Mastering the Art of Tiny Living: 15 Decluttering Tips From the Pros

Welcome, fellow adventurers of the tiny home lifestyle! If you’ve ever felt the urge to simplify your life, downsize your space, and focus on what truly matters, you’re in good company. In a world obsessed with excess, the tiny home movement is a refreshing rebellion, and we’re here to share some invaluable decluttering tips from those who have embraced the mantra of “less is more.

I consider us pros at decluttering. When we were living in our RV, everyone wanted to know what we did with all our stuff. My answer was always, “we have what we need”, nothing more, nothing less. And what we needed was gear and about 1 week worth of clothing. Sounds extreme to most, but it was the most liberating time of my life. I want to pass this on to y’all.

Start Small, Think Big

Photo by Gareth Hubbard on Unsplash

For the first of our decluttering tips, we suggest you start small. Begin your decluttering journey by tackling one room or area at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your clutter-free home. To tackle a small area effectively, begin by choosing a specific spot – it could be your desk, a shelf, or a drawer. Empty the contents and categorize items into keep, donate, and discard piles. Assess each item’s utility and emotional significance. As you reintroduce belongings to the space, prioritize functionality and aesthetics. By starting small, you not only make the task more manageable but also set the tone for the bigger rooms.

The KonMari Method

When talking about decluttering tips, you know, I mean you have to know, that one of them would be to channel your inner Marie Kondo. By adopting the KonMari method, a transformative approach to decluttering, you will be as intentional as it gets in choosing what stays and what goes.

Begin with a specific category, like clothing, and gather every item within that category in one place. Hold each item in your hands and ask the crucial question: “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is yes, it earns a place in your closet; if no, express gratitude and let it go. For example, take your wardrobe – lay out all your clothes, from shirts to socks, and evaluate each piece individually. According to those who practice KonMari, this mindful process not only streamlines your belongings but also cultivates a living environment filled only with items that bring genuine joy and purpose.

Declutter Digitally

In our tech-dominant world, digital clutter can be just as overwhelming as physical possessions. Start by organizing your digital space. Begin with your computer files – create folders and subfolders to categorize documents, photos, and any digital clutter. Delete duplicate files and uninstall unused applications to free up valuable storage space.

Take control of your email inbox by unsubscribing from newsletters and promotional emails that no longer serve you. Create filters to automatically categorize incoming emails and reduce the visual noise. Additionally, regularly clean up your desktop by removing unnecessary shortcuts and files.

Consider digitizing sentimental items like old photos and cards, preserving memories without occupying physical space. By using these decluttering tips in your digital life, you’ll not only enhance your virtual productivity but also create a serene, clutter-free environment in the digital realm.

One In, One Out Rule

Decluttering Tips to make your life simpler.

Implementing the “One In, One Out” rule is a game-changer for maintaining a clutter-free space. This decluttering tip will have you seriously evaluating your spending choices. Before introducing a new item into your home, identify a comparable item to part ways with. For example, if you purchase a new pair of shoes, consider donating or selling an older pair that you no longer wear.

When you bring in a new item, immediately assess your existing collection and choose one item to remove. This not only prevents unnecessary accumulation but also encourages intentional consumption. Applying this rule consistently ensures that your space remains balanced between what enters and what departs, creating a sustainable and clutter-free lifestyle.

The 90/90 Rule

The 90/90 rule is a simplistic principle for remaining clutter free. Basically, if an item hasn’t been used or worn in the last 90 days and doesn’t seem likely to be used in the next 90, it’s time to say goodbye. Applying this decluttering tip to almost all aspects of your life is easy (in theory) and incredibly beneficial.

For instance, say you decide to apply the 90/90 rule to your wardrobe. Simply, dive into your closet and identify pieces of clothing you haven’t worn in the past three months. If a garment hasn’t seen the light of day and lacks a foreseeable purpose in the coming season, consider letting it go. Extend this practice to other areas, like kitchen gadgets or home decor. The 90/90 rule encourages thoughtful evaluation, ensuring that your belongings align with your current needs and lifestyle, and prevents unnecessary accumulation over time.

Embrace Multifunctional Furniture

A multi-functional headboard in Frontier Tiny Homes' Felicity model offers a plethora of hidden storage!

In the context of tiny homes, you had to see this decluttering tip coming. Maximize smaller spaces by welcoming the versatility of multifunctional furniture. Invest in pieces that serve dual purposes to optimize both form and function.

Take the bed, for example – choose one with drawers underneath, or take Frontier Tiny Home’s headboard storage.. This transforms your sleeping space into additional storage, eliminating the need for bulky dressers or extra closets. The key is to select furniture that not only fulfills its primary role but also contributes to the overall organization and efficiency of your limited space.

Create Designated Spaces

Establishing designated spaces for your belongings is the cornerstone of maintaining order in a compact environment. I love these small baskets for our entryway. By assigning specific areas for different categories of items you can prevent clutter from spreading. Take your home office, for instance – design a dedicated workspace with organized shelves for supplies, a designated desk for your computer, and storage solutions to keep paperwork in check, or better yet, keep everything digital.

Extend this practice to every room by allocating specific spots for daily essentials. For example, create a designated area near the entrance for keys, wallets, and shoes. Utilize storage baskets or bins to keep books, toys, and other items neatly contained. Being organized not only enhances the visual appeal of your home but also makes it easier to maintain a clutter-free and efficient living environment.

Sentimental Items

Decluttering tips from the experts in tiny home living.

Managing sentimental items, is perhaps the most difficult of all. It involves carefully selecting and displaying pieces that evoke cherished memories without overwhelming your space. For example, photographs. Our decluttering tips encourage you to choose a few standout images and create a dedicated photo wall or place a select few strategically around the home. For sentimental objects like trinkets or souvenirs, consider arranging a curated display on a designated shelf, like these live edge floating shelves.

In the kitchen, limit sentimental items to those with practical use, such as a cherished mug or a family recipe book. Keep the focus on functionality while integrating meaningful touches. By integrating sentimental items purposefully into your daily life, you strike a harmonious balance between personalizing your home and maintaining a streamlined aesthetic in your tiny living space.

Donate or Sell Unwanted Items

Decluttering tips 101

Transform your life with these decluttering tips. Level up your efforts into an opportunity for generosity and charity by donating or selling items you no longer need. Begin by identifying items that are still in good condition but have outlived their purpose in your life. Clothing, furniture, or kitchenware are excellent candidates for donation.

Everything can be passed on to those who are in need and who will greatly appreciate them. By letting go of unused possessions, you not only free up space but also contribute to a culture of reuse and sustainability. The joy of decluttering becomes even more rewarding when it extends a helping hand to others in need.

Regular Maintenance

Experts weigh in on their top decluttering tips.

And, finally, sustain the essence of simplicity through regular and intentional maintenance. Every couple of months revisit these decluttering tips. Enter each room, evaluating items that may have crept back into your surroundings that don’t serve a purpose and/or don’t bring you great joy.

During these check-ins, pay attention to areas that might need a quick decluttering touch. Tidy up spaces that tend to accumulate miscellaneous items and reassess the functionality of your designated storage areas. Regular maintenance is an ongoing commitment to the principles of intentional living, ensuring that every item serves a purpose in your life.

Approach maintenance not as a chore but as a proactive measure to uphold the intentional choices you’ve made. This practice strengthens the foundation of your clutter-free lifestyle, preserving the simplicity and purpose embedded in your tiny living space.

Inspiration for Minimalism

As you journey through these decluttering tips and intentional living, it’s helpful to draw inspiration from the wisdom of those who have mastered the delicate balance between simplicity and hygge. These quotes from minimalist gurus, visionaries, and advocates of intentional living serve as guiding lights, offering profound insights into the transformative power of simply decluttering.

Quotes from Successful People

  1. Marie Kondo, the queen of decluttering tips, once said, “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” Embrace only what sparks joy and let go of the rest.
  2. Minimalism advocate Joshua Fields Millburn reminds us, “Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.” It’s all about prioritizing relationships over possessions.

Living Within Your Means

Frontier Tiny Homes, live within your means for a life of joy and wonder!

Financial guru Dave Ramsey emphasizes, “You must gain control over your money, or the lack of it will forever control you.” Tiny living isn’t just about a smaller space; it’s a lifestyle that enables financial freedom and complete liberation from the shackles of overconsumption. Cut unnecessary expenses, pay off debts, and build a life that aligns with your values.

Tips from Famous People:

  1. Steve Jobs, the visionary behind Apple, believed in simplicity. “That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
  2. Leonardo da Vinci once wisely said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” In a world bombarded with complexity, finding beauty in simplicity is a true art.

Embracing the Tiny Home Lifestyle

Gen Z is done with debt, they are the drivers of the tiny home movement!

The world is changing. Millennials and Gen Z are rewriting the rules of homeownership. They are opting for experiences over possessions, valuing the freedom to explore life unencumbered by hefty mortgages and oversized homes, valuing, instead, time to spend with loved ones. Tiny living is truly a rebellion against societal expectations and a celebration of what truly matters.

Taking to heart our decluttering tips, living within your means and writing your own American Dream is truly a mindset shift. It’s about choosing a life filled with purpose, experiences, and cherished moments with the people we love the most. You only get one life, you might as well live it on your own terms.

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