This week I’m following along with the Life Your Way Simplify for Fall Challenge. Six days, six areas of the home to simplify. I’ll be sharing my progress here all week. Here’s what I’ve already tackled: clothing & laundry room, toys and kitchen and meal planning.
Not sure I am going to stay ahead of the work on these projects so beware, there might be some of these posts up next week.
Simplify your: bedrooms and bathrooms.
Time I took with this task: 1-2 hours
Some of the big work we did in the fall of 2010 and the massive downsizing for our move overseas has really paid off. Neither of these areas were too challenging or too cluttered for us.
Don’t be jealous. I’ll be showing you my paper clutter soon. Paper and clothing seem to be the first things that get out of hand in our household.
I’ve come to a conclusion about guest rooms after ours got out of control.
You need to use your guest room.
You need to keep the door open.
After my sister left last week I committed to leaving the guest room door open and to not chuck anything I am procrastinating on in. Not that I haven’t been tempted this week.
Our room, seen at the top there, was no work at all. We don’t have much besides our bed and clothing in there. Our side table drawers hold a few things like my hair dryer and two hand bags.
Yes, I know the room is awfully beige and plain and boring. It’s a minimalist cliche rather than minimalist chic. But we live in a furnished rental so we don’t have a lot of choice and while it’s rather boring I find it calming. And calm is what I need when I’m trying to get a good night’s sleep.
I’ll get around to hanging some pictures or art on the wall in the future.
For now the only thing I did for the challenge was hang a reuseable bag over the chair for my husband’s dry cleaning. We use the doors of our closet to hang out clothes we intend to use again for a bit of airing.
The crib and change table dresser came with our apartment and at some point I hope to have both children in the same room. I didn’t have my own room until I was 18 and living off-campus for the first time. It certainly made me more more easy going about sharing space with roommates and my husband.
A good sign: empty storage.
Usually when you have another baby on the way you start thinking about buying dressers for all the clothing. Not here. Most of the drawers and cupboards in Henry’s room are empty and we’ll have more than enough space for newborn onesies and cloth diapers.
We have a very small bathroom off our master bedroom with a shower. Very small. So small I couldn’t figure out a way to get a decent picture of it.
The small bathroom has a towel rack and one medicine cabinet for storage. The pedestal sink fits just one tube of toothpaste and our toothbrushes. Not ideal but a good natural toothpaste really is the most frequently used toiletry in our home so I am happy that we at least have room that.
There is no storage for extra toiletries, sun block, travel toiletries and what not.
So we put it all here:
Not so pretty but it works.
For the challenge I went through all the boxes and cleaned up a puddle of almond oil that had leaked.
One of the boxes contains over-the-counter medication and I moved all of it into an empty shelf in the kitchen. Makes it more accessible for use but also keeps it out of Henry’s reach.
This is our main or family bath (except the make-up case medicine cabinet photo – that’s from our master bath). It has a tub and a separate shower (didn’t get a photo). We rarely use the shower in there which is good by me because it is a pain to clean.
Henry is the main user of this bathroom and it stays pretty tidy. We keep a hand towel and Henry’s towel cape, a much loved gift from my friend’s mother, on the towel rack. The beach towels are for guests and beach and pool trips. Our master bath has white towels and I like to keep them for home use only.
The medicine cabinet is mostly empty except for infant nail scissors, some children’s bath suds/shampoo and a can of Febreeze the owners left. Personally, Febreeze makes me gag. I prefer the light a match method but I leave that to our guest’s discretion.
Some of these simplifying areas have been a chance to document what we have rather than do a lot of simplifying. Our work in the last two years has really paid off and while we still have our hot spots for clutter we’ve made a lot of progress in just generally having fewer things around.
I thought about skipping some of the days but a lot of people have asked for photos of what our home looks like, what a moderate minimalist family owns.
Hopefully some of you can see that we’re not zealots, or completely nuts, just trying to live with a bit less than the average first world family.
Tomorrow: Paper Clutter & Budgets