Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Cochrane, AB, Canada
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Mom to Izzy (12/04) and Violet (9/07).
Ah yes, "Turquesa", I know the article you mean. I love reading zen habits and other simplifying sites & it was a guest post on it I think.
Ok, here's the link to the article:
We are former packrats turned hardcore minimalists and I can vouch that life is sooooo much easier when you practically "camp" in your house. We have 6kids and are getting ready to put our house on the market before moving cross-country from PA to OR. We haven't made changes for moving per se, because we love living like this. We made the changes before my husband got his new job... but the way we live will make having the house on the market with 8 of us (kids 9, 7, 5, 3, 2, 8 months) less stressful (stress-free would be great but not happenin').
Here's a few things that have worked for us:
We got rid of all of our fluffy towels (bath, beach, old, new) and replaced them with 5 total turkish imam towels (there was a link off a mothering.com discussion on these.... can't remember where we bought them). They are super thin, dry us off wonderfully and get hung on a hook after we're done and dry almost immediately. We love these towels. After a few months with 8 people using 5 towels we realized we had too many.... so we put 3 away for later and only keep 2 out. We have 3 to 4 washcloths and don't use handtowels
My hubby and I have both picked capsule wardrobes for the season we're in - the rest is put away. We each have 3 pairs of underwear, 3 undershirts for dh, 3 camisoles for me. Kids have 6 pieces of clothing total out (ie: 4 tops,2 bottoms), rest is put away.
We have 1 king size fitted sheet on our bed and will be buying a new comforter that's fluffy and white to stage the bed with (we sleep in sleeping bags on top of the bed - that's a change we've made for the move to make getting everything show ready in the morning easy). We also have fitted sheets on the 2 bunk beds my kids never use that stay made up (my kids prefer to sleep in our room on two thin single size mattresses that we slide on top of the king in the morning and under the comforter... anyway... they sleep in sleeping bags there and in our bed. So. not a lot of laundry. With sheets, clothes, towels we have at most 1.5 loads.
This is how I do laundry: I store dirty laundry in the washer. When it's full I move to dryer, then move to one pretty wicker basket I keep in a closet. I fold a towel and put it on top so it looks neat, but really everything is unfolded. My husband does his own laundry and hangs his stuff up.... but the long and short of it is we have so much put away that we never have piles and the long chore of "doing the laundry" has practically been eliminated. When we want something we dump the basket on the bed, pull out what we need, dump everything back in. Easy.
This past spring I bought 7 sets of the same series of Correlle (so they would stack easily). I put away all the dinner plates (which are too big for us) and keep out one bowl, 1 salad plate, and 1 mug per person. Each person has their own pattern and the rest are put away (dragged out for guests and in case of breakage). This act alone will save you GOBS of time and your kitchen will be so clean! Before doing this I had mismatched white plates, bowls, etc (cool minimalist look, but tons of breakage)... and lots of them. My dishwasher was my best friend but my kitchen was always a mess (I've been very messy my whole life).... because we would all just keep getting new dishes out instead of washing the old ones. Oh, and the cups! Distinctive cups makes such a difference because people don't get new cups because they can't remember which one was theirs.
I can have my house immaculate..... um, well, not clean, but perfectly ordered by 9am or so and I have 6 kids under 10! I never would have thought that possible. So, yes, i think decreasing what you have out will make a huge difference.
I could go on and on about how much easier my life is now.... but I'll spare you, LOL.
We've gone minimalist with our whole house (digital books, music, files.... limited toys.... etc)... but if I were back to where we were about 2 years ago (way more stuff) and about to move I would go hardcore on stuff that's not bringing joy and/or useful and that costs money to move, and then put away everything you're not sure about/not ready emotionally to handle (that's why it took us so long to get rid of stuff... it took a long time to let go of each layer).... just box up the rest.
Anyway... hope some of this is helpful!
Hang in there... moving is stresssssful, especially with kids.
Quick version of what I wrote and lost....
Have you used freecycle?
Do you miss towels or do you use a lot of paper towels for big cleanups?
Do you have spare clothes ofnthe current size for replacing wrecked kids clothes or do you get them as you need them?
Do you have a blog (you have a fasinating life!)
Do you wash all colors together & has it ever been a problem? ( what about reds and diapers?)
Thanks again for the great responses!!!
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