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Any serious minimalists on here? - Page 3

post #41 of 101

I love the Tiny House Blog. SO inspiring! After our old mattresses get picked up, and if I manage to get rid of the sofa, we'll be swimming in space. It's already so spacious.. we'll have a dance floor in here!!

And it's obvious that even when DD would want her own room when she gets older, we could still live very happily and spaciously in 600 sf or less even.

 

Minimalism and simplicity make me happy and serene!! :) I think I will try to find more stuff to the neighborhood charity :D

 

 

post #42 of 101

that is our experience as well. 

 

the beach cottage that we're looking into is about 650 sq ft. It is an increase of 110 sq feet for us. *massive* amounts of space. LOL i've decided to minimal myself even more after talking to DH. I'm always doing better with less.

 

And yes, I have regret purchases. I went to buy DS a divan bed on ebay-come-craigslist here, and it's particle board. apparently, I'm having a difficult time translating. I asked "is it solid wood or veneer?" and they said "solid" which means "doesn't wiggle" and does not mean solid timber. So, it goes to the salvation army on Thursday (thank god). 

 

And of course, there is the crap that people feel compelled to give us. We were given a bike that is too old for DS, but he found it, so now it's 'his' (we'd had it hidden for a year, but couldn't find anyone to donate it to). 

Today, we are finishing our declutter. I'm really looking forward to it. And our errands tomorrow include taking all of the broken things to get fixed (eg, new watch batteries, DH's sunglasses to the shop, etc). 

 

post #43 of 101

I'm definitely a minimalist wannabe! I couldn't do it with the ex since he was a giant pack rat. He wouldn't throw away papers he wrote in college or even empty boxes. But now that he kicked the kids and me to the curb, I'm moving in that direction. I bought an 840 square foot house a few months ago. It's hard to find the time to make serious strides though since I now have to work full time. I declutter in fits and starts. I have no problem letting go of my things. The kids' toys are the biggest challenge!

post #44 of 101

We're getting there, slowly but surely.  We've always been in the minimalist mindset, but you know, things creep in over time...

 

We recently moved from a 2000+ sq. foot house to a 1000 sq foot apartment, having to pare down to two moving pods and some stuff in storage.  Maybe that doesn't seem like very minimal, but those pods are small (!).  Now we're going to be temporarily staying with my mom, so we although we're going to be keeping one pods' worth of our stuff in storage for when we get a house again (like my beloved kitchen stuff, our camping gear, musical instruments, mementos, books... things that can't be replaced) our day to day stuff is going to be uber limited - basically what we can fit into the trunk of our Civic.  (The backseats are full due to the kids' car seats...  So basically, a small bag of clothes for each of us, a few basic toys for the kids (blocks, play food, crayons, their stuffed animals (2 each) and their favorite books, my husbands' and my laptops, and a small box each of personal stuff.  (Such as, I'm going to have my handwritten journal, a couple of books (narrowed down from hundreds), a case full of DVD's, an mp3 player, our family photo albums, a few religious items, and that's about it.)

 

The less we have the richer our life seems, oddly.  Yesterday we spent the morning cutting out paper dolls frpm a recycled box and the kids had a blast.  And the library is a great resource for a never ending supply of free goodies...

 

post #45 of 101

looking at a different beach cottage on friday that is about 550-600 sq ft. It would save us $200 per month on rent.

 

It's a two bedroom, but one bedroom was converted into a large closet/dressing room. I figure we'll curtain off the closet side and use it like a closet; and then use the rest as DH's office space. 

 

There are some questions that we have to ask such as -- what is the situation of the heating? what is the laundry situation? and what is the parking situation?

 

If the laundry can be easily sorted (eg, pick up a washer/dryer or the landlord includes one or whatever), and the heating is good, we'll likely go for it.

post #46 of 101

Laundry is important to consider, yes. We don't have a drier but have space in our bedroom for hanging laundry in racks, and in the summer I can take sheets etc. to dry outside -results in wonderfully fresh sheets!!

 

A small beach cottage sounds so lovely-- when we move out of this apartment I'd love a tiny house/cottage by the sea.

post #47 of 101

ditto the beach cottage.  we are moving to Austin soon, so no ocean for me, but maybe we can find something near a lake?  any water would do! 

If my doggies would leave the stuff on the clothesline, I would def get rid of the dryer....saves space and eco friendly!  but my dogs think anything in the backyard is for them, and they can reach the clothes if they try, so thats out.

I have had trouble narrowing down books before, but now that I have a nook, I think it will be easier to pare down.

I like the idea of each person having one small/med box of personal keepsakes.  Its a good exercise to use for the rest of your stuff:  if you had to only keep that much, what would it be?  and then just do it!

post #48 of 101

it is very wet here, particularly in winter, and can take 10 days or more for a pair of jeans to dry. So, we need a dryer, as much as I prefer line-drying! I don't have enough jeans to wait 10 days for a pair to dry, and this assumes that they do actually dry! LOL

 

we are going to look at the cottage this Friday. I'm excited about it.

 

It's really all one large room, and realized that we can do a "sleeping room" in the one area of the house (that is opened to the lounge as a bedroom). I measured our bed and a twin, and I believe both will fit in the space (I'm going to measure the rooms). 

 

It looks like there is a gas fireplace, which would be good heating for the whole house. As I said, it's small. :)

 

I'm looking forward to checking it out.

post #49 of 101

In Romania in the winter and during the rainy bits of spring and fall it takes FOREVER to dry jeans!! Fortunately at least in the winter I would lay a pair of jeans across the hot water radiator in my room for a few hours, then turn them over and let them lay there for a few more hours and voila...dry jeans!!

 

This didn't work during the rainy springs and falls though...cause the radiators were not turned on except from October through February or March, unfortunately!! 

 

Now I'm in the States and we do have a dryer and have used it almost exclusively since moving into our house (cause of allergies)...but when we lived in a second floor apartment where the pollen wasn't so easily blown in we would open the windows on nice days and set up our huge drying rack by the window...clothes dried quickly...though jeans did take the better part of a day!!

post #50 of 101

My DH just took another load of stuff to the thrift store and we were laughing because we know one of the employees and he keeps saying "where do you guys come up with this stuff? You are our only regulars!"  We actually don't know where it all comes from but I fill up the car packed full every couple months with things we don't need.  Last night we noticed that although our house is almost 900 square feet we really only use about a third of it.

post #51 of 101

I'm beginning to consider myself a radical minimlist, but I also consider myself a radical unschooler and I'm finding those things slightly at odds. lol Not really though, I just don't fit in with the threads about keeping kids stuff to a minimum. The rest of the house is fair game though. I am in the process of yet another big purge. Just finishing up the kitchen and my bedroom. Livingroom is done. Next to tackle is the shed outside. My dad lives with us and he is the opposite of a minimalist. He has more in his one bedroom than in the kitchen, livingroom and my room combined. Plus most of the stuff in the shed is his. He doesn't understand everytime I go through the house and do another big sweep of things that are 'still perfectly good and useful!'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #52 of 101

My computer was done with my post before I was! Anyway, I'm here and would love to 'talk shop'. :-)

post #53 of 101
Hey Romaniac, we're almost neighbors, I'm from Hungary - and I miss those radiators too! Much better than the yicky central air we have here.

Serendipty - can you explain a bit more about how the unschooling and supplies work for you? We plan on homeschooling and slightly unschooling (maybe not radically lol) but I haven't anticipated needing lots of "stuff" - but my kids are still way young and I don't have a lot of experience in it. Maybe you could elaborate a bit more about how that works in your home to see if I can glean some wisdom from it. wink1.gif
post #54 of 101

I'm interested in that too. I am drawn toward unschooling (but not radically either). My little dude is not even two yet, but we will probably be living in a fifth wheel traveling the country by the time he is "school-age" (not that learning should be confined to those years)...and space will be at a premium.

post #55 of 101

We are leaning toward radical unschooling too.  I know there are quite a few unschoolers who have done the cross country thing, there are blogs out there, I found a couple here and here. I know there are more, but I can't find the links.

 

One way I handle stuff with my girls, and they are still young I know, is I always ask for their permission if I notice they seem to have outgrown or gotten tired of it.  They see me clearing out my own things, so they know what I mean if I ask "do you want to keep this or give it away?"  My almost 2 year old likes all her things. Just today my 3.5 year old put a stuffed animal in the give away box because she said she doesn't like it (which is true, it's been played with for about two minutes total in the two years we've had it).

 

Oh yeah, and I spent 4 months in Iasi, Romania and I always dried my jeans on the radiator. : )

post #56 of 101

What took you to Iasi, Paigekitten? I lived one year in Baia Mare, one year in Cluj, and one year in Satu Mare as a teen (parents were missionaries). Then as an adult I spent a few summers in Sighet working in a summer camp during and after college. Then I was in Targu Mures for a year a few years ago...teaching English, working with a couple orphan outreach programs, and helping in a youth group.

post #57 of 101

I did a semester of volunteering through college.  We were working with an orphanage, and with a children's hospital.  It was totally awesome. I think that's where my minimalism started...lugging a gigantic suitcase home on the train and wondering "did I really need all this stuff?"

post #58 of 101
Whew. I'm continually amazed at how, when you go round by round, how much stuff you thought you couldn't do without, you can, erm, do without!

We moved about three months ago from a 2100 square foot house plus 700 square foot apartment together into a 1000 square foot apartment, with 2 pods' worth of stuff.

Now we're actually going to be downsizing even further. We're putting one pods' worth of stuff into storage and as I posted before, basically traveling for a while out of the trunk of our Civic. Seriously, like, the back seat is full with 2 car seats, so all that's left is trunk space for the 4 of us to live out of (plus our kitty). It won't be forever, obviously, just until our house sells and we buy a new one somewhere, but for the moment that's going to be our possessions.

