4. I have been on the voluntary simplicity wagon for several years. Most likely decades but I didnt know there was a name for how we live our life...


-discuss what brought you to this place
I learned at an early age, I am not a good multi tasker (is anyone?) and also, when I am on the receiving end of a multi tasker, I always feel as though the person is thinking about something else or looking over my shoulder at the next thing coming.
Which lead me to- hey if I am doing more than one thing at once, something is suffering. If I am on MDC, my kids are not home or doing something else such as playing, in class etc. If I am driving, I am driving and maybe singing along to the music playing or chatting with my kids or the passenger. I can chat with you while making dinner or washing dishes, folding laundry. But I cannot fold laundry while vacumning or have dinner while reading a book.
Social texting in a social situation is a no-no for me. texting we are here, pick up milk on the way home is one thing but going back and forth is a whole nother...



-how is this path and what has it taken you to?

For myself and my family, its much easier to stop and smell the roses or whatever it is to observe...
When we have smaller portions to work with, our lives stay thinner. For holidays, we attend one function, not 3 in a day. We have no problem turning down invites when life is too hectic. Its very easy for us to spend a day together as a family and turn down anything and everything and not feel guilty for just showing up, feeling like we had to do this etc. I am not saying this is what we do 100% of the time, but if its needed, we will do just this.


Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?Too much "stuff" around me clouds my judgement and the energy really overwelms me. I have also found that items start to own you, instead of the other way around.


Also adding from the original thread...

Not just pocessions, but living simply requires several other things in your life.

Like:
knowing when you're full.
Knowing when you are tired.
Saying No to people because you are one of the above or something else.
Not joining something.
knowing your limits and your families limits.
knowing how to slow down, smell the roses or whatever it is in front of you.
working to live not live to work
post #46 of 177
I should also add that simplifying to me is also having less on my plate as far as things to do. I like being busy, but having a packed calendar stresses me out.
When there is not a lot of clutter around I am calmer, can think better, and am more productive and can relax! I look forward to some great ideas and support here.
post #47 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto4grits View Post
I should also add that simplifying to me is also having less on my plate as far as things to do. I like being busy, but having a packed calendar stresses me out.
When there is not a lot of clutter around I am calmer, can think better, and am more productive and can relax! I look forward to some great ideas and support here.
thanks Vicki!

And I have to agree, having less to have to do, its much easier. ITs been a process getting to that point!
post #48 of 177
yeah, that's a big deal.

dh decided to forgo applying for a certain job because it would add more to his plate than he needs right now, and also burden me too. even though it's a great opportunity, it's a better opportunity for someone else.

so, we took that off the plate.
post #49 of 177
So Introduce yourself:
brand spanking new Midwife, 2 babes - 2.5 and 9 months, partnered with awesome soon to be stay-at-home daddy

discuss what brought you to this place:

moving to our very own (rented) home soon (shared or very temp living situations before) and that motivated a desire to make some changes so we could really, truly be comfortable, relaxed and at peace in our own home.

how is this path and what has it taken you to?
hmmm, mostly getting rid of lots of things that weren't contributing to my personal needs and comfort, being really conscious of acquiring things we needed and also made us feel good (ie ecologically sound, financially sound, aesthetically pleasing) because we do need to set up our own household. Also setting up our lives to make our family life the focus - so Dp will SAH and I'll only work 80% - less money, more down time = more time, patience, creativity, relaxed parents = much happier kids & a simpler life.

Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?

not really too much material abundance, but just a conscious decision to not accumulate lots of cheap crap in favour of deciding we only need a few quality items in our life and being creative about acquiring them. Also not having great home organization skills due to lack of role models in our families-of-origin and recognizing that we could and are learning!
post #50 of 177
Hi, I'm hoping to join y'all!

I'm Micah, a SAH mama to 1.5 year old DS and 14 weeks pregnant with #2.

I grew up with a mother who is extremely sentimental. Especially with stuff. I think that growing up with her is why I have such an attachment to things.

We are going to be moving a lot. DH is in the Army. Packing and unpacking are 2 of my least favorite things to do. Ever. In fact, we've been here for 4 months and our guest room is still full of boxes.

We want to go through all of our things and donate/throw away anything we don't love. Stuff that we need to pack up needs to be organized and stored better.
post #51 of 177
Oh, how wonderful! I didn't know this tribe existed before the MDC newsletter, but this is definitely my folks

My name is Kara and my husband and I have three children.

Discuss what brought you to this place in 2005, my FIL passed away from cancer. Going through that really emphasized that life is short, there are no guarantees and that we should be living it the best way we know how. For us that meant a life not about stuff but about people and experiences.

When I eliminate the "junk" from my life I have more room for the good stuff ... whether that "junk" is material things, negative people or experiences that I've been hanging on to and allowing to take up emotional space.

I try to pick the simpler option whenever I can. As my husband and I have been on this journey we are often evaluating what our "basics" are so that we can make room for them and eliminate the rest

Right now we're downsizing and decluttering (trying to remove 2010 items from our lives in 2010) and I'm praying about and thinking about SIMPLE plans for next year in our homeschool. And we're trying to get out of debt and simplify our finances, too.

Looking forward to sharing and discussing here!
post #52 of 177
Loving Spring here!

Dh and I have done a huge clearing-out of our closet. We had mountains of clothes that had been given to us that did not fit or were not things we would wear. We gave away 6 large trash bags of clothing to the thrift shop. Also, dumped a ton of old, paint-stained t-shirts and junky stuff.

Our garden is terrific this year. Lots of beautiful veggies coming and looking forward to a long summer of fresh produce. We have had a lovely Spring digging, planting, playing in the backyard. Very mellow and simple days.

I signed the kids up for one week of summer camp and have successfully avoided getting trapped into thinking that they need more than that. We live in the land of day camps! We are two blocks from the YMCA and they do a whole summer of camps that I am constantly tempted to sign up for. Not this year! Keeping it much simpler.


What's next on my simplification list:

-- saving up to pre-pay my car insurance. We pay a $4 monthly surcharge because I never have enough money to pay it all at once. So, doing myself a favor -- pre-paying will save money on the surcharge and save me the hassle of an addition monthly bill.


I have a pile of landscaping stones to get rid of. I am going to put them up on Freecycle and see if anyone wants them. That would clear out a big space in the garage and maybe we could finally park our car in there.


I really want to do the kitchen. Take everything out of the cabinets and get rid of half of the stuff we have. We have lots of silly cheese trays and things that never, ever get used. Would love to clear all of that out. Not sure when I will have time for this. I might start with one cabinet this afternoon.
post #53 of 177
So Introduce yourself
My name is Shalae. I've been married for 8 yrs to a wonderful husband, we have 4 children.
Discuss what brought you to this place

I never used to care what other people had, life was not a competition. When dh and I first got married we lived in a small apartment. We lived in a tiny apartment and I was fine with that. We bought a small house (something we could afford) when I was pregnant with baby #3. I was soooooo happy. We didnt have much, but I was just thrilled to have a house to call my own! I never really had any friends, and I was fine with that, I would go hang out with my mom and sister or the kids and I would find something to do where we used to live, but now I was far from my family and I was quite lonely during the day. I made friends with the neighbors, and other people in the area. But, I found that most of these people were just interested in "stuff". Cars with TVs, pools, fancy jewelry, how much they donated to church, etc. I was sucked in. Had to keep up. I blew money on silly junk just to say that "I" had this or that. I was miserable. Miserable that I spent too much money, miserable that other people had things, and I hated it!!!! My children have friends in the neighborhood where instead of getting an easter basket for easter, they get a flat screen tv in their room, and the child is only 5! They started begging for things and stuff, and I saw just how miserable they get when other children get things, and I dont want to live like that ANYMORE!!!! I want to find happiness in my family, because they are such a blessing, not in a bunch of useless junk!

how is this path and what has it taken you to?

It is not easy right now. I feel myself wanting to try to keep up with everyone else, but I know that I am blessed with what I do have, and I am praying I can get beyond my childishness, and be truly happy!

Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?

My house is over run with useless "things". I need to get rid of so much stuff, and I don't want to buy anymore useless stuff!
post #54 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto4grits View Post
I should also add that simplifying to me is also having less on my plate as far as things to do. I like being busy, but having a packed calendar stresses me out.
When there is not a lot of clutter around I am calmer, can think better, and am more productive and can relax! I look forward to some great ideas and support here.
Exactly!!! I need to learn to say no to play dates and other events. When I don't have to fit too much into a day, the day runs smoother and the kids are happier. I used to feel guilty for my kids and the person who invited me if I said no, but I realized just how stressed I became if I had to do too much, and it wasn't good for me and the kids. Now, I try to do no more than 3 things outside of the house a week. Which may still be too much, but I am working on it!
post #55 of 177
This is so close to my situation, and I am tired of it! No more junk and useless "stuff".

Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrawkmama27 View Post
So Introduce yourself
My name is Shalae. I've been married for 8 yrs to a wonderful husband, we have 4 children.
Discuss what brought you to this place

I never used to care what other people had, life was not a competition. When dh and I first got married we lived in a small apartment. We lived in a tiny apartment and I was fine with that. We bought a small house (something we could afford) when I was pregnant with baby #3. I was soooooo happy. We didnt have much, but I was just thrilled to have a house to call my own! I never really had any friends, and I was fine with that, I would go hang out with my mom and sister or the kids and I would find something to do where we used to live, but now I was far from my family and I was quite lonely during the day. I made friends with the neighbors, and other people in the area. But, I found that most of these people were just interested in "stuff". Cars with TVs, pools, fancy jewelry, how much they donated to church, etc. I was sucked in. Had to keep up. I blew money on silly junk just to say that "I" had this or that. I was miserable. Miserable that I spent too much money, miserable that other people had things, and I hated it!!!! My children have friends in the neighborhood where instead of getting an easter basket for easter, they get a flat screen tv in their room, and the child is only 5! They started begging for things and stuff, and I saw just how miserable they get when other children get things, and I dont want to live like that ANYMORE!!!! I want to find happiness in my family, because they are such a blessing, not in a bunch of useless junk!

how is this path and what has it taken you to?

It is not easy right now. I feel myself wanting to try to keep up with everyone else, but I know that I am blessed with what I do have, and I am praying I can get beyond my childishness, and be truly happy!

Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?

My house is over run with useless "things". I need to get rid of so much stuff, and I don't want to buy anymore useless stuff!
post #56 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post

I grew up with a mother who is extremely sentimental. Especially with stuff. I think that growing up with her is why I have such an attachment to things.
Hi Micah, I can also identify with this.

I have also realised that much of my intense attachment to things has been learned from my parents.

I have struggled to let go of things out of fear of the feelings of loss that would accompany letting go of things, and fear of not having enough things...but I am finally moving past that, at my ripe old age of 50!
post #57 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
So Introduce yourself and..
-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?
I'm Lexmas, Mama of two, DS is 3 and DD will be 1 on Saturday.

Gosh, so much has brought me to this place. We've been slowly becoming more and more minimalist over the past 5 years. My parents are the opposite. My dad died last year and we moved in with my mom so that she could stay in her house and we could do the upkeep and help her taking care of my grandmother who lives with her. (We have a four generation household!) My mom has gotten better, she's thrown out lots of the boxes and boxes of stuff that my dad kept, but she still has that "but we might use this some day" mentality. We have 12 pie pans in our cupboard that she won't even let us put in the basement because she doesn't want to have to go find them if she wants to use them...we've lived here almost a year now and I've never seen her bake anything, muchless 12 pies. It's frustrating, so DH and I are as minimilist with our stuff as possible to cope! We have a seperate living room upstairs, attached to our bedroom, so that helps, we can keep that clean and clutter-free. Plus, it's really in our benefit to keep things simple, because my Mom gets frustrated easily when the kids toys and such are all over, so I try and keep anything with lots of pieces upstairs, so it keeps things cleaner downstairs. Of course, my mom has saved every toy from when we were little, so she keeps bringing those out as well. She means well, she really does! Luckily (I guess?) I have rules about acceptable toys (no soft plastic, trying to avoid phthalates at the very least since my kids have cancer on both sides of the family...) that she respects and that cuts down on lots of the toys. I don't know how to get her to understand that "someday" really isn't a reason to keep everything! We do keep some things (I just packed away a bunch of baby clothes for the attic, for example, because while we're done having kids for now I do expect to have more kids in the future) but we just don't need to keep everything. We donated our pots and pans from the apartment and my mom freaked out because "what if you move out?" Um...we'll buy more pots? The plan is to live here with her and help her and just keep her from getting lonely as she gets older. There is no plan to move out. If the plan changes, I will happily deal with it then, and have less stuff in the basement to walk around!

We cloth diaper the babies. I did full time EC with DS until just before he was 2 1/2 but it was too stressful for me and I was unable not to focus on results. Now I just part-time EC, and potty DD when I change her diaper. I did the same with DS from the time he was 2 1/2 to when he potty trained a week before he was 3. Part of simplifying for me is being able to look honestly at myself and recognizing my limitations. I hung on to doing EC full time for so long just because I wanted to prove to all the nay-sayers that it worked. Because I didn't want to be wrong. Because I felt SO guilty for wanting to not do it. And I should have stopped much earlier...DS and I both suffered for it. So I try and be honest and open with myself about who I am and what I want to do and be true to that.

