Okay so here is the post I intended to write when I wrote the nut post.
Do you like my titles? I have a lot of fun coming up with silly titles sometimes. :’)
So I had one of those moments that I think every aspiring minimalist can relate to. I was standing in the middle of the room looking at items scattered around that did not have a place. Ugh. You know, THAT feeling. That feeling of overwhelming hopelessness that you are never going to be able to find a place for everything. My items included a yoga mat, excess books and a tent, to name a few.
The best advice I can give in these moments, where you are sighing and looking around helplessly at all these items is to just take it one small step at a time, knowing it will get done, eventually. Just break it down into literally one item at a time. Accept you may have to make multiple trips around the house but it is easier this way and will stop you from feeling so overwhelmed.
Just take one single item at a time and evaluate it. Where is the logical place for it? If there is no room can it be stored close by? Still no room, where can be stored at all? And if all that fails, I usually cram it under the guest bed. If you really have no room at all for it then you may have to discard something else to put said item in it’s place.
I tried to squeeze the yoga mat into my wardrobe but although it is built in it’s quite small, I have an ikea rast in there with my perfectly and neatly organised unmentionables, my shoes lined on a shelf and my jumpers on the other shelf and my clothes are all hung on the overhead rail. So basically there is no room.
The attic is easily accessible but I didn’t want to go all the way up there every time I want to do yoga… you know? But seeing as the spare room wardrobe is full of crafty items and board games it ended up going in the attic. *Sigh*
The tent went in the attic too because that seemed like a logical place for it, especially with winter approaching and all. The excess books were trickier. I adore my books as you know and I didn’t want them deteriorating in the attic. I display my favourites downstairs on the bookcase, the more rare and precious books are displayed around the house upstairs and the less valuable ones I attempted to distribute around the house. I love to decorate with books so I put groups of three and four books under vases, lamps and other things like my vanity mirror and bedroom plants. The vast majority of the excess books are my new 80’s set of acquisitions so they are in fact the newest of all my books and therefore less prone to completely disintegrating in the attic but they look lovely grouped together in displays too. Thankfully I only had to put 10 or so in the attic but they look nice on a shelf and I will have to work on discarding some more I think.
I think it is also important to know when to take a break. Discarding and organising is draining and sometimes just taking a tea break or even having a day off can leave you refreshed and clear minded ready to start again tomorrow!
I have been feeling particularly frustrated since we moved house. This is because we moved out of a shared house but we had roughly a studio flat’s worth of stuff into a huge four bedroom house and yet I still feel like I have too much stuff. How can this be? To be fair there isn’t a huge amount of storage; we have a trunk for bedding, a tiny kitchen, 3 small built in wardrobes and a small attic, for a four bedroom house this isn’t much but it is indeed a lot more than I feel we should need.
Two of the bedrooms have no storage whatsoever and one is completely empty. I don’t want to put things in the space just for the sake of not having them in storage, you know? Things need to look nice and neat for my own sanity.
I have been feeling overwhelmed lately because it is a slow process. It helps to have a clear goal in mind. When we moved my total boxes were roughly 14 and we are planning to move again early next year so my goal is to fit my belongings in their entirety into 7 boxes. I want to halve my stuff. It’s drastic but I know it is achievable. Souly literally has 4 boxes. Every time we move it is a breeze for him. His weakness is tshirts, he literally had one large box FULL of tshirts. To be fair tshirts are much easier to transport than books, so I don’t mind.
When we moved I had four book boxes, i’m also hoping to narrow that down. They are so heavy! 😦
I also hate furniture. Well not actual furniture, I haven’t anything against inanimate objects with purpose, I hate the space furniture pieces take up in our home. We don’t have lots of furniture I think we have the wrong kind of furniture. We have a trunk as a coffee table which I like but it takes up more space than a coffee table needs too, you know? We also have a loveseat which was a gift that I adore but it leaves us needing more seating when guests come over and I know we are going to end up having another sofa whereas if we just had a larger sofa we wouldn’t need two loveseats.
When buying furniture just try to keep in mind it’s purpose and the space where it will sit and of course the style you are going for. I personally like to buy very cheap furniture because i’m so indecisive, my favourite places to shop for this are eBay, gumtree and preloved. I once got a sofa for free on gumtree and when I no longer wanted six months later I gave it away again for free. As you know I also love to upcycle and old, ugly, unwanted furniture is normally great for this. Unless you are buying an investment piece I would always suggest to just recycle and upcycle because when the time comes and your taste or space has changed you will find it much easier to get rid of something with less strings attached.
With regards to the extra seating we need I have been shopping around for a project or at least a nice looking used sofa or chair. I love the way small wooden/ metal chairs look in spaces but we need something comfortable so that is out of the question however occasional chairs are always way cheaper so don’t just opt for lounge chairs if you don’t have too, sometimes occasional chairs look nicer and don’t crowd the space.
Anyway cheap furniture seems to be a lot harder to come by here, i’m not sure if that is because the town population is under 13,000 or because i’m used to Birmingham where free furniture is around every corner. So this has left me in a dilemma. I can either wait for the right piece to come along or, of course, I can make my own! We have been researching different sofa build plans and Souly has really good DIY skills but the bit we seem to get stuck on is sourcing materials.
I’d really rather buy new just because this isn’t our house and i’d never forgive myself if I infested it with woodworm, no matter how pretty those pallet sofas are, however new timber can get very expensive, especially when you want enough to build a sofa. I don’t mind spending a bit of money, especially since it would be an investment piece however it seems silly to spend more money building a sofa than it would cost to buy a really nice one.
I have seen a few ikea hacks and my thinking is that this might be the way to go. For now we are squished together on the snuggler. :’) I will let you know if we end up doing a project!
Please let me know if you have any good advice for me…