An exercise in Minimalism; picking up where I left off

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A few months back, I tackled the corner of the bedroom that houses my things in a fit of energy inspired by discovering the minimalism movement and applying it to my own life. My guide? The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a great book for neat-freaks.

Remember this?

This is where my bedroom left off, all nice and clean. Granted, clothes pile up corners get used as storage, but there’s a lot of back and forth in the cycle of cleanliness. That blue plastic drawer set essentially became my “chair”. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the chair in your bedroom that’s used for piling clothes on, not sitting.

As one of the most naturally cluttered areas of my bedroom, it was time to make some more changes. The first step? Get rid of the tall dresser (the tan sliver in the above photo). Ian and I went through our clothes and realized there were a lot of things that we no longer wore. He cleared out two drawers in the dark brown dresser, and I moved things over.

Why did we want to get rid of the dresser?

1. It seemed silly to have two dressers and a closet to hold all our clothes. There’s no way two people need that much space for clothing.

2. The dresser was very bulky. It could have worked in our space had we arranged our furniture differently, but as it was, it was the biggest single thing in our room (aside from the bed).

3. It was falling apart. The dresser had belonged to Ian’s mother when she was younger. Overall, it was a very sturdy piece of furniture, but the wood was splintering at the corners and I had lots of trouble with one of the drawers.

Not everything could be consolidated from the tall dresser into two drawers of the shorter dresser, so there were some workarounds. We took all our thick sweaters and stored them under the bed. They’re not worn super often, and take up a lot of drawer space. For my leftover clothes, we decided to put them in another plastic drawer set that Ian already owned; no way was I going to buy additional storage; that kind of defeats the purpose of this whole exercise.

Okay, okay, but what does it look like, now?

Here’s the final product of this round of cleaning!

Having that large dresser out of the way really makes a huge difference. The room feels larger, I can see the clock in the mornings, and I’ve also gotten rid of clothes, which is always a good thing. I don’t love the plastic drawers, but for now, they’ll do. The giant pile of teal is actually my competition dress which broke my budget last month, and the other pile is what’s life of my “chair pile”. Anyone have a better method for storing clothes that aren’t quite clean, but aren’t quite dirty, either? It’s so wasteful to wash clothes after every wear if they don’t need it. (Does that make me sound gross? I might be a little gross… oh well. It’s energy efficient this way, haha.)

The shelves didn’t get touched since the last round of stuff purging; this is next on my list. I like having everything on display because that means I won’t forget about it, but I do need to find a better way to organize it.

I feel like I was able to get rid of so much stuff. Yet, looking at the before and after photos, it looks as if hardly anything changed; just a bit of room cleaning. At the moment, I’m definitely not living a minimalist lifestyle. Since starting this blog, I’ve been paying closer attention to my spending habits. In fact, since my first post on minimalism, I can count, on one hand, the number of clothing purchases I’ve made. That’s a big success for me!

What minimalism means to me

I want to continue getting rid of unnecessary belongings. Not buying them in the first place is half the battle, but if I can fully adopt a minimalistic lifestyle, I know that I’ll end up happier financially. I would love a living space that was mostly empty. A clear workspace is a clear mind, right? Having less stuff means there’s less to worry about, less to clean, and less to pay for. Sounds like a win-win, to me.

Any tips on what I can do to enjoy an even simpler space/lifestyle?


    1. Author

      Thanks! So often I find that getting rid of stuff has only a minimal dent. Getting rid of something sizable like the dresser feels like a lot more progress.

  1. You know, I think one minor thing that would help is if you actually took your picture frames and put them on the walls of your place. What it looks like to me is that you have a lot of little things that you find useful (ie, your nail polish) but they don’t have the proper place. The easy example is to move the picture frames from the shelves and onto the wall. I’m not sure how you can move the nail polish, but maybe there’s a better place to put them vs. just leaving them out because there’s no other space. I understand the out-of-sight-out-of-mind problem when it comes to things like that, but if you’re worried about not remembering them if they’re not in eyesight, then maybe you don’t need them after all.

    The books are another things. These shelves look like it’s meant for quick-access/daily use items. The shelves are at eye level and have a lot of storage to keep things within the forefront of your mind. But unless you’re reading the books on the daily, maybe it’s better to move them to a proper place. The lotions and what looks like a bottle of advil could also be moved to the bathroom. Or, if you have to have lotion out, do you need what looks like 3 bottles of lotion? Do you use them on a daily or rotating basis?

    This mentality of keeping the daily use items highly visible and available while the non-daily items more out of the way is something that I’m trying to use myself. I have a desk that I consider my go to that has literally everything I need on a daily basis (plus some cluttered items). But before I decided to clear it off, it also had a pile of papers that I just never ever really used or went through. It took up space, and I was afraid to use a section of the desk because I was afraid of knocking it off. Instead what I did was I really went through the piles of paper, took care of anything that needed to be taken care of, labeled and posted notes on piles that I knew I would use in the future, and just stuck it on my bookshelf. It’s still in one pile/section, but now I know where my papers go and where to find them if I need to. I go through them so infrequently that I don’t bother splitting them up more, since I think that would just cause confusion in the future if I needed to find anything. But they’re in a better place in my room, my desk looks way less cluttered, and my organization and stress levels have improved.

    1. Author

      I’d move my frames onto the walls if I felt comfortable doing so, but I don’t unfortunately. There’s so much artwork on our walls already that I fear it’d be too overwhelming. Other things could go, for sure. The lotions are there so that I’ll use them up, but honestly, they should just go into the trash at this point. A decent number of things are overflow from the bathroom, but we have a small bathroom and all the shelves in there are pretty crammed. I guess I know what I’m clearing next!

  2. For in-between clothes, I like either a coat tree tucked in a corner somewhere or a row of hooks, perhaps behind a door or in a closet. Right now I have an accordion peg rack on the wall that my bedroom door opens onto that works great is at least a little out of sight.

    1. Author

      That’s a great idea! I’m tired of having all my clothes in a pile; hanging them up would be so much better. I definitely have some space where I could hang some hooks or place a coat rack. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

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