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10-01-2014 12:06 AM
randic116 I'm in! I still have several area I want to clean out. I took a whole suv full of stuff to a thrift shop and good will yesterday. And managed to only come home with a couple much needed items of clothing! . Made $50 too.

Swimmingduck, it will get better. In 5 weeks it will be easier to go through and get rid of stuff.
09-30-2014 09:32 AM
LilyTiger I'm definitely in. I had a nesting day today and was unusually productive. I dropped off the clothes and books that have been sitting in my car for weeks at Goodwill, got the flat tire (also in my car for weeks) patched and the put back on, and then got some fun cheap yoga stuff at Marshalls. I'm hoping if I have a productive work morning (which means getting off Mothering ASAP) I can spend some time this afternoon cleaning the car, since it's a beautiful day. That will really just mean the nursery is left. So that will be my big October project.
@swimming-duck I totally understand the "it gets worse before it gets better" aspect of this. After we did our big clean out we had a few boxes of just random junk that we needed but didn't have a place for and had no idea what to do with. That stage is the WORST. I hate that random junk. And then yes, putting back stuff that you took out to access the give-away stuff. Irritating. It'll be nice when the daycare is over and you can really devote yourself to the task. Mentally it'll be easier too to not feel torn between so many competing claims.
09-30-2014 09:08 AM
swimming-duck Awesome on the craft area - mine is in very very bad need of organization, but considering the rest of the house is pretty nonfunctional it's last on my list! Ugh! I feel like it's so easier to feel inspired, sew, knit, create, whatever when our supplies are accessible and organized in a way that is inviting. If it's going to take me an hour to locate and dig everything out, forget it!

I'm feeling overwhelmed with this minimalist undertaking. Can I just skip to the part where my home is lovely and minimalist and organized and I feel a sense of peace and calm??? It's not helping that I'm still doing daycare. I have five more weeks though and then I will have an extra 55 hours a week to work with. I try to keep reminding myself that because despite all I got out of my home I feel like I've accomplished nothing.

Part of it is that I've dug stuff out in order to go through, sort, toss, sell, etc...So now my house is a bigger mess from pulling stuff out to go through if that makes any sense. And the clutter on the counters persists. And the dishes and laundry don't do themselves while I'm trying to get all of this other stuff done. Ugh - well, I'm sure you ladies know how it goes!

I'm just wondering how I'm possibly going to get done what I feel really needs to be done before baby gets here!

Anyhoo, despite feeling overwhelmed I plan to continue this minimalist effort into October. So who's in for minimalist October?
09-29-2014 09:19 AM
LilyTiger I finally got around to organizing my craft area. It's not perfect yet, but there's finally room to sew and the bonus was that I found some excess strips with batting from my last quilt that will be perfect for the yoga strap I want to make this weekend. Score! I love being able to multipurpose materials.

Next stop: the nursery. We were waiting for my nesting to kick in, which seems to be starting up. We need to totally organize all the newborn through 12 month clothes, separate out gender neutral stuff from all the girl stuff we got later, and basically get set up for this babe, whatever it ends up being. I'd like to cloth diaper in the hospital (which I know my husband will seriously roll his eyes at), so I'll have to get all that stuff prepped and cleaned and ready to go too.
09-29-2014 08:13 AM
swimming-duck That sounds awesome Randic - great job!
09-25-2014 10:39 PM
randic116 Yay swimmingduck!

I went through my girls' toys , coloring books, etc, plus some of my clothes, and was very ruthless. After coming home from vacation in which we were so packed full of stuff in the car that we needed, we didn't take anything "extra", I felt very overwhelmed by my house... we live in a very large farmhouse, which has had additions over the years, but they've been haphazardly put on, and it drives me nuts! Also, yesterday DD helped me clean the trash out of the basement. That one was mostly for my health though. Now I just need to make a trip to Goodwill! My next goal is books. We have an affinity for books here... unfortunately, it means way too many... but as a homeschooler, its hard to decide what to get rid of and what to keep.... :P
09-22-2014 08:18 AM
JessieBird Just checked in for some inspiration - I've totally fallen off the wagon. Swimming-duck, you are a machine!
09-22-2014 07:26 AM
swimming-duck Sounds like some wonderful goals ladies! I've gotten a little bit more done. It's crazy though. For all the decluttering/minimalizing that I get done, that's that much less laundry, dishes, etc...that I get done. So even though I'm being really productive, the house looks terrible!

I've successfully sold off some of my big daycare items - one is a big cubby storage island. Another daycare provider bought it and now I have a significant start on my dining room table and chairs fund (we've been eating at a preschool sized bright blue table and chairs for the last six years). I also sold off all of my daycare cots. Woot! Woot! I've listed the train table and trundles on some local for sale sites as well as I've started going through the bins of cloth diapers in the basement to see what I want to get rid of and what I want to keep for the new baby. I'm also listing some random small items that I'm finding as I'm digging through all of this. It's been a ton of work, but I get happier with every thing that goes out the door! My big thing through all of this is that when I'm done with daycare at the end of October (turning in my official resignation letters today), I will have a huge head start on turning my daycare room into a family/dining room area like it's supposed to be! I don't know if it's the nesting instinct or what, but by the time baby arrives, I don't want this room to have ANY resemblance to the daycare room that it's been for four years!

I'd also like to go through the bins of clothing in the basement and decide what I can get rid of and what I'd like to keep for the new baby!
09-19-2014 04:20 AM
ElizabethKateH I just finished cleaning out my closet - packing up clothes that don't fit and shipping them to the attic.

Goals:
1- clean out the fridge
2- add shelving to our cabinetsfor declutterization
3-clean out the car
09-18-2014 11:53 PM
sallyoh I'd like to jump on this bandwagon. This month I finally broke down and got shelving for our walk in closet and got rid of an insane amount of random junk as well as 2 trash bags of clothes and an old printer that I donated. The next goal is to sort out the stuff in the messed up old dresser in the bedroom, so we can get rid of it and put a rocking chair in that corner, as well as turn my desk (aka pile of paper repository) into a functioning work station for my husband.

Sent from my T-Mobile myTouch Q using Tapatalk 2
09-18-2014 07:46 AM
LilyTiger I'm hoping to tackle some of my projects next week. This is my Hell Week at work and then a weekend full of weddings and events, so I'm sort of stuck with messiness right now. I hope I have the energy in a few weeks to really tackle the nursery. I have three big bags of clothes going to Goodwill today though, so that will make me feel accomplished once they're out of my car.
09-18-2014 07:33 AM
swimming-duck How's everyone else doing with this?
09-12-2014 08:48 AM
swimming-duck
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyTiger View Post
Oh NO! That sounds AWFUL. All the little pieces! Ugh. I hate how little things like that totally derail your day. I'm glad you can see the humor in it though. It usually takes me hours to see the funny side of anything like that.
I'm pretty sure it might take me weeks to see the funny side of that one!

I have not progressed much since the clothes and toys. I think I wore myself out...lol.

And I have a pile in the kitchen of things that need to be gone through from doing the various other projects. So I guess my new goal is to clear out all piles that were created in the first decluttering projects and then go from there to create new projects.
09-10-2014 04:21 PM
LilyTiger
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessieBird View Post
Make that two steps forward, TEN back!!! Not long after posting about the Floradix, I dumped a full adult-sized bowl of chilli all over the lego table. There went the two free hours I had to get started on cleaning out the pantry. Thank goodness I'm in a really good mood today and was able to laugh about it!
Oh NO! That sounds AWFUL. All the little pieces! Ugh. I hate how little things like that totally derail your day. I'm glad you can see the humor in it though. It usually takes me hours to see the funny side of anything like that.
09-10-2014 03:27 PM
JessieBird Make that two steps forward, TEN back!!! Not long after posting about the Floradix, I dumped a full adult-sized bowl of chilli all over the lego table. There went the two free hours I had to get started on cleaning out the pantry. Thank goodness I'm in a really good mood today and was able to laugh about it!
09-10-2014 12:08 PM
Chapsie oh no! Floradix stains terribly. Sorry about that!
09-10-2014 11:29 AM
JessieBird You guys are so inspiring! I got off to a great start but have been busy so far this week and have created more mess than I tackled. No progress on the master closet or the pantry.

