Downsizing. It’s something that one usually associates after the kids have grown and are on their own and you are left with an empty house that is just too big for the two of you.
That’s what I always thought downsizing was going to be for me.
However, my downsizing came a little earlier than I thought (hello 27). I moved from a 2,000+ square foot house to a three room apartment. It became a puzzle of what to keep, what goes where, and don’t even think about taking that off the moving truck because it’s not even close to fitting in this space.
The less stuff, the smaller space, the not enough room for that here sounds pretty horrible, right? Except it’s not. It is actually the opposite for me. It’s freeing. It’s enlightening. It’s lightening. It’s captivating. It’s just plain fun to me.
Instead of having all the space I ever needed, now I have just the right amount of space I need. It pushes my brain to a whole new level. It makes me think outside of the box. It pushes me, yet it also lets me just enjoy my space, my life, my home more.
There is less responsibility, less stuff on my home to-do list, and it’s frankly quite nice.
I’m calling it the power of a small space. Here’s why I am embracing, and even highly grateful for this small space that is my Goldilocks apartment (not too big, not too small, it’s just right!).
Living in a small space makes my creative mind explore all new ideas! I only have a certain space with specific dimensions, and I need to fit this there or find more storage here. It makes me look at items differently. Ice buckets turn into nail polish holders, night stands into tool storage, and laundry rooms become extensions of the kitchen. It’s fun! It makes you look at every item differently and wonder what else you can do with it, what other function it possesses aside from the obvious.
Challenge: find a random item in your house and make a list of 5 other functions it can provide other than the obvious. I think you’ll be surprised at what you find! I’d love to hear about the results too in the comments.
Hallelujah!! Less to clean. It is amazing how much simpler life is with one bathroom (and one person using it). Three rooms is also so much less to vacuum and dust.
I swear, the best part of living in a small space is that it takes me under an hour to clean the entire thing, thouroughly, from top to bottom. That means, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, wiping down the kitchen, tidying up, putting things away, throwing in a load of laundry – everything in under an hour to make it feel fresh and spotless. It might even be less. I’ll have to time myself next time.
It used to take me half a day of solid cleaning to do such a thorough cleaning job in my last house. Maybe I’ll never move.
All of us small space residents, let us rejoice together that cleaning is so much easier and faster!
Organization to me is sanity, happiness, and freshness. It just makes me so happy. It also becomes essential in a small place. There has to be a place for everything or else it becomes glaringly obvious and downright messy. This is definitely where creativity comes in as you try to find the perfect places for every last item.
However, the small space can make it easier in organizing too. You don’t have as much space to have things pile up so you use the space you have and then get to….
This may be my favorite thing I have found in my new small space. When I had rooms and rooms to fill and pile up with my “someday I will use this” purchases, I had way more stuff than I used/needed. I had the luxury of space to hide it away.
Not so much now. There isn’t a whole lot of hiding places – and usually essential items occupy those hiding places.
Behold, the freeing power of purging. The less stuff you have, the freer you feel. All of a sudden your whole life, nay, even your being, feels lighter and more free. You don’t have as much stuff holding you back, you feel less tied to things, and your consumerism side feels more in check.
It hit me when I was unpacking my decorative accessories boxes (yes plural – it was a little out of control). Some items I would pull out and look at and think “Hmmm” while others I would unwrap and look around excitedly trying to find the perfect place to display this item.
Duh. Shouldn’t every item make me that excited?! If not, why do I have hum drum things? I don’t want hum drum in my life. They’re gone!
Now everything I have I ask myself:
- Is it useful and.or essential?
- Is it beautiful?
- Does it make me happy and/or excited?
- Would I buy it again?
- Would I move it again?
If it doesn’t hit at least 2 out of 5 on the list then it’s outta here. Hopefully it will go to a home where it does make the list.
After all this major purging and simplifying going on in my home, this is the most critical part. See, everything I’m doing above is almost fruitless if I’m not careful about what I’m bringing into my home. If I want to get out of this cycle of buying things I don’t love, don’t need, don’t have a specific place I can use it right now, then I am just making all my work above fruitless. I am just continuing the cycle.
It’s all about being selective and thoughtful in the items that you bring into the house. It may mean shopping less or browsing just for fun. Because that fun usually means you come home with items you didn’t set out to buy – and most likely don’t need.
Yes, that means I haven’t been to Target in MONTHS. Because that is where so much fruitless and senseless buying happens (for me).
Every time I get the urge to recreationally shop, I instead look around and see if there is something creative I can do with what I have around the house.
Or when I do go out and buy something, I have a particular item in mind or a space that actually needs something. I’ve even written a whole post about the year of less stuff because it is that important to me.
All-in-all I’ve found empowerment, happiness, freedom, and depth of being in my new smaller space. That doesn’t mean that I will never have a larger space again; I know that won’t be the case. However, I do hope to bring this new way of living with me to whatever size home I occupy in the future and remember to relish in the freedom of simplicity and an unburdened life.