*Simplifying, Purging, Decluttering & Loving it & Doing it All Some More to Become a Happy Minimalist - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Organize & Declutter > *Simplifying, Purging, Decluttering & Loving it & Doing it All Some More to Become a Happy Minimalist
Collinsky's Avatar Collinsky 07:06 AM 07-03-2008
Subbing so I can come back and read later!! Great thread.

boogiemonster's Avatar boogiemonster 11:21 PM 07-03-2008
Danidama, are you going to post pics of your minimalist abode?
mommaof3boz's Avatar mommaof3boz 12:09 AM 07-04-2008
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Collinsky's Avatar Collinsky 06:32 AM 07-05-2008
I still haven't read this thread in its entirety... been too busy decluttering! I just got rid of 10 bags of clothes, a box of children's books, a box of VHS tapes, and three huge boxes of toys. : <-- If the hearts were actually bits of clutter, that would be me, tossing it away!

My 5 yo was really super at grasping the concept. She is the one who picked out the books that were going (I was like, "Oh, you're getting rid of Sleeping Beauty?" and she said in this incredibly patient voice: "Mom, we have two of them." Ah. And a little child shall lead them...) and helped get rid of toys. And when I told her the guy picked them up (we Freecycled them) to give to his kids, she was really excited. I was so glad that all that stuff was Freecycled, it makes it easier to get rid of it to feel like it's going to be used and enjoyed. Otherwise it felt strangely like abandoning it. If that makes any sense.

And yesterday I told my Dh, "I have a problem." Not in the "what's wrong with me" self-pitying kind of way, but in the proactive, this is not who I want to be. This is not who I AM. This clutter is not healthy. It's not just a quirk, because it interferes in my life on every level. It's not creative, it's not flexible, it's not fun-loving, it's not carefree, a sign of a loving family. For years I've tried to tell myself that that's what mess is, and that clean is sterile, boring, uptight, stifled, a sign of a family where cleaning takes precedence over individuals. The opposite is true. OMG, it's so obvious. My mess isn't a sign of intelligence or freedom or anything of the sort. It's a barrier to creativity, to flexibility, to fun, to freedom, to simple enjoyment of my family. I am stifled by it. I'm bored with it. It makes me uptight. (However, no one would say it's sterile. )

So... there's my breakthrough. A lot still has to go, so so much. I am so into chucking stuff now.
Collinsky's Avatar Collinsky 06:49 AM 07-05-2008
* Double post.

I didn't know it posted before! Sorry!
Anna06's Avatar Anna06 10:02 AM 07-05-2008
Wow Collinsky I'm so impressed. I really needed to ready your post!!!
Thank you!!!

You go girl!!


part of Collinsky:
Quote:
And yesterday I told my Dh, "I have a problem." Not in the "what's wrong with me" self-pitying kind of way, but in the proactive, this is not who I want to be. This is not who I AM. This clutter is not healthy. It's not just a quirk, because it interferes in my life on every level. It's not creative, it's not flexible, it's not fun-loving, it's not carefree, a sign of a loving family. For years I've tried to tell myself that that's what mess is, and that clean is sterile, boring, uptight, stifled, a sign of a family where cleaning takes precedence over individuals. The opposite is true. OMG, it's so obvious. My mess isn't a sign of intelligence or freedom or anything of the sort. It's a barrier to creativity, to flexibility, to fun, to freedom, to simple enjoyment of my family. I am stifled by it. I'm bored with it. It makes me uptight. (However, no one would say it's sterile. )

This part is sooooo very true.
Danidama's Avatar Danidama 07:28 AM 09-06-2008
bumpers, 'cause I'm a gooberface. I'm still doing it, hanging in there... the only issue I have now is the barrage of craptacular gifts from relatives, but it's the thought that counts, and other kids can use them more than we can (unless it's something dd is really crazy about). Oh also, it can get a little dreary-looking around here after a clean-up, so I am really looking forward to the non-renting life- buying a house for the first time soon, and being able to paint and decorate it any way we like! THAT will make quite a difference in how our home feels... All I can do now is use plants and such, and that's just not enough for white walls/appliances/everything and beige carpeting. Blah-gers! Now if only I had the first clue about decorating... I do know that I will paint -something- my favorite color, sea green.
lovelysunlight's Avatar lovelysunlight 12:25 PM 09-06-2008
DH is in the military, and we recently moved overseas in August 2007. I was 8 months pregnant, and I didn't know what kind of house we would be moving in so I did a huge purge. Thank goodness, because we moved into a much smaller house (about 600 square feet less...which may not seem like much, but trust me -- it really is!). This has inspired me to go home next week (we're on vacation) and start purging again!

