I absolutely adore my apartment.
Allow me to regale you with boring tales of apartments past. When I got married, we looked for apartments. I did internet searches and came up with a few, and I think we only went and saw one place, and we just said “Yeah, this will do,” and we moved in. And it was fine. But we needed more space because I was about to kill him with his stuff all over my stuff all over the place. So we moved — down the hall — into another (bigger, two bedroom) apartment. And it was still full of stuff, and there was still a mindset of “this is good enough,” but it wasn’t a minimalist’s “enough,” it was just laziness. That apartment was crap! The maintenance was terrible, the turnover in the office was enough to make you nervous, and the whole place looked like a prison from the outside.
When I moved, I shopped around. If there’s one thing I learned from my past, it’s not to be satisfied with the first thing that comes along that is “good enough.” Some things are worth waiting for the right match. I may or may not be talking about apartments.
I got it in my head that I wanted to move to Lakewood, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It isn’t the closest place to my office, but it is reasonably close to my partner, and it has a nice community vibe to it, which I like. Plus, you can’t beat the deal I got on rent and utilities. The first place I looked at in Lakewood was a dump, and the landlady assured me I would get nothing better for the price. Challenge accepted, lady. I found a cute downstairs unit in a townhouse, but it was overpriced and sort of in disrepair. I got lucky on Craigslist and found a real gem of an apartment, which I moved into two weeks later!
Here are some reasons I love it:
- It’s compact and efficient. I can walk from one end to the other in sixteen steps. I only need one trash can, and I can keep my towels and linens in the living room closet — because they’re really not that far away from anything else.
- It’s green. My landlords outfitted the place with a low-flow toilet and compact fluorescent lights, so I conserve water and electricity. When I use it, that is — there are so many windows, I hardly have to use the lights!
- It has hardwood floors. They make me feel posh. Plus, I get by with a handheld vacuum cleaner and a dust mop.
- It has little storage space. This means I can’t clutter up closets with my ridiculous excess and just-in-cases. I have to keep myself accountable.
- It’s in Lakewood! Close to the West Side Market where I can buy local produce and delicious carbohydrate-filled goodies, city-wide recycling, people walking their dogs down the street, farmer’s market, and community activities!
- It’s one of four units above a storefront. The landlords own the building and work downstairs so maintenance is taken seriously. I have only three neighbors so it’s nice and quiet.
- It’s mine. For the first time in my life, I am not dependent on anyone. Not a husband. Not a parent. And that feels indescribably wonderful. Moving out of my mom’s house means less money to do fun stuff, because most of it is going to bills, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Does your home facilitate your minimalism?
8 thoughts on “My wee flat”
My home more or less facilitates my minimalism. When boyfriend & I moved in together we decided to rent a two bedroom apartment so we could use the second bedroom as an office/storage room. This has worked pretty well for us. We’ve talked about moving into a small one-bedroom house with a garage when our lease is up in February so that we could save more money for travel and a different car, as mine is only going to be lasting another few years or so (knock on wood). My boyfriend is not quite a hoarder, but he does have a LOT of crap that he would need to get rid of or sort through before we moved. I don’t want to use our future garage as a holder of junk stuff. My “carrot” I’ve dangled in front of him to help spur him into getting rid of things so that we actually *could* move into a smaller space is that we would then sell our iMac and get him his own laptop to use because then we wouldn’t have to worry about having a desk or whatever for the iMac. The thought of having his own fancy computer is pretty alluring to him, but we’ll see if it actually works. We’ve talked about him setting a timer for just five minutes a day to go through his stuff and he’s never done it and we’ve been talking about this for years, so we’ll see what happens.
Yikes. Good luck, I hope he goes for the carrot and things go well!!
I hear ya. When I was a student there were 2 different times I picked a place without doing enough looking around… and definitely learned my lesson!! It’s great your apartment is green, makes you feel good AND save money. My townhouse somewhat helps to support the minimalism, as there is not much storage and no garage or unfinished basement to just lug boxes away to, never to be seen again 😛
Lack of storage is a blessing in disguise!
Absolutely! Being older, we decided to give the house to our son and his growing family. Since he is our only son, he would inherit the house anyway, so we let his family move in and take over the remaining mortgage payments. Approaching 60, my hubs could no longer take care of the huge yard and I couldn’t keep up with the care of the house. We moved into a rented 500 sq ft loft apartment on the river! Our dream home! Hubs loves to fish and now all he has to do is cross the street and walk down to the dock and get in the boat! We only took the little bit of necessary furniture, household goods, and personal items that we needed. We left the rest for son for his use or he can sell or give away. I feel a HUGE relief through minimizing our load. I no longer have to worry about cleaning and taking care of “stuff”. I love downsizing so much its a continued work in progress. I am now in the process of digitizing my paperwork and photos so we can let go of that stuff as well.
I love reading your blog and your process of minimalizing!
Wow, that’s great that you were able to give your house to your son and downsize so easily!
Our house definitely does not facilitate my attempts at minimalism. When we bought, we thought we were going to have children, but we didn’t, so it’s just two of us in a 3-bedroom house… with a full basement. Too much space! But it’s a great house in a location that makes it easy for us to manage with one car, has enough space for us to have chickens and a garden, and anyway right now wouldn’t be a good time to sell. SO I’m trying to get rid of all the extra stuff that we’ve accumulated, so that we can easily fit in a smaller house someday.
Sounds like a good plan! Having so much storage space can really hinder the decluttering process. I’m definitely lucky to only have two closets. My partner’s house has so much storage, I am still finding places that stuff can hide there.