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What do you do to simplify your life? - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneermama
ahhhh! So that's how you spell it - tshatshke!!! I've always wondered

It is actually:
tchotchke

A variation chachka
Unless there is an alternative spelling.
post #22 of 47
gotcha it's tchotchke
post #23 of 47
from what i read, tchotchoke is the alternate and americanized spelling of the yiddish word tshatshke, from the polish dialectical "czaczka." i'm guessing that the polish word is a dialectical word for czastka (can't do the accent on the "a"). that word means a particle or a small part.

post #24 of 47
I have figured out that there are three chores that, if done, make absolutely everything else in life easier.

1) Keep all dishes clean and put away.
2) Keep all laundry clean and folded and put away.
3) Keep the main dining room table clean. Don't let clutter build on it.

If you focus on these three housekeeping chores, everything else in life falls into place a little better.
post #25 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meco
.

I got rid of it ALL. I mean all dishes, glasses, furniture, everything. And now I am starting over, buying key pieces and living on the bare necessities...



I also eliminated ALL detergents and cleaning supplies and switched to baking soda and vinegar.

When I buy something, I really consider is it going to waste? WIll I reuse it often? Will it sit until I throw it into an overflowing landfill? DO I NEED IT? Can I get buy without it? And then I avoid it. It has been hard. I LOVE to thrift shop and hit yard sales, but really all I got was junk.

Most important for me:
And I made myself realize everything I need I already have (DS, love, happiness, shelter--all my basic needs are met). The rest is just secondary.

You're awsome! I've been tempted to do the same...

btw, our sons have the same name!

Anyone have a simple substitute for laundry detergent?
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee
I have figured out that there are three chores that, if done, make absolutely everything else in life easier.

1) Keep all dishes clean and put away.
Could you come over to my house and explain this to my DH? :LOL
post #27 of 47
Thread Starter 
:d
post #28 of 47
What a great thread! I am absolutely into simplifying as well. I have found that if my house is messy, cluttered, etc. I feel really frazzled. When everything is clean & organized I am much more peaceful (my ultimate goal in life). We have limited space, so keeping things minimal is also a necessity. We do a lot of what the previous mamas have suggested, so I won't reitterate, but one other area that I found helpful in simplifying is w/socializing. I have learned to say no to invitations that will be more stressful than enjoyable, for whatever reason. Around the holidays, I no longer do the "guilt" visits which leave me & my family totally stressed. And speaking of holidays, we have cut gift giving (and receiving) way down.

Oh, and you mamas inspired me about meal planning/shopping. Shopping & cooking dinner is a major hassle for me, so I am going to try to get this area more together.

One last thought, I used to do a daily gratuity journal, where I'd list 5 things I was grateful for that day, and I always added to it on ways I simplified my life. For some reason, these two seemed to fit together for me. I ought to start again...

Take care all,
max
post #29 of 47
I so need to get back on the decluttering bandwagon. Somehow this summer my house has filled up. We need another garage sale and Goodwill run (or three).

You ladies are quite inspiring!!
post #30 of 47
Laundry detergent: we have soft water so true soap works well for us. We use peppermint Dr Bronner's for everything (bring our own bottle to the health food store & fill it) and use a TABLESPOON per load of wash We just keep a tablespoon by the washer, fill it & throw it in spoon and all. Then retrieve it as we put that load in the dryer.

OMG that coffee is GOOD! Our coffemaker busted last winter, and I hadn't been using it much anyway so we threw it out, but we still had some French roast beans in the fridge so I ground 'em & tried it. It is so smoooooth and nice. Best coffee I ever tasted. And here I'd thought we'd permanently dropped something from our grocery list. Bad Mothering mamas! Bad! :LOL
post #31 of 47
Ongoing decluttering.

Trying not to add new.

Trying to do the no-spend compact as much as possible.
post #32 of 47
Great ideas! I'm anxious to try out the cold brew coffee.
Here are some things we do. I know there are even better or simpler ways to do some things, but everyone has to do what works best for their own families.

* Garden (simpler, not easier)
* Buy less stuff.
* As opposed to the other women in my life, I don't get my hair and nails done by professionals, other than a good hair cut twice a year or so.
* Nothing disposable, other than razor blades and toilet paper.
* Blockbuster online. We rarely go to the movies.
* Composting worms.
* No dishwasher. Fewer dishes.
* Lots of crockpot meals.
* Stick close to home.
* Exercise at home or park. (ie, no gym membership or available for that matter)
* Cloth grocery bags. (makes carrying into house and putting away much nicer, not to mention the environmental benefits)
* Breastfed. (no bottles to wash!)
* We're currently restoring a reel mower. It will cut down on the gas we use for mowing.
* Our shower now has one bar of soap and one two-in-one haircare product. We used to have like 4 or 5 different plastic bottles in there at any give time. That seems absurd now. Same with hand soap. There is one bar that came in minimal packaging.
* Online bill paying and banking.

