or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mimimalist Mamas - Page 5

post #81 of 152

yes, i know.


my preference is for stark and minimalist (by most people's standards).


today, I came up with an interesting solution. The original way that I was going to set up the cottage may not work, so I thought of an alternative.


The salvation army was supposed to come and pick up the divan bed that we got second-hand (that I no longer want because it wasn't what I thought it was when i bought it. i was told it was "solid wood" but if you mean "solid timber" you have to say timber because "solid wood" means "wood particle board" that is not wiggling or falling apart. *annoying*


So, I thought that we might end up moving with it, so I can paint it bright white, put it into the bedroom area (which opens to the lounge) -- on the long wall. It's about 10 ft long. use that like a sofa. put my bench in front, and the two chairs one on either side. get some pallets and hack them into 3 shelves to hold our books. The draws under the bed can hold DS's toys, the extra bedding for the bed (pillows, sheets, blankets, etc), and I'll recover the mattresses with some nice fabric, too. 


then, put the bed in the lounge -- under the window that looks out over the sea. This will be warmer for sleeping, too, as it would put us in the same room (admittedly, it's all one room) as the fire place/gas heater (the bed will be about 3-4 feet away from it). 


Of course, I may decide to move it all around in a completely different way, too. we'll just ahve to get the furniture in there, i guess. 

post #82 of 152

Here's a question...how do y'all decide how much/many of something is needed. For example, do you have two sets of sheets for your bed(s), a spare umbrella, etc? I like the idea of living without excess, meaning only having what I actually need, not what I may need if/when some unlikely situation occurs, which is I guess what makes me minimalistic in the first place. But, there are exceptions to that. I know so much of this depends on individual situations, like, for instance, I do have spare sheets because ds sleeps with us and, unfortunately, no diaper holds everything all the time. I'm curious what others do, though.  It's fascinating to me, where needs end and excess begins.      jkj





post #83 of 152

Disregard that random typing. I'm not sure where that came from and it won't let me edit it.

post #84 of 152

I have one set of sheets for my bed, one for the pull out couch for DS. He is out of diapers, but when he was in them or learning to sleep in big boy undies, I had 3 bottom sheets for him. I keep my umbrella in my tote/purse, it really doesn't take up that much room and I always have it with me. It all depends on your needs. I live where it stays warmer than most even during winter, so I don't need extra blankets and cold weather gear. We each have a jacket, hat and gloves and I have one extra blanket, which we use for picnics and the beach.


I don't buy bulk either. I just don't use up stuff that fast with just the 2 of us. I buy 2 soaps at a time or just 1 bottle of shampoo and I use them up. When space is at a premium, as it is in my 1 bedroom apartment, I learned to live with just what I need. I think my only exception is tp- because if I buy a huge batch, it literally lasts us a year. I just store some in the bathroom and the rest in the pantry. I move them as needed.


As a minimalist, I don't feel I make any sacrifices. I live with what we need and a few wants, for things like the sports or hobbies we are interested in. I live with our bikes in our closet because I can't leave them out on the porch and we do bike alot. But it works, because we use them and we take care of them. Most of the time, the bikes will be in the living room. I have so little, that we have the room. DS thinks it's cool and it reminds me to take a ride as often as I can.


I don't keep anything just in case or because I was into way back and now I am not. I got over that guilt quick. I believe you have to move stuff out and leave open space to let new stuff, experiences, ideas, karma, in. thumbsup.gif


I was thinking about this with some of DS's stuff- his baby items, toys and clothes that I have kept. I took his coming home from the hospital outfit and had it framed. I keep only his artwork that he either used his feet or handprints to make or some things when he writes his name or mine on them. He is actually getting selective about what I can keep. Must be genetic.jumpers.gif I kept his cards from his birth to his 1st birthday, a small baggie of blocks, a few favorite items of clothing- all in one skinny bin that goes on the top shelf of the closet. He can have it some day or else not...it will be up to him. I did add a few patches from when his father and I were in the military and his Grandaddy's dog tags and small flag. I have scanned all my originals into my computer, making 2 back up disks.


Ok- got off subject, but that is what I did. redface.gif

post #85 of 152

I was just thinking about this today. I have previously kept an extra of most items and do have 4 sets of sheets (2 cotton, 2 flannel) for each of the beds (2 twin, 1 king). I have stopped buying a spare of most consumable items. We just keep the one we are using and when we are close to running out I add it to the shopping list. I will not replace the sheets for the king bed when a set wears out. It is rare that I can't get them washed within in the same day. I will keep an extra sets of twin sheets since one of my ds's still has nightly bedwetting. Also becaue they change their sheets on saturday morning and are so good putting the fresh sheet on right away that I don't want to mess with their routine.


I don't buy in bulk either or stock up on food. I receive my CSA weekly then shop at the store for 2-3 days worth of fresh or pantry items. 


Looking forward to hearing other replies..

post #86 of 152

i'm like the other two.


We really only have what we need/use. We have one set of sheets for our bed, but we rarely use the flat sheet, so if there is an accident, we put the top sheet under us. Same with towels, with food, with shampoo, soap, etc etc. I think the only thing we buy in bulk is laundry detergent -- which is a 5 liter jug. 


It definitely keeps things simple for us. 


Right now, because of the move, we are decluttering again -- which means just letting go of jars, cardboard, and plastic containers, and any clothes that don't fit, or just destroyed. Mostly, recycling, of course. And, there are some things that I have to store -- like light bulbs for the offices (those big tube ones), so I'll need to find a home for them *in* the offices. Luckily, I have a little extra space, and if need be, we can always let them go (sell them online). 


Then it's matter of cleaning up our new space to meet our needs. :)



post #87 of 152

When I am line drying I like to have two sets of sheets.  Lately I've been using the dryer more, and we really only need one set per bed.  Today I posted a ton of stuff on freecycle.  It's so awesome and freeing to be seeing these things go, especially when people are so thankful to get them.

post #88 of 152

True, I love letting things go.


DH managed to get himself overwhelmed while we were packing the last bits today. we have one basket of "office papers" and he wondered if we "had to" keep them. we really don't, so he's going to the office tomorrow to take light bulbs and these papers, and then get rid of them during his office time next week. He really is coming along. LOL


We got our jars down to only the ones we use, and our plastic containers down to 5 (2 square actual tupper ware ones) and 3 old yogurt containers in three different sizes. That pretty much is all that we use.


I managed to donate clothes to the play group, wool to my friend (and wool felting supplies), spices and baking items to another friend. I cleared our various toiletries (why DH was hanging onto empty bottles and boxes of things is beyond me), and got those back down to our normal minimum, too. 


All that's left to pack now are the dishes and the remaining clothing items (currently in the wash).


Tomorrow, we pack everything into our friend's car in the am, and at 1:00, the movers come to pick up the heavy furnishings.


Around the same time, we'll be showing the place to potential tenants, and then on Sunday at 3, showing to another set of potential tenants. Looks like someone is likely to be renting this place come next weekend, which bodes well for us being out-and-done. :)


Then, we start working on making the new place nice and bright.


post #89 of 152

We line-dry so two sets if sheets for our one bed. When DD has her own bed, I imagine she will have two sets too. DD wears wool "panties" to bed over her diaper ( we don't do cloth diaps anymore, but buy these bio-degradable eco-diapers made of corn starch) because the diaper leaked a couple of times. The night diaper is on a long time and needs some extra protection.


I also like to have a small supply of food stuffs and shampoos etc. Having a lot doesn't make me feel safe or secure, it makes me feel pressured to use it up. It also stiffles my creativity if I have too much supplies of any kind. One spare deodorant or bottle of shampoo is okay to have, preferably no more.

I often go through the cupboards too and throw out any stuff we are not using, like baking ingredients I didn't like at all. The frugal side of me first thinks if there is a way I can use it up or give it someone else, but if it's realistically not going to happen, I put in the bio-recycling.

post #90 of 152

Hi!Peace.gif I found the link for this tribe while reading thru the extreme minimalist thread. I think it's all relative. I've lived happily in a studio sharing it with others, I lived by myself in a 3br once (wow talk about spreading out!! even though it was only for 8 months). I was raised to be frugal but I have had to live on very little since around the time I became pregnant with my daughter, who is now nearly three. I have never moved a significant distance, I've lived within about forty minutes to an hour from downtown Chicago throughout my life. The place I recently moved into is actually very close to where I *was conceived, and I have gravitated to this neighborhood repeatedly over the short course of my adult life. That is all for now, I will read through the thread after getting DD to bed and then share some more particulars & what I'm working on at the moment. Nice to meet you all!!




