A minimalism win – the burglary that reinforced our beliefs

A minimalism win – the burglary that reinforced our beliefs

I was unsure if I should post this or not, we haven’t told too many people that our house was broken into, we try not to consider it a big deal. And honestly, it’s not, because they didn’t steal anything. There was nothing to be stolen. Here’s the story.A minimalism win. A house burglary that reinforced our beliefs.

Our minimalist home

We embraced minimalism almost one year ago – we sold, donated, recycled or in extreme cases threw away, most of our possessions. We kept the essentials, the things we use regularly and the things we love. You can read about our adventure here. Mid-March this year we left our London flat to escape to the countryside. We hired a small van and our entire life fitted into that thing. It was amazing to watch; we realised we’ve done well.

The house we moved into is almost too big for two people and two dogs, but “this is how they make them”. We wanted to live in a greener, cleaner area, away from the big city where we couldn’t breathe anymore. We love London, but it’s so much better to go back home at the end of the day to a place where the noise just stops.

So now the trick – we left our partly furnished flat for an unfurnished house. There were a few things that we needed to get – some chairs to sit on when we eat, a sofa for the living room and a mattress (no bed, just the mattress!) to sleep on. And I bought all furniture second-hand, for almost nothing. I turned one of the bedrooms into a Yoga room, the living room and part of the kitchen are dog playing areas, and all the counters are as empty as possible. Yeah, the house is half empty, and we love it – we can breathe.

My exercise room

The burglary

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. It was my last day at the office; I was preparing to pack my things and say goodbye when I got a phone call from Alin. When I saw that he’s ringing me, I immediately knew something was wrong because we never talk on the phone, we text. The last time he called me was when Leona was attacked at the park, and he was rushing her to the vet. Here’s the conversation.

“Baby, someone broke in.”

“Are you ok?”

“Yes”

“Are the girls home with you?”

“Yes”

“Are you sure they’re not in anymore?”

“Yes”

“What did they get?”

“Apparently nothing.”

“Ok, call the police, and we’ll talk later. Calm down.”

Trying not to touch anything, Alin scanned the house after he called the police. Nothing was missing. All drawers were open, everything was turned and searched through, and our garden window was smashed, but that was it.

The damaged window

A few tips from the police

After a talk with the police, we learned that they:

1. Pick at random (knock on the door pretending to sell something; if no one answers, they try to break in);

2. Are only after small but very valuable things (money, jewellery);

3. They ignore Apple products because it’s a pain to unlock and sell them.

Another tip from the police was that they usually go straight to the master bedroom because that’s where people keep their valuables hidden. I guess they had a big surprise to see we don’t even have a proper bed.

What we call “bedroom”. It’s a place to sleep.

They ignored our living room drawers (the TV stand) and the whole kitchen area. Something to consider when hiding stuff.

Fun fact: they broke the window to get in, but unlocked the door to get out!?!

The broken window is covered by the landlord’s home insurance so aside from the initial shock, a bit of disruption, talks with the police and the insurance company, it’s business as usual.

Peace of mind

Before this happened, I had a conversation with my mom and told her that I’m confident enough to go on vacation and leave the doors open because there is nothing to be stolen. I was obviously right. And honestly, if I leave the door open at least they won’t break my window again.

Minimalism gave us peace of mind, freedom to move easily and time to enjoy life by eliminating the non-essential. Now we can’t imagine ourselves living in any other way. Click To Tweet

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9 Comments

  1. That is a really scary situation, but really neat that your small intentional living probably upset the people who were hoping for something valuable to get. Good for you guys, but bad for those homes they may have also broken into and robbed. It is sad that people resort to such things at all. Loved reading this.

    1. Author

      Thank you for taking the time to read! It’s been a month now, our window has been replaced and we almost forgot about it. I really hope that all my posts on minimalism will inspire others too. There’s so many benefits and I’m really not missing out on anything. Less things, more experiences.

  2. This is quite a funny story, if it wasn’t for the shock to find that unknown strangers went into your house. It must have been quite a surprise for them to find such an empty space! Thanks for writing the articles on minimalizing, doing the same, but found it quite hard going as it seems that with all else that I needed to do still, to make time to get rid of things often just didn’t happen! Have started to do one hour at the time and that seems to be working better, and gradually seeing differences happening. Realised that, when you have a lot, you are owned by your possessions!

    1. Author

      It took me a whole month, while not working, to declutter so don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s exhausting and it takes you through so many different feelings and states of mind. There were moments when I just couldn’t see the end of it. But once you’re there, you’re gonna love it. Sending all my positive thoughts!

  3. We just have moved to a rural city 20 months ago now, and 3 weeks ago, just have moved to our new house. We decided to moved even when the house was lacking some windows because some nearby houses had been robbed. We have twice the space we ever had in the last 8 years living together, but we don’t want to fill our house with stuff. Actually I’m using the extra space to display all our stuff and discard all that we don’t need. I used to have nightmares about fires, floods or robbery, and I get really anxious about losing something valuable, I can’t decide what to save. Having less help you to focus on what’s important. I hope you’ve been completely settled by now. We have 2 beagles too and 1 rottie to watch the house, the beagles are the alarms and the rottweiler the discourage factor. Keep blogging, I’ll keep reading. Regards from Mexico.

    1. Author

      We did settle in, but decided to move haha! We just bought a narrowboat so we’re in the process of selling everything we own to be able to move on the boat in 4 weeks time. Exciting! Extreme minimalism!

  4. You are truly inspiring me to become a minimalist. I have been reading a few blogs on Minimalism, it’s pros n cons, etc. I have read seven blogs of your today, and I am inspired, but it all stops at it because it’s very difficult for me to let go of things. Though I am about to start my journey through declutering, it’s becoming harder day by day. I honestly don’t know where to start. In one of your blogs you have mentioned to start by declutering our clothes, and trust me, it’s the hardest for me to get rid of. I have no place to keep my clothes and still I am unable to get rid of them. I really don’t know where to start and how to be confident about it. Please suggest me something or some blogs that will build my confidence to follow minimalism. Thanks a ton. Regards

    1. Author

      Hi! I’m glad you’re considering it and I can understand it can become overwhelming. I have a few suggestions but it all comes down to what works for you.
      1. What if you do start with the clothes, but don’t discard them yet? sort them out and keep the bags somewhere safe in the house. Give yourself the opportunity to go back to them if you really can’t let something go.
      2. Start with a small drawer instead of a large category such as clothes. Maybe the medicine cabinet or the paperwork (I love sorting out papers!!!). Then, enjoy the benefits and that will help you move on to the next area. It can be even just the socks drawer or one shelf somewhere in the house. Start small.
      3. Think about the benefits for other people, nut just for yourself. If you’re donating something, you will make someone else happy. If you have a cleaner home and less stuff to organize, you’ll be able to spend more time with your loved ones. If you’re less busy and overwhelmed, you’ll be able to do more focused work on what matters. You have the ability to change lives!

      Hope this helps,
      Love,
      Andreea.

      1. Thank you so so so much for your suggestions. Unknowingly I always start from my medicine cabinet. And as you had mentioned I had cleared out my closet n had dumped like 1200 clothes in my store room. But it’s time that I just clear the things I don’t use. I have to do it. And I will.. Thank you for your prompt response, it helps a lot when you know that people are there to help. Thank you so much. Will keep you updated about my progress. Love

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