Minimalist thoughts: Who needs all that furniture?

Until this year, I have spent the last 10 years without any dressers or any type of decent looking bed frame. I had a kitchen table and chairs but I sold it last year because the only use it got was as a place to lay the mail every day. It actually caused more clutter. And I really hate clutter, hence the whole trying to be a minimalist thing.

I am currently in the process of evaluating the furniture that I have and then deciding what I really and truly need. I am doing this for two reasons. One, I know that I have furniture that I really do not need. Two, when our apartment lease is up in a couple of months my girlfriend and I plan on ditching our pricey 2 bedroom townhouse apartment and getting a cheap studio to save some cash. And that means too much furniture will make that small space very cramped.

First things first, make an inventory of what you have. (Actually walk around your home and do this. If you just try to think about it you are likely to forget about something.) I think it is easiest to list this by room.

Here is what my list looks like:

Den = fold-up table as computer desk, office chair, metal stackable cubes, 2-drawer wood end table, 4 drawer plastic rolly cart.

Laundry room = fold up card table, several plastic Rubbermaid tubs

Living room = couch, coffee table, tv stand, audio pier, end table, 2 short bookcases, 2 gaming chairs

2nd bedroom = corner style desk, media stand, office chair, metal stool, rolly cart with drawers in closet

Master bedroom = platform bed, mattress and box springs, 2 dressers, 3-piece wooden cube thing with drawers, metal stackable cubes, wooden “toy chest’ used for blankets

So, I do not have a lot of furniture, but I still have too much. The thing about furniture though is what you need really depends on closet and shelving space. For instance, I got the cheap wooden toy chest for blankets back when I didn’t have any closet space. Now, I don’t really need it but I might at the next apartment. However, it would probably sell pretty good on Craigslist.

Next, I made a list of things that I could get rid of now and things that I could get rid of when I got ready to move out. Meaning, I would use them until it was time to move them because I didn’t want to keep them. And I also made a “maybe” list.

To get rid of now:

  • Card table
  • Coffee table
  • Audio pie
  • End table

Get rid of before move:

  • Couch
  • Corner desk
  • Platform bed

Maybe list:

  • Fold up desk
  • Both office chairs (if we get rid of desktops and get laptops would we really need the desk and chairs?)
  • Dressers (these were cheap but we might need them in the new place)
  • Wooden ‘toy chest’TV stand (with television)
  • Box springs (if we put the mattress on the floor do we really need the box springs?)

So, that does not leave a whole lot, which excites me! Let’s look at what I would definitely be keeping and why.

2 different sets of metal stackable cubes <– These are great for storing things as well as for clothes. I like the multipurpose part of them. Doesn’t take up a lot of space!

A 2-drawer wood end table and a 3-piece wooden cube thing with drawers <– I got these at Target and you can stack them up high all together or all separate. Doesn’t take up a lot of space and offers multi-purpose uses.

2 of the 4-drawer plastic rolly carts <– Doesn’t take up a lot of space, easy to move around due to wheels. Great for clothes (like socks and undies) or general items.

Several plastic Rubbermaid tubs <– I always use these to move with. They hold a lot of stuff, keep things from getting wet or dusty. They can all stack one on top of the other and makes a great makeshift table.

2 short bookcases <– When being frugal, books are good cheap fun. We have a lot of books, and we also keep cds and dvds on these.

2 gaming chairs <– Bought on clearance and more comfortable than the couch! We don’t entertain anyone so we have no need for the couch and these will suffice for tv watching.

media stand <– use this for oversized books and some dvds. It is technically a TV stand with side storage though.

metal stool <– folds up so it takes up virtually no space. Good for guitar playing.

Mattress <– well, we gotta sleep on something! And I’ve tried to do an air mattress for an extended period of time – no fun!

From the looks of this list, I think we would be fine in a studio apartment. All that remains is to actually stick to the list! That means posting ads on Craigslist to get that furniture out of there! Also on the to-do list is to look for used furniture stores that will come to your home and buy stuff. Also take a moment to note what the majority of stuff that I am keeping has in common. Did you find it? Most of the things have multiple uses so that I can make them work no matter what the situation. I think that the key is having mostly items like that.

Do you have more furniture than you need? Or have you already purged? If so, share your tips with me as I am actively working on this!