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  • FIRST POST
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 20Posts
    • 477Thanks
    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 7
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 4th Dec 17, 10:24 PM
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    lessonlearned
    I've just read all this thread with interest as I am not living a simple life by these standards, but compared to others in my "real" life, I am!

    We don't have Sky, we have second hand phones, our cars are really old, we buy at car boots and charity shops, we followed Kon Mari before we sold our house so drastically cut down on our "stuff" (although I need a second festival I'm starting to think!), I mostly cook from scratch. BUT, we have the TV on a lot, we partake in exchanging Christmas presents for everyone, we failed at growing veg this year, and I often have cravings to buy "nice stuff", so I will be subscribing in the hope that all your more simple ways will rub off on me.

    I think once my uni assignment is out of the way I will re-do Kon Mari as a start.
    Originally posted by Pauper1
    I think each of us has our own definition of what constitutes a simple life.

    I am not into rampant commercialism but I still give birthday gifts and Christmas presents. Yesterday I went for lunch with 4 friends. Instead of Christmas cards I gave them a small bar of posh chocolate each, beautifully wrapped. Their faces lit up with huge grins. It was a lovely moment, I love giving presents. They don’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful.

    My family and I have an agreed spending limit. And half the fun is using our imaginations to find an appropriate gift within that limit.

    And although I don’t have the tv on as wallpaper, I do love to curl up with a sofa throw, maybe a glass of something and settle down and watch a good film or favourite TV series.

    I think what a lot of us do is simplify and save in some areas so we can indulge ourselves or have a little splurge on the things we enjoy.

    My “splurge” is travel and holidays. I also like to eat well and yes I admit I do like clothes (although a lot of mine are charity shop or vintage so don’t break the bank).

    I like the idea of magazine subscriptions etc, NT memberships, zoo memberships. They make great gifts too. I used to buy my parents NT membership and magazine subscriptions for Christmas. They loved it because as they said they had all the ornaments they needed. I also had a ritual where I bought mum one of those large amaryllis bulbs, one for me and one for her and we had little competitions to see whose grew the tallest.

    My first grandchild is due next year and I have already made a decision that I won’t be spending lavishly on gifts for him/her or indeed any further grandchildren that may appear further down the line. They will have a couple of small gifts to open on the day and then I shall open savings accounts for them (which they won’t be able to touch until they reach their maturity).

    My garden was a disaster too this year, everything went wrong. Although the roses were beautiful. Hopefully next year will be better.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 04-12-2017 at 10:29 PM.
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 4th Dec 17, 10:32 PM
    • 5,940 Posts
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    fuddle
    It's started in our house. DH and I have rejigged the budget to claw back more of his wage for savings. We start 15th of this month and intend to carry it through to next year. Although I have the 'simple life' in mind DH is clueless that he's fitting into place nicely. He just wants to save more.

    This strategy has worked in helping develop his money mind for sometime now. He doesn't know he's about to strip it all back even further but he'll slowly embrace it as if it was all his idea.
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 5th Dec 17, 7:52 AM
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    Kantankrus Mare
    It's started in our house. DH and I have rejigged the budget to claw back more of his wage for savings. We start 15th of this month and intend to carry it through to next year. Although I have the 'simple life' in mind DH is clueless that he's fitting into place nicely. He just wants to save more.

    This strategy has worked in helping develop his money mind for sometime now. He doesn't know he's about to strip it all back even further but he'll slowly embrace it as if it was all his idea.
    Originally posted by fuddle
    Can you come and sprinkle your magic on my OH please.
    Make £10 a day challenge Jan/£215.84/ Feb £146.45/ Mar £192.55/Apr £171.20/ May £156.40/june £95.55/ Jul £383.85/Aug £211.60/Sep £282.35/Oct £122.54/Nov £271.08/Dec £67.49
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1628.14 miles
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 5th Dec 17, 9:36 AM
    • 3,273 Posts
    • 6,889 Thanks
    jackyann
    I too am enjoying this thread. I do want to sound a note of caution about getting over-enthusiastic about some things!
    We choose (and I recognise that some have little choice) to live simply for different reasons.There shouldn't be any sense of 'failing'. If something doesn't work for you, think about why, whether you really want to do it, and how you could make it work.
    I read that KonMarie has worked for a lot of you and am glad it is helpful. I wonder though, whether being too enthusiastic about getting rid of 'stuff' means buying more later????? Of course, a lot depends on space.
    Lessonlearned: I completely agree about giving only small gifts to grandchildren, and saving money for them. However, it is worth looking at different kinds of 'access' depending exactly on what you want to achieve. We have chosen accounts that can be accessed for big things like bikes, or possibly in the future, the more expensive kind of school trip. The 6 year old is interested now to learn about money and saving.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 5th Dec 17, 10:29 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Well said jackyann

