Downsizing Without Regrets

Downsizing Without Regrets

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A tiny sampling of the thousands of pounds of material possessions we got rid of early on

Since committing to downsizing and creating the tiny house lifestyle in 2011, we have gotten rid of couches, tables, desks, beds, bedding, towels, kitchen gadgets galore, enough clothes to fill a small clothing boutique, a couple hundred books, tons of sports gear, memorabilia, photos, negatives, slides, old letters, grade school report cards, enough musical instruments to start a full band, boxes of art supplies, crafts, scraps of fabric and rolls of yarn, a couple dozen boxes of old business files, toys, DVDs and VHS tapes, appliances, old spices and cooking ingredients, ridiculous amounts of electronics/cameras/cables, puzzles and board games, toiletries, and the list goes on and on. We are talking about thousands upon thousands of pounds of material possessions. And in all of that thinning out and purging, I can honestly say this: I do not have a single regret of getting rid of ANY of it.

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A portion of the dozens of audio cassettes we had carried around since our early teenage years

Our initial shedding of material possessions was so easy it shocked us. We just knew with ultimate clarity what we actually needed in order to be happy and what was frivolous (we can thank our five months of living in Baja out of a pop up tent trailer for that perspective). The one struggle I had though was around my heirlooms, letters, thousands of photographs, boxes of home movies, etc. What I eventually came to terms with was that I don’t need 63 photos of that family vacation to the Bahamas. Rather, my favorite ten tell the story just as well. Further, I don’t need every single letter written by every single person. Really, a couple dozen tell the story just as beautifully.

Despite some pretty drastic pruning of heirlooms allowing me to whittle six keepsake boxes to one, in the end, I still was left with a pretty decently sized box that I didn’t want to find a permanent home for. Fortunately, digitization technology has come SUCH a long way and become so affordable that it enabled me to create digital versions of nearly everything. For the past month or so I have been on a mission: I have individually scanned well over 2,000 photos, 1,000 negatives and slides, digitized about 20 audio cassettes, scanned a few dozen of my favorite letters, and am in process of digitizing my home videos.

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A beloved photo of my great-grandfather and a friend aboard a cruise in Germany

What matters in life to me are not the material possessions but the relationships that I hold with my loved ones. Being able to keep photos, letters, videos and audio recordings of things I’ve experienced with those people is important to me. Fortunately I know that I have this sentimental side and that just ridding myself of that last box in our thinning out process would have been something I would likely have regretted for the rest of my life. The good news is that for even the most nostalgic of us, the tiny house dream is still a possibility. We can have our cake and eat it too! With digitization, boxes upon boxes can be trimmed down to nil, but the memories can stay alive.

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47 Responses to Downsizing Without Regrets

  1. Toni June 21, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    Yes Gabriella, i know just how you feel because 3 months ago I downsized from a 2 family home to a smaller apartment and I got rid of and still have some to get rid of stuff, stuff, stuff!!! It’s a liberating feeling and you even feel lighter. My aim is to move to a trailer, an RV so I still have lots of selling and giving away to do. I want to start a tiny home movement in Puerto Rico and hope to get started soon. Thanks for your experience.

    • Gabriella June 22, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

      Wonderful to hear you are wanting to start a movement in Puerto Rico…sometimes it takes only 1 person!! πŸ™‚

      • carley July 19, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

        Gabriella,
        What are some of your tips for digitalizing old home videos. I have a whole bunch of VHS home videos as well as old 8mm camcorder videos that I am wanting to put on my external drive. I know if I were to bring it somewhere to get it done it is highly expensive. Any other tips you might have for me?

        Thanks for the help!
        – Carley J

        • Ryan August 6, 2015 at 9:45 am #

          I’ve done quite a few transfers for a bunch of family members and the biggest hurdle is if you still have or can borrower a camera or tape player that fits your tapes. But if you have that you just need the software and a cable to connect it to your computer. I used StarTech SVID2USB2 USB S-Video and Composite Video Capture Cable,from amazon.

          http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O5RIWO?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

          You just start the software recording then start the tape playing when the tape finishes stop the software and start it over for the next. I recommend not doing anything else on the computer while its recording to get the best video possible. You can still go back and edit them but that takes a lot more time.

