Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Too Little Space or Too Much Stuff?

525 square feet.

My husband and I have been living in a 525 square foot apartment since we got married. Now, 21 months later (646 days to be exact), we are starting to outgrow the space. When we moved in, we did not even have a shower curtain the first night. We did not have silverware but simply borrowed a few spoons, forks, and knives from my parents. We did not have a table and chairs. We didn't even have a bed our first night in the apartment (it was a holiday weekend and the shipping got delayed) so we slept on an air mattress.

Now, we have all of that and more. We have baby stuff out the wazoo (including her smaller bed and her current bed). Thanks to generous friends and family we also have plenty of furniture to fill up the place. We even have a massive juicer sitting on our limited kitchen counter space.

In 21 short months, we have accumulated plenty of stuff.

I have recently begun the process of decluttering our home.

Declutter (n)
1. to remove mess or clutter from (a place).
2. to organize and prioritize (one’s commitments, material possessions, etc.)

As you may have read in previous posts, I have taken five trash bags full of clothes to either Goodwill or the dumpster (depending on if they had any life left in them or not). I have also given away some books and taken out one trash bag full of papers. But the apartment barely feels any different. I still have quite a few categories to declutter in my journey (I am following the KonMari method) but the question becomes: do I have too much stuff, not enough space, or a little of both?

There are families all over the world living in less space than we have and fitting more people into that space. But they all sleep on the floor in the same room at night and that's not exactly how I picture myself living. However, American homes have been getting bigger and bigger over time. How much is "enough" space for myself, my family, and all of our stuff?

I guess there is no right answer to that question. As I continue to declutter, I will see what changes to my answer or what that answer is for me. But I do look forward to moving to a larger space soon. My goal is to make sure that a larger space does not mean more stuff accumulated. Just because we have more space to fill does not mean that we need more stuff. If after 21 months in our new space we feel just as crowded as we do in our current space we may as well have stayed in the little bitty apartment.

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