Please excuse the oxymoron use, but recently over the last few years tiny houses have become a big phenomenon. Living tiny is becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons, including young couples seeking financial independence, families seeking to refocus their beliefs, and new retirees eager to fulfill their wanderlust.
Whatever your motive, the first step toward downsizing your life and moving into a tiny home (or studio apartment, RV, restored camper van, etc.) is to de-clutter and improve your organizational abilities (that’s a polite way of stating that you have a lot of stuff to get rid of).
It can be a challenging task, but there are plenty of tools available for aspiring minimalists, tiny home beginners, and others.
Tips to Help You Downsize to Move into a Tiny Home
Here are some of our favorite downsizing recommendations from like-minded individuals who have already made the big leap into tiny living.
Become More of a Minimalist
Begin with the kitchen, particularly the drawers. Get rid of duplicates you don’t need or use, as well as appliances that have a single purpose, such as an ice cream maker or a rice cooker. Go to the linen closets, makeup drawers, and medicine cabinets from there. You might be astonished at how much clutter you have in your house.
Focus on Experiences, Not Material Items
Perhaps choose clutter-free gifts, especially for your birthday and over the holidays.
We’re not advising you to forego any special honors. Simply reconsider what you consider a gift. Do you really need another bottle of cologne or perfume, or would a long, leisurely supper with friends be more rewarding? Concentrate on the experiences rather than the possessions.
Unclutter with a Zen-like Approach
One way to sort through your things, is to use the KonMari Method. This process starts with putting everything in categories, going through each category one item at a time, holding each item in your hands, and asking one question: Does this spark joy? It can be mentally exhausting at first, but once you are finished, you will be extremely satisfied with the results — and you probably will not miss any of your things.
Here are some quick notes and helpful tips:
Things should be organized by category rather than by room. Clothing, books, and documents, for example. Start with the “easiest” category and work your way up to the most difficult, which is usually sentimental objects.
Keep your attention on the task at hand. When you look at something and don’t feel delight, it’s time to let go of it for good.
Without expert assistance, clearing out a whole apartment area will take three to four days for those who live in regular sized apartments. Most people who follow the KonMari Method to clear up their entire house require at least one week to do the task properly.
Consider using short-term self-storage solutions like Garden of the Gods Self Storage along the route, as the process may easily become overwhelming. You can, for example, utilize a self- storage unit to help in downsizing by providing extra space for sorting out your belongings. Off-site storage is also ideal for stuff you’re undecided about. Moving those items out of your living space for a month or two will help you figure out if you actually need them or not (and in your tiny home).
Donate Your Stuff
If you won’t be able to take any furniture with you, instead of throwing it away or trying to sell it, consider giving it away for free. And, while it may be unpleasant at first, you might find this experience to be liberating.
To see the most improvement in the shortest amount of time, start with larger items. Either post them on an online bulletin board or call a local charity that can pick up the items and transport them away in a truck. “One person’s garbage is another person’s treasure,” as the saying goes.
Is there is one outstanding suggestion here, then it’s to make the switch to paperless. Consider anything made of paper in your home: books, magazines, bills, mail, and so on. What can be digitized and what should be thrown away? Remember that you won’t have much place for stacks of books or file folders, so making the most of your space is key.
When paying bills, make sure you opt for an electronic statement rather than a printed one. Instead of letting paperbacks take up important shelf space, download books to an electronic device. Make digital copies of crucial papers you need on file and put them in a cloud-based file storage system like iCloud or Google Drive.
While there are many various sorts of tiny home dwellers and small-space occupants, one common thread runs through all of their stories: they embrace the freedom that their downsized lifestyles provide. It’s rare to hear someone say that they wish they had more stuff. So, if you’re wanting to lessen your load, follow these experts’ advice and start purging. You might find that some of the things you thought you needed aren’t as important as you imagined.