  2. kath June 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    I am in the midst of both downsizing and moving across the country. It is truly amazing how little we need!
    What doesn’t go in an 8×8 shipping container (less than half full) will go in my truck and mini travel trailer!!

    • Gabriella June 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

      Good for you!!! It blows me away how little people need in order to have their needs met and to feel fulfilled

  3. Karen B June 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Familysearch.org is a great site to house your ancestor’s special memories, documents and photo’s. It is a free site and has a great format to share stories, photo’s and old documents i.e. death cert’s, naturalization papers etc. All living persons info is hidden from public view. Any of your extended family can add their photos and memories or just read and view what you upload and it will be stored and accessible FOREVER. I love it. I am the family heirloom, memory keeper and it is my goal to upload 5-8 photos of my ancestors along with any memories and documents that would help tell their story. Makes it much easier to throw away the 100 really bad photos of my great-grandma and share the 8-10 great photos that represent her life.

    • Gabriella June 22, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

      Thank you!! I really appreciate this info Karen B. We are a family of 6 and the children of a professional fashion photographer, so between us all, there are tons of photos. This will be a really nice place to keep that all archived.

  4. Roderick June 22, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

    I live in a 9’x10′ room with access to bathroom, laundry and kitchen – applying the 80%-20% rule I actually use 3’x7′ for sleeping and 3’x4′(18″ desk top + 20″ for chair) the rest is storage for stuff I seldom to never use – When we get a community established the community library will take care of all my books and allow me and others to use them. So I guess I use about 33% of my 9×10 17% of that for sleeping c.8 hours and 17% when i’m at home for designing writing etc. Making a decision to get rid of things is the only barrier – once the decision is made – things go – selling was often frustrating as I had no need for thre things but could not get rid of them – giving stuff away is immediate to almost immediate and very refreshing. The simplicity adds to my life and I don’t miss anything that I got rid of. I semi permanently lent all my tools but 6 and for building my compact house on wheels will probably need only a couple of extra tools for a few hours – looking forward to going back to a new way of building after 42 years in the building trade – helping to construct communities. Going small got me to work on the bigger building projects. Also reading and viewing vids has taught me so much through other peoples’ THOW experiences – One comment from a person when asked whether things were more difficult said something like – “I just have two rooms now – the inside and the outside” I remember that every day – where I live is important in a totally different way – another aspect of becoming intentional rather than relying on what may have been fashionable for a few years or a few hundred years. Thanks to everyone in these communities for their past and future experiences that will impact on my life.

    • Gabriella June 22, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

      Thank you for the thoughtful response Roderick…I think β€œI just have two rooms now – the inside and the outside” will stick with me too. Congrats on finding your own way and not doing it the way that most of the world has told you you should

    • poppy June 22, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

      I am in the process of planning a tiny house community in Ky in a wonderful spot. But I still am trying to part with furniture school papers and books. Some think Denver. I will be 58 soon the plans are a waste of my time but you have to plan.

  5. Kathy June 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

    Hi Gabriella,
    Would you mind sharing what tool(s) you used for scanning your photos? I’ve been able to downsize a ton of stuff but I still have hundreds of photos remaining in large plastic tubs and it’s driving me crazy!
    Thank you.

    • Gabriella June 22, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

      I am going to do a whole article about it and potentially short free video too! I can’t tell you how impressed I have been by all the digitization tools I’ve picked up!

  6. Frank June 22, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    I found that moving across country this year really made downsizing easy. When everything you ship has to be valuable enough to pay for weight/space of shipping, it makes it a lot easier to decide what you NEED and what you can do without.

    • Gabriella June 22, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

      Very true!! Any regrets from any of the things you got rid of Frank?

  7. Laura June 22, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    Hi, Gabriella, thanks for a great post! It’s funny, when I moved to my current home I had no office furniture, and so I have boxes and boxes of things that never got unpacked in my office. And mostly I don’t miss them in the least.

