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    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 20Posts
    • 486Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    A Simpler Life 2018
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    A Simpler Life 2018 30th Nov 17 at 11:27 AM
    Every year at about this time, I get a yearning for a more simple way of life. A life that doesn't involve being bombarded with endless ads for x% off or buy a new sofa/kitchen/table/bed/car or your Christmas holiday will become a fate worse than death It really does get to me. I hate consumerism in general. It annoys me intensely that we waste so many resources making cheap non-essential rubbish that will end up in landfill a few months later. I think I must be some kind of grumpy, odd ball though as despite all the headlines about the economy and stagnant pay rises, the shops always seem to be rammed.
    Anyhow, I am planning to step back from it all in 2018:
    - no spending on unnecessary stuff. For example, I have enough clothes to last for years in one wardrobe and one chest of drawers. Books will come from the library. No fripperies!!
    - replace essential items where possible with good quality items preferably second hand, or british made or local where applicable
    - increase cooking from scratch. I buy too many things like biscuits etc that are far nicer and healthier homemade
    - make full use of garden and allotment for fruit, veg, preserves and wine.
    - forage for fruit, fungi, wood ....
    - spend more time outside, gardening, walking, enjoying nature to improve mental and physical well being
    - spend more time with my mum who is 76 and beginning to need me more
    - avoid pressure to conform!
    Anyone got any further ideas in how I could simplify life?
Page 5
    • threepenny bit
    • By threepenny bit 3rd Dec 17, 5:55 AM
    • 211 Posts
    • 1,729 Thanks
    threepenny bit
    I have really enjoyed reading this and thinking about my own life - I would like to downsize somewhat but not real to move home yet. It would be great to just to be able to get rid of things and not buy more!
    We have an android box for TV but haven't actually watched it much - saved us money every month from no cable service! I have shared prime amazon so can watch films etc on that if I want.
    I have been cooking more from scratch and have used offers to have food and meals to cook delivered - just didnt carry on with a subscription afterwards! It was nice for special meals etc though.
    I need to do a wardrobe audit and sort out more of a capsule wardrobe. I have stuff that doesn't fit and to be honest it probably never will - it just takes up space and makes me feel guilty when I see it.
    I do spend a lot of money travelling back to the UK to see my elderly parents who can no longer fly - I just need to look at ways of funding this better than using credit cards. Maybe sell some things on local fb pages and declutter at the same time.
    Last edited by threepenny bit; 03-12-2017 at 6:07 AM.
    1st challenge to pay CC (JV1) 0/$1850 updated
    Work on selling items and decluttering
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 3rd Dec 17, 6:55 AM
    • 1,015 Posts
    • 3,203 Thanks
    Spider In The Bath
    I have 2 drawers, top one contains tee shirts and vest tops, bottom one contains leggings,shorts and knickers.
    I have three hooks on the wall, one holds hats and scarves, one holds my two dresses and one holds my dressing gown.
    I have two pairs of days, a pair of wellys and a pair of court shoes, these are on the floor in for t of the drawers.
    Originally posted by Hard Up Hester
    I tried to persuade my husband that we should move onto a narrowboat until he pointed out that I get seasick on a millpond. I then suggested that we build a tiny house and I got 'the look'.*

    Did you find it hard to get rid of your clothes? This was one of my biggest challenges.

    *He is actually great and has even decluttered his clothes and hobby stuff too even if he won't move into a shed.
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 3rd Dec 17, 6:59 AM
    • 1,015 Posts
    • 3,203 Thanks
    Spider In The Bath
    ...I try to cook from scratch every day but I'd love to expand this to make my own bread...
    Originally posted by PollyWollyDoodle
    I have a tutorial with photos I made for someone on bread making. I could format it as a pdf and send you a link, or link it on here somehow if you want me to?
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 3rd Dec 17, 7:17 AM
    • 1,015 Posts
    • 3,203 Thanks
    Spider In The Bath
    ...I would like to downsize...

    I need to do a wardrobe audit and sort out more of a capsule wardrobe. I have stuff that doesn't fit and to be honest it probably never will - it just takes up space and makes me feel guilty when I see it...
    Originally posted by threepenny bit
    The guilt is what stops a lot of people from getting rid of things.