However I did get the car cleaned out...sort of. It looks great now but contents that didn't go in the garbage are now piled in a box on my front deck, still waiting to be sorted and put away. So one job leads to another. Also I found the source of the smell and it is BAD. A friend who was moving out of the country left me a bag of baby stuff and at first glance it looked just like clothes and blankets. Well there was also an almost full bottle of Floradix, the liquid iron supplement, that had started to leak. It soaked into lots of really nice baby clothes and also through the car mat into the carpeting underneath. It's been really hot and humid here so the stench was incredible. Not only does my car stink but I also feel terrible about letting some nice baby things get ruined and wasting an expensive bottle of Floradix.

Two steps forward, three back it seems...
09-10-2014 05:19 AM
swimming-duck We have a ton of books and that probably won't change. With our schedule being what it is right now, every time I try to check out books from the library I end up not returning them on time and have huge late fees. I've just given up on using the library for now! That being said, I am going to be getting rid of some books. Anything that I feel is of little literary value will get tossed. So those obnoxious character based books that we seem to be gifted all of the time will definitely go! So for me personally I'm okay with having a lot of good quality literature as that's a high priority for us. I wouldn't feel comfortable limiting us with some arbitrary number. That being said, I guess if I was running out of shelf space and places to store books without having piles of books everywhere, then I'd know I needed to scale back somewhat or buy a bigger bookshelf!
09-09-2014 07:33 PM
girlspn How many books do you keep for a child?

We don't live close to a library (and the selection there isn't that great) so the books we have are either bought or gifted. My dd usually likes to listen to the same few over and over though.
09-09-2014 07:56 AM
LilyTiger My husband helped things along this week by organizing the front hall closet. He painted chalkboard paint labels on fabric bins and now we can easily swap out bins for winter stuff, summer stuff, picnic supplies, etc. Super helpful! Also very cute that he got into it so much.

I did a pretty thorough office clean last week and organized my class notes, so my work office is in great shape.

Next step is for him to clear his home improvement tools out of the kitchen. I'm going to try to tackle my craft area this week. I got started on it over the weekend and now just need to organize my quilting fabrics. I'd like to sew a sewing machine cover as a relaxing project, but there's not much time between work projects until two weeks from now, so that'll be my treat for finishing those up.

Other projects:
Organize and reduce gardening gear
Organize and throw away/give away/store art supplies
Organize nursery and maybe switch rooms around
09-08-2014 03:19 PM
swimming-duck Well, mission has been somewhat accomplished as far as the toys go. We went through the boys' bedroom over the weekend. It was definitely a team effort and my son did a pretty decent job of cooperating. The only hard and fast rule I set was if it's broken, it's getting tossed. We are NOT keeping broken toys...lol! He willingly gave up an entire set of lincoln logs because he plays with his other blocks and not those. There were a few things I had to nudge him a bit to part with, but overall the experience was positive for all. I also threw in a bunch of daycare toys. I'm going to go ahead and start paring down even though I have nearly two months left. I'm also down to two daycare kiddos, so really just a few choice items is all we really need to get by. I'm ready to convert my daycare home into a family home!!! I can't wait!!!
09-08-2014 06:15 AM
randic116 My main goal for this month is to not purchase too much stuff while on vacation... I also plan to clean out my own closet, my studio (sewing room), and see if I can get hubby to help with the garage. He's got so much crap in there, he had to take stuff out to get his new tractor inside...
09-06-2014 09:39 AM
swimming-duck ***Oops - I realized I put this in the wrong thread. I'm moving it. I'm not sure if I should delete it in the other thread or leave it there, but since it has to do with my personal Minimalist September goals, this thread seems more appropriate...lol!***

So far this month I've tackled my kiddos' clothes (in their room) and donated two huge bags of clothing, the large lawn and garden ones, to Goodwill. I did go through and discard shoes that had seen better days as well as set aside a pile to take to Goodwill. Also, I told my oldest son to pick out three stuffed animals to keep and picked out three for my youngest. My oldest ended up talking me into five, but since that was a significant improvement I let it go. I'm not aiming for minimalist perfection, but progress towards that end. I did make sure to get the bags out of the house asap before the kiddos could decide to look through them, change their mind, etc... I did mention to my kiddos that we're going to go through their room and choose toys to go to kids who don't have as many toys as they do. I also talked about how Santa will be bringing them new things before long and they need to make sure they have room for new stuff. I'm hoping I can kind of prep them for this. We'll see. In the end, I might have to be persuasive and talk them into getting rid of things I know they don't play with. But I wouldn't want to do their toys without them, even if it means we keep a bit more than I would like. We can always keep chipping away at it! I'm trying to emphasize the "these toys are going to kids who have less aspect" and hope that helps. We'll see! At some point I need to go down to the basement and go through tubs of clothing. I saved all of my oldest boy's clothing and honestly I'm glad I did because my youngest is exactly four years younger and all of the clothes have been in season and we wouldn't have had money to buy clothes with him. This one, however, is due in winter instead of summer so even if this ends up being a boy, a lot of the infant clothing will need to be replaced due to being off season. That being said, I have kept way too much. Additionally, our second DS did accumulate extra clothes here and there and there's no way we'll need all of it for future children. So, I'd like to go through the tubs and save the best and get rid of the rest. It would be wonderful if that could be accomplished before baby gets here. And actually it kind of needs to be so I know what I do have that can be used for our new baby. So I think that and toys will be my big goals for this month. I have other goals, but I have to be very realistic with the amount of time I have. Other than that, there's just this ongoing process of decluttering counters and surfaces. We have piles of papers and miscellaneous junk everywhere!

One big thing that will help is that we will be closing my home daycare business at the end of October. We've held onto so many things not because of personal attachment, but because they are sometimes necessary in the daycare. We also have more toddler toys than one family needs. So a lot of this will be tossed, donated, or sold once my daycare is officially closed. It's going to be a busy season!

On another note, when it comes to the kiddos toys I will throw out things that are definitely broken and cheap happy meal type toys when they're not paying attention. They've never asked about those kinds of things.
09-05-2014 09:19 PM
girlspn tonika, I tried both cotton and linen ring slings. Linen was cooler, but the fabric slipped through the rings often. Cotton was more secure, but the thicker fabric made baby wearing a lot warmer. I used the Maya wrap ring sling until dd was around 10 months old, and switched to a Boba carrier because the ring sling made my shoulder hurt after extended periods of time. Ring slings can be bought and sold secondhand on thebabywearer.com, so I was able to try a few different ones without spending too much.

Lanolin is really expensive here as well! I order from the US. The US definitely has better selection for baby stuff.
09-05-2014 06:08 AM
tonika momOplenty and girlspn - thank you so much! This is such helpful advice. I had heard from a friend here that lanolin is impossible, I will be bringing that back. And car seats are expensive and limited here, so we'll be buying that in the US as well.

What sort of material was your sling made of, girlspn? A sling seems a lot more comfortable than either a backpack style or wrap as there is less material touching you.