About the toys thing...we purposely very rarely buy DD any toys. She doesn't have tons, but people do give her a lot, so she is set. I don't think we have bought her anything but two stuffed animals (her favorites ) since she was born. She is just as happy playing with a cup or pots & pans -- and I plan on letting her continue to be that way.
Angierae's Avatar Angierae 11:41 AM 09-07-2008
Woohoo! Thanks for bumping OP! I'm right in the middle of the journey you wrote about. We've gotten rid of so much, but more keeps showing up. Woke up this morning, tripping over STUFF and started to feel hopeless...Not Anymore! Thank you!
Nemesis's Avatar Nemesis 07:59 PM 09-07-2008
So is this like a tribe now??

I am a minimalist with too much stuff. At least now my DH is on board and we are slowly figuring out what we don't need, how to live with less. It is exciting and comforting at the same time. I love not having so much stuff!

When I had more stuff I never felt grateful to have it! I never felt like "Gee, aren't I lucky to have all of these things?"
NO way!

I was tired of picking it all up, not having anyplace to keep it, having to wash/dust/whatever it to keep it nice.

I am grateful for the things I have that I love. And that's why I keep them. But I don't need all of it.. I really appreciate things more when I can find them! lol
journeymom's Avatar journeymom 03:19 PM 09-08-2008
Wow, I don't think a whole month is too late to respond, do you ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
And yesterday I told my Dh, "I have a problem." Not in the "what's wrong with me" self-pitying kind of way, but in the proactive, this is not who I want to be. This is not who I AM. This clutter is not healthy. It's not just a quirk, because it interferes in my life on every level. It's not creative, it's not flexible, it's not fun-loving, it's not carefree, a sign of a loving family. For years I've tried to tell myself that that's what mess is, and that clean is sterile, boring, uptight, stifled, a sign of a family where cleaning takes precedence over individuals. The opposite is true. OMG, it's so obvious. My mess isn't a sign of intelligence or freedom or anything of the sort. It's a barrier to creativity, to flexibility, to fun, to freedom, to simple enjoyment of my family. I am stifled by it. I'm bored with it. It makes me uptight. (However, no one would say it's sterile. )
Amen to that. It may be true in other homes, but our home isn't cluttered because we've got oodles of fun projects going on or because we're on the go. It's cluttered because dh and I never figured out how to work together to keep it neat. I can't get creative and dream dreams and make plans because there's all this emotion-laden stuff to stumble over. So I shut it out and don't think about, but of course I can't actually ignore. Instead I get depressed.

Good thread! Thanks for inspiring me.
Savoir Faire's Avatar Savoir Faire 11:25 PM 09-08-2008
Just wanted to say "hey thanks!" I saw my old blog (simple family) listed as a good resource, so I appreciate it. (Oddly enough...the domain expired today.)

This thread is so inspiring. Sometimes I can get easily distracted and start thinking to myself "if only we had a bigger house...."

I feel the need to run around with a big trash bag RIGHT NOW. But first, I have to bake snacks for school tomorrow.
Danidama's Avatar Danidama 09:24 AM 02-10-2009
Bumpin, cause that's how I roll. . . or bump. and stuff. I remembered this big post I made and wanted to update a tad... I can't believe how much stuff can be accumulated in the course of a year or 6 months or however long it's been since I posted this! Great Uncle still brings stuff (always baby toys!) every time he comes over for our now-3 year old dd.

Living in the city is tough because it's just so easy to go buy anything, anytime. I still wish I only owned 10 or 20 things, and I can! But there would still be a billion other things in our home since I do live with two other fantastic people. The toys multiply by the day, it seems, and it is just ridiculous! Well, we had Christmas and then dd's birthday, my birthday and me/dh's anniversary all in one week at the end of January... that added up to a lot of stuff, mainly toys.

