My recent move to a smaller flat was prompted by a few factors but I decided to use it as a chance to downsize and minimise my belongings.
Moving from a large roomed two bedroom flat to a small roomed one bedroom flat made more sense financially, and enforced a level of de-cluttering . That process was, in hindsight, the culmination of the last few years of trying to have less, but it was the push I needed to tackle some of the things I’d been avoiding; it’s easy to put off sorting through your clothes when you have a large double wardrobe for yourself, but not when you’ll only have a small single wardrobe in your new flat!
I’ve been in the new place a few weeks now, and I’ve mostly adjusted to living in the new space. There a couple of niggles but nothing major, and whilst I do have a jam-packed hall cupboard (which will get a sorting out this coming weekend), everything has a place and it’s starting to feel like a home. Next steps are to get some artwork up on the walls, which is prompting some interesting decisions as I don’t have the wall space to hang everything I own, and maybe a couple of new cushions (my new sofa came with two that match it but that’s not really the look I’m going for!).
There is the bonus of having a garage to use as well, which is holding my bike and a couple of boxes (tools and bike stuff), but overall I’ve fitted into the smaller space well.
Perhaps too well! I realised at the weekend that I have an entire small set of drawers that is empty, and a small bookcase which has some token items in it but which I could probably get rid of as well.
Longer term my aim is to replace what I have with better quality items, be they antique or not. I’ve still got a lot of IKEA furniture – two tall, one short bookcase, the TV unit, and two chest of drawers – that I will look to change out at some point, but there is no rush.
The other long term aim is to avoid the temptation to re-clutter! I’ve bought a few books recently and they are on the shelf alongside the other novels I’ve never read, but as soon as I’ve read them they’ll be passed on. Other than that, I’ve purchased a few household items to help organise the space I do have a little better and I think that’s where I’ll be focusing short-term. A few smart ideas to help store things, to make the space look bigger than it is, and I should be sorted.
And then there are the vanity items. The aforementioned cushions fall into that bracket, but the purchase of my lime green sofa was part of a deliberate move away from duller colours (my living room was mostly dark browns and deep reds before) to embracing colour far more. A few tweaks here or there (and possibly the purchase of a dark mustard yellow coloured footstool) and I should be set.
I do enjoy this aspect of being in a new space, a chance to re-invent through necessity, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m also re-inventing myself; counselling for the mind, bootcamp for the body. A friend of mine commented as much recently, saying that he was proud of me for getting help with these things, and that I was setting an example, tackling all of this at once.
And for once I’m doing my best to take his compliment to heart. I am doing a lot, I am working hard physically and mentally, and this weekend, after I returned from bootcamp and I sat on my newly delivered sofa, I looked around my new living room and smiled.
Also published on Medium.