I wish I could just wear underwear most days here in the 95 and humid whether, I'm going to be jealous of our little guy!
09-04-2014 07:24 PM
3surfboys I also have the problem of too many hand-me-down clothes but it is so hard to not keep everything! She had so many summer clothes that didn't even leave the drawer, its sad - I should make a goal of keeping fewer clothes for this new baby girl. I also need a better organization method for toys. As for baby stuff - we don't use a crib or changing table - just keep diapers in a caddy that can be moved from room to room.
09-04-2014 06:49 PM
girlspn
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonika View Post
What advice do you all have for a first time mom to help us start out minimalist?
I'll take a shot at this! I'm on baby #2 and have a better idea now. I was actually surprised by how little babies need. We never had a crib, stroller, car seat (until we moved to a US territory), changing pad.. I breastfed, co-slept, and used cloth diapers, so that helped with keeping stuff minimal.

- What are your top priority items? **Baby sling (I used a ring sling), used for soothing and for when I'm up and about and need both hands free, also great for traveling; lanolin for your nipples if you're breastfeeding on demand

- What likely-not-available-in-developing-country item could you not live without? What would you pack if going on vacation? We lived in India for the first 2 years, and the thing I used most that wasn't available in India was my ring sling.


- Things to consider in a VERY HOT climate? **Baby can go without clothes or diapers sometimes. In the early months, I laid my dd on a waterproof pad under a window with just a cloth diaper (no cover). Sometimes with just a shirt and no diaper. Also, she didn't need hats, mittens, socks, etc. My dd also lived in the same 5-6 outfits for almost a year, and I realized babies don't need that much clothing. I hardly used bibs since the ones I had didn't contain the drooling or messes, I would just change her outfit. Usually didn't amount to more than 3 changes a day. We lived in hot climate and clothes dried quickly in the sun.


- We are cloth diapering and definitely need to get covers and various things in the US. We are doing pre-folds because it seems cheaper, will be cooler without a cover at home, and people in Nicaragua are very familiar with prefolds so for instance my mother-in-law will be comfortable with diaper changes from the get-go. But much of the paraphernalia is not available. Disposable liners - yes or no? Diaper pale liner - yes or no? Are wool covers for hot weather all they're cracked up to be? **I used a diaper pail without a liner. I just filled it with water and dumped the soiled diapers in them, tossed everything in the wash. I had one of those bags that hang on the door but ended up selling it. I didn't have disposable liners.. just used disposable diapers when we were traveling or when I knew we would be out for an extended period of time. As for covers, we used them occasionally, but dd was usually just in her flat diapers and nobody thought much of having to wipe up messes.
09-04-2014 12:02 PM
LilyTiger This is a neat post that really hit home for me. I totally let mental and physical "junk" pile up and it makes everything so much more stressful. I'm really trying to be mindful of the ways my different "lives" affect each other.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/...ge-everything/


As for me, my goal is getting the nursery minimized and organized so we're ready for the new baby. This includes organizing and reducing all the hand-me-downs we got from our daughter. She has like 6 2T fleeces. Totally unnecessary. I'd also like to organize my gardening gear before the season ends so it's not a mass of jumbled junk next year when I'm actually ready to plant.

If that goes well, I'd like to tackle my craft area, office at work, and car, in that order. My car isn't awful now since we just had it detailed a few months back thanks to toddler car-sickness. But I'd like to maintain it clutter free and my craft area is kind of a mess.
09-04-2014 11:48 AM
momOplenty
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonika View Post
What advice do you all have for a first time mom to help us start out minimalist?

Some of the baby gear popular these days has me scratching my head ($100 baby monitors? wipe warmers?). We want to stay away from the fluff and just get what we need.

