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WooHoo! Welcome Minimalist Mamas!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I am so thrilled that we have a whole group with space to organize our threads. joy.gif

 

Let's start out with a welcome/intro thread and maybe a short list of what makes you a minimalist (or aspiring minimalist) mama? Here's my short list:

 

1. I have fewer clothes than my baby and can do all of my own clothes in one load of laundry (half a load for baby, because his clothes are smaller).

 

2. I don't own more than 10 actual books (a few hundred on Kindle), and have no hard copies of photos or music.

 

3. I value experiences and space to roam more than STUFF.

 

Who's next? love.gif

post #2 of 19

Hi! Happy to be here! My name is Maia and I am a minimalist not-mama-yet (but hopefully within the next year) living in the San Juan Islands with my husband and puppy.

 

A few things off the top of my head:

1. I live in a one bedroom plus loft 500 sq ft cabin

2. I don't wear makeup and recently buzzed my hair off so my morning routine consists of Dr. Bronner's soap and Uncle Harry's tooth powder

3. I am constantly evaluating the clothes I wear and almost always have a give away box in progress - I currently own 10 shirts, 6 pants, and 2 dresses

 

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maia.springgoddess View Post

Hi! Happy to be here! My name is Maia and I am a minimalist not-mama-yet (but hopefully within the next year) living in the San Juan Islands with my husband and puppy.

 

A few things off the top of my head:

1. I live in a one bedroom plus loft 500 sq ft cabin

2. I don't wear makeup and recently buzzed my hair off so my morning routine consists of Dr. Bronner's soap and Uncle Harry's tooth powder

3. I am constantly evaluating the clothes I wear and almost always have a give away box in progress - I currently own 10 shirts, 6 pants, and 2 dresses

 



Hi Maia! Welcome! I'm impressed by no makeup!

 

At 38, I don't feel like I can get away with that anymore, but I use one lip gloss, face powder, an eyeliner and mascara. And I don't do hair products other than shampoo. I've been trying to find ways to be more minimalist in the bathroom, but I don't think I'm ready to go that far yet!

 

post #4 of 19

Happy for this group, I hope it is pretty active. I love hearing other peoples ways and thoughts on minimalism...helps me define my own! :)

 

I've always had minimalistic tendencies, I just thought I was being practical! lol.gif

 

When I was younger, I hated dusting my mom's knick knacks, I didn't get why we had to have so many useless decorations that served no purpose. I have what I need, and use everything I have. I am secretly curious as to wether or not any of my children will become hoarders in response to my minimalism...so far, I'm not seeing any signs of that! redface.gif

 

My furniture is used every day. Nothing I have is for show, or "too good" to be used, like towels or dishes or even whole rooms. My drinking glasses double as containers. I get such a satisfied feeling when I reuse/repurpose something and it works perfectly! It feels cozy when things are faded, and showing signs of wear. My dream kitchen does not have cabinets, just open efficient shelves where everything is accessible and easy to put away, because I use everything in my kitchen on pretty much a daily basis. My wardrobe is simple and comfortable, layering appropriately for the season. I've never used anything with a scent to it and I don't do make up on a regular basis, but I do have basic black eye liner and mascara for special occasions; I do use lip balm regularly. I wash my face with honey every few days, water otherwise. Dr. Bronners baby soap is all I can stand on my skin when I do use soap. (I would love to not use shampoo, but never really tried.) I don't aspire to have a certain number of things, or a specific amount of stuff, or even to get rid of a pre-decided number of things. Honestly, if I got rid of anything in my house at this point, I would notice.

 

So...there's some random rambling from me! winky.gif    

post #5 of 19

Well, as I told my husband, I'd rather be the odd one out in a minimalist group who has a little bit more stuff and is encouraged by the others in becoming more minimalist than the odd one out elsewhere where everyone has more junk than I do and encourages me in acquiring more!!

 

As the granddaughter of a lady who was definitely a packrat (if not a hoarder) and a mom who is becoming more and more that way after finally settling down from traveling/moving to new countries/cities/houses most of her adult life...I definitely have reacted by going towards minimalism, but I guess I have those packrat "genes", so it's a constant internal struggle!!

 

So yeah, being part of a tribe where I'm the most "cluttered" of the minimalists and am constantly encouraged in my decluttering/minimizing process is a very good thing!!

 

Right now we live in a 1,600 sq. ft house (which is WAY too much house even for a claustrophobic like me) and it's just the three of us, the cat, and one beta fish!! Our goal is to attack the stuff we have even more ruthlessly than the last few times through and get rid of even more...then try to sell our house without losing any money on it. We then hope to move into an RV. If it were up to be, we'd move into an Airstream trailer or a vintage Wanderlodge bus...but it will probably end up being a fifth wheel with pop-outs just to accommodate my tall husband and my destined-to-be-tall-someday son (at 5'4" myself ceiling height is never an issue). 

 

We will probably end up living locally in the RV for a while while DH continues on in his current job so we can get debt-free (we were almost there before some medical stuff came up and hit us hard). Then we hope to travel and be location independent. I am hoping that Bug gets a sibling someday, but after the rough year we've had it may be a while, so we are moving forward on our house-selling plans. 

 

I've done one round of Project 333 and am now gearing up for a year of Project 36/365 (with a couple tweaks of my own). My kiddo is also fairly minimalist on clothes, but DH is a clotheshorse!! He knows that he'll have to minimize his clothes when we move into the RV, but doesn't see the point until then. He is with me on minimizing for the most part, except when it comes to his clothes and electronics (and a bit on the books and sentimental stuff too, but he's getting better at that).

 

Anyway, that's a bit about me. Sorry so disjointed, but kiddo woke up and was hanging on me and then I realized that I have an appointment in a little over an hour (lab work related to this last miscarriage) and I've got to get a move on!!

post #6 of 19

What a great group! I am so happy to have found you, especially with all the product reviews and merchandising going on around MDC lately.

 

1. We (husband, a 2year old, a baby to be and me) live in a s 1 Bedroom apartment. It's just big enough for us, but sometimes maybe a bit too small to have guests over, especially in winter.

 

2. We have "only" one car, although both dh and I are working, but are lucky enough to be able to work from home a good amount of days.

 

3. I haven't bought clothes for any of us in years, we all wear hand-me-downs from friends, I have tried to reduce my wardrobe but with a messy toddler, changing body sizes during pregnancies, clothes needed  to speak in public, it is larger than my dream is.

 

4. We have minimalist furniture: no a couch, couch table, dining room table, only one big mattress for the three of us, one wardrobe for all of us.

 

5. I don't like shopping and adding new things, but I have a hard time letting go of things that I have accumulated during childhood (such as books I hope my children will read later on), or remnants for crafting and sewing. I am hoping to learn and be encouraged by you guys here. My dh is a great example this way! So I  guess frugality trumps my minimalistic tendencies a bit ;)

post #7 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by belltree View Post

 

1. We (husband, a 2year old, a baby to be and me) live in a s 1 Bedroom apartment. It's just big enough for us, but sometimes maybe a bit too small to have guests over, especially in winter.


There's a great blog called Rowdy Kittens written by a woman who lives in a seriously tiny house. She recently wrote a post about entertaining when you don't have much space that I thought was great! Her advice includes cooking before your guests arrive and communicating expectations so they aren't surprised when they have to cozy up to the table. The full article is here: http://rowdykittens.com/2011/11/entertain/

 

 

post #8 of 19

So I tend to look around and think that I have way too much stuff, but everyone else tells me I'm a minimalist.  I was a bit of a packrat as a kid, but in college I really got into paring back and now I am really into getting rid of stuff.  I had reached a point where there was nothing I wanted to declutter in my home, and then we were planning to move in with my parents so I got rid of ton of household stuff.  Now that we aren't moving I find myself wishing I still had some of those things and accumulating.  We used to be very minimalist on furniture, but now I find myself wanting a bunk bed for the kids and a bed frame for DH and me.

 

How am I a minimalist?

 

I use no makeup daily, and just a little on special occasions.  I use Dr. Bronner's for my shampoo/soap/shaving, instead of a bunch of different products. My daily routine consists of brushing my hair and pulling it back, and brushing and flossing my teeth.  (We have no storage in the bathroom, so personal products got downsized SUPER fast when we moved into this house.) 

 

I have a simple wardrobe.  Right now it is bigger then I would like, because I just had a baby and I'm all messed up on sizing. I like to have two dressy outfits and at least four skirts/pants and four shirts, 2 bras, 4-8 pairs of underwear and two pairs of shoes (sandals and uggs).  This is kind of where I want to get more.  If I had exactly the items I wanted then they would be multi-purpose and I could get rid of the things that aren't.  (Listing that all out seems like a LOT though)

 

My family has one bookcase with all of our books, scrapbooks, journals, our television, and a lot of empty space on each shelf.

 

My kitchen dishes and pans all fit into one full load of the dishwasher.  I would be fine with fewer, but I don't like to handwash.

 

We have one car, we eat simply, our furniture is very functional, I own 6 bath towels, and two sets of sheets for each bed.  We don't have a bunch of knick-knacks everywhere. Our garage is used for housing chickens and firewood and basic tools as we repair our own car and are fixing up our home ourselves.

 

I used to be very minimal about the children's clothes and toys, but now that they are getting older the girls want to have more say in what they have and they like their things.  We are also unschooling, so I feel like I should be bringing more toys and things into our house for the girls to explore.

 

post #9 of 19

Well howdy!!! I love this subject.

 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a minimalist. What makes me one?

1. I put value in experiences over things.

2. I like to know what I own and not have to worry.

3. I can spend my time and money on dog rescue.

4. I WILL find a tiny home and grow my own vegetables and have room for my foster dogs and lots of fresh air and sun for my DS.

 

post #10 of 19

hello.  I am Melanie, 1 dh 4 kiddos.

 

Just a couple weeks ago, i found that saving my winter gear that survived last yr saved me from having to buy anything new for ds2, age just turned 3.

 

I DON'T buy new if I can avoid it.

 

I make a list, many times i find a way to work around buying before I go to the store.

 

We very rarely use disposable dishes or napkins, paper towels, dh and i don't use TP

 

2 sets of sheets per bed.  I'm not replacing any that have more than that.

 

laptops.  much less parts and no desk required.

 

Buying used clothes and taking care of what we have rather than buying more.

 

loved toys stay, others don't.,  most are 2nd hand

 

scratch cooking--eliminates packaging and # of items

 

plan outings when i can to minimize time spent shopping, # of trips, gas used, etc.

 

i am careful about tossing though, i hate rebuying.

 

old stained towels and clothes go in a ragbag to clean with, oil rag for the car, etc.

 

cloth diapering, 2nd hand

 

used vehicles, .

 

repair, don't replace.

 

LIBRARY  we do not buy movies and rarely buy books.

 

oh and i clean with 4 products, dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, and magic eraser when the kids color on the wall.   buy b. soda in bulk much less packaging.


Edited by peaceful_mama - 12/1/11 at 7:24pm
post #11 of 19

This is great-- I love this group...not sure if I fit exactly, maybe I would say I'm more simple living?  Not sure. 

 

I come from a hoarding household, and as an adult I realized that clutter and knickknacks make me feel kind of creepy-crawly inside. 

 

We do have a few things from our travels, but those have serious significance to dh and me.  Like some of you have listed, we borrow instead of buy, and buy as little as possible.  Our clothes are hand-me-downs or swaps. 

 

Dr. B's is a staple for a lot of us huh?  lol   I use baking soda and vinegar for pretty much everything: laundry, dishwasher, all-purpose cleaner, homemade tooth powder, hair wash...that minimizes lots. 

 

We're a one-car household.  I grow our veggies and put things by through canning, drying, and root-cellaring.

 

We belong to a buying club and get staple food items in bulk, so we have very little packaging to store/throw away, and we are able to make everything from scratch. 

 

My challenges:  We cloth diaper and use family cloth and cloth napkins... this makes for more laundry than I'd like.  We try to make a lot of stuff...but this often results in my art/sewing room exploding on me.  How do I balance this??  We're a really open household and have people coming and going all the time-- this means we have extra dishes, and extra beds/sleeping bags, and extra chairs...and also extra stuff that people leave behind.  In boxes.  In my mudroom.  *ack*  smile.gif

 

I'm excited to learn more about what you all are doing-- very inspiring.

post #12 of 19

I'm super excited to see this group up! I'm a minimal-er soon to be mom. Neither one of us are big shoppers so that helps. Dh took some time to get passed the guilt of getting rid of useless, broken, or flat out ugly things from family(both gifts and junk they didn't want to get rid of so when they moved overseas). After seeing how much smoother the home ran without the excess stuff he's become a complete convert. We moved cross country a year ago and had a major purge then so we're down to mostly needed or beloved items.

 

Our goal for minimal living is to be able to find anything asap. No searching through closets or stuff to find the one item you need. Minimalism for us is all about having a streamlined home that doesn't cause stress.

 

We too pretty much have a zero knick-knack policy. I have no desire to cover every surface of my home with "decorative" items.

 

When we travel we try to buy one, good quality item that serves a need (like the wool blanket we picked up on our last adventure).

 

We just say no to books (or DVDs or the like). We love to use the library and embrace technology (kindle, online movies) that helps keep entertainment stuff from piling up.

 

With baby #1 on the way, we've been trying to keep all the incoming stuff in check. We've done really well so far, but the families seems to think we'll be depriving our kid. We're both from families with cluttered homes and the fact that we don't have a separate room devoted to toys is a bit of a shock to them.

post #13 of 19

Exited to find this group and read all about you all! I've been leaning towards a minimalist lifestyle for awhile now, but only really kicked it off in the past few months by SERIOUSLY decluttering, selling $1oo's of dollars worth of stuff, donating 15 bags of clothing and misc. items, etc.

I love it! My house stays so much cleaner and I find myself not wanting to buy things anymore!

Another way that I'm minimalist is with my diet. I have a lot of food intolerances and that severely limits my choices. Basically fresh meat, fresh produce, raw fermented dairy and raw nuts and dried fruit as well as a few misc. items. Changing my diet was really my intro to minimalism and made me realize how excess choice can really bog you down, while setting limits can help you appreciate and enjoy things so much more!

Look forward to getting to know you all more:)

 

Kate

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm so excited that you are all here!! I love this group so much already! joy.gif Hopefully it will continue to stay this active... yay!

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by belltreeView Post
5. I don't like shopping and adding new things, but I have a hard time letting go of things that I have accumulated during childhood (such as books I hope my children will read later on), or remnants for crafting and sewing. I am hoping to learn and be encouraged by you guys here. My dh is a great example this way! So I  guess frugality trumps my minimalistic tendencies a bit ;)

 

 

 

 

I have a hard time with craft stuff too. I have a small box and I try to buy only what I will use for each project, but find that I often have "leftovers" of various supplies... maybe you could start a thread challenging us to thin our craft supplies for crafty minimalists... I'd love to hear what some people find essential.

 

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by maia.springgoddessView Post

There's a great blog called Rowdy Kittens written by a woman who lives in a seriously tiny house. She recently wrote a post about entertaining when you don't have much space that I thought was great! Her advice includes cooking before your guests arrive and communicating expectations so they aren't surprised when they have to cozy up to the table. The full article is here: http://rowdykittens.com/2011/11/entertain/

 

 

 

 

 

I've met her! I haven't seen their tiny house, but she and her hubby shared their experiences with building it and with downsizing their home in preparation for moving in with my local minimalist group. She's an amazing writer and they are both so nice in person.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainey DayeView Post
I've done one round of Project 333 and am now gearing up for a year of Project 36/365 (with a couple tweaks of my own). My kiddo is also fairly minimalist on clothes, but DH is a clotheshorse!! He knows that he'll have to minimize his clothes when we move into the RV, but doesn't see the point until then. He is with me on minimizing for the most part, except when it comes to his clothes and electronics (and a bit on the books and sentimental stuff too, but he's getting better at that).

 

 

 

 

 

Did you see the wardrobe thread here? I'd love to see your list!

 

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by LVNTEXASView Post
1. I put value in experiences over things.

 

 

I love this! SO TRUE!!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by peaceful_mamaView Post

I make a list, many times i find a way to work around buying before I go to the store.

 

laptops.  much less parts and no desk required.

 

i am careful about tossing though, i hate rebuying.

 

cloth diapering, 2nd hand

 

used vehicles, .

 

repair, don't replace.

 

LIBRARY  we do not buy movies and rarely buy books.

 

oh and i clean with 4 products, dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, and magic eraser when the kids color on the wall.   buy b. soda in bulk much less packaging.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes! These!! I love the magic eraser too...

 

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by mudhuggerView Post
My challenges:  We cloth diaper and use family cloth and cloth napkins... this makes for more laundry than I'd like.  We try to make a lot of stuff...but this often results in my art/sewing room exploding on me.  How do I balance this??  We're a really open household and have people coming and going all the time-- this means we have extra dishes, and extra beds/sleeping bags, and extra chairs...and also extra stuff that people leave behind.  In boxes.  In my mudroom.  *ack*  

 

 

 

Sounds like we need threads on entertaining and family cloth... hmmm. winky.gif

 

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by RamzuboView Post
With baby #1 on the way, we've been trying to keep all the incoming stuff in check. We've done really well so far, but the families seems to think we'll be depriving our kid. We're both from families with cluttered homes and the fact that we don't have a separate room devoted to toys is a bit of a shock to them.
 

 

I can definitely relate to this! Mr. Moo is only two months old and I've already given away more than half the stuff I had for him. I was actually told by one of my local minimalist group members that having a baby and being a minimalist were mutually exclusive. I took that as a challenge, natch! ROTFLMAO.gif

 

Quote:
 
Originally Posted by simplykateView Post
Another way that I'm minimalist is with my diet. I have a lot of food intolerances and that severely limits my choices. Basically fresh meat, fresh produce, raw fermented dairy and raw nuts and dried fruit as well as a few misc. items. Changing my diet was really my intro to minimalism and made me realize how excess choice can really bog you down, while setting limits can help you appreciate and enjoy things so much more!

 

This is what I want to work on minimizing next! I really appreciate a whole foods, simple diet and I know I feel much better when I eat that way. I've gotten out of my groove with the new baby and with my mother cluttering up the fridge with all her food hoarding (it's a thing, I swear it... it just has to be). Maybe you will start a thread on how to have a minimalist diet?

 

post #15 of 19

Hi!  So happy to have found this group!  Everyone else thinks I'm nuts when I talk about how cool a tumble weed house is, or about wanting to downgrade to a 2 bedroom with 3 kids!  The older I get, the more I realize that I don't need very much stuff.  I don't want to spend money on things that I know, from experience, are just going to go in the trash.  Paying for garbage doesn't sound wise to me.  My dream is to have a small homestead, off-grid.  Exit stage left Playstation 3 and stupid, giant TV.

 

This has been a long, slow ride that I am on...... all by myself.  Hahaha!  There is a big discussion every birthday and Christmas between my husband and I because he says the kids NEED presents!  My refusal to be involved in his active participation in blind consumerism, would only bring tons of shiny plastic trash, packaged in more plastic, stuffed with batteries, into the house for a temporary visit before they broke and get thrown away, or grown out of or tired of and donated.  =Wasted money!  I make a huge effort to get extremely creative so this doesn't happen.  Art supplies, musical instruments, and books are abundant here. 

 

My consumerism is extremely minimal.  This mainly comes from the need to know every impact on everything environmental or social a product has before I can buy it.  I like to upcycle stuff.  Freecycle is awesome for getting or getting rid of things!  l don't buy toys anymore, even eco-perfect-friendly stuff.  I will, however grab a big box for the kids when I see one.  What kid doesn't love a box?  I also hate the thought of new clothes.  There are so many clothes out there that are perfectly good at thrift stores and garage sales.  I have a very small wardrobe, and thankfully, this is one thing that everyone in the family is on board with.  Except the 3 year old.  She has a lot of clothes.  The Grammas like to buy them for her, which is just asinine, because the kid is always naked.  I have two pair of shoes, snow boots and flip-flops.  I wear my flip-flops unless the snow is too deep.  I don't buy cleaning stuff or any chemicals.  I am another fan of Dr. Bronner's, baking soda and vinegar.  I do buy dish soap, and sometimes laundry soap.  Making my own has become more than I can do during this time of year.  I finally threw away my makeup bag a few years ago when I found it under the sink and realized I hadn't used it in over 10 years.  I make my own lip balm for the wintertime.  I don't even try to prevent gray hair and wrinkles.  I wear them like badges of honor, baby.   

 

My minimalist approach is not absolute to everything in my life.  I do collect certain things, but they are things that I love and use. 

   1.  Mason jars........ I love mason jars.  Besides canning, I use them, with the spent lids, to store leftovers.  When they become slightly chipped or scuffed and the seal would be compromised, they are drinking glasses.  I gather all the mason jars I can find. 

   2.  Fabric........ I am in fabric recovery.  Seriously, I was like an alcoholic.  My father saw my stash, learned my habit, and asked if I wanted to go to meetings with him.  I would spend grocery or bill money on fabric.  It is hard because I can't completely quit using unless I completely quit sewing, and that ain't gonna happen!  I have banned myself from all fabric shops unless I need something very specific, I only take cash, and I never go with my mother!  She's a horrible enabler.   

   3.  Books........  We love to read.  I like things that do not require electricity.  I have absolutely no desire to get a reading thingy.  My best friend has one, I don't like it.  I love the feel, smell and look of a real book.  This is the one thing we all agree on.  We don't buy new though.  We hit library sales, garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets.  Bring on the books!  If I run out of room, I'll get another bookcase, used of course! 

   4.  Manual kitchen gadgets........ I'm preparing.  These I view as necessities.  As the goal is to one day be off grid, all of the things that require electricity will be useless or a drain on the small load we will be able to have.  I also have a larger than normal need for kitchen stuff because of all of the preserving that I do. 

 

If the things I have fit well into the little storage space I have, they are welcome to stay.  Once they all start getting rowdy and out of control, I have no problem bouncin 'em! 

post #16 of 19

Hi all!

 

Just found this group and really new to the term, actually.  I'm still learning what is "enough" for our family and have a lot of purging to do, but as we grow our family one last time I'm looking to focus on this scaling down in preparation.

post #17 of 19

Hello all! I just joined. I am not really the best example of a minimalist but I am always trying to pare down. We always seem to be cluttered and while I think part of the solution is to organize, part of it is to have less STUFF. I try to get rid of stuff that is not proving its worth, duplicates, stuff we don't actually use, etc. I get stymied a lot. If it weren't for books and yarn I'd love to be one of those "we own 100 things" people. I'm not sure I could pull it off but I'd love to get closer. I am married with a 20-month-old and we would like to enjoy the room to move in our house, not fill it up with more junk!

post #18 of 19
Woohoo! I love being a minimalist family. We just moved and were able to pack all of our belongings into a 5x5 square, 3 feet tall. We are a family of 5 smile.gif Now are currently preparing to move into a tent (168 square feet), so this means more purging and honestly, we love it. Owning exactly what you need is so freeing! My personal goal is to have everything I own, in a back pack!
post #19 of 19

Okay, I am stumped. I know that someone on here mentioned on one of the threads about an online household inventory kind of thing....but I can't find it now. Help, please?

 

I know I am nowhere near as minimalist as I want to be....but with a second munchkin on the way I am going through the house organizing and paring things down and I would love to track what exactly we are still hanging on to at this point so that I can see how much further we have to go...and pare things down further as I can.

 

Anyone know where that online tracking thing can be found?

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