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detachment in the name of simplicity - Page 2

post #21 of 45

Photos.  Keep photos.  

 

Maybe one small box per kid and just keep major things in case your kids are sentimental.  

post #22 of 45
Just because you like simplicity doesn't mean that your kids when they get older are going to feel the same way. So you could think of saving the really special stuff for your kids and them in mind but still setting boundaries. I am a minimalist, but have found that the more I throw away, the more it makes dh want to keep stuff. So when he sees piles of toys on the floor, he can't stand it, and then I say well that is what your basement is like to me. Then he gets it.

I want to add something that I don't want to sound as hurtful but I will say it. My sister throws everything away, lives with almost nothing. My grandma is a family genealogist and has rooms full of special family heirlooms. Some of these things are great family treasures hundreds of years old. My grandma has talked about sharing some thing with the family when she passes on, but always says that she cannot give anything to my sister as she is known for throwing special things out. I like the idea of being clutter free, but to be known as the person that casts important family things away can be a negative label. Sister had better not be sad when she isn't given any $1000 paintings by great-great grandpa. Oh rereading this may sound mean but I don't mean it that way, just sharing the perspective of an outsider.
post #23 of 45

I would be so sad if my mom hadn't saved stuff from my childhood. I mean, she did go overboard and saved tons of my toys, baby clothes, all kinds of things. But I love looking at and reading stories I wrote in school, albums of pictures and ticket stubs from things we saw, and so on. And now my kids love looking at it with me. 

 

I don't think you need to save everything. But your kids might someday be sad that they don't have those things. 

post #24 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1 View Post

Just because you like simplicity doesn't mean that your kids when they get older are going to feel the same way. So you could think of saving the really special stuff for your kids and them in mind but still setting boundaries. I am a minimalist, but have found that the more I throw away, the more it makes dh want to keep stuff. So when he sees piles of toys on the floor, he can't stand it, and then I say well that is what your basement is like to me. Then he gets it.

I want to add something that I don't want to sound as hurtful but I will say it. My sister throws everything away, lives with almost nothing. My grandma is a family genealogist and has rooms full of special family heirlooms. Some of these things are great family treasures hundreds of years old. My grandma has talked about sharing some thing with the family when she passes on, but always says that she cannot give anything to my sister as she is known for throwing special things out. I like the idea of being clutter free, but to be known as the person that casts important family things away can be a negative label. Sister had better not be sad when she isn't given any $1000 paintings by great-great grandpa. Oh rereading this may sound mean but I don't mean it that way, just sharing the perspective of an outsider.


this is my problem.  I KNOW they won't necessarily be like me, but then it's  a matter of finding what the balance is since it's not an inherent understanding for me.

 

And I hear you on the sis.  However I have supreme respect for history in that way.  I just can't be everyone's dumping ground for crap.  There is a difference.  The things I WANT I take very good care of.  I am very clear with people when they look to hand things off.  I don't take things unless I know I need or would like them.  I think there's the difference.  Throwing SPECIAL things out when it means a lot to people/the family is not acceptable-those things you can pass on to someone else if you want them out of your space.

 

It's not that I don't have things-I do!  I just don't keep anything that is broken, ugly, doesn't serve a purpose and doesn't get used.  This applies to everyday objects.  Sacred treasures are a different thing altogether.  I totally get what you're saying and definitely think I'm not in her category!

 

post #25 of 45

Interesting point Bluebird. My family solved this by having one person take the heirlooms, not for value, but for preservation. This is someone who really enjoys these things and is literally archiving them with a diary. I found a nice way to remember family is to take pics and make nice photo books for the family members.

post #26 of 45

Please don't feel bad for not wanting to keep a bunch of stuff.  On the radio the other day, a family had lost their home to a tornado and the father said "Everything I have worked for is gone."  I thought it was really sad.  I work but I don't feel like I am working so I can buy "stuff."  If I lost everything in my house say, to a fire, it would be inconvenient but I don't think there would be much at all that I would be really sad to lose.  I do have a small box with mementos from my childhood and high school days but I wouldn't be that devastated to lose it.  A number of people say your kids might enjoy seeing their baby mementos when they're older, but will they really miss them if they don't have them.  Does it cause you stress every time you see so much stuff?  Are you willing to put up with that for years so your grown kids can have a few nice moments of remembering some childhood things.  If it causes you stress, get it out of your house. 

