Author Topic: Living small, or just living with less, and not just because you have too...  (Read 13639 times)

E left a large suitcase, abandoned by a guest because of a broken clasp, by her front door in Ealing. Overnight it disappeared. On the second morning, there it was again. Presumably the recyclist didn't want it having discovered it was broken.

We've successfully got rid of several things on Freecycle and all to people who were nice and in (seemingly) in genuine need.  Of course, there have been people who don't turn up but we've usually managed to offload everything to someone else who was interested.

Roger, I don't think I'm a chav, but I'm sure the Express could take exception to me too - foreign accent, therefore obviously foreign* and therefore definately here stealing a British job!

*Actually born in London SE25....but we left when I was 7!

I don't care if they resell it as long as it's out of my way & not in landfill.

(It is of course possible that it winds up in landfill further down the line, but I am assuming that anyone who comes to collect stuff isn't going to take it straight down the tip.  One normally has to pay people to do that sort of thing.)

E left a large suitcase, abandoned by a guest because of a broken clasp, by her front door in Ealing. Overnight it disappeared. On the second morning, there it was again. Presumably the recyclist didn't want it having discovered it was broken.
Or they'd used it to dispose of a body and no longer required it...
Never tell me the odds.

Seineseeker

  • Biting the cherry of existential delight
    • The Art of Pleisure
I'm sure you don't have any Goatpebble, but I heard on radio 4 yesterday (woman's hour actually) that Oxfam really need/like to get bras in the used clothing they collect, as they are the most popular and needed item in Africa, yet many people throw them away rather than donate them to charity.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
I've lived small and didn't like it much.
I don't live small now but don't really live BIG.

I like not washing up after every meal because there are enough clean plates in the cupboard for the next meal. I like having enough clean underwear to last a month (though I don't wait that long!)

If I were able, I'd entertain more.
I like putting overnight guests in a proper comfortable bed.

I have a millionaire cousin who didn't have a bed for a visiting relative, which left me unimpressed.

I am lucky to have enough money for now. I enjoy sharing my home with itinerant relatives, astronomers and cyclists. I know this situation might not last forever but I'll enjoy it while I can and hope the same would be done for me in future.

I have a large extended family of very variable means.

I'm sure you don't have any Goatpebble, but I heard on radio 4 yesterday (woman's hour actually) that Oxfam really need/like to get bras in the used clothing they collect, as they are the most popular and needed item in Africa, yet many people throw them away rather than donate them to charity.

The reason most get thrown away, I suspect, apart from perhaps weight gain/loss, is that after a while they lose their 'guts' and don't provide much support anymore, plus underwires etc come out.

I suppose they are still better than nothing though.

annie

I'm sure you don't have any Goatpebble, but I heard on radio 4 yesterday (woman's hour actually) that Oxfam really need/like to get bras in the used clothing they collect, as they are the most popular and needed item in Africa, yet many people throw them away rather than donate them to charity.

Just thrown several away, not much need for them ;)


I enjoy sharing my home with itinerant relatives, astronomers and cyclists.

Run that by us one more time please... What on earth does an itinerant astronomer do? Turn up at your door and offer to do some supernova searching, cash in hand?

toekneep

  • Its got my name on it.
    • Blog
This is a very pertinent thread to myself and Mrs. TKP. We have just moved from a three bedroomed house to a one bedroomed flat. Although the flat is temporary we were determined not to fill up a storage unit with our possessions so a radical clear out was called for. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Most of the stuff went to charity shops and the recycling centre before we moved but I'm pleased to say that the process has continued after we moved into the flat. As we unpacked there simply wasn't anywhere to store it all so it had to go. There is a charity shop 20 yards from the flat which was very convenient.

Once we make our next move, which is likely to be to a two bedroomed house, we should be able to create a very minimalist look I reckon.

As well as reducing our possessions we have also cut our joint income by a third or more so that introduces an added dimension. One of the cars will go soon as we can get by with one now. Hooray for bikes and public transport.

In conclusion: we now have less stuff, less money and more time as a consequence of both working part time. I like it a lot.

goatpebble

I have to say that I am quite surprised at how this thread has progressed!

It's very difficult to go through all your stuff without getting stuck. You are always faced with a strange distorting mirror of yourself. The things you hang on to, because they were chosen so carefully, and all your ideas of a sense that these 'things' are not only useful or beautiful, but also that they somehow describe you, or the 'you' that is the most possible public manifestation of who you either are or want to be.

Stuff is identity, and when we don't have much stuff, or make decisions about just what stuff we let go of, it can get sort of weird. We are surrounded by the idea of perfect consumer heaven. Even 'de-cluttering' has become a rather sick estate agent mantra, or a stylish ideal to make more room for the 50" plasma.

One of the most important motives for changes to my life, is that I have grown to mistrust exactly those ideas of self. More than that, it seems more and more important that the way you live, and not the ownership of expensive and redundant toys, has more relevance to real happiness.

I am so fed up that I am almost ready to give everything away, despite all my friends protests.

If I have warmth, space, a few chairs and books, then why the hell should I expect more! There is the wonder of nature outside, and the idea that people hold tv and computer games as being more exciting is just horrible.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!

I enjoy sharing my home with itinerant relatives, astronomers and cyclists.

Run that by us one more time please... What on earth does an itinerant astronomer do? Turn up at your door and offer to do some supernova searching, cash in hand?

