Posts Tagged Decluttering

Declutter Your Way To Digital Minimalism

Declutter Your Way To Digital Minimalism

digital decluttering

NAVIGATION

If the state of your inbox and the mess on your desktop are overwhelming you — don’t worry, you are not alone. The good news is that I have a few ways for you to reduce your anxiety and feel confident using technology to tackle new projects.

I’ve been working on TheTinyLife.com for over a decade now, so as you can imagine, technology plays a huge role in my life. As someone who practices a minimalist lifestyle, I wanted that philosophy to carry over to my digital life as well.

I’ve always used my computer and phone to help me work, but in examining my digital life, I realized I was uncomfortable with how much leisure time I spent staring at screens. I wanted to use technology to achieve goals, not avoid them.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Minimalism in today’s world means that not only do we need to organize our homes, our desks and closets, but our digital spaces as well. I’ve found it to be important in my own life to foster intention, digitally or in the real world. As a result, I’ve learned quite a bit on my journey as a minimalist living in a digital world.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

By decluttering and organizing my devices, I was able to spend less time being distracted by technology and more time being aided by it. Digital minimalism is a great way to reduce stress about new projects and make sure your tech tools are clutter-free and organized.

I began by setting my intentions for my digital life and reflecting on how I wanted to spend my time both online and off. This can feel like a daunting task, but just like adopting any minimalist practice, the key is to start one step at a time.

Use this article to guide you through your own decluttering journey and start to live a more positive digital life.

Benefits To Digital Decluttering

Benefits To Digital Decluttering

Since so much of our time is spent online, digital decluttering is more important than ever. Digital minimalism has helped me create tools that work for me and help me achieve my goals.

Having a phone, computer, and even online presence that are clutter free can:

1. Improve your focus
2. Reduce stress
3. Save time and energy

According to a study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, individuals who described their spaces as cluttered or full of unfinished projects reported higher statistics of depression and fatigue than those who found their spaces restful and restorative, and this extends beyond just physical surroundings.

intentional living

Four Steps To Digital Decluttering

Steps To Digital Decluttering

I know it can be overwhelming to start any decluttering project, especially if things have really started to build up over time. First let’s discuss four steps to help you get started, then we’ll dive deeper into decluttering each aspect of your digital life.

1. Set Your Digital Goals

Pay attention to the programs and apps you use on a regular basis. Take a minute for some introspection and make a plan about how you want to interact with the online world.

2. Delete Digital Clutter

Decluttering comes before organizing, so get rid of anything you don’t use or need including apps, programs, outdated or repeated files, duplicate photos, etc.

3. Organize Your Files

Develop an organized naming system for your files and create folders that are easy to search. Personalize the way your phone screen or desktop looks so that it is easy to navigate.

4. Continue Digital Decluttering

Maintaining your new habit is the key to success. Regularly revisit the above steps so that cleaning up is a simple task and not a monumental chore.

30 day declutter challenge

How To Declutter Your Phone

How To Declutter Your Phone

A good place to start is with your phone and finding out what tools can help you. I have an iPhone, but different smart phones have different tools for organizing notes, arranging apps, and customizing notifications.

Learning about my device first helped me accomplish the task of decluttering it. I also found it helpful to remember that technology is meant to support me and my personal goals.

Let’s talk about four areas you’ll want to address on your phone:

Apps

Contacts

Home

Photos

1. Declutter Your Apps

Digital minimalism is about staying mindful of how you spend your time. I started by going through my apps and deciding which ones were useful to me and which ones were outdated or time-wasting.

dopamine detoxGetting rid of game apps is a good way to reduce the amount of time wasted on your phone, but it’s okay to keep one or two if they make you happy. This is your journey, so figure out what you want to keep and what you want to let go of.

It’s also important to understand the feedback loop that our app notifications use to keep us hooked. Consider a dopamine detox or just be mindful of what apps and websites are low-quality stimuli.

At the very least, manage your notifications so that you’re not constantly flooded with unnecessary information. For example, you can set up your news app so that you only see notifications at a certain time of the day that you’ve set aside to read the latest news.

2. Declutter Your Contact List

We all have some contacts we absolutely need (like your mom or your doctor), but many of us are guilty of holding on to numbers that are no longer useful (like your 10th grade lab partner). Hold on to the contacts of people you talk to regularly and let the rest go.

Clearing up your social calendar can help you stay organized and still make time for the people who are important to you.

Remember, stay mindful of how you want to spend your time and who you want to spend it with.

how to declutter your schedule

3. Organize Your Home Screen

One of the first things I do in the morning is check my phone. Since my home screen is the first thing I see, I want it to be simple and inviting. To achieve this, I created a daily use folder for apps I need to access regularly so that I’m not overwhelmed.

Have apps on your home screen that help you create good habits. Staying healthy is one of my priorities, so I keep my fitness tracker app at the top of my screen. This way, I remember to track my calories as part of my fitness goals.

Organizing apps into folders by category is a helpful way to create a digital space that is easy to navigate. If you find yourself with too many folders to efficiently manage, go back to the first step and do another round of decluttering.

organized phone screen

4. Organize Your Photos

One of the largest sources of clutter on my phone is my photo gallery. I started my photo clean up by deleting old screenshots, blurry photos, and duplicates.

I wanted to be able to easily find the photos I felt were worth keeping, so I created a folder system by category. I have albums for family, friends, pets, and recipe screenshots, but you can use whatever categories work best for you.

How To Declutter Your Computer (Laptop or Desktop)

How To Declutter Your Computer

I started by looking up the storage capacity of my computer so I knew how much room I had to work with. If your goal is to only use the hard drive storage available to your device, then you can declutter with this in mind.

Alternately, you can look into cloud storage or purchase an external hard drive if you have a lot of large files to keep.

As you get started, remember that your computer is a tool meant to facilitate your lifestyle, not run it. Minimalist living is about setting intentions for how you want to participate in your life.

Not sure where to start? Try decluttering these four areas first:

Programs

Email

Desktop

Photos

1. Declutter Your Programs

Deleting any pre-installed apps I didn’t use was the first step to cleaning up my programs. This helped free up storage for things I thought were worth keeping. It also helped optimize my computer’s performance since I wasn’t wasting space on unnecessary programs.

