I started this post around 10 months ago, but I never finished it.
It was supposed to be a second update to… something. Not sure what exactly I was planning to update, but it does not matter at the moment.
What is important is how shocked I am that the text below is still up-to-date and how much it was not just “a one time thing”.
Text as of 10 months ago:
So, as I promised, there would be a second update. I have decided to make myself happier by… removing some objects from my life. In other words, I got rid of a lot of stuff that I did not use too much or even… did not use at all. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures, but you have to believe me – it was a lot! I felt like TLC came to my apartment to film a new episode of hoarders… . And I still have some to remove (Around 70% of work is done).
The way I live…
In Poland we usually live in small apartments, as most of our buildings come from the communism. Back then, we used to have a lot of buildings that have been built to have as many apartments as possible. As the ground space was rather limited, you might have imagine that some blocks that now cover like 10 apartments (in new style building) used to have like 30. Typical communist-way blocks look like that:
As you can see – they are tall, there are tons of windows, balconies and probably – a lot of people inside :)
I live in a studio-apartment, though it’s not a typical studio as the kitchen is a separate room (usually studios have some kitchenette in the same place that is a living room). The total space (including my huge balcony) is 35m2 (or 375 square feet). I do not have much of a storage space as I have no money to order that. In other words – I need to hide my things in what I have and unfortunately – there is not so much space available. The other obstacle is the fact that I cannot remove any walls in my apartment,
The good thing here is that I am single, so I don’t have to share this flat with anyone. And I can also throw away what I want ;)
Bulgarian experience – living just with basic things
What helped me understand that I don’t need so many things with me was my time spent in Bulgaria. As you already know, I used to live there for around half a year. When I moved there, I had restrictions with luggage as I was going there by plane. So I took one big suitcase and one small suitcase being my hand luggage. I took both summer and autumn clothes, some shoes, laptop, blanket, some cosmetics etc. I was aware that the apartment has a washing mashine and I also decided I will buy missing things in Sofia.
And guess what? I have noticed that what I have is absolutely enough to live a normal life. I would say that it definitely made me do the laundry more often, but it was not a problem at all – still, I think that if I had twice as many clothes, this would be much more optimal.
In Bulgaria I used to live in a 72m2 apartment (which equals 775 square ft). Due to the fact that I did not have much of my stuff with me, a lot of this space was simply empty. While at the same time – my apartment in Poland was all packed.
Decision is done – throw away your stuff!
So I have started that a while ago. When I realised that my kitchen cabinets have tons of electronic appliances that do not work at all, I decided to use one of the companies that collect electro-trash. But it was just the tip of the iceberg.
This week I started with checking my clothes. I got rid of 7 big shopping bags of them! What I exactly did?
1. If the clothes were seriously torn, I threw them to the garbage. I usually put a bag next to trash bin – maybe someone would pick it up to get some of the materials for their own purposes.
2. If the clothes were good, but did not fit anymore – they went to charity.
3. If the clothes were fitting well, but I knew I would not be using them anymore – they went for the charity as well.
Imagine that I had 75 (!!!) T-Shirts, over 20 shirts, 11 pairs of trousers (most of them, torn or not fitting), 12 pairs of shoes (yeah, not a lot – but I am a guy after all ;) ) and 28 blouses (most of them too small / too large / torn). The only thing that I am OK at is the amount of jackets (3).
I limited that to 15 T-shirts, 6 shirts, 8 blouses, 6 pairs of trousers and 4 pairs of shoes. The rest went to the trash or charity.
Other things I was hoarding and I need to limit is my kitchen devices. I have tons of plates, kitchen appliances, coffee mugs, tea pots etc. I will do it later. I already removed some boxes that I used to keep my stuff (e.g. I used to keep some things in an empty yoghurt boxes – seriously! This is neither practical nor looks good).
Added in December 2015:
So I am abroad again, having not a lot of things with myself. This time though I hff with me, it was in 2 suitcases. There are some things left in Poland too (I have taken most of my stuff) but not many. I bought only things for cooking (some pots, pans, colander, knife etc.).
I live in a 16m2 (172 square feet) apartment, and this is perfectly enough for me. I have one computer and one smartphone, I am using a pre-paid phone service, the only contracted service for me is my internet + tv.
I cook myself, and I started a new challenge to organise my buying habits. In other words – I am making food from what I have unless I am really out of ideas.
The only thing that makes me unhappy is a weather – very dark and depressing, however not that cold. Ok, I have no friends too, but it’s hard to make friends with an Estonian. The rest of my life is quite pleasurable – yet, very simple.
I can recommend my lifestyle to anyone who has problems with overbuying… getting new things might make you happy for a moment or two, but it won’t make you happy when you notice that you just spent your money for nothing.
Enjoy your day everyone!