But one cool thing is that my two best friends gave me gift cards to favorite places, one a bookstore which is always very fine with me! I'd never received a bookstore gift card before, but I found it to be the Perfect present for me. I love to read, and was so thrilled with having free money to buy some books for me and dd to read. Books are so expensive and I always feel all guilty when I buy any.

Anyway, I couldn't fall asleep until 3 this morning for some crazy reason! And dd woke up at 5:45 a bit ago and I felt like getting on here and posting what seems like a boring update, heh. When I have more energy I'd love to talk about the nitty gritty (did I really just use that phrase? Sometimes using a certain phrase can make you question who you are, even by just typing it! hee) anyway, the nitty gritty of purging crapola and making a beautiful, clean and clear home. I do know that I am happiest when our home is decluttered and my dd and I don't own too many things. Molly has all her favorite toys out in her open play area and the rest of the nice toys she has but doesn't play with (or really touch, for that matter) are in our big closet. Well, she just came in saying, "Hello Catwoman, I'm Tigress, how are you doing??" She's crazy about Batman. Gotta go, tally ho!
AuntLavender's Avatar AuntLavender 10:59 AM 02-10-2009
It's all about finding your balance.


I have 4 children. I love having too many cups because it means we always have a clean one when friends come to visit. I cannot have just one set of sheets because someone may vomit in their bed and I'm not up for washing sheets at 2am. I'm glad I have a HUGE stash of old towels because when the washer overflowed I was able to sop up the water instantly! We have 4 cars. All used so we don't contribute to the manufacture of used cars and we keep them out of the junkyard. Added together they all cost under $16K. When you drive used it is helpful to have a backup! (We repair them as needed.)

We don't pay for tv or live beyond our means or eat out frequently. I don't do knick knacks either! (I have special needs kids; if you can't hang it up high on the wall it can't live in my house!)

As my children get older they have less junk. Family will still give us junk but we smile say "Thank you" and drop it off at Goodwill when we go there to shop for clothing or to see what they just got in!

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 12, 11, 9, and 5
AuntLavender's Avatar AuntLavender 11:08 AM 02-10-2009
[QUOTE=mamasee;11572644]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danidama View Post
she'd just throw them around and not really play with anything, and start bouncing around/in/off the big couch cushions instead.

This made me wonder what my dd would do if there were no toys at all in our house! She, too, likes to just jump around on the couch. I suspect that she would just pick up her hands or some silverware or cups or any old object and make them into toys.
and he only plays with a few toys so children must not need too many!

He has some Hot Wheels for the backyard (6 I think), a Mister Rogers trolley, and a stuffed animal. We have a bin of toys from his older brother and some that were given to him as gifts but they lay very tidy in the bin.
njbeachgirl's Avatar njbeachgirl 03:40 PM 02-10-2009
I love this thread. I did a huge declutter last year and it was awesome! However, the STUFF sneaks in.... especially kids' stuff! So, thanks for the inspiration, I am going to work on getting some more things out of here.

Projects I am planning:

Finish decluttering my home office (includes selling an old computer we never use, and a bunch of other stuff) to make room for me to work on my art projects.

Continue going through the toys- donate some more, and put just a few away for rotation

Drop off random things- like a really late christmas present for my friend, and something else belonging to my ILs

Go through kitchen and see what we don't use much. (Espresso maker anyone?)

and in the future we would like to get a bookcase, so I can finally go through all the books that have been boxed up in our basement for three years. I'm sure I will be purging many of them.

