Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life Tribe - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 177 Old 06-11-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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I have only broken two recycled jars, the first I poured hot liquid onto already frozen liquid (Duh Moment!), and the second I filled too full. It was frozen with a crack at the bottom and I just picked it up in one piece and tossed it in the trash.

I read the book Simplicity Parenting. It gave me a really good perspective on how many toys, and what kinds of toys to have. It also made me realize that I am trying to do to much with my two year old, this week we were out and about three days in a row and I realize it was too much for her.

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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#122 of 177 Old 06-11-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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I freeze food in recycled jars all the time and I've never had a mishap. Just leave some room at the top for expansion and you're good to go! My problem is always trying to find the right lid for the right jar! I need a better system.

I'm reading Radical Homemaker right now and LOVE it. It's so inspiring and really making me think hard about things. As a lapsed academic (and a women's studies minor in college) I actually really enjoyed the first half that was a lot of theory. Of course the second half with the more practical aspects is even more great, because I just want to crawl into these people's lives for a few weeks each and see how it all works for them.

Question for those not living in a city: do you feel isolated? We dream of sort of finding a piece of land and building some kind of living structure on it, gardening, chickens, the whole deal. But right now we rent a house in the city and I find that if we don't get out of the house in the morning most days I will start to go stir-crazy. I have a VERY active 4 year old and a 4 month old baby, and being cooped up with them in the house all day long makes me nuts. If I couldn't go for a walk or get my preschooler out to stuff like museums/zoo, etc I think I would go nuts. Granted we do not have a usable backyard, so I can't just say "go outside and play" like I could if we had land. I don't know. Maybe it's just the age - I really find it hard to play with him and deal with an infant. So we worry about trading amenities like those above for a more rural, DIY lifestyle...not sure how to figure it all out.

/ramble.

Chessa , mama to Silas T (6/06) , wife to Chad . Welcome August Emerson! 2/8/10
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#123 of 177 Old 06-14-2010, 06:30 AM
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we live in the city and do not have a yard.

i spend a lot of time alone, DS and I.

here, and in PA, our main activity is going to an open space and letting DS explore. in PA, that as valley forge park or audubon park. I could stay in one place with a blanket, and he could toddle and explore within eye sight. it was quite nice.

here, the gardens to which i go--or open spaces--require a bit more attention because they are either open ended (rather than expansive, they are ringed by trails or roads) or end right next to water (harbor, sea). so, i can't just spread out, i have to be more attentive.

but i usually do these things by myself. it's ok--not a problem at all.

i can imagine that if i lived in a more rural place, it migth even be harder for me, because i like to be around people and i love to be in the city. but, i could do it too.
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#124 of 177 Old 06-14-2010, 08:56 AM
 
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Question for those not living in a city: do you feel isolated? We dream of sort of finding a piece of land and building some kind of living structure on it, gardening, chickens, the whole deal. But right now we rent a house in the city and I find that if we don't get out of the house in the morning most days I will start to go stir-crazy. I have a VERY active 4 year old and a 4 month old baby, and being cooped up with them in the house all day long makes me nuts. If I couldn't go for a walk or get my preschooler out to stuff like museums/zoo, etc I think I would go nuts. Granted we do not have a usable backyard, so I can't just say "go outside and play" like I could if we had land. I don't know. Maybe it's just the age - I really find it hard to play with him and deal with an infant. So we worry about trading amenities like those above for a more rural, DIY lifestyle...not sure how to figure it all out.

/ramble.
We are in between and I love it. We live in a small town that is surrounded by farmland. The DIY/homesteading philosophy is alive and well here. We can have chickens (we do not have them yet) and we have a decent sized garden (1500 square feet, plus a blueberry patch, apple and fig trees).

And yet, I have a close neighborhood, good friends close by and I can walk to the post office/library/restaurants/town center. I ride my bike to the grocery store and live near the YMCA. I love living like this.

We have lived in the country and it was very isolating. We have lived in the city and it was crazy difficult with three wild and rambling kids. I suppose if we had started our kids in the city or if we were more city-minded, we would have enjoyed it more, but it was hard for us.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#125 of 177 Old 06-14-2010, 10:32 AM
 
