Friday, June 15, 2018

Minimalism and IKEA - R2BC

I've been very quiet on the blog for a couple of weeks. It's that time of year when teachers are writing reports, marking exams, planning and attending final parties, recitals, concerts, and presentations for everything (that goes for mothers too), and for me, setting up my summer course to start the day after school finishes. I'm finally, not finished but up to date with everything as of last night.

Today I went with two friends to IKEA. You have to understand that 1) there is no IKEA in Jerusalem. 2) I don't have a car. 3) Outside of IKEA everything in Israel is very expensive. And 4) the last time I went there with a car was five years ago! Now you see why this is my Reason 2B Cheerful this week.

We were three of us in the car so there was no big furniture buying, but boy did we stock up on other stuff. We left Jerusalem at 8 after the kids had gone to school, and arrived in Rishon at 8.50. First stop was coffee and a pastry. Apparently coffee is free between 08.30 and 09.00. I suppose because shopping only starts at 9 and the tills only open at 9.30.

We compared lists. Then, having warmed up with coffee, we went to the starting line. Two of us turned right and headed for the furniture displays. The smaller items were to the left.
"Hey, where are you going? We don't need any furniture!"
We looked at our friend in disbelief. "We want to walk round and see everything."
"But we have lists!"
I suggested she go have another coffee and meet us at the end but she threw her hands up in resignation and came with us.

Yesterday a colleague asked me how I can reconcile IKEA with minimalism. Well, most of what I bought was to replace stuff. One in - one out. You do need a new shower curtain, toilet brush and non-slip shower mat every so often. The plastic stool in the kitchen was 16 years old and looked it. The sheets for DD's bed are the sets that my mother bought me when I left home 30 years ago. There's nothing wrong with them but they're primary coloured stripes and DD wanted something pretty and flowery. (Bring back your chintz your chintz - oh the irony.) I bought nice storage boxes to replace the old plastic vegetable rack drawers I'd been using in my wardrobe. New kitchen scissors, a new frame for DD's painting, new place mats, and two rectangular storage boxes to replace the round plastic bowls in my fridge that I use for fruit and vegetables.

Entirely new things included: a big white pot for a tall plant in the now empty corner of my living room, two pyrex dishes and three plastic food containers, all with lock'n'lock lids. A small salad bowl for when I want a bigger salad than a soup bowl but smaller than a serving dish. Ice-lolly molds, And a few little presents for DD - some felt pens, paint brushes, a tablet holder, and I gave her the purse I was given for making a donation to charity.

I don't count the serviettes, the plastic straws, or the light bulbs as they will be used and thrown out. So actually I didn't buy too many new things. But if you want to nitpick, I also threw out or passed on (eventually - some items are in a holding pattern) 21 items this week in addition to the things that were replaced from Ikea.

There are 17 things in the photo but I took back the wok and one of the four broken watches. Also the scissors don't count as I replaced them. However, I gave away a book and another photo frame as gifts and put a bag and a purse in the 'donations' box. And three more serving bowls didn't make the photo. So that's 21 items which takes the 1000 Clutters Challenge to 945. Only 55 items left to find and I still have all my cds and loads of dvds.

I am very cheerfully joining the Reasons 2B cheerful linky over at Becky's Lakes Single Mum.


  1. I LOVE IKEA - I sometimes refer to it as "my home away from home"! :-) I take the subway 3 stops and then get on the shuttle bus that IKEA provides and I'm there 10 minutes later. I always do a walk through the upper floor which is the furniture. They have just redone things so lots of new room & apt. sets ups to see. Then I get a coffee or lunch before I head downstairs to THE MARKET - which is all the smaller stuff. I really do try to restrain myself these days and stick to reusables like serviettes. Sometimes I don't buy anything - I just go for a wander and a coffee. It's a great place to get in my daily steps when the weather is bad. Once you come through the main tills you find the food section where I often buy frozen salmon, pickled herring, flatbread or a jar of lingonberry sauce! I have all the furniture that I need (or have room for) so my last major purchases were 3 sets of towels - excellent value - and a new table lamp for my favourite corner of the sofa when I want to read at night.
    I also love all the IKEA hacks that you can find online. Glad that you and your friends had such a nice day.

    1. Oh yes, I also love the You Tube IKEA makeovers. IKEA is definitely a fun day out.

  2. 5 years! I haven't been able to get to IKEA for 6 months and i'm getting withdrawal symptoms. Like you I mainly buy replacement items, but I also love looking around, and every time I go there, I wish IKEA would start building houses to fit their furniture - or even selling flat pack ones!!

    1. I love the small mock apartments with everything in 30 sq metres and it doesn't look squashed - well only a bit squashed. I'd love to throw everything out (except my new sofas) and refurnish completely with IKEA bright, light, and white furniture.

  3. I love Ikea but our nearest is 1.5 hours away... great for class and home organisation