We're starting our own garden this year, and we're very excited about it! Mostly, we just stay at home and cook and clean and do chores, and play, and read, and enjoy life! I'm the kind of stay at home mom who stays at home, and I absolutely love it. I do some loose homeschooling of preschool with DS, because he loves doing workbooks and the like. And of course, living life is homeschooling in it's own right! I don't expect we'll do any kind of structured pre-school, it doesn't really fit into what I want for my kids. They will go to public school, but DS won't be going to kindergarten until 2012, anyway. I really believe he belongs at home with us for as long as possible.

We buy used as much as possible. Not just for the price, but because I like to see things get recycled.

Oh, I'm rambling. But I'm sure you get an idea of where we are. Right now I'm packing up the baby toys as DD is getting older, and neither of my kids really play with toys anyway. Have to decide what to keep for 9-10 years for the next kid (I'm 25 and want one more once these two are grown up quite a bit). I also have a good friend who is trying to get pregnant, so hopefully I'll be able to hand on a lot to her. I'd love to go pretty much toy-free and just have art supplies and puzzles and just really open ended stuff, but we're not there yet.

Today I'm sorting through books. Trying to donate the ones that never get read, and only hang onto the ones that do. I mean, it's nice to have a lot of books, but lets face it, my 3 year old would be happy reading his top 5 favorite books over and over and over! Small goals each day.
post #58 of 177

Great thread!

Introduce yourself.

I'm April a Homeschooling, SAHM to DD(11) and DS(4). I love my kids and my DH. I love to cook and bake and craft when I can. I am a huge


Discuss what brought you to this place. How is this path and what has it taken you to?

Even as a small child I have always liked small, clean spaces. I like to see cleared surfaces window ledges, counter tops and floors. I gave up on house plants last year. They were cluttering up my little 850 sq ft house. Now I just open the window for fresh air even in the winter.

Over the years my desire to be good to the planet has lead me where I am today. I cloth diapered the babes and that lead me to use cloth for everything around the house. I buy used what I can. I eat organically. Grow my own foods when I can.

In Jan we sold our truck and have been biking everywhere instead. (Our town doesn't have public transportation. It is 30km to the City where all our family lives and 15km to the closest big-ish city.)

Homeschooling the kids has allowed us as a family to spend so much time together. There is no running around from here to there because I won't do it anymore. It was stressing everyone out taking a huge toll on our family.

My neighbor said to me a few years ago. "I work to live, I don't live to work." That was the first time I had heard that and it just keeps making more and more sense. We bought a small house so my DH only has to work 3 days a week to make ends meet. I work by hanging the laundry, sweeping instead of vacuuming, etc and I don't spend money on things we don't need.



Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?

I think somewhere along the way I have realized that 95% of the crap people are selling are things we don't need or want. I have realized the less stuff we have the less work involved in maintaining that stuff.
post #59 of 177
- Introduce yourself
I'm Nina, I stay at home with my 4 kiddos - ages 5, 2, 1 and 4m. I have a blog and I really want to start a business that helps other moms start and be more successful in their businesses. After reading the Walk Slowly, Live Wildly blog I was inspired to really declutter. And I need to keep doing it on a more regular basis.

- what brought you to this place? I need a tribe of like-minded mamas. Some people think I'm crazy. And I need support/accountability when I feel like buying more stuff.


-how is this path and what has it taken you to?
I love it. It's much easier to keep my house clean and I can say that I love all my clothes. I have way fewer clothes to wear than ever, but since I love everything I kept, I don't say "I have nothing to wear."

-Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else? Material things for sure, overabundance and being overwhelmed by so much weight.


What do ya'll do to live more simply? Live frugally, make things myself, try to buy less and make more or do activities instead. Much more, but I've got to check on my bread.
post #60 of 177
Count me in, on this thread!

My reasoning for wanting to go minimalist is simple: my house is always, always messy. Two people with ADD probably shouldn't marry each other, but we did. Consequently, neither of us has the time, inclination, or attention span to keep things picked up.

There are also other medical issues involved, but the short story is that if we didn't HAVE much, then what we did have wouldn't resemble clutter quite so closely!

I remember the tidiest I've ever lived was in college, when I was renting a bedroom in a private house. I had to wash all my dishes in the bathroom sink, so I made sure I didn't have many dishes--only one of each thing. My closet was tiny, so I only had about a weeks' worth of clothes.

It was glorious.

I look around now, at all the "stuff" we still have, and I just mourn for the simpler times. But with God's and my husband's help, we'll someday arrive at the "simpler times, family edition."

So basically, it's just because we're really, really messy. I wish I could say I had some noble, lofty reason, some environmental concern, or something admirable like that, but I can't. It's just that we can't keep a neat house unless there's next to nothing in it.

But hey, I'm looking forward to trading ideas on this thread!
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