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Old 09-20-2012, 02:15 PM   #1
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Steps to becoming a Minimalist Family ??

I was wondering if this is something that can be learned or is being a minimalist something that is just born into you? If it can be learned what are some steps one might take to becoming more of a minimalist family? We have a lot of "just stuff" and it really is taking a toll on my health. It truely stresses me out but at the same time I love to buy things. How can I learn to buy what is absolutely needed and what is just fluff?

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Old 09-20-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Re: Steps to becoming a Minimalist Family ??

How about Francine Jay's book "Joy of Less"? It goes space by space and tells you how to tackle it. She wrote it pre-kids so it isn't quite as family specific, but it is good at getting to the mental reasons you have stuff and how to let go.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: Steps to becoming a Minimalist Family ??

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Originally Posted by Joluru View Post
How about Francine Jay's book "Joy of Less"? It goes space by space and tells you how to tackle it. She wrote it pre-kids so it isn't quite as family specific, but it is good at getting to the mental reasons you have stuff and how to let go.
I havent read the book yet but I do enjoy her blog: http://www.missminimalist.com/ She is much more minimalist than we are!

I think you can learn minimalism and once you start getting rid of some of the stuff that stresses you out it will help to curb the urge to make excessive purchases. After many trips to goodwill you will look at items you are considering purchasing and ask yourself if it is something you will want to keep a long time or you will soon find burdensome. I think staying out of stores goes a long way. At home I often find myself wanting to get rid of most of our belongings. But when I shop I fall for the marketing schemes and find myself tempted by many things I felt no need for before entering the store.

I also recently caught part of Trash Inc. and that is motivating me to reduce my waste. For me I want to purchases less items, better quality, use the items to their fullest and recycle whats left if possible.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:04 AM   #4
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Re: Steps to becoming a Minimalist Family ??

It can be learned and I feel like it helps (not 100%, but it does help) you only want to buy what you need or love and leave the fluff for someone else that needs or loves it. Also, if you minimalize your activities, you might find more joy in down time with your family over shopping. I like shopping with my daughter, but she much prefers playing outside with me. It's better for both of us and our budget and I get to be more present with her who is, after all, my favorite present.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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Re: Steps to becoming a Minimalist Family ??

To curb the buying, I started doing other things. I read pinterest and see what kinds of activities I can do with the little. We go to the park. I spend a lot of time thinking about house decor and paint, instead of little knick-knacks and the like.

To start getting rid of stuff, I went room by room. I started with my living room and rearranged the furniture, pulling out any unnecessary furniture and little stuff. Most of that is in the donate pile. Then, I went to the dining room and got rid of all the lingering stuff in there, then the kitchen - rearranged cabinets and pulled out all the crap we weren't using.

Rearranging was the key for me. It feels like we have so much more room now! It's so easy to clean.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Re: Steps to becoming a Minimalist Family ??

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Originally Posted by Joluru View Post
How about Francine Jay's book "Joy of Less"? It goes space by space and tells you how to tackle it. She wrote it pre-kids so it isn't quite as family specific, but it is good at getting to the mental reasons you have stuff and how to let go.
Thank you very much. I will check it out!

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Originally Posted by hezdwoody View Post
I havent read the book yet but I do enjoy her blog: http://www.missminimalist.com/ She is much more minimalist than we are!

I think you can learn minimalism and once you start getting rid of some of the stuff that stresses you out it will help to curb the urge to make excessive purchases. After many trips to goodwill you will look at items you are considering purchasing and ask yourself if it is something you will want to keep a long time or you will soon find burdensome. I think staying out of stores goes a long way. At home I often find myself wanting to get rid of most of our belongings. But when I shop I fall for the marketing schemes and find myself tempted by many things I felt no need for before entering the store.

I also recently caught part of Trash Inc. and that is motivating me to reduce my waste. For me I want to purchases less items, better quality, use the items to their fullest and recycle whats left if possible.
Thank you for the link! Most of my purchases are online Some are in the stores but most are online. Most is for my boys. Clothes, toys, tot school stuff, books etc. However, both my husband and I have spending issues.