post #27 of 45

About the grandma-saver & the granddaughter-minimalist:  I am in sort of the same situation.  My MIL is into genealogy & has lots of older things that her family owned, but I can totally see her _not_ wanting to pass them down to our family because I would not want to keep them.

 

I value history and I really, really enjoy looking at older things and thinking about the people who used them --- but I do NOT need to own them and have them in my house in order to appreciate my family's or my country's or my world's history.

 

I do not think my MIL can see that - in truth, I think she thinks I just don't appreciate anything and don't want the old furniture because it isn't to my taste --- and while it's uncomfortable when people think those sorts of negative things about me, it's just that I really don't need much and don't need to own those things.  It doesn't mean I don't think that priceless family artifacts aren't important -- I do think it's important to preserve personal history -- but I can appreciate the timeless craftsmanship of the Amish builders who made her chest without actually having it in my house.  smile.gif

post #28 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulfaith View Post

About the grandma-saver & the granddaughter-minimalist:  I am in sort of the same situation.  My MIL is into genealogy & has lots of older things that her family owned, but I can totally see her _not_ wanting to pass them down to our family because I would not want to keep them.

 

I value history and I really, really enjoy looking at older things and thinking about the people who used them --- but I do NOT need to own them and have them in my house in order to appreciate my family's or my country's or my world's history.

 

I do not think my MIL can see that - in truth, I think she thinks I just don't appreciate anything and don't want the old furniture because it isn't to my taste --- and while it's uncomfortable when people think those sorts of negative things about me, it's just that I really don't need much and don't need to own those things.  It doesn't mean I don't think that priceless family artifacts aren't important -- I do think it's important to preserve personal history -- but I can appreciate the timeless craftsmanship of the Amish builders who made her chest without actually having it in my house.  smile.gif




but that's the thing-I think being frank can really help this.  I am not an irresponsible person in any way.  I am very clear about my boundaries.  if there's something that means something to be and is going to be enjoyable to have in my home I'm happy to be it's steward.  I'm not going to take something I have no use for, no room for, and little aesthetic appreciation for.  No one needs to be concerned about the fate of anything given to me because I'll be quite upfront about it!

post #29 of 45

I have some stuff from when I was in school, but not much, maybe a box full.  I always had fun looking through my parent's old stuff, so I thought maybe my kids would like to see what I did as a kid.  I kept all my Barbie dolls from when I was little so I could give them to a future daughter, but if I don't end up having one I won't mind giving them away.  I have every card my DH has ever given me, I don't know why really.   He tends to write in them about our love or relationship and I think I'd want to re-visit those maybe when he's gone (even though that could be 60 yrs down the road) or maybe my kids would like to see them later in life.  My kids are still young so I haven't had to worry about art projects yet.  The ones I do have are seasonal, like xmas projects, from daycare.  I keep those with the seasonal decorations and put them up.  I still have some ornaments I made as a child, and they are my most prized ones.  But those are things that only come out a couple times a year, so I don't mind storing them with other decorations.  I have very few nick-nacks, mainly cuz I hate dusting them.  And while I take a ton of pictures, I tend to only keep the ones I like in a scrapbook and toss the rest after putting them on a CD.  I don't have many pictures hanging on my wall either. 

