Paring Down

Now that we’ve been in the new place for over a year, I’ve been making a lot of progress on downsizing; the idea is to have more items leave the condo than come in. Since this place is more permanent (I certainly don’t plan to retire here, but I am not obsessing about my “next” place either), I have been parting with things that I “might” have needed to schlep to the next apartment, “just in case,” and focusing on organizational systems, furniture, and the like that serves a specific purpose. Things that were great for old haunts don’t make the cut for the new place.

One example is the plethora of curtains we bought for our bungalow in Kansas. When that place was built in the 30’s, numerous small windows were the way to go, and as such we had to buy a lot of curtains to dress them all. Between the guest room, bedroom, living room, and dining room we amassed twelve pairs of curtains. And that wasn’t even all the windows (some went bare). Our current place has four windows. Four. So, that’s one concrete example of super practical downsizing now that I know what I really need. I sold some online and donated the others to Salvation Army, and now I have a dresser drawer’s worth of space free! Just from finally purging curtains! I think that window dressings can be a semi-expensive furnishing that’s worth dragging from rental to rental until finally reaching a point which seems more stable.

 

Kitchen Essentials

Another example is kitchen stuff. Before I quit my gig at SLT I invested in a few pieces as far as pots and pans go. Three great items in, five good items out (to friends or goodwill). I followed the same rationale that I did when I upgraded my kitchen knives (which I’m still totally satisfied with, btw). If I invest in long-term and higher-quality pieces, I won’t have to shop for those items again for ten, twenty years, or in the case of stainless steel pots… maybe ever again! It’s a nice feeling. The employee discount helped, for sure, but I still recommend buying the best that is available and practical at the time, even if saving up for a little while is necessary.

My recommendations? Shun Sora 8″ chef’s knife // Scanpan CTX frying pan //
Mauviel 5-ply stainless steel pots // Global knives // affiliate links

Furniture is next. After a year we know what works and what doesn’t in this place. It’s an area where the pinch is really evident though– swapping out a sofa is not the same as purging a closet or investing in a stainless steel saucepan. I am in the market for a sofa and a bed frame, and probably new bedside tables, too. But I am going to play the long game and make sure we get the right item at the right price, instead of looking for the instant (cheap) fix.

Overall, I honestly hope this isn’t coming off as braggy or materialistic, I have just been reflecting on quality over quantity. Long-term investments slowly replacing short-term solutions. In addition to that– getting things repaired instead of replaced. I took some of my sandals to the shoe repair and two weeks and $12 later, they are better than new. I feel this is how generations before us filled our homes, and many people now see items as so cheap and disposable that the idea of “made for life” is largely forgotten.

Next on my list to pare down is media. Do you have any tips or personal rules when it comes to getting rid of books, cds, dvds? I hate to admit it, because I really love books, but having a Kindle has helped a lot. Please leave any advice in the comments! 

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Published by

Staci

Staci blogs about affordable travel at TheVoyageer.com and about interiors, life, and thoughts at MyFriendStaci.com.

3 thoughts on “Paring Down”

  1. This post speaks to my soul. We ARE thinking about the future and the next place that we will live and all I can think about is how much stuff exists in my house that I neither need nor would want to move when the time comes!
    I don’t need/ want much. But what I do have, needs to be of adequate quality. #thisis30

  2. You might want to consider storage sleeves (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Memorex-White-CD-DVD-Sleeves-100-Pack/11008098) for your CD/DVD collection. Most of the space is taken up by air and the plastic cases, not the CD/DVD. The sleeves let you pack them in much tighter. If you’ve moved your music collection to iTunes or the Android equivalent on your phone, this makes a lot of sense. You don’t lose the masters, in case you lose your phone, but you can store them in a much smaller space. Or, if you want more protection, you can use the much slimmer jewel boxes (Frys.com #5904914). They are 1/2 the thickness of the usual CD jewel box, so you can store twice as many in the same space. You can save the paper inserts from the original boxes flat in a file and keep a few boxes around for loans. If you really just want to get rid of them, many places (Amazon, Best Buy, etc) will give you a few dollars for a gently used item.

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