Start a minimalism journey while renovating?

I really love it. Minimalism journey videos. (Insert shock among everyone who knows me).

I love the ‘organise my makeup stash’ videos, the ‘I-make-a-series-on-how-I-clean-out-one-drawer-at-a-time-playlists’, the hoarders, the buried alive series, the ‘becoming minimalist’ statements and the decluttering docu.

Love it.

After watching I look around the room and conclude there is even more grit, dust and gravel than the day before. Plastic cups and pieces of wood and tile are floating around the house. And I feel so inspired!

I throw out the empty cups, sweep the room with my even dustier broom and relax afterwards knowing it doesn’t get more minimalistic than this.

This might suggest I have little stuff.

It couldn’t be further from the truth.

The stuff we have

I have tons of stuff, just not in our house at the moment.

During our move I discarded or recycled a lot of household items, so the first downsizing is behind us. I figured we cleaned up nicely. We hardly have any useless things left.


But lately I get this nagging feeling. The idea that my stuff is just standing there. All that stuff! Just sitting around in storage. While in daily life I don’t really use much of it.

Is this how a minimalism journey starts? 

Our minimal amount of stuff plan

Now I have lived very minimal the past two months. First because we had to move to an apartment and didn’t feel like moving everything twice, second because we realised it was doable for a longer period.

Especially the thought of not having to clean and move around furniture every time we needed to be in a specific room made up our mind. It’s just exhausting to move your bed every morning so the builders can work there.

So we just followed these basics steps:

  1. Buy an empty house.
  2. Put everything we own in storage.
  3. Think about what a typical day looks like…
  4. …and what you would need for that.
  5. Take only that out of storage.
  6. Live life.
  7. Add to it when you genuinely miss something specific.

Our minimalist life

Following the steps mentioned resulted in a somewhat spartan mix of items:

Sleeping: 2x mattress, 2x pillow, 1x blanket, 1x blanked to use under the mattress to protect against dust. assorted chargers for laptop(s) and phones.

Waking up: 2x plastic tub with lid containing his/her wardrobe, 2x smaller plastic containers* with his/her socks/underwear, 2x chair to put clean clothes on, 1x lamp.

Hygiene: 1x container with ‘daily must haves’ (such as deodorant, hairbrush, makeup basics etc.), 1x set of shower supplies (shampoo, conditioner, razor and shower gel), 1x plastic tub for towels. This is all in our ‘bathroom’. In/around the kitchen we also have a washing machine, detergent and a drying rack. Next to the sink in the kitchen we have 2x toothbrush, toothpaste and a soap dispenser (dirty hands all day every day 🙂 ).

Food consumption: 1x fridge, 1x table, 2x, chair, plastic cups (to facilitate all the builders, 2 forks/knives/spoons/plates.

Food preparation: 1x microwave, 1x pan, 1x electrical stove. But to be completely honest: besides the occasional microwave dinner we haven’t cooked a single dinner. We also have a standard coffee making set: 1x nespresso machine, 1x stack of cups, 1x sugar cubes, 1x sweetener, 1x plastic spoons, 1x stack of plastic cups.

Outdoor living: 1x old sofa, 1x coffee table, 1x pink flamingo and 1x folding caravan in the garden.

Other must haves: 1x leather bag for work/shopping/groceries, 3x grocery bags (multifunctional, work good as laundry baskets as well), 2 foldable plastic bags, 2x laptop (netflix!), 2 cellphones.

Miscellaneous: 1x first-aid-kit (on a build an accident is in every corner), 1x box of basic medication (such as aspirin).

* In case you’re wondering about all the plastic containers: a) we live in a building site so EVERY inch gets dusty b) plastic is sturdy and has a good lid (see a.) c) they are stackable which makes it a lot more manageable.

So this is how we live right now.

The only things I added (based on step #7) recently are:

  • Books (actual books) and an e-reader.
  • Watercolor basics (paint, paper, brushes, water jar)

Are we on a minimalist journey?

I’m really curious if this is something I can keep up.

Maybe I will conclude some day that I really don’t need all the stuff that is still in storage. Or maybe I will keep adding stuff along the way.

Who can tell?

I can predict some different levels of addition though:

  • Luxury: sleeping on a mattress on the floor works fine, but I think I prefer sleeping in a bed with nice bedding.
  • Things for other people: Visitors might like coffee from an actual cup instead of a plastic one (but I do feel a bit rebellious sometimes: since when did we decide you need a water glass, a coffee cup, a tea cup, a wine glass and a glass for lemonade? Can’t one glass or cup be enough? But I digress.)
  • Seasonal things: the Christmas tree…need I say more?
  • Kitchen Supplies: I’m not a domestic godess of any kind. I also ditched a lot of kitchen items I never use when we moved. But somewhere down the line I will think I can make my own pasta, bake bread or cut apples with more convenience. And at some point I will actually cook stuff myself again, so I will need (more) pans, spatulas and cutting boards.
  • Emotional knick knacks: I don’t need these things to function. But somewhere in the storage there are things that I just can’t let go (yet). Large and super small. And someday they will end up in the house again I think.

We will see how it goes. At some point we have to sort through the storage anyway. Fortunately most boxes are labeled properly.

I will keep you updated on progress. This might be a complete series of minimalism posts, it could also fall in the category of ‘never to be mentioned again’ or become the newest episode of hoarders… we’ll see.

2 Replies to “Start a minimalism journey while renovating?”

  1. Ik denk er de laatste tijd ook vaak aan.. alle spullen die ik heb en die gewoon staan te staan. Maar dan vind ik weggooien weer zonde. Wel inspirerend om te lezen dat jij het gewoon gedaan hebt 🙂

    1. Leuk om te horen dat je het inspirerend vind! Echt weggedaan heb ik alles natuurlijk nog niet helemaal, want veel spullen staan dus nog in opslag. Dus misschien trek ik wel een beerput open als ik dat allemaal ga uitzoeken haha. Maar dat gaan we zien, als ik op dit vlak vooruitgang boek type ik er waarschijnlijk weer een stukje over.

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