One thing’s for sure: if I manage to travel abroad, no matter where I end up I can’t take all my stuff with me.
Well, I could, but those would be some ridiculous expenses for checked baggage and shipping.
So I’m starting the experiment now. Or maybe just continuing my experiment from when I was twelve.
I took inspiration from Art of Solo Travel author Stephanie Lee – whose blog address I seem to have misplaced! Anyway, with the exception of the bed, she can move with just one car trip. Seeing how much I HATE moving my stuff, I loved the sound of that.
Here’s my home as it looks today:
Had to wait for a weekend to photograph it since during the week I’m only home when it’s dark – which makes for poor photos, and I don’t want y’all to think I’m living in a cave.
Behold, my bedroom! Ain’t it chic? I’m sure it’ll be gracing the cover of interior design mags soon. That desk’s a built in so I had no choice but to keep it. But my boxspring and bedframe have been banished to the bedroom while I make due with a mattress, one set of sheets, and two blankets. So far, I’m liking it.
Behold, my office / den / living room! I think it would have been interesting to be without a couch, but that bugger can’t go anywhere. I barely got it through the skinny door of my 1950s apartment building. The only art I chose to leave on the wall: a photo of the two people I was named after, my grandmother and great grandfather.
Where’s everything else? Well, this transitioning-to-minimalism thing is a work in progress so I will honestly disclose that just out of frame in the photo above is this:
My poor, cluttered entryway where I store my bags (backpacks, camel back, reusable grocery bags), shoes and boots (which I honestly don’t have many of), outdoor gear (climbing and hiking shoes, helmet, scarves and gloves), and cleaning supplies (there’s a vacuum in the corner there). Oh and hats, obviously.
Everything else is jammed in to the bedroom:
Also, in case you were wondering, I took only the clothes that were already in the dirty hamper – meaning I DO wear them – and moved them to the living room closet. So my sparse closet was pared down even further.
The whole packing-stuff-away process was very enlightening.
“I used this stapler a lot when I was in school. Now, not so much. But on occasion I DO need it and it’s nice to have one.”
“This little teapot that was given to me as a Christmas present is pretty and it’s displayed nicely among my books, but it’s never been used.”
“Hmm, a half-empty container of zip ties that I’ve held onto. Sometimes you need one. But rarely. But I feel bad about throwing them away. Fine, into the trash.”
(A very unfortunate side-effect of living in a very “green” town is that I have guilt about throwing ANYTHING away. I feel the need to keep it, recycle it, or find another owner. And since the latter two take a lot of effort I end up doing the first.)
More than once I groaned to myself, “Why do I have so much STUFF?”
I can definitely see the benefits of minimalism. I like coming home to a place that’s clean – because there’s almost no way to make it messy. Choosing my clothes in the morning is simple when you don’t have any. Oh, and I can do almost all my laundry in one load – woohoo for saving quarters!
I also like being less consumeristic. I walked into Target last week to purchase replacement shoes and my immediate thought was, “Look at all the STUFF!” And I had (almost) no desire to buy any of it as I didn’t need it.
But I’m not sure I could become one of those less-than-100-things minimalists you see out there in the blog world. I think minimalism hampers hobbies. I like to make art. So I need (and use) my sewing machine, numerous spools of thread, pins, paint, brushes, etc. I’m also a mountain girl who likes the outdoors. So I have a sleeping bag, camelback, hiking shoes, climbing shoes, etc.
It’s a fine line between owning and borrowing. Do I need a crescent wrench every day? No, but when I do it’s good to know I have one. How about a vacuum? Or printer? Do I need to choose between a dress coat or outdoorsy/waterproof coat? And what about cold weather versus hot weather?
There’s definitely a lot of stuff I CAN get rid of, though. And I probably will, though not quite yet. I’m trying to stay out of the bedroom as much as possible, but in this transition it’s good to know stuff is there if I realize I DO use this more often than I’ve thought.
Though I’ve also been good about trying to pretend it’s not there and not at my disposal. Like the morning I thought, “My black leather jacket would be the perfect compromise between my summer jacket and winter coat for this weather,” but forced myself to leave it on the hanger and pretend I had to make do.
Anyway, to sum up: I’m liking this experiment and plan to try to minimalize my kitchen soon. (Thanks to Amy for the continued inspiration.)
I’d like to hear what you think, though. Minimalism: good or bad? What impedes you from taking the plunge? Would it work or not work with your lifestyle?