This weekend it was cold and dreary out, so I decided to tackle all my belongings, start to thin things out in preparation for moving into a Tiny House. While I am about 1-2 years away from such a move (purchase the land and build my house), I knew there was a lot of things that I could get rid off. I was able to reduce my belonging by about 50% by removing unessential things, junk and stuff I didn’t need anymore. I should note I first donated, then recycled and finally if I had to, threw away.
The exercise got me thinking about what do you need? I started a Mind Map (using xmind, a favorite of mine) to consider how I would integrate my tiny house, my stuff, food production, water, and energy. When I got to stuff, I started to think, what does it mean to live simply? The idea came to me, it’s a lot like going to college, simple, small etc. When you move into a dorm room you have next to no space, but you need to have everything you need to live.
Now some will be quick to point out often in college you have a cafeteria, a gym, laundry facilities, etc. I agree, but I really like what Gregory Johnson over at Resources For Life says about this, living in a Tiny House means you need to “outsource” things. So instead of a bowflex, you get a gym membership, instead of a full kitchen, you eat out (quite common in NYC). Etc. Etc. These things cost money, but in the end, you are saving a lot and with no debt it isn’t as bad, plus it afford you more free time.
So when we consider moving to a college dorm room we know a few things: it is small, must be multifunctional, must be meet all your needs. Sounds like similar circumstances in a Tiny House. So if I were to make a list of what would it include? Well here is suggested shopping list for a dorm Click Here.
The other thing to consider when trying to have a rough idea of what you will need is the 100 item challenge. Here is Tammy’s list of things that she has in her house.
Finally I realize that no matter how slim I get things I will need to thin out some more when I make the final move. So here is my plan. Once I have constructed my Tiny House I plan to park it outside where I am currently living for 1 month. I will move into my Tiny House with nothing. The idea behind this is that any time I need something, I go into my old place and get just that one item. Now this means I do have to pay rent for 1 month extra, but I should be able to swing it. As I need things I will go get them, extra exercise for sure, but the point of the exercise to shift to an intentional way of life, so if I have to get on my shoes, go outside, unlock the door, walk up the stairs, find that one thing, then I will think about it. At the end of the month I will have stuff left in my old place where I will sort through it all. Is there things that I can do without or absolutely need? I figure at the end of the month there isn’t much that I absolutely need need need if I didn’t use it in that time.
Below are two things that will help you along your way to reducing your things.
Here is a great book on getting your stuff under control and life simplification:
Here is a video that I like about one guys quest to simplify: