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Old 02-11-2013, 08:17 PM   #11
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Re: Time to be ruthless! added photos

Ok, here are some thoughts. First off, do you need two dining sets? Think about if you really use and need two dining tables and the accompanying chairs. Also in the kitchen you have open shelves next to the sink. It might look/feel less cluttered if you didn't use those shelves.

Another thing to consider is of you need the drying rack. I know I always thought I did, bit I tossed it and am much happier. (They are SUCH counter space hogs!) I try to deal with dishes right away; either into the dishwasher, or by hand. I have two absorbent dishpads I dry things on, and they are in a drawer if not in use.

For the books, I have a few thoughts. One is that because they are stacked in a more haphazard fashion, they feel unruly. To create calm, you could (a) purge so you have few enough books to all play nicely on the shelves, (b) store some books on the top, unused, shelf to create more space, (c) add curtains to the front, or (d) get one bigger bookshelf instead of two small ones.

Good luck! I'm trying to be ruthless, too

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:16 AM   #12
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Re: Time to be ruthless! added photos

I use flickr too and it's a pain, but if you click 'view all sizes' you can then select the size you want. Right click it and select 'copy image location' then you can paste into the image url box and it should come up imbedded like this:


I think your house is beautiful! The windows and big kitchen and everything- awesome! It also seems very waldorf to me

Anyway, we all have our stumbling blocks, just remember it's a process!
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:56 AM   #13
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Re: Time to be ruthless! added photos

Tara, I love that you are documenting your process!I can't wait to see updates as you go along. All in all, I think your house doesn't look overcome with stuff, but I understand (all to well the desire to minimize! Just some ideas from looking at your photos.

In general, I have discovered that clean surfaces and bare (or minimally decorated) walls help create the illusion of simplicity and calm my spirit. So even if you don't have time to get to every nook and cranny, tote and shelf, it can give you a place to start and motivate you to keep going as time allows. I ended up taking most of our family photos off the wall and most pictures/decor too. I realized I had become blind to them and wasn't enjoying them anymore - they were just another thing to dust. You might consider that. Although you don't have a lot of things on the walls, having a number of small things spread out all over can be visually distracting. Maybe you could make a grouping of all the items or you favorites on one wall. Keeping things like ledges, table tops, window sills, and the tops of cupboards clear goes a long way. How important to you are the plants, little framed items, candlesticks etc?

Living Room:
Your curtains all seem to be tucked up. Is this to keep little ones out of them? Could you just take them down? It looks like you have a beautiful wooded lot outside, why not enjoy the view : ) I like the toy storage with the open bins on the bottom! Can you pare down toys so that they will all fit there? I don't see many in other places, but (just a thought here) what if you were able to purge toys and books to the point that you no longer needed the small shelf in the living room? I agree with the pp that organizing the items on the big bookshelves will help. I'd take down the license plate.

Dining Room:
This room is already pretty simplistic. I love the hardwood floor. I'd remove the picture from the wall and the items from the top of the cupboard. I'd keep the globe, if this is your homeschool area. As time allows you can get to the hidden problem areas : )

Kitchen:
I agree with pp about the dish drainer. Can it go? Do you need both tables? Imagine your kitchen with that open space... what could you make there? a small sewing nook just for mama maybe? Then could you create a library space in the dining room with all the shelves in a central location? I agree that the open shelves by the sink are a little visually distracting. I LOVE that big bay window, my mom had one when I was growing up. I remember that the window ledge was often a parking ground for stuff though... I guess I had this compulsion to minimize as a child too : )

Anyway those are just some thoughts. Can't wait to see what you decide to do! You can do it!
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:35 AM   #14
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Re: Time to be ruthless! added photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by leadmare View Post
Ok, here are some thoughts. First off, do you need two dining sets? Think about if you really use and need two dining tables and the accompanying chairs. Also in the kitchen you have open shelves next to the sink. It might look/feel less cluttered if you didn't use those shelves.

Another thing to consider is of you need the drying rack. I know I always thought I did, bit I tossed it and am much happier. (They are SUCH counter space hogs!) I try to deal with dishes right away; either into the dishwasher, or by hand. I have two absorbent dishpads I dry things on, and they are in a drawer if not in use.

For the books, I have a few thoughts. One is that because they are stacked in a more haphazard fashion, they feel unruly. To create calm, you could (a) purge so you have few enough books to all play nicely on the shelves, (b) store some books on the top, unused, shelf to create more space, (c) add curtains to the front, or (d) get one bigger bookshelf instead of two small ones.

Good luck! I'm trying to be ruthless, too
Thank you! I cleared those side shelves off and the kitchen looks so much neater!! Trying without the dishrack too but we wash everything by hand (broken dishwasher) so will see how it works for us. I like having that counter space open though. I straightened the books too and they look much nicer now. The dining sets, ah.....let's just say this has been a topic of discussion here a few times and I am not winning the battle so I have dropped it. Is old much rather do away with the kitchen set and eat in the dining room, but alas the rest of the family likes to eat at the small cramped table.

