If there is one person who knows all about living your life in a small space, it would be me. For the past 11 years (yikes!) I’ve occupied a space no bigger than 100 sq ft or roughly 30 sq m. Just recently, I found out that for the next couple of years to come, this situation won’t change. I am stuck as money and my contract won’t let me find anything bigger. So until I start making more money, lose my job, get a permanent contract or find my life’s partner, I won’t be able to move to a different place any time soon. I’ve decided that’s fine though: I have a roof over my head and that’s what counts. So instead of saving up money to be able to move, I am going to purge my stuff and invest in nicer furniture for my current living space.
My current living space
I’ve been living in the same spot for most of those 11 years. I used to live in the unit next door before and that was only a tad smaller. I moved here when I was 18, straight out of high school with little to no money to buy the furniture I liked. I was kindly gifted a couch, chairs, a dining room table and other furniture by family and acquaintances. And even though I did replace a few bits and bobs and bought my own additions as time progressed, my main furniture is still pretty much other people’s leftovers. I had always envisioned buying new stuff when I would move out of this place, as I always viewed it as a temporary situation. However, now the situation has become more permanent. Instead of sticking with the same old stuff for another 5 years or so, I’ve decided this place is getting a face lift.
And I will be going about said face lift in a number of steps. The idea is that by the end of 2014 I will have replaced most of my crappy old furniture with things I actually like and are more my style. This includes replacing most major furniture, a minor revision of the layout, minimizing on decorations, and changing the color scheme. I will describe the steps below.
Step 1: Purge! Purge! Purge!
The first thing I will do is to get rid of things. In 11 years in one space you accumulate a lot of junk and the things I liked when I was 18 are not the same anymore. This means that I have a ton of stuff just lying about which is not being used at all. A waste of space. I have known this for some time, but I never took action, because I had my mind set on moving and wanted to kill two birds with one stone.
However, before I can change anything, I will have to majorly downsize my book, DVD and CD collection. I will throw away some things, but I will also be giving things away. This will open up shelving space and I am actually hoping to downsize my stuff. On top of stuff I will be getting rid of furniture I barely use so I will have more floor space available. From now until Christmas break I hope to tackle one area per week so I can start reorganizing before the end of the year.
Step 2: Reorganize
Downsizing does require some new furniture so during Christmas break a trip to IKEA will be in order to change up my book shelves and get some small drawer sets. My goal is to put all things that are now housed in 3 small bookcases, another small case and in cardboard storing boxes in one big bookcase and 3 small sets of drawers. Up and away! At this stage I will most likely also get rid of some furniture items that I will hence have no use for anymore as well as anything else that is simply taking up space. This will open up space for a small change in layout: the bookcase on the left on the picture will be moved to the wall opposite and the clothing rack will be turned around to face the room.
Step 3: Replace furniture
Once all my stuff has been reorganized, it’s time to put in some new things. In the first quarter of 2014, I hope to replace the dining room table + chairs, as well as the desk chair. The table was my parents’ and they’ve had it as long as they’ve been married. They made 33 years this year so that’s how old that table is. The chairs have started to fall apart and I sometimes wonder when they will simply give out. I haven’t had the desk chair for long, but I have find out that it is too big for me and I can’t sit properly in it which is giving me back pains. I also want to have a different solution for my bags, which is now just a very messy corner. The only things that will stay are the solid oak wood TV stand from my grandparents’ place and my couch. These two items fit perfectly in the room and are still too nice to do anything about.
Step 4: Change of color
I have decided to go for a white/ cream, light wood with taupe/ sandy colors and some red accents. The walls are already white so that’s a plus. But all the furniture I’ll be purchasing will either be white or be made out of wood. My main change of color will be in the decorum: the plan is to change the curtains and bedding around summer time into more neutral shades. I am also going to take away most posters, candles and other nick-knacks I have lying about. My goal is to have as little going on in the room as possible.
There are a few other things I would want to change and do but these are the main things that need happening.
What do you think of my plans?