A friend of mine made a post of social media asking “Does anyone have any experience/thoughts/resources on minimalist living? Debating between trying to pack and move the majority of my things, or drastically reducing just to selected essentials (basically shipping one freight item, maybe a few boxes of books, and then everything else going in my car)”
I’m gonna answer here, in part because I tried to write it there and it was going to be waaaaay long.
First thing first, unless you have stuff you super love.. like couldn’t replace super love, drastically reducing is one of the most freeing things you can do. I love the blog, The Minimalists, as a starting point. They were and still are an inspiration for me. I also looked up tons of wardrobe capsules because I had sooooo many clothes that I needed help figuring out how to get down the sheer amount of clothing I own.
So I guess to be honest I first started years before I finished. Each summer I worked hard to get rid of half that I owned. By the time I actually started the blog, I was already determined in that half thinking I was crazy but gonna do it sort of way. The final push looked crazy though.
My simplified steps
- I left my apartment and made a list of all the things I used on the daily.
- I then made a list of all of the things that I wanted to have still.
- I went back home and put all that stuff in the bathroom and everything else worked its way into the living room.
- Living room had three giant moving boxes placed in it. One was for keeping, one was for throwing away and one was for donation or selling. (I donated all but someone more organized might try to sell)
- Every day I worked until I moved two boxes of stuff out of my apartment. Some days were harder than others but it kept progress moving.
- Keep in mind, I was doing this during teaching. Once summer hit, I put in five to eight hours in but that’s because I was drowning in stuff and had to hit a deadline.
- On days when you are saving everything, stop working. Unload what you have done and watch an episode of something that inspires you. I used hoarders. It inspired me not to allow myself to bury myself alive. For people with less of that fear, I recommend tiny houses on youtube . If you like to stream while you work, I would recommend the Minimalists documentary. If you want a free set of documentaries then
- If it costs less than $5 and it’s not on your lists, you can probably donate it.
- If you can buy it at Goodwill and don’t need it soon, you can probably get rid of it.
- If you can’t replace it, don’t be afraid to save it. That doesn’t really include books that someone gave you unless it has an inscription.
- DON’T FILL YOUR NEW SPACE! Leave room to grow incase you find you need something.
- If you are moving into your car, try to only have backseat or trunk full if at all possible. You should still be able to drive comfortably. (And maybe be able to store some food)
- Keep in mind that if you keep it down to one or two boxes, a friend can probably store them for you with your name on them.
- I got a storage unit that I only half filled. It was my comfort gap. I couldn’t imagine getting rid of my furniture and was terrified I wouldn’t be able to move out of the trailer if I hated it. This came in handy later because I inherited several really nice pieces from my grandfather and grandmother and had tons of extra space for storing it. This did cost me $50 a month for two years. A whopping total of $1,200. If I not moved into a house, this would had been wasted money. Honestly, if I had not gotten married, this would have been wasted money.
Mistakes I made
- I saved to much still. I should have also gotten rid of clothing that didn’t fit, all the books from my young adulthood that were fantasy and easy to check out of a library.
- I overpopulated my space so as I grew and life happened, I really ran out of room a few times over.
- When things started accumulating, I threw stuff in storage instead of ditching.
- I only regretted throwing out one thing.. of all the stuff I ditched, I regretted throwing out my letterman jacket. Here’s the deal though. I just wanted a picture of it. I was fine letting it go but wished I had a picture. If you aren’t sure about an item, take a picture then let it go.
Does anyone else have suggestions?