2. Declutter Your Email

I used to be guilty of having an overwhelmingly cluttered email inbox. Now, I practice a method called inbox zero that helps me stay on top of my inbox.

Depending on the type of email you have, there are many resources to help you clean and organize. The first thing to do is unsubscribe from any unwanted advertising. You can also create tags or folders for categories of emails like social or business communication.

3. Organize Your Messy Desktop

When it comes to desktop organization, the simpler the better. Create a couple of folders that contain programs or files you want immediate access to and leave the rest free and clear. I use a helpful graphic to organize what files are waiting, in progress, and completed.

kanban desktop background

Move files you don’t need to the trash and empty your trash bin regularly to clear up storage space.

4. Organize Your Photos

Like with my phone, I only keep photos I enjoy and intend to use or share and let go of any that are duplicates or low-quality images to save on storage space. Create folders by category so you can easily access the memories you want to share.

How To Organize Your Computer Files

How To Organize Your Computer Files

The first place where clutter piles up on my computer is in my downloads folder. Delete any duplicate or irrelevant downloads so that the rest can be moved to a relevant folder later on. The deleting process is a key step to decluttering your files before we can get to organizing them.

File Naming Conventions

To sort your files effectively, figure out what naming convention is most relevant to you and create a corresponding hierarchy.

I start with one parent folder, then in it I have Documents, Images, Video, Music, Etc. I usually think about my folders as questions: Is it a document, a video, a song, or what? For example, if it’s a song, I’d select my Music folder. That way I don’t have to remember where the file is, I just have to answer the questions that my folders outline.

File Sorting Best Practices:

  • Use specific and meaningful file names
  • Be consistent with your naming system
  • Always avoid special characters
  • Don’t bury files so deep that you can’t find them
  • Use version numbers for updating documents
  • Use dates to help you format and organize
file sorting best practices

How To Declutter Your Social Media

How To Declutter Your Social Media

Social media can be fun, but I’ve found it can also cause a lot of anxiety. Take a moment to think about how your social media affects you. If it isn’t making you happy, consider taking a break from it all together.

If you do want to keep social media as a part of your life, follow pages and friends that bring positivity to your feed. I prefer to replace my social media interactions with real life ones and just let my page be simple and fun.

social media break

One-Week Digital Declutter Challenge

Digital Declutter Challenge

To help start your journey, I’m challenging you to complete this one-week checklist to declutter your digital life. Complete one task per day and check it off the list. Taking things one day at a time will make the project less daunting!

  • Day 1: Delete unused apps/programs
  • Day 2: Create folders for desktop/home screen
  • Day 3: Rename files and sort by hierarchy
  • Day 4: Delete and purge photos, create albums
  • Day 5: Delete old text threads/empty email inbox
  • Day 6: Manage app/program notifications
  • Day 7: Empty your trash bin/deleted folder
Digital Declutter Challenge

Books About Digital Minimalism

Books About Digital Minimalism

If you’re anything like me, you read quite a bit. For those who are looking to learn about digital minimalism and decluttering, the books below are a great place to start. There are plenty of online resources available as well, but for me, nothing beats the feeling of a good book in my hands!

10-Minute Digital Declutter

10-Min Digital Declutter

by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

Declutter Your Data

Declutter Your Data

by Angela Crocker

Organize Your Digital Life

Organize Your Digital Life

by Aimee Baldridge


Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism

by Cal Newport

Digital Declutter

Digital Declutter

by D.M. Elliot

The LIfe Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Magic of Tidying Up

by Marie Kondo


Your Turn!

  • What aspect of your digital life do you want to change?
  • Is your social media making you happy?
  • How do you want your digital tools to work for you?

Minimalist Book Reviews: Incredible Reads To Guide Your Minimalist Life

Minimalist Book Reviews: Incredible Reads To Guide Your Minimalist Life

minimalist book reviews

Reading minimalist books can reach deeper than simply selling your possessions. It can lead to a shift of the mind — a habit of intentionally analyzing the noise that you allow in and out of your life.

It’s easy to look to the classic Instagram aesthetic for what minimalism is: crisp white walls, wooden baby toys, glass tables, empty living rooms, hanging plants, and the likes. But minimalism is not about a uniform aesthetic or particular visual look. Applying minimalism to each area of your life means understanding the why behind the actions.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I found minimalism at a time when I was looking for a way to reorient my life toward what I care about most. I am definitely a bookworm myself. I try to regularly read books about things that will help me grow new habits.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

I hope this minimalist book list inspires you to discover what aspects of minimalism fit into your growth-minded life.

Minimalist Books About Decluttering

minimalism books about decluttering

First up, we’ll cover books about the process of decluttering your belongings to gain order and control over your own life. Sorting through clutter was the first thing I did when I began my journey toward a simple life.

Whether you’re looking for tips or a deeper understanding of the minimalist view, this list has you covered.

The LIfe Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by Marie Kondo

You can’t really talk about the minimalist movement without mentioning Marie Kondo. The phrase “Marie Kondoing” your life has gained attention since the premiere of her television show, Tidying Up.

Marie’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains the famous Kon Mari Method for decluttering and minimizing what you own. She also includes a wealth of philosophical insights and practical tips for going through your belongings and parsing through what truly adds value to your life.


Goodbye Things

Goodbye, Things:

The New Japanese Minimalism

by Fumio Sasaki

Getting rid of so many items at once can feel huge. Follow Fumio as he devotes an entire year of his life to getting rid of things and talking about what that process feels like. As he undergoes this revolutionary journey for himself, he provides valuable steps, tips, tactics, and wisdom for going through the minimizing process in your own home.


Decluttering At The Speed Of Life

Decluttering At The Speed Of Life

by Dana K. White

I know firsthand that life can quickly become noisy, chaotic, and overwhelming. This read delves deeper than the mere process of minimization — it’s about what that process can do for you.

Dana elaborates on the reasons why decluttering can often feel difficult. She writes about the ways our emotions get in the way of creating a clutter-free life for ourselves, and ways to combat these mental roadblocks. Dana uses humor and relatability to work through obstacles and help the reader declutter their living environment.


The Minimalist Way

The Minimalist Way:

Strategies To Declutter Your Life And Make Room For Joy

by Erica Layne

The Minimalist Way is chock-full of practical strategies for decluttering your life. Erica teaches readers to apply the minimalist philosophy to each aspect of their life and emphasizes the fact that tidiness goes beyond your physical belongings. It’s a helpful read to discover the ways that decluttering can apply to how you think about your home, career, relationships, family, and money.


The Minimalist Home

The Minimalist Home:

A Room By Room Guide To A Decluttered, Refocused Life

by Joshua Becker

I met Joshua in my hometown of Charlotte when he came to promote this book. We got to talking about decluttering your space and life to make room for what’s most important. Joshua emphasizes that the concept behind minimization is not merely to create space in your house or to get rid of your stuff, it’s to turn the place you inhabit most frequently — your home — into an epicenter for a higher quality of life.

Minimalist Books To Keep Your Home Organized

Minimalist Books To Keep Your Home Organized

Not only is getting rid of your stuff a great tactic for feeling freer and more in control, but it also plays a huge part in the journey towards peace of mind. When I first started to downsize, looking at the piles of mess in my apartment without any organization strategies felt overwhelming. These books will help you sort what you need into organized, aesthetically pleasing categories to help your sanity.

Real Life Organizing

Real Life Organizing:

Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day

by Cassandra Aarssen

Organizing doesn’t have to take years. Cassandra breaks down the process of organization into easy, manageable, 15-minute chunks. This quick read will take you through Cassandra’s tips, tricks, and secrets to a clean and highly organized household.


What’s A Disorganized Person to Do

What’s A Disorganized Person to Do?

by Stacey Platt

Stacey defines organization by comparing it to its opposite. She walks the average person through the common problems of disorganization, like how to keep from misplacing your wallet and keys, how to pack for vacations effectively and stress free, or how to most effectively sort and organize your refrigerator.

By going through the mishaps of disorganized people with helpful solutions, Stacey gives you practical strategies to organize your life and your stuff and bring less stress into your daily experience.


The Complete Book of Home Organization

The Complete Book of Home Organization

by Toni Hammersley

Toni’s book on organization is kind of like the bible of organization strategies. It’s basically a humongous list of tips and tricks to organize your home in the most effective way possible, with step-by-step instructions, visual illustrations, and checklists to help you out along the way. With over 200 tips and tricks, you’ll be a professional organizer in no time.

Books About Minimalist Clothing

Books About Minimalist Clothing

Managing your closet like a minimalist is one of the first things people think of when they start looking into the movement. Closet decluttering, personal uniforms, and capsule wardrobes are simple but effective ways to begin your journey as a minimalist.

Project 333

Project 333:

Proves Less Really Is So Much More

by Courtney Carver

Project 333 is a famous minimalist fashion challenge made famous by Courtney. The challenge invites participants to wear 33 items only for 3 months. In this process you are encouraged to keep track of what you wear, how you use it, and how many pieces make you feel good. Courtney’s skills can help you design a minimalist wardrobe that works with your lifestyle.


The Capsule Wardrobe

The Capsule Wardrobe:

1,000 Outfits from 30 Pieces

by Wendy Mak

Wendy is a pro when it comes to capsule wardrobes. She will enlighten you with hundreds of diverse and creatively styled looks from a wardrobe of merely 30 pieces. Capsule wardrobes make life easier by reducing the clutter in your closet. Wendy can help you maximize your decluttered wardrobe to get the most out of each piece.


The Concious Closet

The Conscious Closet:

The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good

by Elizabeth L. Cline

This book focuses on the destructive industry of fast fashion and ways you can minimize your closet in order to serve the environment. The Conscious Closet presents you with tools to declutter your wardrobe, keep up with fashion trends without hurting the earth, live with less, and buy clothing from ethical brands.

Intentional Living and Mindfulness Books

Intentional Living and Mindfulness Books

Living intentionally is all about giving thought to your habits, your decisions, and what you let in and out of your life. The trend towards mindfulness has really gained a strong foothold in the last few years, as people have collectively begun to analyze each element of their life and crave quality in their daily experience.

These reads give strategies and advice for cutting the excess noise out of your life and focusing on what’s truly valuable to you.

Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism:

Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

by Cal Newport

This read focuses in on a huge culprit that distracts us from being present in our lives: media exposure. Throughout, Cal applies the idea of minimalism directly to the amount of digital media we consume.

Cal explains why this push towards rest and quiet in an era saturated with digital demands is vital and gives the reader strategies to unplug and stay present in the real world.


Soulful Simplicity

Soulful Simplicity:

How Living With Less Can Lead To So Much More

by Courtney Carver

Soulful Simplicity is about the purpose behind a minimalist life. Courtney explains that the goals of mindfulness and minimalist ideals is to create space, time, and love in our lives by eliminating the excess. She encourages and teaches the reader to evaluate their lives deeply, define what’s really valuable to them, and settle into a simpler life.


The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

by John Mark Comer

This one is a pretty strong social critique that is worth engaging with for anyone who likes what minimalism preaches. John’s testimony of spiritual enlightenment has begun to combat hustle culture relentlessly and encourages others to do the same.


The Charge

The Charge:

Activating The 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive

by Brendon Burchard

Brendon explores what it truly means to live an intentional life and identifies ten core “charges” that drive the human spirit: control, competence, congruence, caring, connection, change, challenge, creativity, contribution, and consciousness. If you are looking to discover how to create an intentional life that satisfies these core desires as opposed to living your life on auto pilot, this is your book.


Wherever You Go There You Are

Wherever You Go, There You Are:

Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

by Jon Kabat-Zinn

This one is about the power of being present in your own life. Jon explores the connection between the brain and the body in terms of true mindfulness. A weird truth of life is that you are where you are, wherever your physical body sits, you are in that moment.