We're moving on Weds, so I had less than a week's notice that the pod was arriving to pack everything... So I'm doing insane decluttering with two preschoolers underfoot, both of whom are fussy cos they're coming down with colds. Nice.

So obviously I've been making insane thrift store runs and I'm just amazed that I keep finding things that I can let go of without feeling deprived or upset. Some things I take photos of for the nostalgic value but with every trip to the donation center I feel lighter and lighter, just liberated.

The fun part is going to be trying to figure out where we're going to eventually settle down. It has to be a very-low to low COL area (we're on a fixed budget), someplace scenic, rural, where we can get a house and some land for under 200K, but near a VA hospital, great library, and community college. Oh, and preferably no Lyme disease, killer snakes, and good climate for gardening. Should be totally easy to find. =P
post #59 of 101

So, we got our beach cottage -- which means I'll be doing a declutter and we'll be moving into a bigger place -- a massive 550-600 sq ft with a tiny little fenced patio in the back for some sand boxing and container gardening. 

 

I also purchased things we need for the house (and ourselves): table and chairs for kitchen ($250); washer/dryer and fridge (used, $350)! I want to buy some shelves for the kitchen (floating, above the counter tops, as there is no pantry and no upper cupboards, just lower ones); and paint the place (we'll get an estimate this week -- I'm too busy to DIY). I"ll also need to pay movers for our large furnishings (bed and dresser). Then we are good-to-go (I think). 

 

So happy to declutter and reorganize this place for the move! :D

post #60 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by seawitch View Post

Whew. I'm continually amazed at how, when you go round by round, how much stuff you thought you couldn't do without, you can, erm, do without!

We moved about three months ago from a 2100 square foot house plus 700 square foot apartment together into a 1000 square foot apartment, with 2 pods' worth of stuff.

Now we're actually going to be downsizing even further. We're putting one pods' worth of stuff into storage and as I posted before, basically traveling for a while out of the trunk of our Civic. Seriously, like, the back seat is full with 2 car seats, so all that's left is trunk space for the 4 of us to live out of (plus our kitty). It won't be forever, obviously, just until our house sells and we buy a new one somewhere, but for the moment that's going to be our possessions.

We're moving on Weds, so I had less than a week's notice that the pod was arriving to pack everything... So I'm doing insane decluttering with two preschoolers underfoot, both of whom are fussy cos they're coming down with colds. Nice.

So obviously I've been making insane thrift store runs and I'm just amazed that I keep finding things that I can let go of without feeling deprived or upset. Some things I take photos of for the nostalgic value but with every trip to the donation center I feel lighter and lighter, just liberated.

The fun part is going to be trying to figure out where we're going to eventually settle down. It has to be a very-low to low COL area (we're on a fixed budget), someplace scenic, rural, where we can get a house and some land for under 200K, but near a VA hospital, great library, and community college. Oh, and preferably no Lyme disease, killer snakes, and good climate for gardening. Should be totally easy to find. =P

Sounds like a fun adventure! I was gonna suggest Tucson until I saw the killer snakes part. orngtongue.gif

 

To the people who responded about Radical Unschooling-  it's just that in our particular family my almost 6 year old daughter easily gets rid of things and is happy to donate old toys but still has a lot and my almost 10 year old has a huge room FULL of stuff and absolutely can't get rid of things. He just loves to buy toys, and keep them forever. The radical unschooling conflict I was referring to is just that often on minimalism blogs/forums/articles it is suggested that you cull your kids toys or have rules about how many or 'one in, one out' and I just wont do that kind of thing with them. The result is that my house is not as minimal as I would like it because I don't insist that my family be minimalists too. I (try to) live my own ideals without insisting/expecting them to feel the same way. They are growing up living in a minimal house and maybe as adults they will find they prefer that, but maybe not. Doesn't much matter to me either way.

 

And while Unschooling doesn't require that you have lots of stuff, I have found it helps to have neat things on hand for when the moment strikes or inspiration is needed. I do have two hallway closets dedicated to arts and crafts, games, science kits, math manipulatives, games, projects, games etc. Neither closet is full, they could actually probably be condensed into one, and they are fully organized and I go through them monthly and get rid of things we are done with or that don't seem to hold our interest. But, it is a lot of stuff. It's funny though because the only way we have room for that is because we don't have a bunch of other stuff we need that space for! I like it, it works for unschooling and my kids are only gonna be young once, I'll have the whole rest of my life to live without kid stuff in the house, I'm in no rush!

 

I'll be making another big Goodwill run on Tuesday. We have a tiny car so I have to wait for when my mom can come with her truck to help me take a load. It's works well because I schedule a day with her and then I have a deadline to meet so it keeps me motivated to get things done! Right now I'm wrestling with kitchen stuff. I feel like I already got rid of so much but I have more than I use on a regular basis so I want to get rid of it. I'm at the point that if I get rid of more I will have to borrow from people if I ever entertain, which rarely happens.

 

I'm also trying to figure out a minimalist wardrobe.

 

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