Minimalism can be an attractive way of life, but it also falls under the category of “easier said than done.” As you look around your current home and think about getting rid of some clutter, it quickly becomes easy to procrastinate. Where do you even start?
One of the best times to take the plunge is when you’re moving into a new apartment. After all, it’s easier to modify your relationship with possessions when you start to think in terms of packing them up, moving them out of one apartment, loading them into a vehicle, moving them into another apartment, and finally unpacking them again–especially if there are stairs involved.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to trade your queen-sized bed (with a pillow-top mattress) for a Japanese-style futon on the floor, but then you start to think about how much you paid for your bed or how comfortable it is. Do you want to know how to get over those thoughts? Try moving into a new apartment on the third floor of a building with tight stairwells and no freight elevator.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you attempt to adopt the principles of minimalism while moving into a new apartment.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
Let’s use the example of kitchen knives. As a maximalist, you may own one of those block sets with upwards of a dozen different knives. (There’s also a good chance those knives aren’t very sharp anymore.) As a minimalist, you know that all you need is a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife with a serrated edge. The rest of the knives in those block sets are superfluous. But since you’ll be going with fewer knives, doesn’t it make sense to purchase higher-quality blades?
Another example is your pots and pans. Many people have far more in their kitchen than they actually use. They’re often mismatched, too, and you might not even know where all the lids are. As a minimalist, why not ditch your hodge-podge assortment in favor of a high-quality set? If budget is an issue, you can find high-end stainless steel saucepans, frying pans, stockpots, and kitchen sets from direct-to-consumer brands.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, many die-hard book, music, and movie lovers scoffed at the idea of using an ebook reader or streaming digital content. However, many of us have gotten used to the idea of reading books on a Kindle, using an online music subscription service, and streaming movies because it allows us to cut out a point of contact for the spreading of germs. Also, for those of us on tighter budgets with an excess of free time, the ability to borrow electronic books, music, and films from our local public library has been a blessing. Instead of dragging hundreds of books or DVDs into a new apartment, why not sell or donate all but the ones you hold most dear? It will be a lot easier than finding enough cardboard boxes to pack and move them.
Chose an Aesthetic Before You Pack
Before you ever pack that first box, try to decide on a minimalist aesthetic you want for your new apartment. Are you attracted to Japanese-style lines or the austere modern minimalism like these kitchens? Once you’ve made this decision, it will be easier for you to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. For example, you may love a thrift store painting of the sea, but if it belongs in a Cape Cod-style home and you want your home to look like it’s in Tokyo, you’ll have an easier time deciding to get rid of it.