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-   -   Anyone decluttering their LIFE? (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1494265)

tabitha84 02-23-2013 12:30 AM

Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
Hi ladies. Can I join you?! I've been checking in here for a while now as I've been decluttering and minimizing our belongings. I am not a pack rat or over decorater type anyway, so it comes easily to me. Reading minimalist blogs has made me start to reconsider things that I thought I had to keep, so I'm getting rid of more than ever.

It has been on my mind lately to cut back on appointments and activities. Even to sell my car and share DH's (plus use our bikes and public transportation). Also, to cancel our cable TV, Netflix and gym membership. All of these things require a financial commitment, which creates a demand for DH to make a certain amount of money. He makes enough to cover that stuff, but its seems like a minimalist would use that money for something more meaningful or even choose to work less and be with the family more.

I'm really curious how far you ladies have taken it? I want to make these other changes, but I'm worried I might regret it. Also, DH isn't on board with "this minimalist BS," so I don't want to go to great lengths to convince him to, sell my car for instance, then have us be miserable sharing his car, KWIM?

mrspopo 02-23-2013 08:35 AM

Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
Yay, welcome!

I like the idea of simplifying life and minimizing the extras that cause stress. We've been doing that gradually and it is really gratifying for us. And as I go I keep finding more things I can be minimalist about.

I do think if you make too many changes too fast it might be a little overwhelming. I wouldn't change anything too drastically that you can't un-do. We're tackling one thing at a time and that has been very helpful. I've found it to be a philosophy change that I probably couldn't have maintained if I did things fast. Instead it came naturally as I decluttered.

If DH isn't on board with it, then you're going to be banging your forehead on a brick wall. My DH can follow the logic and say "that makes sense," but when it comes to simplifying the errands (switching brands), hoping he'll get rid of his "treasures" and going with a simpler phone he looks at me like I'm asking him to cut off a limb. So again, the gradual thing works where he can see the progress and appreciate the benefits. I can tackle things that he will be on board with as his preferences change as well.

In your shoes I absolutely would not sell the car at this point (or anything really drastic). The benefits are not easy to see right away, but the inconveniences you'll notice at first will be very obvious and may cause more resistance and resentment.

P!nkPepper 02-23-2013 08:46 AM

Hi! Of course you can join! Welcome. :)

All of your ideas are good ones but PLEASE before you sell your car, park it for a month & try one car living. I have done it & it is very difficult unless you live somewhere where everything is within easy walking distance. It worked for us ONLY because I had 1 child, the doctor's office was visible from my house and everything else was within a 10 minute walk at the most and it was safe.

Good luck. My kiddos are fighting so I gotta go or else I would write more.

Jodie ~ mama to Big K, Medium K & Lil' k

tabitha84 02-23-2013 08:53 AM

Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mrspopo (Post 16323614)
Yay, welcome!

I like the idea of simplifying life and minimizing the extras that cause stress. We've been doing that gradually and it is really gratifying for us. And as I go I keep finding more things I can be minimalist about.

I do think if you make too many changes too fast it might be a little overwhelming. I wouldn't change anything too drastically that you can't un-do. We're tackling one thing at a time and that has been very helpful. I've found it to be a philosophy change that I probably couldn't have maintained if I did things fast. Instead it came naturally as I decluttered.

If DH isn't on board with it, then you're going to be banging your forehead on a brick wall. My DH can follow the logic and say "that makes sense," but when it comes to simplifying the errands (switching brands), hoping he'll get rid of his "treasures" and going with a simpler phone he looks at me like I'm asking him to cut off a limb. So again, the gradual thing works where he can see the progress and appreciate the benefits. I can tackle things that he will be on board with as his preferences change as well.

In your shoes I absolutely would not sell the car at this point (or anything really drastic). The benefits are not easy to see right away, but the inconveniences you'll notice at first will be very obvious and may cause more resistance and resentment.

You said it perfectly. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Your DH sounds similar to mine. He already agreed to cut the cable and would be thrilled if we had less appointments/activities to take the kids to, but when I mentioned getting rid of the TV, he flipped. I'm ok with keeping the TV if he's that attched to it. I just don't like the kids seeing all the advertisemsents. I think you're totally right that I shouldn't get too drastic all at once. That is so my personality. Maybe I can start biking and walking with the boys and pretend I don't have my own car. If I can manage it for a long time, then it will be easier to convince DH... and myself.

tabitha84 02-23-2013 09:08 AM

Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Quickshep19 (Post 16323661)
Hi! Of course you can join! Welcome. :)

All of your ideas are good ones but PLEASE before you sell your car, park it for a month & try one car living. I have done it & it is very difficult unless you live somewhere where everything is within easy walking distance. It worked for us ONLY because I had 1 child, the doctor's office was visible from my house and everything else was within a 10 minute walk at the most and it was safe.

Good luck. My kiddos are fighting so I gotta go or else I would write more.

Jodie ~ mama to Big K, Medium K & Lil' k

We did it before when I was working part time and I had to walk a mile to the nearest bus stop. The buses don't run on Sunday here and that was one of the days I worked. And I got pregnant with DS2, so we only lasted a few months. But, we saved sooooo much money. Even more that expected (insurance, maintanence, fuel, car payment). Because I didn't have a car I couldn't run to the store on every whim and we totally cut out drive thru food. Now we live across the street from the school my son will go to next year and the city bus stops at the entrance of our street. Also, I don't work now, so I don't have to worry about commuting. We would definitely keep DH's car and I could never get him to ride a city bus. His car is paid off and gets better gas milage. I figure I could just wait untill he's home in the evening to get groceries, which I like to do anyway so I don't have to take the monsters. I feel like having one car for our family is more environmentally responsible, although not as convinient. And it would force me to really consider adding activities/appointments to mine and my kids' schedules. I mean you really have to want to do it if you have to take two kids on a city bus to get there, haha!
All sounds good in theory, but you're right, it's a big change.

sweetest 02-23-2013 09:35 AM

Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
I am minimalizing in order to simplify...

Getting rid of my car would complicate my life in more ways than it would simplify it...

I would definitely recommend keeping the car and just challenging yourself not to use if for a few months. If you do use it during your challenge then really think about what your experience would have been like if you hadn't had the extra car.

I say go for it with the cable and gym membership (if you can get DH on board, of course). We cut cable down to the bear minimum (we still have about 9 months left on a contract and once our committment is ended we are cutting it completely) and bought a Roku. We all watch much less tv and when we do watch it is much more intentional!

tabitha84 02-23-2013 09:48 AM

Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sweetest (Post 16323825)
I am minimalizing in order to simplify...

Getting rid of my car would complicate my life in more ways than it would simplify it...

I would definitely recommend keeping the car and just challenging yourself not to use if for a few months. If you do use it during your challenge then really think about what your experience would have been like if you hadn't had the extra car.

I say go for it with the cable and gym membership (if you can get DH on board, of course). We cut cable down to the bear minimum (we still have about 9 months left on a contract and once our committment is ended we are cutting it completely) and bought a Roku. We all watch much less tv and when we do watch it is much more intentional!

Yes, I can totally see how some families couldn't manage with only one car. I think we could manage. I could even take DH to work, which is only 10 minutes away, on days I needed the car. I estimate that we would save around $620 a month by selling my car, so it's very tempting. :)

tabitha84 02-23-2013 10:02 AM

Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
Has anyone cut out extra activities? My 5yo goes to preschool 4 mornings a week and has two different weekly appointments. I feel like they add so much stress and rushing to my life. But, I'm not sure if that's an area it's okay to minimalize. A true minimalist would say yes, of course! But, I want to be practical and make sure I'm doing what's best for my kids. My 5yo will be in K in the Fall so we will have to do that 5 days a week regardless, so I'm not sure if it makes sense to feel stressed by PS (except that it's farther away, and he insists he hates it. He actually likes it, tho).
So, do you find that your kids are happier with less sports, lessons and other obligations or do you guys manage them fine?

drabekgirl 02-23-2013 12:08 PM

Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
I'd say let the kids have time for creative play instead of taking them from one activity to another. We only allow 1 sport and church.

I've turned off the TV during the week its allowed on the weekends only. You'd be amazed at how quiet it is around here. But we don't have cable just 12 free channels. We've also turned it completely off from Thanksgiving through Christmas to get away from the commercialism.

And yes all our appointments are already made on the same days b/c we live so far from town.

~Laura~ 02-23-2013 12:41 PM

Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?
 
We were never really big into extra activities but even one is so much added stress. Have you read Simplicity Parenting? It talks a lot about simplifying your schedule. I love it. My kids love to just play. I know many families that are always running around, usually separately because of their extra appointments, games etc. You have some great ideas to get started.


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