In April we moved from a 1,000 square foot apartment to a house that is more than double that size. Not only do we have drastically more square footage, we have two garages, and a yard. Not only did we have to buy a lot of tools to get the house and yard back into shape, we had twice the rooms to put furniture in.
We lost almost every single piece of furniture we owned in a fire at the beginning of the year, and the insurance nickel and dimed us to the point we weren’t able to replace it all. As I saw the house coming together with paint and finishes, I felt pressure to furnish it and make every room pretty and functional.
But wait, did we really need all of this stuff? Right before the fire I dramatically minimized our possessions. In an apartment with 5 people and 2 dogs, we were drowning in stuff. But now that we have more room, do we have to stay so minimal? It has definitely been a struggle not to fill the house with clutter just because we have more room, so I am going to share a few principals I am following to keep our surroundings simple in a bigger house.
Not Every Room Needs To Be Full Of Furniture
We have a full basement, but when we moved in the carpet was full of cat pee. Needless to say, we didn’t use the basement, other than the bathroom and laundry room that were NOT carpeted. At the beginning of the summer we got to rip out the cat pee carpet, and put in brand new! It’s beautiful! And our basement is usable! So we need furniture for it!
Except, we didn’t have a budget for basement furniture. So it has mostly been empty. For months now. Guess what? The earth is still spinning in it’s rotation! Not every single room needs to be packed full. Eventually we may get some furniture down there, but empty spaces are ok, too! The kids LOVE being able to run around down there and play uninterrupted.
Have A Procedure For Bringing New Things In
I admit, I went a little nuts shopping at first. After all, we had all this room, so it’s not like I was cluttering up the house. I learned pretty quickly that the more you own, the more it owns YOU no matter what size your house is. Now I ask myself a few simple questions before I buy something new. Is this a want or a need? Do I have somewhere to keep this? Is this adding function or clutter to my life?
There are is no real right or wrong when buying something new, you have to decide for yourself where you want to draw the line. But don’t just impulse buy things, take some time to evaluate each purchase and you will find yourself putting more things back on the shelf than in your cart.
Do Regular Decluttering
A bigger house means more closets and drawers to shove things in, so regular decluttering is a must. Needs change over time, so some items that were once useful, over time become clutter. A good system for me has been a big declutter once a year, and then spending one day per week or month reevaluating things, and staying simple. If your house needs a major declutter, stay tuned. In October I will be doing a 31-day challenge that will help you get started!
It seems like most minimalists strive to move into SMALLER spaces, but sometimes life happens and you size up with your home. We have been extremely blessed to be in our house, and now that we have a handle on the clutter, it can continue to be a blessing instead of a burden.