    My big struggle will be my books. I read and reread my books, and many are out of print. I gave away some the move before this, and I cried. I still miss many of them.

    • Gabriella June 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

      Books ARE tough. I hear you. Though I will say this (and I had a couple hundred books before we were done downsizing, many from my childhood, teenage years given to me by my now deceased father): once it became more important to me to live in a tiny house than it was to hang on to my books, it became easy to give them away. I ended up giving away almost all of them and kids/teens were allowed to pick any book they wanted and to take as many as they wanted. The looks of happiness and appreciation in their faces took away any shred of doubt I had during that process. Now I buy everything for our iPad and you know what, I am having just as positive experience reading them as they I did ‘real’ books. But that was just my process. In all of this, I think it’s vitally important that people be really honest with themselves and if those books are that important to you, you will find a way to bring them into your tiny house lifestyle

  8. Shaun Vavra June 23, 2015 at 3:50 am #

    There is also another benefit from living small and that is on the envionment. If you pay attention to what the scientists are saying, we have to change the way we live.

  9. Chris Greten June 23, 2015 at 3:55 am #

    Thank you so much you are such an inspiration. We are dreaming off downsizing to a tiny house in 5 years. I have scanned with my scansnap about 15 large boxes of papers and still have lots more to go. Thanks so much for ally our advice. This is so freeing.

    • Gabriella July 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Awesome Chris! One thing that amazed me was really how little time it took for me to convert everything to digital. In my mind, I was giving myself 1 year to get it all done bc I had so much of everything (VHS, audio cassettes, photos, letters, etc.). In reality it only took me about 3-4 weeks working about an hour a day on average…maybe a bit less? Plus, it was really fun to go down memory lane like that. Now that we are totally paper free and digitized, it only takes about 1 hour per month to scan all of our receipts and documents that we put in a small folder.

  10. Kelli June 23, 2015 at 7:18 am #

    Gabriella, what a well timed article. I’m in the process of letting things go. The hardest by far is the first thing on your list. A couch. I love my Zebra print couch, but it won’t fit in the up coming tiny home. I want to use your house design and I’ve considered modifying to fit the couch. This last weekend, I decided to let the couch go. To my daughter, mind you, so not too far, but still the process of letting go can be a real challenge. I actually cried when the decision swept over me. Thank you for this blog and your confirmation that I’m on the right path. Now lets talk about your house plans….

    • Gabriella July 3, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

      Hard to digitize or shrink a couch Kelli! πŸ™‚ How are you feeling now that it’s been a few days since the decision?

      • Kelli July 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

        I’m still a little shaky on my decision to be honest Gabriella but the exercise of mentally letting things go is good for the soul. Logically I know I can live without the dang couch! It’s this strange emotional attachment to stuff that I find disturbing. I think we (especially North Americans) believe that stuff is who we are. Its good for the soul to realize we are so much more. This is what I love about this tiny living concept. We don’t need things to feel complete.

        • Gabriella July 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

          Kelli, I really appreciate your honesty about your process because it will allow you to go through it all with authenticity which is the best medicine for the soul, always. It’s easy for people to get on the downsizing bandwagon and get rid of everything and then not want to look at what comes up for them emotionally (especially since downsizing is now ‘in’). There are so many amazing potentials for inner discovery in this process and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the best part!! One thing I found in our process is that the more that I did it (shedding material belongings), the easier it got. The other day Andrew and I were talking about what we should take out of hOMe in case of a fire and I was surprised that I only had 2 things on my list; my laptop and my hard drive. Now that all of our photos are digitized, everything else can go away if that’s the way of it. In the past, there were a lot more things on my list.

        • Niki August 30, 2015 at 4:32 am #

          Kelli, I bet you can find some awesome fabric and have a smaller version of your beloved couch made for your tiny house. I know it won’t be quite the same, but it might feel good to have a reproduction.

  11. Michelle June 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    I love the tiny home movement and have a secret Pinterest board ‘Tiny House Love’ so I don’t spam my friends when there’s a frenzy of pinning on it! I hope that after the children have left home we may have one for our very own…or maybe I’ll just get one for my own retreat πŸ™‚ I like minimalism and having spaces junk free, so I struggle with my husband’s side of the bedroom! I enjoy reading your articles and the comments from others; you have all inspired me today to pack the car with unnecessary articles for good will xx

  12. dea June 30, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    I have been enjoying the journey to downsize very much…to start it, I looked back at my whole life and when I was the happiest. I was not shocked nor amazed, when I found it was when all of my belongings could fit in a duffle and my car (lot of travel and moving) I always packed light… It wasn’t until I had children and been in the same large house for 12 years that I aquired “stuff” and the reality was that most wasn’t mine nor by choice. It is amazing going through it all looking and saying I never bought this, oh yeah that was aunt so-n-so’s etc…the things that gravitate to your home from relatives borrowing space and not taking it home etc.. well, wow is what I gotta say there it is the quickest way to shed 20% if its not yours toss it in the piles DONATE, GARAGE SALE, GARBAGE (do everyone else a favor also if things aren’t reuseable, do toss it (out) lol…I’m waiting for the rains to clear…my place is going to give walmart a run for $ that week. the proceeds go to my kids college funds (great use!)

    • Gabriella July 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      That’s awesome Dea! I think that’s a great policy…and besides, if people really wanted whatever they had left behind, they wouldn’t have left it there to start with!

  13. Donna K. July 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

    Hi Gabriella,

    Thanks so much for this article. I’m at the early stages of “Kondo-ing” (based on a book by Marie Kondo (I think that’s her name) about the Japenese Art of tidying up) and it has been so freeing to let go of so many things I thought I couldn’t live without. It has given me great joy to give things to people who will use them. I hope to one day live in a tiny home but my husband isn’t quite on board yet. He has started “Kondo-ing” and is getting into it so we’ll see. I’m going to show him the video of your tiny home and this article and see if it inspires him as much as it has me.

    I appreciate your thoughts about getting rid of the hard things to part with….heirlooms, letters, photos, etc. That gives me a new perspective.

    Thanks to you and your husband for being inspirations!

    • Gabriella July 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out! Love hearing from you!

  14. Darla Olsen August 2, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

    Hi Everyone I am a retired female almost 65 and have been downsizing so I can purchase a Tiny House in Sonoma Area or Maui HI. I would just love to design and build but have done that (a 4,800sqft home in Alamo CA but now I defiantly want to live in a Community in CA. I just got a Special Gift a GRANDDAUGHTER THINKING IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN BUT A MIRACLE HAPPENED AND EMMA IS HERE IN SANTA CRUZ.
    I DON’T THINK SANTA CRUZ COULD OR WOULD EVER BE IN THE TINY HOUSE MOVEMENT. SO I HAVE THE FUNDS TO PURCHASE A LITTLE HOME
    FOR THE REST OF MY RETIREMENT BUT DO NEED THE COMMUNITY . PLEASE ANYBODY KNOW OF ANYTHING COMING UP. I HEAR JUNE 2015 IN SONOMA A TINY COMMUNITY IS WORKED OUT ….BUT NONE AS OF YET! THANK U DARLA

    • Laura December 21, 2015 at 8:03 am #

      You might consider the fact that IRC recently changed its rules allowing for smaller foundation built homes to be designed. The reason I mention this is, Sonoma is reputed to be “tiny house friendly” but “trailers” May still be looked down upon (not sure but they are here in Austin, Texas, and surrounding municipalities, despite the “green” movement which should have helped but hasn’t seemed to yet. So I mention all this to note that you might be able to design and build a reasonable code-approved, foundation-built home of around 250-300 sq ft without it being “technically” in a tiny house community. I do not, however, know if, despite Sonoma’ s reputed “friendliness”, they have adopted the new IRC regs for their individual community. I personally would recommend you email Jay Shafer before any of this however since I believe he lives there. “Four Lights” (his tiny house website) can be easily found online and I’m sure he would have way more and better suggestions than I. I will be delighted if you would blog your findings since I am curious, with the tiny home “craze”, as well as the new IRC rules, what local municipalities are currently allowing. Despite Austin’s reputed “friendliness”, the code enforcers in Austin do not seem to be bending in either THOW or non-THOW areas.

