Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life Tribe - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-29-2010, 12:35 AM
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had a funny experience today.

our local waldorf kindy is going to have a clothing swap (for adults) as a fund raiser. apparently, you bring 5 items of clothing that you don't wear, and then they divide them by "quality."

the night of the fund raiser, you come with $10 and there are beverages and socializing. you look at all of the items there. at a certain point, you begin to try on the items that you might want, and at the end of the night, you can leave with 5 items.

i think it's a great idea. but being minimalist, i wear my clothes out and tend not to collect new clothes until those wear out. lol! so, i asked if i could still come and donate the $10 (and possibly pick up some new clothes--as i would like another sweater), even though i wouldn't have any clothes to donate.

one woman looked at me like i was nuts--what do you mean you don't have any clothes to get rid of? well, i purged everything to come here, and it's item in/item out with my clothing these days. i explained this, and she still looked cross-eyed.

then another lady spoke up and said "i have tons of clothes! you can just bring some of mine!" and so it's perfect. i don't know if i'm going to be able to make it to that fund raiser, but it's a good idea.

i also suggested that we do an infant's clothing swap because hawk has grown out of a number of quality items, but my sister doesn't want them. so, you know, i could swap them for larger sizes and such.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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I'm so excited about this tribe. I just happened to come across it in "new posts".

Introduce yourself
Hi Mamas! I'm Erica, I have 4 children (3-11yo) with my DH (of 6+years). I'm graduating from homeopathy school this month. I've been a non-conformist at heart since about 14yo but only in recent years came to realize that it's okay to be different and live outside the "box". I'm at the door ready to start a new simple life.


-discuss what brought you to this place

A few years ago, my eyes were opened to this force at hand on our planet. What I see is a force of materialism & greed with no consideration for the planet, the laborers, our needy neighbors and friends etc. The same said force distracts me from being in communion with the All That Is, my children, my Dh and all the beauty & love available in the moment. I want to be Free!


-how is this path and what has it taken you to?

I went so far off the path and managed to acquire a 5000 sq ft house complete with Pottery Barn everything only to realize how much it doesn't resonate with me. I got suckered into all the messages we are given that we need more and more and only then we'll be happy. We're selling our house and moving to a much much smaller house and giving/selling 1/2 of our belongings. I'm excited that DH is on board with me too (it took a lot of long discussions!). I don't know where it's taking me but in my mind, I feel it's going to lead me to a newfound freedom from the burden of STUFF!


Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else? I think I touched on this above. It's STUFF but it's also a mindset of "just taking what I need and leaving the rest for others!" and about "being conscious of what I put my energy into!"...that goes beyond "stuff"


Very happy to have found this "tribe!

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:02 AM
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that's cool that you finished homeopathy school. I am really, really interested in having a homeopath and/or naturopath at our holistic health center.

we have a massage therapist who is also a naturopath, but i'm finding it difficult to figure out how to market her when she doesn't relaly want to commit to any specific time or putting energy into the space. kind of tough for me. i really want someone who wants to be there, be part of what we are doing.

anyway, congratulations!
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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zoebird - that is a really great idea - a baby/kids clothes swap...

I'm struggling with whether to ditch the clothes that are too small, now. I have like 4 big bins of my kids old clothes - much of the boy clothes will be used since I have a baby boy, again, but the girl clothes... I honestly don't know if we'll be having more kids. We feel like we probably won't try, but we also don't feel good about birth control options beyond NFP/pullout... so, it's not inconceivable that we may have more. Also, though, I have emotional attachments to many of my daughter's old clothes. I guess b/c she was my first baby and I somehow expected her to have a sister that would wear them. I did go through and weed out about half... but there's still piles of it. *sigh* I really should do another pass or two...

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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anyway, congratulations!
Thank you! I'd love to live in NZ but Dh would never go for it!

So today I decluttered 90% of my first floor! Every single inch of my kitchen! (I never realized how expired my spices were! eek!) Every single shelf & cabinet in the living room Every drawer and shelf in the dining room The playroom The mudroom

All that's left is Dh's office and the laundry room and one closet (which I mostly decluttered 2 months ago).

A weight has lifted It's nearly tangible!

We have a showing tomorrow morning!!! Wish us luck that we can pass this big monstrosity of a house onto someone who wants it...maybe someone with a big big family who will actually use every room!

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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What are you guys doing with all the STUFF you purge?

I am thinking I'm going to put it all out on the driveway and put out signs/notes to local moms groups etc and have it be a "donation only" yard sale. All proceeds go to the food bank in town!

Any other suggestions? I really have so much stuff all piled up in my garage and no time to list everything individually!

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:23 PM
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i think a donation-only garage sale is a great idea, but a bit of work. i think i would ask local churches or community groups if they will e having a rummage sale soon.

we donated a lot of things to shelters (the furniture that wouldn't sell when we had our garage sale, clothing, unused toiletries, etc), toys to the children's hospital, etc. what we couldn't donate somewhere, we either took to the recycling center or tossed (if it couldn't be recycled). it's a lot of work, figuring out where "stuff" should go!
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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i think a donation-only garage sale is a great idea, but a bit of work. i think i would ask local churches or community groups if they will e having a rummage sale soon.

we donated a lot of things to shelters (the furniture that wouldn't sell when we had our garage sale, clothing, unused toiletries, etc), toys to the children's hospital, etc. what we couldn't donate somewhere, we either took to the recycling center or tossed (if it couldn't be recycled). it's a lot of work, figuring out where "stuff" should go!
I wasn't going to price anything. Just put it out as is, people put money in the jar if they want to. How much is up to them! That might make it less work for me, right?

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Old 04-29-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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Hi, everyone! SO excited to read your posts and journey together down this road!

Introduce yourself
I am Tina IRL, married for 11.5 yrs to my DH, also my BFF; mommy to a 7-yr old DS, 4.5-yr old DD, and expecting baby boy at the end of September


Discuss what brought you to this place
I come by it honestly - I am a sentimental packrat! I cannot get rid of anything, especially all the ceramics, paintings, etc. my babies have made.

I tried to pacify my constant worry and sadness when my DH was gone for his 15-month deployment by frequent trips to Target. It took that deployment for me to realize that "stuff" does not help; it just adds to the craziness!

We move often; we will be moving ourselves in less than a year - I want an easier move this time, despite adding a baby to the mix. I want less stress and less "stuff" to have to deal with!

The last thing that has spurred this was the death of my FIL a few yrs ago. He was a true hoarder and his large home was filled, wall to wall and floor to ceiling, with stuff - EVERYWHERE. It took us MONTHS to manage our way through it...I realized that "ya can't take it with you" is very true, and that the more I keep, the more my children will have to deal with one day - and who wants that!


Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else? I feel a sense of heaviness. My house is fairly uncluttered to begin with, so friends think I am nuts, but I feel there is a simpler way to be, yet still retain the memories! I want less stuff to clean, less stuff to move, less stuff to worry about. My family is what truly matters
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:38 PM
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for us, the garage sale took planning and effort, and made very little money. it took us a lot of time.

whereas, when we called the place to pick things up, and then drove the remaining to drop spots, it took one day.

for us, time equals "money" (abundance, opportunity to do what you want, etc). so, it saved us time to just go the route of donating it straight away.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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I'm excited that DH is on board with me too (it took a lot of long discussions!).
Kindermama, if you'd like to share a little more about how you navigated this conversation, I for one would be eternally grateful! My husband is still convinced that "more and bigger = success" and I'm really struggling to move us to the "enough" track instead.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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Like I said, it took many discussions to finally get him on board! Tears of frustration too! I brought it to his attention how much we spend on things we think we need and end up throwing out. For him, I focused more on the money aspect but for me it's about the time it takes to care of all this stuff and the environment! He tends to focus & stress about our finances a lot and so bringing this to his attention made him see how excessive our lifestyle is and if we just simplify, we'll have more time, money and peace of mind.

Yesterday, I literally had to rip books out of his hand (in a fun way of course)...books he hasn't touched in years and will never open again! He had a hard time letting go of things....but today, he stopped me and thanked me in a deep way for leading our family to simplify.

So we made a pact to check in with each other anytime we buy something that is not food! Only the first part of the battle is over (well will be as I finish the 2nd floor today!)....the biggest battle is maintaining this mindset! We are trying to un-brainwash ourselves at this point! This is the hardest part!

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Old 04-30-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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for us, time equals "money" (abundance, opportunity to do what you want, etc). so, it saved us time to just go the route of donating it straight away.
good point I think you just swayed me!

I found an outreach ministry that is looking for anything household-wise for new immigrants in town! It's just that I have so many little random things that I'd hate to put in a landfill.

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Old 04-30-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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So we made a pact to check in with each other anytime we buy something that is not food! Only the first part of the battle is over (well will be as I finish the 2nd floor today!)....the biggest battle is maintaining this mindset! We are trying to un-brainwash ourselves at this point! This is the hardest part!
unbrainwashing is hard. the story of stuff helped me, though... http://www.storyofstuff.com/

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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Old 04-30-2010, 09:18 PM
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maintaining *is* a work. i always go back to the song by sting called "set them free." in it, he has a line that goes: "can we live here and be happy with less?"

whenever i look at an object, i go "can i live here and be happy with less?" typically, the answer is that the object--even if useful--will not make us happy.

---

donating to organizations like that is great. we donated *so much* to various charities, including a ministry that gave items to immigrant and refugee families. it feels good to know that your stuff is out there being good stuff for someone else.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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unbrainwashing is hard. the story of stuff helped me, though... http://www.storyofstuff.com/
I love this video...a huge eye-opener! I shared it with others on FB a while back too!

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Old 05-01-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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My dss said to me today "Since we're moving to a smaller house, I think we should make sure that every time we get a new toy in the new house, we give an old toy away to some kid who doesn't have any!"

I said "how about we also just don't buy new toys all that often and rotate the ones we have!"

He liked that idea just as much but was still worried about the kids who need toys!

Either way, it's rubbing off and he's on the right track at the ripe age of 8!

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Old 05-03-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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Hi! I'm really glad I found this thread

Introduce yourself: I'm Hannah, mom to 15 month old Seth. I work from home as a photographer and my husband is a 911 dispatcher.
Discuss what brought you to this place: I find very few people who are striving for simplicity in life the way I want to. Even my husband doesn't really understand my desire for a more minimalistic existence, and I had a feeling I would find a group on Mothering that had similar views.
How is this path and what has it taken you to?
Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?
For me it's mostly material, but also career. Before I had my son I worked out of the home, and I felt like I was always just trying to keep up with our lifestyle. I decided to follow my passion for photography- I am a strong believer in doing what you love. I am trying to make that work to support our needs, but in the meantime I have really started to re-evaluate what our true needs are. I feel chaos when there is so much stuff around me, and am starting to purge our home of the things we don't really need, and trying to bring in less. When I do shop, I am trying to do so mindfully and buy secondhand, handmade, from independent businesses and fair trade as much as possible. I am trying to create less waste, and do more things myself. I started a garden this year and am trying to purchase whole foods- ingredients rather than packaged things, etc. It is such a journey, and I have a loong way to go.

Mama to DS 2/10/09, and a new little one due in March 2012.

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Old 05-03-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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The Story of Stuff had a huge impact on me.

Kindermama, that is awesome that your DS is picking up on all of it. I am hoping that my practices influence my DS as he grows up.

Mama to DS 2/10/09, and a new little one due in March 2012.

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Old 05-04-2010, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The Story of Stuff had a huge impact on me.

Kindermama, that is awesome that your DS is picking up on all of it. I am hoping that my practices influence my DS as he grows up.
there is a book to go along with the book. I highly suggest you take a look at it.

I am reading "The Radical Homemaker" right now. Anyone read this?

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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I am reading "The Radical Homemaker" right now. Anyone read this?
I have this on my Kindle and am a bit into it. Very interesting so far!

