Monday, 3 February 2014

Some minimalist rules I'm hoping to follow...

Wow. So I/we have just spent 2 whole days decluttering and I know there's more to go! I have just taken the last lot of 'stuff' down to the garage & loaded our car up so it's completely ready to take to 'charity'.

Firstly, what have we achieved this weekend?

Well, it started on Friday night with DP and I having a 'chat' about... I guess our priorities. The usual moaning and ended up with us agreeing what we needed to change. DP did suggest he spend the weekend going through our apartment with a rubbish sack and just getting rid of stuff! I said no, I can manage to take it to the recycling centre if he can help with the sorting stuff out. That was why I posted on facebook about him having 3 'man drawers'... He has always said he wants certain places that are 'his' that he can keep his stuff. And I've agreed. And with my approach, I have always told him I wouldn't touch his stuff. I truly believe that's not fair. I would be livid if he went through my craft supplies, for example, and just culled them. So I won't do it to/for him. He often takes my lead, so if I clear my clothes out he'll suddenly go through his wardrobe but I don't tell him to.

We started on Saturday morning with our sideboard. I have ensured we now have 1 shelf free, 1 drawer free, have sorted lots of other junk and DP has gone through his drawer in the set of 4 and the electrical cables box, his overflowing 'in' tray & a few other things. He's finally agreed that we don't need 3 identical internet cables! And I removed a photo frame and 'mail sorter' from the top so it looks SOOO much clearer now it's really made a massive difference! :)

Unfortunately I can't find a 'before' picture but this is it now:



That was where I started. I have already sorted lots of things and given up ideas on selling certain items so our car boot is now full of stuff for recycling. I have sorted through our kitchen cupboards and taken a few things out and we've moved glasses that were 'on display' from the shelf to the cupboards. It means I can't reach them now but I rarely thought to use them anyway (we have champagne, normal wine and whiskey glasses but recently broke a champagne glass and they're hard for us to get hold of. So as we love them and I don't drink whiskey etc but DP can reach them I'm happy to keep them there)... Looking at the top of the shelves, it doesn't look massively clearer though, because I haven't been able to do anything with the paperwork we have and there's still stuff there. I hope to go through paperwork next weekend - there's several folders and a LOT of 'filing'. :/ (We also have our newly bought raclette grill there but I/we love it, so it's staying. The letters 'Let them eat cake' have come down though)

I haven't been able to face the 'dvd' cupboard that's in the corner in the picture above. DP swears it's all stuff we use... (we have all our films on a storage device and then a few dvd's that we can't view everything on are kept in this cupboard, plus blank cd's and 'games'. Original dvd's are all kept downstairs in our cave/storage room)

When I hopefully have some room in the cave I will probably box up and remove a lot more stuff like games and see if DP notices them missing ;)

I haven't revisited the craft cupboard or hall cupboard yet. I did sort them both out within the last few weeks and I know I could do more but having a 4 month old in the winter means I want to be sure before I get rid of her warm snow suits. I do plan to get rid of a few boxes in the craft cupboard, hopefully the drawer system (if I'm feeling really brave!) and my 'to do projects' or rather 'to finish' had overflowed to the sideboard to the point where I didn't want to look... I've never felt like that before so I looked this weekend and got rid of half done things so have now just a few things. I have a set time when I want to get them done by as well... (For example a sign to match IP's current sign on the door for when they share a room)

There's still work I could do on the kitchen but I think it will have to wait for now. We have no work top space and DP enjoys cooking but discussing this evening he would like more space. And we don't plan to move house for a while yet.

We've broached the subject with IP of sharing a room with ZC and she was receptive so hopefully in March/ April time we can make it happen. I have changed IP's toy boxes slightly and plan to further change them when this happens to make space for a toy box for ZC. I have also started to mention and try to explain to IP what happens with her toys and why she has to get rid of some of them. I thought she'd be too young then I read a comment on Minimalist Mom about a 3 year old who could explain why and what happened to his toys ('some children don't even have water so I have to clear my toys out so that those children can have toys').

