Why The Tiny House Movement Has Me Wanting To Purge Deeper


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Lately I just can’t wait for Friday night to arrive! As soon as the house is tidied up for the day I hit the couch with the iPad set up on a stand in front of me and my knitting needles in my hands.

Other nights I skip the couch and head straight to bed where I prop up the iPad and snuggle deep under the covers–to watch episode after episode of Tiny House Nation & Tiny House Property Hunters on the FYI app.

Tiny House Living shows are altering my thoughts on possessions and clutter in a good way.

Yes, I am one of those people who is caught up in the Tiny House craze and it has me wanting to purge my home of possessions, even more than I already have during this year of decluttering an area of my home each and every week.

Why The Tiny House Movement Has Me Wanting To Purge Deeper

The Movement Shows It Is Possible To Live With Less

In the show Tiny House Nation the show host always visits the couple who they are building the tiny house for and laments over all the stuff they own and starts right away encouraging them to scale down their possessions.

Some soon to be tiny house owners have just a few things to get rid of, others have rooms and rooms of stuff to purge.

Yet at the end of the show when the TV crew visits them after 30 days of living in their new tiny home few seem to miss any of the possessions they donated, sold or threw away so that they could fit in such a tiny space.

In fact, at the end of more than a handful of tiny house living shows I hear the new house owners say, ” You won’t believe how much more stuff we have tossed since moving in,” but in the beginning of the episode they didn’t know how they were going to live with less.

The Movement Stresses Relationship Building Over Empire Building

When watching Tiny House Property Hunters I hear the house hunters say again and again that they are choosing a tiny home because it gives them more hours to be with those they love.

A tiny home comes with either a smaller mortgage or no mortgage, which means less hours need to be worked to pay it–and a tiny house is less square feet to maintain. Less maintenance frees up work hours.  Less square feet also means you have less room for possessions and therefore own less and spend less time cleaning, sorting, and maintaining your possessions.

All these things give you more time to spend building memories with those you love.

 Why These 2 Elements Of Tiny House Living Have Awakened A Desire In Me To Purge Deeper

I thought after 52 weeks of decluttering an area a week I would feel like I had truly simplified my possessions as much as possible. But after starting my tiny house TV show obsession I am looking around my home going, “We still have way too much.”

If a 300 square foot home can appear homey and spacious, surly my 2000 square foot home can too! And that has been my goal all along–to have a home that has a spacious feeling. But even after almost 52 weeks of decluttering, I have not yet reached my goal.

We still have things in boxes on the floor because they don’t have homes. I need to purge the cabinets we have deeper so I can give everything a home.

More important than a light and airy home environment though is my desire for more time to spend with loved ones.

I want to spend less time moving junk and more time outside moving with the ones I love (running, biking, kayaking, rollerblading, exploring, camping). I want to spend less time maintaining items and more time maintaining strong relationships  with those I love, as well as building new ones.

Which is why next year I am going to do another decluttering series to help me get rid of even more possessions. I am not giving out all the details yet, but let me tell you this series is going to challenge me to purge deep.

Have you become obsessed with tiny house living too? Is it changing your thoughts on how many possessions you truly need? Let me know in the comments below.

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Toss Clutter: Gain Time & Cash

free 2 page printable checklist to help you have your best yard saleSimplifying your home requires letting go of your possessions. Do it in a weekend with this helpful guide that will take you room by room through your house pointing out simple nobrainer items that you can add to your yard sale pile. Toss Clutter: Gain Time & Cash!


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  1. I lived in a 800 square foot house with a toddler and a husband and would not go back. I am all for living with less but I get claustrophobic thinking of living in 300 square feet. Also I think 40K for 300 square feet is pretty pricey. You can go for it though! I’ll keep reading!

    • Oh I don’t want to live in a tiny home–as I said in my post I just want my 2000 square foot home to look as uncluttered as the Tiny Homes in the show do. I also want to no longer be taking time to dust and clean possessions I don’t even use. Sometimes however I think they would make neat vacation homes (not sure that will ever work in our budget though, but one can dream). I too think they are over priced RVs with slide-outs secondhand are cheaper and somewhat larger –although not as homey. Plus I bought my 2000 square foot home for just $10,000 and made it livable for around 35,000 in renovations. So my home cost me as much as a Tiny House but I have ten times the space almost.

      • Ooops didn’t read carefully. Vacationing in a tiny house would be very interesting. have you read The Life changing Magic of tidying up? It would be interesting to hear what you think about that book.

        • That book (The Life Changing Magic Of Tidy Up) is on my want to read list. I need to go and see if our library has it. I am a bit worried though that I won’t like a lot of the book –I just can’t see myself thanking my socks! However the decluttering tips inside seem to really make people purge deep at least from what I have seen on Instagram.

  2. I would love to purge everything and get a tiny house. aper, more comfortable, and forces family togetherness (which I love).

    • Curious—as I am with everything tiny house lately—how small would you go? I think the 300 square feet ones could would for an individual or a married couple without kids, but I can’t imagine more people than that living comfortable in one that small. However I have watched this show called Tiny House hunting where families look at permanent small residences (mostly lofts and older cottages) that are around 500 to 600 square feet with usually a bedroom or two—and then I think perhaps it would work with a child or two.

  3. Have you discovered The Assortment Blog? It is about a family of five living in 650 square feet – includes two teenage boys!

    We live comfortably in 768 square feet. I love using a very small amount of oil in the winter to heat the house. It does require everything having a place, which we have not yet mastered. The only downside is when we want to entertain several people – we end up waiting for warm weather and entertain outside.

    • I haven’t heard of that blog I will have to check it out. Yes how to fellowship with others inside your home is something that often goes through my head when I watch Tiny House Living shows. Our family lives in the mid-west so it is not nice enough to entertain outside at least 5 to 6 months of the year. I guess you just end up meeting people out somewhere. Heating and cooling costs I am sure would be much more affordable.

  4. I think I’m pretty good at regular purging. A couple of times a year I go through all the kids clothes, books and toys and see what we can hand down to family, donate or throw away. What I’m useless at, is throwing away sentimental things, or anything that will/could be useful in the future.

    While the majority of my 1500 square foot house is largely uncluttered, our spare/study/craft/junk room is another story. This is where everything that nobody wants to put away, gets dumped. And I’m one of the worst offenders, if I had a dollar for every time I told the kids to “just put it on my desk” … needless to say, my desk is unrecognisable!

    • For us it is our attic. We don’t have a garage so that just makes the piles up there even worse! We also have a small cubby area off the hallway that gets pretty bad.

  5. Nicole Larkman says:

    I have just finished paying off the mortgage on a house that I sold for a loss two years ago. Before this, I thought that I would just be paying money out and have to work until I died! However, I did a bit of financial calculating and realized that if I just kept up “payments”, I could eventually buy a small piece of property and a small house…cash! About ten years down the road, but definitely doable! I love the idea of having SPACE, even when there is physically less of it in the home. We presently have a 4 bedroom, two-story home with full basement and every inch is full with STUFF. I feel suffocated by it all and even though we have donated tons, had many yard sales and sent van loads to auction, there is still so much stuff in the house. I would love to feel free of it all. Keep up the good work and I will do the same!

  6. I’ve been obsessed with reducing clutter since the first time I laid eyes on a tiny house about 15 years ago, and my dream is to build an off-grid tiny house in northeastern New Mexico, so I’m CONSTANTLY purging stuff toward that goal. Something I’ve observed: Decluttering can shift a mental block. Example: I haven’t done a good job of putting down roots in my current town, where I’ve lived for three years. This week, I steamed my office carpet, and as I was putting the furniture back, I realized if I took my computer monitor off the wall where I’d mounted it, I could put a folding table there, tuck my small dogs’ crates underneath, and buy myself a nice work area without sacrificing any floor space. The only catch: To make the room look nice, I needed to arrange my desk so it faced my husband’s instead of putting them on opposite walls. This meant I had nowhere to put my big monitor — which I realized I really need only a couple of times a year, to lay out a newsletter for an organization I joined 11 years ago in a town 500 miles away. That and the impending demise of my aging Macbook inspired me to email the organization president and tell her the next issue would be my last. Two days later, I got a call from someone with a lead on a couple of very interesting projects that might help me feel more invested in my current community. I didn’t just unload an item I no longer needed; I unloaded a project I no longer needed, and in the process, opened up room in my life for one I did.

