I feel like I’ve been away from blogging for a while. A lot of new and exciting things have happened and they’ve kept me from posting as often as I would like to!
1. I graduated with my Masters of Higher Education.
2. I was offered a full time job as a Career & Academic Advisor at James Madison University here in VA and…
3. I moved! Only a few miles up the road, but I still moved!
Why the move? My partner and I decided to move in together and he has a rescue cat (Tony Romo) and I already have my girls (Kiley & Ming) so we needed to find a place that allowed more than two pets. For other renters with pets reading this post- you know how difficult finding a pet friendly apartment can be.
But we found one! We found a beautiful little two bedroom apartment that allows up to FOUR pets and has plenty of green space for Miss Kiley.
Now, moving the weekend before graduation was not one of my better ideas. Even as a minimalist, moving is hard. Packing everything you own into boxes makes you realize how much stuff you have. Seeing it all in front of you like that can be overwhelming.
All of my personal items fit into about seven boxes. The kitchen items took up the most room. There are some minimalists that function with just two plates, two cups, two forks, etc. but I am just not there yet. Remember my post about being a pretty minimalist? I keep things that may not be totally necessary butI keep them because they are beautiful.
There is beauty in simplicity and there is beauty in being surrounded by things that make you happy. Strike a balance between these two things. Find what works for you.
Another interesting part of this move was combining the things I own with the things my significant other owns. My boyfriend does not claim to be a minimalist. He has not read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, he does not have a capsule wardrobe, and he does not read all the latest minimalist books and blogs. He did, however, grow up in a family where living simply was just the norm.
I visited his beautiful home town in West Virginia recently and met his amazing family. My boyfriend comes from a simple, quiet, beautiful place where if you have a big house and a bunch of “stuff” you’re looked down upon, or you seem to be showing off.
Homes are small, days are quiet, and each item owned is valued and appreciated. My boyfriend didn’t need to become a minimalist, he already was one.
So when it came to combining our items, without prompting, boyfriend asked me to help him declutter his stuff. He is constantly letting go of items he knows he no longer needs. The moment he realizes he’s been holding onto something and not using it? In the donation pile it goes.
I can’t tell you what a blessing this has been. I can’t tell you what a blessing he is.
I know that this is not the case for everyone. I know that many people do not understand the minimalist lifestyle. If you have a partner or a roommate that isn’t understanding of your simple or minimal lifestyle please read the following post or watch this video. Having people in your life that don’t understand why you are decluttering or simplifying can be so tough, but these resources give great advice on how to make these changes even if those around you don’t understand.
Be patient with others. Remember that, ultimately, things and stuff will never be more important than the people you love and the positive relationships in your life. You are most likely making this change to have more time to spend with those lovely people.
On the other hand, if you find that the negative energy surrounding your lifestyle change cannot be cared for with having patience and acting in love, maybe there are people in your life that aren’t supposed to be there. Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self. Strike a balance between finding common ground and letting go of toxic relationships in your life. For more on this topic, click here.
I thought you all might want to see some pictures of our apartment! We love our new space. It is simple, colorful, cozy, and full of both life and love.
Without further adieu, the apartment! (Scroll over pictures to see where items are from).
Dresser (Old, repainted)
Record Player (Amazon)
Frame (The Lady Jane, Harrisonburg)
Chairs, clock and table (Target) Rug (Target) Posters (The Lady Jane)
Couch (Grand Home Furnishings)
Frames (TJ Maxx)
As you can see, there are plenty of items in our home that are not “needed”, but they make us happy. They spark joy. Minimalism is about living with what you need and with what you love. That’s it.