LvnTexas- I don't think minimalism is a fad but I do think that it correlates with the excesses in our recent history as well as those that are still going on today. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a logical response to what's going on in the world right now, so there may be more people exploring that side of the spectrum, including those to whom it doesn't come as naturally.
lkvosu- It is so relative. Comparing can be helpful, but the real goals are functionality & personal balance.
What else can I say? We've done minimal drawer space, no microwave, Tv, etc. for a while. I love that I'm on a laptop now and don't have a desk. But I definitely have stuff I can get rid of yet. Still have extra pillowcases from back when D would spit up all.the.time and I just haven't gotten to culling them because there were two that matched each sheet set, then some of the spares that didn't match anything, then I have to flannel ones for winter and two of my favorite tie dye ones my mom got me over a decade ago... LoL, and meanwhile I'm down to one pillow, just one of the sheet sets that had matching cases (and one newer one that I was able to buy fitted only :D), so it's obviously quite unnecessary to have ten or a dozen pillowcases at this point. >sigh< but they take up so little space I haven't bothered. In other areas, things are not allowed to sit for so long! I do have my high school yearbooks, as I mentioned before some too-small clothes (I'll be damned if this is the size I'm staying at, no joke) and some cloth diapers that I really need to get $$ for. All this, and when someone comes over they are majorly astounded at how minimalist the home is. But they don't see that half the kitchen cabinets are unused (and I'm talking a small kitchen). They'll never know the half of it, lol.
Well thank you for starting this tribe, providing a place for me to talk these things out and realize what does need to go. I seriously want to get on it. Writing all this out has helped me get past what we don't have (not a single thing on the ugly sandy/tan colored walls, miniblinds just begging for curtains, nowhere to eat, etc.) and realize that I will need to deal with moving stuff out first. It will be a while, and I can wait, until I find the right functional &/or beautiful items to make this home into a company-friendly place (my main objective).
i think it sounds like a great goal.
when we moved into our larger place, we did get some things to make it company-comfortable. We got a table and chairs so that we could eat there, and invite friends over.
we have a day bed, it was supposed to be donated to the salvation army, but they never came to pick it up. so, we brought it into our new place. and now DH loves it. we'll paint it white, dress up the bedding, and use it for storage/etc. one drawer for bedding, two for DS's toys. it's right in the living room. so now we'll have two mid-mod chairs and one day-bed. :) and a book case, most likely. Though, DH is deciding whether he wants that in the living room or in the closet (small second bedroom) that we have.
it's funny how it goes. if the sallies had taken it away last week, we wouldn't have missed it. ah well. now, if it goes, i think DH would miss it (though he says he'd like to eventually upgrade to something nicer. understandable, this is literally just MDF).
So our family is moving from Portland OR to Southern CA this September, so I've REALLY stepped up the decluttering a notch. Financially we probably are only going to be able to afford a 4x8 trailer on the car, so I really have to figure out what we are taking and what is staying. We moved up here after out wedding with the same size trailer, but since then we've added two kids and a WHOLE bunch of stuff. It's going to be an adventure. We are taking a full size bed, the bike trailer and our small kitchen table with 6 chairs for sure. I would love to take our chair and ottoman, and the bikes. Then of course there are the kids toys. I don't give away their things without their permission, so I am a little worried about how to handle it if we do need to, especially since they really don't have that much to begin with. So far I am just being ruthless with my own stuff. I know anything I need will come back to me in time. I am sad about leaving the piano and the chickens behind, a funny combination, but certainly replaceable!
I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) and 'Nana' (05/09 ) and Eowyn (11/11) We are having a blast and .
I don't know how old your children are, but when my mother needed us to declutter our things (usually before a move), she would provide for us the number of boxes that we could have for toys. We then had to decide which were most important to move, and then we got to choose where the old toys went. My mother would then divide those that we had culled into those which could be donated and those that could not (too dirty). And then she would take care of it.
It really helped me -- as a kid -- to let go and give to others. I knew that a lot of my toys would go to children who didn't have any -- often homeless shelters and women's shelters and the like. I felt good giving things away. Not everything, but what I could. :)
I'm sure you'll figure out, though, how to bend space and time to fit everything you need in that trailer.
