Written and submitted by Dominic LoBianco
We all have too much stuff.
It’s really easy to gather unneeded items over time. Whether it’s a gift or an impulse buy, most people will toss their extra items into a closet and forget about them until it’s time to move. At that point, sorting through the clutter can be an overwhelming, time-consuming headache.
That’s why downsizing has become an immensely popular trend; living minimally is a lifestyle choice that helps to reduce many of the stresses that come with owning a home. For those who want a simpler life, a tiny home can be the perfect solution - but it also requires the most work when it comes to decluttering. It takes a lot of work, but here’s how you can go about decluttering to move into a tiny home.
Redefining your essentials
Lifestyle changes are often a wakeup call for those making a move, and they can help people find out what they really need in life. Looking at essentials is the first step in realizing the difference between a current home and the space considerations in a tiny house. Being able to cook, clean, sleep and even work in a tiny home requires only essentials, so figuring out definite needs will be a good way to make sure nothing useful gets left behind while eliminating unnecessary clutter.
Eating and sleeping are two things people will need to do, so making sure to bring the sheets, blankets and maybe a comforter or quilt for cold weather is important. The bed is likely to be built into the house, so only washable items will be necessary. Do not forget pillows for comfort, and sleeping should be a breeze.
Eating requires refrigeration, heating mechanisms and dry food storage for most people. Plates, cups, silverware and cooking utensils are a must. Looking at how much entertaining will be done could help, but most people moving to a tiny home only want the basics. Decide how many place settings and what pots and pans will be necessary for cooking, and then set everything else aside. Try cooking like a tiny house resident for a week, and leave behind anything not used.
Bathroom products are another essential area, and it can be difficult but necessary to pare down belongings. Doing laundry more often might be necessary due to lack of towel storage, and selecting only a few soaps, shampoos and conditioners used on a regular basis will keep the tiny bathroom from developing storage issues.
Sorting through Furnishings
The majority of the furniture in a tiny house is built into the space, so most furniture can be donated or given away. There might be a few pieces that survive the process, and speaking to the builder about incorporating them could make them an integral part of the new home. For those unable to give up their furniture, there are plenty of self-storage companies across the globe.
Decorations for walls are often a good thing to incorporate into a tiny house, and those that add storage area can be a plus. Consider taking that beautiful spice rack for the kitchen area, and make sure the builder can incorporate a mirrored cabinet for the bath. Each decoration will need to be measured to ensure it fits, and even those without a second purpose should be considered before tossing or storing them.
Keep or Toss?
There are very few essentials really needed for a tiny house, but clothing can be a necessity for those who have yet to retire. Deciding to keep or toss items can be difficult, but one expert recommends starting with just one item a day to keep, toss or give away. It would take a bit of time to sort through an entire house full of clothing, but it might also take away the sting of letting go.
The lack of storage area in a tiny home is often a complaint, and few people can keep more than essentials on hand. It can be expensive to store items not needed, but using online searches could offer a solution. Some areas charge a great deal for storage, but other locations have lower prices. It might take a bit of investment to pack for a move, but renting a storage unit in a more rural area could cut costs for those determined to keep some of their more important items.
This can be a daunting task to face. But the good news is that you don’t have to work through a solution overnight. Take your time, establish some guidelines for yourself, and follow these tips. If you are patient and consistent in your approach, you’ll ultimately be happy with the results. Enjoy your tiny home and the freedom it allows you going forward!