Minimalist (or Aspiring Minimalist) Chickens

Discussion in 'The Hens' Nest' started by Afishwish, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. Afishwish

    Afishwish Bramblebutt

    Any of you consider yourself minimalists or want to be?

    Every few years I hit a point of feeling suffocated by stuff, start a purge, feel great, then eventually hit a point of accumulation again. Now, though, I'm really feeling overwhelmed by stuff and want to stick with this minimalist business. It's not for any noble reason like being an eco-conscious earth citizen or anything, it's just because we're slobs and the less shit we own that's less shit to try to keep clean. Now that kiddo's going mobile I also just want less stuff to worry about.
    DaleBrennan likes this.
  2. Honey

    Honey Historian Staff Member

    Heck no. More is more. :lol:
  3. HBC

    HBC Chicken

    I'm not minimalist (I have at least 20 pairs of shoes) but I like to think I make an effort at reducing my consumption.
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  4. Vespidae

    Vespidae Antagonist Staff Member

    I've been feeling the same way about my stuff. I've been packing up some things lately and the more empty space I create (I mean, not really, I have plenty of other things to move into those spaces, but at least they won't be piled in inappropriate places anymore) the more I like the idea of getting rid of even more.

    I collect a lot of useless shit and I still don't want to part with it, so "minimalist" is definitely not what I'm going for, but I feel like I could display my awesome useless shit in a less cluttered way. I think I'm going to start by purging clothes and rearranging my books and see how that goes.
    Afishwish likes this.
  5. amonavis

    amonavis Chicken

    I'd like to be more minimalist. M will not get rid of anything. His parents are hoarders and, while he isn't a hoarder, I think it made his standards for clean and organized really low. I'm trying to use our upcoming move as a reason to get rid for things, and M agrees, so fingers crossed! He made a ton of progress with getting rid of old magazines recently.
    Afishwish likes this.
  6. Scout

    Scout Chicken

    I've been living pretty minimalist for the past 9 months - it's a side effect of losing most of your stuff in a fire.

    The big challenge has been maintaining this low level of stuff. I'm a big fan of organizing - everything has a container or drawer or something it belongs in. In the past 9 months I've reorganized my pantry twice, and I probably own about 50 storage tubs/cute baskets. Every cupboard I have had about 2/3 big storage tubs full of books (last purged October last year, waiting for our new house). Also allows you to store a lot of awkward shapes/knick knacks easily.

    Best way to do it is to have a list and work your way down it - 1 purge a week. I did my pantry 4 weeks ago, my linen 2 weeks ago, and I did my wardrobe yesterday. Next on my hit list is the third drawer in the kitchen and the overflowing storage tub of knitting gear.

    Other plus of my storage tub life is that it was super easy to get stuff out of the old house after the fire. I saved a lot of random pita to replace shit like my party costumes, childhood toys, second set of crockery.
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  7. deet

    deet Chicken

    I purge regularly and throw things out regularly to the point where my husband knows better than to leave something laying out.

    I do this this is something that also stems from the military. I was required to keep things a certain way, down the the millimeter.

    I know I mentioned this before, but it's a huge reason why I don't have a big house. I cannot stand all the crap my kid has, but I cannot force other people not to get him stuff, and I do want to get him stuff too, so that's what drove me nuts to the point of just starting on the basement.

    So I think I'm probably more OCD about clean than I am necessarily a "minimalist" but a minimalist way of living most definitely combats that uphill battle of having everything nice and neat. I am fascinated with the concept though, and I read about it and look at images frequently.

    Also follow the rule of buy one thing, throw 2 out. I am much better about impulse shopping.
    Afishwish likes this.
  8. Imabug1002

    Imabug1002 Chick pee

    We lived like minimalist for a while because our moving company lost most of our stuff... But I've bought a ton of stuff since then. I try to purge a few times a year but coming up with a system of marking things, then if you don't use them in a certain amount of time then get rid of it works for a lot of people.Controlling the impulse buys is most likely the best bet once you do a purge though. I like Deets idea, maybe I should start doing that.
    Afishwish likes this.
  9. Old Waxy

    Old Waxy Chicken

    I don't know that I'm a minimalist but I do notice a big difference when chatting with friends, they seem to constantly be getting new stuff/more things. I don't pursue or acquire "stuff" at the rate they do. I like to keep relatively bare surfaces around the house.

    But shit accumulates none the less. I'm planning a garage sale in may or June and I cannot wait. I went through all my clothes, shoes, purses/bags already & have a huge pile started in the basement. J says he will contribute too but he is a pack rat so I'll believe it when I see it. He's so bad that when I threw my wedding dress out a while back I found it in the basement later - HE is the one that couldn't throw it out which is super weird. Maybe he wears it when I'm not home. Since my purge my closets look like an ikea bedroom display. Lots of empty space, it feels amazing.

    I also have tools, furniture, wall shelves, light fixtures, play station/rock band, books, wall art, jewelry, pet & home accessories ready to go in my garage sale pile.

    I have a quiet fear that I'm looking over things to get rid of. It gives me both a thrill and anxiety when I go over it in my head.
    Afishwish likes this.
  10. megatron

    megatron Wordsmith Staff Member

    I'm definitely not minimalist, but like fish, go through purge cycles that ultimately end up repeating somewhere down the line. I like buying things. But I'm also recongnizing there's a ton of crap/stuff in my house that I just need to get rid of. We have a lot of clutter and it stresses me out. I think I would feel less anxious if I got my space back in order, and did it in such a way that's maintainable. So not minimalist exactly, but definitely less than I'm dealing with now.
    Afishwish likes this.
  11. Tumnus

    Tumnus Chicken

    I purge stuff quite often, we don't buy a lot of extra stuff but it creeps back in.

