moving

Moving And Minimalism - Part II


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After 3 days of moving ourselves into a new apartment unit within the same apartment building, it’s done.  It’s exciting to move into a new space, but everything leading up to that can be a challenge.  But it can also be a learning experience.  If you have ever moved yourself (not hired movers), one question, almost without fail will come up: 

HOW. DID. WE. GET. SO. MUCH. STUFF?!?!?

And how did it all fit in our apartment?!?  We didn’t have a TON of stuff,  but if I’m being honest, in just our kitchen alone I didn’t realize how many cooking utensils, spices and dry food storage containers we had.  I think we’ve been consistent with bringing stuff in and taking stuff out.  Still, it was a little daunting to still find things hidden away in the corners of closets and cabinets.  The move provided a good opportunity to evaluate what we really use and what we consistently wear.  We  purged clothing, containers, pictures, utensils, and even food that was no longer a part of our eating lifestyle.  We either donated our extra stuff to charity or gave it away.    

On a side note, I’ve mentioned before how small our apartment is.  I want to assure my readers that I mention it not to showcase how noble we are for living in a small space or to boast about how easy or difficult minimalism can be when you don’t have a lot of  space.  Size is relative and minimalism is an individual practice.  There are people who live in the space of my bedroom and patio combined who are content and live abundantly.

 Here are some of the things we learned and some of the things we gained:

In the process of purging while packing for our move, I was a little surprised by what we still had, but ultimately pleased in how much we were able to remove.  One conclusion was glaringly obvious - with minimalism there is always room for improvement.  It is a constant work-in-progress.  A lesson I re-learned is that something that is useful or meaningful to me now may not be in the future, and that’s ok.  I don’t want to be in the habit of acquiring and discarding to keep in step with the current trends.  I do want to continue to practice capturing and considering each thought about consuming (or discarding) before that thought becomes an action.  We should be ok with letting things go when it is truly their time to go - sentimentality or nostalgia be damned.

Our previous apartment and our current apartment are roughly the same size.  Our last apartment was wedge-shaped so we had to be creative with the arrangement of furniture.  The new place is more traditional/rectangular shaped so furniture arrangement was easier.  It was comforting to see that all of our furniture still had a place and a purpose.

Light!  our previous place was on the second floor, the narrower end of the wedge contained all of the windows which faced an enclosed courtyard.  Very little natural light made it into our apartment.  There is more light coming into our new apartment on a cloudy day than there ever was on a sunny day in the previous one.  This is also true for cell phone reception.  It’s still not spectacular, but it is better than before which is important when you’re on call for work.


 Overall, I think we have done well.  We’ve never needed an extra storage unit.  Our furniture has always found a place in the multiple moves that we’ve done so far.  What have been your experiences with moving in the past?  Did you keep everything?  Did you find things that you no longer needed?  Let us know in the comments.

Moving And Minimalism - Part I

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Moving is a stressful time.  Even with everything planned to the last detail, it rarely goes as planned.  Sometimes, decisions have to be made in the moment.   Practicing minimalism doesn’t ensure a stress-free or quick moving experience.  However, moving is a great time to examine what you have  and what you need.

The previous move for Tracie and I was from a 1000 sq. ft. Apartment down to 650-ish square feet.  We purged a lot of excess and we’ve been consistent with the number of things coming into the apartment matching the number of things going out as well as the quality, value and usefulness of those things.  650 square feet can get cramped real quick if you aren’t mindful about what you bring into your space.  Moving is a great revealer.  It shows what we’ve been making use of and what we’ve hidden away until later.  It shows what we don’t want to deal with.

Moving is also revealing to us that as much as minimalism is a part of our daily lives, there is always room for improvement.  The space we’re moving into is not much bigger - literally a difference of a few square feet so we don’t gain any significant amount of room.  What we do gain is more natural light for ourselves and our plants, a more traditional floor plan and layout and better cell phone reception (we hope, we’re moving up a few floors).   We have another day or so before we’re done.  In that time we hope to also gain more insight into ourselves and our practice.  Check back in a few days as I’ll be posting about what we learned about the process and about ourselves.  Have you ever moved to a smaller space before?  What was your experience?  Let us know in the comments.