    • Victoria says:

      This is awesome. Good luck on your new project in your current community.

      • Thanks. And good luck on your decluttering efforts. Getting rid of stuff always gives me a huge psychological lift — especially when it leaves me with another uncluttered surface or a neatly organized space that once looked haphazard.

  7. kelly restivo says:

    It took me about 5 yrs. and moving,haha. But in the end I did get rid of ton’s of STUFF 🙂 I am so much happier 🙂 Now I have all the thing’s I really love and have meaning. I do not buy new junk unless replacing. Only once in a while will I have remorse but not very long.

    • Victoria says:

      I am still working on stuff removal but it slowly I am owning less and less and loving the space and time it frees up.

  8. My decluttering started as I read the book “Clutter’s Last Stand,” written by cleaning expert Don Aslett (writtten in the late 1980’s, but is still in print). Everything he said made so much sense, and I was trapped by a mountain of “stuff.” I not only cleared out my own junk–lots, but not all–but also got rid of a lot of trash my second husband had; he was a hoarder, and threw literally nothing away, including fast good wrappers and containers. While our marriage only lasted one month, my new habit of purging became deeply ingrained.

    Now I live in a rented room while I’m waiting to move several hundred miles south to get out of winter/snow country. The room I live in is only 99 square feet, and I thought I had gotten rid of plenty after an eight month bout of homelessness two years ago, but recently realized I still had far too much meaningless stuff hanging around, so I just completed another major purge, and now am down to only what I need (art supplies and clothes, mostly).

    I’d love to live in an apartment as small as 300 square feet, and have done it in the past. It’s quite awesome to have that small, cozy space to occupy, and not have to tromp from room to room to room to clean house. Yes, I hope to do it again, I plan to do it in Kansas, and now I can move all but one item all by myself–so that one item may just have to be sold and let someone else enjoy it.

    • Victoria says:

      I wish you the best with your travels. I LOVE Don Aslett’s book “Clutter’s Last Stand” and yes you can still grab a copy on Amazon (here is the link for anyone who reads this and wants a copy http://amzn.to/1S6a6K7 ) . That is one book I won’t part with. Whenever I feel piles forming I read a few chapters and get so motivated I have to put the book down and declutter.

  9. We moved from our 2000 square foot home to an apartment (temporarily, to be able to pay cash for our son’s college …just the bachelor’s..the rest he has to take out loans for). Anyhow, we have done the big purge and it is great. That being said, it wasn’t just one purge…it was multiple times over the last few years and then continuing to engage in could purging habits. Ian’s childhood is down to four half-size tubs- the kind that are as wide as storage tubs, but half the height. Alan and I have one tub together of sentimental high school/school things (we each kept our kindergarten annual and our senior annual..no reason to pass 26 school annuals to my son…that’s not a wanted inheritance) We emptied a 12 x 12 storage unit. We are living spacious..well, maybe not spacious, but cozy and neat in a 1000 square foot apartment. We do not plan to acquire anything else because when we get our 1300 square foot cabin built (on a two-acre wooded lot I inherited) we want to feel like we have a spacious, lovely home. It feels so so good, but it does hurt to de-clutter and purge the way we have, but then you forget what you purged for the most part and then you feel very very good!

    • I love the sound of the cabin in the woods! That will make decluttering even more valuable to you I am sure.

  10. sorry for the mispells..typing too fast!

  11. Sue Small says:

    I LOVE the photo of the house you used for your title page!! Can you provide more info as to where you found it, who designed it, etc.? Thanks!

    • I can’t be much help but to say that it was a stock photo that was free for commercial use. I think I found it on Pixabay–although I use several free photo sites so I could be wrong.

  12. I too have been poring over as many tiny home sites as I can, found a way to watch the mentioned Tiny House Nation via the Web. I am even designing one as part of my Renewable Energy Course – one that uses passive and active solar, though probably wind as well. I started reading Unstuffed by Ruth Soukop. I also have Crystals Make over your Morning & Evening courses as I want to unstuffed life and direct it to things I want to spend time on.. Faith & Family.

    • Victoria says:

      Wow designing your own Tiny Home! That sounds awesome. I haven’t read Unstuffed yet but it is on my to read list.

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