    I'd love to get to a spot where everything has a place.

    Like Mega the clutter stresses me out.
    Afishwish likes this.
  12. Basil

    Basil Chicken

    Id consider myself a minimalist. I grew up with parents that are borderline hoaders so I never had much of my own space to aquire items. It pleases me to have empty space more than additional items. Im still living in an extented stay hotel and actually find that all my belongings fit perfectly in such a small space.
    Afishwish likes this.
  13. deet

    deet Chicken

    I can relate to this. My brothers house is about 2800 square feet. They don't even use half of it. I know someone else with a similarly big house, and the empty bedrooms are filled with crap they don't use. What an utter waste of money.
  14. TaterTot

    TaterTot Rulebitch

    Sometimes you get stuck with extra bedrooms to get the living space and quality you want.

    My sister lives that capsule life. Envy.
  15. amonavis

    amonavis Chicken

    I do think I wouldn't feel so stressed by the amount of stuff we have if we had a larger place. Our apartment is around 450 square feet. I'm hoping we can get rid of about 1/3 of our stuff before we move and that our new place will be around 600 square feet.

    I'm going to calendar out a different purge or organizational task to do each weekend for the next three months. I actually purged my clothes last weekend, which felt great and also showed that I have a big gap in my wardrobe when it comes to solid colored work tops. Most of my drawers are only half full now, and I'd like to keep it that way. Next on the list is to go through the papers that I've just been shoving in the bookcase to see what needs to be scanned and what can be recycled.

    Does anyone have recommendations for organizing tools in a closet that has shelving? General household tools like screwdrivers, scissors, glue, wrenches, etc. Not, like, a saw. I'm thinking maybe these:

    Afishwish likes this.
  16. deet

    deet Chicken

    I totally believe this. All the brand new houses being built are massive. If you want something smaller it's a condo. So you're basically forced to buy an older home if you don't want a big house, at least here anyways.

    That does suck, but it's totally doable to do a 10 or 15 year mortgage as well. Which is a huge benefit.
  17. fantasynerd

    fantasynerd Extra Extra

    @amonavis We've found mostly small (I think like, 6 quart) plastic bins and a few medium ones to be way more functional than plastic drawers. We don't stack ours or use lids, but if you wanted to I still think it would work better than drawers.

    Also if you have a spot for it, R put up some pegboard, and got a kit of hooks and stuff to put in and hang tools on.
  18. megatron

    megatron Wordsmith Staff Member

    We've got a big house, with a finished walk-out basement, at 3000 sq ft. And yes, right now the spare rooms have random shit in them. We are hopefully having a family though, which is why we wanted the space. And the open basement will be great for kids. We just have to get rid of our useless crap first.
  19. JillofallTrades

    JillofallTrades Chicken

    I'm not minimalist by any means. I was a pack-rat growing up, mainly with craft items and knick-knacks. I finally got it through my head that just because someone gave me something, didn't mean I needed to keep it forever. That and almost marrying into a family of hoarders. I try and throw stuff into a donate pile as I find them and take stuff every month or so. Craft supplies are still my Achilles heel but I purge every few months, try to keep everything organized and use what I have first before buying new things.

    D on the other hand. It's a work in progress. Every time we've moved he's exclaimed that we have too much stuff for two people and we need to purge (and I agreed then and still agree). And he does for a bit. And then stops. Now all the stuff that he needs to hold on to is in his office and he's finding it hard to do any work in it. He also tries to guilt me into keeping presents from his family. Sorry babe, I don't want or need baby pink socks or more purses (seriously, why do they give me a new purse every year?!?).

    In terms of decluttering, for me, it's easier to pick up something and ask "do I want to keep this?" vs "can I get rid of this?" and not buy crap just because. Doesn't always work but it helps.
  20. deet

    deet Chicken

    But there (Canada) you include your basement in the sq footage right? Here we don't. With our basement, we are at 2600. The houses that I mentioned above -- that sq footage doesn't include their additional basement space.
  21. megatron

    megatron Wordsmith Staff Member

    @deetroitwhat It's the same here, with basements excluded from square footage. Our acreage house is a walk-out though, so it's counted because it's technically above ground (at least on one side lol). Our upstairs is 1600 sq. ft., but that's on one level (it's a bungalow, no bi-level).
  22. deet

    deet Chicken

    @megatron sounds cool. I'm trying to picture it...the open basement I can attest to being A1 for kid space. My upstairs finally feels normal again.
    megatron likes this.
  23. BigFatGoalie

    BigFatGoalie Chicken

    Our rented house was 400 sq ft. Our current owned house is just under 900 sq ft (excluding garage). It forces you to keep your shit to a minimum.

    I actually can't imagine having a typical 2500-3500 sq ft house back in AZ. I'd have to accumulate more stuff and furniture to fill the space and I don't need it.
  24. Old Waxy

    Old Waxy Chicken

    Yeah, it's frustrating. In my neighborhood (I'm Detroit area too as I assume you are) they are tearing down modest baby boomer bungalows & putting up giants. The type that go up in one week and something about looks very temporary. But when I look st the layouts of these homes the main levels are much more geared to how people live today and a functional layout that I want. But I don't want a house that big. We were itching to move this year but we're going to stay put for the time being. Then the idea is to find a good bungalow on a nice street/yard & rip out most of the second level so we can tear down any walls on the main floor we want for our desired layout without the extra house.
  25. HBC

    HBC Chicken

    We live in 1000sq ft. Our stuff fits fine. I don't love some of the storage problems that we have but it's an apartment so we can't do anything about it.