    However:

    - You have already spent the money. It is not going to come back, or you are not going to get more value from having an unworn item in your cupboard

    - You could possibly sell the item and make some of your money back

    - You could donate the item and let someone else get the use from it.

    - It is taking up the space of an item you do want to use (my husband had stuff in his wardrobe he never wore. The wardrobe was so full it was causing the ironed items he wanted to wear to come out crushed. He was giving space to things he didn't like / need / want to the detriment of things he valued).

    Also, think about the cost of storing all these unworn items especially if it is stopping someone from downsizing. You can even work out the cost.

    - Length of your house x width x no of floors = square footage / meterage.
    - Then look at the price of your house and then work out the cost of 1 square foot / metre.

    How much is it actually costing you to store an unused item?

    Also, if you are living in a bigger house just to store more stuff then you are losing opportunity costs. Just think if you move and downsized and can release some equity / have cheaper living costs you could use that free money to travel, save, invest etc.

    The other thing is the emotional cost (sounds a bit mad this one), but think of the mental energy you waste every time you open your wardrobe and feel guilty when you see those items.

    Go on you know you want to get rid of them
    • kittie
    • By kittie 3rd Dec 17, 7:34 AM
    • 11,378 Posts
    • 64,889 Thanks
    kittie
    I think I am already living as simple a life as I can. I don`t have a mobile phone and only use the internet at home in my free time. I have done the full konmarie works, after joining the amazing and helpful KM thread, every single room, my wooden storage outbuilding and my garage, which is my wood hobby space and holds my house maintenance stuff. Yes, I am widowed and now do all the house maintenance jobs on top of hobbies. I have given away the equivalent of a small house, bar furniture, not expecting anything in return but as per the release of chi, I have so far received three cheques over the whole time I have been doing KM and two were unexpected

    So energy starts to flow after KM and it releases stuff psychologically too and it helps one to live in the moment, which is not stressful

    I have earthy hobbies, to do with plants, bread, wood and wool, all grounding. Spinning, carving and running my allotment, which feeds me just about the whole year around. I make bread all the time, usually sourdough or long fermentation, have done for 50 years, my grandad was an artisan baker, so it must be in the genes

    I could get simpler, ie could get rid of more clothes and some of my nordicware baking forms and spinning wheels and carving equipment but I won`t. These things bring joy and so they are staying. Why should I go simpler now, at my stage of life, it could be enforced on me when I am 20 years older, so now I will enjoy what I have

    The only way in which I will now adhere to konmarie principles is one in and one or two out, that will maintain chi, that and moving things around in the house so that feng shui principles also apply
    Last edited by kittie; 03-12-2017 at 7:37 AM.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 3rd Dec 17, 7:46 AM
    • 3,274 Posts
    • 6,912 Thanks
    jackyann
    I rather follow the Arts and Crafts maxim ' Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful'.
    I believe that the 'beautiful' extends to gifts that make me think of the giver fondly. 'Useful' may include things that I don't use often, but that when I do, are just right.
    Personally I avoid buying 'stuff' by making best use of what I have.
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 3rd Dec 17, 7:53 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    Katieowl
    I too, am not sure I can make my life much simpler, but I'm going to have to try :/

    We really really don't have sufficient funds coming in and I can't realistically see a way to improve that. I thought I already did all the frugal stuff, cook everything from scratch (I cook for a living at the moment) Him indoors is retired on a state pension and does food garden, we need to run a car as we are rural (we have got two at the moment, but we've already decided when one goes the way of all cars, we won't replace it, but it's paid for etc) Do charity shops, bargain hunt etc. although of late I've even rather given up the CS because I don't need anything.

    I've been tidying recently, I won't say decluttering, because I love my clutter and I really can't see I need anything new clothes wise in the next few years. I've got a cupboard stuffed full of craft stuff I need to go through still...partly have trouble because of my arthritic thumbs and partly don't have much free time it's not being used but getting rid feels like the ultimate admission that I'll never have any free time/crafty fun again.