My girls will be 2 and 4 when we move. My oldest understands a little about giving things away, because she sees me doing it and we talk about it. My two year is VERY distressed by even me giving away my own things. We'll figure it out, I know. Yesterday we took another trunk load to the thrift store. I have a full box ready to go in the trunk, a salvation army pickup scheduled for a bed and couch we don't use, and a friend coming for the chickens next week. I also packed some of our dishes into a bag and set them out of sight. I want to see if we really even use them all. I just kept out 6 plates and 6 bowls, since we sometimes have people visit.
It is SO freeing. I am really excited by it. I actually am starting to not mind the thought of giving away my piano. DH mentioned we could sell one of our cars and then get a moving truck for the piano, but selling both the car and the piano sounds fine to me, in fact, that would pay for this birth. (I'm 20 weeks pregnant). I just need to make sure we can fit two car seats and a booster in the smaller car.
We just found out we are having another girl, so I need to get out the baby clothes I have saved and keep only my favorite ones to move. I am sure my family will be more then excited to get anything we might end up needing, and thrift store baby clothes are cheap.
Right now I am reading Walden. It's very appropriate and inspiring at this point as we fix up our house and pare down our things.
I've also been watching HGTV's House Hunter's online. I find it amusing, and sometimes annoying, but I like looking at these big houses and really knowing that it really isn't what I want at all.
I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) and 'Nana' (05/09 ) and Eowyn (11/11) We are having a blast and .
Today I went WAY minimalist with my hair...as in a cute pixie and I love it. I now just have some shampoo/conditioner and a balm for my hair. Also, no more coloring. I am going my natural white/gray/brown. WOOT WOOT!!! I donated 10 products I previously needed for my middle of the back, thick, layered hair. I feel so free and cute. : )
Also, I am purging a few things again. I think I ended up with one small bag for donation, but it is still one bag. I also have been talking to my son's doctor about his allergies. She said to get rid of any stuff animals and reduce the amount of dust around him. We are discussing him keeping his one dog and one favorite bear and donating the rest. SO far so good..we shall see..I eliminated the extra and tucked them away in the closet. If in one month he doesn't ask for them, out they go. My better to have his health than a bunch of stuffed animals.
I also eliminated some clothing, donating it to a friend who knows a single mama who needs some things. With my new fangle haircut and color, certain colors are not working anymore. It's been fun.
Cute short hair, always so much fun! I cut mine really short couple of years ago and am now at a really short bob. I will stay here until I cut it again.
I am getting my stuff down as well. 4 brown bags waiting to go to charity and always looking for more. Time has opened up in my life because of the reduction of stuff. Also trying teach my boys that yes they can have stuff, but they are ultimately incharge of taking caring of it and cleaning up around it. I can see their minds working on that and seeing that mom is not going to be responsible for them. Our livingroom has become a wonderful place for us to be, play games eat and enjoy eachothers company. Before this last major purge, I ALWAYS felt as though I needed to clean and tidy when I was in it and that is no fun and not very gratifying. I take naps occationally now, a sure sign that I have opened some space in my life..
This process that I am going through, is opening lots of other places in my heart and mind. I am thinking about things that I haven't been thinking about for years; my spirituality, eating habits, relationships..... the list goes on.
Hi everyone! Just checking in really quickly. I look forward to coming back and reading all through the previous comments.
I guess I'm a selective minimalist. I like my home to be very minimalist in general, but I don't feel the need to skimp back significantly on size. We're four people and a very large dog in a 2000 sq ft. house, and while we could get by with less, I like the space.
But things are not packed full. My counters are bare. Almost all flat surfaces are empty. I don't like knick-knacks or souveniers. I don't even like family photos on display. I find them cluttery. We do have art, however.
We keep our kitchen stocked with basics, both food and cooking/baking utensils and such.
But then you get into something like clothing, and we all have generous amounts and I like it that way. It's something I enjoy. It doesn't cause me stress or make more work for anyone, so I see no reason to cut back at this point in time.
Anyway.... I'm off to go paint a bathroom.
I have another car load to to give away, and took a bunch of dry food goods to church and gave it away there, we won't use them before we move. Our living room is now almost empty, we have a bedroom with all our beds and another bedroom set up as a living room with a comfy chair, desk, and the kids toys. I'm getting excited, we might be able to fit everything we want to keep in the trailer!
I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) and 'Nana' (05/09 ) and Eowyn (11/11) We are having a blast and .
When I had short hair it was super easy :) I never did anything but wash and perhaps condition every once in a while. But now that my hair is waist length, it's still as minimalist as a longhair can go! My hair and scalp tend to be dry and only need washing about once a week. I never blow dry or use any appliances, just wash, condition and air dry. If it's in my way I put it up. I think my hair care is way more minimalist than most people with short hair, who get cuts and color every six weeks, wash and blowdry etc. daily...
I haven't dyed my hair in a year but now I have the itch to start hennaing my hair :) Because I think really long red hair would be great. But alas, staying with my own color would be simpler. But on the other hand, I'm really minimalist with cosmetics and everything else.. so I could have one indulgence.
Something to think about. I'm afraid I might get tired of the upkeep. Maybe just a hint of more color so I don't have to do it very often....
that's awesome paige! :D
i was rather forced to have short hair by my mother growing up, so now i wear it long and love it. i don't color it, and the cut is so good that it's really no effort at all for me to take care of it. it always looks great and I only need shampoo and conditioner (i don't use anything else), and I only wash my hair every 2nd or third day, unless i get really sweaty/dirty over a day.
i have to buy this child more shoes. poor kid, he's just running right out of this pair. :)
Don't you love that feeling though, when you use something to death and then buy a new pair when you actually need to? I love that feeling of not consuming in excess and getting things that will be really well used :)
yes, but also no.
here in NZ, it is hard to find children's shoes. Yes, there are shoes available, but they aren't the quality or fit that we are often seeking. And, they are expensive. So, we have to order from the US, and timing is everything.
I'm actually on a path of ordering two sizes -- the size he needs now and will use for about 6 months -- and the next size up. then, i can order ahead again. It's a lot though. :)
Uh well, I decided against coloring. My un-dyed roots blend so well with the old colored parts and I've gone a year so why ruin the effort. The first year is the hardest anyway! I just get bored sometimes.
Long hair is not un-minimalist to me as I don't do anything to it, and it's easy to braid or put up, but commitment to coloring definitely isn't and if I would color I KNOW I'd regret it and start growing out again.
One major reason for me is that I want to give my daughter an example of accepting myself as I am and not being too vain ;)
And it will be interesting to see my natural color long, as I've pretty much had it colored since I was 13 or so with a couple of periods of no-dye in-between. I'm naturally a dark blonde I guess, but it really is obvious only after my natural hair get a bit longer than the 4-5" that I have now. I was a light blonde kid. My DD was born dark and already her hair is as dark as mine is now and she will probably be a total brunette in a few years. My mom and grandmom were dark and I suit dark hair very well so I've colored my hair darker most of the time (with bouts of red and blonde in there somewhere hehe). I really love dark hair on me so I struggle with the blonde, LOL!
Anyway.. I think the only way to handle my natural color is to have super long hair, so I'm growing it to my hip. Then perhaps I can go without the drama of being dark, or a redhead, LOL!!
On to other subjects.. (Boy do I love this forum, having you guys is great!)
We have started dreaming about how we could make it possible to travel more or live six months of the year abroad. We'd probably move somewhere warm, and cheap where I'd do volunteer work, and we would move full time I think if we didn't think DD needed here extended family now that she has just started to let them in and get friendly with them.. She may not have siblings so she needs her cousins around, whom she adores.. Also I love the summer here, and spring and early autumn too, so if there was a way we could live here for the summery months and live somewhere far away for the other six, it would be a great compromise, or rather, best of both worlds.
I volunteered in an orphanage in Cambodia and I miss it.. the country and taking care of the children. I'm an artist by the way so my work is not a hindrance. DH's work is.. But he has his own "business" too which is more like a hobby that makes money and we could support ourselves on that if we lived somewhere cheap, but living six months here would still be costly, especially if we kept the apartment. I think it could only happen if we could in a few years buy a home with cash so we'd not have to pay rent or mortgage. We currently have about usd 100K but it's not enough in here, we'd need at least another 100K, probably like 150K to buy something small here!
My brother's fiance is from Thailand and I sometimes I say we should all move there. Yeah, not likely to happen.
I haven't made any donations, but I'm slowly collecting stuff to donate when I have a full bag to take. Gave a couple of tops to DH to use as rags to clean his bike. Oh, and I sold 4 chairs :) I tried to sell only two of them but no one would buy two so I sold all four. We now have 3 chairs in the kitchen plus DD's Stokke.
And I bought 5 bras. but they replaced my old ill-fitting nursing bras.. I think I should only have bought 3 or 4 but oh well...
Okay DD wants to go outside. more later.
I do enjoy everyone's posts!!!!
Minimum, I'm also thinking of becoming semi-nomadic. Like have only a suitcase or so each and spend 3 months (the shortest leases you can get here) here and then move on to a new place for 3 months. The seasons drive me crazy so I am thinking of spending the cold parts of the year where there is snow, then summer in tropical paradise hehe and just move with the seasons. I hate my home city so I'm hoping to find some places around the country I can really say I love.
I read a blog where the mother travels with her daughter all the time and I thought it was the perfect life! International airfares here are crazy if you have several kids- cause anywhere out of Australia is a huge distance! So I think we will have to stick to going around the country for now. Maybe put stuff we will need when we resettle at a friends house- we have very little at the moment so it wouldn't take up hardly any room. Although I'm planning another baby so just have to wait and see where it will all fit in. Most of the stuff we still have is being saved for the next baby, nappies, hand-me-down clothes, etc. So if I weren't having another we wouldn't have anything much to leave stored.
I have long hair and I just was it with Dr. Bronners and brush it and put it in a clip or braid. I've always thought short hair takes much more maintenance, just from what I'v seen in my family.
We are trying to become kind of semi-nomadic. I am sick and tired of the rain here in Oregon and miss my family in California. So we are renting out our house and moving down there, by my DH really loves Oregon and doesn't want to move, so we want to build a Tumbleweed house and just live in both states as well as do some traveling.
It's really cold and dark here in the winter, with epic amounts of snow. Which is fun, for like two weeks :) I really struggled last winter. It's just too darn long, dark and cold!
I could come here for Christmas with the family every year. :)
DD is easily agitated by new stuff though so I don't think changing homes all the time would be good for her. More like, have two homes.. Or one home and then extended travel.
I do want her to have roots somewhere, and see her extended family. But I bet they'd visit us too if we lived somewhere tropical ;)
i love being a minimalist. i got all cranky this morning because I woke up and there were several little messes left behind by the good ole DH, and I was like, DUDE! because i have to get out pretty quickly on thursday mornings.
well, it took 30 minutes to clean the place up. lol! all that complaining in my mind over 30 minutes! so funny. and, we still got out early. go figure. ha!
seriously, that was DS's toys, making the bed and daybed (in the lounge), hanging the washing on the line, doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen, decluttering the paper pile, and packing up for play group and an afternoon at the office. Yay me. :) Yay minimalism!
Yeah I find my house still looks way messy once the kids are done with it :) But once I actually try to clean up I'm always shocked by how quick it is now to pick everything up. I even manage to vacuum most days now which is big achievement for me :P
Minimum you could always get a caravan (like one of those small ones attached to a car) instead and make it really homey. Then she could have her home wherever she goes! :) Or just keep a home base and travel when you like and rest when you like. If we owned a home I would probably do that- but since we are renters it would be better to just take everything with us and get to stay as long as we like in new places.
Haha, I chopped my waist length hair to chin :) I was annoyed by the layers I had and the old color that I'd been growing out for a year, plus I had chin length bangs growing out.. So I lopped it off right at chin :)
It feels so light and fresh.
I'm going to start washing my hair with shampoo bars. Super minimalistic as you can wash your whole self with the same bar :D Also no plastic packaging or transporting water in a bottle all over the world, so ecological to boot.
Ikvosu, do you still know anyone in Joplin who needs baby stuff? I'm in Tulsa, too and I also have a lot of baby items to get rid of. I was planning to have a garage sale, but I would love to donate them to someone who really needs them.
I'm not sure. I heard that Guts church was taking items, but that was a few weeks back. You might contact them, or Rhema, and see if they're still making trips there.
I'm finally back at home after 5 weeks of traveling! It was fun but it feels good to be back. I'm now starting a super clean-out kick. I think I've been partly inspired by you all and partly by the homes we were visiting. Both my and DH's parents have sooo much stuff it's crazy. I thought about it on the plane and I want to go room-by-room and take the time to really figure out what I need, what I can give away and what I can sell. My previous purges have usually been one crazy day of loading stuff up in the trunk and dropping it off at the thrift shop, so I want to take my time now. I think I'll start a thread over on "Decluttering, Organizing, Simplifying" and start with the kitchen! Join in and lend me your minimalist wisdom!
As for the haircut lol I did the same thing a few weeks ago. I thought it would be easier to take care of-- and it is-- but now I have the urge to use/buy more little clips and stuff because they look so cute Oh well!
Learning to... and with myby my side!
what did you do for your minimalism today?
today, i gave my boppy pillow, the moby wrap, and too-small woolies to my friend, whose baby is due in Sept/Oct.
in addition, on saturday, some friends came over with a box of hand-me-down toys/books for hawk. I've already cleared out the "character" books (disney, thomas, etc) as a matter of preference, but have kept several others, and i'm in the process of culling the soft toys. DS seems to have become attached to several of them (about four or so small ones -- fish, shark, whale, small dog is what i can remember off the top of my head). So, those can stay but the rest will be passed along as well.
it was so funny to me. we said big 'thank you' to our friends for bringing these things over -- i know they were pleased to do so -- but man, so against my process. I'd just done a quick cull of anything too young for him, and his birthday is coming up so I know the family will want to send stuff. still, just setting things aside helps.
oh, and DS loves the box. it's his "convertible!" he likes to zoom around in it. LOL cute, really.
I finished my kitchen! (before and after pics on the other thread)
All the food is together in one set of cabinets so that I can quickly see what I have. It makes meal planning for the week SO much easier.
The dishes are pared down to daily use essentials: 2 plates, 2 half plates, 2 bowls, a few knives/spoons/forks, one mug and 3 glasses. They are stored in the dishwasher. The dishwasher is the new drying rack. Since we have so few dishes, they don't pile up and need to go in the dishwasher! The rest of my dishes are put away above the refrigerator for when people come over.
Baking and serving dishes and storage containers all fit in one cabinet.
I threw away my non-stick pot and loaf pans and a bunch of plastic boxes.
I am selling my useable but nonessential appliances and serving bowls (on Facebook).
I have counter space!!
Learning to... and with myby my side!
I took a bag of spices I don't use much to church and gave them away there. : ) I almost have all my food in one cupboard, and all my dishes in another. I've downsized over half my kitchen, cooking is SO much easier.
I have all the food in one upper cupboard (double doors, three shelves).
We did a quick walk-through this open air flea market wit DD. I bought one book for her and LOL, she started protesting that she doesn't want it! She was tired by then, but still. The seller thought she was so cute.
She then went on to offer DD to choose a stuffed toy from a cardboard box for free. DD just looked at them and didn't want any. The seller was like, wow, she is super cute, so unusual! I was relieved that DD didn't want anything, we have enough stuffed toys and these weren't particularly nice.. I was a bit annoyed that she took the liberty to offer her something without even asking me first. I wanted to tell her, look, we live in a small apartment. She does not have a room, her toys are in the living room. I have gone through trouble to keep her toys in check and I DO NOT WANT more random stuff she will not play with, but I can't take it away without her permission either.
