Downsizing to a One-Bedroom Apartment

Living in a three-bedroom house for two years = too much stuff

(For the record, this isn’t my apartment. But the layout is surprisingly similar!)

Read this post over on Substack.

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been since my last post, first off - thanks for thinking of me, it’s very kind of you. Secondly, I’ve been knee deep in boxes trying to organize my life in our new one-bedroom apartment.

Like I shared over on the ‘gram, I’ve pretty quickly come to the realization that I have too much stuff.

We’re downsizing from a three-bedroom family home (albeit a small one), to a one-bedroom apartment - which we didn’t anticipate when we made our big move in October.

If I’d known just how small our apartment would end up being (we originally wanted to buy a house, but it didn’t work out), I would have done a lot more pre-move decluttering work, even more than I did, to save us from the annoyance of having to move stuff that we literally have no room for now.

Since I didn’t have a crystal ball with which to predict the future, I’ll have to settle for decluttering now.

Here’s how I’m approaching what I’ve decided to call The Great Declutter of 2021.

Furniture

We got rid of some furniture before our move, but thanks to the very narrow dimensions of our new apartment, we have to re-home all of our living room furniture.

We’re replacing our very large hand-me-down couch with a new modular version from Ikea that we were able to customize for the unique dimensions of our space.

I’m not thrilled that we ended up buying something from Ikea (in my ideal world we would have found something from a Canadian company), but it was the most functional option within our modest budget.

If you’ve been a reader for a while - don’t worry - my vintage teak armchairs will be safe and sound at my mom’s house until I need them again (unless she refuses to give them back, which is fair).

Tools/Home Stuff

If you don’t own a home, you probably don’t know this, so I’ll let you in on a secret. Homeownership makes you accumulate stuff that you just don’t need in (most) rental situations.

Since we originally planned to buy a house, we brought most of our home care stuff with us - rakes, shovels, gardening tools, etc. These are all things we do not need in a high-rise rental situation. (If you’re wondering what we did with our lawn equipment, we gave them to the person who bought out house).

Luckily, Mr. Tiny Ambitions’ father has a lovely tool shed on his property that is always looking for new toys.

Clothes

This is where things get a little ugly. I always believed I didn’t have a lot of clothes. It turns out I might be lying to myself. Our new apartment has one closet in it. One. For two adults with both work wear and leisure wear wardrobes.

Here’s how I know I have more clothes than I did when I started Tiny Ambitions five years ago - Mr. TA and I used to share one closet and one hanging rack - for all of our clothes.

Now, Mr. TA is using the entire closet and a freestanding shelving unit. I’m using the hanging rack but 90% of my clothes are still in big rubber containers because there’s nowhere else for them to go right now.

A good percentage of the clothes I have no longer fit me (thank you COVID, depression and turning 30). So my plan is to sell as much as I can and donate the rest. Some of the clothes that don’t fit me, I still like. But they make me feel like garbage and I’m not about that life.

Random Sh**

I cannot tell you how many boxes I ‘re-discovered’ when we were unpacking that were labelled ‘Random Sh**”. Ok, fine, it was like 6 boxes (and I only know that because I can see them from where I’m sitting right now).

You’d think that since I was the one who packed everything back in September, I would remember what was in these boxes, but you would be very mistaken.

Everytime I opened one of them, a WTF slipped out of my brain.

What was in them? Exactly what the name implies - random books, papers, hobby stuff for candle-making and fermenting things. Things that probably should have been thrown out, donated or sold before we moved.

Because of that, and the sheer overwhelm I have been feeling with everything else I have to unpack, all of those boxes have stayed mostly untouched.

But, they are up next on my to-do list.

Where to next?

I’m taking this ‘new life’ as an opportunity to start fresh. While decluttering is a big job, I know it will be worth it for future me (and future moves).

So, until next time, keep living that tiny life.

- Britt

P.S. Need help with any of your own decluttering projects? I’m great at helping other people get rid of their stuff! Shoot me an email if you could use a pair of fresh eyes on that declutter pile you’ve been working on.