    Because of the pension age changes I have eight more years to tough it out through work wise, and I am counting the days through gritted teeth!
    • kittie
    • By kittie 3rd Dec 17, 8:11 AM
    • 11,378 Posts
    • 64,889 Thanks
    kittie
    . I've got a cupboard stuffed full of craft stuff I need to go through still...partly have trouble because of my arthritic thumbs and partly don't have much free time it's not being used but getting rid feels like the ultimate admission that I'll never have any free time/crafty fun again. !
    Originally posted by Katieowl
    look after your thumbs, mine started to get arthritic and painful, when that happened I bought thumb splints, I often go to bed at night wearing a support and I have three different types, they have certainly helped my thumbs to retain their shape. I have one big drastic rsi support for when my hands ache and they are miraculous. Also don`t carry eg a plate in one hand, there is tremendous pressure on the thumb joint if you do.

    I also found the craft clearing a scary concept but as someone on the KM thread said, the making of that item is what gives the pleasure. I have thrown hm crafted items away when I realised that this was indeed true. I also alternate crafts according to my aches and weaving will be a another new craft to explore in time, no thumb pressures.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 3rd Dec 17, 8:44 AM
    • 10,219 Posts
    • 57,589 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    As part of my simple living philosophy I like to cultivate a living space that is calm and peaceful. So no extraneous clutter in The form of ornaments, family photos on display etc Instead I will have a couple of nice plant or some flowers. Plants also improve air quality.

    I don’t have the TV blaring out as “wallpaper”or mindless chatter on the radio. I am selective in both my viewing and listening habits. I enjoy the peace and quiet.

    I also reduce “white noise” to a minimum. The washing machine and dishwasher are used at night.......on the economy tariff of course.....the kitchen is far enough away from bedroom not to disturb me.

    Less clutter certainly means less work and effort but i think it is also more “restful” and less “overwhelm” to the senses.

    I havent reached a point where I think I can’t simplify further. Maybe I’ve not been radical enough yet but I’m not ready to do a Steve Jobs and live with no furniture. I do like a few creature comforts.

    This week I emptied a cupboard/bookcase which stood in an alcove In my dining room. I will be donating it. I love the empty space where it stood, it makes the room look much bigger and brighter.

    Recently I went through all my glassware. I bought a few new really nice pieces from Ikea and donated my rather large collection to a charity shop.

    I have stopped saving things “for best”. I have got rid of all the mismatched “everyday stuff” and now every day is “best”.

    Less is definitely more.......more style, more quality, more freedom, more time.
    • Hard Up Hester
    • By Hard Up Hester 3rd Dec 17, 8:57 AM
    • 3,254 Posts
    • 38,936 Thanks
    Hard Up Hester
    Spider, no I didn't mind getting rid of clothes, it was mainly work stuff I had, I kept the two dresses as we have two weddings to go to. It was harder to get rid of my craft stuff as I knew I'd miss it now I'm retired.
    Chin up, Titus out.
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 3rd Dec 17, 9:30 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    Katieowl
    look after your thumbs, mine started to get arthritic and painful, when that happened I bought thumb splints, I often go to bed at night wearing a support and I have three different types, they have certainly helped my thumbs to retain their shape. I have one big drastic rsi support for when my hands ache and they are miraculous. Also don`t carry eg a plate in one hand, there is tremendous pressure on the thumb joint if you do.

    .
    Originally posted by kittie
    I have compression gloves, and just got a thumb splint from hosp. Going back in Jan for the other one cos was out of stock. I thought I might buy the other and maybe a spare pair until I found out they were £40 odd quid each :O I had a steroid injection into the right a couple of months ago which has helped loads, and am due the other done on 19th after my last market before Xmas so I can rest it for a couple of weeks. I have a drawer full of aids and openers now, and my mummy <3 bought me some special shears which are amazing.

