Fear is probably the biggest barrier to going Tiny. Today I want to talk about the fear associated with making your life “work” in a smaller space. I know before I downsized, I was worried that I might not like living in a smaller space.
Actually, when I first read about Tiny Houses, my reaction was, “nobody can really live like that!” If you’ve had that same thought, don’t worry, you are normal! The idea of changing your lifestyle dramatically is scary, but with the right planning you can make sure you are making a good choice.
Here are three tips to overcome the fear associated with downsizing:
1. Plan ahead
If you have been following me for very long, you know I am huge proponent of planning ahead. Make sure you know what things you want to be able to do in your home before you downsize. Before I decided to move into my tiny house, I spent a lot of time analyzing the life I was currently living and the one I wanted to be living. I tried to think through the trade-offs of smaller living.
It sounds silly, but I am amazed at the number of people I talk to who tell me they want to live in a Tiny House, but who don’t know how they want to use their space day-to-day or what items are on their must-keep list. Lack of planning is part of why we see so many stories about people who decided tiny living wasn’t right for them after they made the transition.
The time you spend thinking through the transition before you move, will make your tiny house a lot more enjoyable and a lot less stressful!
Consider the following questions:
- How do I use my current space?
- What things do I want to be able to do in my new space?
- What things do I want to be able to keep in my new space?
- How can I make my space fit the lifestyle I want?
2. Simplify your Routines
The next biggest piece of advice I have for you, is to look at ways you can simplify your routines. Before you move analyze all of the “stuff” you have that you use to do your normal household chores and daily activities. Look for ways to streamline processes and reduce the number of items required to accomplish a task.
Before I moved I realized I needed to simplify my cooking routines. It was normal for me to have out multiple pans, knives, gadgets and plates when I cooked in my old kitchen. I guess somehow I thought my food would taste better if I used a fancy gadget to help me prepare it. However, once I decided to downsize, I knew I didn’t have the room or the desire to keep all of my fancy gadgets.
Less space in my tiny house means I have to be more intentional about how I prep and cook food. I now have one cutting board, one Cutco knife and a set of 5 pots and pans ((probably still too many, but they fit, so I kept them!). I also have a small crock pot and a small food processor I use most weeks. Other than that I let most of my nifty gadgets go.
Look at ways to simplify your daily routines before you move.
Finally, be open-minded and prepared to adapt to your new space. Living in a tiny space is an adjustment. You have to be willing to look for new ways to do things and you must be willing to let go of stuff that doesn’t add value to your life.
There are obviously trade-offs when you downsize, and there is some truth to the fact that you have to change your lifestyle in a smaller space. But if you plan ahead you can anticipate the required changes and adapt to a smaller floor plan with very little impact to your quality of life. In fact, my quality life improved when I downsized.
You won’t be able to do everything exactly the way you did when you were in your “normal” home once you downsize. Knowing this ahead of time can help you when the time comes to move into your own tiny home.