a simple move

a photo of well organized tupperware and bowls on kitchen shelves.
Rearranging the everyday things.

I do not get a chance to type just about organizing very often. This is long overdue!

As a minimalist, I appreciate having fewer things to wash or dust and put away. As an organizer, I am relieved that I know exactly where the objects I do have are placed and I try to keep them in order. Our home is not empty by any means and there is always an area that could be improved upon.

Recently I solved a few small but annoying problems in our place. It started with my partner noticing how awkward it was to reach for and bring down a few glass bowls that are piled together. In a corner cabinet, they have always sat on the left side. Yet, with the curve of the counter in the way, our posture gets uncomfortably twisted. The tupperware (all with matching lids, of course) were on the right and easily accessible, yet we did not use them as often as the bowls (which are heavy). Switcheroo!

Another example: the storage closet (the only one in our apartment) is the catch all space for linens,  additional dry products and tools. A lower shelf with towels (dish and bath) always required the removal of a folding step ladder that fits neatly in front. The easier to reach shelf above contains bedding that we don’t need as often so, again, I switched them.

In my office, all supplies and books are in a bookshelf right next to my desk. Recently I rearranged the most used items to be within arm’s reach and less used things are now lower down.

On a personal level, I found myself digging essential travel items out of one bag and transferring them into another because one day I may need a large satchel for work, then a knapsack for hiking, then a small shoulder bag for meeting friends…you get the idea. So that I don’t have to dig through each bag, trying to remember where I last left my wallet, it has become a daily habit to empty bag contents into a small drawer in a bureau in a different room. To make things even easier, I now place all items into a couple of sleeves of an over-the-door shoe bag (that I use for scarves and other miscellany) and this is within reach of my traveling pieces.

We are likely going to be moving to a smaller space in the future. Finding ways to reduce and reorganize physical things is a skill worth practicing that will serve us well down the road.

What small steps can you take to make life in your home a little bit easier?







4 thoughts on “a simple move”

  1. One major thing I have done is to evaluate all of the furniture in my living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchen. I realized that I was not using the majority of it. Over the last year, I have removed a sofa, loveseat, buffet, dining room set, 5 bookcases, rocker/recliner and several smaller things. I also got rid of a pool table, huge tv, sofa and loveseat from my basement. I now have a lovely futon, wooden rocker and entertainment center in my living room and a small handmade curio in my dining room. I have so much space now. My dogs and cats can play and enjoy themselves without breaking anything. I have also cleared off my kitchen counters and removed all curtains from every window in my house. It is bright and cheerful now. I live in the mountains, so I do not have worries of anyone peeping in. I have also sold, donated tons of clothes and shoes that I had not worn or did not wear on a regular basis. I own one Travelon purse and matching backpack. I have one rolling backpack that I can use for travel. I only own one pair of jeans and 15 pairs of Old Navy black stretch pants. I wear hoodies all winter and t-shirts all summer I decided that I no longer want to support companies that test on animals so I make my own cleaners and perfumes. I tossed all of my makeup except for Pacifica mascara and I use coconut oil in place of lotions. I also use Kirks castile soap for hair and body. I am still getting rid of stuff daily and when winter ends, I will clear out the sheds and any items I no longer use. I am so much happier having made these changes.

    1. Neat! Thank you for sharing this minimalist story.
      So tell me a bit about ‘why’. I like to ask this to get other perspectives to share with those who think reducing and simplifying is strange. I am not interested in convincing anyone to downsize (folks may organize but not necessarily reduce a lot) However, I would like folks to understand the underlying reasons for shifting to this kind of lifestyle and more importantly, what does one gain by removing many objects.
      In your note I can pick out thoughts about not using things, room for the pets to run around (and not break things – so true!), brightness, and it makes you happy.
      Would you mind expanding a bit? How does this revised space and simplified approach to clothes and toiletries serve you?

      1. June 2013,one e of my cats, Prince was hit by a truck and left on my road. His condition was critical and after extensive care at the vet, I had to care for him round the clock. While at the store to get supplies, a guy mentioned that he was a minimalist. I came home and looked it up and was instantly fascinated. I read about people ditching their furniture and other posessions and I started to envy them. That night I went on Craigslist and found my futon, arranged to pick it up the next morning and made the decision to get rid of the sofa and loveseat. I hired a small moving company to pick them up and find someone who wanted them. I was so relieved. At that time I was exhausted from being a 24/7 caregiver for my cat and I realized that my priorities had completely changed. I have a small rescue farm and I saw how much time I was wasting on stuff that was replaceable. I have been purging things ever since. In February 2014 my daughter was diagnosed with MS and that has had a major impact on her, my granddaughter and myself. I got way more serious about not being so tied down with stuff and not leaving her with the burden of my junk if something were to happen to me. I was going to see her at least three times a week and having to keep the farm going, it was all too much. She lives 1.5 hours from me.

        I now find that everything is easier. I don’t enjoy shopping as a hobby which frees up a lot of time. I spend more time at home doing things I enjoy. Grocery shopping is easy since I have gone to a Vegan diet. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years and now it is even easier. I bypass 90% of the stuff in the store. I feel better, look better and have more time to spend with my daughter, granddaughter and animals, I post on IG and pursue my hobbies without the stress of taking care of so much stuff. I have also minimalized my social life and friends. The last year has taught me even more how burdened we are by having too much and what a relief it is to have less. I minimalized my friends due to my daughters illness. You really learn who is really important when something like this happens. I realized quickly how much energy I was giving away to people who honestly could have cared less. I have become more selective when it comes to social events. I only do activities that I truly enjoy. If I feel isolated or lonely, I get busy. Reading, online social media (IG), arts and crafts, music, tv or I pick an area of the house and start filling up a bag to donate. I have an evaluation process that is working really well. I also have a small collection of books that keep me motivated. I highlighted the parts that I have found useful and use them as needed. I carry one with me at all times in case I am tempted to shop. I also only buy clothes, shoes, and household goods at thrift shops. I have saved a lot of money and am happy to use recycled goods. Only occasionally will I buy a new hoodie or t-shirt. I buy my Old Navy pants when they have their $5.00 sale. When I am done with my shoes, I sell them on Ebay. It is actually a very fun lifestyle. I still have a small part of my basement and a back room to finish and the inside will be done……..for now, lol. I have one room that I call my cave that has a bit more furniture in it. If I feel like I need a bit more stuff around me, that is where I go. I can honestly say that it has been months since I needed that feeling. Please feel free to check out my pictures on IG…..cattitude62

        1. Such great messages here, thank you.

          A nice mix of what being a minimalist helps you to do without (stress, lack of support..) and what you gain by having a ‘curated’ life. (free time for more enjoyable people and activities). This particular post I wrote isn’t about minimalism specifically but organizing is a part of the same message: by taking control and arranging a life that works in a way that suits best can create room for welcoming in at the very least more comfort and satisfaction.

          “It is actually a very fun lifestyle.” Essentially, that is what it is all about! 🙂

          I enjoy Instagram too (@ solomojo). Streamlined and visual. A different form of minimal information than twitter. I will check yours out!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *