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How to Tidy Up Your Life And Go Tiny (Or Not!)

Update: this session is closed.

If you’ve been thinking about moving into a tiny house, small apartment, cabin, RV, or boat, but feel like you have too much stuff, this is for you.

Maybe you want to simply stay in your current home but want to overcome the frustration, overwhelm and stress when it comes to de-cluttering so you can finally get your home in order (whether it’s tiny or not), then this article is also for you.

How to Downsize to Tiny and/or Tidy Up Your Current Home!

Image © Escape Homes

Image © Escape Homes

Tidy To Tiny is a 5 day system (takes less than an hour a day to go through) that helps you cut through your clutter fast.

After that, whether or not you still decide to go into a tiny house, small house, or just stay in your current house – is your choice.

My goal is to help you change the way you think about your stuff and help you cut through your clutter as fast and efficiently as possible.

If You’re Tired of Feeling Stuck With Your Stuff…

Tidy to Tiny is based on common challenges that most of us experience when trying to get rid of our stuff, de-clutter, and downsize.

This course gives you the thinking, attitude, and methods to overcome challenges and get the job done as quickly as possible.

How to Sign Up

With the course you get 5 audio training modules plus downloadable action guides to get you through the process. Enrollment is open now and closes on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at midnight EST. Learn more and sign up if you want to get your spot in this session! I’m looking forward to helping you Tidy to Tiny (Or Not!).

=> http://tidytotiny.com

Here’s What You Get with Tidy to Tiny:

  • Full Access to the 5-Step Tidy to Tiny Process
  • 5 Audio Training Modules to Guide You Through the Process
  • 37 Lessons to Change the Way You Think About Stuff Forever
  • The 7 Types of Stuff That You Own
  • The Order in Which to go Through Your Stuff
  • Keys on How to Stay Focused When Discarding
  • The 3-Bucket Massive Discarding System
  • The Tidy to Tiny Action Guide (Game Plan) To Follow Through and Through
  • The Questions to Ask Yourself Over and Over While Tidying
  • Why Some of Your Stuff Brings You Down
  • A Step by Step System to Follow to get Your Life Tidy Fast (And Keep It That Way Forever!)
  • Course Discussions So You Can Ask Questions and Connect With Other Students

It’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed because of having too much stuff. This 5-Day course changes all of that. I guarantee it. After giving it your best try, if you feel Tidy To Tiny (Or Not!) doesn’t make a positive difference in your life, let us know within 30 days and you can have your course tuition back.

=> http://tidytotiny.com

Remember: enrollment closes on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at midnight EST.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 44 comments… add one }
  • russell
    October 20, 2016, 6:17 pm

    I have found a happy middle for my stuff. Just build more TH to fit it in. I have lived in my main TH for more than a week. WOW! If you build your own, plan to add a few things here and there. I wish I had room to do a bump-out on the front for clothes. But when it comes to my parents stuff it is hard to get rid of. I have 5 TH so far. I just got rid of 3540 pounds of my stuff. The more I get rid of the faster the move will happen. 600 miles to retire for good.

    • oxide
      October 21, 2016, 1:37 pm

      You have 5 tiny homes to store your stuff. This is a joke, right?

    • Natalie
      October 21, 2016, 1:52 pm

      Woohoo! So glad you are so close 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

      • October 21, 2016, 3:24 pm

        Sorry it is not a joke. They [ TH] form a big box. 1. 15 feet 2. 12 feet 3,4,5 are 10 feet each. Just too much stuff still! But I am working to get it to just one tiny house!

        • Dominick Bundy
          October 21, 2016, 9:18 pm

          Here is a mindset I had to develop in order to get rid of a lot of my stuff and downsize. After sorting in piles of what to keep give away , donate and throw out.. At the end I took the big dive and thought all of this stuff left over after all that sorting. I said to myself I could lose all of this in one split second in a fire, flood, or tornado.. So that’s when all things that were left all got trashed ..And boy did that ever feel liberating..try it it really works.. then there will be no need for 5 TH to store stuff in.. After all its just stuff..

        • Alex
          October 23, 2016, 10:26 am

          Thanks Dominick!