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We live just outside the city...about 10 minute ride in the car but I can walk to a lot nearby. We have a townhouse and I love it. I made a small garden on the patio (just tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, peppers and a bean plan for DS). I can walk safely around our complex, we have a pool, playset and plenty of space to stretch our legs. The country was beautiful but too isolated for myself. I like to keep moving and explore. Plus, as DS enters school, it's much closer and his friends are nearer. Easier commute for work too.
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#126 of 177 Old 06-22-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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So I decided that I wouldn't let my weird guilt issues keep me from cleaning up my son's room and decluttering unneeded items. He had a ton of stuffed animals -- a ton. He also had a zip-up mesh toy storage thing...hard to describe, but it pops open unfolded like those laundry containers...anyway, my sister helped me decide that it is reasonable to keep what stuffed animals would fit in the toy storage container. She is a ruthless declutter-er and doesn't get sentimental with material objects so she's good to have around for projects like this! That's still a lot of stuffed animals to keep, so I did that and kept his favorites and sentimetal ones. I then decluttered three trashbags worth of stuffed animals that he never really played with, or had been under the bed for forever, etc. His room is so much neater just from doing that and thanks to the remaining stuffed animals having a specific home now.

I ended up going through all of his toys, and there were a number that were unusable due to being incomplete, broken stuff, etc. I got rid of of those, sorted the rest and made homes for everything.

I did all of this while my son went to the pool with my mom, so I could spread everything out and organize without having him trail toys all over the place while I was trying to clean. I'm really proud of myself. I know the guilt didn't make sense because it is more important for him to have a clean room and a good example for how to take care of his things, rather than having a larger quantity of toys. He still has plenty of toys, and now it will be easier for him to clean up after himself and he has more room to play.

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#127 of 177 Old 06-22-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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That is very cool you were able to do that, and still keep all the important ones for your son. Both my parents remember their parents getting rid of treasured stuffed animals while they were away so I grew up knowing that I would be very respectful of my children's possessions. My two year old sees me decluttering and gets it. I ask her about her toys "do you want to play with this or give it away?" I'll ask it a couple times for each toy over the span of a few days if the answer is give it away. Then I put it up out of sight for a few weeks just in case she asks for it again.

It's really cool how the less we have the more we enjoy what we DO have. We are down to maybe 7 or 8 stuffed animals and dolls, and that includes DH and my special ones from our childhoods too. The girls play with the ones that are left WAY more then they used to.

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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#128 of 177 Old 06-23-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Yes, I remember being really attached to some of my stuffed animals so I wouldn't get rid of anything he really loves. He loves picking one at night to snuggle with, it is so adorable!

stillheart.gif = Pariah, Super Mom + The Amazing Wiggy (1/06)superhero.gifangel.gif  (6/08)  52 Projects: 0/52  Decluttering Challenge: 37/2013

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#129 of 177 Old 06-23-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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I may have lost my mind today I've been feeling really overwhelmed by laundry, dishes, etc....sooo....I packed up most the dishes and kitchenware today I put it into cabinets that aren't being used and kept one bank of drawers/cabinets and one small cabinet for ALL the kitchen stuff. I only kept out what I know we NEED and use frequently. I know there are some other things that I use on occasion that I don't plan to get rid of, but it will be interesting to see what stays packed away. We are moving this fall so I think this should be a great way to see what should go with us.

We have a family of 6 and I've had a full set of dishes, silverware, etc for 12, plus plenty of pots/pans/bowls for entertaining. I know that what I have is a "reasonable" amount by most people's standards, but I just really would like to try out a new level of simplicity. My hope would be that we would keep only this out plus a small cabinet of extra dishes, serving dishes, silverware for when we have guests over, plus another small cabinet for rarely used items like a mandoline slicer, dehydrator, food processor etc.

I kept out:
*1 plate, bowl, cup, set of silverware for each person
*2 coffee cups, 2 small mugs used as ramekin type bowls
*1 medium platter, 1 pyrex pie plate
*3 mixing/serving bowls of different sizes
*1 pyrex measuring cup, metal measuring cups/spoons set
*grater, can opener, canning gadgets, rolling pin, meat therm.
*small assortment cooking and serving utensils in a ceramic crock

*baking dishes: 3 corningware pans of different sizes, pyrex 9x13 pan & 8x8 pan

*small appliances: Vitamix, immersion blender, crockpot

*pots/pans: 3 assorted castiron pans, big LeCreuset dutchoven, Med & Large stainless stockpots, XS and M stainless saucepans, cookie sheet, broiler pan, griddle

*kitchen linens: 12 floursack towels, 6 washcloths (used for cleaning house too), 6 small hand towels, 6 potholders, 18 napkins

Anyone see anything I'm missing or could do without? Keep in mind I cook almost everything from scratch and I have 4 small kids. Or am I totally gone mad and should put everything back in its home before DH gets home?

~Rebecca~
mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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#130 of 177 Old 06-23-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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I just realized that list really big still, but I assure you it looks tiny!

