What do you do to simplify your life? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 47 Old 05-26-2008, 09:02 AM
 
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Ongoing decluttering.

Trying not to add new.

Trying to do the no-spend compact as much as possible.
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#32 of 47 Old 05-26-2008, 09:52 AM
 
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Great ideas! I'm anxious to try out the cold brew coffee.
Here are some things we do. I know there are even better or simpler ways to do some things, but everyone has to do what works best for their own families.

* Garden (simpler, not easier)
* Buy less stuff.
* As opposed to the other women in my life, I don't get my hair and nails done by professionals, other than a good hair cut twice a year or so.
* Nothing disposable, other than razor blades and toilet paper.
* Blockbuster online. We rarely go to the movies.
* Composting worms.
* No dishwasher. Fewer dishes.
* Lots of crockpot meals.
* Stick close to home.
* Exercise at home or park. (ie, no gym membership or available for that matter)
* Cloth grocery bags. (makes carrying into house and putting away much nicer, not to mention the environmental benefits)
* Breastfed. (no bottles to wash!)
* We're currently restoring a reel mower. It will cut down on the gas we use for mowing.
* Our shower now has one bar of soap and one two-in-one haircare product. We used to have like 4 or 5 different plastic bottles in there at any give time. That seems absurd now. Same with hand soap. There is one bar that came in minimal packaging.
* Online bill paying and banking.

We still have so much we can simplify around here. It takes time for a whole family to adjust to living lighter and simpler. Baby steps!
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#33 of 47 Old 05-26-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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We do lots already mentioned:
- enough dishes for everyone to have a place setting
- we use jars for drinking out of, that double as food storage containers
- only have the amount of clothes that fits into the space we have for clothing (i finally purged 10 years of kids clothes last winter!)
- only keep our favorite things, including the kids toys
- use the library, itunes, netflix instead of buying books, cd's and movies
- only keep the gadgets we use in the kitchen (we only have two drawers for silverware and gadgets/utensils - and I find it to be plenty)
- don't go shopping for recreation (I never liked going shopping anyway)
- make sure I do the dishes and the laundry every. single. day.

I need to work on food - stocking and planning and actually cooking.
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#34 of 47 Old 05-26-2008, 11:03 AM
 
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For us:
  • always have a grocery bag set out for the FREE BOX pile
  • cleaning out our stoarge bus and getting rid of over half of it
  • put all the shoes on a shoe rack
  • make kids get rid of something if they bring something in from the free box
  • enlarging garden ina permaculture style to ease the laobr
  • making numerous dump runs
  • getting excess vehicles sold but temp. moved them out of sight behind trees
  • husband is organizing junk yard (so it won't be so much of one)
  • finding places for things that have no home OR
  • getting rid of things that have no home if they are useless
  • and perhaps the biggest...not buying new stuff

Oh, and we sent out an email asking for no new stuff which was partially well received.
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#35 of 47 Old 05-26-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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  • receive and pay bills on line (no paper!)
  • decline all ad mail in our post box
  • no doodads
  • use the same spot all the time for keys, purse
  • make sure kitchen table and sink are clear before bed each night
  • recycling flyers in the weekly local paper without looking at them (so as not to be tempted by sales ...)
  • no cable
  • donated all but one bookshelf of books to the library ... that way they store them, and we can still 'use' them, as well as everyone else
  • one in, two out rule
  • we don't put anything in the crawl space, even though it's heated and dry
  • refuse all forwarded emails ... clutters the inbox
  • request experiental presents, versus stuff (ie. I gave DP a fly fishing course for her birthday ... and a snowmobiling GC for Christmas)
  • nothing under the beds
  • don't use credit cards ... we use cash for everything
  • refuse all store cards and buyers incentive programs (don't want the key fobs or mail outs or store cards cluttering up my wallet)
  • always have a 'give away' box on the go
  • make do with what we have
  • one good chef's knife and one good paring knife
  • dishes for one meal setting

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#36 of 47 Old 05-26-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle
I so need to get back on the decluttering bandwagon. Somehow this summer my house has filled up. We need another garage sale and Goodwill run (or three).

You ladies are quite inspiring!!
Awww when I posted this above I had twin 2 year-olds and was 4 months pregnant with #3. What a cute blast from the past this thread bump is!

Anyway, I love declutting threads!
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#37 of 47 Old 05-26-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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: i need inspiration!