You may as well learn to be fully present. Jon provides intentional thinking and breathing strategies to direct your full physical and emotional attention on each moment.

homesteading book reviews
tiny house book reviews

Minimalist Philosophy Books About The Movement

Minimalist Philosophy Books About The Movement
The core idea of minimalism — living with less to improve the overall quality of your life — is not a new idea. The core philosophies behind minimalism come from various schools of thought that have been around forever, like stoicism and essentialism.

These philosophies serve as the core inspiration for the modern minimalist movement and are still talked about today. This list touches on minimalism as a way of life, the ways these philosophies inspire the current practices of minimalism, and the mental reasoning behind the movement.

Essentialism

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

by Greg McKeown

Essentialism is a systemic habit and philosophy that encourages eliminating all the things in your life that are not absolutely essential. Greg introduces the reader to the specifics of the essentialist movement, what it means to live on necessity, and invites you to make these changes in your own life.

A lot of people in the minimalist community love this book. When I read it on my own, I personally found it to have a lot of filler stories and words, which felt ironic for a book about essentialism. I wasn’t a huge fan, but many recommend this one so I chose to include it on the list to let you form your own opinion.


The Paradox Of Choice

The Paradox Of Choice: Why More Is Less

by Barry Schwartz

Decision fatigue is a major issue that minimalist philosophy is working towards removing from people’s lives. In The Paradox Of Choice, Barry delves into the psychology behind why having increased choices can reduce the quality of your experiences and increase stress in your life. He walks the reader through several ways to reduce the sheer magnitude of decisions in our daily lives to get closer to peace.


The Book of Hygge

The Book of Hygge:

The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection

by Louisa Thomsen Brits

The Book of Hygge addresses the importance of pursuing comfort. Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortability, reflecting feelings of wellness and contentment. One beautiful aspect of minimalist philosophy is the pursuit of comfort and enjoyment in your daily existence. This manual teaches us to notice little things to appreciate, find pleasure in everything, and integrate comfort, warmth, and enjoyment into our lives.


The Stoic Minimalist

The Stoic Minimalist

by Jacob Martin

Minimalism was born out of stoicism. Stoicism is a Hellenistic school of thought born out of Athens, Greece. The philosophy is centered on not allowing pleasure and pain to run your life. Both stoicism and minimalism are two sides of the same coin, removing excess from your mind and your life, leaving space and energy for things of deeper value. This book about the minimalist movement teaches strategies for integrating both philosophies into your life and touches on the ways they are interconnected.

Books On Eco Minimalism

Books on Eco Minimalism

When people first think about minimalism, they usually think about organizing their physical belongings to create a less cluttered physical space and a chaotic life. But minimalism isn’t just about how your stuff affects you, it’s about the way your stuff affects the world around you.

Eco minimalism focuses on rewiring the way you view consumption and reducing your ecological footprint. It’s minimalism with a purpose much bigger than you.

Stuffocation

Stuffocation:

We’ve Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever

by Dr. James Wallman

This book on purging your clutter has grown increasingly popular in the last few years, so much so that mentioning the word “Stuffocation” amongst experienced minimalists will likely be understood. James writes about the way we view what we own, claiming that society’s obsession with consumerism has grown out of hand. He also lays out that the way back to peace is get rid of the clutter that’s suffocating us and focus on experiences.


Sustainable Minimalism

Sustainable Minimalism

by Stephanie Marie Seferian

This lifestyle encourages minimalists to live in an entirely sustainable manner that does not create waste for landfills. In my own life, I’m not at 100% zero waste yet, but I’ve cut back significantly in the last few years and have learned a lot doing so.

Sustainable Minimalism
addresses the societal propaganda that makes it difficult to adopt a zero-waste life, simple ways to integrate the habits into your life without creating lofty goals, and a blueprint toward overall sustainability as a household.


The Zero Waste Solution

The Zero Waste Solution

by Paul Connett

This book is primarily focused on why the zero-waste movement matters. Paul uses his platform as a scientist and activist to write about many meaningful zero-waste initiatives around the world.

He shares the stories of activists, planners, and entrepreneurs that have helped to reimagine the ways their communities handle waste. This is a solid read on sustainable living for those who want to make change in their own neighborhoods and local municipalities.


Walden

Walden

by Henry David Thoreau

Outside of my own tiny house in Charlotte, there is a small pond that looks exactly like Walden Pond. I like to read and reflect by that pond sometimes, and channel Thoreau. A classic you may have seen on a syllabus or two, the musings at Walden Pond align deeply with eco minimalist philosophy. This book might be classic literature, but people also categorize it as a minimalist manifesto due to the ways Walden claims that humans do not need very much to be happy.

The book criticizes those that cling to wealth and possessions for fulfillment and pushes an agenda for simplicity in all elements of one’s life.


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard hones in on themes of minimalism and essentialism. Annie observes interactions in the natural world at the creek by her childhood home. As she does this, she makes claims about what it means to truly see and be truly present where you are. She asks questions about the animal kingdom and is inquisitive about what we can glean from their simple, basic forms of interaction.

The book criticizes those that cling to wealth and possessions for fulfillment and pushes an agenda for simplicity in all elements of one’s life.

Minimalist Books About Money

Minimalist Books About Money

Financial freedom is a core aim of the minimalist lifestyle. A huge element of your relationship with consumerism relates to the way you spend and manage your money. In the last few years, I’ve done a lot of rethinking when it comes to my finances.

These helpful books will encourage you to rethink the way you spend, save, and interact with your finances to set you up for financial freedom and peace of mind when it comes to money.

Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life:

Transforming Your Relationship with Money

by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

The FIRE movement toward early retirement has become recently popularized and was specifically inspired by this book. Your Money or Your Life presents readers with nine simple steps to reframe your thought processes when it comes to spending and applying financial wisdom to your budget and bank account.


The Minimalist Budget

The Minimalist Budget:

A Guide On How To Save Money, Spend Less And Live More

by Simeon Lindstrom

The Minimalist Budget is all about managing your money through the minimalist lens. A vital thing to note when learning to budget like a minimalist is that the thought line isn’t about deprivation or restriction. It’s the opposite.