Itinerant astronomers (one is a yacf member) drop in, mostly by arrangement.
They use David's telescopes. It's a great boon to have them fixed in the observatory.)
They also drink tea, eat cake and listen to David talk about matters astronomical.

We couldn't really do this if our house was much smaller, if our garden was less suitable or if we didn't have the laptop, data projector and screen for presentations.

The yacf member also received a little rubber patch following a f**ry visitation. The Tip Top kit lives in the kitchen; I won it at last month's Barnet Cyclists' meeting and CBA to put it anywhere else.

annie

goatpebble, have you seen the film 'Into the Wild', it is a story of a guy who gives all his savings to charity,  burns his cash and ID and sets off into the wild, living off the land with just his back pack.  I haven't yet managed to get to the end of the film due to a lack of time but I loved the idea.  I look at all of my possessions, far too many I hasten to add, I wonder which add value (not in monetary terms) but in providing happiness and contentment.  I can dip in and out of the books at my leisure which is wonderful.

I think part of the reason I ended up with so much clutter is that as a child everything had to be put away and always tidy, as a consequence nothing ever really got used, sad but true.

As I sit in the playroom and look around me I am confronted with things in every direction, JC's standing frame, my turbo trainer, weights, balls, mats, table covered in Warhammer and paints, an airer with clothes in the midst of drying.  Books on the shelves adorn the wall near to the kitchen, piles of paper, pencils, my new GPS, still unused as I haven't had the time to tinker with it yet.  All too much and far too busy.

My favourite room in the house is the downstairs loo, simple and free of clutter, it is a space for reflection and calmness.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
I accept and expect that circumstances may compel me to downsize and declutter in the future.
Having lived with less than my peers for the first 20 years of my life and having more now, I'd like to enjoy my possessions while I can.
It won't be forever.
At the end of the day, it's not important. People are important.
My grandfather left just about everything behind in Germany the day Hitler was elected. He took his wife and two sons with him, leaving everyone and everything else behind.
He went from being well-to-do, with staff etc, to living in a boarding house (in one room, I think)
He managed to sort out better living conditions and had his possessions shipped to him later.
He knew his priorities.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Even my downstairs loo is cluttered; there are tools for Henry, copies of Arrivée, spare loo rolls and my toilet frame...

I'd love to declutter but I love my books, papers, music and bikes too much. However on the latter and with 6 bikes* I know that I have enough of them, one to many maybe  :P, and I feel very happy with what I have; comfortable in fact. My stereo is fine and will last. Of course I will buy those Dragon Force and other beautiful music CDs which I want to enjoy and I'll continue to be a glutton for beautiful books, ranging from French comics to great classics.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

My wife and I moved from a tiny one-bed flat to a two-bed that's about double the size last October, which should have resulted in us having more room, but both sets of parents decided that now we had the space we needed to have all of the stuff that we had deposited in their lofts over the years back! Luckily our new flat has a loft, otherwise we'd be completely swamped, but we've still been having an ongoing clearout since we moved in. I've really enjoyed getting rid of all the stuff, a lot of it brought back memories but that's not enough to justify keeping it forever.

I think the idea of getting rid of seven things every weekend is great, I think I'm going to try that one :)

annie

Even my downstairs loo is cluttered; there are tools for Henry, copies of Arrivée, spare loo rolls and my toilet frame...

Oh yes, I almost forgot that I have a large pile of magazines in there, running, cycling and Arrivee, plus the first aid kit.  When my brother in law came over last weekend he wondered if he had stepped into WHSmith as we have numerous maps in there, ok about 30 or so.  Maybe not as clutter free as I thought.

What about pics of our downstairs loos?

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
pics of all your loos!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

annie

pics of all your loos!

Not the loo as such, more the room ;)

pics of all your loos!

*** DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK *** explosive - Rate My Poo *** DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK ***

 :sick: ;D
Never tell me the odds.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!

What about pics of our downstairs loos?

No thanks!

*** DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK *** explosive - Rate My Poo *** DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK ***

But Roger,  surely this thread calls for www.ratemyloo.com

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
I've steered clear of Freecycle as I'm fearful of the worst type of freegan that might turn up. Instead, I have become such a common visitor to the recycling centre that I can virtually speak Polish.
When we lived in Poland, my son was clothed virtually entirely from the second hand shop. A surprising amount of it still had UK high street price labels on.

Kid's stuff in general isn't wasted. I reckon if it makes him happy, it's good. But it certainly doesn't have to be new - he plays with the same Matchbox cars I had over 30 years ago. Unfortunately, my sister's two managed to destroy the toys that had survived from our grandmother's childhood - those (wooden) toys were nearly 100 years old and still good fun!
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

rae

Quote
When we lived in Poland, my son was clothed virtually entirely from the second hand shop. A surprising amount of it still had UK high street price labels on. 

You can clothe a child for £1 in the UK, with the exception of shoes.   I do draw the line at secondhand shoes.    The local playgroup has bric-a-brac sale, and there are mountains of kids clothes.  They're not junk either - hardly worn Gap items go for 30p, or even less at the end of the day.   Generally they are left with several binliners full of perfectly good kids clothes that go to the charity shop or for recycling.   This is Hackney as well - not exactly a rich area, and the playgroup I'm talking about isn't posh and private.   

Anyone who buys clothes for an under 5 from a proper shop has more money than sense.