We still have so much we can simplify around here. It takes time for a whole family to adjust to living lighter and simpler. Baby steps!
post #33 of 47
We do lots already mentioned:
- enough dishes for everyone to have a place setting
- we use jars for drinking out of, that double as food storage containers
- only have the amount of clothes that fits into the space we have for clothing (i finally purged 10 years of kids clothes last winter!)
- only keep our favorite things, including the kids toys
- use the library, itunes, netflix instead of buying books, cd's and movies
- only keep the gadgets we use in the kitchen (we only have two drawers for silverware and gadgets/utensils - and I find it to be plenty)
- don't go shopping for recreation (I never liked going shopping anyway)
- make sure I do the dishes and the laundry every. single. day.

I need to work on food - stocking and planning and actually cooking.
post #34 of 47
For us:
  • always have a grocery bag set out for the FREE BOX pile
  • cleaning out our stoarge bus and getting rid of over half of it
  • put all the shoes on a shoe rack
  • make kids get rid of something if they bring something in from the free box
  • enlarging garden ina permaculture style to ease the laobr
  • making numerous dump runs
  • getting excess vehicles sold but temp. moved them out of sight behind trees
  • husband is organizing junk yard (so it won't be so much of one)
  • finding places for things that have no home OR
  • getting rid of things that have no home if they are useless
  • and perhaps the biggest...not buying new stuff

Oh, and we sent out an email asking for no new stuff which was partially well received.
post #35 of 47
  • receive and pay bills on line (no paper!)
  • decline all ad mail in our post box
  • no doodads
  • use the same spot all the time for keys, purse
  • make sure kitchen table and sink are clear before bed each night
  • recycling flyers in the weekly local paper without looking at them (so as not to be tempted by sales ...)
  • no cable
  • donated all but one bookshelf of books to the library ... that way they store them, and we can still 'use' them, as well as everyone else
  • one in, two out rule
  • we don't put anything in the crawl space, even though it's heated and dry
  • refuse all forwarded emails ... clutters the inbox
  • request experiental presents, versus stuff (ie. I gave DP a fly fishing course for her birthday ... and a snowmobiling GC for Christmas)
  • nothing under the beds
  • don't use credit cards ... we use cash for everything
  • refuse all store cards and buyers incentive programs (don't want the key fobs or mail outs or store cards cluttering up my wallet)
  • always have a 'give away' box on the go
  • make do with what we have
  • one good chef's knife and one good paring knife
  • dishes for one meal setting
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle
I so need to get back on the decluttering bandwagon. Somehow this summer my house has filled up. We need another garage sale and Goodwill run (or three).

You ladies are quite inspiring!!
Awww when I posted this above I had twin 2 year-olds and was 4 months pregnant with #3. What a cute blast from the past this thread bump is!

Anyway, I love declutting threads!
post #37 of 47
: i need inspiration!
post #38 of 47
The coffee situation: you can get instant coffee which is what most Australians use at home. It's very simple. Boil electric kettle. One spoon of Moccona or Nescafe into a mug. Add hot water and milk or sugar as required.

I couldn't believe it when I lived in Boulder, CO and found out that Americans make a pot of coffee EVERY morning. That's insane! While real perculated coffee tastes better - Aussies generally don't do this! I have a perculator for pot coffee but would only put it on if I was having a visitor.

If in the city I might buy a cappicinno, latte or something. At home = instant. Coffee made and drunk in 5 minutes!
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loonie View Post
The coffee situation: you can get instant coffee which is what most Australians use at home. It's very simple. Boil electric kettle. One spoon of Moccona or Nescafe into a mug. Add hot water and milk or sugar as required.

I couldn't believe it when I lived in Boulder, CO and found out that Americans make a pot of coffee EVERY morning. That's insane! While real perculated coffee tastes better - Aussies generally don't do this! I have a perculator for pot coffee but would only put it on if I was having a visitor.

If in the city I might buy a cappicinno, latte or something. At home = instant. Coffee made and drunk in 5 minutes!
I just couldn't do this on a regular basis. I'm a coffee snob - and while I've curtailed my Starbucks/Brewed Awakenings morning outing, I have to have freshly brewed coffee or tea. It's a morning ritual in my house. One of life's simple pleasures.

But, things I've done to simplify.

1. One in, one out. Toys, Books, Clothes.
2. Vinegar, Baking Soda, Dr. Bronners and Oxy for cleaning, washing, etc.
3. Weekly trips to the library for children's time and to turn in old books and pick up new books already on hold for me.
4. Meal planning each week.
5. No cable
6. Don't use our credit cards
7. Declutter, declutter, declutter. We got rid of 3/4's of our books, 1/2 of our kitchen stuff, 1/2 of our nick nacks.
post #40 of 47
This is such a great thread!!
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