        • oxide
          October 22, 2016, 9:15 am

          OK, it just seemed kind of silly to accumulate tiny houses when you could simply live in one 1000 sq ft cottage while you downsized.

          For me, I have a lot of stuff, but it’s all connected to the house. Like linens for the guest room. And a piano, oops. :-p However, when the time comes to downsize, I could simply sell my house with its furnishings.

  • Martha
    October 21, 2016, 6:20 pm

    This, but sounds a bit like Marie Kondo’s “The Magic Art of Tidying Up”, which really worked for me when reducing much of the “stuff” in my house. I’m still hung up on what to do with thousands of photographs, but don’t tell me to scan them. I never go back and just gaze at and appreciate digital photos on my computer, but I love going through old pictures I can hold in my hand. There is a warmth that digital can’t capture.

    • October 22, 2016, 9:46 am

      I have ten houses of stuff. I have drop off two whole house of stuff. Just because I went to TH did not mean I gave up the things that I like to do. I still fish, hunt, rappel, and spin records. My tools have tools. When I go fishing or hunting I have a TH for just that , it is set up for a few days. I am on the road so much that I do not even have a house with a mail box on it. I just keep move till there is no more land to go, the I will put a TH on a boat. I did make one of those already. It just takes a lot of time to downsize for me.

    • Alex
      October 22, 2016, 1:47 pm

      I think you should keep your sentimentals 🙂

    • rachel
      November 26, 2016, 8:26 am

      Kondos book is incredibly eye-opening about the world filled with stuff that we live in. It was very helpful to me to read it and understand the common sense approach of it. I found moving several times forced me to part with tons of items. I now rent a small 11 x 14′ room in a house with a shared kitchen and bathrooms. When I decided to move my posessions out of a 9 x 16′ storage room (that was not full), YES– I GAVE TWO CARLOADS FULL OF ITEMS TO A FRIEND. I understood how MUCH I have when I saw it taking up room in my little room. I also kept evaluating items and finding many of them I just did not need or held onto as a lifeboat. Eliminating is a gradual process, it took years, but I feel much lighter and free-er overall. LESS is more, namaste’, rachel

  • April
    October 21, 2016, 7:51 pm

    I agree about the photos. They are also part of another time and filled with people who are gone now. I laminated some and made them into bookmarks, place mats and various decor but that can only go so far. Mom when she lived, took so many.

  • Chris Huber
    October 21, 2016, 8:36 pm

    How often is the Tidy to Tiny course offered?

    • Alex
      October 22, 2016, 1:52 pm

      Good question, Chris! Next session will probably be in January.

    • Alex
      October 27, 2016, 10:11 pm

      Update – I’ll be offering it again in November – get updates/notified here: http://tidytotiny.com if you want

  • Cee
    October 22, 2016, 9:36 am

    I love old photographs, also, and have hundreds of them in photo albums and photo boxes, which are then stored in a plastic container.
    It’s the one thing I don’t compromise on. Why spend all that time and money on photos, just to get rid of the memories?

    • Alex
      October 22, 2016, 3:01 pm

      I’m with you on that too

  • Debbie
    October 22, 2016, 3:26 pm

    Alex! Thank you so much for “I think you should keep your sentimentals 🙂
    Besides the photos, many of us have items that our parents and grandparents left for us to use and enjoy.
    It’s a process that is different for all of us. Embrace each moment….life is short, live it well.

    • Alex
      October 23, 2016, 10:24 am


  • Gigi
    October 22, 2016, 8:41 pm

    I’m working on decluttering, and was gifted Marie Kondo’s book by a friend. I haven’t started reading it yet, though.

    My current method is to downsize as if I was planning on moving abroad permanently. Some things are essential – like my computer and bass guitar -, others are mostly disposable – art supplies come to mind -. In the middle are things like clothing and shoes, books, and my movie and music collections.

    • Alex
      October 23, 2016, 10:25 am

      That’s a great book!

  • jeff
    October 23, 2016, 10:14 am

    I’m interested in the “Tidy to Tiny” course, but think that it’s a little messed up that the “Tiny House Talk” website doesn’t offer this to its subscribers for free. I’m on disability income, and already have multiple books on how to de-clutter my life (none of which have worked so far). Can’t see spending 3 payments of $39 for this course. Who knows, maybe this could have been the answer to finally get me motivated to finally peeling away the non-essentials from my life.

    I commend the entrepreneur for their skills, and wish them all the success in the world.

    • Alex
      October 23, 2016, 10:41 am

      You’re right Jeff it’s a nice chunk of change for the course. Costs as much as a few books. The good part about it is it won’t take you as long as reading a book to go through the course and then follow through and clear out your clutter so it saves you a lot of time/energy. If you want to try it and if you can make it work somehow, I encourage you to go for it because if you don’t feel like it’s worth it, you can just let me know within 30 days and I’ll send you a refund.

    • October 23, 2016, 11:18 am

      It took a big push from the man up stairs to get me started on downsizing . I have a ton of TH building, plans, blueprints books which I let a friend of the family look at. She still has them! The way I think about is food, what to wear, what to watch. My TH is 6 f 4 in wide. I filled the first one then went to the next one and so on. Now I have started to empty them one by one. I have things that my grandparents, and parents. But my kids do not want any of their stuff. So give away, drop off. If you have not used it in a year, donate!

  • Susanne
    October 23, 2016, 10:48 am

    Yes, throwing photos nearly impossible! Feels like a sin! 🙁
    But compromise is needed when you have “thousands.”
    Turning them into useful objects as suggested is fantastic. Also as suggested in this newsletter previously-choose the BEST photos to keep; since unlike taking photos now where one can delete bad shots, we have collected many that are horrible AND we paid for them. , and shots which are repetitive. 🙁 But, alas, not worth keeping. Plus seeing them on as a Slide Show I understand 100 % is not the same; INITIALLY , however,-as All Things Electronic takes time for us older adults to embrace- once you do, ( keep an open mind!) we often ask ourselves
    ” how did we ever function before without it?!” Ha!
    Using digital means would be needed only if you truly have boxes upon boxes of photos/movies that one refuses to part with.

    • Natalie
      October 24, 2016, 9:12 am

      Photos are a tricky one! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Michelle W
    October 24, 2016, 7:24 am

    We have a 1600 sq ft main house that we have lived in for 20+ years, but also a 600 sq ft cabin, which I plan on living in full-time. When we put a kitchen in the cabin, I figured out what I needed utentsil wise by keeping a canister next to my stovetop at home. If I used a utensil, I stuck it in the canister. 6 months later, I knew exactly which utensils are necessary, and which simply occupy drawer space. I plan on doing this with the rest of my belongings too. Happy Tiny Home Living! 🙂

    • Natalie
      October 24, 2016, 9:12 am

      That’s such a brilliant idea, Michelle! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • alice h
    November 21, 2016, 12:31 pm

    Downsizing is a very individual process so what works for some may not work for others. I know what I need to do, I know how to do it, I just don’t have the energy to dive in seriously so I’m doing it on the installment plan. One area at a time. I’m also enjoying finding “good homes” for some of the stuff that brought me a lot of enjoyment over the years. A friend’s daughter is just setting up her household and loves Christmas so just about all the Christmas stuff is going to her. That’s a huge pile of stuff so she might pass things on to others as well. Kitchen stuff was the first to pare down, then clothes. Books were done a while ago and may need to be done again. Friends and I have always shuffled things around our various households as needs change so it can be difficult to say “no” when things are offered but I’m getting better at it. Just because something is generally useful doesn’t mean you actually need it.

    • Natalie
      November 22, 2016, 7:57 am

      Isn’t that the truth! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • November 22, 2016, 7:06 am

    I loved reading everyone’s comments and I truly believe they are all spot on. I did have a challenge grasping the idea of owning several tiny houses to store one’s things in. I could just picture it all stuffed in so that when you opened the door it all fell out. I had a hard time imagining how one would go through it all when it was piled into a huge box called a tiny house. It always seems that one would need a little space to start sorting the give, donate, throw and keep piles. I really liked the idea of putting a canister on the counter or stove top and putting each item I used in it from the drawer and after a period of time, discard what you haven’t used. Clever.

    • Natalie
      November 22, 2016, 7:58 am

      Absolutely 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

    • November 22, 2016, 9:05 am

      One of the reasons I have a few TH is. When I built the first one. I went with what I had at the time. I have a few tools which it is one TH. I set the TH up for each job I like to do. Fishing, DJ, so on. I tried the photos on computer, [ computer died] Lost a lot! So I have a back-up for everything. You can open any of the doors on my TH nothing will fall out. All of my TH are single axle. I made them so I could drop them anywhere. 5 min they would be up and running. Off the grid! Solar, wind, gen.

      • Alex
        November 22, 2016, 4:09 pm

        Would love to see your THs! Sounds cool 🙂

      • November 22, 2016, 8:11 pm

        Thanks for your explanation Russell. I thought you had several Tiny Houses to store things in. But I see you have them to serve different purposes to fit your lifestyle. Cool!

  • Mary Lowe
    November 22, 2016, 12:27 pm

    I agree that photos are not something to toss away. As for Marie Kondo’s book – when I saw the part about throwing away a hammer because it doesn’t “bring you joy” and then using something else in place of a hammer! Really!?! I don’t think so. I have hammers galore, in outside shed’s, in my truck etc.

    • Natalie
      November 23, 2016, 8:26 am

      Hahaha Mary thank you so much for this comment. My mother went on a crazy “Kondo” kick and gave me the book, and I got to the whole hammer nonsense and just thought, “What!?!” I’m not even handy and I own 2 — and I’ve used them plenty of times to justify their existence! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Michelle
    November 27, 2016, 10:10 pm

    I moved once a few years ago and just got rid meaning sold, donated, gave away. I think it should be easier if you’re kids are grown and well you’re serious going tiny. Unfortunately, “fortunately,” I’m homeless do to my divorce and having to move in with my parents. It made me downsize even more to the cost effectiveness route. I have filled one room with my things. I’ll definitely even downsize the things in my room once the THOW comes in existence. Job first! But yeah, having less is MORE!

  • jm
    November 28, 2016, 2:36 am

    I’m still trying to figure out the fifty ways to leave your lover. There weren’t nearly that many in the song.

    • November 28, 2016, 9:03 am

      The state that I live in offers nothing for me to stay. If you are disable, you have guild lines that very from state to state to get a grant. I have gone as far as FL with one of the small TH. It was a 600 miles on the highway to hell [from hell]. I am down to sound system with 9 sets of speakers, 2 cd players, 2turntable, dvd and videos player. I stop counting after 2k in cds, dvds, lps, lights. If I find a bigger trailer double or even a triple axle. I will build it to take the other TH in it. AS of right now all of the small TH can be taken down in a matter of hours. The main TH is changing. I just took off the roof do to animal attacks. I will keep going till I find what I need to live on.

  • Patty
    November 30, 2016, 4:52 am

    Very slowly, I am working on de-cluttering, which is not easy for a vintage seller (thus collector). I work on a corner of a room, until it is finished, or a counter top, or a drawer (yes, one drawer can take me down memory lane for hours). Maybe, at some point, I can relax and and say “finished”. Thanks for all the comments. Blessings to all of you who undertake this task. It’s not easy being a collector of “everything, because I might need it someday”!

    • Natalie
      November 30, 2016, 10:15 am

      I feel you Patty! My mother is the master of “getting rid” of extras, but I’m a bit too sentimental sometimes 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Kim
    December 3, 2016, 2:29 pm

    I excavated last year. From January to April. I listed my 1100 sq ft house to sell. Then, as I was inspired I sold, dumped and gave away . The more I got rid of the happier I felt. Started with the smaller items, clothing, linens, spare this and that. Then moved on to larger items. Small kitchen appliances, side tables, lamps, book shelves. My mindset with books was , I can always borrow it again at the library. I did keep books related to paddling and Art. I kept three paddlepoards and paints, a minimum amount of clothing. I imagined myself free to change to a brand new life! , and it was liberating. Friends did begin to comment they were worried about my mental health( hahah) . After assuring them I was planning on sticking around the planet a while, I did relent and kept the mattress and two loveseats in case. Then I moved into a furnished place for an 8 month regroup. The couch and bed found a. Home with someone who had nothing. I am now very very happy with the way it worked out. I am now ready to find the perfect tiny home.

    • Natalie
      December 5, 2016, 10:27 am

      So good to hear about your successful downsizing, Kim. Awesome! — Tiny House Talk Team

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