One Year Anniversary in a Small Apartment

Today marks the first year of my new lifestyle.  It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year, as it fits me so perfectly.

As I look around my home I realize that what I have are things that I have created.  Realizing I was starting over I got rid of all furniture with the exception of my bed and a small table that had belonged to my grandparents.

So today I thought I would recap a little and share a few of the numerous sites that I used a year ago to help me find my way.

Getting Started

Having gotten rid of what I thought was almost everything I owned, I moved into my new apartment and found I had still too much stuff for the life I had been dreaming about.  It wasn’t furniture, it was all the little things.  An article saved that seemed important at the time or the over abundant bag of fabric given to me by friends who thought I could use it.

I found uses for the fabric making gift bags to replace wrapping paper. I read through the numerous pieces of paper and articles saved and wondered why I thought they had been so important.  I passed on projects I no longer wanted to finish and eliminated even more clothes, although compared to others I didn’t start with that much.  Why had I held on to clothes that really didn’t comfort me or seem in sync with my personality?  Simply because I had them, and they were in good condition.

Life Begins by Saying Hello

It didn’t take long to realize that I made the right choice to rent an apartment rather than buy a home.  Owning a home comes with more upkeep and that means more of my time dedicated to taking care of another thing I would own.

Owning a home would also mean maybe getting to know one or two of my closest neighbors. Renting gave me a larger number of neighbors to connect with and realize we all had similar dreams for our lives.  It was as simple as saying hello or offering a smile as you passed by.

Setting three chairs outside my door felt like an invitation to join me as my butt only needed one.  So one-by-one, neighbors would stop to welcome me and have a seat.  My son stopped one afternoon surprised by the group gathered around my door.  My three chairs were filled, so neighbors began to bring their own chairs and join the group.

Adding a Few Pieces to Feel at Home

My apartment came with a large dresser, desk, and twin bed.  I lived with these for a while.  The first to go was the dresser, it just took up too much space which wasn’t being used.  My clothes now all fit in a hanging organizer from Ikea.

Next to go was today when management came to pick up the twin bed I replaced with my free loveseat from a student who was leaving.  Next up will be the desk as it’s not used except to hold things and fill a corner.  Actually, I was informed the management will probably toss that in the garbage, so instead of getting rid of it I will be making it smaller to convert it into a nightstand.  When I get to that project I’ll share pictures, but that’s for later this summer.

So came the moment to add a few things in to the apartment.  There were just a few storage needs I did have that needed something.  I had gone to my youngest son’s home to pick up an antique bed that was given to me by my great-grandmother when I was four years old.  My oldest son was looking to move his son out of the crib, and this would be perfect.

Since I was using my son’s much larger SUV, I had more room and was asked if I would like any thing that my son and his wife were not using since purchasing their home. One was a nightstand which needed a little love and another was a very slim bookcase which stands just over 3 feet tall.  I took both, leaving them with the rest for their yard sale.  Both were repaired, cleaned and painted.  The nightstand hold sheets and children’s art supplies.  The slim bookcase holds kitchen appliances I use frequently, but didn’t want to see on the counter.

That’s it. But where I dwindled down my possessions, I found a much fuller life.

Bills Are Eliminated So Life Can Begin

Now with little to do to maintain my home, I fill my time with activities I enjoy.  By downsizing I was able to easily afford housing which because of its location would cost much more if I wanted more space.  Having waterfront property can be costly.  The changes I made left me with only four bills per month.  What a freeing experience that has been.

If you are looking to make a change start by figuring out what is missing.  What don’t you have enough time for any longer?  What have you been wanting to start?  A year ago I felt lost and alone where I had been living.  I turned to the internet and began to search for the answers.  While a wonderful resource, the internet couldn’t tell me what my heart had been longing for.

I did find a few sites which engaged my brain and helped me to answer some of those questions for myself.  Some of the answers they led me to were discounted as not for me, others were tossed around to simmer for days.   Be careful what you wish for, you may get it and much more.

Some of my favorite sites a year ago included:

When I first began looking for what was missing in my life, it was hard to find because no one around me was doing what it was I was seeking to do.  The above sites were a great help to me, and from there I began this blog.  Since then I have found wonderful people who are living life their way and add so much more to my life.  You all make me feel as if I am not so different after all.  Soon I will share the sites of people who make a difference in my world today.

What has been the best resource you have found online?  Do you have a site I have missed?  Please share it with me.

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2 comments

  1. I’m impressed by how much you’ve been able to downsize. I’m working away at it a little at a time, but there is still a lot to do. I’m probably never going to be a minimalist and I’m not much of a consumer, but I might be a bit of a hoarder for those “you never know when you might need it” times. I’m trying to weed things down to the essentials though.

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    • Using the first definition of a minimalist, I will never be one. I define my state of minimalist as having and owning only what I need and love. Following your blog it sounds to me like you have what you need and love down. Family, friends, and plenty of good times. As for the hoarding, well I had that problem for years. My grandparents who grew up during the depression taught that to me, but I’ve gotten past it finally this year.

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