Since school has been out for over a month, Sten and I have been busy in the tiny with a bunch of different projects going on at a once which I’ll include some in the next blog post. This company called Dream Big Live Tiny Co. reached out to me and asked me to write up a blog post for their website which I’ll include below! Be on the lookout for an interview of Stennes and I on their upcoming newsletter!
5 Easy Ways to Declutter and Downsize to a Tiny House
Living in a tiny house you really have no choice but to take into consideration every object you own, as well as where it will be stored. Although we haven’t moved into our Minimalist Mansion just yet, we have been preparing for the big (or tiny) transition from living in a 2,600 sq ft home to 224 sq ft tiny home. Although it is sometimes tedious and requires a lot of planning, it’s a great idea to design your tiny knowing where every object you own will be stored. Decluttering and downsizing our possessions has been easier for us than expected; especially when we started to realize how tied down and overwhelmed our “stuff” makes us feel.
These 5 tips we have included to help you declutter your environment can be used when downsizing to a tiny house as well as decluttering a traditional size home!
1. “HAVE NOTHING IN YOUR HOUSE THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW TO BE USEFUL OR BELIEVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL”
This short but powerful quote by William Morris is one that I recite in my head every time I organize and sort through my belongings. There are many different ways to see if objects are actually beneficial and useful to your life or just sitting there wasting space.
One of my favorite ways to determine if something is useful in my daily life is to store it away for a week or two in a place that is out of sight. If I don’t use it or think about it during that time frame, I will definitely consider donating or selling it. If the object serves no purpose and does not elicit a deep emotion when I think about it, then I don’t consider it “to be beautiful”.
2. ELIMINATE MULTIPLES
This tip is pretty straightforward but it is one that will make a big difference while trying to downsize. If you have more than one item that serves the same or almost the same purpose as another, you should consider getting rid of the extras.
A great place to start eliminating multiples is in your kitchen. If you drink coffee before work on the weekdays and do the dishes at least once a week, you really only need 5 different coffee mugs at the most.
Start with objects that are easy to part with that don’t have much sentimental value to you. Once you are accustomed to eliminating the things you aren’t particularly attached to, it will be easier for you to make rational decisions when you sort through the more sentimental objects later on.
3. CONSIDER YOUR WANTS VS. NEEDS
By learning how to differentiate your wants and your needs, it will be easier for you to distinguish the things you need to live a comfortable life and the things you want that do not serve a purpose besides temporary gratification.
I’m sure you have said to yourself while shopping, “do I really need this?”. This question can be used while you are starting the process of downsizing and de-cluttering. “Do I really need this old stack of magazines?” “Do I really need that bigger and better flat-screen TV when my slightly smaller one works just as well?” By asking yourself this question, you will realize that your house is becoming less cluttered and you will also be saving money from saying “no” to things you realize you are buying just because it gives you temporary happiness.
4. START A CAPSULE WARDROBE
From my own research, I have found that a capsule wardrobe can be defined as owning around 30-40 basic items of clothing that are versatile and can be easily mixed and matched with one another. If you are worried about getting bored with the same outfits, you can take away and add new pieces once every few months to keep your wardrobe new and exciting!
I have found that in doing this, you will be saving space as well as saving money. There are many different types of capsule wardrobes to try so I recommend researching for yourself and finding a system that works for you!
5. MAXIMIZE YOUR SPACE
Tiny dwellers are pretty clever at maximizing their space and knowing how to utilize every inch of their tiny home. If you can figure out where you will store everything you own in a tiny house before you start the build, it will be much easier to plan ahead for how to maximize space.
The key to building a tiny house is building with intention. For example, I have seen storage space in the floor of the loft to hold shoes or extra clothing. In our kitchen, we are building a 3’x2’ seat on wheels that doubles as a comfortable place to sit for guests and can also be moved to the kitchen table for extra seating, all while having storage in the seat.
We are also building our bed frame with drawers underneath for clothes storage. By incorporating clever storage solutions and multi-functional furniture, your tiny home will feel more organized and less cluttered.
Living a simple life has been one of our goals since the beginning. We found that downsizing our possessions has been a way for us to experience real freedom from being tied down and overwhelmed by the things we own. We hope these 5 tips will bring you a more clutter-free tiny home as well as the feelings of focus, peace, and purpose.