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Simple Living Mamas Tribe! - Page 3

post #41 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanibell View Post
I love this thread. Count me in! I would love to get some ideas on reusing small scraps of fabric that I have. Im always looking for new ideas.
I find tons of uses for my scraps! I'm a quilter, so many of them find their way into my quilts, I've also made rugs (the braided ones). If I have bigger scraps or t-shirts my husband is done with, I make fitted diapers. Fern and Faerie has great info on recycling fabric for all different kinds of diapers. I recently made my daughter's baby doll some cloth diapers and burp rags out of some old scraps using a scaled down version of that pattern. And my all time favorite, I made one of my mei tais out of some scraps left over from a quilt, so it looks all patchwork on the front. I was proud of that one.
post #42 of 239
One thing has proved really helpful so far with decluttering. I live in a 600 sq ft apartment with 5 closets and other misc pieces of furniture used for storing items.

I made a rough floor plan with furniture (main pieces) and, in pencil, wrote out where groups of items will be stored. Now when I sort through a space, instead of wondering where to put things, I can take items that don't belong in one place and put them in a pile where they should go. And so far it all makes sense. It has given me a chance to really look at what I own, how often I use it and how accessible I want it to be. Plus, I can only keep as many items that will fit in the space. Examples: I have a chiffenrobe to keep my clothes in. Once it's full, that's it. I also plan on storing sewing projects/materials in a trunk. I can only keep what will fit in it.

Hopefully this will keep things in line!
post #43 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansricerevolt View Post
Do you vermicompost?
If so, do you think you can answer this question for me? Or anyone for that matter.


We just moved into a tiny apartment. Im going to be starting up a new vermicompost (old one use to stay in basement of our previous home) but am finding there is hardly any room for it. Do you think it would be safe for the worms if I stored it underneath the kitchen sink? Will it get enough air?
I don't know much about that. We do ours in the backyard, although that's been something of interest when we lived in town. I'm curious to what others say!!
post #44 of 239
I'm subbing too, but does anyone else struggle with trying to squash the desire to have a bigger house with more than 1 bathroom (that doesn't leak and let in mice because our current one does)? I mean, I know I don't need one, but for some reason, I can't help the wanting of one. I want to kill the desires, but I'm having trouble. Sigh.

How can you want both - simpler living AND a bigger house? Maybe it's because I see my sisters and mom have nice, spacious houses (2200 sq ft not including the basements), and I basically live in 1100 sq feet.

I know downsizing is the key, and I've been doing that pretty actively for a year, but it still takes time and energy to get rid of things and many trips to the goodwill drop box (because for some reason, I always miss the Salvation army pickups).

Arrgh - anyone have this inner struggle between conflicting desires - one extremely material and one extremely noble?

Oh, I think part of it has to do with the fact that I'm always decluttering and it's always getting messy and I'm cleaning all the time and never getting anywhere. I think to me, more space would mean I'd have less chance of letting things pile up because there would be places for everything (or so I reason...).
post #45 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmcmommyto3 View Post
How can you want both - simpler living AND a bigger house? Maybe it's because I see my sisters and mom have nice, spacious houses (2200 sq ft not including the basements), and I basically live in 1100 sq feet.
Well, I'm sort of at that point. I'm working to get rid of stuff and live closer to the ground, so to speak, but we live in an 1800 sq foot house with 2.5 baths. And I must confess, I love my plethora of bathrooms! But I figure we can work on living simply in the space we have. I do feel somewhat hypocritical at times, though, for working towards simplicity with all this space. Heck, there's only four of us and our basement is finished too!

I think you can want a bigger house but live simply, frugally, and as green as possible. We keep our thermostat relatively low, recycle as much as possible, shop secondhand, etc. A large space doesn't have to equal a large amount of useage and a large footprint on the earth.
post #46 of 239
Well, we live in an 1900 sf home and it's DH, myself, the baby and the chiweeine. (DB has been living with us for 5 months now also) We are trying (with success) to live a simpler lifestyle. Eating homemade from scratch meals more often, worm composting, recycling as much as possible, conserving water and energy, buying less, learning to love what we have.

Yes, we have alot of space for the three of us plus the transient brother, but we desire a simpler lifestyle. In my neighborhood we're sometimes viewed as odd. We don't try to keep up with the Jones', we use organic lawn care, we make *crunchy* parenting decisions.