~Rebecca~
mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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#131 of 177 Old 06-23-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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I may have lost my mind today I've been feeling really overwhelmed by laundry, dishes, etc....sooo....I packed up most the dishes and kitchenware today I put it into cabinets that aren't being used and kept one bank of drawers/cabinets and one small cabinet for ALL the kitchen stuff. I only kept out what I know we NEED and use frequently. I know there are some other things that I use on occasion that I don't plan to get rid of, but it will be interesting to see what stays packed away. We are moving this fall so I think this should be a great way to see what should go with us.

We have a family of 6 and I've had a full set of dishes, silverware, etc for 12, plus plenty of pots/pans/bowls for entertaining. I know that what I have is a "reasonable" amount by most people's standards, but I just really would like to try out a new level of simplicity. My hope would be that we would keep only this out plus a small cabinet of extra dishes, serving dishes, silverware for when we have guests over, plus another small cabinet for rarely used items like a mandoline slicer, dehydrator, food processor etc.

I kept out:
*1 plate, bowl, cup, set of silverware for each person
*2 coffee cups, 2 small mugs used as ramekin type bowls
*1 medium platter, 1 pyrex pie plate
*3 mixing/serving bowls of different sizes
*1 pyrex measuring cup, metal measuring cups/spoons set
*grater, can opener, canning gadgets, rolling pin, meat therm.
*small assortment cooking and serving utensils in a ceramic crock

*baking dishes: 3 corningware pans of different sizes, pyrex 9x13 pan & 8x8 pan

*small appliances: Vitamix, immersion blender, crockpot

*pots/pans: 3 assorted castiron pans, big LeCreuset dutchoven, Med & Large stainless stockpots, XS and M stainless saucepans, cookie sheet, broiler pan, griddle

*kitchen linens: 12 floursack towels, 6 washcloths (used for cleaning house too), 6 small hand towels, 6 potholders, 18 napkins

Anyone see anything I'm missing or could do without? Keep in mind I cook almost everything from scratch and I have 4 small kids. Or am I totally gone mad and should put everything back in its home before DH gets home?
The main thing that surprises me is only 6 washcloths? I know that would be enough for my family, as we use those instead of paper towels generally, and after some jobs I prefer they run through the washer before they're used for something else. If we're having a huge cleaning day I don't want to worry about running out of washcloths. Also, we have several cookie sheets. If you make cookies it's nice to have one ready to go when one comes out of the oven. Maybe keep a second since they can stack easily?

Mom to ds 10/12 and dd 2/05 ribbonrainbow.gif

Blogging about living with xeroderma pigmentosum at www.pacificnights.org/ and about life in general at http://livingavibrantlife.blogspot.com/
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#132 of 177 Old 06-23-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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I'd like to join in too! I've longed for a more simple life for a long time, and it seems like as I embark on this single parenting journey, that is one of the first dreams I can realize! I think that right now I am mostly looking at the concrete aspects- decluttering my home now that my ex won't be living in it.

It is so freeing to be able to rearrange my bedroom without asking anyone's permission, and to declutter half the stuffed animals and just set out the bag to get rid of and let him know if he wants any additional kept that they can go to his mom's house where he is staying (each child picked out 5 stuffed animals, plus a tossed a few in that had sentimental value).

We divided up the books and movies this weekend and the bookshelves are half empty, the movie shelves are 3/4 empty!

Since he hasn't been here much surprisingly the house has been staying cleaner. I can have company over if I want with not too much notice and no longer am embarrassed or does it take 4 hours beforehand to get the house presentable. This is very important to me because I'm working on building up social supports. So far I have emergency supports through my church, but as most of them are old enough to be my mother, they're not everyday friends. I have some amazing friends I've met who live in Chicago, but that's an hour drive from here, and now that I'm a single mom I can't get out there as often. So now my goal is to find amazing local friends, hopefully of the same caliber as those I've met in Chicago.

I actually really enjoy keeping a busy schedule with all the kids. They're in one activity each, but just that keeps us completely booked several days a week. This summer I've been focusing on finding free family activities for us like movie night in the park and full moon jam.

I'm working on getting my finances in better order so that takes a lot of the stress off of things and I can focus on enjoying the moment, and can take advantage of more opportunities that fall into my lap, without worrying about the money part of it.

Mom to ds 10/12 and dd 2/05 ribbonrainbow.gif

Blogging about living with xeroderma pigmentosum at www.pacificnights.org/ and about life in general at http://livingavibrantlife.blogspot.com/
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#133 of 177 Old 06-24-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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The main thing that surprises me is only 6 washcloths? I know that would be enough for my family, as we use those instead of paper towels generally, and after some jobs I prefer they run through the washer before they're used for something else. If we're having a huge cleaning day I don't want to worry about running out of washcloths. Also, we have several cookie sheets. If you make cookies it's nice to have one ready to go when one comes out of the oven. Maybe keep a second since they can stack easily?

