Downsizing is a Process, Not an Event

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January 1, 2015

Downsizing is a Process, Not an Event

Mariah Coz

In the past year I’ve done a lot of experimentation with living with very few physical things. My journey into a small space looked a lot like this: (Someday I’ll have a cool illustration of this!)

  1. 1200 square feet of space stuffed to the brim with clutter.
  2. 112 square feet – my vintage trailer home has perfect storage and plenty of space for two, but I got rid of 90% of my stuff to fit into it.
  3. 35 square feet – my partner and I lived in our Honda Element (converted into a micro-camper) for 6 months in the past year while we traveled. All of our stuff fit under the sleeping platform, in bags, or over our heads strapped up to the ceiling.
  4. One medium sized bag – Since October I’ve been living out of just one bag, a duffel bag, while we live in a client’s home that we are renovating and restoring this winter.

So that’s 1200 square feet -> 112 square feet -> 35 square feet -> appx. 6 cubic feet of space for my stuff.

Needless to say, I’ve had quite a bit of experience with downsizing. My stuff no longer owns me, instead I have control over what physical items affect my day to day life.

I think my progression perfectly exemplifies the idea that downsizing is a process, “not an event”, as one of my students in the Tiny Transition and Downsizing e-Course has said. It has to happen in steps – not all at once. If you try to do too much at once, you’ll get frustrated, fed up, and overwhelmed. You’ll feel defeated. That’s why I designed the Tiny Transition course to give you step-by-step instructions on where and how to start, as well as how to fundamentally change your mindset and shift your relationship with stuff. The next session starts on January 4th, and you can learn more and register here.

Another thing I’ve learned after downsizing four major times in the past few years is that it never gets less scary, until you take the leap. I was freaking terrified of moving into the COMET Camper, my 112 square foot vintage trailer home. I played it cool of course, but I secretly wondered if I could do it. How would it feel? Would my partner and I get really frustrated with each other? Will I miss my stuff?

But when I actually made the transition, all of my worries and anxieties fell away. It only felt GOOD. I felt FREE and CONTENT for the first time, in this very basic and primal way. I’ve been following that feeling for years now, making decisions based on what makes me feel free, uncluttered, and relaxed. Having less stuff, spending time being creative, and meeting new people are all things that bring me happiness now that “stuff” doesn’t factor into how I operate.

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When we decided to move into the Honda Element for 6 months, I was again really nervous about the transition. I was anxious because unlike the COMET Camper, which has a composting toilet, the Element had no toilet. I thought (again) that my partner Matt and I would go crazy. I overpacked because I was so nervous – somehow I figured that bringing more sweaters would insulate me from anything bad or unexpected happening on our travels.

But it turns out, we LOVE living in that tiny little toaster of a car. It’s perfect for us. We love the ease of mobility, the good gas mileage, and the “just get up and ADVENTURE” that happens every day that we’re on the road.

The point is, even though I know more about downsizing than most, even I was sacred, nervous, and unsure at first. I didn’t have a community of supporters when I started this journey. I had to convince my partner that it wasn’t crazy or totally out of our reach. I had no guidance, or re-assurance. But in the end it was the BEST decision I have ever, ever made.

People who have let go of their stuff (and more than just the physical stuff: the emotional stuff, the real reasons behind the “stuff”, and the desire to have more and more) understand what I’m talking about. Before you take the leap it seems unattainable to be tiny (or even just small, clear, and de-cluttered). But it’s not a far-off dream. If you like to feel free, un-cluttered, stress-free, and lighter – it just takes some hard work and a little nudge and accountability.

I created the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course to give you the tools you need to let go of your stuff, let go of your emotional baggage and digital clutter, and create a new life with new habits and more happiness.

When you sign up for the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course, you get:

  • 8 weeks of downsizing lessons and challenges (it’s like Downsizing bootcamp!)
  • LIFETIME access to the private class forum
  • Accountability, support, motivation and camaraderie from me and your classmates
  • The tools you need to simplify your home, mind, and LIFE starting right now.

We go through everything from the WHY you have so much stuff and why it’s hard to downsize, HOW to happily get rid of your physical clutter and emotional baggage, how to downsize your expenses and digital life and more. All within a supportive group of other people on the same journey towards simplicity.

During the 8 weeks of the E-Course you will:

  • Clear your space and mind of clutter, making room for what’s important to you
  • Change your entire mindset and outlook on “stuff”, finally finding peace and focus
  • Meet a group of soon-to-be lifelong friends who share your outlook and values and are on your same path towards simple living

Get the motivation and support you need to make major life-changes for the better
Make real, tangible steps to getting into a tinier, happier life
The next session of Tiny Transition and Downsizing begins on January 4th. Register now to save your spot in the class. I hope to see you there, and I look forward to supporting you on this journey!

Register Here!

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