Are You Organized?

Going Tiny required a certain amount of organization to accomplish. . .okay it required a lot! During my journey, I realized that in some ways I had no idea how to get started on downsizing. . .and I am a professional organizer!

The good news is after I stopped panicking, which I assure you I did, I leveraged my experience as an organizer to make the transition from 1,800 square feet to just over 200 square feet. The good news is the steps I took to downsize can be applied to almost any project. Here’s what worked for me.

Step 1: I looked at the transition as a series of phases.

Phase 1: Identify what I wanted in my Tiny House to make it both functional and comfortable
Phase 2: Figure out what to keep and what to get rid of in terms of my possessions
Phase 3: Downsize my stuff
Phase 4: Move in and get settled!

(I will go into a lot more detail for each of the phases later, so stay tuned!)

Step 2: Once I had broken the project down into phases I identified the steps I needed to take to complete each phase.

Writing down the steps I needed to take to complete each phase made the project much less overwhelming. Even though these lists were long, they made the overall project seem much more achievable because they gave me small parts to focus on and a clear idea of where I needed to go.

Step 3: I was deliberate in scheduling time each day to complete the project.

It is often easy to come up with the “what we need to do” list, but much harder to actually take action. By committing just a little time each day to work on a project (10-15 minutes a day was a good start for me), I made it easier to focus on what needed to get done without getting “paralyzed” by my lists. This daily progress also helped me build momentum that made the whole process more fun.

Step 4: I celebrated my progress!

I celebrated with phone calls to my family to tell them about what I accomplished, I bought my favorite ice cream as a treat and a few times I just took time away from the transition. It’s often easy to get so focused on all the things we have left to do that we forget to enjoy the progress we are making as we go. So take time to celebrate.

These were the 4 most important steps I took to get organized enough to go Tiny. So what’s your next project?

Share your favorite tips for getting organized enough to complete a big project.


2 thoughts on “Are You Organized?

  1. We’re enjoying your blog! Thanks 🙂

    We have been in the process of downsizing/rightsizing for several years now. Sounds strange that it’s taken that long, but to make a long story shortish, when we sold our home years ago we were overwhelmed with how much stuff we had to move to a rental home 30 minutes away (we went the DIY U-Haul route). We knew the rental house was a temporary spot so we were determined to get rid of things before our next move. We didn’t have a plan, other than doing the “give away/sell/throw away” routine and forcing ourselves to part with things that we hadn’t touched in a year. We were pretty happy with the results but when we moved into an apartment a year later, we still had too much stuff, and some of our furniture was way too bulky for small apartment living. We did another round of “give away/sell/throw away,” plus some “replace with smaller items.” Again, we were pretty happy with the results, and it was easier this time because our mindset had changed realizing that we didn’t miss the things we had gotten rid of the previously. In fact, it gave us a great sense of freedom. Then we found out about tiny living. With our new goal of moving into a tiny house or very small home, we are beginning round three, or maybe four.

    Okay, so this wasn’t so shortish! Anyway, my takeaway from this is that if you don’t have to downsize quickly, try doing it in phases (maybe try months, instead of years!). The first time can be difficult but each time you do it, the sense of freedom and happiness will spur you on to get rid of more. You’ll let go of that stuff, and you won’t miss it. And if you think you will, take a photo of it!

    Oh, and I liked your tip in Step 3. Taking a little bit of time each day (or almost each day) is a great idea!


    • Thanks for sharing your story! I think people forget that downsizing takes time and work, but at the same time is very rewarding. I am actually in the process of creating an e-course on this very subject.

      I love your idea of taking pictures! I found it to be incredibly useful to capture memories. I took pictures of all of my “race shirts” from various triathlons and 5k’s. It helped me hold onto the memory and emotion associated with the event without holding on to extra stuff. Keep me posted on your tiny house journey!


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