The Tiny house Blog

Expert Tips on Downsizing and Moving Into a Tiny House

Updated on:
June 7, 2023
tiny house on wheels with deck

When questioned this year, 56 percent of Americans said that they would consider moving to a tiny house one day.

Does this sound familiar? Have you decided to take the plunge and transition to a different type of house? 

If so, you probably need to do some downsizing. How else will you fit everything you own comfortably into your minuscule new home?

Below, you’ll find some expert tips to help you pare down your belongings and simplify the process of moving to a tiny house.

Benefits of Tiny House Living

Why would anyone want to live in a house that’s just 225 square feet (on average)? This kind of living actually comes with many benefits, including the following:

  • Lower costs: These houses cost less to build than traditional houses, and they also come with lower utility bills.
  • (Potentially) no mortgage: Many tiny homeowners are mortgage-free. Even if you do have a mortgage, you’ll likely pay it off sooner than owners of larger properties.
  • Reduced energy usage: Reduce your carbon footprint by using less electricity, gas, etc.
  • Less maintenance: You can clean and maintain a small home in less time and with fewer resources.

If you want to live a simple, minimalist lifestyle, consider downsizing (both your belongings and the size of your living space). Transitioning to a miniature home can eliminate physical and mental clutter and provide you with a greater sense of peace. 

Simplifying Downsizing 

Even if you’re excited about downsizing and living somewhere new, you might still be anxious or unsure of where to start. The good news is that it’s not as challenging as you might think.

Are you ready to get rid of unnecessary belongings? If so, start with these tips:

One item at a time

You don’t have to overhaul everything at once. Choosing and giving away, selling, or donating one item per day is a good option for those who prefer a slow and steady approach.

Clearing things out piece by piece helps you avoid overwhelm and allows you to be more intentional about what you take with you.

There is a downside to this option, though. It will take much longer than doing a massive purge all at once.

One room at a time

Maybe you don’t have time for the one-item-at-a-time approach. However, you might still need a more manageable strategy for downsizing.

If this is the case for you, begin with just one room. Pick a room in your house or apartment and make separate piles for what you’ll keep, donate, sell, or throw away.

After you’ve finished the first room, donate and throw away the items in those particular piles. Then, move on to the next room.

When you’re done, you can have a large yard sale and get paid for the items you don’t need anymore.

Host a packing party

No, this isn’t a party to pack your belongings for the move. Instead, it’s a party to help you understand what items you truly need.

Pack up everything you own, carefully labeling boxes so you can easily find things. Then, gradually unpack over the next few weeks, taking out only the items you genuinely need.

At the end of this period, you’ll likely find that you only need a small portion of your belongings. Everything that’s left in boxes can be sold, donated, or thrown out. 

Don’t buy anything new

During the downsizing period, resist the urge to buy new things.

Except for things like groceries or toiletries, don’t allow yourself to buy anything new. Remember, it’s just one more item for you to pack up and try to find room for. 

storage solutions for tiny homes

Maximize Small Spaces

Downsizing your belongings will make it much easier for you to maximize the space and avoid feeling suffocated by your clothes and kitchenware. Here are some additional tips to utilize your space effectively: 

  • Utilize the space under the stairs: If your tiny home has a porch, consider stashing items like holiday decorations under the stairs.
  • Take advantage of the space behind doors: Over-the-door hooks and shoe holders can provide additional storage without requiring you to buy bookshelves, dressers, and other items that take up floor space. 
  • Hang floating shelves: Floating shelves also offer extra storage space while leaving your floor free and clear.
  • Add storage under window seat cushions or under beds: Drawers and lift-up cushions can help you maximize your space and tuck items out of site.
  • Consider fold-out furniture: Murphy beds or pull-out couches will give you more room to move around during the day and make your house seem more spacious.
  • Use cabinet organizers: Hooks, shelves, and pull-out racks will help you keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinets organized.

Be wary of buying more things to organize your house. Will you need to purchase some items? Absolutely. Try to make do with what you already have first, though. 

Getting Settled

Even after you’ve downsized, it can still take time to adjust to tiny house living. Whether you’ve already moved in or are just preparing for the future, these tips can help you get used to your home:

  • Establish boundaries: Designate specific areas for specific activities (e.g., don’t work on your laptop from bed, as this can interrupt your sleep).
  • Decorate intentionally: Don’t drown yourself in decorations, but buy items that add flair and personality and make the home feel more like it belongs to you.
  • Spend more time outdoors: If your house starts to feel a bit claustrophobic, step outside. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or simply relax on the front porch.

Remember to adjust your mindset as well. Focus on the benefits of tiny home living and remind yourself why you made the transition during difficult or frustrating times.  

Final Thoughts

If you’re planning on transitioning to a tiny house, you likely feel excited and a little (or a lot) overwhelmed. At the same time, though, you have options. 

If you follow these strategies for downsizing, maximizing your space, and adjusting to new surroundings, you’ll have a much easier time making the switch and enjoying the experience.

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