Anymore suggestions anyone??
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:39 AM   #15
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Re: Time to be ruthless! added photos

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Originally Posted by babykp08 View Post
Tara, I love that you are documenting your process!I can't wait to see updates as you go along. All in all, I think your house doesn't look overcome with stuff, but I understand (all to well the desire to minimize! Just some ideas from looking at your photos.

In general, I have discovered that clean surfaces and bare (or minimally decorated) walls help create the illusion of simplicity and calm my spirit. So even if you don't have time to get to every nook and cranny, tote and shelf, it can give you a place to start and motivate you to keep going as time allows. I ended up taking most of our family photos off the wall and most pictures/decor too. I realized I had become blind to them and wasn't enjoying them anymore - they were just another thing to dust. You might consider that. Although you don't have a lot of things on the walls, having a number of small things spread out all over can be visually distracting. Maybe you could make a grouping of all the items or you favorites on one wall. Keeping things like ledges, table tops, window sills, and the tops of cupboards clear goes a long way. How important to you are the plants, little framed items, candlesticks etc?

Living Room:
Your curtains all seem to be tucked up. Is this to keep little ones out of them? Could you just take them down? It looks like you have a beautiful wooded lot outside, why not enjoy the view : ) I like the toy storage with the open bins on the bottom! Can you pare down toys so that they will all fit there? I don't see many in other places, but (just a thought here) what if you were able to purge toys and books to the point that you no longer needed the small shelf in the living room? I agree with the pp that organizing the items on the big bookshelves will help. I'd take down the license plate.

Dining Room:
This room is already pretty simplistic. I love the hardwood floor. I'd remove the picture from the wall and the items from the top of the cupboard. I'd keep the globe, if this is your homeschool area. As time allows you can get to the hidden problem areas : )

Kitchen:
I agree with pp about the dish drainer. Can it go? Do you need both tables? Imagine your kitchen with that open space... what could you make there? a small sewing nook just for mama maybe? Then could you create a library space in the dining room with all the shelves in a central location? I agree that the open shelves by the sink are a little visually distracting. I LOVE that big bay window, my mom had one when I was growing up. I remember that the window ledge was often a parking ground for stuff though... I guess I had this compulsion to minimize as a child too : )

Anyway those are just some thoughts. Can't wait to see what you decide to do! You can do it!
Thank you I will work on some of these, just saw this today

So many of these things I have mulled over but dh and I have different trains of thought will see what I can do without getting into a debate

Oh and the plants lol, please don't start me on that. I disposed of all items on the windowsills and was so happy they were clear then my mil comes and give me the amaryllis and says "I noticed you don't have any plants" :/ I know she meant well...then she went with dh to shop and he came home with the other plant for me. I gently told him I was trying not to collect plants again but will keep that one and appreciated the thought. Anyway the amaryllises is almost done and will be gone soon then I'm down to just the one plant in the kitchen and an aloe in the dining room. Phew.

Does anyone else run into people who are well meaning undoing progress? Seems like when I get rid of lots and can breathe in a room someone one buys me something they feel I was lacking. I am getting better bout refusing or just getting rid of the items anyway but it makes it difficult.
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Last edited by marliah; 02-13-2013 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #16
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Re: Time to be ruthless! added photos

I just wanted to chime back in with more encouragement. I hear you on well meaning people trying to give you stuff. I feel like I've also gotten better at saying "no thank you" or quietly letting something go- but it's still a little awkward.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:36 PM   #17
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Re: Time to be ruthless! added photos

Use your dishwasher as a drying rack. That is what I did when we were without a working dishwasher for a few months. I put the clean wet dishes in there and cracked the door open for circulation to dry. The dishes dry faster when spread out in the dishwasher rather than piled all over each other in a drying rack.

ETA I think we had that same dishwasher in a bisque color. That thing crapped out on us a couple of months after buying this house.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:59 PM   #18
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Hi Tara! How's it coming? I sympathize and understand the challenge of well intentioned people thwarting your minimalism! My DH and his Mom are awesome at that he's the king of "it was free!" and "it could come in handy one day!" I think he's either coming around or giving in though because he's come to accept that thing disappear permanently around here . I love the suggestion to use your dishwasher as a drying rack. About the kitchen table, do you have any space to store it temporarily? Garage, basement, enclosed porch? Could you convince your DH to try living with just the dining room table for awhile? Then if it works out, you can pass the table along and if not you can just put it back! Can't wait for an update! You can do it

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Old 02-21-2013, 08:15 AM   #19
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Re: Time to be ruthless! added photos

I'm guessing the reason your friends aren't very helpful is because they think your house looks great to them... I feel like my house has way too much stuff but everyone I know thinks it looks empty

Anyway... I actually would keep both tables since you are homeschooling. I'm no longer homeschooling but when I was I hated having to clear up all the books so we could eat lunch or not being able to get started because someone was still eating breakfast...

I also would try to consolidate all the homeschool stuff into one room. I'm assuming the book shelves are homeschool, could you put them into the dining room and move the sewing stuff somewhere else.

Can you get the toys all into one area of the living room (I don't think the slide is an eyesore at all... you have kids!)

Can't wait to see your progress (and I love the basket of Sandys... definitely keep those )
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