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It can be learned and I feel like it helps (not 100%, but it does help) you only want to buy what you need or love and leave the fluff for someone else that needs or loves it. Also, if you minimalize your activities, you might find more joy in down time with your family over shopping. I like shopping with my daughter, but she much prefers playing outside with me. It's better for both of us and our budget and I get to be more present with her who is, after all, my favorite present.
This is what I am having a hard time with. I feel like I desparately NEED these things until I get them and maybe use them once and then I seen the error of my ways. I like the idea of trying to do more activities with the fam. Already though I am thinking I need more things to spend more time with them. We need a bike for my youngest, a bat and ball, some outdoor games and the list goes on. Maybe I'm just not creative enough to think of things to do without buying stuff.

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To curb the buying, I started doing other things. I read pinterest and see what kinds of activities I can do with the little. We go to the park. I spend a lot of time thinking about house decor and paint, instead of little knick-knacks and the like.

To start getting rid of stuff, I went room by room. I started with my living room and rearranged the furniture, pulling out any unnecessary furniture and little stuff. Most of that is in the donate pile. Then, I went to the dining room and got rid of all the lingering stuff in there, then the kitchen - rearranged cabinets and pulled out all the crap we weren't using.

Rearranging was the key for me. It feels like we have so much more room now! It's so easy to clean.
I would love to concentrate on home decor and upgrading the house but I buy so much junk nothing gets saved to buy anything for the house. I like the room by room attempt. I'll try that. I agree, it is very difficult for me to clean some of the rooms in the house right now because of all of the junk! I've started with the boys clothes this week but I have found myself already purchasing more because the boys are sizing up and it's coming into the cold season where we need different clothes.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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Re: Steps to becoming a Minimalist Family ??

How about a yard sale? Sell all the stuff you do not need, including outgrown clothes. Put the money into a few things for the house (if you are starting from scratch, you'll need storage furniture and baskets and the like!). Sell the more expensive things on Craigslist.

That means you will go through each room, sorting out all the stuff you don't want. There's your initial cleanup and any money you need to get started with the storage furniture/accessories!

If it's overwhelming, I follow a system called Unf*ck your habitat. It's a little crude, but you can find it on tumblr. It basically breaks down cleaning into 20 minute segments of cleaning/organizing/purging, 10 minutes of break. You do as many of those as you want to or CAN do, and get it done. Once those are done, you put it out of your mind until the next day.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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I used to be REALLY bad about buying things I "needed", only to find out I didn't.

What worked for me was a 30 Day List - anything I wanted to buy I put on the list, with the date. 30 days later, if I still I want to buy it, I can. I still make mistakes, but it cut down on them a lot.

It's been about a year, and I hardly use the list any more, except to keep track of where to buy the stuff - I'm an online shopper mostly. It's habit now, to mull things over for a while.

I used a pintrest board for my 30 day list.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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Re: Steps to becoming a Minimalist Family ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by smores View Post
How about a yard sale? Sell all the stuff you do not need, including outgrown clothes. Put the money into a few things for the house (if you are starting from scratch, you'll need storage furniture and baskets and the like!). Sell the more expensive things on Craigslist.

That means you will go through each room, sorting out all the stuff you don't want. There's your initial cleanup and any money you need to get started with the storage furniture/accessories!

If it's overwhelming, I follow a system called Unf*ck your habitat. It's a little crude, but you can find it on tumblr. It basically breaks down cleaning into 20 minute segments of cleaning/organizing/purging, 10 minutes of break. You do as many of those as you want to or CAN do, and get it done. Once those are done, you put it out of your mind until the next day.
Ok, we just posted some bigger things on Craigslist I think I will list some kids clothes on here and maybe ebay. I hate yardsales Thanks for the good tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaith View Post
I used to be REALLY bad about buying things I "needed", only to find out I didn't.

What worked for me was a 30 Day List - anything I wanted to buy I put on the list, with the date. 30 days later, if I still I want to buy it, I can. I still make mistakes, but it cut down on them a lot.

It's been about a year, and I hardly use the list any more, except to keep track of where to buy the stuff - I'm an online shopper mostly. It's habit now, to mull things over for a while.

I used a pintrest board for my 30 day list.
This is a really good idea! I like the list and 30 days to think about it. I'm starting this tonight! Thank you!



Thank you ladies for all the wonderful tips and advice. It is really helping and I'm feeling motivated (so is hubby)!
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