    I'm going to sort this cupboard out after Xmas, and see if I can figure some stuff I CAN do, I struggle to even thread a needle because of the pincher grip needed, but there must be SOMETHING I can do...maybe look at more sewing gadgets?
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 3rd Dec 17, 11:53 AM
    • 3,274 Posts
    • 6,912 Thanks
    jackyann
    I am finding this thread interesting - especially as we are coming at it from different points.
    Those of you struggling with craft projects because of arthritis might want to consider crochet. As arthritis is so individual, I have no idea if it would suit any of you. I am beginning to have problems with my hands - as did my mother and grandmother before me. I can still sew, although the very finest is now beyond me. But we have all found that crochet is very good - it is more forgiving than knitting, and the action is much less painful (for them and now me). Indeed, my grandmother's hands were very arthritic when she taught me, and I hold the hook and thread exactly the same as she did!
    I am lucky to have a local group of Loving Hands. Even if you don't have a group, they welcome things, but postage may be an issue. Here they are: http://www.lovinghands.org.uk/
    I am so glad to have found something useful to do as some of my voluntary work had to be curtailed because of the arthritis.
    • Judi
    • By Judi 3rd Dec 17, 12:27 PM
    • 15,463 Posts
    • 63,863 Thanks
    Judi
    As part of my simple living philosophy I like to cultivate a living space that is calm and peaceful. So no extraneous clutter in The form of ornaments, family photos on display etc Instead I will have a couple of nice plant or some flowers. Plants also improve air quality.

    I don’t have the TV blaring out as “wallpaper”or mindless chatter on the radio. I am selective in both my viewing and listening habits. I enjoy the peace and quiet.

    I also reduce “white noise” to a minimum. The washing machine and dishwasher are used at night.......on the economy tariff of course.....the kitchen is far enough away from bedroom not to disturb me.

    Less clutter certainly means less work and effort but i think it is also more “restful” and less “overwhelm” to the senses.

    I havent reached a point where I think I can’t simplify further. Maybe I’ve not been radical enough yet but I’m not ready to do a Steve Jobs and live with no furniture. I do like a few creature comforts.

    This week I emptied a cupboard/bookcase which stood in an alcove In my dining room. I will be donating it. I love the empty space where it stood, it makes the room look much bigger and brighter.

    Recently I went through all my glassware. I bought a few new really nice pieces from Ikea and donated my rather large collection to a charity shop.

    I have stopped saving things “for best”. I have got rid of all the mismatched “everyday stuff” and now every day is “best”.

    Less is definitely more.......more style, more quality, more freedom, more time.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    You and I have a lot in common. Id be a lot more extreme if I lived on my own.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 3rd Dec 17, 12:44 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    I think I am already living as simple a life as I can. I don`t have a mobile phone and only use the internet at home in my free time. I have done the full konmarie works, after joining the amazing and helpful KM thread, every single room, my wooden storage outbuilding and my garage, which is my wood hobby space and holds my house maintenance stuff. Yes, I am widowed and now do all the house maintenance jobs on top of hobbies. I have given away the equivalent of a small house, bar furniture, not expecting anything in return but as per the release of chi, I have so far received three cheques over the whole time I have been doing KM and two were unexpected

    So energy starts to flow after KM and it releases stuff psychologically too and it helps one to live in the moment, which is not stressful

    I have earthy hobbies, to do with plants, bread, wood and wool, all grounding. Spinning, carving and running my allotment, which feeds me just about the whole year around. I make bread all the time, usually sourdough or long fermentation, have done for 50 years, my grandad was an artisan baker, so it must be in the genes

    I could get simpler, ie could get rid of more clothes and some of my nordicware baking forms and spinning wheels and carving equipment but I won`t. These things bring joy and so they are staying. Why should I go simpler now, at my stage of life, it could be enforced on me when I am 20 years older, so now I will enjoy what I have

    The only way in which I will now adhere to konmarie principles is one in and one or two out, that will maintain chi, that and moving things around in the house so that feng shui principles also apply
    Originally posted by kittie
    As part of my simple living philosophy I like to cultivate a living space that is calm and peaceful. So no extraneous clutter in The form of ornaments, family photos on display etc Instead I will have a couple of nice plant or some flowers. Plants also improve air quality.

    I don’t have the TV blaring out as “wallpaper”or mindless chatter on the radio. I am selective in both my viewing and listening habits. I enjoy the peace and quiet.

    I also reduce “white noise” to a minimum. The washing machine and dishwasher are used at night.......on the economy tariff of course.....the kitchen is far enough away from bedroom not to disturb me.

    Less clutter certainly means less work and effort but i think it is also more “restful” and less “overwhelm” to the senses.

    I havent reached a point where I think I can’t simplify further. Maybe I’ve not been radical enough yet but I’m not ready to do a Steve Jobs and live with no furniture. I do like a few creature comforts.