Yeah okay I realized by last night that 6 washcloths was not gonna work I doubled that amount. We don't use papertowels either, but I usually use the floursack towels as a papertowel replacement. Washcloths are for washing dishes, counters, and cleaning the house. I actually usually go through 2-3 wash cloths a day because after washing dishes, I'll wipe the toddler down, rinse it, then I'll wipe the counters, tables, etc. Then it goes in the laundry and I'll grab another one. I do laundry frequently so I think a dozen should be plenty.

We actually only own one cookie sheet and use the bottom of our broiler pan as backup if needed. We are grainfree and sugarfree so I don't make cookies that often The one thing that I did forget on the list was canning jars. We use them for food storage. I had already put 4 quart jars and 2 small jars (for dh's lunch) in the cupboard, I just forgot to list them.

~Rebecca~
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#134 of 177 Old 06-29-2010, 03:32 AM
 
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I kept out:
*1 plate, bowl, cup, set of silverware for each person
*2 coffee cups, 2 small mugs used as ramekin type bowls
*1 medium platter, 1 pyrex pie plate
*3 mixing/serving bowls of different sizes
*1 pyrex measuring cup, metal measuring cups/spoons set
*grater, can opener, canning gadgets, rolling pin, meat therm.
*small assortment cooking and serving utensils in a ceramic crock

*baking dishes: 3 corningware pans of different sizes, pyrex 9x13 pan & 8x8 pan

*small appliances: Vitamix, immersion blender, crockpot

*pots/pans: 3 assorted castiron pans, big LeCreuset dutchoven, Med & Large stainless stockpots, XS and M stainless saucepans, cookie sheet, broiler pan, griddle

*kitchen linens: 12 floursack towels, 6 washcloths (used for cleaning house too), 6 small hand towels, 6 potholders, 18 napkins

Anyone see anything I'm missing or could do without? Keep in mind I cook almost everything from scratch and I have 4 small kids. Or am I totally gone mad and should put everything back in its home before DH gets home?
We have fewer pots and pans, although we are only 3 adults and 2 kids. I have 2 sauce pans, 2 cast iron pans, 2 cookie sheets, one 8X8 pyrex , one pie pan, and a stockpot.

I only recently acquired the second saucepan and second cookie sheet, and don't really NEED them.

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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#135 of 177 Old 06-30-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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I need to join this thread!

We are in major need of decluttering, and I just want to purge everything. One of my problems is that I have major sentimental attachments to some things, and others not so personal, but just can't get rid of. My grandparents were very poor, and when my grandfather built up his business and became successful, Grandma filled her house like it was a museum! TONS of knicknacks, crystal, etc. Some really cool stuff. My mom has about half of it, plus her own stash that she built throughout her life as a product of Grandma (both her own purchasing, and gifts from Gma when she found a "bargain"). This is not cheap stuff you can pick up at Pottery Barn.

Add to that, on my dad's side, Gpa was an artist and there is a ton of unframed artwork (in addition to what's hanging in their house) that's really neat to look at, but not necessarily frame-and-hang. (Like 3D maps of the World's Fair, book illustrations, tools he made by hand, etc.)

My parents do not throw anything away. This means that when they die, I'll be the one sorting through it all, trying to determine what to keep, what to toss, and what has enough value to sell or keep to sell later. I know nothing about art. Little about antique crystal. I'm already overwhelmed at the prospect of sorting through everything. So my short-term strategy is to keep my own house as empty as possible so there's room for the stuff to go when the time comes. I figure if I can let go of some of the stuff I have from the Gparents now, maybe it'll be easier when we get the flood? (Of course, I'm also praying that they stick around long enough for my son to have his own place, so he can take some of the stuff he wants too, but that's a long shot...)

I'm just not sure how to proceed. I'm terrified of being the one who sends off a $3000 vase to Goodwill when I could've sold it on Craigslist or at a flea market... And of course, there's the sentimentality too -- everything is, "Oh that was Gma's! I can't get rid of it!" even though I have plenty of stuff to remind me of her...

Okay, admitting is the first step, right?
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#136 of 177 Old 06-30-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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im struggling with two areas.. craft supplies & clothing/cloth stuff.

we just moved and im starting to unpack and everything seems to have a place BUT my crafting supplies (and canning jars ) and I live for making things. I need a studio where I can set up my sewing machine, spinning wheel ect..but i dont have one..I dont have a spare room or even really a space..

I am planning to make some space for working in my living room because I have things I HAVe to sew, but it will have to be all put away after since I have very curious & messy LO's.
i'm not willing to give it up. i am willing to downsize & reorganize (again) but im feeling overwhelmed at best..the worst part is that i know since i have 3 LO's and another on the way I likely wont be doing much creating for a while (except knitting for the new bean) and i want to be able to just let it go..but..but..I know that eown the road i will regret it. i have spent quite a bit of money on supplies, and since we are homeschooling I hope to use a lot of it when they get a bit older along with them.


and then clothes, linens, table cloths, ect.. ect.
I seem to have piles of everything..
again we are just starting to get things put away but my new and very small bedroom looks like a thrift shop back-room right now.
I cant live like this!
I did really de-clutter clothing and other cloth things before the move but I realize that I need to go one step further. its hard though! we only have a second sheet for each bed, not that many towels.. I do have a lot of tea towels but we use a lot because we dont use disposable paper products in the kitchen... I have too many clothes and most of them I cant even wear right now, but I know once the baby is born I will need them again. Im considering packing them up in bins and storing them outside under a lean-to we are making for the washing machine to live for the summer (is this crazy?) right now I only have a few outfits that feel comfy and cool enough for being pregnant in summer so what i have left will likely only fill a laundry basket ( I have no dresser)
my son doesnt have many clothes, but my girls do. They have the largest closet in the house, but I dont want that to be a reason to keep everything. as i have been putting things away i have been paring down and its getting a bit better, but I want to be a minimalist!! help!

 

 

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#137 of 177 Old 06-30-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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We only have two sets of sheets for each bed; one on the bed, one folded very thinly and stored between the mattress and boxspring. I wouldn't mind going down to just one set per bed, but we line dry and in the winter the fitted sheets won't dry in one day. All the sudden I am minimalist on clothes, although not intentionally. I am down to one shirt because the others wore out and I have a hard time finding things I like that fit. Two shirts wasn't so bad, one shirt is really a pain with two kids under two. I think four everyday shirts is ideal, that is how many my husband has right now and it really works for us.

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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#138 of 177 Old 06-30-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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So my short-term strategy is to keep my own house as empty as possible so there's room for the stuff to go when the time comes. I figure if I can let go of some of the stuff I have from the Gparents now, maybe it'll be easier when we get the flood? (Of course, I'm also praying that they stick around long enough for my son to have his own place, so he can take some of the stuff he wants too, but that's a long shot...)

I'm just not sure how to proceed. I'm terrified of being the one who sends off a $3000 vase to Goodwill when I could've sold it on Craigslist or at a flea market... And of course, there's the sentimentality too -- everything is, "Oh that was Gma's! I can't get rid of it!" even though I have plenty of stuff to remind me of her...

Okay, admitting is the first step, right?
Yes, admitting is the first step!
The second step is to STOP the cycle!!! Please don't burden your son with the pressure to hold on to everyone else's stuff.

I almost wanted to cry when I read that your plan is to clear your house, just so it can become a storage center for belongings of deceased relatives.. that is a really not good unhealthy idea. Yes, you should empty your house, but it's YOUR house- do it for YOURSELF and not someone else. Your home is where you LIVE; it is not a museum or a storage locker.
Try setting a limit of how many keepsake items to keep per person- like maybe 3, and make sure they are items that mean a lot and that you will display proudly and not shove in a basement or a box. Anything else beyond that should not come in to your house. Have a plan to get rid of it, have an antique appraiser set up if necessary, plans for an estate sale, etc, or a charity auction. Don't rent a storage locker for it because you'll probably end up paying more and wasting more time hauling than any profit from selling things.

And back to your son- just think about how stressed out you feel about dealing with your grandparents' and parents' belongings, and imagine adding all your belongings too.. that's 3 generations of knick knacks with tons of emotional baggage to drown in. Don't leave him that sort of legacy.. memories are plenty. But- don't give him memories of a mom that spent all her time sifting through knick-knacks, things, and craigslist.. your time is what's really valuable.

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#139 of 177 Old 07-01-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Oliver's Mama, thank you for saying all that. I have considered setting a limit, it's just so many things that are such a part of my life (from seeing them/playing with them at my grandparents' and my own house growing up), and then the art work from my grandfather that he did with his own hands/mind... Not worth $$ to anyone, but how can I toss things he created? I hate to think that what he made/did is trash, while the posters and repros and mass-produced stuff you see in the stores and in people's homes is the best we can do these days as far as art and creativity. Something that someone I knew and loved made these things, and I'm supposed to toss them?

As far as my son goes, I didn't mean that I was counting on him to have a big house to store everything til I die so I have peace of mind that we still have all the stuff. I meant that I hope he has his own home where he can have however much of this stuff he wants. We had some issues with the furniture, etc. b/c some of us wanted certain chairs, tables, etc. but have no room, so they went to other family members or got donated. I don't want DS to not have certain things THAT HE WANTS b/c he doesn't have the space for it. But you did give me a good idea, that we *could* rent a small storage space if there is big furniture he wants to save. I never had any intention of going that route to save all the stuff, though, but I'm glad you said that!

I guess I am more stressed about it than I realize, b/c I had a nightmare last night about my Gparents' apartment and the new tenants who claimed a lot of their antiques and wouldn't give them back. The stuff in the dream was stuff that doesn't even exist, and in the dream, it wasn't stuff I even wanted, but was still on the phone to my mom to make sure it wasn't stuff she wanted, and even still was completely upset by the whole thing. Ugh. One thing at a time!
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#140 of 177 Old 07-01-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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Hi,
I've been reading and am now finally posting. I'm Kate, we're a family of three with #4 coming in December. I'm pretty minimalist. DH is a packrat/hoarder who comes by it honestly; his family (his mother mostly) is out of control. I am dead serious when I say that they are not allowed to die until we leave the country, because there's no way I can handle dealing with their house *packed* full of STUFF (they're lovely otherwise, so I'd rather they not die anytime soon for other reasons too!). DD is 18 months, and her only object attachment is my breast and her stuffed rabbit, so I think we're good for awhile. haha.
For us, simplicity is more than just the stuff aspect, but I haven't completely nailed it all down yet. We've spent the last year in complete flux. Four moves (literally across the country), radical change in plans (I decided to withdraw from midwifery school, DH went from WOHP to SAHP ad back to WOHP), big stress on our marriage, new baby, and now another new baby... So, things seemed pretty "un"simple.
But, things are steady and settled a bit now. We like our current lifestyle, but for the first time in our entire life together, *I* am the one needing more and DP is the one who has managed to cobble together a varied and rich though simple life. I like simple, but am struggling a bit because I think I need things to remain simple yet become richer. I don't want to be rushing around all frantic all the time, but I need more than the current set up. More social time. More intellectual stimulation. More value in what I do.
I'm still trying to figure out what that means within a simplicity context. A night class? A part-time job? (where? how? I would want something meaningful, but definitely NOT full time!) Anyway, that's the current simplicity rub.
Moving from a place where we had to pay by weight to ship our stuff out (Arctic) meant that we sold and/or gave away the majority of our posessions. Being in transit for 8 months really helped us to streamline and figure out what we really need, so even though it was a stressful time, I'm glad of it. Now to maintain!
Also, even though *we're* perfectly happy with things as they are stuff wise, I sometimes feel like we should acquie a few things just so people don't look at us crossways. ex: our bed is a simple mattress on the floor, we don't own a box spring or a bed frame, bedside table is an old wooden crate. It's sparse, but functional, and people think we're a little odd. It doesn't usually bother me at all, but sometimes I do have to fight against the urge to just be "normal" and buy a bed!
Anyway, that's a bit of us. Looking forward to reading along with all your posts.

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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
M: that's cool. we are in the process of re-doing our entry area because of the winter. we now have fall and winter coats out, plus rain gear. we do need all of it out (the weather is quite chaotic), and we can't just store other things. I have put spring/summer things away into their vacuum sealed bags; the rest is out and put away, but we need hooks for that, and something for shoe storage.

i'm thinking of two layers of hooks--one above for us, one below for DS and also for bags. then beneath that a bench that has places for shoes beneath (two rows). the waldorf playgroup has a similar set up, and DH *loves* that set up. LOL so, it looks like that is what we will be doing!
You've probably already sorted this out, but my dad built something pretty much exactly like this for our entryway when I was a child (we lived on the Canadian prairies = heaps of winter gear). We loved it. I still seek to recreate it in all of our homes! If only I was handier, or if only my dad hadn't sold all his woodworking equipment and moved to Africa - he could make me another! Anyway, hurray for this set up. It rocks.

Also, I am totally giggling at your "electric blankets are against my religion". (please don't be offended if your religion actually does ban such things, although I'm curious what religion this would be!). I'd bet there are local to you wool companies that make the sort of bedding you're looking for. Souvenir of your time there AND completely practical and usefull.

For greater things are yet to come...

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#141 of 177 Old 07-01-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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we just moved and im starting to unpack and everything seems to have a place BUT my crafting supplies (and canning jars ) and I live for making things. I need a studio where I can set up my sewing machine, spinning wheel ect..but i dont have one..I dont have a spare room or even really a space..
I have art/craft/sewing stuff too. I bought two rectangular tables from Ikea and put them in a corner...if that makes sense...so the tables make a 90 degree angle? I hope that is worded right. Anyway, I have a file box for important papers and two Rubbermaid bins for supplies that fit under the tables. The sewing machine is on one table top all the way on the right, a printer in the middle, and all the way on the left is a box of pencils and a little container of pens, paperclips, etc. I keep the space as empty as possible so it looks neat, and I have that space free for crafty stuff or cutting fabric.

