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post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Who here is working towards simple living? I used to have a simple, frugal bare-bones life- in the last few years have lost it and am going back.

I'm working on simplifying everything from money (Your Money or Your Life), to my house to food to time...

So far, have decluttered/donated toys and have the house cleared out except my art studio- which I need to do today or tomorrow. It needs a trash bag for old paint tubes and such, as well as removing canvasses I don't like from stretcher bars and tossing them and re-using the bars.

Share your stories! Let's talk simplicity, frugal living, etc! What rewards have you gotten from simplifying?
post #2 of 16
Hey Monnie-
Great topic. I'm working on simplifying here too. I used to belong to the organization Simply Living but now I'm too busy with the babe. I feel like I sort of fell off the wagon but I'm working on it again. My husband and I have decided to make big changes in our lives. We're going to sell our house and move to AZ. We live in a great house but it's too big and too expensive. It's so much more than we need. So, we're going to pack it in and move to a new place and at least cut our living expenses in half. We are so tired of the rat race and wonder why we've been living that way for so long. Once we move, we'll be able to work part-time, in low stress jobs and focus more directly on the important stuff. So, we're just starting to clean out stuff. I don't know about you but it's easy to become so incredibly attached to stuff. My DH's more attached than I am. But, I've got my share of stuff that I never use or look at. I'm looking forward to the challenge of getting rid of enough stuff to fit into our new, much smaller space. We'll be forced to get rid of all the stuff that doesn't really matter.:LOL How do you prioritize what you want to keep and what you get rid of? How do you let go? I could use some help there!
I love the idea of working on a more simplified life with the other women here!!

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Chrissy! Good luck with your move and new simpler life!

It is hard to get rid of possessions! It helps to have a decluttering buddy. I have my sister. She is is ruthlessly objective and if I simply can't part with it, but I need to, I call her and she usually says, "get rid of it!"

I could not do it on my own at first. When the stuff was gone, it felt so good- so free that I have been able to keep going on my own- mostly. Still I hit snags- especially over things that were given to me or the kids.
post #4 of 16
Take pictures of those things that you really want to keep, but don't need. Esp handy if you have a digital camera...that way you can keep the pics on the comp. This is great for all the kiddos artwork and projects that you just don't have room for. Grandparents also love to get this kinda thing.

You're both stronger than I.
post #5 of 16

Checking in...

We definitely try hard to live simply. It helps that I am a neatnik and dh and I both get freaked-out by Too Much Stuff. I seriously can't deal with brick-a-brack and clutter. We just bought our first house and we are so excited to simplify even further (compost, garden, canning, etc). Moving around has helped us live simply, but it is terribly stressful and I am really looking forward to settling down for awhile. I can see how it would be easy to accumulate a ton of cr*p by living in the same place for years at a time.

We are not terribly frugal, however. For use a big part of SL is buying the best (what we can afford) of what we need. We also tend to spend $ on things that will help us live more in-line with our values (a solar system, for example). As I get a little older, I would like to live a little more frugally so we can save more.

Just some late-night ramblings, I'd love to discuss this further!
post #6 of 16
I just rennovated and painted my daughter's new room. When I moved that daughter into her new room I had her dejunk (she is a hoarder) and I dejunked her old room (too much crap) and cleansed it for my other dd. So last week I did Julianna's room and the peskey closet. (put away the hats and mittens basket as well as storing the skiing and snowboarding clothing (two huge rubbermaid boxes full plus the washbasket full of hats and mittens, arg.

It feels so good to declutter and simplify. We've lived in this house for almost 10 years and, yes, living in one place has the tendency to accumulate unnecessary junk if you're not consciously dejunking.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Cloverlove- we aren't terribly frugal either (used to be, though). Do you have a solar house?

We buy the best, too- on certain things. Dh bought a new hybrid Prius for environmental reasons instead of a used car. He replaced his 1977 Chevy, which still ran but was needing repairs.

We got a new front loading washing machine to save on water use. We spent more to get one with a child lock. I also researched consumer reports to find the best model.

I am hoping these are the last major purchases like this and we can be frugal again.

A problem I had decluttering WAS being frugal- we saved everything for years to repair, re-use or build with (old lumber). Dh's parents are big garage salers and kept GIVING us things, which we felt obligated to keep but had no current use for (Rooster toothpick holder? Many boxes of mis-matched glassware?)

