I have talked about minimalism and reducing ‘stuff’ on a few different occasions, and while I wouldn’t say we were ‘hoarders’ by any stretch before, it’s been a real wake up call the last few weeks around here. I read Organized Simplicity a couple years ago and have been slowly decluttering and minimizing since then. It was such a lightbulb moment for me. It was like a switch was flipped. I looked around and thought, “Oh. my. goodness. Why do I even HAVE all this stuff?!” I looked around and saw junk that we had moved TWICE and it was still just hanging around in boxes and it had honestly never occurred to me before to just get rid of it.
So over the last two years I have gone through stuff and donated carload after carload to Goodwill (donated about 10 Volvo wagon loads in 2012/2013) and even had a FREE garage sale to get stuff gone. It felt great, but there was still a lot of stuff around… Stuff I thought I honestly needed.
Fast forward to now and we are selling our current house (the one in which we have been renovating) which is 2,000 sqft, three bed, living room AND family room AND full size den/playroom and two car garage. WAY too much space for our family of three. We are moving to a more desirable neighborhood (which is more central to my AP mama and baby group; currently we are the furthest south memeber and it’s quite a commute to playdates and such) and we want to downsize our finances, too, so we are buying a condo that is 950 sq ft : two bed one bath, open living area with a 15×20 living/dining open concept. I am SO excited! I can’t wait to say that we fit ourselves and our stuff in a two bed condo!
So, I feel like there has been a shift. I’m no longer getting rid of stuff because it’s just this useless junk I’ve lugged around – I am now getting rid of things that I once felt were useful and needed. But now that I have to downsize so much, I am trying to think how things can be multi purpose.
Example: In current house I have a craft room in the den. It consisted of
- a full size desk with hutch for the sewing machines and storage of patterns, notions, books, etc.
- cutting table with olfa mat
- expedit bookshelf with boxes of misc craft supplies (jewelry making, knitting, doll making, clay stuff, painting, drawing, etc – a box for each craft)
- two plastic bin drawer things of fabric
- two cardboard boxes of fabric
That is SO much stuff!
Meanwhile, in the office I have a large antique teachers desk (a lot like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/572520171350212779/) that has my desktop computer and all of my office supplies in it (which I have already gone through). In the new condo we will be putting a desk shelf in the second bedroom closet for the office (so we can close the closet doors and keep the media out of sight when we want) and so my desk will be free for another use! I will be using it as both my cutting surface and where I will sit to sew and whatnot.
So I got rid of:
- the sewing desk
- the cutting table
- the bookshelf
I also got rid of a bunch of the craft stuff I wasn’t using. The emotional rent on hanging on to a jewelry making kit when I don’t even wear jewelry wasn’t worth it to me. If, in the future, I ever want to do jewelry making I can just rebuy the stuff as it’s not very expensive. I don’t want to store it anymore, though. I want to really go through my fabric, too, and downsize there as well. That is much harder for me, though. Something to work on.
Anyway, this was long winded – but my point is that this push into a space that’s less than half the size of what we are in now has brought me to a whole new level of decluttering, minimizing and just general reducing our amount of STUFF and it’s AWESOME. I love it!
I’ve gotten rid of another several Volvo wagons full as well as we have done three runs to the dump, too (recalled crib, broken plastic compost barrel, broken yard supplies, old yucky dog beds, old cat box, etc – honestly stuff that couldn’t be recycled or donated. It’s really eye opening, though, and will make me think twice about stuff we buy in the future).
Plus, we’ve sold a ton of stuff on Craigslist and have made $1,500 in the last two weeks, so that doesn’t suck, either!