5 Steps to Simplifying and Downsizing

Tiny Transition and Downsizing starts on Sunday!

You know that downsizing will allow you to save more money, live the life you want to live, and have the time and financial freedom to do what you want to do.

Maybe you’ve tried to “get organized” and “de-clutter” before. It probably felt pretty good…at first.

But a few days later, your home looks the same as it did before. And the progress you’re making is slow-going. You’re stuck. You’re not sure why – because you’ve read the books and the blogs but nothing really works.

Well, today I’ve got five steps to help you let go.

And if you want to take it further and follow a step by step process and method (based on years of experience and working with hundreds of people to go through this transition), you can join the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course, taught by my friend Mariah.

Class starts on August 30th. You can register right here!

Let’s get right into it!

Step 1. Why are you simplifying?

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself WHY you’re simplifying your life and your stuff, and establish some real goals (physical, emotional) about what you hope to achieve. Do you want to travel more? Have a better marriage or family relationships? Find financial freedom and eliminate debt?

Whatever it may be for you (and it will be UNIQUE!) you need to know what it is before you start.

And then you need to write it down! This helps you make it REAL.

Step 2. Assess your Stuff

Once you’ve decided to simplify, you need to ask yourself a few simple questions”

“Does this bring me joy?”
“What do I want to keep?”
“Would I buy this again?”
“Would I wear it on a first date?”

One way to downsize is to ask yourself the question: “What should I keep?”.

It’s a more “additive” approach which is a little more fun than a “subtractive” approach which is asking the question “what should I get rid of”.

Imagine that you have a completely blank slate. You’re building a new life from the ground up and you only need to bring the things with you that you truly love. Isn’t that exciting?!

Step 3. Eliminate Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue is when you become overwhelmed with making hundreds of tiny decisions about meaningless stuff that you become too exhausted to make bigger, important decisions. This is the reason that many successful people wear the same thing every day – they have more important decisions to make than to figure out what to wear every day.

Having too much stuff leads to decision fatigue. And when you’re trying to downsize and simplify, deciding if every single item you own should stay or go can be exhausting.

Here’s what to do about it:

1. Have a simple outfit that you wear everyday. Eliminate the decisions around getting dressed, matching, all that stuff. I wear black jeans and a grey shirt. Easy.

2. Make a big batch of food in the crock pot at the beginning of the week, then eat the same thing for lunch every day. I HATE deciding what to cook. I have more important things to do. I make a big batch of something on Sunday and eat it the rest of the week.

Now you don’t have to worry about this daily details, so you can focus on better things.

Step 4. Simplifying is social.

Trying to downsize on your own, without support or help, makes an already difficult thing so much more difficult.

Shopping is a social activity. Consumption is social. So why can’t we downsize in a social setting?

You need a community, a few friends, a support system. Without it, you’ll get so frustrated and bogged down. Most people quit at some place during their journey because without a support system, you have no one to cheer you on when you’re in the thick of it. Your house looks worse than it did before and you need to ask a friend over to help you. To tell you what clothes to get rid of.

I like the idea of starting a “consumers anonymous” monthly group that gets together and talks about simply living.

You can also join Tiny Transition and Downsizing where we have an incredible supportive group of people to cheer you on, lift you up, and answer all of your questions.

Not sure what to keep? Post a picture and the group will tell you.

Struggling to get rid of something you know you don’t want? Come into the forum and get the perspective of all of your peers.

Step 4: Remember that this is a PROCESS, not an EVENT.

8 weeks is just a start. You can make amazing progress in 8 weeks – but the main thing to remember is that simplifying becomes a new way of life. It’s a HABIT, it requires maintenance and mindfulness.

Some people take Tiny Transition and Downsizing for a year, making progress at their own pace. Some people start the course and have gotten rid of 90% of their belongings and moved into their tiny house in 7 weeks!

Everyone is different.

There is no “one” way to do this process. Everyone goes at their own pace, and everyone is in a different situation. It took me 2 years of downsizing actively to get to the point where I was happy with my stuff and my life.

Don’t get frustrated with yourself or your progress. It takes a long time. You spent years and years accumulating stuff, it’s not going to disappear overnight. Even just starting this process is more than what 99% of people attempt to do. Most people just stay in the sleep – work – buy crap – die cycle. You’re awesome for thinking about making a big change.

Mariah 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 August 30th. Register now to save your spot in the class. Mariah is looking forward to welcoming new members into the community, and supporting you on this journey!


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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Jen - August 28, 2015 Reply

At the thought of moving across the country – .66/lb.
First it was what would I miss if I had a fire.
Then it became if I was starting over, what would I want to greet me when I came home.
In blocks and when it started to get confusing – break then back.
Having someone take it away right away helped lots.

Marji - August 28, 2015 Reply

I won’t be able to take the course this time around, but am wondering if you know when you’ll be offering it again so I can plan ahead? We are considering moving into cohousing (a much smaller place) and need to get to work on this soon! Thanks.

Anna - August 28, 2015 Reply

It’s taken me over 30 years to downsize and eliminate 90% of my possessions. Many self-help books and articles later and many discussion with friends and family, I’ve gotten to the point where I know what I want and why. Your e-course is right on time for some people I know who would truly benefit; those who want to downsize but need the guidance that took me over 30 years to find 🙂

Lori Griswold - August 28, 2015 Reply

Could you post a schedule of the times when you will be teaching your course? I tend to like to plan out my activities way in advance so as not to be too involved in other things when something, such as your course, comes along. I cannot take your course this time around and was wondering when the next one(s) will be offered.


Allan Lynch - August 29, 2015 Reply

Fro me, the weakness in much of what I read on and from the tiny house movement is the absence of sentimentality. I realize it’s old-fashioned and bucks the trend to monastic-like surroundings, but no one seems to have family heirlooms or pieces that bring joy, pride and a sense of self because of who owned and used them before us. Having such items isn’t about consumption, it’s about soul. I wonder if the movement is to grow if this needs to be addressed? Or perhaps that lack of connection is a cultural difference?

    Melanie Dawson - September 4, 2015 Reply

    Really good point and something I always get stuck on!

Di - November 14, 2015 Reply

Basically, keep at least one of everything. A one-week wardrobe, one set of kitchenware, one set of linens and a daybed may be sufficient. Anything more must be pretty special or very necessary.

Trade at thrift stores for what you really need.

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