I mentioned recently that we would soon be downsizing to a smaller apartment and now the time has flown and we’re here! We have been enjoying living in our new abode for just over a month, and I really don’t think we could have made a better decision. Over the last two years we had decluttered our possessions to a point that we were no longer enjoying our two-bedroom unit and were getting sick of cleaning the dust away from all that empty space (ironically, we originally moved into that unit because we could no longer fit all our stuff into the tiny granny flat we were renting!).
Now, I finally feel that we have found a place that corresponds in size to the things we own, and our new place also has the added benefit of being close to absolutely everything. My 1.5-hour commute has turned into 45 minutes, my husband’s 1-hour commute has turned into a 15-minute walk, and we have only used our car a handful of times since moving here because the shops, the library and various places to eat are all within easy walking distance. Oh, and we have a bulk store that’s literally a one-minute walk away. Could our living situation get any better? I think not!
I thought today I would do a little tour of our minimalist apartment. I’ll preface this, however, by saying that this is what minimalism looks like to me and my husband. What underpins minimalism is not the quantity of things we own but the value they bring to our lives. In the past I’ve owned a lot more things and wasn’t any less of a minimalist, and in the future I may own less things than I do now and won’t be any more of a minimalist. In my journey to a simpler life, drastically reducing my possessions has been incredibly beneficial but I would say that the emotional/lifestyle changes and positive realisations about myself (such as no longer striving for perfection, letting go of who I used to be, slowing down the pace of my once-hectic life and knowing that I don’t want to have a baby anymore) have had the biggest impact. The gift of space and less clutter has been a big one, but the gift of being the truest version of myself yet has by far been the biggest gift of all.
So, knowing that this is just one take on a minimalist home, let’s proceed!
To begin with, here is a (crude, pixellated and not-to-scale 😅) floor plan of our new place, also known as the itty bitty minimalist apartment. I’m not sure what the dimensions of it are, but it reminds me a little of the granny flat we used to live in, only that the bedroom is separate this time (and thank goodness for that! Anyone who has slept in a studio after making a particularly garlicky dinner will be able to relate) and we have more cupboard space than we did there.
Now for the photos (which are unfortunately also rather pixellated). First we have our little dining area, which is directly in front of the door and has a nice view of outside as well as a great cross-breeze from the window and balcony door.
In the corner of the dining area is one of our few decorative items, a little fern.
Next we have the kitchen area. I really love the kitchen island set-up, as I find it so much more social and open than having a separate kitchen like we did at our old place.
I also love that this place has a built-in microwave. It means that we were able to sell ours before moving in, so we didn’t have to transport it here, and it also means there’s no top or back of the microwave to dust!
Living in a smaller place has really helped us to downsize when it comes to food storage, which I am so pleased about. There is no pantry as such (our previous place had a big kitchen cupboard that was clearly designed as a pantry) so we have just been using two shelves, which seems to be working well. This set-up is helping us buy the absolute minimum when grocery shopping and I am really finding myself questioning every food purchase even more now. Often it turns out that we can go one more week without buying something while we use up what is left of it, or use up something else instead.
The kitchen looks out to the lounge area, which we have set up with a sofa bed (which we have simply covered in an old sheet) that folds out into a double bed to accommodate guests, a radio, a bookshelf and a coffee table where our modem lives and where we charge our devices.
In the other direction, we have a little hallway that leads to the bedroom and bathroom. I love having a little built-in laundry in the hallway with sliding doors because it makes doing laundry so much faster (our washing machine used to the under the building in a communal laundry area).
Lastly, our bedroom. We have kept it simple with just our bed, a floor lamp and a bedside table on one side. When I was a child I used to have lots of decorations, trinkets and books in my bedroom, but nowadays I don’t think I could stand having a cluttered sleeping space.
I love that the bedroom comes with a spacious built-in wardrobe. It means we were able to get rid of a few pieces of furniture before moving in, and also that all our clothes are neatly hidden away. Plus, there is enough room to store a few other items like our winter blankets, suitcases, washing baskets, shopping bags and pedestal fan. Please excuse the washing drying on the bedroom door!
Well, there you have it, our brand-new minimalist home. Hope you enjoyed the tour!