Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 199 Old 12-04-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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*subbing*

I'd like to join in also. Like some others here we try to live simply but the clutter creeps in. We did a major de-cluttering marthon about 4 months ago but I still think there are some things that need to go.

Most of it is stuff we think we could sell but haven't taken pictures or posted them to craigslist yet. So that's my goal this weekend. To get all the stuff that we want to sell together, take pictures, write up descriptions and places ads on craigslist and/or ebay. And to keep me accountable, I will be back on Monday to report my progress.

-Rachel

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#122 of 199 Old 12-04-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Or keep it at your house to play with when we come over?"
Thats an idea. I have no idea how they even expect us to get gifts home honestly. We drive a ford focus and we have 2 kids. Im just going to make them keep most of the toys there. Im going to let my son bring like 3 things home. And Im going to make him pick out 5 things that he thinks hes too big for to either put up for the baby or pass down to my nephew. Im taking all the little junk toys and getting rid of them, and Im throwing away anything thats broken, or missing most of the pieces, etc.

Ill have to read that website. I know we're never going to be "minimalists". My DH would fight me all the way! Im pretty good about getting rid of things we dont use though.

~Sarah, birth junkie, doula and placenta encapsulator Mommy to Jakob and Rory
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#123 of 199 Old 12-07-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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Coming back to give a report:

I was able to get (what is to become) the workout room cleared out. I got all the stuff except a collectible nativity scene photographed and on Craigslist. I even sold something already. I'm giving it two weeks then taking the stuff to Goodwill if it hasn't sold. I need to do more research on the price for the nativity scene but I did get it all photographed, so I'd say mission accomplished!

**What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of living simply?**

-Rachel

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#124 of 199 Old 12-07-2009, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Without a doubt the hardest thing about simple living for me is having to cook all. the. time. It never ends!

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#125 of 199 Old 12-08-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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**What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of living simply?**
For me, its realizing you cannot say- Come Monday I will live a simple life! Going cold turkey is a great way to fail. Its something you need to do over time and really just grow into it. For us, it was a journey and just fitting it in and eventually I realized, wow this is the way we like living.

For me, I love to cook so that is not an issue. But there are days where we do eat out just because it fell into place. Its more likely I will cook than not, but you need to allow yourself to say, I dont want to cook and take a break! Just like you are supposed to rest on the 7th day, you need to add that into your life.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#126 of 199 Old 12-08-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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I'm not the cook in the family and I'm really happy with that arrangement. DW loves to cook so she has no hard feelings stepping into that.

Amy, I completely agree you just can't go cold turkey but sometimes it's seems like it's be so much easier to buy a yurt and take just the clothes on our backs and start completely over. Although that's not very realistic.

What are some of your goals? I guess what I'm asking is what, to you, means you're living a Simple Life? Is it eating home more? Buy less things? What are your top 5 things that you strive for/hope for in living intentionally simple?

-Rachel

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#127 of 199 Old 12-08-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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I love this thread. Today we had some points that we had earned on a credit card and needed to use. Both DH and I perused our gift options and realized we really didn't want anything. We really didn't want anything. This is truly freeing.

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#128 of 199 Old 12-08-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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I decided to ask the DH's side of the family if they'd like to pick names this year for Christmas so every person gets one gift. Everyone thought it was brilliant! I'm so glad I opened my mouth!!! This will really simplify the holiday for us!

Maria

Giving Love serves as a wonderful reminder that we already have an abundance of Love within, "it is in giving that we receive."
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#129 of 199 Old 12-09-2009, 10:12 AM
 
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DH and I have agreed to not buy gifts for each other this Xmas! It usually involves lots of shopping and returning of things. We do have a $20 limit on tings to buy for each others stockings though.


I am slowly moving any meetings and appointments more locally in an effort to declutter my schedule and life. I am going to have to tell my DD's piano teacher we have decided to go with a teacher in our town so we don't have to drive the 1h30m round trip drive to come and see her. Yea we will be able to bike there!
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#130 of 199 Old 12-09-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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Both DH and I perused our gift options and realized we really didn't want anything. We really didn't want anything. This is truly freeing.
What an awesome feeling. Doesn't it just make you feel so satisfied! Congrats!

