|17 items + DD's outgrown bike + a big wicker basket (not shown) = 19|
One big advantage of less stuff is the time saved in cleaning it all. When I lived in my previous apartment I could clean the whole place in 2 1/2 hours. That included dusting or wiping down all surfaces, sweeping and mopping all the tiled floors, and cleaning the bathroom. I used to time myself. This apartment is only one room and half a bathroom more than that old apartment but it used to take me over 6 hours to clean. This meant, I resisted doing it and would clean bits when they needed it but very rarely the whole place in one go. Who's got 6 hours to spare for cleaning on any given day!
There were reasons apart from the one extra room, of course. I was only one person. I have balcony furniture here whereas the old balcony was clear. The second bedroom in the old place was only for guests so it was practically empty. The kitchen was tiny. In fact all the rooms were smaller and there was no corridor so that was less floor area to clean overall. And I didn't have a carpet whereas my large area rug here, requires furniture to be moved in order to clean thoroughly.
Yesterday I cleaned the whole apartment in 3 1/2 hours! The changes made over the past year have cut out a whole 2 1/2 hours of cleaning. That's huge and life-changing in that I could get up early to clean on a Friday and be almost finished by the time DD leaves for school. (I so want to promise myself that I'll do this.)
These are the changes that brought about this happy housework situation:
1. Over the past year I've sold two chests of drawers and one display cabinet. I've swapped a big, heavy sofa, two armchairs, and a large footstool for two smaller sofas on legs. That's five big items down!
2. The new sofas on legs and a niftier vacuum cleaner means I can hoover under them without moving anything. And if I'm not moving furniture, I don't feel the need to mop under the carpet every week.
3. The corridor is completely free of furniture so extremely quick and easy to sweep and mop after I've whizzed over the pictures, mirror and tops of door frames with a [synthetic] feather duster.
4. Everything has a convenient home to go to. E.g. my shoes now fit neatly into two drawers rather than piling up in the bottom of the wardrobe and, to avoid the mess in there, usually left on the bedroom floor. This and other things that are put away and off the floor, means I can start from tidy and only have a few items to put on the beds before cleaning the floors.
5. Fewer ornaments make it much quicker to dust and wipe over surfaces. In the kitchen, the counters are uncluttered and therefore also quicker to wipe over. And in the bathroom, less stuff in the cabinets means space for things that otherwise stayed out on the sink area so that too is now easier to wipe over.
I'm loving this minimalism business. Absolutely loving it.