It is a tight squeeze, but it is doable in our little space.

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#142 of 177 Old 07-01-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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So Introduce yourself...
I am a single mother of two, living in a 450 sq ft one bedroom apartment! I have both my daughters fulltime, although I am lucky that I have an ex who is doing his best to be a parent and my oldest is going to preschool four days a week. My teeny apartment has to serve as home, office(for a start-up sewing/etsy biz, which is actually starting to work, but is getting constrained by space and storage!), and school (half online, half on campus). While I got over any pack-rat issues I may have had about a year and a half ago, staying in a space this small with two growing girls and still having people over (three or four times a week, sometimes even overnights!) means staying vigilant and on top of the clutter and storage solutions. I do have a storage spot, that is a block away, and is a non-negotiable business expense. It's much cheaper to rent storage than have an office or upgrade to a two bedroom, and I love that I can put away my biz stuff and not have to store inventory and bulk supplies in a closet or something crazy and inefficient.

What brought you to this place?
Wanting to remain in my healthy positive lifestyle, regardless of my square footage. My one year old is starting to get cabin fever, and I need extra support and discipline in order to stay on top of the apartment and also be a mom all day. I'm hoping that she will get childcare for my school, however, I have still been struggling with keeping up my morale.

Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?
Lack of space, and some emotional issues surrounding giving my children what they need despite frugal means. I am balancing my feelings of guilt over separation with my ex with the obvious benefits that have resulted for myself and my children. The emotional turmoil has resulted in all sorts of changes for me, and I have noticed some good and bad changes. The bad being that I am having trouble reconciling my small apartment (that I love for what it is) with the three bedroom house I left. I want my daughters to have more than this. But this is the step I'm on, and I want to do it right so I can move on without the baggage!
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#143 of 177 Old 07-02-2010, 09:47 PM
 
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Hello there, I am new to MDC (though I will admit to being a longtime lurker ) and I came across this thread. I have been working hard to simplify our lives for a couple years now, getting rid of all the extra stuff we had cluttering our lives, and learning how to fill my life with the few things we really need and truly enjoy, instead of letting our house overflow with things we don't use to the point where the things that bring us real joy are buried too deep to find!! I have found more and more that the more clutter there is around me, the more cluttered my head feels, and then I feel lost- like I can't focus on anything because there is too much around me.
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#144 of 177 Old 07-03-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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I know Ikea has inexpensive easels for kids, too. I'd love that and a big pad of paper for him.
I really wanted an easel for dd, but we're also in an apartment with limited space and we live an 18hour drive from the nearest Ikea...
anyway, I would up buying a big roll of butcher paper instead. The roll fits nicely into one of our totally uselessly sized cupboards (3.5' tall and about 6" wide. seriously. who does that?!), and we just roll out a big piece and tape it onto the wall.
There's always a big chunk of paper up for dd to use, and we just flip it over or tape up a new piece whenever she asks or when it gets full. We like the system a *lot* because it's cheap, out of the way, always available, not taking up floor space, and still allows the at dd's level space for sticker sticking/colouring/painting, etc. Not that there's anything wrong with an easel, just thought I'd share because it was a good solution for our small space. I'd like to track down a roll of newsprint paper for next time though as the brown of the butcher paper doesn't lend itself to seeing the true colours of some markers, etc.

For greater things are yet to come...

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#145 of 177 Old 07-05-2010, 03:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicalMeg View Post
Hello there, I am new to MDC (though I will admit to being a longtime lurker ) and I came across this thread. I have been working hard to simplify our lives for a couple years now, getting rid of all the extra stuff we had cluttering our lives, and learning how to fill my life with the few things we really need and truly enjoy, instead of letting our house overflow with things we don't use to the point where the things that bring us real joy are buried too deep to find!! I have found more and more that the more clutter there is around me, the more cluttered my head feels, and then I feel lost- like I can't focus on anything because there is too much around me.
Welcome!

The bit that I bolded in your quote up there is exactly how I feel. Thanks for articulating it so well--I've never managed to do that! It really clarifies my desire to simplify and minimalize.