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I decided to ask the DH's side of the family if they'd like to pick names this year for Christmas so every person gets one gift.
Maria, that is awesome! Both my dad and sister are out of work right now so I mentioned not doing gifts this year and they thought it was a great idea. We'll all just get a gift for my nephew.


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I am slowly moving any meetings and appointments more locally in an effort to declutter my schedule and life. I am going to have to tell my DD's piano teacher we have decided to go with a teacher in our town so we don't have to drive the 1h30m drive to come and see her. Yea we will be able to bike there!
Wow, that's some drive. Do you live in a small town? What a great idea to declutter your schedule. I never really considered that! I'm sure that will free up a lot of time.

-Rachel

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#131 of 199 Old 12-09-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Amy, I completely agree you just can't go cold turkey but sometimes it's seems like it's be so much easier to buy a yurt and take just the clothes on our backs and start completely over. Although that's not very realistic.

What are some of your goals? I guess what I'm asking is what, to you, means you're living a Simple Life? Is it eating home more? Buy less things? What are your top 5 things that you strive for/hope for in living intentionally simple?
I would check out my first post to this thread. That basically sums up my simple living idea.

ETA this is part of it:


Not just pocessions, but living simply requires several other things in your life.

Like:
knowing when you're full.
Knowing when you are tired.
Saying No to people because you are one of the above or something else.
Not joining something.
knowing your limits and your families limits.
knowing how to slow down, smell the roses or whatever it is in front of you.
working to live not live to work


We as a family do not over schedule, double book, have to leave here quickly because we are late for this and arrive abrubtly and interupt the starting blah blah blah.
We tell friends and family no to things. But we also say yes to things. But we have no issue saying- No we are not coming to your house for insert holiday or whatever in here because we made plans to do insert activity here. We do not send one person in the family here so the other can go there. We tell one of the parties no we are not coming

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#132 of 199 Old 12-09-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Wow, that's some drive. Do you live in a small town? What a great idea to declutter your schedule. I never really considered that! I'm sure that will free up a lot of time.
I ETA that was a round trip time, but thats still quite long. My town has about 9,000 people. Almost everything you need is available right in town.

The kids and I hate rushing around so we really make an effort not to schedule 2 things on the same day.
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#133 of 199 Old 12-09-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post

I would check out my first post to this thread. That basically sums up my simple living idea.

ETA this is part of it:


Not just pocessions, but living simply requires several other things in your life.

Like:
knowing when you're full.
Knowing when you are tired.
Saying No to people because you are one of the above or something else.
Not joining something.
knowing your limits and your families limits.
knowing how to slow down, smell the roses or whatever it is in front of you.
working to live not live to work


We as a family do not over schedule, double book, have to leave here quickly because we are late for this and arrive abrubtly and interupt the starting blah blah blah.
We tell friends and family no to things. But we also say yes to things. But we have no issue saying- No we are not coming to your house for insert holiday or whatever in here because we made plans to do insert activity here. We do not send one person in the family here so the other can go there. We tell one of the parties no we are not coming
That's great!
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#134 of 199 Old 12-11-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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[I]Not just pocessions, but living simply requires several other things in your life.

Like:
knowing when you're full.
Knowing when you are tired.
Saying No to people because you are one of the above or something else.
Not joining something.
knowing your limits and your families limits.
knowing how to slow down, smell the roses or whatever it is in front of you.
working to live not live to work
That is great!

Do you guys have any inspiring book recommendations? I've read Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic & Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. Both were really great and very informational.

-Rachel

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#135 of 199 Old 12-11-2009, 09:08 PM
 
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I've just been turned on to Leo Babauta's blogs/books. The main one is Zen Habits, but he has several sub-blogs, including one on just minimalism.

Another good read recently was "The Happy Minimalist" by Peter Lawrence.

"For me, You have created the skies scattered with stars...and all the beautiful things on earth." ~St. Maximilian Kolbe
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#136 of 199 Old 12-13-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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#137 of 199 Old 12-13-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Viki Robin
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#138 of 199 Old 12-14-2009, 11:33 AM
 
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Awesome, thanks guys. I just requested the HM through interlibrary loan and am going to get YMYL from the library today. Looking forward to both!