Simeon gives advice about budgeting, expressing ways that discipline does not restrict, it frees. He also expands the definition of budgeting to address the fact that your emotional, behavioral, social, and even spiritual capital are things that can be budgeted, and tips to manage all kinds of capital in the day to day.


The Power of Passive Income

The Power of Passive Income:

Make Your Money Work for You

by Nightingale-Conant

This financially minimalist book is centered on the idea of not making your source of income your life’s focus and on making your money work for you instead of working for your money. If you are looking to escape the nine-to-five rat race and continue to earn a steady stream of cash while living a life you value and look forward to each day, this is the book for you.

Minimalist Books About Raising A Family

Minimalist Books About Raising A Family

Is it hard to fully adopt minimalist habits while raising kids? It can be, but these books will help to provide you with specific strategies to help your children and family get on board with a minimalistic lifestyle.

Clutterfree with Kids

Clutterfree with Kids

by Joshua Becker

My friend Joshua’s book on going minimalist while raising kids stands out as one of his best. Joshua writes about ways that keeping the house clean, organized, and debt free is easier as a single adult than it is as a family with children. As a dad himself, he understands the challenges that raising minimalist kids can bring and provides tools for integrating minimalism into your family’s household.


Minimalism For Families

Minimalism For Families:

Minimalist Living Strategies to Simplify Your Home and Life

by Zoe Kim

Zoe also understands that minimalism isn’t an easy feat when raising kids, but she does believe this lifestyle is worth it. Minimalism for Families shows you the real costs of the things you own and the toll that living with excess can take on a family unit. Zoe gives practical tips and advice for cutting non-essential items out of your family’s life and habits to create a peaceful and uplifting home.


The Minimalist Mom

The Minimalist Mom:

How to Simply Parent Your Baby

by Rachel Jonat

Minimalism with kids is easiest when you start them young. Rachel’s all-inclusive guide provides strategies for brand-new mothers to enjoy living with less. By learning how to clear the things you don’t need for your newborn like expensive cribs or rockers, an entirely new set of clothes, tons of nursery furniture, or shiny new toys, it will be easier and simpler to create a life of quality and peace with your little one.

Overall, minimalism is about filling your life with depth, value, and quality experiences. For many people, it involves learning about and developing new habits like:

The books on this minimalist book list should help you make these changes in your own life and walk you through everything you need to know to make room for the things that matter most.

homesteading book reviews
tiny house book reviews

Your Turn!

  • What are your favorite tiny house books?
  • What books have helped you change your mindset?

Tiny House Closets To Inspire Your Closet Design

Tiny House Closets To Inspire Your Closet Design

tiny house closets

Tiny House Closets For Your Clothes

I think the biggest piece of advice I have when it comes to your wardrobe is to question everything. You first want to pare down your wardrobe to only pieces that you love to wear and that work well together. I’ve covered how you can embrace a minimalist wardrobe, but I know that isn’t for everyone.

Ryan Mitchell in his tiny house living a simple lifeHi, I’m Ryan

Storage is a huge part of making a tiny house practical.  I’ve been living in a 150 sq/ft for close to a decade now and having a great designed closet for my clothes and organized storage for all my possessions keeps my house tidy despite being such a small space!
Ryan Mitchell - Simple living expert

That said a massive study that interviewed 18,000 families found that 82% of clothes in a closet aren’t worn in a given year. That means that opportunity lies in everyone’s closet to declutter.

wardrobe worn in last year

Ryan’s Tiny House Clothes Closet Video Tour

tiny house clothes closet video tour

The way I dress isn’t for everyone, but I thought I’d show a practical example by giving you a video tour of my own closet in my tiny home that I’ve lived in for close to a decade.


Tiny House Closet Design

tiny house closet design

Once you’ve figured out what you need to store in your closet, it’s time to figure out how to design the actual layout. I find that people either like to hang their clothes or keep things in drawers. While most of us might use both, we tend to prefer one way or the other.

Think about how you like to store your clothes and what kind of wardrobe you have. If you have a lot of nicer blouses or business-casual wear, your closet will be different than someone who wears yoga pants and T-shirts most days. You may also be a person who has two types of clothing: casual wear and a professional wardrobe for when you’re in the office.
When I built my tiny house, I also transitioned away from my corporate job, leaving my business wear behind me. I now only keep one suit and a few polos. The rest is a minimalist wardrobe of just grey shirts for a minimalist uniform.

Tiny House Closet Dimensions

Tiny House Closet Dimensions

There are some key dimensions you should consider when designing your closet. I recommend you first figure out exactly what you want to store, then design around those exact items. I also tell people to figure out what you need to store, then double the volume for things you forget and to future proof your design.

tiny hosue closet shelf depth


Standard Clothing Dimensions
Men’s Suit Coat 1-1/24″ x 38″ long
Men’s Shirt 1″ x 38″ long
Men’s Pants Straight 44″ long
Men’s Pants Folded 44″ long
Women’s Dress 68″ long
Women’s Jacket 36″ long
Women’s Blouse 24″ long
Women’s Skirt 36″ long
Folded Clothing 10″ wide x 12″ deep
Shoes 9″ x12″ per pair

Tiny House Closet Layout

Tiny House Closet Layout

When it comes to the layout of your tiny house closet, you want to build it to suit what you need to store. Keep things that you use often in places that are easily accessible. Items that you don’t wear often or are out of season can be tucked away on higher shelfs or in drawers you need to bend over for.

Storage is something that you’re going to want to take pretty seriously, I usually advise people to gather everything you want, down to the very last item, then design your storage around that.

If you’re a person who hangs a lot of things, you’re going to want more hanging space.  But if you’re like me, I don’t like hanging much, so I’d swap these spaces for shelves, drawers and bins that I can fold and stack thing into.

I don’t have a lot of accessories, I keep my shoes to a minimum, and I have a backpack that I keep my laptop in while I’m on the go. You’re going to want to balance how much space you dedicate to your clothing and other stuff in your tiny home, because we don’t have a lot of space to begin with.

