How simplistic have you gone?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How much have you simplified/decluttered your home/life? What were you okay with getting rid of? What do you struggle with letting go of?
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#2 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 09:44 AM
 
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Well, for me, simple goes past decluttering....though that's a major part.

WE've gotten rid of tons of stuff-- TONS-- and there's always more to get rid of. I still haven't figured out how my house isn't empty yet.

We've ditched the cable.

We started a garden.

My husband now bikes to work and we bike on errands when we can.

We buy everything we can used.

I am trying to cook more from scratch.

I'm giving up something I've done for five years-- blogging.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#3 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 10:47 AM
 
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I feel like we have gotten rid of so much! I don't know where it all comes from, I swear.

The biggest place we've simplified is clothing. So many clothes have been given to us for our girls, just bags of clothes that are too big or not in very good shape. I have minimized the amount of clothes they have, but also really gone through the clothes we've been given and stored them properly.

Of course, I think simplifying IRT our life is the biggest change. Not really our stuff, but how we live and how we organize our time.
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#4 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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Well, the biggest thing I suppose is not buying new stuff, and bringing new things into the house. ("New" or "new to us" is the same imo.)

We do cook from scratch, but we've always done that.

I'd like to start a garden but it's not going to happen this year and I've accepted that.

Actually I think that's another thing. I'm trying to let go of all those miscellaneous goals and desires and trying to focus on what's important to me and actually DOING them. Instead of just planning a million things and never really getting around to doing them. KWIM?
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#5 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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Actually I think that's another thing. I'm trying to let go of all those miscellaneous goals and desires and trying to focus on what's important to me and actually DOING them. Instead of just planning a million things and never really getting around to doing them. KWIM?
Oh gosh, this is so me. I think this will be the first step to me truly "simplifying". I can purge and de-clutter like there is no tomorrow, but I think that is is this that will bring me the peace of simplicity.

Heidi , wife to my DH , mama to Hope Isobel (4/3/06), Molly Grace (7/31/09): , furbaby Callie :
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#6 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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6 months ago, I could have said we literally only had the things we need to be able to live in our house. Now we've accumulated some extra junk again, but I'm about to do another big purge. I like to have the bare minimum of everything, except for clothes--that's my weakness. We always have way too many clothes. I do make sure they are able to be contained in the closets & dressers, though. Other than clothes, my DH always says, "If it's not bolted down, Lindsay will throw it away."
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#7 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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Ever since I got married, 8 years ago, I have always striven to keep it simple. When it was just the two of us, we rented an apartment and had only one car. I used public transit, walked, or biked everywhere. Now that we had ds, things are slightly more complex, but still simpler than most.

We have a modest house and cars. DH and I take turns biking/driving/riding motorcycle to work and taking ds to daycare. We've never had cable, and don't have a land line phone. I never buy new clothes (always thrift). Most of ds's toys are hand-made or from the thrift store. We purge/donate any unused items at least once a year. The hardest part for me has been to slowly let go of various items (knick-knacks and toys) from childhood. I have also been trying to keep only those books that I need or really like. This past weekend we donated a bunch of items, including some furniture that we didn't have room for in the house, but had kept because of sentimental reasons - it can be hard to let go.

In the kitchen: I compost and grow a few herbs and vegi (we are still setting up the yard - it was a basketcase when we bought it a year ago). When I was a SAHM I made all our bread and yogurt. We get our milk, cheese, and eggs from a friend. The rest of our veg comes from the weekly farmers market down the street (until the weather turns). My goal for the late summer is to get some canning supplies and do some canning, but I don't know if I will have the time to do it. We make 99.9% of our food from scratch - dh even cooks meals a couple times a week (I him!).

Even with all this, I feel like we have more to improve...
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#8 of 23 Old 07-30-2008, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Savoir Faire View Post
WE've gotten rid of tons of stuff-- TONS-- and there's always more to get rid of. I still haven't figured out how my house isn't empty yet.
This is EXACTLY how I feel!!!!!!
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#9 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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For me, how simple I have gone means SO much more than decluttering. I have never been a pack rat, and can totally relate to the comment about things not bolted down.

The simple I am striving for is finding where I feel content. It is about not rushing because I have created a to do list that can't be met today. It's about experiencing things and not worrying that dinner is a half hour late.