    In the past I have been a bit too enthusiastic about decluttering and have then having “sellers remorse”. Unfortunately at the time I didn’t really have a lot of choice, I had to sell anything that wasnt nailed down I order to survive.

    Re the savings for the grandchild. I think I will probably open two accounts. One not to be touched until maturity investing annua lump sums and one monthly saver that can be accessed for larger purchases or emergencies,

    I can look at that next year.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 05-12-2017 at 2:21 PM.
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 5th Dec 17, 12:27 PM
    • 1,014 Posts
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    Spider In The Bath
    ...I read that KonMarie has worked for a lot of you and am glad it is helpful. I wonder though, whether being too enthusiastic about getting rid of 'stuff' means buying more later?...
    Originally posted by jackyann
    We never had lots and lots of stuff to start off with, but we still decided about 2 years ago that we had too much.

    Some of it just accumulated over time and some of it was out-of-date and no longer needed. For example we had a hole punch and stapler we owned for years. We realised that we just do not staple, or hole punch anything any more so no longer needed these items.

    We reduced things in cupboards, furniture and other clutter and this has made a great change for us:

    - We can now clean the house in about 1 hour 45 mins instead of the 3 hours it used to take

    - We have been able to make the smaller back bedroom into our main bedroom and use the larger front bedroom as a hobby room. We now have a decent place to exercise and for the first time in years I have a table for sewing.

    - Capsule wardrobes makes getting dressed easier for both of us and most tops go with most bottoms and shoes too.

    - We also (about 4 weeks ago) finally cleared out the garage and my husband can now park his car in there. No more ice scraping the windscreen before he has to go to work.

    Our life is so much simpler now then before we started the clear out and so we do not miss any of the stuff. You need to make sure that you only get rid of those things you do not need though.
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 5th Dec 17, 1:28 PM
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    LameWolf
    Forgot to add on my previous post , as mentioned in somebody else's post that I am going to concentrate on making me and OH a priority. Instead of running around and being worried what others think, we will spend more time on 'us'.
    Originally posted by amber03
    Yay! Go you! I spent the first 42 years of my life trying oh-so-hard to do what was expected of me, not what felt right for me (except choosing not to become a mother - that was non-negotiable, though I got an awful lot of flak for it) but since I've been with Mr LW, it's been different. I can be as much "me" as my health allows. I still get know-it-all people telling me what I "ought" to do, but I ignore them nowadays; as long as Mr LW is happy, I don't give a stuff what others think.
    he'll slowly embrace it as if it was all his idea.
    Originally posted by fuddle
    That's the trick; I now have Mr LW as happy to get rid of clutter as I am; when I first moved in here, the loft was chok-a-blok with stuff that hadn't seen the light of day in years, and Mr LW's finances were a mess. I got him to sort the former - which he readily agreed needed doing; I dealt with the latter, as that's kind of my forte, (I made him a promise that if he let me deal with all the household finances, we'd never be in debt, and I've made good on that - we are even mortgage-free) and he's now as much a "collector of money" iyswim, as I am.
    For example we had a hole punch and stapler we owned for years. We realised that we just do not staple, or hole punch anything any more so no longer needed these items.
    Originally posted by Spider In The Bath
    Just proves, it's all "horses for courses", as with so many things; if anyone deprived me of my stapler and hole punch, I'd be very put out, as I use them a lot, particularly the hole punch.