Astrea, mama to my sweet toddler Willow
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#146 of 177 Old 07-05-2010, 04:32 AM
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yeah, it' not technically against my religion--as i technically don't have one. it's just a way of saying i'm adamantly against them, personally. LOL

uhm, and we found some nice wool blankets, so, we are good.

we instead were able to buy a coat rack that has just about everything we need (shelves for shoes, a rod for coats, a shelf on top), and it's nice. we are super happy with it!
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#147 of 177 Old 09-07-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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[QUOTE=selkat;15585989]I really wanted an easel for dd, but we're also in an apartment with limited space and we live an 18hour drive from the nearest Ikea...
anyway, I would up buying a big roll of butcher paper instead. The roll fits nicely into one of our totally uselessly sized cupboards (3.5' tall and about 6" wide. seriously. who does that?!), and we just roll out a big piece and tape it onto the wall.


We had the Ikea easel, and while it was great, it was also big and bulky. I just sold it! I love just taking the roll of paper or old wrapping paper that I'll never use upside-down (white side up) and taping it to our coffee table with blue painter's tape. It seems easier for my 1.5 y.o to color on the papered table than on the wall.
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#148 of 177 Old 09-07-2010, 05:51 AM
 
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So glad I stumbled upon this

So Introduce yourself!!
Okay! I'm Megan, young mama to 2 girls (2y8mo & 8mo) and wife to my amazing husband I SAH.
-discuss what brought you to this place
We're living in my MILs less than 500sq ft basement apt. 'Nuff said.
Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?
The lack of space, mainly. My hate for clutter and an overabundance of material things and the need to purge is a close second.

rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#149 of 177 Old 09-08-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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Joining in!


So Introduce yourself and..

Sara, homemaker/SAHM to Gareth (19mo), Lachlan (coming in Dec.), and sometimes Calum (14 yrs.). Enjoy far too many things - all kinds of needlework/crafts, kitchen skills, veg/herb gardeing, etc. I hope to become certified as a doula and possibly childbirth/breastfeeding educator over the next...five years? Slowly working through doula reading material in prep for eventually taking the courses. Intend to homeschool our little ones.

-discuss what brought you to this place

I think it boils down to a desire for time and space. Freedom. I want to feel able to, say, read a little or do needlework during DS naps, or take walks and go to the park w/ DS and not feel like there's 17,000 other things I 'ought' to be doing. To feel able to have folks knock on the door unannounced and invite them in w/o any qualms. To have the amount of stuff that actually fits, comfortably, into the spaces we *have*, rather than what we *might* have, someday. For our physical spaces to feel restful and nurturing.

Part of theis is physical - i.e., decluttering material stuff - and part of it (a lot of it?) is mental/emotional. I feel I've made lots of progress on both fronts - letting go of housework sometimes, but also starting to get to a point where the spaces *are* feeling less crowded, etc.

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

See above. Have some ways to go, but am starting to feel really good about our physical space and about life in general - I didn't feel 'bad' about life, but...maybe it's like the difference between being 'not sick' and being healthy? Or even healthy vs. optimum body condition/function? (Not there yet! )

Is it material things, an overabundance of too much in your life or something else?

A little of both - but mostly material things right now, I think. In the past couple weeks, I've attacked decluttering, cleaning, culling, organizing with a new enthusiasm and am really feeling the positive results. I'm actively seeing the lower-maintenance of having less crowded space, and feeling the physical and mental energy that comes with not having clutter draining you.

So...I guess I'm here for like-mindedness, for sharing the journey...I see 'rhythm' and continuing to establish good habits being a big theme in the next few months to a year, as the physical spaces get closer to our ideal. Also, with a new baby, establishing a new rhythm that works for us all will go a long way toward our days feeling 'simpler', I think!
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#150 of 177 Old 09-16-2010, 12:42 AM
 
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I have already done a short introduction at the beginning of this thread, but wanted to add something.

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

I just felt that I wanted to say how much this forum has helped me immensely.

I never realised how much decluttering, organising, & simplifying my home, would have such a spin-off effect on my whole life!

I joined this forum in March, started doing the 2010 things, then discovered Motivated Moms and started doing that....and as a result, my home is a completely different place, it is so much nicer for my husband and children and myself to live in. I have not finished decluttering or simplifying by any means, but am certainly seeing the results of my efforts.

I used to be a bit of a compulsive shopper, with borderline hoarding tendencies. Because removing clutter and cleaning takes time, it means I now have less time to go out shopping. Looking back I realise I was trapped in a cycle of spending, acquiring, cluttering....which made me feel miserable and depressed and hopeless. The more results I see here, the less I need the buzz of shopping, as I am getting more of a buzz from feeling happy at home.

It is not just the house being cleaner and less cluttered, it actually feels like my MIND is less cluttered. I no longer feel burdened by a sense of hopelessness, I have lost that 'brain irritation' caused by never feeling in control.

Anyway just wanted to share my progress.

SAHM to three
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