How much stuff do we really need? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 42 Old 07-22-2005, 08:39 PM
 
Europeanmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Interesting thread

In preparation for child #4 I have been going through all our stuff and getting rid of SO much.
We only have about 1000 sq 'living' area (+ cold basement) and after all the decluttering, it has become all spacy and big :LOL
Europeanmom is offline  
#32 of 42 Old 07-26-2005, 01:15 AM
 
jillyofthevalley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 412
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is a great thread!

We're renovating the entire house and I'm in the process of packing everything into boxes and moving it into the garage. I've been doing some major de-cluttering. So far I have gotten rid of 25, yes 25, bags of stuff (garbage, recycling and donations)! I can't believe I was storing that much garbage in my house. Now I'm getting ready to pack up the kitchen and I'm having a hard time deciding what I should keep and what to get rid of. Good news is, when we're done the kitchen I'll have twice as much cupboard space, maybe more! I can't wait!

. : Jill, mama to 5 kiddos, soon to be 6 in June 2013 : .

jillyofthevalley is offline  
#33 of 42 Old 07-29-2005, 03:08 AM
 
Delight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mountains of Montana
Posts: 893
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I love this thread! I am obsessed with downsizing right now...and have made some baby steps, but it takes so long to get it all taken care of!! I'm so impatient. I can read and read books about simplicity and decluttering...but when it comes to actually doing it, it takes a bit to get me motivated! We've been trying to take one room at a time, but that basement is sure daunting! It feels sooooo good to finally start purging though.

I've been reading Material World and Women of the Material World by Peter Menzel. It's such a wake up call to truly see what other families in the world live with. I feel so pathetic when I think about all of my WANTS...and all they want is to live until tomorrow. Makes me want to sell everything! Like the PP said, it really starts to become a spiritual thing. Our belongings certainly define us sometimes. As a Christian, I want to be a good steward of all that God has given me, and when I have a lot of excess, how can I take good care of it all?!

I think that I've finally reached the point where I can honestly evaluate my belongings and make decisions to get rid of them. I've come a long way in the last year or so. I want to stop the accumulation!

Have you gone to the length of getting rid of all excess towels, bedding, tablewares, etc.? Those are the things I can always talk myself into keeping just in case we have a BUNCH of company. How many tablesettings do you keep? Are there other things that you simply will not get rid of? My books are sacred!

Sara ::: Mama to Bella Grace & Lucy Mae Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 1 Peter 3:4
Delight is offline  
#34 of 42 Old 07-29-2005, 03:45 AM
 
late-night nan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thanks for this thread, which is inspiring me again to keep getting rid of stuff (and resist acquiring more junk that we don't need). lately, we've been doing a "garage sale in slow-motion" over craigslist. basically we just list one or a few items at a time so that I don't keep putting this off until i have a critical mass. what has been neat is that we've met some really interesting people in the process, even starting some friendships we intend to pursue further. it demonstrated in a very immediate way that letting go of things we don't need has brought us closer to what we value, which is meaningful connections with other people.

when i have more time, I do have some larger projects to tackle, such as paring down our books and clothes. in the meanwhile, another extremely helpful exercise was figuring out the reason I tend to accumulate certain things. in the case of clothes, I had lots of clothes but never anything to wear--making it harder to give things away and easier to think I should get more clothes. the real culprit was rumpled clothing. since i hate ironing, the wrinkled laundry would pile up and I mean PILE UP, taking over a few laundry baskets and random corners of the apt (I could just take things out of the dryer immediately, but things don't seem to function that way in our home . recently getting a small garment steamer has been a minor godsend, as now I am starting to make a dent in the ironing pile. since this also included some clothes that i would eventually like to sell on ebay, i count my steamer among the worthwhile things to have since it's helping me declutter my other possessions. but if you go this route, by all means, get one of the kinds with lots of attachments that can double as a steam cleaner and a fabric steamer so that you don't build up gadget-clutter! we got the steamfast hot and handy for about $40, and it's apparently being phased out by the manufacturer (though easy to find on ebay). my guess is that they are trying to market other models that are more narrowly designed--either for cleaning around the house or for garments--which of course means moving more goods and making more money for them. figuring this out was quite gratifying, but a wee victory for minimalism against the massive tidal wave of consumerism!!
late-night nan is offline  
#35 of 42 Old 07-29-2005, 06:44 AM
 
yaM yaM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, late-night nan, you do some deep thinking late at night! :LOL Me too. Takes one to know one. . .






