How to Downsize and Live Small

Declutter and Organize - Downsizing and Living Small - Minimalism and Minimalist Life

There is a big appeal to living small. Tiny homes, downsizing, and minimalism all offer a cheaper and more peaceful way of living. Is it all it’s really cracked up to be and what should you be looking at if you are going to attempt living small?

Living small isn’t a new concept however after decades of big homes, big cars, and big living it’s completely understandable that living small is making the rounds as a popular lifestyle. My own mother in law is interested in living in a tiny home. Rob and I have discussed it as well.

There were a lot of questions we had when it came to tiny homes and living small. Today I’m addressing some of those questions right here.

What is a Tiny Home?

Probably the very first and most important question is what exactly is a tiny home? Well, tiny homes are typically houses that are less than 500 sq feet and usually on a trailer of some sort. Additionally though I’ve seen some tiny homes that are up to 800 sq feet and on foundations.

Tiny homes are basically a small home that utilizes every inch turning everything into usable space. As you may have already guessed tiny homes are built in such a way that all the space is used in multiple ways.

Do You Need To Live Like a Minimalist?

Yes. While it’s not mandatory to be minimalistic in your living it’s highly recommended. If you have anything more than the bare necessities you will be living in a cluttered mess at all times.

Keep it to one or two pans to cook with, a couple of plates and sets of utensils, and smaller small appliances. Think if you don’t use it on a daily basis you won’t need it anymore.

Your wardrobe, make up, hair products, and all other items will be minimized down. All books and music should be digital copies only. Everything should serve a purpose in order to make the most out of living small.

Check out my post on How To Clear The Clutter for more on how to downsize and get ride of things you don’t need.

What Do You Do All Day If You Don’t Have Stuff?

What do you do with all the stuff now? You wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, browse the internet or watch TV (or both) and go to sleep. Now without all of these things you could very easily plan other things.

Go for evening walks. Plan vacations with all the money you are saving by living small. Go see all the things your town has to offer.

The biggest appeal to living small is that life becomes less about what you buy or own and more about the experiences that you have. Living small means you can enjoy experiences more often in order to entertain yourself.

I Have a Family Is It Possible To Live Small?

I’m going to say yes, depending on your family size. While Rob, Lucas and I could probably live fairly comfortably in a tiny home, add two more children and suddenly we are crowded and can barely move. However, there are rather large families out there who live small on a daily basis and are just fine.

Living small is not just about living in a tiny home. You can live small in a normal single family home too. If you have 5 kids you can live in a 3 bedroom home just fine. Though make sure you check out occupancy laws in your state before you do so.

Can I Live Small Without Living In A Tiny Home?

Yes. This route is the one Rob and I are more comfortable taking. Rob and I both work from home so living in a tiny home makes it impossible to have a work area and a home area.

Living small means only buying what you need in a home or only renting a home with just enough space to live comfortably and within occupancy laws of your state. It’s about finding ways to utilize all the space of your home for all of your daily needs.

Think organized closets, shelving, and creative storage options like footstools with storage or under stairs storage. Own a smaller place but utilize every possible area to keep the house clean and organized.

Check out my post on Organizing Your Kitchen to see some of the ways you can downsize and stay organized.

What is Minimalism?

Minimalism traditionally is living with the very bare necessities. Think only things you cannot survive without and maybe one or two extra luxuries.

Some minimalist lifestyles don’t even have furniture outside of a dual purpose sofa bed. However, like with most lifestyles you can pick and choose aspects that work for you.

What are the first steps?

If you want to know if you can honestly survive living small or living a minimalist lifestyle try it out for a year. Downsize, drastically and within legal occupancy limits. Go through everything you own with a fine tooth comb.

The general rule is if you haven’t touched it in 6 months to a year it’s probably not worth you keeping. Once you get rid of everything move into the smallest possible apartment or home you can.

Try it out for a year. Live organized only buying what you will use daily. If after a year you decide it isn’t your cup of tea than scrap the idea of living small, be grateful for the experience, and buy yourselves something nice with all the money you saved in a year.

Check out my post How To Be A Minimalist In Your Home.

I Want To Live Small

Awesome. Do a google search for tiny homes, find out your local ordinances, move in, and enjoy your new life.

Just remember; tiny home living, minimalist living, or just downsizing is all about what works for you and your family. There are people who live out of RV’s and travel around. There are tiny home dwellers, studio apartments, small cape cods, and so many other ways to live small.

If one way doesn’t work for you and your family, another way might. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite organization, tiny home, and living small boards.

Related Posts:

Declutter and Organize - Downsizing and Living Small - Minimalism and Minimalist Life


7 thoughts on “How to Downsize and Live Small”

  1. My family and I bought a 732 sq ft home in 2016 and it was the best thing we ever did. I got rid of quite a bit of stuff. Not everything but Alot. It is just enough space for us. We love it and I recommend this for anyone wanting to focus on what’s really important.

    1. Downsizing can be extremely freeing both mentally and financially. Glad to hear it’s working out great for you and your family.

  2. Love this! We downsized in 2015. 2 adults, 2 kids in 860sf. It’s possible to do but you have to be super efficient with storage and keep only what you use/love. It gives us a lot more money each month and we are really happy we made the move.

    1. It’s really worth it. As long as you organize properly and only keep what you need it is a lot better. I found that because we have less space I’m not spending as much money because I think about where I would put it.

  3. I remember living small as a child, along with most other people we knew. Houses were much smaller, 3 bed, 1 bath, 1 living/dining, and generally households only had one income and did all their own cooking/baking. We walked, rode bikes as kids, had just 1 “Sunday Best” outfit that did for all outings, and here in Australia, we all had a school uniform that was washed once a week. We gradually succumbed to the “big, bigger, best” mentality, and now we’re realising that it’s not the best! Decluttering has become my focus in my twilight years, and getting rid of my accumulated “stuff” is probably going to take the rest of my days. I’m seeing many friends clean out their parents’ houses after they’ve died or moved into care, and in most cases, there’s soooo much useless “stuff” to get rid of. I’ll try not to do that to my children.

    1. It’s the same thing here in the states. A lot of the previous generation and my generation are living with less out of both necessity and because we don’t want to leave
      “stuff” for our kids to deal with. Decluttering, downsizing, living small are all difficult tasks but it’s necessary.

    2. I’m also Aussie and was born 83 and we didn’t have school uniforms at primary. Now that I have my own kids frankly I find it harder as you have to have both a uniform and normal clothing for weekends or after school- with at least 2 of each item in the likelihood it gets dirty. But on top of the uniforms as well that’s double the laundry amount. I don’t know why people find it easier for kids with a uniform. As long as you don’t own much it’s not hard to pick out an outfit.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy