Every time I move, which comes around more frequently than I like, I get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we have. Subconsciously, I think I blame my husband. “He has so much stuff!” “Why doesn’t he go through his stuff?” and so on. However, I can’t force him down the path about minimalism. Honestly, he doesn’t really have that much stuff. I just like to think he does because most of it sits in the same boxes and totes from one move to the next. I reach a point where I just don’t want to go through any more of my stuff and start to concentrate on other things in our home, namely: his stuff.
I will admit, my husband does desire a simple, minimalist life. He just goes about it at his own pace and in his own unique way. When we do move, I will ask him to go through a box or two at a time, and he does it in a good-natured way. He doesn’t want to get rid of much because as we move, our needs change. I think he wants to wait on purging a lot of his electronic stuff until we move into our first house.
Since I do the organizing and the decorating in our home, I tend to want to display and use my things while some of my husband’s awesome things stay packed away in boxes.For example, my husband is a talented musician. Yet, his instruments usually end up shoved in a spare closet somewhere (although, this has become somewhat of a necessity since our son now gets into everything). This means my husband spends much less of his spare time playing his instruments, even though I want him to play music for our son.
Part of minimalism is to get rid of the things I don’t need so I can make room for the things my family uses. This means limiting the books I buy to ones I intend to read multiple times throughout my life and checking out books I only intend to read once or twice from the library. Minimalism to me also means limiting the number of knick knacks I have so I have room to display my husband’s records and the games we play with friends. It also means limiting the toys I buy for my son so he doesn’t become overwhelmed by his choices and refuse to play at all. Overall, minimalism to me means limiting the stuff I buy so we have room and money to create experiences with our family and friends.
What does minimalism mean to you?
My little family lived in our tiny apartment for 13 months. While we had many great experiences in and enjoyed our little apartment, we felt the need to move into a place where our son could have his own room. My husband and I needed to have our own child-free space where we could spend some time together. We also missed inviting lots of friends over. It our little space, it quickly felt cramped if we invited more than two friends over. When our little one started crawling and pulling up, we didn’t have a place to play board games anymore.
Earlier this month, we switched apartments with our neighbors and now live in a spacious two bedroom apartment. I think we have more breathing room. With the larger space, we have to be more conscious about purchasing stuff to fill the extra space. I purged some things before we moved, including some mementos I didn’t really need. The past couple of weeks, I have started reading more about minimalism to help keep me focused on the lifestyle I want. I continue to go through my stuff and my son’s stuff as he grows out of it. It feels freeing to have all of my scrapbooking stuff in one drawer, my sewing stuff on one shelf, my childhood mementos in one tote, etc.
Some blogs and vlogs I enjoy recently include:
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Happy World Turtle Day!
My husband and I have now lived two months in our new space. I have 28 days left until our baby’s due date. Putting away the shower gifts posed a new challenge in our small space. While I have a few items stashed in the crib to put away and the stroller to assemble, I believe we have a good system for the baby with which to start. Some ways I have made the small space work for our growing family:
- Replacing our microwave and toaster with a toaster oven to free up some counter space.
- Our tiny dining table doubles as hubby’s desk.
- Bins under the crib to store extra diapers, clothes, etc. the baby won’t need for a few months.
- Hooks, organizers, towel racks over the doors for extra storage (we have our baby tub hanging from a hook on our bathroom door, our diaper bag and baby carrier hanging from an over-the-door coat rack, and plan to use an over-the-door towel rack to hold blankets)
- Putting our dressers in the master closet allows us to have enough space in our room for a full-sized crib, a rocking chair, a queen-sized bed, and other furniture.
While our small space does limit the amount of entertaining we do, my husband and I still enjoy our space. We do not feel cramped (most of the time) and feel happy with the number of items we have in our space. I even had three of my pregnant friends over for a girls’ afternoon without any issues.
Some bloggers have inspired us to go on this journey of living in a small space with fewer items. They include:
I know this update on our 100 Things Challenge comes a few days late, but we do not have internet set up at our new place. However, I can say we more than met our goal! In the chaos of moving, I lost track of the items I put in the Goodwill donation box. My husband and I still managed to record more than 100 things we sold, donated, recycled (electronics), or just threw away. We made $130 from items we sold, and we hope to sell a few more things in the near future. About half of the items on our list we donated to Goodwill. We gave away almost a third of the items on our list to friends. Very few items on our list ended up in the trash, while we recycled several broken electronics. Overall, our tiny new space works efficiently since we managed to purge so many items from our lives.
This week, my husband and I made the decision to move into an apartment with about 550 square feet of space. With medical bills and school loans to pay, we can only afford the tiny 1 bedroom apartment, but we have several positive things to say about the location. However, the small space will definitely challenge us, especially once the baby arrives. We decided to see this as an opportunity to challenge ourselves to live a more minimalistic lifestyle over the next year. I came up with our first task on Wednesday, which I will call the “100 Things Challenge.”
Some of my readers have probably heard of Dave Bruno. A few years back, he decided to challenge himself to live for a year with only 100 personal items in the pursuit of simple living. For more information about his challenge, watch this Youtube video. While my husband and I don’t feel quite up to the challenge of living with only 100 personal items, we have come up with our own challenge: get rid of 100 items by May 1st. By get rid of, I mean sell, donate, give away, recycle, or throw away (as a last resort) items as we pack up and move into our new place.
I happily report, I sold a chair to one of my housemates this morning. Our first item: gone 🙂