    Our "indulgence" if you will, is computer and console gaming. We both enjoy it (we actually met at table-top Dungeons & Dragons) but we don't spend loads on it; we select our games carefully, and replay them again and again. We are currently on a bit of a "blast from the past" and replaying Neverwinter Nights, which first came out in 2002.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 5th Dec 17, 1:55 PM
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    jackyann
    One of the reasons I like this board is that mostly people are supportive, and recognise that we can have common goals and offer helpful advice without necessarily agreeing on every minute detail.
    LW - I sympathise - as I often say 'there is always someone who thinks they can live your life better than you do!'.
    When I became a grandparent, it was obvious that having spent my entire working life with families and children, that I had a lot of experience and knowledge. I said to the new parents 'If there is anything that I feel is absolute - a specific danger or issue you need to be aware of - I will tell you clearly. Everything else is opinion and ideas, happy to share, happy for you to take it or leave it'.
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 5th Dec 17, 2:08 PM
    • 1,014 Posts
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    Spider In The Bath
    ...
    Just proves, it's all "horses for courses", as with so many things; if anyone deprived me of my stapler and hole punch, I'd be very put out, as I use them a lot, particularly the hole punch...
    Originally posted by LameWolf
    If I still had it I would have happily posted it to you as it was a really nice pretty red one.

    I run a business from home and it had been sitting on my desk for years. Every week I picked it up dusted underneath and then dusted the hole punch too. I suddenly picked it up one day and thought why I have still got this? So off to the charity shop it went.

    ...
    Our "indulgence" if you will, is computer and console gaming. We both enjoy it (we actually met at table-top Dungeons & Dragons) but we don't spend loads on it; we select our games carefully, and replay them again and again. We are currently on a bit of a "blast from the past" and replaying Neverwinter Nights, which first came out in 2002...
    Originally posted by LameWolf
    My husband got a much wanted VR kit for his birthday - it gives me motion sickness though.

    We run a board game club in our village. Clearing stuff out means that we have had room to buy a few more games and fit them in our cupboard. Recently, one of the members bought a really old game with them which we played from the late 1970s (a mining game) and I have a Scrabble from the the early 80s we still use.
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 5th Dec 17, 2:27 PM
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    LameWolf
    We run a board game club in our village. Clearing stuff out means that we have had room to buy a few more games and fit them in our cupboard. Recently, one of the members bought a really old game with them which we played from the late 1970s (a mining game) and I have a Scrabble from the the early 80s we still use.
    Originally posted by Spider In The Bath
    Our Scrabble is ancient, too; it's one of the things Mr LW found lurking when he cleared out the loft, so now it lives in the lounge and actually gets used. We also have the Talisman board game which was from Games Workshop, and which is no longer available, and is *possibly* worth a bit of money as a collector's item - but again, we do still use it. Sadly we don't have any of the add-on packs though.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • RicardaRacoon
    • By RicardaRacoon 5th Dec 17, 6:24 PM
    • 192 Posts
    • 3,952 Thanks
    RicardaRacoon
    Evening lovely folks

    May I join in as well? So many great ideas on this tread already!

    Sometimes I think that I am quite a simple person. I love homecooked meals, sitting with a cat on my lap and my knitting while drinking tea and listening to the radio (or watching a movie), going for long walks with a flask of tea, reading in the bathtub and things like that.

    But other times I end up in consumerism far more than I like it and buy stuff I don't need or spend evenings watching one silly video after the other online... I buy too many books, too much yarn and quilting fabric I will never use... And I waste too much time on silly things...

    So I will have to focus again on cooking from scratch, thinking about what I buy and use things I already have. And I will have to have a close eye on my screen time... Keeping it down to radio (not exactly counting as screen...), a few movies or series and knitting podcasts.

    We "do" presents by the way, but we make sure that it is something needed or wanted. My sister for example asked for a handknitted scarf to go with her new winter coat, Granny loves a posh body lotion which she would never buy for herself, my aunt is happy about crazy coloured socks... So I think I got it down to things that will be well recieved this year. Plus I knitted quite some of the presents.

