Forced Minimalism: Moving to a Smaller Place

We’ve lived in what many consider a “small” home for about seven years. However, things are changing. Mainly because my husband got a job on the other side of the country.

Moving always provides an excellent excuse to get rid of stuff. But moving enforces minimalism even better when you know that you are moving to a small place. And that it what we’re facing as we get ready to move.


Downsizing: From House to Apartment

After going through all the rigamarole that comes with finding a place to live, we decided on an apartment. This apartment is fairly big. Combine that with the fact that our house is kind of small to begin with, and the fact that our apartment is only about 250 square feet smaller than our current home isn’t that surprising.

But, 250 square feet is still 250 square feet, and we are going to have to get rid of plenty of stuff if we expect to fit comfortably into our new place — without the need to spend $50 to $100 per month on a storage unit. So we are going to try to downsize.

We’ve been de-cluttering and re-organizing for the last few years as we try to streamline our lifestyle, and as we attempt to reduce the amount of stuff we own. However, there’s nothing like recognizing what we still have left to pack up to bring home the fact that we still, definitely, own more than 100 items. (To tell the truth, we are not eager to take that challenge.)

While we aren’t going to get rid of everything, we are going to get rid of a lot of it. Most of what we’re keeping has to fit the following criteria:

  • Be difficult and expensive to replace. Our custom-made king-size captain’s bed is Exhibit A for this requirement. There is no way we could get the same, high-quality and unique to us item for a reasonable price where we’re going.
  • Fits in the apartment.
  • Has special meaning, or is particularly useful.

Much of what we have is simply superfluous. We’re applying the “have I used it in a year?” rule to everything — except a few of the collectibles we have. My husband is even re-thinking his action figure collection, so you know we’re getting serious.

Moving to a slightly smaller abode is helping us rethink our lifestyle. We won’t be buying as many things, since there won’t be room in the apartment to put them. Here in the house, we’ve had extra storage space, thanks to the crawl space under the house. That will be gone when we get to the apartment. While we’re already pretty good about spending on what’s most important to us, we’ll have to get even better. We will only be able to spend on what will fit in the apartment, so every purchase will get scrutiny.

I admit that I am looking forward to this new reality. I think it will mean spending more in line with our values, and it will mean that we focus more on the non-material aspects of our lifestyle.

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.