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#38 of 47 Old 05-27-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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The coffee situation: you can get instant coffee which is what most Australians use at home. It's very simple. Boil electric kettle. One spoon of Moccona or Nescafe into a mug. Add hot water and milk or sugar as required.

I couldn't believe it when I lived in Boulder, CO and found out that Americans make a pot of coffee EVERY morning. That's insane! While real perculated coffee tastes better - Aussies generally don't do this! I have a perculator for pot coffee but would only put it on if I was having a visitor.

If in the city I might buy a cappicinno, latte or something. At home = instant. Coffee made and drunk in 5 minutes!
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#39 of 47 Old 05-27-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Loonie View Post
The coffee situation: you can get instant coffee which is what most Australians use at home. It's very simple. Boil electric kettle. One spoon of Moccona or Nescafe into a mug. Add hot water and milk or sugar as required.

I couldn't believe it when I lived in Boulder, CO and found out that Americans make a pot of coffee EVERY morning. That's insane! While real perculated coffee tastes better - Aussies generally don't do this! I have a perculator for pot coffee but would only put it on if I was having a visitor.

If in the city I might buy a cappicinno, latte or something. At home = instant. Coffee made and drunk in 5 minutes!
I just couldn't do this on a regular basis. I'm a coffee snob - and while I've curtailed my Starbucks/Brewed Awakenings morning outing, I have to have freshly brewed coffee or tea. It's a morning ritual in my house. One of life's simple pleasures.

But, things I've done to simplify.

1. One in, one out. Toys, Books, Clothes.
2. Vinegar, Baking Soda, Dr. Bronners and Oxy for cleaning, washing, etc.
3. Weekly trips to the library for children's time and to turn in old books and pick up new books already on hold for me.
4. Meal planning each week.
5. No cable
6. Don't use our credit cards
7. Declutter, declutter, declutter. We got rid of 3/4's of our books, 1/2 of our kitchen stuff, 1/2 of our nick nacks.

Me:
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#40 of 47 Old 05-27-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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This is such a great thread!!

Jenn: WOHM to a big girl (7/03), a medium girl (8/07), and a little girl (12/10)
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#41 of 47 Old 05-27-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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I am so inspired by you ladies. I wish I could get my DH on board with the philosophies shared here...he is a "stuff" guy.
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#42 of 47 Old 05-28-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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I totally agree. Dh is a "collector" and I do hate to throw out useful things. So, we developed the 1 yr rule for miisc stuff. If it has been in the basement for 1 yr and not used--out it goes.

For food, we're developing a list of our favs with a section for things to try and then giving all of the cookbooks to the library.

In terms of the credit card, we use ours to simplify. We buy everything with it, earn cash-back bonuses and pay off the entire balance each month online.

I love the idea to cut back on soap and shampoo. There is no reason for the 8 bottles we have in there!
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#43 of 47 Old 05-28-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by girlndocs View Post
We just keep a tablespoon by the washer, fill it & throw it in spoon and all. Then retrieve it as we put that load in the dryer.
I love it!
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#44 of 47 Old 05-29-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
  • decline all ad mail in our post box
How do you do this? Does the post office have some form or something?
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#45 of 47 Old 06-01-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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Goodwilled the majority of our clothing to get down to a week's worth of clothes for all of us (omg this was so hard!)

Because of the above I am now able to stay on top of laundry

Goodwilled many of the kids' toys (before I had done that they had 86 stuffed animals between the 2 of them and that does not include Barbies, baby dolls, etc). This has made clean up soooo much easier.

I deal with mail the second I grab it instead of putting it in a "I'll get to it later pile."

That is it so far but I can't believe the difference it has made in our lives.
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#46 of 47 Old 06-01-2008, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tug View Post
from what i read, tchotchoke is the alternate and americanized spelling of the yiddish word tshatshke, from the polish dialectical "czaczka." i'm guessing that the polish word is a dialectical word for czastka (can't do the accent on the "a"). that word means a particle or a small part.

In Hungarian it's "csacska". I never knew it was anything to do with yiddish.
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#47 of 47 Old 06-01-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Midget View Post
How do you do this? Does the post office have some form or something?
Whenever we move we always put a polite note into our mailbox requesting no ad mail. This time our box is at the post office, so we asked the fine folks at the counter. There is a website you can go to where you can take yourself off of all kinds of mailing lists... but i don't know what it is. If i remember, I'll post it.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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