We have a unique situation when it comes to baby gear access: We live in Nicaragua, where many brands and items aren't available and where of course the vast majority of people live without the aforementioned baby monitors and wipe warmers, let alone car seats and changing tables. What there is of US baby gear is very expensive. This is ok on the one hand since we want to be minimalist, but I also know there will be things we wish we had! What we do purchase in the US we need to get down here to Nicaragua within airline weight restrictions, and then get what we still really need BACK to the US when we move back when baby's 8 months old. We are planning a party in the US when we visit in October to see friends and family who we wont get to visit with for many months after the baby is born. So, since we could use the help financially and people will bring gifts anyway, we are putting together a registry to make sure that what we get is really what we need given our circumstances. I've been reading websites of baby gear lists, simple living lists, etc. But I'm still uncertain! It seems like even my friends who I'd think would be minimalist have baby stuff coming out of their ears. How do we prioritize? This is where I need help.

- What are your top priority items?
- What likely-not-available-in-developing-country item could you not live without? What would you pack if going on vacation?
- What things should we avoid?
- Things to consider in a VERY HOT climate?
- We are cloth diapering and definitely need to get covers and various things in the US. We are doing pre-folds because it seems cheaper, will be cooler without a cover at home, and people in Nicaragua are very familiar with prefolds so for instance my mother-in-law will be comfortable with diaper changes from the get-go. But much of the paraphernalia is not available. Disposable liners - yes or no? Diaper pale liner - yes or no? Are wool covers for hot weather all they're cracked up to be?

Your help is much appreciated!
my one fancy, modern suggestion, is just a car seat. that's about as high tech as we get here. a nice baby sling/carrier/whatever thing, is a necessity to me. after that, kids can poop in almost anything. we cloth diaper, and you don't have to have fancy ones or anything. though they're more convenient, so that's a bonus to have some. and also, being in a warmer climate, clothes are so much easier! no bulky winter clothing. i do store a couple of bins of winter stuff for the kids, it gets cold enough here to require jeans and coats (florida), and they're so fluffy, they take up so much room. makes me wanna just stay in the house and not leave for a couple of months. lol. i'm sure there are other nice things that are useful, but we never got them. and i'm far from a minimalist, i'm quite the hoarder (lol), but you don't *need* much at all, imo. oh, we did have a shaky-bouncer chair thing. someone gave it to us. a couple of the babies enjoyed it, but once they started rolling and stretching more, it wasn't safe. for one of those babies, that was by about 3 days old. i could put him in it, but it had to be right in front of me b/c he could roll out.
09-04-2014 11:27 AM
tonika What advice do you all have for a first time mom to help us start out minimalist?

Some of the baby gear popular these days has me scratching my head ($100 baby monitors? wipe warmers?). We want to stay away from the fluff and just get what we need.

We have a unique situation when it comes to baby gear access: We live in Nicaragua, where many brands and items aren't available and where of course the vast majority of people live without the aforementioned baby monitors and wipe warmers, let alone car seats and changing tables. What there is of US baby gear is very expensive. This is ok on the one hand since we want to be minimalist, but I also know there will be things we wish we had! What we do purchase in the US we need to get down here to Nicaragua within airline weight restrictions, and then get what we still really need BACK to the US when we move back when baby's 8 months old. We are planning a party in the US when we visit in October to see friends and family who we wont get to visit with for many months after the baby is born. So, since we could use the help financially and people will bring gifts anyway, we are putting together a registry to make sure that what we get is really what we need given our circumstances. I've been reading websites of baby gear lists, simple living lists, etc. But I'm still uncertain! It seems like even my friends who I'd think would be minimalist have baby stuff coming out of their ears. How do we prioritize? This is where I need help.

- What are your top priority items?
- What likely-not-available-in-developing-country item could you not live without? What would you pack if going on vacation?
- What things should we avoid?
- Things to consider in a VERY HOT climate?
- We are cloth diapering and definitely need to get covers and various things in the US. We are doing pre-folds because it seems cheaper, will be cooler without a cover at home, and people in Nicaragua are very familiar with prefolds so for instance my mother-in-law will be comfortable with diaper changes from the get-go. But much of the paraphernalia is not available. Disposable liners - yes or no? Diaper pale liner - yes or no? Are wool covers for hot weather all they're cracked up to be?

Your help is much appreciated!
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