How a small space actually isn’t that bad
A small space for some people might be a shock compared to what they are used to living in – a small space might seem confined and cluttered with all that they own, but for me and most minimalists a small space is exactly what we need. A small space allows for only the essential items to occupy the space, anything that is inessential looks and feels like clutter. A small space allows each thing to have a specific place, and for me to know the home of everything, and not be left wondering as to where I put it. Each thing has a purpose, and each thing has a home, so the small space is left clutter free and clean the majority of the time.
A small space has also helped me in the process of decluttering my closet in particular. When my wardrobe simply wouldn’t fit into the small closet and chest of drawers provided at school, I had no option but to downsize the size of my wardrobe so it would fit. The small space forced me to decide which pieces were and weren’t essential. The small space itself helped kick-start me into minimizing.
A small space also acts as an incubator to find and grow your own personal style for décor and clothes and color scheme in general. Because of the small size of the room, anything that doesn’t go together will show more-so than if the clashing pieces were in a larger space, so I found that I very quickly got rid of the pieces that didn’t match my style, and developed my own look much faster.
The last benefit is living in a dorm, away from home, you quickly realize how little you want to do your laundry, how little you want to tidy up your room, how little you want to dig through your wardrobe in search for that one shirt. You realize that life is much simpler and time is wasted less if you actually own less stuff. So the whole act of living away leads people to decide that left stuff is better and easier to take care of.
Living with a roommate
Living with a roommate is a great experience. It helped me to figure out how to live with someone else’s life choices in a single room, and how to deal with different schedules, levels of cleanliness, and general choices. It also helped me to decide what fit my personal taste as far as lifestyle choices, décor, schedule, and to decide what didn’t work, all the while exposing me to different ways of thinking about things. Roommates are a wonderful learning lesson about how to deal with living and socializing with others and to learn about yourself. My roommate was not a minimalist, and I wasn’t at the start of the year. Throughout the year I began researching minimalism and decreasing the amount of things in my half of the room, while my roommate’s stayed the same, it actually was evident as my side of the room became neater, just how much stuff hers had. The amount of things left my mind unfocused and not at peace in my own room, but I can’t ask people to change how they live, I can just lead my life, and respect their choices and maybe expose them to minimalism, but never force it on them. So I just kept living my own rules on my half of the room, and talked to her about why I was interested in this new topic, she thought it was interesting, but she never changed her lifestyle. And that is okay. It is important to know that she respected my choice and I respected hers.
10 things I wish I knew before I moved in to my dorm
- I didn’t need that set of 100 hangars: Wait to buy storage containers, hangars, boxes until later in the year when you have accumulated thoughtfully what you actually need, instead of doing what I did (buying a bunch of storage stuff and then buying stuff to fill the storage stuff with– mostly stuff I didn’t need but felt I had to buy to fill up the storage boxes I had bought.).
- You don’t need a printer: usually. I bought one, but later found out I had access to a free printer at school, and never used the $50 dollar printer in my room. Check to see if you have access to a free printer before buying one.
- Everyone has microwaves: I didn’t buy a microwave, although I was considering it, and that was actually good because pretty much every room on my floor had one, so while I did microwave things I just used my friends for free.
- Invest in quality electronics: buy things to last you through your whole college experience not just one year. I bought a cheap coffee maker for $15 and it worked fine, for a couple months but then started making terrible coffee. I finished out the year with it but will be investing in a quality one next year so I can enjoy my coffee.
- In general bring less and buy less than you think you need: you can always come back and buy more or ship more later, but don’t overspend on things you think you might need. Bring and buy the essentials, wait it out and see what you actually need. Then invest.
- You will go food shopping a lot: ask for gift cards to places like Trader Joes or Whole Foods, or wherever you get your food, it is expensive and usually school cafeteria’s have shitty food, especially on the weekends. Also try to buy in bulk so you only have to go shopping once or twice a month and it is cheaper.
- Freshman 15: just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you should eat whatever you want, you should think about food with even more of a healthy eye, as it is in fact easy to put on the freshman 15. Be ware of the home-style food section, the dessert section and the buffet style food in general. Start with a small plate and if you’re still hungry go back for more. Don’t load up and then realize you got too much.
- Going to the gym on campus: find a buddy, and don’t be intimidated. The gym is one of my favorite places to go on campus – I can study while I’m on the elliptical and I can just chill and laugh while my friends and I actually work out, all the while getting my endorphins up and sweating. Try it out.
- Buy a hammock. Just do it.
- Find friends with cars because I hate ubering, it is expensive and not fun. Find friends with cars.
Thanks for reading 🙂 Please leave a comment down below of one thing you wish you would have known before living in a dorm!