Go through and purge everyone's clothes- pass on hand me downs for friends
flowmom's Avatar flowmom 03:53 PM 02-10-2009
Danidama, since becoming a mother I've accumulated a lot of clutter and I think there are concrete reasons for it. First, there are more people living in the same-sized space. Two, things that were once things that I used and enjoyed, are now hard to use or I don't have time (hobbies, delicate heirloom items, etc.). Three, my children have continually changing clothing, furniture, toys and needs in general -- all requiring continual acquisition and purging. Luckily you already know how to purge. Flylady advises 15 min of decluttering a day -- for the rest of our lives :.
Danidama's Avatar Danidama 05:47 PM 02-10-2009
I'm sitting in our "office". It looks more like a cardboard box warehouse with other random junk laying about and piled up. I'm not allowed to touch anything in here. But, someday, someday soon, my husband will totally get stuck in here because he decided to pile up just one more empty computer-part box, and then he'll be yelling, Dani! Dani!!! for me to come rescue him and then -- oh yes THEN my time will come. I am biding my time. . . He doesn't use ONE thing in this entire room except for his macbook, and when he does use it, he does so In The Living Room. What a waste of a room, says I! There are Christmas decorations and off-season clothes in here (put away neatly by me, naturally), because there's no room in the rest of our apartment (IMO! Oh, there's room if you happen to be a hoarder, but it's me and dd here 24/7 so that ain't happening). Don't get me started on the master closet! (I'm talking to my brain, here.) The amount of clothes dh has compared to dd and I is highly amusing. Sometimes he says, Jeez, look at all the crap I have. And I say nothing. My time will come. Oh, yes.
rebeccalynn's Avatar rebeccalynn 06:21 PM 02-10-2009
I love this thread too. We are slowly making our lives more simple one area at a time. We have a 1450 sq ft house for dh, I, dd1(4y), dd2(2y) and baby due in July and everyone is already talking about how we are going to have to move into a bigger house. I sigh and think "Oh no we are not!" I hate cleaning and I hate clutter and I like being a sahm and planning on homeschooling my kids. Why on earth would I want to increase the amount of house that 1) I would have to clean, 2) the kids can mess up, and 3) that people can feel free to give us huge toys and junk that they think we have to keep forever. We have a decent size yard - they can go out and play if they need more space or they can have some "alone" time in mom and dad's room if need be but I am not getting a larger house just because others think we "have" to or because our kids do not want to have to "deal civilly" with eachother.

Depending on how many children we end up having, we may end up adding another bedroom or something like that, but right now we have plenty of space for 2 adults and 3 children.
kay4's Avatar kay4 07:35 PM 02-10-2009
subbing to this...
InchByInch's Avatar InchByInch 07:56 PM 02-10-2009
Oooh, I'm so glad this thread got bumped. It's exactly what I needed to read, at exactly the right time.
CultivatingMyRoots's Avatar CultivatingMyRoots 08:33 PM 02-10-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danidama View Post
I'm sitting in our "office". It looks more like a cardboard box warehouse with other random junk laying about and piled up. I'm not allowed to touch anything in here. But, someday, someday soon, my husband will totally get stuck in here because he decided to pile up just one more empty computer-part box, and then he'll be yelling, Dani! Dani!!! for me to come rescue him and then -- oh yes THEN my time will come. I am biding my time. . . He doesn't use ONE thing in this entire room except for his macbook, and when he does use it, he does so In The Living Room. What a waste of a room, says I! [edited by me....] My time will come. Oh, yes.

We have that room, too! And we just moved so we could NOT have that room! Goodwill is going to LOVE me when I'm done going through the hundreds of $$ worth of electronic CRAP he hasn't used, doesn't have the right cords to, has since 'upgraded' from... GAH!

Then again, half that room is my craft stuff. So, pot to the kettle.
cmoma's Avatar cmoma 01:45 PM 02-11-2009
Wow what a great thread!

I have been purging and decluttering in anticipation of a move this summer. I really went to town just before christmas, but have been in a lull for the last month. I am also expecting our 3rd in a couple months so I am trying to give myself a little break before things get really crazy here.

It's been good to read this cause it's now time to get back into purge mode. I do not want any excess stuff to pack and move to the new house. I don't want anything unused/unloved to make its way over there. I've done alot of the big decluttering the stuff that is out in front of your face, that you see everyday. Now it's time to move to the closets and cabinets and drawers. I wish it was warmer so I could have a yard sale to sell it all. I don't have much space to store it but I may do that the extra money will be needed and I have given a lot of it away!!!

I have to say that when I load up that car with bags and bags of stuff I feel much more relaxed and a sense of calm comes over me.

I want our house to be a place where we can relax and just be. I don't want to sit and look around see all the friggin' stuff that is over taking the room. It really stresses me out big time.

I am sooooo looking forward to this move to help give us a fresh start with living simple. I never did get our small house now to a place of true comfort nor to a place that truely reflected who we want to be. It makes me sad because I feel like we never really "loved" this house and never really made it our home, it's always felt kind of like an apartment atleast to me.

