I have lived in some pretty teeny apartments over the years, but I've only just recently realized how it has changed my mentality about living. So, I thought I would do a mini-series of "Living Small" posts sharing some info I have gathered along the way about not only live small, but with more intention when it comes to the things I surround myself with.
For the first post, this is kind of a no-brainer. To live in a place with minimal space, you need to have minimal stuff. So getting rid of the excess is key, as well as keeping excess stuff out. I'll probably be using the word stuff a lot because really, that's all it is, stuff.
1 / Ask yourself "Do I really need that?". Drew probably wants to lovingly slap me every time I ask him "Do you really need that?", but it saves us from having to find a space for something that we didn't need in the first place. The way I determine if I need something is by asking myself "Can I get through my day without it?" If the answer is yes, I don't buy it, and usually a few hours later I will forget I even wanted it.
2 / Make a trade. If you decide you don't really need an item, but it makes you unbelievably happy, think "Would I be willing to throw out something of equal size and value that I already own so I can bring this home?" If the answer is yes then go ahead and buy it, but donate something in its place.
3 / If you don't use it, lose it. I was amazed the last time I did a major clean out of our apartment at how much STUFF we had in boxes that didn't get used, and these were things that we took the time and energy to bring with us on our last move. What a waste of time and energy! This kind of goes against my pack-rat mentality of "but what if I need this unknown cord for some unknown electronic someday?", but I'm working on it. Be honest, if you haven't used it, or even thought about it in a year, it can go.
4 / If you don't bring it in, you don't have to throw it out. Years ago if someone were to say "Hey! Do you want this semi-cool free thing?!" I would probably say, "Sure, why not, its free, duh!" But now I've realized that if I don't bring things I don't really want into my apartment, then I don't have to throw them out! This also applies to food. If I probably won't eat it, I'm not taking home after-party leftovers only to have them crowd my fridge, go bad, and then have to be thrown out.
Do you have any great tips on keep the excess stuff out of your small home? I would love to know!