    Reading about your OHs I think I can be happy to be single... My cats are happy with however we live, they don't mind clutter but they also don't mind me decluttering - as long they can keep their toys and an assortment of bottle caps, tin foil balls and rubber bands...

    And some of you seem to live with some sort of twin of my Dad... When my parents moved and my Mum started decluttering and downsizing he suddenly clung to everything that was long forgotten at the back of a cupboard... Suddenly it was the most useful thing ever or of huge sentimental value...

    So, have to go back to my knitting :-) Want to do a scarf and three pairs of cuffs until Christmas...
    Resolution for 2016 "Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 5th Dec 17, 7:06 PM
    • 11,427 Posts
    • 219,622 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    I think the thing about simplicity is that there is always going to be someone who is more simple than ourselves and perhaps lives an extremely minimal life which makes our own personal versions of a simple life look almost as ostentatious as Louis XIV..........

    I was having a rueful laugh at myself with an allotment pal, as we planned the logistics of getting the many kilos of spent coffee grounds we each collect from different city centre coffee shops each week up to our respective allotments in a suburb. I joked that my life would be a lot simpler if I was less ecological............. and he agreed wholeheartedly about his own life.

    I love to do crafts, although I limit myself to ones which can fit in my very small home and which are usable in said home and which don't cost very much in raw materials. I read (on 113th book of 2017) but don't hold onto books in most cases and various other things which give me great joy.

    Ultimately, there isn't a right way to do simplicity, there's a right level of simplicity for each of us. We'll know when we hit the sweet spot.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 5th Dec 17, 8:57 PM
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    Kantankrus Mare
    I think the thing about simplicity is that there is always going to be someone who is more simple than ourselves and perhaps lives an extremely minimal life which makes our own personal versions of a simple life look almost as ostentatious as Louis XIV..........

    I was having a rueful laugh at myself with an allotment pal, as we planned the logistics of getting the many kilos of spent coffee grounds we each collect from different city centre coffee shops each week up to our respective allotments in a suburb. I joked that my life would be a lot simpler if I was less ecological............. and he agreed wholeheartedly about his own life.

    I love to do crafts, although I limit myself to ones which can fit in my very small home and which are usable in said home and which don't cost very much in raw materials. I read (on 113th book of 2017) but don't hold onto books in most cases and various other things which give me great joy.

    Ultimately, there isn't a right way to do simplicity, there's a right level of simplicity for each of us. We'll know when we hit the sweet spot.
    Originally posted by GreyQueen
    Do you put your coffee grounds in with your compost or use it straight on the earth? Mine just gets thrown in the composter with all the other waste materials we collect at work. Im lucky that I work in a busy coffee shop/restaurant and have a huge bag of compostibles (is that even a word?) to fetch home every day which I then transfer to the allotment once every few days.
    Make £10 a day challenge Jan/£215.84/ Feb £146.45/ Mar £192.55/Apr £171.20/ May £156.40/june £95.55/ Jul £383.85/Aug £211.60/Sep £282.35/Oct £122.54/Nov £271.08/Dec £67.49
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1628.14 miles
    • firebubble
    • By firebubble 5th Dec 17, 9:40 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 412 Thanks
    firebubble
    I loved konmari, and have worked on simplifying for a while. I'm currently getting into 'zero waste', meaning that you aim to throw nothing into landfill, it all has to be recyclable/biodegradeable.

    What kicked this off was seeing a horrific picture of thousands of used toothbrushes collected from the ocean, and I suddenly started thinking about this, and thinking why am I using a plastic toothbrush, when I could be using a bamboo biodegradeable one. I'm never buying another plastic toothbrush again.

    I also discovered biodegradeable clingfilm exists.

    I doubt I'll get to zero waste, but 2018 is going to be my year of reducing landfill as part of simplifying.
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 6th Dec 17, 7:19 AM
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    • 219,622 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Do you put your coffee grounds in with your compost or use it straight on the earth? Mine just gets thrown in the composter with all the other waste materials we collect at work. Im lucky that I work in a busy coffee shop/restaurant and have a huge bag of compostibles (is that even a word?) to fetch home every day which I then transfer to the allotment once every few days.
    Originally posted by Kantankrus Mare
    I'm experimenting.