Here is a design I recommend:

tiny house closet layout guide

Items You Might Want To Store In Your Tiny House Closet

Items You Might Want To Store In Your Tiny House Closet

Tiny House Closet Items
Underwear Shorts Winter Coats Dress Shoes
Socks Dresses Rain Coats Sandals
Bras Skirts Hats Belts
Sleepwear Sweaters Gloves Ties
T-shirts Sweatshirts Scarves Jewelry
Dress Shirts Suits Leisure Shoes Purses
Casual Shirts Vests Hiking Boots Workout Clothes
Jeans Swimsuits Sneakers Towels
Pants Cover-ups Snow Boots Bandanas

declutter challenge

Open Shelves Vs. Cabinets In A Tiny House

Open Shelves Vs Cabinets In A Tiny House

Open shelving has been trendy for a while now, but I’d argue that you should set aside whether something is fashionable or not and think about how it suits your needs. I think there is a case for both open and closed storage, but it depends on your needs, the placement, and your behaviors.

Use Open Shelves For Quick Access Of Regularly Used Items

Use Open Shelves For Quick Access Of Regularly Used Items

Open shelves are something that you need to carefully consider, as they are part practical and part decorative. This means you can’t jam a lot on them without looking cluttered. Because of this, the storage density isn’t very high, which should give a tiny house person pause, because you often need to maximize every square inch.

I use open shelving right above my kitchen counter in a small nook I couldn’t otherwise use as cabinet space. Here I put things I use multiple times a day: dishes, bowls, toothpaste, and my little Bluetooth speaker. These are easily grabbed but can be tucked out of sight when not in use.

use open closet shelves for quick access

Use Cabinets For Higher Density Storage And To Hide Disorderly Items

Use Cabinets For Higher Density Storage And To Hide Disorderly Items

The nice thing about cabinets is that you have a door that you can close to hide stuff behind. This isn’t to say it’s messy, but there are things that are disorderly, like your landing pad for your wallet, purse, mail, keys, etc.

have a landing pad for your stuffI think the big realization I had with this is that even if you’re pretty organized, your storage is going to have an irregular pattern to it. There are always some disorderliness to things like jackets hanging, etc. These irregular patterns can cause some subconscious stress at an almost undetectable level because it enters our visual field.

A tiny house is just too small for such things. A cabinet door lets you visually cloak the irregular patterns, making the space feel really comfortable; that’s the brain telling you that the micro stress of irregular patterns is gone.

Everything Has A Place And Everything In Its Place

Everything Has A Place And Everything In Its Place

The reason I emphasize figuring out what you want to store first is because the key to a tidy home (tiny or otherwise) is that every item you own has a designated spot in your home. That means that when you use something, you know exactly where it should go afterwards.

As you live like this, you’ll train your brain to flag items that don’t have a home. That brain pattern will signal to you that either this item needs a designated spot or it’s not important enough to have one in the first place, which tells you that it should be decluttered out of your house entirely.

Learn about this while I talk about my junk drawer here:

Tiny House Closet Ideas

Tiny House Closet Ideas

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Tiny House Book Review: The Best Books To Help You Live The Tiny Life

Tiny House Book Review: The Best Books To Help You Live The Tiny Life

tiny house books

I’m a bit of a bookworm and I know I’m not alone in that when it comes to other tiny house folks. Despite living in a tiny house without a lot of storage space, I make sure to find space for my books. Most of the books on this tiny house book list are available as audio or ebooks, so there’s no need to install a bookshelf for a collection of tiny house books!

tiny house libraryI’ve started my tiny house book list with books to inspire you, teach you about tiny houses, and help you design your dream home. I’ve included the best tiny house building book list to help you through the construction process. But then you’ll see I’ve also included some books to help you get into the right mentality for the tiny life.

Living the tiny life isn’t just about the physical house. It’s about the lifestyle that you’re building. People see others living in a tiny house and think, “wow—it’s a charmed life! Instagram-worthy! Stress-free!” And they associate that with the tiny house itself, which trips people up because it leads some to think they can buy happiness. It’s very natural, but it misses the point.

This tiny house book list will help you get into the right frame of mind and philosophy to live a life that’s not just about “dwelling in a tiny home” but about embracing less as more and learning to find simple satisfaction in all areas of your life. Not every book on this list is for everyone—choose a few tiny house books to help you get started, maybe one from each section, and then build your library from there. Happy reading!

Tiny House Inspiration Books

tiny house inspiration books

This tiny homes book list includes all the books to help you brainstorm on your journey to living the tiny life. Whether you’re looking for beautiful photos to give you ideas about your future house design possibilities or looking for an excellent introduction and overview of the tiny life, these are the tiny house books for beginners.

tiny house living book

Tiny House Living

by Ryan Mitchell

Yes, this is my book. Not to sound too boastful, but I really do feel like it’s one of the best books to help you get started with the tiny house lifestyle. In this book, I explain the basics of tiny houses and why moving to a smaller home and downsizing your life has outsized benefits.


the not so big house

The Not So Big House

by Sarah Susanka

This book preceded the tiny house movement. The Not So Big House was the first tiny house book to propose the idea of “let’s not have giant homes. Instead, let’s have homes that are well-built, well-designed, and facilitate a different way of life.” Some folks point to author Sarah Susanka as an influential figure who added to the collective consciousness to bring about the tiny house ethos.


cabin porn inside

Cabin Porn

by Freda Moon & Zack Klein

When you have limited space in a tiny home, you probably don’t have a lot of room for coffee table books. So if you’re looking for the best tiny house book to display, my choice would be Cabin Porn. This book has beautiful photos of cabins and is pure tiny house inspiration fodder.


compact cabins

Compact Cabins

by Gerald Rowan

Compact Cabins is a top choice if you’re looking for a great guide to building a tiny house or cabin. It’s hard to find floor plans under 1000 square feet, but this book has an array of ideas for small cabins. Now some don’t quite qualify as tiny homes (typically under 400 square feet), but it’s still a great book on small living.


tiny houses built with recycled materials

Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Material

by Ryan Mitchell

My second book is a practical guide to building a tiny house using reclaimed materials. It’s the best tiny house building book for DIY-ing on a budget. You’ll find plenty of inspiration on using different materials to build an eco-friendly home on a shoestring.


microshelters

Microshelters

by Derek Diedrickson

The author of Microshelters builds these quirky, small shelters and shares them in a very unique tiny homes book. This tiny house book is a popular option for getting design ideas and inspiration and includes some practical insight.

