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  • Ruthmarie Tenorio

Minimalist Maker? Part 1 - Why I had to downsize.

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

Is it even possible to go from being a maximalist maker to a minimalist one?! When you are faced with downsizing to a studio apartment, how can part with your precious fabric stash? Your button collection? Your trim collection.? I had an internal battle with this and in the end, I boiled it down to what was important: rebuilding a life with my husband. Craft collecting had to take a back seat.

Let's get a bit personal. My dream my whole life (and still is) was to move into a grand victorian home filled with antique furniture, dramatic drapes, detailed woodwork, picture galleries, lamps, floral arrangements, decor, and ghosts. Until the day that happens, the desire to fill a room with pretty things had trickled into my studio space. My goal was to have everything I could possibly need for any project on hand. A library of fabrics, fully stocked collection of threads, paints, trims, buttons, foam, glues, jewels, etc.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you will find my husband. My husband dreams of a minimalist aesthetic. Clean lines, empty walls, minimal furniture, all clutter hidden away. Antique stores give him anxiety, and Pier1 made his eye twitch. My hobbies didn't bother him because it was all tucked away in my studio. My studio was my haven; a beautiful chaos. As long as he could shut the door, he could care less what went on in that room.

The difference between my husband and me is that I can easily adapt to any space. I find beauty in minimalism. The minimalist aesthetic is very calming and in the right space can be architecturally beautiful. I just know that my habits and my hobbies don't match the minimalist aesthetic.


Fast forward to 2020 when we lost our spacious two-bedroom two-bath apartment due to the pandemic. We were forced to pack up and store everything until we could figure out our next move. Well, one year found us needing to move to Miami, FL. Without making this post longer than it needs to be, I'll just sum it up to: We had no choice but to move into a studio apartment due to a lack of housing inventory. It was literally the only thing available in the area we wanted to be in, the week we HAD to move to Miami.

It wasn't totally tragic, this studio apartment is historic, beautiful, and could not be better located. We figured it would be a transitional space until we could find a more spacious apartment, but what we thought was going to be a temporary move might be semi-permanent. Why? Because we love the apartment. As small as this space is and as claustrophobic as he may seem, my husband is in love with our tiny 1920s studio apartment and so do I. Now for the big and very obvious problem. How are we going to fit a two-bedroom apartment worth of stuff into a studio?! The quick answer is to get rid of stuff. A lot of stuff. Like 75% of stuff.

Now getting rid of furniture, clothes, shoes, and kitchenware was not an issue, the issue was my colossal collection of sewing and crafting supplies. I won't have a studio, what I will have is a tiny 6' 6" x 8' den space that will primarily be my office because, oh I forgot to mention, I would be working from home, and my work computer is a beast and a half. Yes, I will have some space to store my hobby stuff, but I need my workspace to be as zen as possible. I didn't want to feel like I was working in a closet, after all, I will be occupying this space for most of my day.

So how did I approach this? How did I bring myself to get rid of most of my fabrics? Was it painful? Was it liberating? Did I feel indifferent about it? How did I go about choosing what supplies stayed and went? Well, I'll explain this in full detail in part two.

Much love - Ruthmarie <3


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