 

My DH on the other hand, tends to keep very weird things that I would really like to get rid of but he won't let me.  Like he has a He-Man head.  Just the head, off a slipper he had as a child.  I find it throughout the house and hate the damn thing, but he won't let me get rid of it.  Also a Fraggle Rock figure, a Land Before Time kids meal toy, and a Cookie Monster figure, again all from his childhood.  I guess it would be one thing if he kept them on a shelf, but they are mixed in with the kids toys and I really don't like them.  He also has every note I ever wrote him in H.S.

post #30 of 45

OP, lvntexas and others, I really admire y'alls lack of sentimentality. lol, what I mean is, a part of me feels the same. I go back and forth at times, purging my house, then regretting some things I no longer have, then later feeling relief. Alot of times I have to contemplate items for a time before I can let go of them. I will keep some things, think about what they mean to me, then feel ready to let go. This past weekend I spent most of Sunday whittling down my photographs. I don't have many these days due to digital but I have quite a few dating back to my childhood including photos my 3 siblings sent me over the years of their families and children. That was my third photograph purge. I have removed alot from albums, thrown a bunch away, grouped and labeled the remaining, and keep them in photo boxes. It's 3 1/2 boxes now which doesn't sound like much but they are full and heavy. Although they take up far less room and are easier to store than my albums were.

 

I've also purged some of my childhood things but I didn't have many to begin with. No more yearbooks either. I have a shoebox each full of my dd's and dh's greeting cards to me. I wanted to throw them out but dh was appalled. He keeps all of mine. And when I suggested that we don't exchange them anymore he would have none of it! He wants to continue so we keep collecting fire tinder. Sigh. Ten years worth of greeting cards for several occasions each year. Ack.

post #31 of 45

I think I have more detachment now than I did even a couple years ago. Case in point: The other day while sorting through boxes of papers in our home office my little guy found and dumped out a plastic bag that had a bunch of cards in it. Upon closer inspection it was a bunch of cards from my baby shower...stuff my mom had evidently at some point stored in my packing trunk that I had all my sentimental childhood stuff in. I called my mom up and asked her about it. She said those were the cards that hadn't made the cut to get put into my baby album (which she meticulously filled out). I asked her what she wanted me to do with them and she wants them back if I don't want them...which I don't!! I DO want to keep my baby book which is in our bookshelves right now and which will go into our SMALL amount of sentimental storage when we sell this house and hit the road in an RV in a few years...but the stuff that didn't make the cut from people I don't even know? Yeah, not interested in keeping that!! So now I have to set that bag aside till the next time I see her so it can go back into that overstuffed and overcluttered farmhouse my parents live in...prob never to be seen again for the next 20-plus years or so!!

 

Another thing...that packing trunk of sentimental stuff? Yeah a quarter of that space was taken up by a dollhouse that was handmade for me when I was eight and I was keeping to give to my future daughter(s) if they ever came to be. While the furniture itself was decent, the house was made of extremely thin wood and has not held up well. After saving it back for the last 23 years...it is gone as soon as the weather cools off this fall enough for us to start pulling things out of the attic to sort (the attic is the last bastion/stronghold to overcome in the fight to declutter and minimize our belongings)!!

post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by texanromaniac View Post

I think I have more detachment now than I did even a couple years ago. Case in point: The other day while sorting through boxes of papers in our home office my little guy found and dumped out a plastic bag that had a bunch of cards in it. Upon closer inspection it was a bunch of cards from my baby shower...stuff my mom had evidently at some point stored in my packing trunk that I had all my sentimental childhood stuff in. I called my mom up and asked her about it. She said those were the cards that hadn't made the cut to get put into my baby album (which she meticulously filled out). I asked her what she wanted me to do with them and she wants them back if I don't want them...which I don't!! I DO want to keep my baby book which is in our bookshelves right now and which will go into our SMALL amount of sentimental storage when we sell this house and hit the road in an RV in a few years...but the stuff that didn't make the cut from people I don't even know? Yeah, not interested in keeping that!! So now I have to set that bag aside till the next time I see her so it can go back into that overstuffed and overcluttered farmhouse my parents live in...prob never to be seen again for the next 20-plus years or so!!