Mostly it is about 'being here, now' each day.

Quite frankly, I will never garden - I don't enjoy it. Love my farmers market and CSA though! I won't live with just one set of plates/utensils for each of us etc... Great for some, but I have realized that for me, trying for that is equal to trying to keep up with the 'green' Jones's. While I lurk around here I try not to let compare myself to some of the awesome lifestyles of other on the board.

So I guess simple = content. Still a work in progress. But I am getting there!! Not sure if this is what you meant by simple. Sorry if I took the thread off track.

Maggie
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#10 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 10:50 AM
 
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I loved your post, Maggie!
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#11 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I love that post too!

We tried the single set of dishes per person dishes and it created more chaos because our running water situation is intermittent.

The most simplistic I ever was was back in 1999. I had one pair of clothes and 80$ on my way to an intentional community to do work trade for room and board. I had a honda civic with 50 mpg and my parents still paid the insurance.

RIght now nothing feels simplistic. No matter how hard I try to fret or work or declutter, life still seems very complicated. I'm trying to surrender.
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#12 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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Thanks. I wrote that late last night, and now just read my typos. I am glad it made sense.

Maggie
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#13 of 23 Old 07-31-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by stretchmark View Post
RIght now nothing feels simplistic. No matter how hard I try to fret or work or declutter, life still seems very complicated. I'm trying to surrender.
Ditto
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#14 of 23 Old 08-03-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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Question - how do you keep yourself from comparing to the "green Jones". I find that my husband and I do this all the time and it makes us unable to live with the chaos around us at the moment. Chaos brought on by moving into my late father's house. I try to tell myself that we have to take it on one day at a time but it is really hard not to get ahead of ourselves. I envision a very simplistic house and yet it seems it will take forever to get there.
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#15 of 23 Old 08-03-2008, 10:18 AM
 
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I had this problem. When we moved here I wanted to bring along the absolute minimum. New house, new simplistic life, etc. Then I found out that my mom sent me a pack of extra cups/glasses/drinking vessel type things. I pitched a hissy fit - we already had cups! But then I realized, hey, I like these! They're pretty! We have the room for them!

We didn't have to only have the minimum needed - we needed what worked for US and OUR family. You need to find out what works for your family NOW. And then maybe that will change in six months or so, and you'll want less. But there's no one else that can tell you how to live, or what you need in your house. Just go with what feels right.
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#16 of 23 Old 08-03-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mags.bubble View Post
Mostly it is about 'being here, now' each day.

<snip>
So I guess simple = content. Still a work in progress. But I am getting there!! Not sure if this is what you meant by simple. Sorry if I took the thread off track.

Maggie
I think that sums it up very nicely!

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Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
I had this problem. When we moved here I wanted to bring along the absolute minimum. New house, new simplistic life, etc. Then I found out that my mom sent me a pack of extra cups/glasses/drinking vessel type things. I pitched a hissy fit - we already had cups! But then I realized, hey, I like these! They're pretty! We have the room for them!

We didn't have to only have the minimum needed - we needed what worked for US and OUR family. You need to find out what works for your family NOW. And then maybe that will change in six months or so, and you'll want less. But there's no one else that can tell you how to live, or what you need in your house. Just go with what feels right.
We are moving now and I am in the midst of a serious, serious downsize and declutter. I can absolutely imagine myself having a hissy fit over my mom sending me extra glasses lol! I hope that we can find the middle ground that works for OUR family. Incidentally, my mom thinks we're nuts.
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#17 of 23 Old 08-04-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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My mom and MIL give us tons of stuff. It makes me CRAZY! They live only 20min from us and have been lifelong packrats. We recently cleaned out my parents home so they could move to independent living. I was receiving even more stuff then. I just can't explain my parents home without using the term fire hazard.

Anyway, I graciously accept what they bring and choose to donate what I don't want (which is most of it). I try to remember I don't like the feeling of being exasperated by them so I picture calmness each and every time. You are not obligated to keep things. I have also become very good at smiling and saying "no thank you".

Also, remember that whatever I accept/donate from them is one less thing that I will have to rid of when they are gone. Sad to think, but very true.

Maggie
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#18 of 23 Old 08-04-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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mommytoavery Question - how do you keep yourself from comparing to the "green Jones
Stay off of MDC LOL.
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#19 of 23 Old 08-06-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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We're seriously planning to sell everything and move into an RV next spring. I worry about the logistics of it daily, but the process of purging has been cathartic. We've been planning this for about 9 months now - got pregnant and had to delay things a little longer.

We've literally analyzed everything in our lives, and I think one of my issues is how big our house is. I truly WANT to live in a small space. It seems like it would make it so much easier to not have excess, if there wasn't any place to put it.

The clutter around me is affecting my soul, so this is a critical step to our future. Unfortunately, I'm a pack-rat. I don't get rid of anything. My mom is, too, but she's ultra-organized. They are well-off financially and have always had the luxury to just get/have whatever they want, and it suits them. It doesn't work for me, anymore, though. Ironically, I have owned a children's resale shop for the past 6 years, which was an outlet for me to collect more crap - but I sold the business, and I'm letting go more!

I don't think I'll get to the point of one set of dishes per person, or some other types of minimal goals. I'm not about depriving myself - BUT I am truly not into the consumerism that plagues us. We're having another baby, and the only things we're getting are a new car seat, and a used mini-cosleper (I had a regular one last time, now I want smaller), clip-on high chair, and a bumbo (my favorite piece of equipment for last baby). We'll use cloth diapers (currently collecting again), hand-me-down or mama-made clothes, and a few toys. I still have my sling & mei tai from before, and I don't think I'll use a boppy this time. Everyone around me has soooooooooo much!

Mama to 3 girls 12,8,3
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#20 of 23 Old 08-10-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Savoir Faire View Post

I'm giving up something I've done for five years-- blogging.
I have stopped blogging in the past, just started again (see my signature) I am really wondering about this...I sometimes want to stop again, even now but I feel guilty somehow about not doing it. I know that is strange...
Most times I really wonder what the point of it is. I enjoy writing, poems mostly but usually those are pen/paper, sometimes i write on my word program-not online blogging. Is there a separate post somewhere about "not" blogging?
Lots of times with blogging I feel "less than" kinda connected to the whole "green Jones" thing in my head, anyway. That is why I stopped long ago...
I am doing it now mostly because I would like something written about our life for my children someday, but then I wonder why couldn't I just do it on my word program? Why blog online about it? Hmm...lots of thoughts this morning LOL
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#21 of 23 Old 08-10-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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The stopped blogging answer surprised me for some reason. I don't blog, I am not comfortable sharing my daily life with strangers...however, I very much enjoy reading other peoples blogs. (And I do regular updates on my computer, just not online.)

We're pretty simplistic around here. My definition would be if it works, we'll do it...until it doesn't work any more. How much more simple can you get?

I thought it would be so simple to only have one set of dishes for everyone, but that doesn't work for us. And I was so proud of myself when I realized that! Its simple for us to have a set of dishes for everyone for each meal, then to run the dishwasher before bed, waking to clean dishes. If I only had one set all day, I wouldn't cook or make food, because I'd have to wash dishes before each time we ate - and there are 7 of us! No thanks, that's not helping in anyway.
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#22 of 23 Old 08-10-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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seems like you need to decide if blogging serves a purpose for *you* or if it's just a time-waster. I think that blogging is kind of like a modern scrapbooking hobby. I love creating web pages, but I don't have time anymore. It is sort of pre-blog ... and my plan next year is to get some of it on paper for posterity.

--janis
http://www.pigvig.net/molly.html

Mama to 3 girls 12,8,3
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#23 of 23 Old 08-13-2008, 09:49 AM
 
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seems like you need to decide if blogging serves a purpose for *you* or if it's just a time-waster. I think that blogging is kind of like a modern scrapbooking hobby. I love creating web pages, but I don't have time anymore. It is sort of pre-blog ... and my plan next year is to get some of it on paper for posterity.

--janis
http://www.pigvig.net/molly.html
[/hijackification] My 2.5 yr old daughter's name is Molly. Yay for us. :-p

I'd love to write about simplicity goodness, but I don't have time and I've made a lot of posts about it in the past on this awesome forum, in case you want to look at my past posts. Ah, the simple life. It is sweet.

 
"Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion."-Thich Nhat Hanh 
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