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 vanished. 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 making 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, advices 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 a 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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Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

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The Low Impact Movement

I’ve joined the Low Impact Movement for the duration of the month of May. This movement is all about lowering your impact with a focus on waste reduction.

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I believe that the only way to create real change is to move in unity towards a brighter future. So I’ve pledged to take part in this challenge, where I’ve been attempting to learn how to reduce my waste and overall impact on the planet for 30 days.

I’ve been sharing tips and examples of what I do on a daily basis. What plastic products I’ve replaced for eco-friendly ones, what activities I apply to my life that have a lower impact on the planet and so on.

If you’re curious about it, please visit my Instagram profile where I’ve been saving all my stories since the 1st of May. Follow here.

If you’re looking at joining this movement, even though the month of May is almost finished, you can still be part of this amazing challenge. All you need to do is use the hashtag #lowimpact30 or #lowimpactmovement when sharing a photo or video on Instagram and Facebook. You can also visit these two hashtags for excellent tips!

Don’t forget to use your voice.

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Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash