In 2017, we decided to move from a 4-bedroom, 2-garage house in a development to a 1,000-square-foot condo in an urban area.

It was a hard move and we decided to purge as part of the process. We weren’t going to pay for storage. We were only going to keep the things we really needed.

So how did we do it?


To start we had a lot of time to make the transition. We had more than a month of overlap where we were renting our new place and waiting for our house to close. During that time, we were packing and purging frequently.


We really took to heart the idea that if it didn’t bring us joy we didn’t keep it. We had a lot of furniture we had inherited. We didn’t really like it but we kept it because we a) needed furniture and b) it belonged to our relative.


We reviewed what we were keeping over and over again. The first sweep was the easy things. Then a second sweep. Then a third and so on.

Focus on the why:

I constantly reminded myself of the personal reasons I had for minimizing. For us, it was the freedom of time that is connected with having lots of stuff. It was also the promise of someday getting the furniture and accessories that we really wanted.


I didn’t shy from keeping things that really meant something to me. If I valued it, I kept it. What I found was that the more I reviewed the objects themselves weren’t what I valued. I valued the memories surrounding them. Those memories are still there even without the physical items.


Packing things up and then having time to consider is a blessing. If you pack up the box and realize you use something out of it, take it out and keep it.


What is the purpose of the items in your house? Is your goal to have everything you will ever need without visiting the store? We realized for us our goal was to have what we needed for everyday activities. For larger one time projects we were okay with buying what we needed or better yet reaching out to friends and family for help. The springfoam pan is nice but since I make cheesecake very rarely, it made more sense for me to give it away and borrow one when I needed it.


I looked for ways to duplicate or have cross over items. If it doesn’t serve multiple uses maybe there is something else I can use. Example: Bowls – I had a designated bowl for popcorn but that is all I used it for. I switched to using a large bowl that I also use for taking salads to church.