I can't take clutter either- don't like "stuff" cluttering- stresses me out. But I didn't know how to get rid of it. Now that I do, it's like I'm absolutely ruthless about it. At least I think I am :LOL Maybe it's just in comparison to the "old" me.

Our garage (a one-car) was full of junk and I told dh, "You can't buy your Prius until you can fit in in the garage." That FINALLY was the motivation to clean out.

Debra, it is amazing how much you accumulate. we've been here over 10 years, too.
post #8 of 16

I know what you mean about buying the best. We buy the best quality we can afford. I just went through the process of buying a new clothes dryer. I wanted one that would conserve energy and last a long time. I ended up buying a Maytag with a moisture sensor instead of a heat sensor and had to wait a week for it to come in because all the other (read cheap-o) models in the warehouse had the less efficient sensors.

Might sound gross but I equate decluttering and simplifying with keeping the digestive system regular. HOlding onto usless stuff is like being constipated.

Aaaaahhhhhh, it feels good to let go!!

post #9 of 16
a book that helped us: clear your clutter with feng shui by karen kingston. it helps to deal with what to keep and what to get rid of and a lot of other emotional issues dealing with stuff.

also, that tlc show clean sweep was helpful, in some regards.

we've been simplifying for 5 years. yes, it's taken that long. and we're not 'done' yet. getting my hubby to get on board was a challenge. but he's commited for different reasons than i am, wich is cool because we're covering a lot of bases; ie, he's getting smaller computers (we have a domain and servers), based on energy usage. they take up less space and cost less in electricty, not to mention heat up the house less. i'm more into the energy/feng shui aspects. so it's pretty well rounded.

we started off by selling our 3500 sqft house and needing to find places for all our junk. fortunately the house wasn't full, but it surely didn't need to be, considering the amount of crud we culled from it. we live in an 1100 sqft house, now. we moved out of state and had to relocate all this stuff. it was expensive and time consuming. but, it's been worth it.

beyond the clutter, we're simplifying other things, as well. but, we don't want to live so austerly that it's painful. we haven't gotten to that point, anyway.


post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
One thing about our house- it's huge- about 2300 sq. ft. including the daylight basement. It's a 1950s basic box of a house and more space than we need- but in this housing market a smaller house would cost us MORE!!!

So we try to keep the possessions down knowing we have more than it appears since its spread out.
post #11 of 16
When my husband was deployed during the war, I threw out a ton of junk! I was so happy. But then he came home and now we have more junk! He moved to Germany not long ago, and before we join him, I will be clearing out alot more junk again!
post #12 of 16
I've only thrown out one full trash bag and gotten 1 box ready for the thrift store.
I've gotta get motivated and get rid of more stuff.
Turns out I'm almost positive we're moving and we have SO much stuff.
I need motivation! Help!
post #13 of 16
Just think about all those heavy boxes you'll have to pack, load, unload and unpack in your wonderful new home! And definitely think about all the ppl that could sooooo use all your stuff. Donate momma!!!!
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes- think about a fresh start. You can do it! Be ruthless.
post #15 of 16
I did it! I got rid of stuff just like I said I would!
Thanks for the encouragement.
This week I'm tackling 4 boxes in the basement. No fun but I'll do it!

post #16 of 16

may i join?

simplifying has been a major theme in my life lately.

first, we decided to declutter. i've got a bag for the thrift store and a bag of trash, and then 3 piles of things that will be put in to bags for the thrift store.

i still have a lot of work to do. both of the kids' rooms are clutter disasters. but it will be fun clearing them out, and actually making the baby's room look like a bedroom, not a storage closet.
my daughter is 6 months, and we're having some nursing problems right now, so i have to do it slow and steady. but it's getting there.

another thing that's been going on that i think qualifies as simplifying is that we had been looking for a house. we live in a city with a not so good public school system and overpriced homes (imho). ds is in a montessori preschool right now, but we wouldn't be able to afford that for much longer if we bought a house, and our kids would go to public school.

right now we're living in family student housing because i was a student, and dh is going back to grad school but not for another year.

but yesterday we started thinking about what we had wanted for our children, and decided that living here would let us afford the schools that we want for our kids (private montessori), along with other things. which means we'll be living in the apartments for five more years, but overall a better lifestyle in lots of ways--there's community here, playgrounds, lots of children, great part of town, safe.

our families are going to think we're nuts for making this decision, but i think it's by far the best way to go. so i guess we're simplifying our home and the way we live so that we can meet other goals and needs.

sorry that was so long! i'm excited though.
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