For anyone who hasn’t read my recent blog post “Med School Diaries: Back to Brain” I have recently moved again, third times a charm – I hope! This time instead of downsizing,I have upsized; though it was entirely unintentional. Having taken a Residential Tutor job I now have an entire one bedroom flat to myself. Whilst it definitely has its perks, it has been making my attempt at living a minimalist lifestyle more challenging.
Despite having a massive cull of unnecessary stuff, I have been having a hard time stopping myself from accumulating stuff. There has been stuff I have needed and stuff I haven’t. It’s been a hard battle to find the balance between what I need and what I want. When there is more space and shelving you automatically feel like you need to fill all the empty spaces, cover the walls in pictures and trinkets. When my accommodation was variable and I could move every 9 months or so, it was easy justify not buying stuff and I work my way around not having something. Now, knowing that this could be my home for the considerable future, I do need to buy some things to make it a home, but equally I need to not get comfortable with just buying stuff because I know I will be here for a while so I can.
Below are some tips and tricks to being minimalist when moving or upsizing.
- Remove storage where you don’t need it
If you have built in cupboards, you don’t need to fill your rooms with cabinets and chest of drawers. It’s filling up space in the room, sure; but you are adding more surfaces and space to fill with stuff you do not need. It works the same with shelves, do not cram your shelves full of stuff, and. do not cram a wall full of shelves. If you remove the space to fill You don’t need to cover walls in shelves.
- Avoid filling everything with stuff.
Those shelves you do have don’t need to be full of stuff. If you are having a hard time not filling empty shelves, then add plants and greenery to your shelves. Not only do they need space, but they look great spread apart and can be cheap and cheerful to implement.
It’s even better if your plants are low maintenance, or useful; I am slowly collecting a collection of edible plants to fill up my kitchen space.
- Don’t buy more then you need
You don’t need five different types of glasses and you don’t need six of each type. If you are buying things you need then buy the amount of things you need… don’t buy complete sets because you feel the need to… or because they come in beautifully packed boxes in the shops. If you are buying kitchen stuff buy them in singles and you can always go back for more if you need to.
- Designate a place for everything
If everything has a designated home then you don’t loose anything. This means you won’t have a need to replace them and end up with loads of stuff. Thats the biggest reason people end up with draws full of the same thing, because in our consumerist world we just buy and replace things.
- Add stuff slowly
When I first moved in there was a huge list of stuff I suddenly believed I needed. So I wrote that list and put it in order of how much I needed that to function in my day to day life. If it was something to make my life easier but I could wait a month then I have waited, the longer I’ve been putting it off i realised I didn’t really need it. Constraining myself to a budget has allowed me to cross off a lot of things on my list and prevent me making unnecessary purchases.
- Don’t start filling the walls
A lot of us seem to have an aversion to empty walls. To many people its a sign that you haven’t move in and settled down yet. There is nothing wrong with wanting to customise your own home, but you need to do this cleverly. There is no reason to fill every wall with shelves or pictures, be specific in what you want to do. By paintings if you fall in love with it, not because you want it or it seems like it might fit. If you feel like you might get over your infatuation in a month or so, then don’t buy it… keeping walls clean and bright often keep your mindset minimalist and helps you reduce the desire to clutter.
- Don’t buy duplicates unless you need it,
There is no need to by duplicate towels or bedding if the spare beds are rarely used. You don’t need duplicates for every room, you can have one set and that goes on the bed whilst the other is washed. In todays society with combined washers and dryers it is completely possible for you to wash and replace something on the same day. Linen closets are a prime location for unnecessary clutter. Once clutter starts, it grows … and you have to battle to stop it.