Hmmm I don't think I ever actually realized this....

Well that was a bit of a book huh?!
Joyfull's Avatar Joyfull 01:34 AM 02-24-2009
Dani, are you going to write some more about your decluttering? I love your thread so I bump it.
mykdsmomy's Avatar mykdsmomy 06:00 PM 02-25-2009
I'm bumping this again in hopes of more people sharing I have always wanted to be a radical minimalist

I am not good at organizing so my thought was if I get rid of everything that is cluttering up my house, it will be easier to keep organized and clean!

What have you gotten rid of in the last few weeks/months?
Theoretica's Avatar Theoretica 06:06 PM 02-25-2009
subbing, you are the pinnacle of inspiration!
Nemesis's Avatar Nemesis 01:19 PM 02-26-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
I am not good at organizing so my thought was if I get rid of everything that is cluttering up my house, it will be easier to keep organized and clean!
This is exactly me!!! The last time I had a clean, tidy, organized house was when I was a single mom and had a 3bedroom house to just me and a baby!! I had pretty much nothing.
I got some furniture.. a couch, 2 end tabes, and a rocking chair. Someone loaned me a table and a set of shelves and I had a futon/bed. Some clothes and a cd player. Wow. Just not a lot of stuff

And I was soo happy!! : I've never been able to stay organized or keep up with the stuff that gets kept. The best thing I ever did was just NOT bring any of it with me when I left my xh! It was so easy to pick up (and I was working ft and tired, even) and keep things clean.

I wish I could get back to that! Of course, that isn't likely since now we are a family of 4 in a 450sqft apartment. I am also running my own soapmaking business and homeschooling, and that stuff really piles up!

I am trying to streamline my life! I want to keep up with the paperwork and the junk mail, the laundry and bookshelves... I want to have more time for fun stuff with my kids, instead of feeling so overwhelmed in the mornings that I can't even get started cleaning, let alone playing games! Ugh.

I'm working on it!
zoshamosha's Avatar zoshamosha 04:47 PM 02-26-2009
Yes! I love this thread. Thank you OP for inspiring me!

I went on a major declutter spree this week. I realized that I'm miserable and stressed out all the time because I am always doing dishes and when I've done them, I have no where to put them. So, I realized, duh, that my problem is probably that I just simply have too many dishes. I realized we had about 20 mugs, 20 rocks glasses, 5 pint glasses, 20 or so wine glasses, martini glasses, too many plates, big plates, little plates, etc...

I took everything out of the cupboards that we don't use all the time. It's nice to have all those glasses for parties (we throw parties a lot), but cramming all that crap in the cupboards was killing me.

I left just 4 glasses, 4 mugs, a handful of big plates and little plates, and 4 bowls. I also donated several big salad and serving bowls that were just taking up too much room.

I feel like a weight has been taken off my shoulders.

Now for the clothes. That's going to be a big job. My house is filled with piles of clothes because, like the dishes, there's just no room. So, off we go to donate today.
Danidama's Avatar Danidama 05:49 PM 02-26-2009
Had to jump on real quick-like to post links to a couple threads that are great reads. I printed them out last year and certain posts in them were fantastic, so I reread them sometimes for inspiration.

Post #3 from Crayfish (plus the whole thread of course):

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...oh+the+clutter


Post #4 from Crayfish:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...s+buy+it+again


And a great help for decluttering and moving:

Post #3:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...s+than+30+days



*bows down to Crayfish and other awesome Lords of Peace*


Also, there is a book that I love a lot called Shelter for the Spirit by Victoria Moran; heard about it on here. There is a chapter on simplifying (though the whole book is so wonderful- a relaxing, feel-good read- I've never read a book remotely like this one), and my new two favorite questions that I learned from it wrt purging stuff are:

Does it make me happy?

Is it useful?



Those questions have helped me tremendously! I love Peter Walsh too, but those two (new for me) questions work the best for me. hths!
flowmom's Avatar flowmom 06:19 PM 02-26-2009
Another Crayfish fan here . Some other posts of hers that inspired me:

how to deal with an overwhelming junk room


it's not "green" to live with junk and clutter
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