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Old 02-23-2013, 12:49 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?

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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.
Wow! You have so much control. I have limited screen time off and on and in varying ways, but I always end up back in our old habits. That's why I pitched the idea of getting rid of the TV to DH.

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Old 02-23-2013, 12:53 PM   #12
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Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?

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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.
Thanks, I'll check it out. My 5yo insists that PS is wasting all his home play time. Which sounds crazy to me because he gets to do cool stuff and play with other kids there. But maybe he knows better than me, lol!
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #13
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Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?

I am fairly radical in my minimalist ways when it comes to our household and like to have a relaxed streamlined schedule. I would not want to be a one car family, completely give up TV (we haven't had cable in 5 years, we only watch Netflix or Hulu), or completely give up activities for my kids. I had ideas that maybe these options were a good idea (and actually avoided signing my kids up for activities because I felt like it would be "too much"), but I am totally opposite now. I've cleared out the rest of my life to make room for the things that we enjoy. I'd much rather have a house that practically maintains itself and have free time to take my kids to swim classes, playdates, etc. We previously lived with a much simpler schedule and went completely TV free, I barely ever drove, etc...and honestly it was miserable. The grass is NOT greener.

Personally I found that when I decluttered the rest of my life, the things that were left didn't feel like too much. I think once you get past the initial purging stages that it is best to let the rest unfold slowly. It makes for real lasting positive change in your life. It is totally different for each person and each family though. I have 5 kids and we don't live near a bus route, nor would I want to take them all by myself on the bus. We adore our YMCA membership and the kids take swim classes there each week, I need my van to get there. I choose not to overload their schedule with a bunch of activities and we picked swimming as our main focus. It works well for us. I live a very active life caring for my kids, homeschooling, going to the activities we enjoy, spending time with friends, caring for our small farm...and at the end of the day I like to curl up with DH and watch a favorite show. When we were TV free we both sat and read books (I still read, just not in the evenings now) and it was a bit boring at times because we were reading separate things instead of sharing a favorite show together. Its my unwinding time. We choose to not have cable and to be choosy about what we watch, but I do enjoy it, so it stays in my life.

I think it can be wonderful to unplug, slow down, decide what things you do and don't want in your life, but don't remove everything at once. If you aren't someone that enjoys TV then cancel it. If you think that you have too many activities, cut down and pick the things that are important. I think it is extremely important not to have a romanticized version of what minimalism will mean, but instead figure out what it means to you. I think it is really easy to get caught up in thinking that you have to do X,Y,Z to be a minimalist and that is SO not true. DH and I have been on this path for almost 7 years now and it is a constant learning experience. When we first started out I had a very different version of what I thought our end goal would be. I'm actually at a place that our "stuff" is very minimal and just a backdrop of our life. I feel content. Part of finding your path to simplicity is to realize that you don't have to get rid of EVERYTHING in your life to be simple.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:18 PM   #14
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Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?

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Originally Posted by drabekgirl View Post
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.
We do this too, except that we have Netflix instead. The kids are not allowed to watch TV on school days at all. DH and I usually only watch 1 or maybe 2 shows per night. I actually really prefer to have Netflix or Hulu over actual TV channels (Netflix is less than $10 and Hulu is free) because we can be very selective about what we watch.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #15
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We are having having to cut way back this year. And I have been getting rid of excess items and we just cut cable/house phone! It feels great! DH and I have to sell something if we 'want' something that's not a need. It's actually been fun. And boy have we become resourceful!
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:10 PM   #16
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Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?

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We are having having to cut way back this year. And I have been getting rid of excess items and we just cut cable/house phone! It feels great! DH and I have to sell something if we 'want' something that's not a need. It's actually been fun. And boy have we become resourceful!
This is kind of where we're at. No amount of decluttering my home will feel as good as being out from under our debt! We do without somethings to have what we have and I'm now wondering if we picked the wrong things. Like if we didn't pay $100 a month for cable we could afford to take the boys to the aquarium and the water park sometimes.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:19 PM   #17
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Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?

