Downsizing When a Tiny House Isn’t an Option

C Park condoTiny houses seem to be quite the popular trend nowadays.  Thanks to TV shows, the news, and home magazine articles, we’ve been inundated with the popularity of tiny houses.  With the typical American home size being 2,400-2,600 square feet, the 100-400 square feet of tiny houses represents a 65 to 90% decrease in living space.  The reasons for the popularity of tiny houses range from financial to environmental, as well as a desire to simply downsize and simplify one’s life.

Quite simply, tiny houses aren’t for everyone, but for most people, downsizing will be necessary at some point in life, whether it’s a home post-retirement or a vacation home or even a home to create a simpler lifestyle.  However, making the move from a larger home to a home with a smaller footprint takes some planning.

One of the first steps in downsizing is to take inventory of your things, as your possessions that currently fit into your larger home simply will not fit in your smaller home.  There are dozens of resources which address this process, but deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is the most critical part of this process.  Try focusing on what items you love and what items bring you joy.  By process of elimination, the remaining items that do not, should be thrown away, sold or donated.  An exciting part of downsizing is letting go of things that you don’t absolutely need, which helps you to focus on what is important.

Another way to take inventory of your items is to gather like items together.  For example, putting all of your baking and cooking items into groups can help you identify whether you have duplicates of items as well as items that you’ve never used at all.  You may not have space in your new downsized home to house small kitchen appliances such as pasta makers or bread makers, especially considering these items may not be used sufficiently to justify taking up precious storage space.

Finally, make decisions as to where you are putting the items you are keeping in your new space.  Larger furniture items may not be appropriate for the scale of your new home, so winnowing down the larger pieces to one or two favorite pieces will make the transition much easier.  Recognize that storage will not be as plentiful for your smaller items, and this will drive your decision-making processes.   While a tiny house may not be in your future, a home which provides more freedom and financial sufficiency will be, and that’s something to celebrate.

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