How to DownsizeOct 12, 2022
You can only fit so much into a Teacup (and that’s the point!). But how do you decide what stays and what goes? Ah, it’s the age-old question of downsizing, isn’t it?! In a culture that prioritizes stuff, it can be hard to get rid of things- even if they no longer serve us! If you plan to go tiny, though, chances are you’ll need to do just that. But don’t worry; our team is here to help you through the process!
The word ‘downsizing’ is a verb, and that leads people to focus on the physical act of removing items from their lives. Remember, though, that this will likely go against decades of ingrained cultural training. That’s why we recommend you focus heavily on the emotional aspects of downsizing, rather than the practical. So make yourself a strong cup of coffee because we’re about to get deep!
Do you have that cup of coffee? Excellent. Now, if you would just indulge us for a second, go sit on your couch (or anywhere that allows you to have a good view of your home).
As you scan your eyes across your space, what do you notice? What brings you joy? What do you see that you use daily? What have you forgotten to notice lately? If you start feeling stressed out, just bring your awareness to your cup of coffee. We promise that somehow, this story ends with you having a different cup of coffee in the Teacup tiny cottage of your dreams. In fact, if you need to take a moment to envision it, here is a link to our gallery.
This next part is best done over the course of a few weeks. You’re going to do the exercise above again, but this time as you go through your daily life. You want your answers to come from deep authenticity rather than surface-level reactions, so it’s important to take your time. Are you ready? Here’s what to do next.
1. Pay attention to what you use and what brings you joy.
Do you ever pick up a sponge (or a mug or a candle) and think this is my favorite? That feedback loop of joy is what you’re on the lookout for! Most of us own several items in the same category. Maybe we have five spatulas, four black sweaters, or twenty-seven pieces of art/decor spread throughout our home. If we really think about it, though, don’t we have a favorite? We might have five, but we always reach for the “good” spatula, don’t we?!
When you go tiny, that feedback loop of joy gets about ten times stronger because there is less clutter surrounding what we love. For example, if you think pulling your favorite black sweater out of your closet is enjoyable, imagine opening your closet and finding only your favorite things? Trust us, you are about to experience a saturation of life reserved only for those who own tiny cottages!
2. Define your favorite activities.
If you are used to storing things in a traditionally-sized house, chances are you have items for every occasion! Never mind that you’ve only used your kayak twice; you still have one. (Along with ores, a cooler, and a lifejacket in every size!) Oh, and remember that inflatable monkey with the coconut bikini that was really funny at your sister-in-law’s birthday? Yup. That’s in your garage too. But if we asked you to pick your top three favorite activities, would kayaking and throwing theme parties be among them?
If so, more power to you! And if that’s the case, let’s start making a plan for your kayak and bikini-monkey to join you in your Teacup ASAP. If not, however, it might be time to let them go. Remember that tiny living is about being intentional, not stuck, so if down the line you decide you want to prioritize different hobbies, you can always make the switch!
3. Observe sentimentality. Is it coming from joy or guilt?
If you are a human who has enough scrapbooks, yearbooks, ticket stubs, and photos to fill the basement of a five-bedroom house, you are not alone! We attach powerful memories and stories to these things, and even the thought of separating from them can be painful.
We know this is a big ask, but the next time you come across something sentimental, try to observe where those feelings of attachment are coming from. Sometimes, these things bring us joy, but often, what we label as joy is actually masked guilt, fear, or sadness.
We’re not suggesting you do anything with this information right away, but it will serve you to make some mental notes.
4. Reframe letting things go.
Speaking of mental notes, you might want to consider making one that reframes what it means to let things go.
It’s easy for us to think about downsizing as “losing” things, but as we alluded to above, downsizing is actually a beautiful opportunity to welcome abundance into your life. Every time you say ‘no’ to something that no longer serves you, you say ‘yes’ to more room for the things that do.
Downsizing is also a beautiful way to bring abundance to others! That candle you never light because the smell reminds you of your least favorite aunt could be the candle that brings romance to Thursday night dinners for someone else! It’s hard to let things go when we feel like we are losing something, but it’s easier when we feel like the process has us gaining joy and contributing to others.
As you go through the steps, remember that there is no right way to downsize. There is also no rule that says you can only own what fits in a Teacup! To that end, here are a few ways downsizing can look!
>Storing a few totes at a friend or family member’s house.
>Buying an outdoor shed to store tools and hobbyist equipment.
>Renting a storage unit. Sometimes this is temporary, and sometimes it’s not. It’s all up to you!
>Finding mindful ways to donate items.
Well, that’s all for today! But before we go, we want to check in with you. Where are you on your tiny home journey? If you subscribe to this blog, you’ll know that we are here to support you before, during, and after you bring a Teacup into your life, so just let us know what you need.
If financing is the next step, you can find our financing assessment here.
And if you need to know what the Teacup of your dreams will cost, you can easily find out! Just use the Build-Your-Estimate tool.
We’ll be back next week with more tiny home content for you, but in the meantime, remember that downsizing, like anything else, is just one step at a time.
See you soon,