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We do this too, except that we have Netflix instead. The kids are not allowed to watch TV on school days at all. DH and I usually only watch 1 or maybe 2 shows per night. I actually really prefer to have Netflix or Hulu over actual TV channels (Netflix is less than $10 and Hulu is free) because we can be very selective about what we watch.
I want to do only Netflix and no TV, but that means I have to keep our home internet ($80). We have internet on our phones but its not unlimited so we wouldn't be able to stream Netflix. I just hate paying for two sources of internet. We can tether with our phones so we can use our home computer. My DH and I do like to watch Netflix together.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tabitha84

This is kind of where we're at. No amount of decluttering my home will feel as good as being out from under our debt! We do without somethings to have what we have and I'm now wondering if we picked the wrong things. Like if we didn't pay $100 a month for cable we could afford to take the boys to the aquarium and the water park sometimes.
This! DH just sold his rock climbing gear to find a birthday party for our oldest. And I was so proud of him. Our kids do not do a lot of pay for activities here (and there are a ton!!) so we do something for their birthday. And this year- we had to find a way to do it! I also sold a friend a gift card that I had. I would have used it, sure. But not for a 'need' so the $100 was awesome to have in cash!
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:30 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?

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Originally Posted by FernHollow View Post
I am fairly radical in my minimalist ways when it comes to our household and like to have a relaxed streamlined schedule. I would not want to be a one car family, completely give up TV (we haven't had cable in 5 years, we only watch Netflix or Hulu), or completely give up activities for my kids. I had ideas that maybe these options were a good idea (and actually avoided signing my kids up for activities because I felt like it would be "too much"), but I am totally opposite now. I've cleared out the rest of my life to make room for the things that we enjoy. I'd much rather have a house that practically maintains itself and have free time to take my kids to swim classes, playdates, etc. We previously lived with a much simpler schedule and went completely TV free, I barely ever drove, etc...and honestly it was miserable. The grass is NOT greener.

Personally I found that when I decluttered the rest of my life, the things that were left didn't feel like too much. I think once you get past the initial purging stages that it is best to let the rest unfold slowly. It makes for real lasting positive change in your life. It is totally different for each person and each family though. I have 5 kids and we don't live near a bus route, nor would I want to take them all by myself on the bus. We adore our YMCA membership and the kids take swim classes there each week, I need my van to get there. I choose not to overload their schedule with a bunch of activities and we picked swimming as our main focus. It works well for us. I live a very active life caring for my kids, homeschooling, going to the activities we enjoy, spending time with friends, caring for our small farm...and at the end of the day I like to curl up with DH and watch a favorite show. When we were TV free we both sat and read books (I still read, just not in the evenings now) and it was a bit boring at times because we were reading separate things instead of sharing a favorite show together. Its my unwinding time. We choose to not have cable and to be choosy about what we watch, but I do enjoy it, so it stays in my life.

I think it can be wonderful to unplug, slow down, decide what things you do and don't want in your life, but don't remove everything at once. If you aren't someone that enjoys TV then cancel it. If you think that you have too many activities, cut down and pick the things that are important. I think it is extremely important not to have a romanticized version of what minimalism will mean, but instead figure out what it means to you. I think it is really easy to get caught up in thinking that you have to do X,Y,Z to be a minimalist and that is SO not true. DH and I have been on this path for almost 7 years now and it is a constant learning experience. When we first started out I had a very different version of what I thought our end goal would be. I'm actually at a place that our "stuff" is very minimal and just a backdrop of our life. I feel content. Part of finding your path to simplicity is to realize that you don't have to get rid of EVERYTHING in your life to be simple.
Thank you for such a thoughtful response. Someone's gotta keep my feet on the ground! LOL! Sounds like my situation is a bit different then yours but its good to hear from a more rational person. Hehe!
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:40 PM   #20
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Re: Anyone decluttering their LIFE?

I admire the folks who can make one car living work. Wish we could!! We do not have public transportation here and the grocery store is about three miles away.....not UNdoable, but its TX....summers here are too hot for littles to be carted around in the stroller for that long. Dr is 10-15 miles.
DH drives old VW's and has no desire for anything else so I have a "family" car.

I have already curtailed the activities like soccer/dance etc. They do go to MDO 2x/wk but they learn a lot and I am getting some me time. I have lots of dr/midwife appts and YDD is also in ST/OT 1-2x/wk which keeps us busier than I would like, but its needed right now so I just pop open a nice big can of Suck It Up lol.
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