I love the tiny house movement because it embraces simple living and diminishes the spiritual and financial burdens of materialism. However, I don’t really want to trade in the 1,700 square foot house I love for something that’s 200 square feet!
If you’re like me, you may have felt the same pleasure watching shows like Tiny House Nation, but not known how to apply the ideas they present to life in your larger house.
Well, I’ve found you really can “live tiny” in a not-so-literal way, and reap some of those tiny-living benefits in your bigger home!
Step 1: The ruthless pare-down
First of all, no one transitions to tiny living without trimming down the stuff they possess. I decided I didn’t need a living space reduction to inspire me to undertake an extreme pare-down.
I commenced systematically sorting through everything in my seemingly uncluttered and organized home. (Those qualities were really only on the surface.) I didn’t give a pass to spaces that never got assessed because they seemed fine as-is. I went through my house thoroughly, basement, garage, and gardens included—no drawer, cardboard carton, or crawl space was exempt.
A tiny-living-style purge requires something stricter than the usual “have I used it in the last year?” rule applied with frequent exceptions. For example, of course I hadn’t used my high school prom dress in the last year, but it always got spared in pare-downs due to sentimental value. This time I put the dress on, took a picture, and said goodbye to it.
Here’s a tip regarding clothing reduction: You can easily see how often you use items in your closet by turning hangers to point to the front rather than the back when you wear something. If you find a long time goes by with many pieces on unturned hangers, you’ll see what a small sacrifice it would be to donate them to the needy.
Now don’t be fearful as you purge! This process isn’t nearly the challenge tiny living requires. You have the leeway to take into account how your belongings contribute to your individual quality of life.