      • Gabriella December 27, 2015 at 10:35 am #

        Thanks for the suggestion Laura! We will put something together in next few weeks. πŸ™‚

  15. Julie August 3, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

    Hello! I can’t believe my timing in finding this post. Thank you so much. I honestly thought I was going through some strange phase of needing to downsize and get rid of STUFF.

    I sold my house because I was so done with the maintenance of constant yard work and the attention that a five bedroom house demands. Four months ago, I moved to a two bedroom apartment that I LOVE, but, now I’m thinking a one bedroom apartment would make me get rid of more STUFF… that is piled in the second bedroom, with no bed.

    Then the wildest thing happened! I saw a Tiny House on Pinterest and I can’t stop thinking about wanting one and then learning that there is a “Tiny House Movement??” The light went off in my head and I said out loud to myself “I’m NOT the only one”!!!!! I’m so relieved to learn that I’m really okay. Most of my marbles are still intact, yay!

    I just want to simplify and declutter…my mind, my life, and my space.
    Thanks again for the post and helping me realize that am on the right track. I enjoyed reading everyone’s input.

    • Gabriella August 6, 2015 at 11:11 am #

      That’s SO great Julie! Welcome to the huge, wild, dynamic, positive and colorful community of tiny housers!!

  16. Karen September 6, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

    I just found your website and love how you made a tiny house feel so big! I am 5 years out from retirement and have been a pack rat most of my life. I don’t want to live in an apartment, so the tiny house is a great option for me. I purchased a scanner and am scanning family pictures and papers. I know it will take me a couple of years to get through everything I have accumulated, but I will be ready to build my tiny house and spend a comfortable and affordable retirement. Thank you for awesome ides and encouragement. I will be purchasing the complete set of plans.

    • Gabriella September 8, 2015 at 9:23 am #

      That is so awesome Karen! Keep us posted on the journey! πŸ™‚

  17. janet September 10, 2015 at 7:16 am #

    hey gabriella,i live in a small,not tiny home on the river in the ca delta.i am inundated by memorobillia how do you let 100 year old photos go,and where do they go.i want to unload but my conscious wont let me.we have 2x the space as you,yet we are filled to the gunwals with stuff.how did you make yourself able to let it go?my home is filled with dead peoples stuff.help me please

    • Gabriella September 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      Oh Janet…what a predicament!! I have to say that I find it so interesting that there is a cultural consensus that aging parents should hand down their things to their beloveds as they make plans for their eventual passings. So then the surviving children are ‘gifted’ with all of these material possessions. And in some families, this amounts to a LOT of belongings. This is such a tricky situation for those of us that are sentimental and who honor family and heritage. All I can say is, oh I feel your pain! These things are so personal and what worked for me won’t exactly work for someone else so all I can do is offer my own experience. So for me, a couple things happened. First of all, a very clear goal surfaced in my mind: I decided I wanted to live tiny. I knew that I couldn’t live tiny AND keep all of our possessions. The second things was that I gave myself all the time and space to go through my thinning down process. I really didn’t hurry it. I started by going through all of my belongings (EVERY single one from corner to corner of the house) and putting EVERYTHING that I hadn’t used in a year into a mountain of things in the garage (this was while we were living in the large house). That even meant heirlooms. I promised myself that I didn’t have to get rid of anything that I didn’t want to. And I let the items sit in that pile for at least a couple months (don’t remember exactly). What I found was that with the passage of time, I honestly completely lost track of ANY of the items in the pile. Like, if someone asked me what I had put in there, I had to really think hard to recall. My state of happiness hadn’t decreased because I had put all of those things in there. In fact, it increased because I started to feel my attachment to material possessions lifting and I felt lighter for it. It’s hard to explain but I’ve heard enough people mention this experience that I know it’s real. Perhaps you could do the same exercise Janet and see what your experience is. One thing I’ll say is that what helped me was realizing that my passed ancestors would want me to be happy above anything else. That helped to lift some of the self imposed pressure I was feeling, like somehow I was responsible for carrying this burden of all these possessions for the rest of my life and to then hand down that burden to others. Now, I will say that I have kept the things that are the dearest to me. There are some things that I just refuse to even consider getting rid of. They take up very little space and it feels, at least at this stage of my life, important to hang on to. So, I just want to offer that you don’t have to get rid of EVERYTHING once you get going. Just the things that you realize that really don’t bring you happiness. Hope that helps!

  18. Deb B. - Colorado Springs September 18, 2015 at 2:44 am #

    Hi Gabriella,

    I, too, am digitizing everything now. It’s funny how hard it was to get motivated to start because it seemed (still seems) like a daunting & endless task. However, when I finally started by scanning “just one item” …I started scanning more & more. Before I knew it …what started out as only a 10-minute project turned into several hours. Now, of course I can’t do this everyday. However, the motivation is there & the empty file folders are so freeing & proof that it can be done.

    The only thing I am concerned about is if something happens to the device they are stored on. I don’t want to store ANYTHING in the “cloud”, as I wonder if it, too, won’t get lost or worse …hacked! So I use an external hard-drive that my brother bought me called “My Book”. He said I could probably NEVER fill it up to capacity, as it has ridiculous amounts of space on it. However, I’m more worried about it not being accessible any more due to corruption, virus, or probably not too far off in the near future ..out dated. Kinda like the old floppy discs …just bought a $14 device to transfer images/documents off of several I’ve hung onto for many-many years. I’ve yet to see how it works, as I’ve been too busy scanning other items (LOL)!

    However, I have to wonder if this is what’s going to happen with my back-up hard-drive in the next 5-10 yrs? Technology is constantly advancing & people are banking on it by marketing items that we are almost “forced” to buy in order to retrieve all of this data …sigh! Like I said …an endless cycle!

    There is a point, I believe, that even digitizing needs to be downsized & minimized (wouldn’t you agree)! I mean …do I REALLY need copies of all those documents? I am trying to currently go through all my medical records & digitize those. I know that dr’s offices keeps all that on record. However, due to life-long illness …I’ll need quick access to many of those records both now & in the future. So, for me it’s important to digitize them & file them where I can easily access or print them, if needed. I have too many dr’s to try to remember who I saw for what (seriously – praying that will change too, God willing)! It also takes time & sometimes money to obtain copies of your personal records, and sometimes time is of the essence. So to have them on hand is much better for me.

    However, I have CRATES (literally) full of file folders, so it’s not going to be easy. I’ve started digitizing EVERYTHING medical-related that comes in now rather than filing it, but rather shredding it once it’s uploaded. So that does help, but you do have to be diligent or it quickly piles up.

    Anyway, didn’t mean for this to get so long. I’m a detailed person, as you can see, which is why I have so many things in file folders to digitize …LOL! Some call it a character flaw & some call it a strength …depending on who you’re asking! πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, I’m going to share this article on my FB page called Tiny Houses Means Minimizing & Tiny Living!

    Thanks for all your great articles, as I (we – those that follow my page) do follow along, as I post several of your articles regularly. πŸ˜€

    Blessings to you as you continue your TH journey! O:-)

    Dream BIG live LITTLE! πŸ˜‰

    ~ Deb B. ~
    Colorado Springs, CO

    Tiny Houses Means Minimizing & Tiny Living:
    http://www.facebook.com/dreamBIGliveLITTLE

