When Jonas and I first moved in together, we moved into this ginormous, run down, dark house that, technically, had four floors – even though we only had access to two. The rooms, except for the kitchen, were huge and there was space for everything and more. I bought little tables and chairs, plant stands and shelves for all the corners that were originally empty and I loved it. That weird, dingy house became quite homely in the end.
As we started thinking about our move to Manchester, back in December of last year, we knew we would be downsizing and so we got rid of loads of books, DVDs, clothes and other things we had been hoarding, on our own, for years. We struggled for space in our first flat and left many boxes packed up, and when we moved in July we had to downsize again. We gave way or sold more things, and my parents took a lot to the tip for us.
Downsizing can be good in that it makes us more ruthless with the things we collect. Clothes we hang onto because we used to love them, sentimental items from long ago even though we never take them out of the box, and books we plan to read but never do.
However, this downsizing will be quite different this time because we will be moving into someone else’s, my parents’, home and we have no right to dump all of our stuff there. It will be odd, but I think we need to really take a look at the things we own and consider whether we actually need them, or have just hoarded them.
For me, it’s books. I donated over 200 when I left Sheffield and I still have around 150, and even more at my parents. I love books so much, but I really don’t understand why I have to hoard so many of them. I think these may have to be the first to go.
Secondly, it’s plants. The Barton Jungle will soon be packed up and no longer exist, and that’s a little sad. From ‘buddingplantmomma’ to ‘thebartonjungle’ on Instagram, I have been on a fantastic journey. Meeting lots of lovely people, learning about loads of plants and the care they needed, and mainly sharing pictures of the jungle apartment that I have loved so much. However, my mum has beautiful plants and a huge garden, so I’m sure I can continue my plant loving journey with her.
But, I have to admit it was painfully sad to sell and say goodbye to some of my favourite plants, even if they were going to friends!
Finally, the kitchen. My mum gave us so many utensils, pots and pans, plates and appliances for the kitchen that we definitely do not need any more. My mum is the queen of the kitchen and will have everything we need there. So, this week I’ll be tackling the kitchen cupboards and sorting things out. Most of it is in good condition, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to donate a lot of it.
Whilst I am not worried about the move, I am concerned that I won’t be able to sell, donate or throw away as much stuff as I need to. I wish I could be really ruthless and donate the lot, but I love the belongings I have and I know this won’t be possible.
We have finally booked a storage container and will be fully moved out by this time next week. I am desperately looking forward to closing the door on that apartment for good, getting some sleep and being able to work and relax without the constant screaming, slamming of doors and awful smell of weed, even though it will be weird to live in someone else’s home,
Do you have any tips for downsizing? What do you find easy or difficult about it?