I do find it frustrating that there's a lot more to do and a long way to go but I'm hoping by implementing some 'rules' it will help:

  • Wait 30 days/1 month before buying anything that's not food or consumable (and in some cases food as well) - an example of this is that we realised about a week ago that our salt grinder has broken. I mentioned to DP this evening about buying a new one and he smugly said 'have to wait 30 days' - we do and I'm already thinking if there's anything else that will do the job.
  • Consult before buying anything worth more than '50'€ - our currency is Euros so I've picked over €50 but it could be any figure depending on your currency. Most things I tend to consult with DP first anyway but I heard this idea and thought it made sense... DP thought it would be funny today to suggest we needed a serious discussion over filling our car with diesel as that's more than €50...
  • I did hear about using the rule of '1' but I think in some circumstances this may be too extreme. For example, 1 set of bed linen when we have a toddler and a 4 month old isn't a good idea because the baby's bed linen had to be washed both days this weekend so if we only had 1 set of bed linen right now it would be too much to have to wash and dry it within that day or a few hours. However I am trying to cut the number of duplicates we own - I realised through reading this number concept that we have 5 pairs of 'nail' scissors! DP & I each had a pair, there was a pair of baby scissors for each daughter plus a pair for cutting stuff in the bathroom. Well I've binned my pair, the pair in the bathroom and tomorrow night plan to bin 1 pair in the girl's room...
  • http://www.tweezerman.com/store/product/stainless-steel-nail-scissors/
  • However I AM going to try to apply this rule of '1' to sentimental items. I have a lot of 'momentoes' and I started to go through a suitcase today that we kept for IP. The hospital gave us her medical equipment for example. Well a lot of the things in there were completely irrelevant and on our wedding anniversary last year I combined 3 boxes to 1 from my hen do and our wedding. So do I really need to keep masses of different things to remind me of 1 person or 1 day?
  • I'm not worrying about Project 333 particularly at the moment because of ZC but I am planning to use the 3 month rotation and consciously reimplement it, probably in March/April to keep on top of clutter.
  • I am hoping to implement '1 in 1 out' this year. I already tried it with toys after Christmas and was mostly successful. This will be tricky in some ways. I just asked DP what we'd bought in the last month (that's non consumable) to test the theory: a raclette grill. We've just discussed kitchen items (& I am getting rid of a biggy). My protective clothing for Krav Maga. I have nothing I can get rid of in replacement of this but it's a requirement and work out clothes weren't included in Project 333 so I don't suppose there's much I can do about it :( DP bought a new camera strap but refuses to implement the '1 in 1 out' rule... Amber 'jewellery' - a necklace for myself and anklets for ZC. Well I'm getting rid of a LOT of baby items next weekend but the idea of thinking for 30 days has meant that I am waiting before I order more (this website suggests you need more depending on your child's weight - http://www.loveamberx.co.uk/department/measuring-instructions-please-read-x) and the cat can manage without an amber collar ;) I have also just heard some more jewellery is due but I do plan to get rid of a ring in replacement of 1 item, 1 is a gift and the other my Christmas present. It has got me thinking I do need to be more thorough. I've made excuses but also kept all sorts of random things.
  • The other number I read recently was having a maximum of 100 books in your child's personal library. I know for ages I said I wasn't going to get rid of any books and relatives could buy them as presents if they wanted (in the name of education) but for now I say children's books have to fit onto 2 shelves in IP's bedroom & currently 1, used to be 2 in the LR. 

In terms of recycling, one thing that happened this weekend unexpectedly was DP cleared his jumpers out and asked me if I wanted any... I've needed to get some new jumpers but hadn't found anything I liked so had probably been wearing them more than him recently... So I have now acquired 2-4 jumpers at no additional cost! :)

And lastly, I plan on rereading this article I found via The minimalist mom on paring down the kitchen. I started by getting rid of the food processor I don't think we've ever used that has taken up the kitchen cupboard for ages: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/dining/09mini.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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