Making space: Living with less stuff

Elisa Eire
3 min readMar 5, 2020

Click. The doors on the big blue metal box in front of me close. The heavy padlock ensnares what’s inside.

Behind the doors are most of the belongings of my partner R and I. We’re between homes after deciding to end the tenancy on the studio we’ve lived in for a year and, after a few hiccups in our flat buying adventure, we’re now living in a short-term let.

Since the beginning of February, we’ve lived out of a suitcase: A few items of clothing; a pair of shoes each; some jackets; our trusty cast iron pot; toiletries; and our coffee machine. The essentials.

This past weekend, we moved our things from one storage to another (less money, better access). It was not as stressful as moving out of the flat but delivered us a few lessons in patience and good planning. Realising you’ve forgotten the keys to your new storage unit in the other car is not ideal when you’ve driven the 10 miles to get there… But I don’t want to talk about those lessons right now.

Instead, let’s talk about the experience of putting the majority of your things into storage. It’s a fascinating thing.

Stacked and stored in the container, it doesn’t look like that much. In the studio, our environment always felt cluttered.

Behind the doors of the blue metal box are most of our treasured things. Some missed. Some not. Some forgotten about. How amazing is that?! One month out of sight and I can’t remember half of what is in our boxes?

This made me think about minimalism and essentialism — both things I’ve followed for over a year now (mostly in mind, not much in practise).

If you’re not familiar with these terms, both are ways of life that inspire you to release what no longer serves you, the things that, in Marie Kondo’s words, don’t spark joy anymore. It’s about stripping back to, that’s right, the essentials — both physical items in your life and the way you think. It’s about doing less to achieve more. Over the past year, I’ve done a great job in the thinking department but haven’t got far in reducing the noise of physical stuff I’ve surrounded myself with — until now.

Having been (temporarily) stripped of my excess items, I’m feeling freer. There’s less to tidy. Less to make room for. There’s more to enjoy. More space. More life. More joy.

It’s even impacting my creativity — personal projects and at work.

I’m only starting to experience the energy that comes with a less cluttered life, but I’m loving it so far.

And our blue metal box? I don’t know when we’ll take all the things out. It might be months from now. All I know is that this is one unboxing I’m looking forward to!

Photo by Joshua Coleman on Unsplash

--

--

Elisa Eire

mother of dogs • early menopause navigator • big city working marketer (from home)