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How-To Live with Less for Tiny House Living

How to Minimize Belongings for Tiny House Living

A very small houseThe big challenge for most people who want to start a new life in a tiny house is getting rid of all their stuff. It’s so easy to have more than you need if you’ve got the space for it. And even when you’ve used up the space you’ve got, it’s likely you’ll keep buying things because that’s what’s normal. Until you decide to live in a tiny house. The secret to being comfortable in a small space is to not fill it with too much stuff. So what will you do to get rid of things that you are used to owning?

Forget Your Consumerist Training

Charlevoix - Mushroom HouseThis is going to be hard, but it’s not impossible. We equate ownership with wealth, success, and happiness. But that idea is completely wrong. The small house movement has proven that. People who live in tiny homes with as little stuff as possible get a sense of satisfaction and contentment that most of us try to buy by filling our lives with things. We allows ourselves to buy everything we think will be nice to have, or that we want, but don’t think about whether or not life will actually be better with all our stuff.

The flip side is that you’ll be hard pressed to get rid of things that you’ve paid good money for, making it hard to reduce your belongings. Forget that stuff. It’s okay to get rid of things! You’ve spent the money, it’s gone, all you have now is closets full of stuff you don’t need. Get rid of it.

Room by Room

Wall Slices Through HouseThe job of reducing your belongings should be done in stages. Start with one small project, like towels. How many towels do you own? How many of each size do you really need? What does it mean to need three bath towels? Does that mean you’ve always got one in use, one in the laundry, and one in the closet? Is that enough? Will you simply wash everything at once and never have dirty laundry sitting around?

• Take on one small project at a time
• Think carefully about what you really need
• Schedule enough time for the job

What You Need

Raining again :)Start with an experiment. Rather than attempting to get rid of everything you don’t need, simply start separating things into piles of necessary vs. extra stuff. In other words, don’t look at things as if you’re actually getting rid of them. Yet. Allow yourself to attempt to separate need from want, without deciding you’ll get rid of the entire want pile. You’ll be more likely to actually pare down everything if you’re not talking about actually getting rid of the rest.

It will be easier to get rid of things that you realize you don’t need. Forgiving yourself for having spent money is the first step. Then you’ve got to decide what it is that you actually need and use each day, week, month, or season. Once you know what you need, you can look at the rest of your stuff with different eyes. Donate it, sell it, or throw it away – it’s not going to fit into your new tiny house life.


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