Moving like a Minimalist| Minimalism Series

We finally moved to our new flat! It has been very busy lately, but the concept of minimalism helped me deal with the stress of moving. Of course, it will always give you a headache but having less material possessions to move to a new place makes the process so much easier.

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So, I will be sharing a few tips to make the moving process easier and quicker, based on my experience.

Make a list of everything you have, organise it by categories, colours, numbers, whatever you think is logical. Here’s my list so you can use it as an example:

  1. Kitchen (Objects and food)
  2. Bathroom (Products and towels)
  3. Bedroom (clothes)
  4. Living room (cables and PC)
  5. Plants
  6. Olivia’s stuff (Olivia is my cat)
  7. Big stuff (This includes a bed, a dining table, two chairs, a wardrobe and a TV)

We don’t own books, DVDs, magazines or any type of collection, apart from my plants, so if your list is longer than ours, don’t panic, it’s totally normal.

You can then use this list to label your boxes and it will be so much easier to unpack on the new house, because you know where everything is and where everything goes.

Make a second list with all the places and companies you need to contact in order to replace your old address with your new address. Things like your bank, workplace, medical centre, car insurance, etc. Some of them will let you do this in advance, which means that you will save the money of having to redirect all your mail from your old house to the new one. I took this opportunity to also go paperless with the last few companies and services that I wasn’t yet.

Visit the new house and take all measurements before moving in. This will make sure that you can get rid of everything that doesn’t fit or is not needed in the new house before you start packing. I moved to a smaller flat, so I gladly donated so many things to charity.

Don’t buy anything right before you move. Wait to live in the new house for a few weeks to make sure that what you’re about to buy is really necessary. If you don’t have a something essential, like a bed, for example, and need to buy one, of course you must buy it straight away instead of waiting. But it’s always better to get it delivered to the new house, so it’s one less thing to move.

Move on the right day. If you have the option to choose when you can move, I would advise you move on a day when you’re not working the following day. You will feel so tired and because it won’t give you time to organise everything in your home, it will take ages for you to find something before you leave the house! I arranged to move in a bank holiday weekend. Even though I didn’t get to choose the weather and it was raining a lot, at least my boyfriend and I had the day off of work the following day and we took the day to unpack and rest before going back to the normal routine.

Keep in mind that in a few days everything will be over. All the struggle and stress will disappear once you move to the new place. So if you feel like you’re reaching a breakdown with all the things you need to deal with and you haven’t yet, remember that it will all be over soon and imagine yourself enjoying a nice drink on your new living room.

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5 challenging things about Minimalism

Simple living is not always so simple. Especially when you’re right at the beginning and it seems like the world is against you for following something that makes you feel so happy.

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Never ending clutter

When you start de-cluttering your life and especially your house you can feel quite overwhelmed realising all the things you own and you don’t need. You will also feel like you keep getting rid of things but other things keep coming back and it’s a never-ending circle. Keep in mind that after a period of time you’ll be able to look back and see a difference. This might not happened straight away because it takes time for us to change a habit, but once it’s done you’ll be able to see the results.

Being judgemental while listening to compulsive buyers

This is something I struggle with and I tend to not express my opinion too much, so I don’t end up offending anyone. But the truth is, people who keep saying “I need to buy this” when they clearly don’t, people who spend their lives scrolling on online stores and people that complain because they spend too much time organising and cleaning the house but they don’t look for a solution to the problem… those people need help. Keep in mind that just because we live in a society where buying “stuff” is the main goal and doing it constantly is considered normal for a lot of people, that doesn’t make it okay.

People that think Minimalism is just a phase

I wish your compulsive buying behaviour was just a phase. Just like being Vegan, being a minimalist or follow a minimalist lifestyle is seen as something very hipster that millennials do and after a while, it will just vanish. Keep in mind that the world and the planet as they are, aren’t in very good conditions and if there are lifestyles that help to make it better, even though you don’t follow them, respecting it would be appreciated.

Receiving gifts

This is a big struggle for me. I love receiving gifts, especially the well-thought ones, but I hate receiving clutter and sometimes people buy you stuff just because it’s your birthday and they have to. Then you end up having things you don’t need, but at the same time, you don’t want to give them away because the person that offered it means something to you. Keep in mind that sometimes letting your friends and family know what you like and need is a great way to save them the trouble of searching for a gift and saves you the trouble of not liking it. There are ways to say it that won’t offend anyone.

You’re not as Minimalist as you should be

Minimalism is a lifestyle just like any other lifestyle. There aren’t rules, only inspiration, tips, pieces of advice and then you get to pick what’s most suitable for you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you own too many books, for example, therefore you’re not a minimalist. If books are your passion you can have as many as you want. Just like my house is an urban jungle and I have plants everywhere! No way I’m getting rid of them to fit a specific rule of minimalism. There’s no such thing. Keep in mind that Minimalism is a lifestyle you can adapt to your daily basis in ways that make you avoid stress, make you more organised and with more extra time to do the things you love. As long as you’ve obtained this you’re on the right path and you should be proud!

If you struggle with anything else that is not on the list, please leave it in a comment below. You can also read my Minimalism Series to get a bit more inspired.

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De-clutter your work desk| Minimalism Series

If you’d search for my desk in the office, it will be easy to find. I’m the one who only keeps her phone, notebook and bottle of water on top of the desk.

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Keeping your desk de-cluttered is a way of keeping your thoughts organised without having objects that might distract you from what you need to be focusing on at that specific moment.

When you work with deadlines like I do, any minute is precious and I can’t waste time trying to find a specific pen or trying to look for that post-it that, “I know for sure it’s here, but takes me half an hour to find it”.

Half of the stress tends to come from our environment and not always from the things that our bosses or co-workers throw at us to do during the day. Stress will always be there, but it’s important to find ways of avoiding it.

Here are a few tips to keep a tidy desk:

  • Use Sticky notes on your computer instead of using paper Post-its.
  • You can scan all documents and keep them on your computer drive. Then you can take those hard copy documents and throw them away, if you’re not able to do so because they’re too important, keep them on a folder in your drawers. Just make sure it’s not on top of your desk.
  • If you made yourself a cup of coffee, before you decide to make another one, just pay a quick visit to the kitchen, wash your cup and re-use it. You might think you don’t have time to do this, but you actually do and getting away from your computer once in a while is very important in order to be able to focus.
  • Business cards don’t need to be lying around on top of your desk. Here’s a useful tip – If you’ve kept your mobile phone box, these boxes are great to store business cards if you don’t have one of those specific folders for them.
  • Magazines – Do you really want your boss to see that kind of distractions on your desk? That doesn’t show a lot of professionalism and I’m sure you’ll have the opportunity to read these in your free time. Keep distractions away!
  • Plastic bottles everywhere. People looove to keep those around. Get yourself a nice steel water bottle like the one they have at Zephyr Eco Market and you’ll be able to save money and the planet by not using all those plastic bottles.
  • Another thing that seems to grow on your desks is pens. We only need one at a time, maybe two if you’re on the phone and you just run out of ink, but more than that is too much and means clutter all the way!

I hope these tips were useful or at least made you aware of what you can get rid of straight away, and I hope you have a less stressful work experience from now on.

I’ve been writing separate posts about my minimalism challenge experiences, so make sure you’re following the blog or any of my social media channels to not miss out on these!

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