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Old 10-01-2012, 03:59 PM   #11
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Re: Favorite Minimalist Products?

Favorite product... bookshelves and bins. I mean, you can be as minimalist as you please, but you still need storage to make everything organized and calm. That's the biggest issue we have, so every time I bring home another storage device, it feels like a breath of fresh air.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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Re: Favorite Minimalist Products?

I like the bowl set. But we are in a plastic stage with our kids.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
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Re: Favorite Minimalist Products?

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Originally Posted by clothlover8 View Post
I am really struggling atm with how to balance minimalism and easyness (is that a word) with reuseable environmental products. I find a lot of the products that would really make my life easier and more simple are disposable or chemical type things, which I cant afford really and don't want to use.
Can you elaborate? The only thing that I've found that really clashes with my minimalist mission is convenience and packaged processed foods. Otherwise, the diapers, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, etc I've found to be just as easy if not easier to use when I streamline and go minimalist/green.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #14
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Honestly for me the best minimalist tool is the garbage can or the car to take things AWAY.

But lately I've wished I had some of those re-usable sandwich and other food bags. I'm sick of throwing those little baggies away all the time. I don't know if that is minimalist or environmentalist
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #15
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Re: Favorite Minimalist Products?

I think Id have to say the most useful minimalist "tool" would be baking soda and vinegar. You can replace an entire cabinet of cleaning supplies with those two items, and they are CHEAP, and they are not super toxic like "mainstream" cleaners.
Other than that, I agree 100% on the diva cup replacing all the menstrual paraphernalia in the bathroom.
Oh, and I like to use the reusable coffee tumblers with the lids that look like the throw away kind that you get from coffee houses and such. I know most people have at least one or two, but heres the thing- I like to use them for ALL my drinks. They dont just keep coffee hot without burning hands, they also keep cold drinks cool without freezing your hands. Plus, they are pretty easy to clean, and sturdier than glasses when you have kids and tile floors. Finally, the lid helps cut down on spills enough that even my kids drink from them. I actually found some at Sams a while back that have a sliding lid so that on one side its the coffee type opening, and on the other side you can put a straw in for cold drinks.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:30 PM   #16
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Re: Favorite Minimalist Products?

I hate visual clutter. No matter how few things I have, if my towels are old and tattered and clashing, it seems cluttered to me. If I ripped a pillowcase, I can't just mismatch a set. I can't stand piled up storage just because it's tucked away

My house is FAR from cookie cutter, we made many of the household things we own, and we get vintage pieces on the cheap often, but I need mismatched things to coordinate and I can't have tattered things without any coherence. That being said: I spend VERY little on our household, but when we do spend anything, we get something that we know we'll love for a long time and is of a quality that will last just as long.

Examples of little things that I've changed that make me breathe easier:

mismatched wire and plastic hangers with tons of different colors clashing vs. all wooden hangers
tons of different plastic storage units for crafts vs. a neat row of mason jars
tons of different toy bins (whatever I have laying around) vs. consistent or coordinating good quality toy storage

So I guess my favorite minimalist product is any product that is good quality and reduces visual clutter/flows well with the style of our home.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:09 AM   #17
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Re: Favorite Minimalist Products?

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Originally Posted by elizabeth.scalf View Post
Can you elaborate? The only thing that I've found that really clashes with my minimalist mission is convenience and packaged processed foods. Otherwise, the diapers, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, etc I've found to be just as easy if not easier to use when I streamline and go minimalist/green.
I guess sometimes I think it would be simpler to have a box of disposables and a packet of wipes that's it - rather than prefolds, covers, wipes, doublers, fitteds, diaper pail etc - more complicated wash routine to wash cloth, time spent hanging, snapping back together, folding.

An example with cleaning is - I used to use a lot of chemical laden wipes (you know the kind that you pull out, wipe over the toilet, bathroom etc and then throw away. It was so easy. ( but expensive and full of chemicals).

Now I use bicarb and vinegar but it requires me to go and get the shaker and the sprayer and put both on, it always makes a mess on the floor, I have to refill the containers, I have to scrub harder.

Making my own laundry liquid takes more time. I use rewashable towels for cleaning, wiping etc (no paper towel) and yes it's way cheaper and better for the environment but I go through probably 10 small cloths a day so it's another 10 things to add to the washing and have to hang out.

It probably sounds like I am whining over small things but keeping in mind I have 8 kids (4 under 5) so I already have A LOT of washing, I dont know somedays it feels liek the diapers and extra cleaning cloths and making my own products is a lot of extra work I dont need when I am trying to keep things simple and easy = less stressful.

Maybe I am going about things the wrong way? I know it probably sounds like I'm whining over not much lol. Somedays I wonder if I am really saving a lot of money with the diapers too, right now I can get disposables for ds for 20 cents each - I wonder if it costs me more in work and water and electricity sometimes?
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:37 AM   #18
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Re: Favorite Minimalist Products?

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I guess sometimes I think it would be simpler to have a box of disposables and a packet of wipes that's it - rather than prefolds, covers, wipes, doublers, fitteds, diaper pail etc - more complicated wash routine to wash cloth, time spent hanging, snapping back together, folding.

An example with cleaning is - I used to use a lot of chemical laden wipes (you know the kind that you pull out, wipe over the toilet, bathroom etc and then throw away. It was so easy. ( but expensive and full of chemicals).

Now I use bicarb and vinegar but it requires me to go and get the shaker and the sprayer and put both on, it always makes a mess on the floor, I have to refill the containers, I have to scrub harder.

Making my own laundry liquid takes more time. I use rewashable towels for cleaning, wiping etc (no paper towel) and yes it's way cheaper and better for the environment but I go through probably 10 small cloths a day so it's another 10 things to add to the washing and have to hang out.

It probably sounds like I am whining over small things but keeping in mind I have 8 kids (4 under 5) so I already have A LOT of washing, I dont know somedays it feels liek the diapers and extra cleaning cloths and making my own products is a lot of extra work I dont need when I am trying to keep things simple and easy = less stressful.

Maybe I am going about things the wrong way? I know it probably sounds like I'm whining over not much lol. Somedays I wonder if I am really saving a lot of money with the diapers too, right now I can get disposables for ds for 20 cents each - I wonder if it costs me more in work and water and electricity sometimes?
Maybe simplify your diapers? Easier said than done...but I was always happier when I stuck to 1-2 types of simple diapers like all flats or all fitteds. I also don't know how you are with laundry and folding...but this is one area where I am not anal at.all. I have a bin for everyone, (used to have) a bin for diapers, a drawer for kitchen towels, etc. I didn't fold anything. I throw everything in the respective bin and it's organized enough to get what I need easily, but it isn't pretty looking. I fold towels because they are out in a pile in the bathroom. Everything looks neat enough in the bin tucked away for me. Maybe just use prefolds and throw them all in a bin? It's not like you need to worry about them getting wrinkled and it will save a lot of stress. Or if you can use flats, the drying time is so short that it's hardly worth hanging....you could put them in the dryer instead and make diapers less stressful.

I do think making products takes more time so I don't make everything. "Green" dish soap is cheap enough to not motivate me to make it. Laundry soap is expensive, so I take the time for that. Spray bottles are easy and much cheaper (but I don't use a shaker for anything? I use vinegar, water and EO). Bath and body products are probably much cheaper homemade but my skin is too crazy to figure that maze out. Can you prioritize whats worth your time and whats not? It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:13 AM   #19
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Re: Favorite Minimalist Products?

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Maybe simplify your diapers? Easier said than done...but I was always happier when I stuck to 1-2 types of simple diapers like all flats or all fitteds.
Can you prioritize whats worth your time and whats not? It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

I think these are key points for me. I am very all or nothing (it's not a good thing but I have always been that way).sigh. but you are so right - I need to make it as simple as possible and do a little of what I can cope with, not all one way or another). I will try to work on that.

I know that having a simpler system with diapers would really help and I am trying but it's hard

I dont fold
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:49 PM   #20
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I'm working on slowly replacing our wire and plastic hangers with wood too! Your right, it makes the closets look sooo much nicer.

I've been meaning to switch to baking soda in a shaker and vinegar in a spray bottle for cleaning too, but.... You're right, it seems like a lot of work. Especially when u have bottles of expensive "green" cleaners I haven't opened yet.

Honestly, I was getting to hate my cloth diapers, until I switched to an easier system (gdiapers with prefolds to flips with pad folded flats). The ease of washing and drying for me makes up for the five minutes it takes me to pad fold them and put them in the bin.
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