Zero Waste Packing and Moving


I'm going to share pictures, snaps, and videos of the new apartment with all our stuff moved in soon, but for now, here's the new place pre-Kar and Toffel. We love it. I already forgot we lived in the 7ème! Because this flat came furnished (most Paris rentals these days do), moving was easy. Previously, I helped friends move who didn't want to pay for boxes- they draped sheets over their furniture and tied washcloths or towels to the feet and arms before sticking them in the truck :)

  

Instead of using boxes or packing material, I wrapped breakables in clothing, towels, socks, and rags before putting them in our suitcases, my husband's backpack, or my wicker shopping cart. Our books fit in one suitcase, our plates filled the silver suitcase, and my garment bag carried all my clothes, with shoes in the cart. I moved things little by little over the course of a few days, walking to our new place or taking the Métro when I knew I'd be in the area anyway. Nothing broke, even when I dropped a suitcase while carrying it up seven flights of stairs! This is the same method we used when moving overseas- all our belongings fit in seven bags with only clothes / linens as cushioning. Lemon Coco by Marline did a wonderful post on minimalist moving and Emma + John had the brilliant idea of using a cute vintage wagon to move their belongings instead of renting a car or truck, perfect for walkable cities.

   

If you don't have enough luggage, old trunks, or reusable Rubbermaid-type containers to pack your things, you can always find boxes on Craigslist or Freecycle. Liquor stores are usually willing to give their discarded boxes for packing. Fold the flaps closed or use paper tape, twine, or rope to secure boxes instead of plastic tape, and reuse or relist afterwards. Services like Rent a Green Box and Carton Plein offer eco-friendly packing materials and relocation by bicycle, a great option if you don't have all week to move things. I wanted to book their bike move, and I can't get into why we didn't (it's really cost effective), but let's just say, once we were all unpacked, my husband turned the TV on to see a program featuring Carton Plein and said, "Ariana, have you seen this? This is what we should have done." I smacked my hand to my forehead until I nearly blacked out.

  

The first thing I do whenever I move is clean the apartment from top to bottom. I threw the windows open, scrubbed with Aleppo soap and a stack of flour sack towels, and disinfected with vinegar. I wasn't crazy about the tomette floors before we moved, but fell in love with their patina and easy care- sweep and wash weekly with vinegar and water. To remove hard water stains, buff with a soft cloth. I took all the landlord's glasses, dishes, and silverware from the cupboards and filled the dishwasher, cleaning the cabinets with vinegar before replacing items. Then I threw the curtains, sheets, duvet, and pillows in the washer before airdrying in the sun.

   

Once satisfied, I moved our own stuff in. I immediately put books in the shelves and replaced the wall art with our posters and photos. When organizing, I arrange items according to where I instinctively reach for them, storing like with like. We sold all our furniture (except the Kartell Componbili and Eames rocker) and appliances before moving, so there wasn't much to transport. Whereas the old apartment seemed empty, this one showed how much stuff we really had- it suddenly felt cluttered and overwhelming. I had to put all the owners' stuff that I didn't like in the side closet, because I was afraid to go in the cave (a storage space included with some Paris apartments). Even then, we decided to pare down a bit more. Oh, and the cats felt at home right away. They love leaping from shelf to shelf in the closet, jumping on the doors, climbing the curtains, and running around the mezzanine. The tile floors are really nice on hot days for them to stretch out and cool down.

Paris to Go

20 comments:

  1. I love the new apartment and think the floors are a lovely contrast actually. Good for you with the zero-waste move...hope the fur-babies are loving their new pad? I love your posts..look forward to reading each one...they never disappoint..��
    Francesca

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    1. Thank you so much Francesca! The cats love this place! They adjusted right away, we thought they would hide a little bit and need time to get used to a new environment but they immediately jumped on furniture, opened cabinets, etc. There are so many more things for them to play with and hide under, they prefer it to our old place :)

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  2. What a gorgeous new place! I love your dedication to cleanliness. I do not think it would have occurred to me to wash the curtains, good call!

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    1. Thanks so much Andrea! Haha I'm a bit crazy, but I didn't want my cats to get fleas or anything... Paris apartments can be gross.

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  3. Good luck in the new place! Looks divine! x x x

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  4. Your apartment looks lovely. I especially love the tomette floors (this is what I ALWAYS look for in a Paris apartment!) and the bathroom!

    I have to admit being a little jealous of the amount of stuff that you (don't) have + easy moving. Maybe living abroad helps? At least it helped me (though I've lived abroad for shorter periods only), but I still have plenty of memorabilia from my childhood and teen days stored at my mother's place. It's ovewhelming!

    Greetings from Finland and thank you for a super interesting blog!

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  5. Beatiful house

    https://mundominimalistablog.wordpress.com

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  6. Beautiful apartment. I especially love your mini balconies. I must confess however that nothing beats the natural elegance and chic of a cat. They bring so much beauty to the space and your black furry friend is very photogenic. Wish you an abundance of wonderful experiences in your new place.

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    1. I agree, cats make a home! Yes, Toffel is so photogenic. Kar is such a pretty cat but he hates the camera, lol. And right now we have three cats so it's even more fun (we're watching my brother in law's cat). Our clippings and some gifted plants have been growing nicely so they love playing on the mini balconies sniffing the herbs.

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  7. Your cats ! And that balcony. Congratulations on the move. Your move must have been a breeze.

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  8. Your new flat is charming! I love the tomettes... Have you given up the fridge ?!
    (I went to la Trésorerie, thanks to you, and got very enthusiastic for all the different brushes ! A brush for mushrooms, even a brush for your brush... I managed to keep my self control, but this place is dangerous for minimalists !)

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    1. Hi Pandora! Sorry I'm replying so late! I love that mushroom brush... that place is so nice and I agree a minimalist danger zone... did you meet Charles? He is the nicest! I hope you go back hehe. And thank you... the fridge is hidden, it matches the cabinets! It's next to the oven :)

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    2. I don't know ! My vendor was very nice indeed, and he had the greatest beard :-) I am sure coming back soon, (as a reward for decluttering ?) but I have try Causses first :-) thanks a lot for sharing these great places !

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  9. I've been saving this question forever, waiting for another wardrobe post to be published so that I could ask a related question. But I guess patience is not one of my virtues, so here it is all of a sudden :) - Do you know if any Parisian thrift stores offer on-line shopping and shipping overseas?
    Here in Russia we do have thrift stores, but most of the stuff there is trash, no brands for sure. Unless you refer to H&M as a "brand" which I do not. Also they rarely carry anything for petite ladies older than 12. I would love to purchase used Dior dress or Burberry trench, even at threefold cost you quoted.

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    1. Hello Galya! At the moment the closest thing I can think of is Vestiaire Collective. I know consignment shops here offer online shopping but shipping only in metropolitan France. But Vestiaire Collective has a good selection and ships internationally, even if I think the way they run their business is terrible :P

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  10. Hi Ariana, off topic of your zero-waste move, but I found an article on the first zero-waste grocery store on Salt Spring Island (I remember you've lived in Vancouver previously so I thought you would be interested): http://globalnews.ca/news/2922217/salt-spring-island-home-to-canadas-first-permanent-zero-waste-grocery-store/
    best,
    Patricia

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