    • Gabriella September 18, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

      Awesome to hear from you Deb! You bring up such a valid point about how to store all of this data. Personally I feel that storing files digitally is more bomb proof than keeping the originals (moving, lost boxes, fires, aging, etc.). That said, computers break, hard drives fail, etc. so I am keeping 3 copies of everything (internal hard drive, external hard drive and another hard drive stored off site). It’s easy to back up data with on site hard drives but the one off site is going to be a pain when I go to reload it. I’ll likely just do that a couple times per year and be willing to take the risk that somehow both my internal and external hard drives could fail. In terms of technology changing, I guess I’m not that worried about that part bc I don’t plan on living in a cave for years at a time and then re-emerging to rejoin technology. As I update each computer and system, I’ll stay on top of transferring any data to new format. Since my internal hard drive is really large on my computer and external hard drive, I can store basically everything on them and keep the data on hand and easily accessed. Thanks for sharing the article on your blog!! πŸ™‚

  19. WW Gilman September 27, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    Gabriella , am I glad I found you. I am on a crusade to spread downsizeing rather than taking on more debt with ill advised reverse mortgages as a solution for the retirees. Economic insecurity is a mental disease suffered by everyone in some form or shape. A retiree can suffer great pain from this disease as they are unable to generate more expendable income. The antidote and often cure is to downsize and finding Freedom in so doing. I am on this crusade to build Intentional Retiremnt Communities accrossed America to allow retirees to find a new life with great social benefits, and small homes with loving neighbors. Keep up the great work. I know our paths will cross as I feel the crusader in your blood. When ones mission is to improve the human condition, they always as sucessful and survieve. My Warmest Blessings, WW Gilman 828 329 6344

  20. Laura December 21, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    Sorry I didn’t have time to read all these blog posts so…. don’t know if others have offered this as an interesting suggestion, but … here in austin we recently opened a micro home community for the homeless (see http://www.mlf.org or Google “community first austin” or do a search on YouTube for videos. This, as well as my own inspiration, led me to design micro homes for the homeless that are between 80 to 120 square feet footprint (or about 60 to 98 usable space, maybe slightly more with loft). This mental exercise then led me to realize, hey, if I can live in 60-98 sq ft (debatable, but very FUN to consider), 200 sq ft sounds awesomely huge. I recommend, for downsizing, to picture the absolute minimal necessities of life (shelter, food and, finally, of course, bathroom), then to expand from there, vs trying to eliminate. It’s mostly a practical and fun way to begin the experiment of “can I really live tiny?”. “Cube” homes are also interesting experiments (unfortunately most of the designs I have seen do not translate to actual THOW’ s and do not conform to IRC regulations (probably why you don’t see too many in USA), but the designs shown on YouTube are fascinating and also contribute to inspirations for downsizing (since a properly designed cube home must, like a THOW, utilize ever sq inch of space).

    For those interested in THOW’ s for the homeless, also do a YouTube search for “homeless carts”. It’s once again fascinating. Sad too when you see how humans live but worthwhile to think of the size of the various options. See Paul Elkins’ emergency shelters on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean. Again, for most of us, these are just mental exercises but, you never know.

    • Gabriella December 27, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Great project Laura! Will be wonderful to see how it all progresses. Btw, I made a chance to the link you included as mlf.COM leads to a maple syrup company! πŸ˜‰

  21. Tiffany February 8, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

    Hello, we’re in 500 sf with a dog. We’re currently downsized enough that we have empty shelves in the cabinets and plenty of space for aerobics in the living room. We’re looking at moving onto a sailboat that will give us about 150 sf of space. Sailboats are designed to maximize storage with cubbies and cabinets in every bit of space, but it’s still not a lot of space for our stuff. I’m ok with the idea of living with less, but it’s the date and time that I have to make the decision about what stays or goes that I’m nervous about.
    Two Tiny principles that have helped me a lot are keeping only 2 sets of towels and sheets, and place settings for only the amount of people you can entertain at one time.
    Before the big move, I’m researching as many Tiny checklists as I can find and hoping for some new tips to get me from 500 sf down to 150 sf.

  22. Renetta Boer December 9, 2020 at 5:41 am #

    Everyone loves it when folks come together and share views. Great website, keep it up!

  23. Hershel Zanola January 2, 2021 at 5:09 am #

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