-Rachel

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#139 of 199 Old 12-14-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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Please click one of the Quick Reply icons in the posts above to activate Quick Reply.

Joede-Mom to 6! 2 non vax'd, 2 partiall vax'd, 1 uncirc'd! Striving for natural and nontoxic!
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#140 of 199 Old 12-14-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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I want to join you ladies here. I have been slowly trying to declutter now for a while and anytime I get a lot done it feels fantasic, I am just trying to get the rest of the family on board.
It seems almost impossible to manage to keep it clutter free.
The kids bring home pics from school and of course want all of them kept, but it really isn't reasonable. Is putting that stuff into a scap book for them a beter idea or what would you do.
Give me some tips on motivating the fam and on how to keep those catch all spots from being just that.
I have rearranged so the catch all spots weren't so easy to use as catch alls, but they still manage to get that way!
I need serious HELP!

Joede-Mom to 6! 2 non vax'd, 2 partiall vax'd, 1 uncirc'd! Striving for natural and nontoxic!
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#141 of 199 Old 12-14-2009, 12:23 PM
 
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Joede - Welcome! We have those spots also and I just have to stay on top of it. I try to go through it once a week. I think the more people in the house the harder it gets. I'm interested also in what some of the veterans on this thread have to say about the catch-all spots.

-Rachel

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#142 of 199 Old 12-14-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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I just ran across this post on Unclutter. Though you guys might find it useful.

Teaching children to fight clutter

-Rachel

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#143 of 199 Old 12-14-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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Spent a good six hours tackling the master bedroom this weekend. I pulled EVERYTHING out of the closets, sorted, purged, rearranged and put back only what really needs to be in there.

On the rods:
DH & my own clothing, our shoes (we keep the one pair we're using in the entry hall), DD's grow-into-clothing, memoribilia clothing (my wedding dress, baptismal gown, first communion dress, letterman's jacket, etc.)

On the floor of the closet:
Two medium-sized tubs of baby clothes (one for girl, one for boy--these could go out to the garage really, now that I think about it), dirty laundry basket, hidden Xmas presents in shopping bag (shhhh)

On the upper shelves:
one banker's box medieval clothing (my one remaining SCA dress), one banker's box of wedding momentoes, my second purse (needs repair), one box of costume fabric (for Halloween, etc), one small box of toys (future b-day gifts for friends, etc). Oh, there's also the foot spa up there. Hasn't been used in years. Gave myself thirty days to decide to use it or donate it.

I vacuumed out the whole thing, including the upper shelving. Eww! Got rid of a lot my DH's clothes as he lost 80+ lbs this year! Also tackled his dresser and my nightstand and the other areas of floor around the bed. One small pile of "things" left to find homes for (my artwork, some framed photos, etc) and still need to get under the bed and pull out a couple of bins of things under there.

DH's nightstand will be last. He is a determined clothes dropper and scrap keeper. Every pen, coin, score card, business card, sticky note, etc just comes out of his pockets and is laid on his nightstand never to be touched again. I have a system for dealing with it and we just purge it once or twice a year.

I would say I am 2/3 done but already it feels so much better because I know how empty that closet is compared to what it was! I pulled out seven kitchen garbage bags of things to donate!

Long-term there are things I would like to remove from the room to make it more minimalist, but getting everything off the floor but the furniture is a good start.

"For me, You have created the skies scattered with stars...and all the beautiful things on earth." ~St. Maximilian Kolbe
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#144 of 199 Old 12-15-2009, 10:30 AM
 
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Spent a good six hours tackling the master bedroom this weekend. I pulled EVERYTHING out of the closets, sorted, purged, rearranged and put back only what really needs to be in there.

On the rods:
DH & my own clothing, our shoes (we keep the one pair we're using in the entry hall), DD's grow-into-clothing, memoribilia clothing (my wedding dress, baptismal gown, first communion dress, letterman's jacket, etc.)

On the floor of the closet:
Two medium-sized tubs of baby clothes (one for girl, one for boy--these could go out to the garage really, now that I think about it), dirty laundry basket, hidden Xmas presents in shopping bag (shhhh)

On the upper shelves:
one banker's box medieval clothing (my one remaining SCA dress), one banker's box of wedding momentoes, my second purse (needs repair), one box of costume fabric (for Halloween, etc), one small box of toys (future b-day gifts for friends, etc). Oh, there's also the foot spa up there. Hasn't been used in years. Gave myself thirty days to decide to use it or donate it.