    This week I emptied a cupboard/bookcase which stood in an alcove In my dining room. I will be donating it. I love the empty space where it stood, it makes the room look much bigger and brighter.

    Recently I went through all my glassware. I bought a few new really nice pieces from Ikea and donated my rather large collection to a charity shop.

    I have stopped saving things “for best”. I have got rid of all the mismatched “everyday stuff” and now every day is “best”.

    Less is definitely more.......more style, more quality, more freedom, more time.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    I have the same issue with ornaments and photo frames. I am forever moving them around because they are in the way. I have 3 or 4 nice photo frames but they take up space and seem to clutter up whichever surface they are on. Mmmmmm......Might get rid!!
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 3rd Dec 17, 1:32 PM
    • 7,874 Posts
    • 26,766 Thanks
    Primrose
    Maybe photos should only be of the deceased so they are not forgotten. The living are still with us so unless they're on the other side of the world or not seen very often, why do we need photographs of them continually on display, especially if they were taken years ago and people have considerably changed their appearance since they were taken?
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 3rd Dec 17, 1:49 PM
    • 5,948 Posts
    • 89,767 Thanks
    fuddle
    I don't have any art on my walls. My feature wall consists of 5 photo frames of my girls from baby to now in the past 13 years. I have one photograph of my deceased mam and dad on my small sideboard and at the top of the stairs a montage in one frame of our new born girls, DH and myself as children, our parents and our grandparents. That one means something. That's it. I would like a canvas on my chimney wall but I'm waiting to take a 'special memory' photograph when we're in the Outer Hebrides next year.

    I make a point of not having our wedding photo on display... I live with the effects of that occasion every day

    My 'stuff' has to mean something and if it's pretty it has to be useful. I'm now looking at my vase of dried flowers, on the living room window sill, with utter contempt!
    Last edited by fuddle; 03-12-2017 at 1:51 PM.
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 3rd Dec 17, 2:22 PM
    • 10,036 Posts
    • 107,820 Thanks
    LameWolf
    Those of you struggling with craft projects because of arthritis might want to consider crochet. As arthritis is so individual, I have no idea if it would suit any of you.
    Originally posted by jackyann
    Sadly crochet is one craft I have never been able to master, despite several attempts over the years.
    I alternate between knitting, cross stitch, beadcraft and card making, depending on which "bits" are functional at the time.

    It's all very good saying "get rid" but one does have to have one's Other Half on board, if one has one. With MrLW it's "softly, softly catchee monkey" - as long as he thinks it was his idea, he'll happily get rid of stuff; he turfed out a linen shirt and several ties the other day - this is progress!

    Re photos: the only ones we have on display is a studio photo of us that was a present, and a couple of photos of my beloved Penny-Dog, who trod the Rainbow Bridge in 2002, but is still very much alive in my heart.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 3rd Dec 17, 2:31 PM
    • 1,341 Posts
    • 7,508 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    I was watching the youtube videos yesterday and I thought why am I keeping my shoes upstairs in my wardrobe when I should make space in the cupboard by the front door so I can take them off as soon as I get in?! So that is what I just did.
    "It doesn't cost any more to dream big."
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 3rd Dec 17, 3:36 PM
    • 7,874 Posts
    • 26,766 Thanks
    Primrose
    How does one start to declutter when about 75% of the stuff which needs to be disposed of belongs to your other half and any attempt to get rid of it brings the exclamation of “This stuff represents my life. You might as well put me in a black bin bag and get rid of me as well!”

    The fact that most of it hasn,t been used or looked at for years is completely irrelevant. Most of the time he,s probably even forgotten he’s got it until I bring it to the light of day and ask “do you really need to keep this?” when all of a sudden it has become a long lost cherishshed item and he can’t bear to be parted from it. Put it back in the cupboard and it will be forgotten about again about for another ten years!
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 3rd Dec 17, 5:43 PM
    • 121 Posts
    • 1,071 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    This afternoon I persuaded (!) OH to sort a black bin bag full of work stuff, mostly papers, which has been in the bottom of his wardrobe for about three years. I manned the shredder and he sorted everything into recycle, shred, keep and bin. Guess which was the smallest pile by quite some way? Small pile is now in a folder and going to work with him tomorrow!
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