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Old 05-05-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Can I join in I am JUST starting out to work my way to a minimalist lifestyle. (and when I say JUST I mean as in today LOL) I am in the middle of a seperation and I am realizing what I truely want for myself and my children. We currently have alot of clutter that I am going through and getting rid of! I am excited about this journey and hopefully it will not take me to long to get to my goals of living more simply!!

"If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing."
~Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can I join in I am JUST starting out to work my way to a minimalist lifestyle. (and when I say JUST I mean as in today LOL) I am in the middle of a seperation and I am realizing what I truely want for myself and my children. We currently have alot of clutter that I am going through and getting rid of! I am excited about this journey and hopefully it will not take me to long to get to my goals of living more simply!!
Plenty of room for you! We have minimal stuff here LOL! Welcome!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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Welcome lactivistmama!

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Old 05-05-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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Great job everyone...very inspirational. I must say divine intervention at it's best happened. I live near Nashville and the flooding is HORRIBLE, people have lost everything and the water is still leveling off. I had 4 bags filled to go to Goodwill but didn't have the time last week. I now am donating them to the local church for the flood relief. It is amazing the turnout in this community. It's wonderful....
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:46 AM
 
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I have yet another trunk full of stuff to go away. I don't know where it comes from, I really don't. We don't BUY things! Yesterday I combined my kitchen utensil drawer and my silverware drawer and got rid of a few things we hardly ever used. Libby decided we could get rid of the plastic bath ducks, they always frustrate her that they don't float upright. It's all random stuff like that.

I am trying hard to simplify my kitchen, the things I make, the containers I store food in, the ingredients I buy. It's really fun. We are canceling our trash service, so right now simplifying in the kitchen means cutting down on trash big time!

I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) waterbirth.jpg and 'Nana' (05/09 )h20homebirth.gif and Eowyn (11/11) waterbirth.jpg  We are having a blast bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifcd.gif and homeschool.gif.

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:55 AM
 
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Just curious about the canceling your trash service? What do you do with the trash then if you don't get it picked up?

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Old 05-06-2010, 10:16 AM
 
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This is probably going to fall into the "one persons minimal is another's excess" category, but I am down to just four purses/handbags now. That is after weeding out ... well, more than I care to admit to

Ideally I'd like to just have one that I love and works for all seasons, but for now I picked one I really love for each season and that feels pretty good

My husband and I recently gave the kids the biggest bedroom, which means we also gave up the bigger closet. Even our already simple wardrobes are getting paired down to suit our space (a good thing) but the shoe/purse crazy gal in me has never had to cut back before. It is good for me, I think. I can simplify in other areas of my life, but this is my weak spot

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Old 05-06-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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We are trying to produce no trash! We use cloth everything, diapers, pads, family cloth. We compost, have chickens, and do worm composting. We have flushable cat litter. I am trying to buy food with no packaging or that can be recycled. I love bulk food. : ) I am starting to can food too. We can drop off the recycling for free and trash for a fee at the landfill, so that's what we will do for anything that we can't reuse or compost (like broken glass, I am always breaking dishes). We have a can that we own out in the side yard, and I will probably pick up another for recycling. We also burn paper/cardboard trash in our wood stove. It's $35 dollars a month for recycling curbside pick up and on call trash for an extra $5 a pick up. I only put the recycling can out every month or more and have not yet filled up my outdoor trash can, so it seems silly to keep paying when we can drop it off for just a few dollars in gas.

I kind of understand the purse thing, I only have 1 purse, but I have a bunch of slings/baby carriers, they are like my baby purse!

I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) waterbirth.jpg and 'Nana' (05/09 )h20homebirth.gif and Eowyn (11/11) waterbirth.jpg  We are having a blast bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifcd.gif and homeschool.gif.

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Old 05-06-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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OK I see now Paigekitten it sounds like you really have your act together...well done!

I have about 7 handbags, but only really use two of them most of the time! The others include 2 winter ones which seem too good to throw away, and 2 oroton summer ones, and a small evening oroton one with strap...ones I would only use occasionally. I think I should get rid of one of the winter ones as I really don't like it anymore....despite it being high quality.

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