For us, living simply means less clutter, less stress, a healthier lifestyle and environment that's conducive to spending more time with family and friends instead of worrying about living life in the fast lane and rat race.
post #47 of 239
me!

we downsized our living space in August, and I got rid of SOOOOO much stuff to move, but a few weeks ago I was feeling overwhelmed and started to go through and do a major purge again. I got my trusty little notebook and made all my lists and got to work. I'm about halfway done. We have already taken piles and piles to goodwill and have tons more to go. It feels so good! It's so much easier to stay motivated when I have my plan of action all organized and I can cross off my completed tasks.

we also downsized christmas/solstice in a major way and it was nice.

we unschool and my biggest challenge is keeping artwork, craft and art supplies for the kids, my own craft stuff, and treasures the kids find all around organized.

another big challenge for me is cooking. i'm a lot better than i was a year ago, but im always struggling to make more from scratch, and make meals that please 2 vegetarians and 2 meat eaters. i'd love to have a garden but we rent, and don't have a yard big enough. does anyone know how to have a make-shift garden of sorts in these circumstances?

we spend a lot of family time together. Every single evening when my dp gets home we make dinner and play games, do crafts, all together. then we hop in the family bed, pop in a movie, and go to sleep together. some nights we put the kids to bed and then dp and i play a card game or snuggle and watch a show, or just talk.

we also avoid plastic, eat mostly local and organic, recycle like crazy, and just generally do what we can to be earth-friendly.

we really love spending our extra money on family outings as opposed to bringing more junk in the house. it's really a no-brainer for us.

thats us in a nutshell. glad to be here, can't wait to get to know all of you ladies~
post #48 of 239
This sounds great! I've been trying to do this, somewhat, ever since the baby was born. I'd find myself getting upset with the baby that she needed me so much, when I had so much to do...dusting, cleaning, etc....then I realized I just need to get rid of a lot of it so that I spent more time mothering and less time moving/cleaning stuff. What a relief it's been.
My latest move is to get my clothing down to what will fit in a large duffel bag. I lived out a bag for a whole summer once when I had a traveling catechesis job, and we each only had a week's worth of clothing in a bag. It was really freeing.

I'm also trying to get to the point where I can say the saying about "a place for everything and everything in its place!!"

One thing that's helped me get rid of stuff is to have a sort of "holding" box-if I have something that I'm having a hard time parting with, I put it in a box in the basement, wait a few months, and by then I'm not so attached and feel better sending it to the thrift store.

Another tip I read is to go room to room w/ a notebook and decide what the room is really for-how it will function. Decide what should go, what things it might need to fill its function, and any repairs needed. For example, why are all my prayer books, journals,etc in the living room if that's not where I pray?

This should be fun!!!!


SO-what about kids toys?? How do you organize? How do you decide what to keep or throw. How do you get the kids to keep them organized themselves??

rachael
post #49 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmcmommyto3 View Post
I'm subbing too, but does anyone else struggle with trying to squash the desire to have a bigger house with more than 1 bathroom (that doesn't leak and let in mice because our current one does)? I mean, I know I don't need one, but for some reason, I can't help the wanting of one. I want to kill the desires, but I'm having trouble. Sigh.

How can you want both - simpler living AND a bigger house? Maybe it's because I see my sisters and mom have nice, spacious houses (2200 sq ft not including the basements), and I basically live in 1100 sq feet.

I know downsizing is the key, and I've been doing that pretty actively for a year, but it still takes time and energy to get rid of things and many trips to the goodwill drop box (because for some reason, I always miss the Salvation army pickups).

Arrgh - anyone have this inner struggle between conflicting desires - one extremely material and one extremely noble?

Oh, I think part of it has to do with the fact that I'm always decluttering and it's always getting messy and I'm cleaning all the time and never getting anywhere. I think to me, more space would mean I'd have less chance of letting things pile up because there would be places for everything (or so I reason...).

we had a big house and we found that it was wayyyyyyyy harder to keep up with. we didn't have to discipline ourselves to get rid of things because there was always somewhere to put extra stuff and it just piled up in a huge way. if you are always cleaning now, you will be cleaning even more so in a bigger space. im sure it can be done, i know there are lots of mamas here that have clean and simple big houses, and maybe someday i could do it, but i just found it too hard. i would love to have an extra room for having company, but that opportunity rarely presents itself anyway.
post #50 of 239
I am in!