    At this time of the year, I have areas of bare soil which I fork over periodically to hoik out the horsetail roots. I am forking the coffee grounds under as I go.

    I have read that the perfect way to deal with coffee grounds is to compost them at a ratio of 4 parts grounds to one part something carbonous such as shredded newspapers. For the purposes of composing compost ratios, coffee grounds are 'greens'. Atm, I have far more grounds than I have space in a compost bin, although I am toying with the idea of getting a second compost Dalek dedicated to coffee alone.

    There is some argument that putting groundsd directly in/ on the soil causes nitrogen loving microbes to gobble on them and thus be less available for plants.

    As I said, it's an experiment, and the areas being treated are not presently under cultivation and won't be for about 4-5 months in most cases.

    My allotment soil is silt-over-sand (in geologic time it was a river bed) and is extremely free-draining. Thus, one of my major challenges is to build up the humus in the soil, and I grab anything which helps with that. I have added many tonnes (literally tonnes, not hyperbolic tonnes) of spent barley grains from the organic brewery directly to the soil, at a level of a heaping barrowful per square meter, and have had bumper crops as a result.

    I am also an afficianado of zero waste, although I am far short of achieving it.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • Emmala
    • By Emmala 6th Dec 17, 9:30 AM
    • 413 Posts
    • 2,216 Thanks
    Emmala
    I loved konmari, and have worked on simplifying for a while. I'm currently getting into 'zero waste', meaning that you aim to throw nothing into landfill, it all has to be recyclable/biodegradeable.

    What kicked this off was seeing a horrific picture of thousands of used toothbrushes collected from the ocean, and I suddenly started thinking about this, and thinking why am I using a plastic toothbrush, when I could be using a bamboo biodegradeable one. I'm never buying another plastic toothbrush again.

    I also discovered biodegradeable clingfilm exists.

    I doubt I'll get to zero waste, but 2018 is going to be my year of reducing landfill as part of simplifying.
    Originally posted by firebubble
    Thank you so much for posting this! Iíve been wondering what to replace cling film with thatís more environmentally friendly so Iím really pleased to have seen your comment about biodegradable cling. Hopefully I can pick it up in a normal shop too, looks like Sains do one which is great. I will also be replacing the kids toothbrushes with bamboo ones, just looked and H&B sell them, so again I can just get them when I pop to the shops. Thank you.
    • kettymerry34
    • By kettymerry34 6th Dec 17, 10:09 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    kettymerry34
    Thank you! Great ideas! I think the main thing should be our mental health! No more stress, no more overworking. Just let's love ourselves!
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 6th Dec 17, 10:58 AM
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    suki1964
    I haven't had time to read the whole thread yet but I'm along for the ride

    Very reminiscent of the Not Buying It thread from a couple of years ago, which I loved, but then stopped posting to as we were spending quite a bit

    But I loved the simpler style of life aspect of it so I think this thread will suit me
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it

    still singing, loud and clear
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 6th Dec 17, 3:19 PM
    • 828 Posts
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Ooh, biodegradable cling film? I'm going to look for that. I use it as little as possible, but sometimes it's the most practical solution.

    I've read articles and blogs about zero waste with interest, but I think for most of us it's just not practical. I try to always buy my veg loose, without plastic bags; I try to buy stuff in packaging that can be recycled, but it's not easy, for example spinach or kale always come in plastic bags that are non-recyclable. I do my best to minimise packaging, and recycle as much as I can.

    I think GQ has got it right above; my life would make some of my friends' habits look like Louis XIV, although I'm probably living less simply than others on here. It's not easy being green!
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 6th Dec 17, 5:59 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 477 Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    Really enjoying everyone's input in this thread, although our family has been struck down with the winter vomiting virus so I have not had a great deal of time to read every comment. I seem to be the only one who hasn't caught it.........yet
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