Simplify Sunday- My Craigslist Coffee Table Turned Low Dining Table

 table 
I just moved a few months ago, so it is kind of soon to be redecorating. However, I didn’t have the money to get everything I wanted right away. Also, while I’m fine with my apartment, it’s not exactly huge. 

All this to say, a dining table was not a priority. I figured this was an opportunity to simplify. I put my rowing machine in the dining room, which was already small for a table. I planned to just use the two barstools I got and the counter for eating. 

Life got in the way. I found myself eating at my coffee table. I liked having more room than a counter top. Then, I got a television last weekend! When I put it in the living room, I rearranged everything so many times. No matter how I did it, the coffee table didn’t fit. 

I thought I would get rid of it, and just put it in the dining room for the time being. I got the living room fixed up (these rooms are really an open floor plan, it’s more like a miniature great room) and then took another look at the table. 

Suddenly, I actually liked it there. I put an empty vase in the middle and threw some pillows on the floor. I loved it! I could use the coffee table I got cheap off Craigslist as a dining table! 

I found four chair cushions at Cost Plus and cut the ties off. Now they are the perfect size cushions to store under the table, then pull out for floor pillows for eating! Combined with the pretty dahlias my friend K gave me- perfect! I love it! 

What do you think? I got some feedback that no one wants to sit on the floor, but I like it. I guess I can just sit there by myself… 🙂 I love the simplicity, bright colors, and small footprint. 

❤️ Jillian 

Simplify Sunday- Furniture Shopping on a Budget

Bookshelf, already had/ lamp (similar), Fred Meyer (had 30% off coupon)/ picture, $40 off Craigslist/ coffee table, $20 off craigslist/ sectional pieces Furniture Outlet (20% off sale)/ pillows, Cost Plus (buy one get one 50% off)/ chair, gift/ liquor table, Fred Meyer (had 30% off coupon)/ rug, Home Depot

When I moved, I knew that I would need to buy a lot of stuff. I had two priorities- not spending more money than I needed to, and not buying too much stuff. I didn’t want to undo what I had done with my minimalism. I planned out what I needed and hoarded coupons. I feel like I ended up buying a ton of stuff, but I did try to only buy what I really needed. For example, I don’t have a lot of space, so I decided to skip a table and chairs and just get two bar stools for the kitchen counter. 

bookshelfThere are a few good reasons, in my opinion, for buying things used. To start, it’s obviously much more cost efficient. Possibly more important to me, it’s good for the environment. I’m giving new life to something that is no longer useful to someone else, and I’m not buying something that had to be made brand new. Not buying new stuff saves on raw materials, transportation costs, saves me from going into a store and having to hear those super fake marketing spiels… So many ways to win, y’all.

I used Craiglist a lot when I was looking for stuff. Everything I needed (except the couch and bed), I checked Craigslist first. I got this bookshelf for $20, and the bar stools for $45 for the pair. Purchased new, the bookshelf would have been around $100 and the barstools at least $60 each.

bedroom That said, I wasn’t prepared to buy anything “soft” used. I am afraid of bed bugs and general grossness. I’m squeamish and I’m not afraid to admit it. My first purchase was a bed. I measured my apartment and decided that the biggest bed I could get was a queen, and that I could save money and space by just getting the basic metal frame. I went to Sleep Country, tried the three that fit my price range and firmness level, picked one, and was done. I love it when things are easy!!

I’m a little ashamed of my general lack of thriftiness with my bedroom. Everything was new except the painting, which I got for $20 on Craigslist (and I LOVE it!). The lamps were super discounted from Crate and Barrel, which means they were still more expensive than regular lamps 🙂 ($30 each, but now they are $20!). My bedding came from Amazon. Shiba Inu came courtesy of NW Shibas 4 Life!

sara nightstandI looked for a while for nightstands used, but couldn’t find anything small enough to fit one on each side. I ended up loving these Sara nightstands from Cost Plus. I personalized them by switching out the plain gray drawer pulls for cute colored ones, and putting a layer of clear contact paper over the top. You can barely see it, and it protects the top from water or stains. It’s super easy to wipe off, and I can have water by my bed with no messes. Also, it peels right off if you don’t like it!

bathroom The last thing that I bought was this over the toilet shelf (similar) for the bathroom from Fred Meyer. It was $30, and I was lazy and didn’t feel like looking for something cheaper. I’m so happy I have it though- it really helps keep my bathroom organized.

What do you think, does my stuff look too crowded? Soon it will be time for more stuff purging! My favorite splurge purchase was my sectional, it’s so comfortable I could sleep there instead of my bed.

Jillian

Simplify Sunday- Moving 

  

sleepy shibs Moving is very interesting when you’ve been operating as a minimalist. The last two times I’ve moved it has been pretty spur of the moment, but since I don’t have a lot of stuff; it has been fairly manageable. 