 

Another thing...that packing trunk of sentimental stuff? Yeah a quarter of that space was taken up by a dollhouse that was handmade for me when I was eight and I was keeping to give to my future daughter(s) if they ever came to be. While the furniture itself was decent, the house was made of extremely thin wood and has not held up well. After saving it back for the last 23 years...it is gone as soon as the weather cools off this fall enough for us to start pulling things out of the attic to sort (the attic is the last bastion/stronghold to overcome in the fight to declutter and minimize our belongings)!!


I HATE cards! My MIL sends me cards for every holiday and I think it's very sweet, I love that she thinks of me and takes the time to do it. But I open it, send her a thank you, and toss it immediately in the recycle bin. I just can't hold on to stuff like that, though I used to.

 

I wouldn't even ask your mom anymore, just start chucking stuff girl, it's yours!

 

post #33 of 45

My plan is to send my kids grandparents and my sister (there aunt with no kids who is a school teacher) an annual 'portfolio' of their arts and crafts. I know the grandparents will hold on to it because they have lots of space and lots of boxes of older projects, pictures, clothes etc... I think my sister will hold onto it because she loves kids and always swoons over the pictures I send her of my dd's art. I will keep a very minimal amount of things that I like around and when they make something I like more add that item to the portfolio I will send. And I'm sure if at any point either of my kids truly NEEDS that hand print and leaf turkey they made at daycare the relative that received it will be willing to give it back... in exchange for a larger more recent turkey perhaps:)

post #34 of 45

I am curious what y'all do with family/children's portraits. In our old place we had 5x7 and 8x10 frames all over the place, on various surfaces as well as the walls. After a time it began to bother me but my husband is one of those that thinks the more the merrier. If I let him we'd be overrun with portraits on every available surface and every inch of wall space. We are both on our second marriage and between the two of us we have six kids and three grandchildren. As you can imagine that is alot of photos!!! I had a plan for when we moved (which we did a couple months ago). I wanted the photos, the best ones, hung on one wall only and the only frames I wanted sitting on surfaces would be us as a couple although of course I didn't want those everywhere either. So now one wall of the dining area holds children/grandchildren portraits (and a couple of our parents). It seems like quite a bit but they're not covering the entire wall. In fact, I rather like it. I feel like I can breathe easier now without eyes staring at me from every wall. lol!

post #35 of 45

I scanned all my photos and then I have one long box that slides into the top of the closet for the originals. Still don't know what I am going to do with them but I am making a family book for my son- starting with his Great Grandparents and then on up to him. I make my books through Walgreens. They come out really nice and they are not that much to store when you don't have much- probably the size of a regular book. I actually took that extras, after scanning them all, and let the Ex with an envelope of some. I also back up my pics monthly- it's easy to do now that I am caught up.

 

As far as attachment, I always feel so weird compared to others. Several years ago, the place I lived in caught on fire. It was in the upstairs apartment while I was at work. My place suffered a lot of water damage and smoke damage. Other than my uniforms (which I needed for work obviously) the rest of the stuff wasn't that important. When I received the check for replacing stuff, I just deposited in the bank and it sat there.  I remember I had to go get everyday clothes (The military replaced the uniforms for me) and my friend at the time thought I was going to spend the whole check on clothes and shoes and stuff. All I ended up buying (and why I remember this list I don't know) were a bathing suit (always been a swimmer) flip flops, 2 pair of shorts, 2 tank tops, 2 v-neck t-shirts, 1 pair of sandals, sneakers, undergarments, 2 summer dresses and 2 sets of workout clothes. I also bought a small backpack and I did replace my mountain bike. I lived in CA at the time, so weather permitted easy clothing choices. I was so happy and my friend was horrified that I would wear just a few things. The bulk of my closet was taken up by my uniforms, as I had several combinations and various equipment stored too, that I had to have. When I deployed on a ship, I literally cleaned out my closet and took everything with me. I think I added a camera and some cd's and a player (this was pre-computer days) The only things that went into storage at a friends house were my bike and my car. bouncy.gif I was always amazed when pack out time came for deployment, watching box after box come out of the apartments we all lived in. 

