Friday, April 24, 2015

our move towards minimalism (a surprising lifestyle change).

to say that we have a complicated relationship with our stuff would be an understatement. i mean, i know this is probably true for a lot of people, but for james and i, it seems to be especially bad. both of us came into this marriage with a lot of crap (both literally and figuratively), and due to the typically mostly really bad circumstances weve lived through since getting married, we never really learned how to properly deal with all of it. its not that we didnt know it was there, of that it was a problem, or that we totally needed to do something about it, it was just... overwhelming. we didnt know what to do, where to start, or even what kind of end product we were after, anyway. so we just kind of ignored it. for four freaking years. 

but then things started changing. really changing. things started getting better. not "magically swimming in money so we can move somewhere big enough to hide all this crap and continue to not deal with it" better, but "you know what the way were used to living is totally not what either of us wants and we can totally do things that will make it better so lets do that". so we started dealing with our crap. the process started slowly, first we cut way back on what we were buying until we were rarely ever bringing anything new into the house. then about a year ago, my mom had a yard sale and we quickly ransacked our apartment for things that were just taking up space. we ditched two car loads of stuff that weekend. two. car. loads. from a one bedroom apartment. 

and thats where things really started to get moving. we stopped looking only at what we were buying, but also at what we already had, more critically, more practically. we started small, a drawer here, a box there, throwing out obvious trash and giving things away as the opportunity arose. i spent a good chunk of the year picking my closet over (and over, and over) to try and sort out my actual personal style and reduce my wardobe down to only the things i actually like to wear. we started to get pretty dang good at this decluttering thing. 

then recently, things really got kicked into high gear. partly because of the new baby, but also because we were hit hard with a hard truth: we didnt actually need more space. our apartment is plenty big enough for the four of us, we just needed to not have every nook and cranny stacked to the ceiling with stuff. and we noticed something else: the more we got rid of, the more we saw how little of what we own is stuff that we actually use, that we actually like. and there began our quest not just for a tidy, organized home (which, to be honest, was our original intention), but for a minimal one. the questions shifted from "do we want/need this?" to "could we live without this?". more often than not, the answer to that second question is yes. so away those things go. 

and its absolutely wonderful. something as simple as getting rid of all this old crap that we didnt even realize was weighing us down has renewed and inspired us to get moving on some other things that weve been ignoring all this time: projects, goals, even dreams for the future that we were just too distracted to get around to. really i can not stop talking about how much ive loved this move towards a more minimal lifestyle. 

it hasn't been easy though, and to be completely honest, i never expected this change for me. ive always been a cluttered, disorganized, sentimental person buried in things. james too. but what i didnt realize is that these things were actually weighing us down and holding us back. without them, well... watch out. big things are happening over here. 

so whats up next? obviously, a continued series on de-cluttering/minimalism, because ive really learned a lot through this process that i just cant wait to share with you guys. but more surprisingly (for me, at least, cause i never thought id be that kind of blogger), a bedroom makeover series. yeah, miss i-dont-decorate-cant-make-domestic-decisions is doing a room makeover. 

so be sure to stay tuned for next time because the "before" is coming right up! 


  1. This is so awesome! Whenever I end up moving out into my own apartment again - which, if we're being honest, could very well be in 2 years once I'm done with grad school so I can save money for grad school - I plan on getting rid of a lot of stuff. Because I didn't realize how much stuff I had that I never used or needed until I moved back home and 90% of my things went into storage. I only have 10-15% of my belongings with me right now, and I've survived perfectly well since August. So asking, "What can I live without?" and then getting rid of that is definitely happening.

  2. same here! when we moved into this apartment we werent SURE how permanent it was going to be so we kept a lot of stuff "in case" we moved somewhere bigger, but since we didnt, none of it EVER got used. since weve started getting rid of it, our apartment feels HUGE and i spend WAY less time cleaning and looking for stuff, its amazing.

  3. With us moving so often, I've gotten good at this. I hate lugging it around the world and it's easy to see what we don't use based on the boxes that never get unpacked. My husband is not as good at getting rid of stuff, but at least we both don't hoard crap.