ETA: was ...makes all the difference in that sentence! Let's not become so minimalist that we leave out important descriptors, LoL

Edited by lucifugous - 6/7/11 at 8:30pm
post #91 of 152

LvnTexas- I don't think minimalism is a fad but I do think that it correlates with the excesses in our recent history as well as those that are still going on today. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a logical response to what's going on in the world right now, so there may be more people exploring that side of the spectrum, including those to whom it doesn't come as naturally.


lkvosu- It is so relative. Comparing can be helpful, but the real goals are functionality & personal balance.


What else can I say? We've done minimal drawer space, no microwave, Tv, etc. for a while. I love that I'm on a laptop now and don't have a desk. But I definitely have stuff I can get rid of yet. Still have extra pillowcases from back when D would spit up all.the.time and I just haven't gotten to culling them because there were two that matched each sheet set, then some of the spares that didn't match anything, then I have to flannel ones for winter and two of my favorite tie dye ones my mom got me over a decade ago... LoL, and meanwhile I'm down to one pillow, just one of the sheet sets that had matching cases (and one newer one that I was able to buy fitted only :D), so it's obviously quite unnecessary to have ten or a dozen pillowcases at this point. >sigh< but they take up so little space I haven't bothered. In other areas, things are not allowed to sit for so long! I do have my high school yearbooks, as I mentioned before some too-small clothes (I'll be damned if this is the size I'm staying at, no joke) and some cloth diapers that I really need to get $$ for. All this, and when someone comes over they are majorly astounded at how minimalist the home is. But they don't see that half the kitchen cabinets are unused (and I'm talking a small kitchen). They'll never know the half of it, lol.


Well thank you for starting this tribe, providing a place for me to talk these things out and realize what does need to go. I seriously want to get on it. Writing all this out has helped me get past what we don't have (not a single thing on the ugly sandy/tan colored walls, miniblinds just begging for curtains, nowhere to eat, etc.) and realize that I will need to deal with moving stuff out first. It will be a while, and I can wait, until I find the right functional &/or beautiful items to make this home into a company-friendly place (my main objective).

post #92 of 152



i think it sounds like a great goal.


when we moved into our larger place, we did get some things to make it company-comfortable. We got a table and chairs so that we could eat there, and invite friends over. 


we have a day bed, it was supposed to be donated to the salvation army, but they never came to pick it up. so, we brought it into our new place. and now DH loves it. we'll paint it white, dress up the bedding, and use it for storage/etc. one drawer for bedding, two for DS's toys. it's right in the living room. so now we'll have two mid-mod chairs and one day-bed. :) and a book case, most likely. Though, DH is deciding whether he wants that in the living room or in the closet (small second bedroom) that we have. 


it's funny how it goes. if the sallies had taken it away last week, we wouldn't have missed it. ah well. now, if it goes, i think DH would miss it (though he says he'd like to eventually upgrade to something nicer. understandable, this is literally just MDF). 

post #93 of 152

So our family is moving from Portland OR to Southern CA this September, so I've REALLY stepped up the decluttering a notch. Financially we probably are only going to be able to afford a 4x8 trailer on the car, so I really have to figure out what we are taking and what is staying.  We moved up here after out wedding with the same size trailer, but since then we've added two kids and a WHOLE bunch of stuff.  It's going to be an adventure. We are taking a full size bed, the bike trailer and our small kitchen table with 6 chairs for sure. I would love to take our chair and ottoman, and the bikes.  Then of course there are the kids toys.  I don't give away their things without their permission, so I am a little worried about how to handle it if we do need to, especially since they really don't have that much to begin with.  So far I am just being ruthless with my own stuff.  I know anything I need will come back to me in time.  I am sad about leaving the piano and the chickens behind, a funny combination, but certainly replaceable!

post #94 of 152




I don't know how old your children are, but when my mother needed us to declutter our things (usually before a move), she would provide for us the number of boxes that we could have for toys. We then had to decide which were most important to move, and then we got to choose where the old toys went. My mother would then divide those that we had culled into those which could be donated and those that could not (too dirty). And then she would take care of it. 


It really helped me -- as a kid -- to let go and give to others. I knew that a lot of my toys would go to children who didn't have any -- often homeless shelters and women's shelters and the like. I felt good giving things away. Not everything, but what I could. :)


I'm sure you'll figure out, though, how to bend space and time to fit everything you need in that trailer.


post #95 of 152

My girls will be 2 and 4 when we move.  My oldest understands a little about giving things away, because she sees me doing it and we talk about it.  My two year is VERY distressed by even me giving away my own things.  We'll figure it out, I know.  Yesterday we took another trunk load to the thrift store.  I have a full box ready to go in the trunk, a salvation army pickup scheduled for a bed and couch we don't use, and a friend coming for the chickens next week. I also packed some of our dishes into a bag and set them out of sight.  I want to see if we really even use them all.  I just kept out 6 plates and 6 bowls, since we sometimes have people visit.