"A place for everything and everything in its place" is what I am striving for this year. We are a family of four with four cats in a 1100 sq feet house with hardly any closets. We have a lot of windows, which we love, but it gives us very little wall space for shelves/cabinets. We have an unfinished basement full of junk from the previous homeowners (THANKS! ) which we will work on this year, so we can use it for storage. And we want to downsize what we have anyways.

We : compost, recycle a lot, try to buy local and/or organic, whichever possible...and now the decluttering and organizing will begin...

I am so happy I found this thread!
post #51 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by granolapunk View Post

we unschool and my biggest challenge is keeping artwork, craft and art supplies for the kids, my own craft stuff, and treasures the kids find all around organized.
Im dealing with this too.
We are very tight on $ so I've been keeping my eyes open at thrift stores and such but no luck yet.
Im dying to organize the clutter all around my little art studio (really its a corner of our living space ).
post #52 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by notwonamesalike View Post
For us, living simply means less clutter, less stress, a healthier lifestyle and environment that's conducive to spending more time with family and friends instead of worrying about living life in the fast lane and rat race.
Exactly. I sometimes struggle with wanting more space, thinking how nice it would be to have my own office space, a space for a separate playroom, but then I have to remind myself....It's just me and hubby and the two kiddos, and 1200 sf (basement notwithstanding) is plenty. I have to catch myself, remind myself I don't need to keep up with anyone and that I'd rather just work on the house we have, and have a beautiful, manageable, comfortable little home than a huge home to hold more stuff we don't need. I think living in a smaller home will actually help me with my simple living goals.
post #53 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by granolapunk View Post

We are very tight on $ so I've been keeping my eyes open at thrift stores and such but no luck yet.
Im dying to organize the clutter all around my little art studio (really its a .
The kids have a lot of art supplies -

I have a lazy susan turntable thing on my dining room table that I have 5 empty planters nuts cans on them (I have yet to decorate them with nice paper or paint). In them I have markers, crayons, colored pencils. It was relatively inexpensive (we eat a lot of nuts anyway), and they store quite a bit. And they just kind of live on my dining room table as a centerpiece, always accessible to the kids when they want to do art.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...tturntable.jpg

I also have one of those storage cubbies from Target that houses other art supplies and paper and playdoh and playdoh supplies (in the bottom bins so you can't see them). It is next to my dining room. Since the dining room table is where they do art, it makes the most sense to keep it there (even if my mother disagrees with me). You can see I use the plastic three drawer cubes inside to hold all kinds of small things - glue, glitter, paintbrushes, etc. The other cubbies holds small things to sort and count (some lego bricks, colored bears, colorful erasers, those flat marbles are usually used for decorating the insides of vases).

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...artstorage.jpg

Not shown, but I also have one of those small rolling carts with drawers for the coloring books and preschool workbooks that my dds seem to love to use. It's off to another side of the room out of the way.

For now, the finished projects end up on the fridge for a while, but usually the best end up in a plastic bin. The ones that are so-so aren't kept for long. But the really notable ones we take pictures of, so that even if they end up being pitched, the memory is recorded.

As far as storing your craft supplies - for small stuff like beads and buttons and such, I love using glass jars - either reused condiment jars, or what I did last January is go to a discount store (like Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning) and buy the clearanced Xmas condiment/candy jars. I found some really cute old fashioned style candy jars with nice silver screw tops for so cheap. Nobody really buys the candy jars that much, so they are always available and for only a few dollars when they are clearanced. I also love to use Ball Glass canning jars too. They make such an impact because you can see all your bits and bobs and they become decoration as well as great storage pieces. I have to take a picture of mine too.

Yes, I realize I still need to take the stickers off completely. I can't find my bottle of sticker undo, just yet.
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...ftstorage1.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...ftstorage3.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...ftstorage2.jpg
post #54 of 239
: i love this thread... aspiring to live the simple life!!! i already decluttered last year (when i was 'nesting-on-crack'). i went throuhg EVERY drawer and cabinet IN MY WHOLE HOUSE!!! EVERY. ONE. the rule was i had to touch EVERYTHING we own. EVERYTHING. i then had a yard sale, sold everything extremely cheap (oh, you like that book? take the whole box for $1!) and made almost $700!!!!!!! YEAH! ok, now i want to go through the house again (you know sometimes it takes 2-3 times going through your house to get rid of everything).
post #55 of 239
Does anyone have a struggle with the whole consumerism thing? I spent most of last year doing the simple living thing and I love it, it's a way of life for us now. I read about Compacting but decided we didn't want to be that extreme, although it did help change my mindset on buying "new" stuff and not having *attachment* to Things. I scaled buying stuff right back (not much coz we're on a tight budget anyway), but bought more from (and waited) for things to come up second hand through auction websites or 2nd hand shops. I cut out getting junk mail, don't watch ads on TV and really didn't feel the *keeping up the Jones' envy* thing at all. However....something has switched on again, maybe Christmas has triggered it? But I just find myself wishing I had this, that and the other. Maybe it's going for a year without barely any new clothes and I'm feeling bored and tetchy with it. Dunno what I want from you guys, just needed to vent.
post #56 of 239
subbin!