 

Another thing, I am alienated from my family, by their choice, so I don't have the stuff coming in like most people. I make all the choices for DS and myself and I am actually very grateful that I can, without worry or guilt. I know it's hard when you have family member pushing things on you.

post #36 of 45

I also am not sentimental about most things.  I know that I won't be getting much stuff from my grandparents and parents because they know that I might end up giving it away.  I'm glad that they know.

 

Out of boxes and boxes of stuff that I kept from my childhood, I kept one big plastic bin full.  I went through the stuff while at my parents' house and I could tell my mom was bothered by all the things I threw away/gave away.  I recently bought a plastic bin for each of my kids.  I let them keep what ever they want or I want in there.  When/if it becomes full before they are an adult, we'll go through it and decide what can be thrown away to make space.  So I'll never have more than a bin full for each of them to keep.  I also plan on making a baby blanket-sized quilt out of some of their baby outfits/blankets that I have kept for each of them.  Oh and their baby books, which contain their birth stories and some pictures and growth records.  I'm not keeping anything else.

 

 

ETA:  I do take lots of pictures of the kids and us as a family.  those are all digital and are on my computer and backed up on cds in a small safe box along with our birth records, ss cards, marriage license and passports.

post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maela View Post

Out of boxes and boxes of stuff that I kept from my childhood, I kept one big plastic bin full.  I went through the stuff while at my parents' house and I could tell my mom was bothered by all the things I threw away/gave away.  I recently bought a plastic bin for each of my kids.  I let them keep what ever they want or I want in there.  When/if it becomes full before they are an adult, we'll go through it and decide what can be thrown away to make space.  So I'll never have more than a bin full for each of them to keep.  I also plan on making a baby blanket-sized quilt out of some of their baby outfits/blankets that I have kept for each of them.  Oh and their baby books, which contain their birth stories and some pictures and growth records.  I'm not keeping anything else.

 


I really like the idea of letting them add thing that are special to THEM!   And having them know that that bin is the limit keeps it manageable!

 

post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVNTEXAS View Post

I scanned all my photos and then I have one long box that slides into the top of the closet for the originals. Still don't know what I am going to do with them but I am making a family book for my son- starting with his Great Grandparents and then on up to him. I make my books through Walgreens. They come out really nice and they are not that much to store when you don't have much- probably the size of a regular book. I actually took that extras, after scanning them all, and let the Ex with an envelope of some. I also back up my pics monthly- it's easy to do now that I am caught up.

 


Another thing, I am alienated from my family, by their choice, so I don't have the stuff coming in like most people. I make all the choices for DS and myself and I am actually very grateful that I can, without worry or guilt. I know it's hard when you have family member pushing things on you.

 

I am sorry to read that your family has alienated you, particularly as you have a DS and as you are going to the effort of putting a family book for him. Anyway their loss I guess, and you sound as if you have accepted it.
 

 

post #39 of 45

Clutterwarrior--thank you!!! It was a long process and after many year of mental abuse, I had to make the best decision for me. I put my foot down and they chose not to like it. I still think family history is important and we are a bit of a different family, on our own and our friends are our family, but DS doesn't know any different. I tell him that he is loved and I won't lie about things as he gets older. If when he is older and can understand, he chooses to contact them, then so be it. Ok...back to the regular thread. : )

post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post




I HATE cards! My MIL sends me cards for every holiday and I think it's very sweet, I love that she thinks of me and takes the time to do it. But I open it, send her a thank you, and toss it immediately in the recycle bin. I just can't hold on to stuff like that, though I used to.

 

I wouldn't even ask your mom anymore, just start chucking stuff girl, it's yours!

 



Most of the time when I give a gift, I do not give a card.  I feel like its a waste of money because ultimately the person really does just throw them out.  I will make one out of scrapbooking stuff I have or have my son draw one.  But I keep it simple.  However, I do keep cards from when my babies are born and from their 1st holiday's and 1st birthdays.  I either cut them up and use them in scrapbooking their baby books, or just insert into their baby books whole.  After the 1st year though, I do not keep them.

 

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