I’ve always loved getting rid of stuff but now that I have a word to define it (minimalism) I’m more intentional. I’ve known about minimalism and even subscribed to it but recently as I’ve studied it a bit more mostly via the site, Becoming Minimalist, I’m more inspired to reduce.
Less really is more…especially in a small apartment.
This post is in part inspired by the need of a friend and a recent article I read by Rose Lounsbury on Becoming Minimalist. After reading it, I then went over to Rose’s website and found her Ted talk…
Yeah, she based a talk and an article all on a very simple question – how many towels do you need? It’s a good question and one that should provoke thought. It does and did for me. And to be perfectly honest it couldn’t have come at a better time.
You see, I love getting rid of stuff but what I love more than getting rid of stuff is giving stuff to people in need. I have a friend in recovery who newly moved out of a group living situation and into his and his new bride’s first home. They need all kinds of things and I knew I could contribute, even in some small way, to them.
So with the question that struck me as relevant, “how many towels do you need?” and a friend in need, I went to work with more decluttering.
The Decluttering Process Begins
Okay, I Started With the Towels. I figured it was kinda apropos 😉
I have a small linen/medicine closet in my little bathroom in my apartment and it was crammed and when I evaluated it, I wondered why?? I recognized that I had 4 towels and really thought that two will suffice so those were the first to go to my donation pile.
Then I realized I had two curtains stored in the linen closet that I wanted to turn into a shower curtain and a curtain for said closet. That lead to me throwing two shower curtains into the donation pile and freeing up some shelf space. Next, I added some stored shower hooks and extra rags to the pile.
I also threw in an extra comforter which was stored in the linen closet.
A shower caddy that was not being used made it to the pile as well. My new shower, due to shelving space, didn’t really need one. I was holding onto it because it was newish but really, why?
The donation pile is getting bigger and my closets more spacious.
Look at this nicely organized linen closet. BTW, when something I normally use is on sale, I stock up so there is some excess product stored here.
Also, check out my window curtains which I transformed into a shower and linen closet curtain! They simply needed hemming and some shower hook openings cut and sewn in. I mean life is too short to store away curtains as pretty as these. I say use what you got today!
I don’t have a lot of cupboard space in my kitchen so I noticed my cupboards were really full. How many coffee cups do I need really? Sure I might have guests from time to time but not big groups. Thinking about it, I might host book club but that would be 6 gals and so that settled it, I kept 6 mugs.
Next, I discarded a couple of large serving platters. I had like 4 in all and figured two is sufficient.
Funnily I have a bunch of wine glasses and I don’t even drink wine. Why? Well partly because they were my grandmother’s glasses and partly because I occasionally like to drink sparkling water in a wine glass. Anywho, I kept 6 and got rid of the rest.
These won’t go to the guy I know in recovery because chances are he doesn’t want wine glasses.
I also surveyed my pot and pan situation and I seemed to have an awful lot for a single gal. I mean heck, I am only ever using two at the same time. That settled it, I got rid of a few of these.
Additionally, from my kitchen I discarded:
- Several kitchen towels
- Utensils I don’t use
- Excess Tupperware
So I failed at getting before pictures. Oops! But I can show you my clean spacious cupboard after pictures. I mean, it’s nice to go into the cupboard and see every available option easily. Furthermore, it’s great to not knock something over when reaching for something else.
I had an extra blanket to donate and a happy little Peace Lily plant. The latter, I think, makes a lovely housewarming gift. I currently have too many plants since my work office is shut down. BTW, I did name my plants and talk to them when I water them as a friend suggested plants thrive more when they are talked to. IDK, you be the judge on that…
I like to paint occasionally, I had an extra painting to spare the new happy couple.
That was about it for the donation pile but getting rid of stuff was so much fun that I went to my work/sewing desk and cleaned out the drawers. Oh my gosh, I had old business cards, stickers, old Fitbit bands and more. Yep, I discarded all.
I have a friend who always has excess stuff for exact situations like these and so I phoned this friend. For some reason, people are always giving him stuff because he is connected to a lot of sober houses and folks in need. It’s amazing. Anyway, he recently acquired a bunch of stuff from a woman who moved to assisted living. This got added to the pile.
It really got me thinking about how when we are in need there is probably someone somewhere ready to unload. Oftentimes, just asking around will produce results. I’ve developed the fun habit of recycling things and finding a unique use for them.
After I finish this decluttering I always feel as I am living in a more spacious home…and I am. When we free up our home from stuff, we add more space to move and grove. It just feels freeing to me. Additionally, I find it calming. Lastly, I find it easier to manage.
These days I am spending a lot of time in my apartment as I am temporarily working from home. And guess what? I truly enjoy being in my space. It’s peaceful.
I was able to declutter more and donate to a friend in need. That’s a win/win in my book. The process of decluttering can begin with the simple question, “how many of that item do you actually need?” It can be asked of all things in every room.
I suggest you really ponder it for you and your family. That answer will be different for all of us. Chances are the number you come to is less than what you have on hand. Certainly, it’ll be less than the marketers tell you. 😉
How about this if you are hesitant to get rid of stuff but really want to try downsizing —> First, move stuff to a donation pile. Next, see how you feel about the freed up space. Oftentimes that is enough to inspire one to part with it…it is for me.
I’m adding more space in my life by getting rid of the excess.
Where in your life would you like to create more space?