There is something truly special about living in or around New York City. The City That Never Sleeps is arguably the pulse of our nation, if not the world. But, while there is so much to be gained by living there—the food, the culture, the exhilaration—there is one thing that many people happily sacrifice when looking for rentals near New York City: space.
It’s a way of life for New Yorkers (and NYC-adjacent folks). And, while those who choose to live just outside the city do have roomier options, a more minimalist approach to living is usually a natural progression, as you have to make the most of limited square footage.
Not sure where to start? Here, we’ve got five tips for you to help get you on the path to rethinking the way you look at your household “needs.”
Reduce all that clutter
It sounds obvious, but this is the most important step. So many times, we don’t realize just how much we hold onto, whether for sentimental reasons or otherwise. (Ask any New Yorker, with a propensity for switching apartments frequently, and you’ll fast learn just how quickly clutter becomes identified.) Tchotchkes, old textbooks, that sweater that doesn’t quite fit anymore but you still love it so much … It’s not to say that you have to rid yourself of everything you love. Just give your stuff a good, solid evaluation, and determine what you can live without. Sell or donate what you can and enjoy living without the burden of so much stuff.
Invest in quality over quantity
One easy habit to fall into, especially for those just starting off at rentals near New York City, is investing in cheap furniture and decor, if for no other reason than the need to fill up the space. Instead, take your time. Invest in quality pieces of whatever you buy. Not only will this slow the inflow of objects into your home—since it’ll take longer for you to save up for each piece—but your home will also be furnished with just a few, carefully chosen pieces, which will last significantly longer.
New mantra: Is this necessary?
Constantly ask yourself this question. Many times, the things we fill our lives with are impulsive, or just things we somehow grew accustomed to. They don’t always actually make us happy or really have much of an effect on us at all. But it could be that cutting them out positively affects us.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
The minimalist life doesn’t just mean getting rid of all your stuff. It extends into all reaches of your life. Why go out and buy fancy wrapping paper when you can make use of some cool-looking magazine pages for something really unique? Or turn old clothes into some retro-chic decor? Get creative and make use of things that you already have and may have otherwise just thrown away.
Not ready to take the plunge into minimalism? Get your feet wet.
Maybe you’ve been accustomed to all the benefits of being surrounded by creature comforts at all times and the thought of giving it up is super daunting. (It can be!) Don’t feel pressured to dive into it 100 percent right away. Try by cutting out a few bigger splurges you might normally partake in. (Yes, even cutting out things like, say, an expensive dinner, is a part of living the minimalist lifestyle.) You may surprise yourself at how comfortable you are living a simpler life.
So, you see, it’s not really too complicated to start living a more minimalist lifestyle. And as you peruse new rentals near New York City to call your home, this could be the type of lifestyle you want for yourself. After all, there is so much more to do than worry about stuff.