It is SO freeing.  I am really excited by it.  I actually am starting to not mind the thought of giving away my piano.  DH mentioned we could sell one of our cars and then get a moving truck for the piano, but selling both the car and the piano sounds fine to me, in fact, that would pay for this birth. (I'm 20 weeks pregnant).  I just need to make sure we can fit two car seats and a booster in the smaller car.


We just found out we are having another girl, so I need to get out the baby clothes I have saved and keep only my favorite ones to move. I am sure my family will be more then excited to get anything we might end up needing, and thrift store baby clothes are cheap.


Right now I am reading Walden.  It's very appropriate and inspiring at this point as we fix up our house and pare down our things.


I've also been watching HGTV's  House Hunter's online.  I find it amusing, and sometimes annoying, but I like looking at these big houses and really knowing that it really isn't what I want at all.

post #96 of 152

my little guy gets distressed by things going away too. But he usually does concede when clothing doesn't fit, and will tell me that it's good that they go to other children who need those clothes. 

post #97 of 152

Today I went WAY minimalist with my hair...as in a cute pixie and I love it. I now just have some shampoo/conditioner and a balm for my hair. Also, no more coloring. I am going my natural white/gray/brown. WOOT WOOT!!! I donated 10 products I previously needed for my middle of the back, thick, layered hair. I feel so free and cute. : )


Also, I am purging a few things again. I think I ended up with one small bag for donation, but it is still one bag. I also have been talking to my son's doctor about his allergies. She said to get rid of any stuff animals and reduce the amount of dust around him. We are discussing him keeping his one dog and one favorite bear and donating the rest. SO far so good..we shall see..I eliminated the extra and tucked them away in the closet. If in one month he doesn't ask for them, out they go. My better to have his health than a bunch of stuffed animals.


I also eliminated some clothing, donating it to a friend who knows a single mama who needs some things. With my new fangle haircut and color, certain colors are not working anymore. It's been fun.

post #98 of 152

Cute short hair, always so much fun! I cut mine really short couple of years ago and am now at a really short bob. I will stay here until I cut it again.


I am getting my stuff down as well. 4 brown bags waiting to go to charity and always looking for more. Time has opened up in my life because of the reduction of stuff. Also trying teach my boys that yes they can have stuff, but they are ultimately incharge of taking caring of it and cleaning up around it. I can see their minds working on that and seeing that mom is not going to be responsible for them. Our livingroom has become a wonderful place for us to be, play games eat and enjoy eachothers company. Before this last major purge, I ALWAYS felt as though I needed to clean and tidy when I was in it and that is no fun and not very gratifying. I take naps occationally now, a sure sign that I have opened some space in my life.. 


This process that I am going through, is opening lots of other places in my heart and mind. I am thinking about things that I haven't been thinking about for years; my spirituality, eating habits, relationships..... the list goes on.




post #99 of 152

Hi everyone! Just checking in really quickly. I look forward to coming back and reading all through the previous comments.


I guess I'm a selective minimalist. I like my home to be very minimalist in general, but I don't feel the need to skimp back significantly on size. We're four people and a very large dog in a 2000 sq ft. house, and while we could get by with less, I like the space. 


But things are not packed full. My counters are bare. Almost all flat surfaces are empty. I don't like knick-knacks or souveniers. I don't even like family photos on display. I find them cluttery. We do have art, however. 


We keep our kitchen stocked with basics, both food and cooking/baking utensils and such. 


But then you get into something like clothing, and we all have generous amounts and I like it that way. It's something I enjoy. It doesn't cause me stress or make more work for anyone, so I see no reason to cut back at this point in time. 


Anyway.... I'm off to go paint a bathroom. 

post #100 of 152

I have another car load to to give away, and took a bunch of dry food goods to church and gave it away there, we won't use them before we move.  Our living room is now almost empty, we have a bedroom with all our beds and another bedroom set up as a living room with a comfy chair, desk, and the kids toys.  I'm getting excited, we might be able to fit everything we want to keep in the trailer!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Connect With Other Moms