Anyway, I'm so glad DD isn't into stuff that much.
Hi everyone! Joining! So glad I found this thread. Stumbled on the Zero Waste blog recently while looking for something else and was intrigued. Then starting reading the simplifying thread and found my way here. I am aspiring! I have become VERY minimal myself, getting rid of most of my clothes and books and toiletries, but it's a struggle with my packrat husband and my 2-year-old son.
So, I'm working on myself right now, and also trying to simplify routines with my son, but will have to tackle the rest of the house very, very slowly. My DH is open to the idea of getting rid of stuff, but when it comes to putting in practice, he struggles. For example, last night I tried to pare down our bags. We have five suitcases and a ton of duffel bags and overnight bags. I was hoping we could pare down to three suitcases (one each) and one carry-on. My DH says, "But what if we go to Europe?" LOL!!! I finally convinced him to let me get rid of ONE small carry-on, the one that was mine.
My pantry is a disaster, because my DH will not allow me to get rid of any food, period. So I'm trying to use things up. He does like the idea of eliminating packaging and plastic, so I took one small step of buying rice in bulk when we ran out and putting it in a glass canning jar. I love the way it looks in my pantry and can't wait to see things progress.
Sandy (41), Mama to Oscar (Feb 2009) and Aria (April 2012), infertility and miscarriage survivor 11/25/10 and 6/22/11.
Howdy Minimalist Mamas!!!! I love this subject. It's one of my favorites. I am not one to count how much I had but I think if I did, I wouldn't have much. I remember when I had 1 week to clean and clear out and move. It was quite the eye opener. AM VETS and Goodwill became my best friends that week.
I hauled out stuff like a mad women for 3 days straight after I had an initial yardsale. I decided that I can always find what I need in a thrift shop or the dollar store. For instance. I got rid of the behemouth of a turkey cooker. It holds a 25 lb turkey. I hated storing it, cleaning it, lifting it...etc. I decided this year, we are going to go out for Thanksgiving and enjoy ourselves. Just DS and myself.
I also gave away a lot of vintage style items I was going to decorate my home with. They have been hauled around and I am going simple and chic now. Not much decoration with a pop of color here and there. Mostly get that from my red couch and turquoise and beige comforter. I have a few family pics on the walls and a large barn star that I salvaged out of a dumpster. It is about 3 feet wide and awesome. I just purchased to large lamps too--tall ones. I hate squatty ones and I hate overhead lighting, so I found some crystal ones that sparkle when the light hits them. I have one in the living room and one in my bedroom.
DS has his legos, cars, bike, dog, books and his art stuff. He is happy as clam at the beach. We spend a lot of time at the beach, so entertainment is simple with a bucket and a shovel.
I do love my clothes. I have work and play clothes and I like variety, though I tend to buy multiples of my favorite things. If I find a tank top that holds up, I buy 3-4 so I have them on hand. It's really the only area I tend to keep multiples. DS and I split the walk in the closet. He has the lower hanging rack for his clothes with smaller items in the top drawer of a shared dresser. His shoes are neatly on the floor, lined up. He has about 6-7 pairs and we purge religiously throughout the year, as he grows so fast.
One big area I rid myself of is storage items- bins, baskets, shelves, trunks, or otherwise. I just downsized and purged and now everything either fits in a drawer, cabinet or closet. The only exception in my son's toys. He has a small covered large basket for these. It is decorative and is a quick solution to hide his toys and I can leave it in the living room. Oh, and the laundry basket.
Just one. All we need.
Furniture wise we have the sleeper love seat, full mattress set, 2 lamps, 3 drawer dresser, small side table in living room, flat screen, round dining table with 4 chairs. I am adding another living room chair with hassock soon. I just picked out the fabric for it. The hassock has storage for my son's bedding. : )
Otherwise, I have basics in the kitchen and bath. I am not fancy and can cook up a storm with just a few things. I did invest in some nice glasses, dishware and silverware, as I like to entertain. I also have nice curtains, as this apartment needs privacy. I bought 3 pairs for the entire place and it looks nice.