Are you downsizing to a tiny home? Before you buy or start to build your tiny home, you need to do some serious downsizing. Sometimes we tend to move too quickly and later regret that we had not put more thought into our move. Do we really know what we will need? Do we know what size of a tiny house we should buy or build? Will we need sleeping room for a guest? Do we know what will fit in our tiny house? Will any of our current furniture be suitable?
You need to ask some serious questions and give some serious thought to what you will keep and what you will sell or give away . Try to be environmentally conscious and recycle everything you can. Do you have children who will want some of the family heirlooms or are your children like many….no real interest in anything old? Or if you are a young couple, or a single person, some of these questions will not apply, nor will some of the information. Take what is helpful, and ignore the rest.
First you might want to ask yourself the following questions to help start the planning process. You will need to know what size of tiny home to buy or build.
Are there some things I can’t live without?
Are there family heirlooms that I must keep?
Do our grandkids like to come and stay overnight?
Do we often have overnight guests?
Now that we have given thought to some of these questions, how do we go about downsizing? You will need time to do this so start now if you are serious about a tiny house and get rid of non essentials. Once you follow this plan you will then have a pretty good idea of the size of tiny house you will need.
If there are items of furniture, heirlooms, or collections that you may have to let go, why not take pictures and make an album of memories that you can pull out some evening, in your new tiny house, and reminisce!
- First, sit down and write a list of all the things you have that you just can’t live without. This will help when you start going through your things. It will make it easier getting rid of items if they are not on your list.
- Start with the non-sentimental items like your kitchen. You do not need duplicates of everything. Sort out the essential items you will need and put the rest in to your “get rid of” boxes. There are likely may items that you have not used in months or even years. Won’t it feel good to purge these items! You may want two boxes, one to sell and one to give away. What you are keeping stays in its current place as you are not moving yet! You can sell on-line or have a garage sale or donate to some non-profit who will be happy to take your extras. Remember your space will be limited so larger items like food processors may not be practical.
- Next tackle the bathroom and linen closet. You will not have a large bathroom so keep only four towels per person and two sheet sets per bed. You most likely will have one large bed and possibly one other bed for guests. Currently you may have several bedrooms and a very full linen closet. Get rid of the extras.
- Collections– if you, or your husband, have a collection of stamps, dolls, cars, etc. now is the time to choose your favorite and put the rest in the boxes to get rid of You will not have room for collections but just think……someone else can now get enjoyment out of your collections.
- Family heirlooms – is there one very special heirloom that has considerable meaning? Possibly your partner and you, both have a special connection. It may be practical to keep these but evaluate the others. Do they have value to sell, do your children or other family member want some, or is there a museum in your area that you could donate the items to?
- Sentimental items – your child’s first report card, a medal you won at track, or something else that has special meaning you may want to keep. But all of those scrapbooks of pictures your child painted just may have to go.
- Books and pictures – Be practical. Ask yourself, if I can take three pictures and ten books, which ones will they be? Choose these, put the remainder in your boxes. With pictures be sure to evaluate if your chosen three are practical in a small space.
- Papers – You will not have room for all the paper you have saved over the years. Sort out the obvious keepers such as Social Security cards, pension information, passports, marriage licenses, property deeds, investment information, diplomas, your wills and vehicle titles, etc. Anything critical like this needs to be kept but they may already be in a safety security box at your bank. Other things you have filed away such as the fifty “how to” manuals for products you no longer own, must go!
- Clothes – This can be a real headache. You may need an objective person to help you here. Your best friend or a daughter who will say, “But mom (or dad) that is seriously out of date, get rid of it!” or “you haven’t worn that for over a year” and these items you put in your boxes first. Your final cleanse of clothing will occur once you get your tiny home and see what space you have for clothing. You will not have that big walk in closet for sure!
- Photographs– can you digitize most of them and keep only a few special ones in a tiny album! You will want to keep family photos and if they are digitized you can have a “movie night” and reminisce in your tiny house.
- Electronics– That big screen TV mounted on the wall, the four computers, and other assorted electronic items will likely have to go. One or possibly two computers (preferably laptops) and small electronics may be practical. Don’t ditch all of these yet, but wait until just before you are ready to move as you may want to watch that TV. Remember with computers and other electronics that store your personal data, be sure to have it wiped off before selling or donating.
- Decorations – you won’t have room for that 12 foot Christmas tree and all those other decorative items like hundreds of feet of outdoor lights and the Santa Claus, sled and eight tiny reindeer. These must go!
- Furniture – you can start selling or giving away items that you are not using, but may want to wait until closer to moving time. Most furniture will have to go and you could now make a list of items your children might want, ones you want to sell, give to friends or donate so that when the time comes you have already decided. You will most likely need to buy most furniture specifically for your new tiny house.
- Car – decide if you will keep two, or sell one when you move.
- Exercise equipment – time to let go as your tiny house will not have a gym room.
Last but not least……. the two things you will get rid of that will benefit you the most:
The Big House – less cleaning, less upkeep, less expense.
Your Debt or Monthly Payments – You will be able to live much more economically now. You will have money to travel and will have less worries!
Now you can start looking at tiny house plans. You will have a good start on getting rid of extras and you have answered questions on what sleeping space you will need. Enjoy looking at tiny house plans!