Thursday, October 23, 2014

.thirty-one days of minimalism: forgotten.

I hope you are enjoying this series on minimalism as much as I am enjoying it! I already feel my home is getting cleaner and easier to manage and live in. Today I have a truth to share with you as you begin to go through your belongings and decide what can go and what can stay.

Minimalism truth: If you forgot about it, you probably don't need it.

As I go through my closets, especially the ones I don't use often, like the linen closet, I find things I forgot I had!
Has that ever happened to you?
Now, while the truth is that you probably don't need it since you have been living your day-to-day life without it, there are several different paths I take when I come across something I didn't know I had.

First: Is it something I've been looking for?

You know...when you put something in a "special" place and then promptly forgot where that special place was. If it's something you were looking for, hooray!

Second: Is it still in the original packaging? If it is, can I return it? Or maybe give it as a gift?

This one is all about being frugal...nicely. If the package is NEW, then it may be prudent to return the item, or to gift it to someone you think could use it.

 Third: Is it in tatters, and that's why it was shoved to the back of the closet?

This is maybe more applicable to clothes or linens more than anything else. Those clothes your kids ruined with a bottle of ketchup, or that ratty sheet you were saving just in case. Maybe it's just time to toss it in the garbage!

Fourth: Do you just not want it anymore?

 Sometimes I buy something thinking it will be awesome! And then, it's not. So I have been known to shove it in a closet for a few months. If you come across things like that, put them in that donation bag!
I hope this truth helps you as you start to implement minimalism in your own home and feel the weight of your possessions lightened!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

.thirty-one days of minimalism: kids.

I think you just like to see pictures of my messy house, friends, so here is some more real life!
If you have the privilege of knowing my sons personally, you know they are...bonkers.
Their room often ends up like this:
So I approach their room with almost the same format as I approach any room, like my office, with a few changes.
My boys' room needs to be their refuge. It needs to be safe. So there is no furniture besides their beds. Nothing for them to pull over on themselves. Nothing for them to climb up.
So I keep their clothes in tubs in their closet. They're just little boys, so we don't have a lot of clothes for them. At this point in time, one tub is plenty for each kiddo.

I don't feel like I can go the plastic tub route with them, because they are so hard on things. Toy bins often become space ships, party hats, sailing ships, and a hundred other things.
So I love these soft baskets from Target.
They are ridiculously resilient, soft if you happen to run into the wall while wearing one over your head, and hold lots of toys.
As far as decor goes...well, we don't own this house, and we are probably going to be moving within the next six months, and then moving again six months after that. So decor needs to meet lots of criterion: easy to put up and take down, safe for kids, attractive, versatile...
Enter the wall hangings!
I love to make graphic cloth hangings (my husband flies helicopters, and my boys obviously think that is the coolest thing ever). And these fabric buntings are basic enough to fit a variety of different themes. It's works well for us!
And there you have it! Here are all the ways I tackle minimalism, organization, and toddlers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

.thirty-one days of minimalism: the office.

Several of you mentioned that craft supply storage was a big struggle. I think you somehow knew that was currently the messiest room in the house.
In our home, we have one room that serves as the office, guest room, craft room, and our daughter's bedroom. We're very multi-purpose.
Because I work from home, there is a tendency for things to get piled in here.
Real life, I'm tellin' you.
So here is my approach:
1. Start with two garbage bags (this is how I start cleaning any room). One is for garbage, and one is for donation to Goodwill
2. Start picking up. Put garbage in the garbage bag, put things that don't belong in that room away where they do go, and out things you've been meaning to get rid of in the donation bag
3. Once the floor is clean, I start going through the plastic bins I keep all my supplies in. If I don't use it anymore, get rid of it. If it was part of a project that I've finished, get rid of it. I only keep very general craft items on hand (glue gun sticks, water colors, hole punches) because I tend to go out and get the specific things I need for a project anyways. I try really hard to only buy what I'll need for the one project, and always use coupons!
4. Label! And you're done!
You can do it, I know you can!
What other ares in your home are problem areas?

Monday, October 20, 2014

.thirty-one days of minimalism: family.

What do you do if not everyone in your household is into minimalism?
If there are other people in your household, chances are you might run into a snag if all of a sudden you are getting rid of things left and right. In our home, we can't even agree which episode of Curious George to watch next, let alone how we should manage our possessions.
To be fair, the four month old, she doesn't really have an opinion. So that's one...only three more to go.
Always a plus to have this cutie on my team!
How to convince them?
Really, it comes down to having my husband on up my team. We are the adults, after all.
Here is what has worked in our home for getting everyone on board the minimalism wagon:
.explain why you want to be minimalist.
for me, it was simply: I'm overwhelmed
.provide concrete examples.
I broke down my day for my husband and showed him just how much time I spent picking things up
.set personal goals.
my husband decided he wanted a new iPhone, which wasn't in the budget. so he went through his things and put a ton up on eBay
.dont get frustrated.
a flamboyant emotional display is not the best way to get what you want, even for toddlers
.lead by example.
once I started cleaning out my own things, my husband noticed how nice it was

That's what worked for me! My husband is pretty easy going about this sort of thing, but it's a lot more fun now that he is excited about it, too!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

.thirty one days of minimalism: friendship.

Baby A had her first visit to the quilt shop! Look for projects on the blog soon!
Weekends are my break. Time with my little family and time to have fun.
This weekend was filled with friends, laughter, fun, and maybe the occasional meltdown.
Tomorrow is back on the minimalism bandwagon, but today is for laughter and memories. Which is my personal goal for minimalism in my home to begin with.