Tiny House Design Books

Tiny House Design Books

Next on my tiny house book list are the tiny house design books. These texts will help you throughout the tiny house-building process. If you’re hoping to design and build your dream tiny house from scratch, these are the resources you need.

designing your tiny house

Designing Your Tiny House

by Ryan Mitchell

In my guide to designing a tiny house, I offer practical tips and explanations on approaching your tiny house design process. I went in with the philosophy that I wanted to write the book that I needed when I built my own home. When you’re living in 100 square feet, design is critical—every square inch matters. I’ve packed this book with practical tips to ensure your house meets all your needs.


tiny homes on the move

Tiny Homes on the Move

by Lloyd Kahn

Author Lloyd Kahn has been living the tiny life for over 50 years in one form or another. His books are truly unique and authentic. He includes real-life examples—not just filtered “Instagram” tiny living, but practical tips and insights.


tiny homes simple shelter

Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

by Lloyd Kahn

Another Lloyd Kahn book, Simple Shelter, is an excellent guide to building a tiny house. Lloyd is a true “old hippie” who makes these books, prints out the photos, does the layout and copies himself, and then sends them to the publisher. Although his process may be wild, what you get is a really excellent tiny house building book.


make your house do the housework

Make Your House Do The Housework

by Gerald Rowan

This tiny house book gets more into the tiny lifestyle. If you’re looking for a tiny homes book that talks about how to take care of your small space, then this is the book for you. I listed this here on my tiny house book list because it really goes into the material choices and the design process. It explains how to design a tiny house, so it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance or cleaning.

The Building a Tiny House Book List

The Building a Tiny House Book List

Now, if you’ve gone through the tiny house book list for inspiration and design tips, you’re ready to move into the building phase. There are several tiny house building books and guides that I recommend. While you don’t need every book on this list, it doesn’t hurt to do additional research before building. You can never be too informed going into the process.

how to build a tiny house

How to Build a Tiny House

by Ryan Mitchell

When I wrote How to Build A Tiny House, I tried to write the best tiny house building book possible. I wanted a step-by-step guide to building a tiny house that was accessible and beginner-friendly. Whether you’re building with your own plans or pre-purchased plans, this book is easy to follow (even if you’ve never built before). I wrote this guide to building a tiny home for people who haven’t picked up a power tool in their life—and if you ARE familiar with the building process, there are still many tips that will ensure success.


shockingling simple electrical for tiny houses

Shockingly Simple Electrical for Tiny Houses

by Ryan Mitchell

One area that tends to elude tiny house builders is electrical. Truth be told, it also eludes “traditional” homeowners, but electrical is often a fully DIY process for tiny home builders. In this tiny house book, I delve into everything you need to know to get off-grid. More importantly, I explain how to calculate your power needs, the basics of electrical, and the formulas you need to know. I’ll explain to beginners how to wire outlets, switches, panels, and all the details you need to get your tiny house electrical up and running.


cracking the code tiny house building codes

Cracking the Code: Tiny House Building Codes

by Ryan Mitchell

The other major struggle that many new tiny house builders face is navigating building codes. In my tiny house book Cracking the Code, I explain how to think about compliance (or non-compliance). If you decide to do everything above board, this is the best tiny house building book to guide you through what you need to know. If you have a higher risk tolerance and decide to roll the dice, I’ll offer some ideas on how you can work around some of the coding restrictions.


working alone

Working Alone

by John Carroll

Compact Cabins is a top choice if you’re looking for a great guide to building a tiny house or cabin. It’s hard to find floor plans under 1000 square feet, but this book has an array of ideas for small cabins. Now some don’t quite qualify as tiny homes (typically under 400 square feet), but it’s still a great book on small living.


learn to timberframe

Learn To Timberframe

by Will Beemer & Jack A. Sobon

I included Learn to Timber Frame as a wild card on my building a tiny house book list. If you want to build a timber frame or use heavier joinery as you’re building a tiny house, this book will help you figure out what you need to know about handling heavy framing.

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Simple Living Mindset Books To Transition To The Tiny Life

Simple Living Mindset Books To Transition To The Tiny Life

As I said before, if you’re ready to explore the tiny life, it’s not as easy as finding the best tiny house building book and starting to set up a home. There’s a shift in lifestyle and mentality as you move into a smaller place and embrace a simpler life. I think this part often gets overlooked when we see Pinterest-perfect tiny house ideas. This tiny house book list will help you get into the right frame of mind.

the minimalist mindset

The Minimalist Mindset

by Danny Dover

The Minimalist Mindset is one of my favorite practical minimalist books. My friend Danny Dover wrote this, not just as a tiny house book but as a guide for anyone who wants to shift to a minimalist life. Many books make a case for simplifying and decluttering, but they talk in broad strokes. This book gets into some practical tips and ideas about becoming minimalist, especially making the mindset shift.


walden and civil disobedience

Walden and Civil Disobedience

by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau is known as being one of the original fathers of the natural, simplistic life mindset. He built a cabin on Walden pond from the ground up, and in his writing, he muses on nature and human’s connection to the earth. The companion, Civil Disobedience, is a nice tie-in, especially when navigating the rules and regulations of building a tiny house. It explores our liberties and our relationship with government, as well as our philosophy on freedom.


the littel book of hygge

The Little Book of Hygge

by Meik Wiking

I’ve been a big fan of the concept of Hygge for years. When I visited Stockholm, I got to see the philosophy of cozy, comfortable living in practice. As you set up a tiny house, this idea of bringing coziness and warmth to even a small space is essential. I like this book because it’s a nice beginner’s guide that gives a good overview of the concept and how you can live it.


