Like anyone beset with some degree of clutter (usually papers in my case, but also some items I never wear or use) I might dream of a more minimalist lifestyle (some would call it "Zen", but I think that is a misuse of a philosophical or religious category). I was always very happy living in a room somewhere with very little stuff, but usually that was where studying, doing research or taking part in seminars somewhere, not my "real" abode.
I'd love not to have three winter coats, but we get cold snaps of -20c or even colder. Much less than 30 or 40 years ago, and winter is considerably shorter, but still... A very warm duvet coat is too hot on a mild day, and one can't layer indefinitely and move fluently.
I admire small wardrobes, and have certainly given away and discarded a lot of unworn stuff, but there is this fear, borne of coming from a very poor family and still having a very precarious income, of not having something wearable if I ruin my work-worthy clothing somehow.
They go to an awful lot of trouble to see what's right in front of them!
There's something about both links that makes me impatient. And yes, I get the same feeling you do -- that the articles are written by & for people who are so confident & yes, coddled, that they'd have no idea what to do if really forced by circumstance to make do with less.
I pore over photos of sleekly beautiful rooms, with nothing extraneous to detract from the serenity and perfection. If I had summer, winter, beach, mountain, etc. homes, no doubt at least one would look that way -- all ordered by the decorator & kept pristine by the staff.
Once I saw a photo spread in an upscale magazine of a woman's absolute minimalist apartment. Even her toothbrush wasn't in sight in the bathroom. Ain't that nice? If I didn't move my own cabinet from house to house, I'd have nowhere to hide the toothbrush, towels, toilet paper, etc. etc. I imagine your flat is warm and charming, LaGatta, but that it doesn't obligingly provide all those tasteful hideaways to help you achieve the minimalist lifestyle.
you might choose to attack the drawer of makeup in your master bathroom
These articles are obviously written by people who shopped till they dropped at one point and are now trying to clear. Not that I don't have too much stuff -- especially shoes and books -- but I don't want to just give them away.
Actually, these days we have been throwing a lot away (my husband is finally sorting a lot of papers), our recycling garbage bin is heavy every week, and we have several bags of books to go. Anybody need a copy of "Mexico on $10 a Day"? (bought in Austin, Texas in 1977 -- a vintage edition!)
I only have one small bathroom (and am not complaining about that) and I certainly don't keep my makeup there. Don't have much - some eye makeup, some lipstick, a few other odds and ends. The only thing I have to do in that respect is bin things that are really too old and thus unhygienic.
They also don't seem to have laundry facilities, nor do they wash their things by hand.
On the other hand, there is Flylady, who is much more downmarket, but also a fundamentalist Christian, who takes it for granted that housework is the wife's saintly duty. (Any man I have lived - in sin - with for an extended period was the housekeeper, and me the chef de cuisine). Some cluttered people are able to use her stuff anyway, but I want to kill her.
Then I came across "Unfuck your Habitat", which seems to use some flylady techniques without the patriarchal religious crap. (Dear anyporters, if you practise a religion, that is not what I mean)!!!
If you read through it a bit, she seems to have both mental and physical problems. I've worked in a tenants' association and mediation between people living like that - often severe hoarders - and their landlords, neighbours and public services (health, fire) is always a challenge. Many but not all are elderly. One fellow had a balcony completely piled up with "stuff", including an artificial Christmas tree. Of course the firefighters came to tell him that they couldn't save him in the event of fire, and that it was forbidden to do that.
This directs more to the "hoarding" thread. I thought it was sort of the other extreme of "decluttering" blogs.
I guess I'm seeking all sorts of inspiration as I attempt to clear out some stuff here!
I took 3 bags of books to the local Emmaus Association this afternoon. I was rather annoyed when the guy told me to just leave them outside -- it's supposed to rain later.
I could add that those minimalist, white rooms (always huge, of course) attract my attention when I see a photograph, but they just don't look lived in. Rooms need some colour, some books lying around. So from an aethestic point of view I think they look attractive but I wouldn't want to live like that.
I will admit everything has its place in our house, but we do have colour, art, photos and personality! You can come by anytime and everything will look the same even the little pile of weekly flyers will be in the same place, just a new weeks worth.
When my sister and her family were here for a few days everything was everywhere, I spent yesterday putting everything back. I think it is because we both come from military families where everything was kept neat by our mother's and then with not being able to have children we felt we had to keep things neat since we had the time.
I do not feel the need to label bins, cupboards or drawers though.
Speaking of military families and keeping order, I used to have a friend whose father had been a gendarme -- a paramilitary police that was run by the Ministry of Defence. His wife, who is about 89 now, told me that when the gendarmes' families lived in apartment buildings run by the service, there would be inspections of the apartments. The floors had to be waxed, everything put away...
Our military still holds housing unit inspections when you transfer out, called a March Out, I believe. My brother-in-law will be transferred from Borden to Ottawa this June, so we will see how strict the procedure is these days.
My husband has 2 cousins that are currently Gendarme serving in the Lorraine region and another cousin that is a retired Gendarme. We seen the compound where the cousin that is now retired lived with his family, it did look quite militant, neat, orderly and very secure.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jul 13, 2014 19:13:51 GMT
Our house is full of clutter, my OH wants to do some major work in the house in the next few weeks so we have to have a serious sort out. We have so much STUFF. For example I still have some black velvet flared (lined) trousers that cost me an arm and a leg from Carnaby Street in 1974...with the best will in the world they will never fit me again....but I keep them. The loft is rammed with old TVs, old kettles, stereos, a dressing table, clothes, 3 plastic Christmas trees, two boxes of decorations and light, countless bags of cuddly toys, toy cars (including CARGANTUA!) a wooden castle, Castle Greyskull, a pirate ship, about 20 old pillows, books, lots of Star Trek videos...vinyl records, several mirrors and picture frames....eeeh it's going to be hard work.
My mate Myrt says that the people on tv shows with uncluttered minimalist houses (especially the ones where the children's bedrooms contain naught but an antique dolls house and some tastefully arranged books) must have HUGE sheds in the back garden where they cram everything....
Trouble is, a lot of my stuff has sentimental value.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jul 13, 2014 19:26:01 GMT
I think minimalist style is for people with enough space and adequate storage to keep things simple, which doesn't necessarily mean 'posh'. I would like to have at least one room without clutter, just neutral colours and plain furniture.
Our shed is now pretty much empty as all the lawn furniture is out on the different decks. I looked in our garage today and for the first time in a long time it is practically empty. That is because everyone who had stored things in there have over the last year taken stuff back to their places. Besides some tools, lawn mowers, there is a bin with an artificial Christmas tree, a bin of decorations and a bin of camping stuff and a tent. Finally some room for the vehicle!
Help !!! I need someone to turn this dump into a minimalist place. I have rashly invited my niece and her husband and her THREE little girls to stay. Guess the charity shop is going to get a lot more stock, else the dump.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
Sorry, didn't see your query until now. She gave me plenty, perhaps too much, warning. they are coming to UK at the end of October, Toussaints I think she called it. Guess I shall be sleeping on a temporary bed downstairs!!
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
Oh, Mossie. That is too funny!!!!! You have three months! If you need some of us AnyPorters to come declutter your home just say the word (and send money for airline/train tickets ) You certainly have plenty of time to prepare. I always get more done around my home when I have people coming to stay. It pretty much goes to hell upstairs in the meantime.