What furniture/appliance/gadget has simplifed things for you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-26-2006, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
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After Katrina we are now living in Louisville. We are getting ready to move and start renting and were able to get a 3 bedroom. We are having to replace all of our furniture and many other things.

I want to try to keep things simple, organized and avoid clutter. Since we are pretty much starting from scratch I was wondering what items have helped you do this.

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#2 of 6 Old 01-26-2006, 04:14 AM
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Gadget wise, the Roomba that DH bought me for Christmas has made my life so much easier! We have cats and 2 small kiddos who get crumbs/mess everywhere. I was constantly sweeping, dust busting or vacuuming our floors (more than once a day). Now the little guy just goes around cleaning up for me so I only have to do big vacuums & sweeps weekly. I hate clutter/mess/filth, and this just gives me more time to spend with the kids and makes me less uptight about 'mess'.

Sorry to hear you have to start from scratch - that's gotta be so tough.

Not sure what else to suggest at this point. Roomba was a splurge item that I wanted but wouldn't have bought, now I can't live without it.
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#3 of 6 Old 01-26-2006, 11:38 PM
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I bought a new loveseat and a new armchair. That match! I have been tucking and retucking slipcovered garage sale chairs and couches for years and I was tired of the work. It's the first new furniture I've ever had and I'm 46. I don't have tables with alot of stuff either. We have one big flat ottoman (which is old but I have matching denim to cover it nicely) and a tray on that for cups of tea and books. Then there are two floor lamps and that's it. So much easier to care for...

The other thing I did recently was to purchase some plastic zip bags for blankets for $1 each at Target. I used the to put, for example, the spare fitted sheet, pillowcases, thermal blanket, and spare comforter cover for my daughter's twin bed in one. I labelled it so she knows where to go to get a change for her bed or another blanket. I did the same for our queen bed and a third has the mattress cover, sheet, pillowcases, and blanket for the full-sized aerobed for company. The linen closet is really simplified now.

Then for the first time ever, I went shopping for new clothes during the Christmas sales. I bought 5 muscle shirts at Target ($35), 5 fitted t-shirts at Forever 21 ($25), and 3 turtleneck pullovers at the Gap (way on sale)($50). I got rid of all the other stuff stuff I owned except a 5 or 6 blouses, 3 sweaters, and jeans. Dressing is a breeze. It's either sleeveless or sleeved but I can layer a blouse over anything now (or not) and just go. I never have to think about it. The colors are mostly jewel tones and black because those look best on me. And each blouse can be worn with almost every color of the pullovers from sleeveless to longsleeve.

My last purchase idea was really my first years ago: two bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths for each person in his/her own color. I once walked into the one bathroom the four of us shared when the kids were about 10 and 12 and there were 7 bath towels hanging up in there. That's when I gave each person his own towels and made the rule that I never wanted to see more than one bath towel at a time from each person in that bathroom! It's been a blessing ever since!

Somehow I keep thinking it's not the things themselves that have helped but the system they have created which has prevented all sorts of other annoyances. So if you already had towels, you could just embroider a different colored flower on them or something to "label" them as belonging to a particular child.

American in Australia; fiber artist; craft blogger; 2 grown kids; Aspergers
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#4 of 6 Old 01-27-2006, 12:23 AM
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I'm never quite sure what people mean by "simplify". I find the word is used two quite different ways. One might simplify by

1. Purchasing a convenience item or appliance with many features that purportedly saves time and hassle, or

2. Avoiding adding unnecessary items and pre-packaged convenience-type products to one's life.

The simplicity I aspire to is the type 2 definition. So in the past couple of years I've got rid of (or stopped using) the breadmaker, the clothes-dryer and the dishwasher. In aid of that form of simplicity, I highly recommend the following:

Good indoor and outdoor clothes-drying racks / lines.
Two large mixing bowls, a grain-grinder and four loaf pans.
Minimal furniture, comfortable, attractive flooring, with a few cushions and some inexpensive folding seating for the few times you do need seating up off the floor.
A unique cup and mug for each family member (everyone washes their own when they're dirty).
A chest freezer.
A butcher-block kitchen cart or similar modular food-prep space.
Good-quality knives and graters rather than zillions of electronic food-processor type gadgets.
An old VitaMix for a blender.
Matching bed sizes and linens as much as possible.

Love the colour-coded towel idea! Our bathroom towels are needing replacement soon, and I'll be using this idea.


Mountain mama to one great kid and three great grown-ups
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#5 of 6 Old 01-27-2006, 09:31 PM
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We got rid of my matching couch/big chair set and brought back our futon from the basement. THe couch was white, had zillions of down-filled pillows and the set was just too big for our LR. The futon has no extra pillows, is smaller-framed and I can change the tapestry cover on it easily. Not picking up feathers and pillows a hundred times a day really simplified my life!!! I also got rid of the coffee table and other extraneous pieces of furniture that I found just collected clutter and wasted space.
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#6 of 6 Old 01-29-2006, 01:34 AM
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We just got two ottomans that have removable tops, so you can store things in them. We had got rid of the coffee table and use the ottoman instead. When we need extra seating, the ottomans are available for buns . We keep DD's toys in them too, so they are also toy storage.
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