Buying our first apartment was both super exciting and kind of exhausting. I naively thought the open houses and the bidding and the actual buying, which all took place in August, would be the most work. Boy was I wrong. All in all I didn’t consider the process of our minimalist move to be truly over until the beginning of December when the lease of our old place was finally over, even though we were completely moved in by the middle of October. I’m sure there are many of you out there who can relate, both to the workload and my naivety.
Time to flex those decluttering muscles
Moving really put my minimalism-skills into action. We did a major round of decluttering before packing all our things into boxes, and we thought we did pretty well, considering we were adamant about not taking with us anything we didn’t care for. We gave away stacks of books, recycled old magazines, and cleaned out the kitchen cabinets of old and unloved food and utensils. We even had to live without a couch for a while, since we had to get rid of our old one – it literally developed holes the week before we dumped it – and we didn’t want to buy a new one until we had moved into the new place. You know those minimalism blogs who ask you to question whether you really need to own a couch? We really did need to own a couch. #Buttpain
We also ended up selling or giving away a lot of furniture and items from around the house. Our new place is smaller than the old one, but has an infinitely better floor plan. This means that it doesn’t feel smaller at all, but we did have to let go of certain things because of space restrictions. Then, once we were settled into the new place, we ended up giving away or selling even more since it was painfully obvious that there were some things we didn’t even care about enough to unpack from their boxes. Three months later there are still three boxes of who-knows-what that we have yet to unpack, and their contents will go straight to charity as soon as we can find the time to deal with them.
Things we got rid of:
- Our old bed (didn’t fit)
- Our old sofa (completely worn out)
- A 4×4 IKEA Kallax book shelf (didn’t fit + we had already given away most of its contents)
- A 4×2 IKEA Kallax book shelf (ditto)
- Two coffee tables (too big and clunky)
- An armchair (we had no use or space for it)
- Two office chairs (ditto)
- Four dining chairs (too big and clunky)
- More than 10 bags worth of clothes, towels and other textiles
- Both our magazine collections
- 2-3 bags worth of books
- Some kitchen appliances, coffee mugs etc
- ??? I seriously can’t even remember all of it
Things we bought
- A new bed
- Two dining chairs
- Four collapsible spare chairs for when we have visitors
- A shelf for the living room
- A coffee table
- A sofa (second hand)
- A dresser
Things we plan to get rid of
- Three lamps that we no longer need
- An old sound system
- More clothes, probably
- The contents of those mystery boxes
- Two laundry hampers
- Two desks
- Whatever is in our little storage room, I honestly haven’t had the spare mental capacity to even consider what lurks in there
We were also gifted new duvets and pillows, which meant we could get rid of our old ones (who, not to be gross, were way past their prime). We were very careful about not rushing out to buy things for the new place, as we wanted to live there and see what we actually needed instead of just buying what we assumed we would need. We eventually want to get a custom desk for the office so we can get rid of the two desks that we currently have and make better use of the space, but we are not in a rush. We also need to get some plants. I thought I would want more decorative things, but The Boyfriend bought an art print and I bought a hipster hexagon lantern type thing, and somehow that seemed like enough.
Where are we now?
Three months later we are still only about 80% settled in. The poor Boyfriend still doesn’t have a closet, although that’s more laziness than minimalism on our part. We need to hang some shelves in the small storage room, and I’m going to Ikea hack a new dog crate for The Poodle. We still have to donate some surplus stuff to charity, some things we will try to sell, and some things sadly need to be taken to the dump. The sun room has no furniture, but I have a vision of something scandi slash boho slash ridiculous. It’s a process, but we’re getting there.
The header photo is from my Instagram-wall. See the whole thing here!
Read more about my minimalism journey
- Fall 2018 simplicity update (September 2018)
- An interview about minimalism with OBOS magazine (June 2017)
- A life simplicity update (April 2017)
- 25 things I did to simplify my life (August 2016)
- I KonMari’ed my apartment (August 2015)
- The 10 month shopping fast: what did I learn? (July 2015)
6 thoughts on “A minimalist (sort of) move”
I absolutely love your instagram wall! Is that Maria from lostinaspotlessmind I spy in the second-from-right photo in the bottom row?
I have found your minimalism series fascinating to read! I have recently redone my bedroom (I’m living with my mum while I complete my studies), and it can be so satisfying when you finally get things just so, but the process can be incredibly draining! I hope you enjoy your new home in the weeks, months and years to come, and that you make some truly incredible memories there!
That is indeed Maria, well spotted!
And thank you for the lovely comments. I can’t wait to get the bulk of the work done with the new place, because right now the mental to-do-list is a bit longer than I’d like. It’s all superficial stuff though, thank goodness. No actual renovating or painting or anything like that :)
Congrats on the new place! It looks like you get a beautiful amount of natural light. :)
Thank you! And we really do, the light is amazing. We decided to not have curtains in the main living area at all, because of the light and the view. I don’t really care if people can see me watch TV or eat my dinner if it means better lighting and a better view :)
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