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Posts tagged with: living with less

The Purge Begins

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When we moved out of our home into the 900 square foot apartment, we underwent a major purge. Then when we moved into the camper, we purged even more. Last year, our stuff fit into a small 6’x4′ cube for moving.  And honestly, other than buying furniture when we moved into our new rental house last April we haven’t really gotten back into stuff.

Furniture

We each got a new bed, we each have a inherited chest of drawers and we each got a new desk (Princess’ was given to us.) I purchased a used table and chairs from an estate sale ($200) and my uncle gave us a antique dishes holder (not really sure what to call it.)  That’s it. We don’t have any living room furniture at all.

Clothes

Princess and Gymnast continue to out grow clothes every season. (Although I think we are coming to the end of that with Princess.) With that being said, although they have all gotten new clothes over the 10 months we have been here, we have continued to donate items as new ones were brought in. (Remember when we did the 25 clothing items?)

The Purge

So what am I talking about when I say the purge begins…books. As you know, we have homeschooled for the past 9 years, since Princess was kindergarten age.  I have curriculum for every subject beginning with lower middle school through high school. Now that the twins are out of high school (Sea Cadet graduates this year,) and the younger two are in public school…the books are gathering dust.


I’m going to keep select high school items, but otherwise, it is time to say good-bye to that chapter of my life. Typing this, I think to myself, that I sound so flippant about it. But reality is, my stomach still clenches in dread at never homeschooling again. Reality is, Gymnast LOVES the social aspect so much, he would be miserable coming home again. And Princess is just one year from being able to enroll full time at the local community college. (When all was said and done, she had enough high school credits to go in as a sophomore in high school. We just have to wait for her to turn 15 to be able to dual enroll.)

Therefore, my goal over the next week is twofold:

  • Sort through my bookshelves and pull out all of those books that can go
  • Find a place to sell them (where I can make the most money and encounter the least hassle)

I don’t know how much money I will recover off this endeavor, but something about these mass purges calms my soul. We are definitely minimalist even today. Some of us (me) more than others, but in general, we have far less “stuff” then most anyone I know. And I love it.

I’ll keep you posted on how this purge translates into money!


Doing Without – Giving up Convenience for Space

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So as we begin to adjust to life in a much smaller space and learning to make use of items we kept in some unusual ways, there has been only one glaring thing that the kids have missed…a microwave.  That became quickly apparent one night when they tried to make chicken wings for dinner from the frozen bag and plated them only to determine there was no quick fix for defrosting them.  Conventional oven route they went.

As we laughed together about this incident, I was grateful that we had used up all our typical microwave treats as we were eating through our pantry in preparation for this move.  The one that stands out is popcorn.  Microwave popcorn has definitely been one of their go to snack items, and we arrived here with just one bag left (and I’m sure they didn’t know that one was there or it would have been used.)

I knew coming in here there wasn’t a microwave and my thought was that they aren’t too expensive now, especially with the smaller, no-frill options so I would just buy one when we got here.  But here’s the dilemma (aside from the money woes I mentioned in this morning’s post:)

Our new apartment kitchen - it may look messy but really I just haven't found space for everything.

Our new apartment kitchen – it may look messy but really I just haven’t found space for everything.

We are WAY out of space.  There is no pantry. There is one drawer (and it falls out every time we open it.)  Truly, this is not a mess.  Everything you see is clean, I just haven’t been able to find storage for everything.

So as I think about this, I think…what about a year without a microwave, without a toaster (which we got rid of during the purge thinking we could use the oven to serve the same purpose.)  Not only will it save me the expense of a microwave, but with only one section of counter space large enough to hold it, it will free up a large amount of space that would otherwise be non-negotiable.

So for now, we are going to go old school and be microwave free.  I know there are others who do this…any hints for me?  (On a positive note, you may remember my hemming and hawing about the kids’ tendency to buy frozen meals with their grocery budget and how I got so tired of those…well, that won’t be an option for the time being.  Woohoo!)


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