I feel kind of like that...I unofficially compacted for the last year. I didn't really, but my mindset shifted so much that I hardly wanted to buy anything. My definitions of NEED and WANT really changed and I just realized there were very few things I really needed.

Most of my clothes were old to begin with, but now after buying hardly any clothes for a year, stuff started wearing out and fitting wrong. I needed new shoes and jeans, so I bought some. BUT, instead of the way I used to be, where I would buy cheap clothes, feel unsatisfied and buy more cheap clothes I didn't really like, I bought only the clothes that fit REALLY well and were going to last. The money I spent, is at least a good investment, and I won't need to buy more any time soon.

Are you wanting to buy things just because, or are they things you really need? I've been getting more excited about buying quality things that help my daily life, rather than just acquiring stuff.
post #57 of 239
I'd like to join in too. Our ideals and what really happens aren't always working together, but we do try to live simply. Always striving to improve and figure out what's really important. Thanks for all the great ideas and motivation!
post #58 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmcmommyto3 View Post
The kids have a lot of art supplies -

I have a lazy susan turntable thing on my dining room table that I have 5 empty planters nuts cans on them (I have yet to decorate them with nice paper or paint). In them I have markers, crayons, colored pencils. It was relatively inexpensive (we eat a lot of nuts anyway), and they store quite a bit. And they just kind of live on my dining room table as a centerpiece, always accessible to the kids when they want to do art.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...tturntable.jpg

I also have one of those storage cubbies from Target that houses other art supplies and paper and playdoh and playdoh supplies (in the bottom bins so you can't see them). It is next to my dining room. Since the dining room table is where they do art, it makes the most sense to keep it there (even if my mother disagrees with me). You can see I use the plastic three drawer cubes inside to hold all kinds of small things - glue, glitter, paintbrushes, etc. The other cubbies holds small things to sort and count (some lego bricks, colored bears, colorful erasers, those flat marbles are usually used for decorating the insides of vases).

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...artstorage.jpg

Not shown, but I also have one of those small rolling carts with drawers for the coloring books and preschool workbooks that my dds seem to love to use. It's off to another side of the room out of the way.

For now, the finished projects end up on the fridge for a while, but usually the best end up in a plastic bin. The ones that are so-so aren't kept for long. But the really notable ones we take pictures of, so that even if they end up being pitched, the memory is recorded.

As far as storing your craft supplies - for small stuff like beads and buttons and such, I love using glass jars - either reused condiment jars, or what I did last January is go to a discount store (like Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning) and buy the clearanced Xmas condiment/candy jars. I found some really cute old fashioned style candy jars with nice silver screw tops for so cheap. Nobody really buys the candy jars that much, so they are always available and for only a few dollars when they are clearanced. I also love to use Ball Glass canning jars too. They make such an impact because you can see all your bits and bobs and they become decoration as well as great storage pieces. I have to take a picture of mine too.

Yes, I realize I still need to take the stickers off completely. I can't find my bottle of sticker undo, just yet.
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...ftstorage1.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...ftstorage3.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...ftstorage2.jpg
Great pictures!

I really need some type of small dresser with drawers. It has to be really small tho because we are lacking the space. Id love to find something that could fit under my table and maybe a small shelf for jars and things. Right now, my corner is under huge windows that are going to be used for our indoor garden so adding shelves for art supplies will be tricky. Instead we are going to add shelves for our plants.
post #59 of 239
Thread Starter 
i'm so glad to see this thread is going so well!

has anyone read, or is anyone reading, the Simple Living Guide? i have had it for months and have been browsing but it's just not all that great. was anyone able to take anything away from it? it's a huge book and i was hoping for suggestions and ideas. so far i have gotten a few but that's really it.
post #60 of 239
Subbing.

We've been living like this on and off for many of the years we've been together and have been doing it for the last year, but mostly as a way to get out of debt. Looking forward to inspiration from this group!
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