Partners in Minimalism

And so it begins. My husband and I have had “the talk” several times before we were married, but now we’re putting it into practice: he’s making the shift into his own kind of minimalism. What we’ve learned so far is that simplicity means different things to us individually, so it’s fun getting to know each other’s needs vs. wants!

Emily and Victor

Shot by the lovely and talented Elise from Lusicovi Creative

It started a couple of weeks ago with my first challenge to him: get rid of 100 things. This was motivating for him, since he likes having an end goal in mind.

We then decided that our next move will likely require downsizing. Right now, we live in a 680-square foot one bedroom apartment, and the amount of space we truly use is way less. I’m pushing for a 450-square foot studio, but we’ll see.

So, we’ve been taking inventory of our furniture. Do we really need that old record player that doesn’t work? Of course not. Could we go without such a large coffee table? YES please (that thing collects junk like crazy).

The pieces of furniture that are absolutely necessary for our next space include the following:

  • Rorschach’s dog crate cage (made for a 50 lb. dog – this rabbit is spoiled)
  • Our bed

…and that’s it. My parents generously gifted me with a beautiful bedroom set years ago that includes a chest, nightstand, armoire and two gorgeous benches, but as we move around in apartments, I may send them back to my parent’s home for guest bedroom furniture. We’re not settling into a house, so right now these things would only get dented and damaged in the many moves that lie ahead.

Essentially, I want to pack everything I own into a Honda Civic and drive off into the sunset. But, we’ll see about what our next steps actually are before I take it that far.

So, what was “the talk” like?

While it was definitely a recurring topic, I can’t point to one single conversation that tipped the scale. I first led by example – I showed my husband what I had gotten rid of, and I exhibited how easily I could let go of certain things. Then I started to explain to him how much better I was feeling by reducing my possessions.

Finally, I started to talk to him about what he had – his clothes were starting to fall out of our shared armoire and he could go a surprising number of weeks without having to do laundry (the man had more clothes than I do). So I started with anything ripped or torn and asked if I could toss it, and it was an easy “yes.” Those clothes were followed by others that he realized he no longer needed.

Finally, after an influx of gifts from our wedding, he finally rose to the challenge of getting rid of 100 things.

I’ve noticed his eyes looking around the apartment these days, looking for additional things to get rid of. We’re both still chipping away at simplifying and now we’re both looking forward to having less space for fewer things.

What have you experienced when getting a partner or a roommate on board with this journey?

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2 thoughts on “Partners in Minimalism

  1. I’m strugging to get my boyfriend fully on board with my minimalism/going green journey. We’ll probably talk more about it when we move in together in November, but for now I’m just trying to be a good example of how this way of life is benefitting me, without pushing it too much. Great that your husband is getting the whole simplifying idea along with you πŸ™‚

    • It is a struggle sometimes, but the most important thing is to be patient and continue communicating. Best of luck with the move, and keep setting that example!

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