Quote:
Originally Posted by late-night nan
. . . . even starting some friendships we intend to pursue further. it demonstrated in a very immediate way that letting go of things we don't need has brought us closer to what we value, which is meaningful connections with other people.
Well said. Amen to that.

You know you have clutter when you're tending more to organization than to nurturing friendships!



Quote:
Originally Posted by late-night nan
. . . . my guess is that they are trying to market other models that are more narrowly designed--either for cleaning around the house or for garments--which of course means moving more goods and making more money for them. figuring this out was quite gratifying, but a wee victory for minimalism against the massive tidal wave of consumerism!!

They're quite clever, aren't they? But we're onto 'em! I can always appreciate a thoughtful mind at work. Thank you.



~
At this point in my life
I'd like to live as if only love mattered. . . .


- Tracy Chapman
yaM yaM is offline  
#36 of 42 Old 07-29-2005, 12:03 PM
 
UptownZoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: In the monkey cage...
Posts: 2,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight
I've been reading Material World and Women of the Material World by Peter Menzel. It's such a wake up call to truly see what other families in the world live with. I feel so pathetic when I think about all of my WANTS...and all they want is to live until tomorrow. Makes me want to sell everything! Like the PP said, it really starts to become a spiritual thing. Our belongings certainly define us sometimes. As a Christian, I want to be a good steward of all that God has given me, and when I have a lot of excess, how can I take good care of it all?!
Reading Material World was a defining experience for me. That's an awesome book and I think every family should own a copy! I didn't know that Women of the Material World existed; I'm going to get a copy of that, too, if I can find a used one on the cheap. I'd been pretty interested in simple living before I read that, but the book really drove home for me how very (a) blessed, and (b) greedy we are in the western world. And I had the same spiritual response to it that you did; if I'm a child of my creator with work to do here on earth, how can I expect to fulfill that if I'm spending my time taking care of stuff? And how can I live with myself if I own a mountain of clutter when 40,000 people die every single day of poverty related causes?

So I guess it just really reminded me that my time here is not meant to be spent on acquiring and taking care of "stuff." My time here is meant to be spent caring for people. Since our big purge, I've had more time to enjoy my kids, and more time to do the volunteer and activism work that is important for me.

As for being overwhelmed, I had a terrible time with that feeling when we started. DH and I married after we both already had children and fully furnished homes. DH is a packrat, so that definitely added to the clutter. When we had DS, I closed the little in-home preschool I'd been running, so we had loads of stuff from that. Our den was cramped and crowded, and we had one bedroom that was full, literally corner to corner and floor to ceiling. I had to work really hard to break the job down into bite-size chunks. First I eBay'ed the biggest stuff to give myself a little room to move. Then I'd give myself little goals, like I wanted to eBay 10 things in a given week, or clean out this one box, or whatever. If I spent too much time concentrating on our ultimate goal (a house that held only the essentials of daily living and a few luxuries), I was doomed. The whole process took over a year, but it was well worth it.

I don't think the de-cluttering process ever really ends for us here in the west. We always have to evaluate and re-evaluate because there is just SO MUCH stuff available. A de-cluttering book by Don Aslett really helped me.

Oh, and (sorry to go on so long here), a major benefit of clearing out all our excess is that it has saved us SO MUCH money! We rarely lose anything, so we're not out buying replacements. I can buy in bulk when I find a good deal because I have room to store something like a case of toilet paper or canned beans. Things (esp. toys) get ruined far less frequently because they're easier to put away.

Ummm...does my enthusiasm show at all? I guess I just wanted to encourage the people who are at the beginning of this process, because it is very, very worth the effort. I wouldn't trade all that work for anything. It has dramatically improved the quality of life at my house.

computergeek2.gif

UptownZoo is offline  
#37 of 42 Old 07-29-2005, 05:18 PM
 
Delight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mountains of Montana
Posts: 893
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Reading Material World was a defining experience for me. That's an awesome book and I think every family should own a copy! I didn't know that Women of the Material World existed; I'm going to get a copy of that, too, if I can find a used one on the cheap.
He has another book coming out in November I think...called Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. Can't wait to read that one!

I pour over these books every chance I get lately...I will be sad when I have to take them back to the library! It brings life back into perspective.

Sara ::: Mama to Bella Grace & Lucy Mae Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 1 Peter 3:4
Delight is offline  
#38 of 42 Old 07-30-2005, 01:32 AM
 
numom499's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: utah
Posts: 1,931
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I jsut finishe dmaterial world as well...very enlightening.

FWIW, with my second child, I did a little experiment ot see how little I could get by on....I found the only things I"needed" were

Sling
car seat (although if I lived in an area with public transportation I could have gotten by without this even)
cloth diapers
clothes

I didn't even "need" a diaper bag. Alot of times I would just shove a dipe in some area of the sling
numom499 is offline  
#39 of 42 Old 07-30-2005, 06:39 AM
 
late-night nan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May
Wow, late-night nan, you do some deep thinking late at night! :LOL Me too. Takes one to know one. . .
Glad to meet a fellow late-night traveller, May May~ of course I'm checking this thread at about the same hour that you were up yesterday, deep in thought... :LOL
late-night nan is offline  
#40 of 42 Old 07-30-2005, 07:27 AM
 
yaM yaM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



Right here, mama!
yaM yaM is offline  
#41 of 42 Old 08-01-2005, 12:18 AM
 
juliasmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rocking my babe
Posts: 597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
So, with that in mind, if you had to pick just two items that you couldn't do without once the baby came, what would they be?
Not counting clothes and cloth diapers, I would say the sling and the baby monitor. We live in a two story house and spend a lot of time in the basement, with the bedrooms on the second floor, so the baby monitor is a must for us.

It is so much easier preparing for this baby knowing that I don't need all that baby stuff that everyone makes you think you need. I haven't bought anything yet for the baby, and have actually started getting rid of things from my first that I just don't need. I had about 20 receiving blankets. I honestly don't ever remember using a receiving blanket outside of the hospital so I'm not sure why I kept them as long as I did.
juliasmum is offline  
#42 of 42 Old 08-01-2005, 10:37 AM
 
orangefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oxfordshire UK
Posts: 3,091
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am in the middle of this de-cluttering too. I now we can live with less stuff because we did it when we lived in a one room house in Mexico. I had wood rails for clothes, 2 shelves, a table made from a packing crate, 4 chairs, a coolbox, a stove, a pressure cooker and frying pan, a fan, a foam rollup mattress and three Yucatecan hammocks.

We came back to the UK with two bags and tow boxes of books and less one husband. Since then I have had a two room apt then a three bed house with great storage but now we are all (DH new dd and me ds1 and ds2 plus 5 years worth of stuff) squeezed into a small (uk small) 2 bed house. We had to purge a lot of stuff just to all be able to fit into the house in the first place.

I am feeling quite literally claustrophobic. I am recycling, freecycling, donating, composting....

But we have a wardrobe full of clothes 'we might need' like suits and dresses and smart shirts and boxes on top full of nostalgic tat (dh) and newspapers from days like the fall of the Berlin wall and the first Iraq war (mine which mu mum returned to me when we had the big house) Dh also has boxes of cds which he bought as a teen and whenever we sort through them he keeps more that he sells.

These are the things which I am finding it difficult to justify keeping but at the same time difficult to get rid of.

My two things for a baby would be (apart from boobs)

1 Sling(s) pouch (home made) and a wraparound like a didymos
2 A hammock - a silk one if I was pushing the boat out!
orangefoot is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off