We moved into our own apartment two years ago and we had almost zero furniture to take with us from our previous places. As we had to furnish and decorate the living room with open kitchen and the bedroom at the same time we decided to invest in the essential furniture pieces we might need, you know bed, sofa and tables, and just keep it to the minimum. This decision was not only based on the limited budget but also on our shared interest in minimalism, which is somehow intuitive. None of us spent hours researching, it’s more a reflection of our needs and at home habits.
We managed to stick to the plan so we bought basic living room and bedroom furniture. Unfortunately, I did go a bit over board with spendings on decorations, home textiles and other small stuff we all tend to keep around the house. My mother sent us some packages during our first year in the new apartment , mostly things from the categories I previously mentioned, plus some clothing for both us.
The one thing I would definitely do over is decorating the home and choosing storage options. I would save a lot of time and money if I could redo this step. Once we started decluttering it was, of course, the small things that were suffocating us. We haven’t thrown away any piece of furniture because we’ve never bought too much of it to start with. And the list is long: bedsheets that I regretted purchasing, too many candle holders (and fancy Scandinavian style ones!), decorations that would not go well together and so on. It would have been best to just decorate with flowers, one or two board lamps and later, after a careful selection, and just that extra to personalise our home.
My decluttering project started a couple of months ago. I became very determined to make our home truly minimalist. My top priorities have been our wardrobe, bathroom and kitchen. The wardrobe as well as whatever we had in the storage spaces in the apartment haven been the most challenging, and for one reason: I felt good once I was done tiding up but whatever we were donating or throwing aways was replaced by other clothes or things we would by in between the decluttering sessions.
Out of all the areas I covered during these decluttering sessions, the kitchen has been the easiest to deal with. We cook and we love doing it. Therefore, all the pots, pans and utensils we have are good quality and we use them often. We have matching oven glove and kitchen towels and three table runners. For Christmas and Easter we have two tablecloths and themed mugs. On the kitchen table, which connects the cooking space to the rest of the living room, we keep a fruit bowl, candle holder and salt and pepper shakers. The window sill is decorated with low maintenance plants – cactuses and aloe vera.
Moving to the actual living room area, we have a coffee table for the sofa, the TV bench and a bookcase with doors. The second window sill is currently empty but to be decorated with two large plants. I admit we tried cheating with plastic plants, but as the interest in living waste-free and caring more about how and what we recycle we decided to get rid of them. We are now plastic free in terms of decorations and miscellaneous things. We have one large ficus tree as well. On the walls we have art that I or others in our families made.
In the bedroom we have our bed, two nightstands and the wardrobe. And plants. We do not carpets in any of the rooms, but we do have one small rug in the living room.
Decluttering the wardrobe was a very long process, but only in my case. My boyfriend has such little interest in fashion and shopping that the only things he needs to get rid of every once in a while are old socks, underwear and overly used tshirts. Last month I spent one weekend reviewing my entire wardrobe. I went through everything – clothes, shoes and bags. I’ve rarely done this, as I prefer decluttering per season or I would focus on one category only. I said goodbye to a lot of things, while keeping a good balance between work appropriate and weekend outfits(including festive/party items). I’m also very happy with my shoes and bags collection post decluttering. I wouldn’t say it’s a capsule wardrobe, but then again, this has never been my goal. Maybe next year when I will allow myself to shop again. It is a very possible outcome for my shopping habits after one year of ‘fasting’. We used to keep clothes in different places around the apartment, but now it’s all in one place – our big IKEA wardrobe in the bedroom. Only our jackets and winter shoes are stored the hallway.
The way our apartment has been for the last months makes us happy and stress-free. We’re also pleased with how easy it is to keep it clean.
Do we feel likes something’s missing? No.
Do we still need to declutter? Not for at least six months I would say.
Is there anything that we would like to change about a minimalist home? Yes. Put more focus on quality. When the time to replace something comes, we will spend our money on a better quality product. We are also working on eliminating as much plastic as possible from the kitchen but we will do this one step at a time.