For my latest move, I literally called my sister at 11am and told her I was going to move and she should come help me. I had found seven boxes a few days earlier. I had those and some packing tape, nothing else and nothing packed. I started packing, using the boxes and any kind of container I already owned (luggage, storage totes, reusable shopping bags, drawers, laundry baskets, anything and everything!). 

I had borrowed a mini van, and I packed everything and took over the first load to my new place, which was about 25 minutes away. I unloaded the van, then went to buy a bed. About this time, my sister got to town and met me back at the old place. We easily loaded everything else into the mini van and her SUV. Most of the room in the van was filled with Riley’s kennel 🙂 

We drove back to the new place and unloaded. We were done at 4pm! Packed, loaded, unloaded, and bought a bed in five hours! 

I know it’s silly, but I’ve never loved minimalism more. I felt so proud of myself for getting it done so fast and easily! I also think that my efforts to get rid of everything unnecessary this year really paid off, because I have only found three items to give away in the last two months at the new place. 

Next week’s Simplify Sunday is going to be about how I furnished my apartment, and how much I worried about not buying too much stuff… I like how it turned out. Stayed tuned! 

Jillian 

Sinplify Sunday- Packing Party

 sunshine and my princessAnne is having a packing party, and I’m kind of jealous. I don’t really want to go to all the trouble, but I love getting rid of things! 

So, instead… What would I do if I were completely starting over? What things would I actually need? Here’s what I got rid of:

  • Two pairs of tights 
  • Three pairs of socks
  • One shirt
  • A Packers foam finger that is just always in the way (sorry, Packers, I still love you very much!)
  • Two pairs of too small leggings
  • Three books
  • An old messenger bag 
  • Small decorative dish 

That’s it. I lost steam. Still, I think that’s pretty good (for someone that recently went through the entire house, and has been doing constant stalking of anything that might be useless!). 

On a related note, while thinking about starting over- how much do we really need, space wise? We are two people and two dogs, and we live in a four bedroom house. Kind of crazy, right? 

A few years ago I lived in a studio, and I loved it. Everything was super organized, and I hardly had to buy anything. Sure, I would have loved to have a closet (there wasn’t even one) for storage, but it made life feel so simple. I know that’s extreme and not for everyone, but it’s something to think about. How much do I really need? How much is just excess? How much good could these things I don’t even use be doing for someone in need? 

Just more of my ramblings 🙂 Happy Sunday, friends!

Jillian  

Baggu Reusable Bags

three baggusI received three Baggu reusable shopping bags in the mail today! I first heard about them when a reader (Mag) mentioned them in a comment. When I looked them up I wanted some, but never quite followed through. I need a few new ones, but didn’t really want to shop.

On Friday I wrote about how I was looking into them, and my friend K (who I wrote about in my interview with Sami– K is my super hero!) bought me these three as a surprise! She knows I love animals and she picked a cat, a dog, and a rabbit. However, there are many designs.

The reason I wanted to try these is that they have a stuff sack. I like to keep my shopping bags in my purse, otherwise I just forget them in the car. I only have one that stuffs in a small bag, and that’s usually all I use. I hate plastic grocery bags. I don’t want them in my life any more than necessary.

I think these are going to be perfect. I took some pictures for you of the tag, the bag with a regular plastic bag on top of it for size (these are the “standard” Baggu), the bag open (it would fit a 13 pound Shiba Inu, if anyone is curious. However, said Shiba Inu was NOT going to pose for a picture inside the bag), and the bag stuffed back in the sack. It is definitely never going to be nice and flat like the way they came, but it stuffs back in pretty easily.

xo Jillian

baggu tag

baggu comparison

open baggu

baggu stuffed back in

Simplify Sunday- Strawberries and Cleaning

bedroom 1bedroom 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I would check cleaning out the bedroom off my list this week. As it turns out, there was not a single thing to get rid of in the bedroom. It is already really minimal. There isn’t even anything in that closet except two summer weight coats that I’m not currently using. I still feel good knowing that’s it’s been gone through, but I got off way too easy on this week’s project. That being the case, I decided to also provide you with a cocktail recipe!

ingredientsstrawberry sunset
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I love to make up drink recipes, but I try to keep them as simple as possible. This has a few steps, but the ingredients are basic, with no extra sugar or pre-made mixes involved. It’s important to me to know what I’m drinking 🙂

Strawberry Sunset (serves 1 strong drink)

  • 5 strawberries
  • 3 ounces whipped cream vodka
  • 1 tablespoon limeaid (or just lime juice)
  • 3 ice cubes

Muddle the strawberries (save one for a garnish, if you like) until they are all smashed up! Then muddle in the vodka and limeaid. At this point, if you’re okay with the texture, you can just stir in the ice cubes for a few seconds to cool down the drink, then pull out the ice cubes and pour into a glass. If it’s too chunky, pour it in the blender for a few seconds (I ended up doing this). If you leave the ice cubes in when you’re blending it, you will get more of a daiquiri like texture. I took them out and got a thinner texture (I’m not crazy about frozen drinks).

Bottoms up!

Jillian