I vacuumed out the whole thing, including the upper shelving. Eww! Got rid of a lot my DH's clothes as he lost 80+ lbs this year! Also tackled his dresser and my nightstand and the other areas of floor around the bed. One small pile of "things" left to find homes for (my artwork, some framed photos, etc) and still need to get under the bed and pull out a couple of bins of things under there.

DH's nightstand will be last. He is a determined clothes dropper and scrap keeper. Every pen, coin, score card, business card, sticky note, etc just comes out of his pockets and is laid on his nightstand never to be touched again. I have a system for dealing with it and we just purge it once or twice a year.

I would say I am 2/3 done but already it feels so much better because I know how empty that closet is compared to what it was! I pulled out seven kitchen garbage bags of things to donate!

Long-term there are things I would like to remove from the room to make it more minimalist, but getting everything off the floor but the furniture is a good start.
Good for you! Keep at it.

I got rid of our artificial Xmas tree yesterday. We have a live one this year and have decided to get a cut or live one from now on. That freed up a 3'x1' section of shelving in the storage room! Our place is so small that is going to make a huge difference!
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#145 of 199 Old 12-15-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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DH's nightstand will be last. He is a determined clothes dropper and scrap keeper. Every pen, coin, score card, business card, sticky note, etc just comes out of his pockets and is laid on his nightstand never to be touched again. I have a system for dealing with it and we just purge it once or twice a year.
Quote:
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Good for you! Keep at it.

I got rid of our artificial Xmas tree yesterday. We have a live one this year and have decided to get a cut or live one from now on. That freed up a 3'x1' section of shelving in the storage room! Our place is so small that is going to make a huge difference!
Good for you guys!

THL - I have this same problem with DW. Wicker baskets right at the spot of the crime are my best friend!

PA - 3x1 is a lot in a small place. That's excellent.

I went and got Your Money Your Life and I'll start on it tonight. It looks awesome.

-Rachel

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#146 of 199 Old 12-15-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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A couple of other Book recs:

Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin

The Simple Living Guide

Choosing Simplicity

I've read/or currently all those and they are good.

On my to read list are:


Living Simply with Children

Debt is Slavery

Work Less, Live more

Secrets of Simplicity

Zen to Done

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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#147 of 199 Old 12-15-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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de-lurking for a bit to say hi! and gather a bit of energy before getting hit by the holidays to maintain focus and keep our activities simple and not getting overwhelmed.

This is a fabulous thread and is packed full of ideas & resources - thank you to everyone!

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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#148 of 199 Old 12-15-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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Oh I forgot

A Reasonable Life: Toward a simpler, secure, more humane existence by Ferenc Mate

It's one man's manifesto for the simple life, I have this book and I reread it whenever I feel myself slipping.

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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#149 of 199 Old 12-15-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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marimara, these are awesome. I'm saving them to my to-read list right now. Doesn't look like my library has most of them but I'll request them from interlibrary loan soon.

Speaking of interlibrary loan. I find this to also be a good tip for simple living. I only purchase books I need to reference like cookbooks and book on my spirituality. Saves a lot of room and you still get to read some great books. Most library's have an ILL system for books they don't carry.

-Rachel

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#150 of 199 Old 12-15-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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marimara, these are awesome. I'm saving them to my to-read list right now. Doesn't look like my library has most of them but I'll request them from interlibrary loan soon.

Speaking of interlibrary loan. I find this to also be a good tip for simple living. I only purchase books I need to reference like cookbooks and book on my spirituality. Saves a lot of room and you still get to read some great books. Most library's have an ILL system for books they don't carry.
Thanks! and heck yeah! on the Interlibrary loan system. That's how I read most books (the few that I mentioned owning are a part of my very small library-at least compared to what it used to be). Currently there are about 20 books on my ILL waiting list. I go to the library at least once a week. I like to read books from them, and like you-unless it's totally awesome or a reference, I get them from the ILL first. On a side note, I meet the most awesome people at the library too!

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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