I LOVE being a minimalist. It sort of became a necessity as our family grew. I have a 4 year old, 3 year old, 11 month old and I'm due in 2 months. :goodvibes: We live in a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom townhouse that's only 1000 sq. ft. :goodvibes:
I started really purging about a year ago, maybe longer. The biggest things to keep under control with lots of kids (and a very well intentioned MIL) are the toys, as I'm sure everyone here is familiar with. I think we do pretty good. I have a rule about plastic....it leaves just about as fast as it came in. There are two exceptions, the green toys stuff (for the kitchen), and playmobil. My kids play with their playmobil sets EVERY day.
I am nesting like crazy right now, so DH spends most of his time installing shelving and moving boxes and furniture. Bless his heart. The hardest thing for me to par down is my kitchen. I cook every meal from scratch, and I love doing it. I just can't seem to get rid of anything because I honestly use all of it. I just packed up my salad spinner and I miss it already, even though I haven't had salad since. I've been busy and pregnant and buying big boxes of pre-made organic stuff at costco anyway. I also got these beautiful new casserole dishes for my birthday and they went straight to storage. I didn't even open the box. I would return them, but I love them. I keep thinking I'll have more room in my next kitchen. I have the smallest kitchen ever, no joke. I'll take photos maybe tomorrow when it's cleaner.
I'm excited to get to know you ladies. So what made you become a minimalist? What non necessities do you keep around?
10-10-2011, 05:45 PM
I have fallen hard for this forum.
I'm a minimalist wanna-be.
I have a hard time walking away from bargains. Today I dropped off a bag of things at the thrift store. I had absolutely no intention of browsing. But then I realized they were having their fill-a-bag-for-five-dollars sale. Immediately, my mind started racing. I've [unfortunately] had plenty of practice at these sales, and because of that I have this amazing ability to fold, cram, pile, and otherwise manipulate an astonishing amount of "stuff" into a bag.
I left empty-handed! At first I felt like I'd made a major mistake. I mean, I could have just given it a chance. These sales are unannounced. I was one of the "lucky" ones that happened upon that glorious sale. And who knows what I could have found!?
But now I feel strong.... and HAPPY that I'm not burdened with that extra bag of stuff.
10-10-2011, 06:17 PM
Hi and welcome! I became a minimalist about a year ago and am now in the maintenance phase. I have always had a pretty good outlook regarding non-attachment though. I keep lots of non essential surfboards, my DHs old suburban, and too much wine around :). Our house is not perfect, but we always feel like it is manageable and that people are more important than things. We really came to minimalism because I think the consumerism related to the "American dream" is a fallacy and that excess stuff just ruins people. We just purge stuff when we are done with it, and don't buy too much to begin with. We have a 900sq. Ft. House, but have lived in a much smaller space. We feel very content with this lifestyle.
10-12-2011, 06:52 PM
Welcome!!! I love this forum :goodvibes:
10-12-2011, 06:55 PM
Welcome! I became a minimalist out of necessity, too. I always have leaned toward being one but have really become serious about it about 8 months ago when we moved into our current apartment. We live in an 800 sqft (2 bed, 1 bath) apartment with 4 kids (soon to be 5!). I am really nesting/purging now too because I need to fit all 4 kiddies into 1 bedroom so I can have the newbie in my bedroom (right now my 15 month old is still in there with me).
I am super strict about the amount of toys and clothes we have. I also have a rule that if I haven't used it in 6 months without good reason (i.e Christmas stuff obviously hasn't been used in over 6 months), then I donate it or sell it on craigslist.
I plan to share pics once I am done as I am quite proud to say we can fit this many people in this small of a space fairly comfortably and also be organized. ;) I actually don't mind the square footage at all, so much less clutter and less to clean! My only gripe is that we don't have a washer or dryer.... And, I imagine as the kids get bigger we will need to move someplace with a 3rd bedroom. But even then, I don't want a huge house and I will still keep to being minimalist.
I think the only "non-necessities" are my fabric and yarn stashes. However, I've made an effort to use up what I have and not add any more to the pile. I've gotten my yarn down from a rubbermaid container to a small craft box. My fabric is in a rubbermaid container still but that is because I had been focusing on the yarn. I have plans for the fabric and it will be downsized before this babe comes.
10-12-2011, 07:12 PM
Honestly? I grew up with a mom as bad as the people on the TV show "Hoarders" Everything was dirty and piled. I couldn't handle it. My room was my safe haven and ever since then I have not had the desire at all to be surrounded by a ton of stuff. I literally panic if anything is disorganized and anyone else can see it. I know that isn't normal. My kids have a decent amount of toys but I have them organize them in their closets so we can close the door and not see them when we are done playing with them. The rest of the house is organized the way I like. The only decorations I have are big open windows and sunlight... just how I like it. We live in a 3 bedroom, 1200 sq ft apt and are moving into a much bigger 4 bedroom house in a month. We don't keep a lot around but I think I am going to have to buy more furniture or we may end up with a bunch of empty rooms. That would also kind of bug me. I like everywhere to be a useful space.
10-13-2011, 02:56 PM
This is easily my favorite forum. I think its because I'm so passionate about minimalism (and don't need any more diapers because of that :giggle2: )
I didn't even realize what we were doing was minimalism; I was thinking more about environmentalism and living tiny/"carbon footprint". When I started realizing there was more to it (consumerism, simplicity parenting, etc.) it became even more important. I was like this with vegetarianism too! Funny how important learning is, huh!
10-13-2011, 03:52 PM
I am totally inspired to clean out even more by this forum. Today I am going through my bookshelves again, it's amazing how much more I can remove. It's kind of like when you chop your hair off, you keep going shorter and shorter. That's how it is for me anyway. I think it's easier to weed stuff out the second time around. Less clutter clears your head and it's easier to look at the big picture.
Now I just have to get DH excited about going through his things. :)
10-13-2011, 11:07 PM
If left to my own devices I'd have almost no 'stuff' anywhere, not in drawers, counters, closets, the garage, the yard, no where. But I'm married to Mr. Packrat, so then what do you do? Arrrrgh.