December 1, 2022 in Organizing

I believed I practiced minimalism until I moved from a 1,800 sq ft townhouse into a 400 sq ft studio apartment!

How My Life Was

Organizing my spaces has been my way of dealing with attention deficit disorder from the time I was young into adulthood. It’s the reason I became a professional organizer. I believed I was a minimalist, only having my 1,800-square-foot townhouse containing necessary items. One way I confirmed this to myself was my “Goodwill Bag,” which was always ready in my closet. It made it easier to let go of things I told myself. Things were well organized. Everything had a place.

The Decision To Sell

From 2021 into early 2022, I decided to sell my townhouse. This decision had been percolating for some time. I loved my townhouse, but practically speaking, it was too big, expensive, and challenging to keep clean. So, the decision was made.

August and September 2022, Time to Begin Packing

I did what all organizers did. Plan the move. Calculating the number of boxes, packing supplies needed, and coordinating with the proper contractors to help, like haulers, etc. This was when things started to get real. I started with my home office. I had files and documents that did not need to be there and tchotchkes that had a vague meaning to me at best. Then on to my closet. This is an area I believed I had mastered. I donated about 40% of my clothing. The other thing I learned about myself and others is that we instinctively keep cables around that we cannot use. This was me!

400 Square Feet, Finally

After paying approximately $3,000 in hauling and moving fees, I settled into my 400-square-foot studio apartment, and minimalism was starting to take shape. This represented more than a few changes. My new home is near the train station, so I’m paying less for fuel and parking. It is super easy and quick to clean and is on one floor for easy access. I also now have to think in smaller quantities of everything from paper towels to baking soda. Most importantly, it’s about half the cost of my townhome.

The Outcomes of Clutter

Clutter is a considerable psychological problem and interferes with many people’s lives. It has been shown to increase procrastination, interfere with our sleep, and increases anxiety. Clutter causes us to “check out,” overeat and partake in other unhealthy activities. In the years I’ve worked with clients, I contend everything we own and is our possession requires emotional energy to maintain. Even if you don’t see it every day.

Even Digital

I work with small businesses and individuals on digital clutter. Interestingly, digital clutter has the same effect on our lives as physical clutter. A disorganized and cluttered file system creates the same outcomes. An overflowing email inbox, same. I would love to chat with you about the effect of digital clutter and how a digital declutter can add hours to each week and move to minimalism.

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Todd Allan

About the author 

Todd Allan

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