minimalism live a meaningful life

minimalism live a meaningful life

by Joshua Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

Minimalism goes hand-in-hand with the tiny life—to be comfortable in a small space, you need to learn to live with less. If you’re looking for a guide to minimalism, this book is it. This was written by THE original minimalists, two bloggers, who started the movement. They make a strong case for the minimalist lifestyle and offer this book as a helpful primer and introduction to the idea.


the big tiny

The Big Tiny

by Dee Williams

Although this isn’t a traditional tiny house book, by any means, I included it in my list because I think it’s great reading for anyone who really wants to get into the philosophical mindset of reprioritizing and living with less. The Big Tiny is a memoir that delves into the life of Dee Williams. One day she discovered she had a heart condition, and the doctor told her, “You could go at any time—tomorrow or years from now. One day you’ll just drop dead, and there’s nothing you can do.” It changed her perspective on the world; she moved into a tiny house and changed her priorities to focus on what really mattered to her.


logam the swedish art of balanced living

Lagom The Swedish Art of Balanced Living

by Linnea Dunne

Lagom (a great word!) is a Swedish philosophy on not having too little and not having too much. It’s about choosing a home and lifestyle that offers you what you need, without anything extraneous to weigh you down. Not only is this an eye-catching book, but it’s a lovely book to help you transition to a balanced life. It explores minimalist concepts like capsule wardrobes from this Swedish mindset.

Downsizing And Decluttering Book List to Help You Live in a Smaller Space

Downsizing And Decluttering Book List to Help You Live in a Smaller Space

The tiny life is so much more than just living in a small home. From a practical perspective, you MUST downsize and declutter if you want to move into a smaller space. I have to have a place for everything in my house, and even a small amount of clutter can feel overwhelming and disruptive. The selections on this tiny house book list on decluttering can help anyone get organized (not just tiny house owners).

the life changing magic of tidying up

The LIfe Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by Marie Kondo

Marie Kondō created a movement in 2014 when this book on decluttering came out. People joked about discarding items that didn’t “spark joy,” and her name became synonymous with radical decluttering (as in, “I’m going to Marie Kondō my life”). The philosophy of only keeping items that spark joy is beneficial to everyone, especially tiny homeowners. While this book is a little less analytical than some others on this list, it helps shift your mindset.


the joy of less

The Joy of Less

by Francine Jay

Like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Joy of Less is focused on finding happiness by clearing out the clutter. However, this book offers a more practical, hands-on approach to decluttering and organizing your house. I would recommend choosing one or two books on decluttering in a style that appeals to you—remember, not every book will speak to you. Some folks might like a practical approach like the Joy of Less, while others might want to delve into the philosophy of organizing as a concept.


The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning

The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning

by Margereta Magnusson

Swedish death cleaning came into vogue recently after several news articles discussed the concept. In Sweden, as people age, they don’t want to leave a mess for their loved ones to clean up. There’s a culturally initiated practice of “death cleaning.” When you get to retirement age, you streamline and downsize possessions, your home, and life. I’ve seen this amongst my own friends; when someone dies, there’s emotional guilt and trauma in parting with their stuff. The “death cleaning” frame of mind assures that you aren’t leaving that burden for loved ones to bear


Decluttering At The Speed of Life

Decluttering At The Speed of Life

by Dana White

Admittedly, I’m not the target audience for this decluttering book, but I believe it’s a helpful guide for those who run a family household. There’s a lot of emotional stress keeping a home tidy for your family. Much of this book focuses on women and mothers who are bearing the weight of housekeeping. While a smaller home cuts back on some housekeeping tasks, it’s still important to organize the process, so it doesn’t fall on one family member

Breaking Free Of Consumerism Books To Shift Your Mindset

Breaking Free Of Consumerism Books To Shift Your Mindset

Ultimately, at the root of the tiny house movement and philosophy is the idea that we need to break free from the consumerism that dominates our lives. The selections on this tiny house book list are about letting go of the “buy more” mentality and helping pull back the curtain on how marketing manipulates us to purchase things we don’t need.

Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational

by Dr. Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational is another wild card choice on my tiny house book list. This book talks about how we make decisions and how those are influenced. These days, we even call marketers online “influencers”—external parties that sway our choices. Consumerism is so deep-rooted that it’s hard for us even to realize it at times. I live in 100 square feet, and I can account for almost everything I own, yet I still fall trap to these ideas sometimes.


Invisible Influence

Invisible Influence

by Jonah Berger

Similar to Predictably Irrational, Invisible Influence explores our culture of consumerism and how marketing permeates our day-to-day choices. Again, while every book on this list won’t appeal to every reader, I wanted to offer a selection of different perspectives on similar tiny life topics.


Trust Me Im Lying

Trust Me Im Lying

by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday was a marketer schooled in the art of deception and manipulation. He gives the example of paying for billboards for a client, then taking red paint and defacing them on purpose. Not only did this result in free press for the client, but it increased their business and the sympathy of consumers. This book is a fascinating read on the capitalist mindset and how marketing can be exploitive.


Affluenza

Affluenza

by John de Graff

Another similar book on the malaise and dissatisfaction that comes from the “buy more” mindset. I took on a year of buying nothing to help me move away from this mentality and prove to myself that I didn’t need to purchase anything. The year opened my eyes to how deep the programming of consumerism is. During the year, I made a list of everything I wanted to buy, and in the end, there was only ONE item that I still wanted. All of those other items would have been wasted consumption.

Debt-Free Living Books & Financial Book List For The Tiny Life

Debt-Free Living Books and Financial Book List For The Tiny Life

Like me, many people go into the tiny life because they want to save money. When I downsized to my tiny house, it was with an eye to financial freedom. I wanted to decrease my spending and enjoy a simpler but more fulfilling life. It worked! If you’re exploring the tiny life as an answer to financial health, here are some excellent books to help.

The Total Money Makeover Workbook

The Total Money Makeover Workbook

by Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is one of the most popular financial writers out there. I’m not terribly keen on some of his financial advisings, but his advice for people getting out of debt is really great. The “snowball method” of paying down credit card debt, loans, medical bills, and other debts works and is simple, accessible,