I hear you thinking: what on earth is there to declutter in that itsy bitsy house of yours? And no, I haven’t got a storage box full of junk hidden somewhere. Everything I own – except for 3 boxes – is in or around my house. But you’ll be surprised at how much stuff fits in my house! I promised myself a long time ago to do some more decluttering, and now the time had finally arrived…
Man, that took forever! I can’t believe it took me this long to declutter in a Tiny House. I spent a couple of hours on it! First there was the couch: what can go? Well, a riding helmet for starters. The last time I went horseback riding was over 2 years ago. And if I do want to go for a trail ride again, I can borrow or rent one. The lamp I never use and meant to sell via an online marketplace? I didn’t get around to it for over a year, so the lamp goes too. Two weekend bags? Completely unnecessary. And the list goes on. I haven’t used the tent for over 2 years, but I still want to keep it. That’s not a problem though, as I’ve got enough room for it.
Next up were the 2 deep closets above my sitting corner. Books, DVD’s, pieces of netting for the garden, paperwork…I looked at them with a critical eye and threw away everything that didn’t feel good to hold on to or that I just didn’t need anymore. I used the KonMari method for this: does it spark joy? Keep it. If it doesn’t, toss it. The same thing goes for clothes, the junk drawer in the kitchen, and do I really need 8 glass bowls? No.
Since I’m living Tiny I’m much more conscious about what I buy. I think long and hard before I make a purchase – do I really, really, really want or need it? Impulse purchases are rare these days. But, like any other, I have my weaknesses and for me it’s books and clothing. I do try to be more conscious with these purchases, like buying second hand. But every now and then a new product finds his way into my house. Oh well…
So all in all, two full boxes, a full weekend bag and a plastic bag with stuff made their way to the deck because I didn’t want them anymore. I didn’t want it lying around in my car for weeks, waiting for someone to come pick it up or for me to drop it off. So instead of offering my stuff to friends or posting it on the online marketplace, I took all of it to the second hand store. Good riddance! I love it when things are finally taken care of and everything’s tidy again. It makes me want to clean the house, you know? Cleaning is much easier when all your closets are tidy on the inside and nothing’s lying around.
I could do with even less stuff, real easy too. But I have enough space to have a few extra things. That’s different when you share a Tiny House with someone else. You could see it as a burden, but also as a blessing. When you have space, it will seemingly automatically fill up with stuff in most cases. When you don’t have that space, you are forced to be more conscious about your consumer habits. That’s not a bad thing at all; actually it’s really necessary that everyone consumes more consciously. The production of stuff has an enormous impact on the environment. Babette Porcelijn writes in her book ‘The hidden impact’ that buying new stuff is number 1 in the impact top 10 of the average Dutch citizen. So when we all buy a little less stuff, it will have a big impact. A positive one, that is. Are you in?
When you want to buy something, write it down and sleep on it for a night. Are you still as enthusiastic as the day before, or maybe a little less? If you’re less enthusiastic, sleep on it some more. Or maybe you’ll decide after one night that you don’t really need it, that’s even better. Are you still as excited as before? You don’t have to deny yourself everything, but you can ask yourself if you really have to own it. How many times will you be using it? Is borrowing or renting an option? Or can you buy it second hand? There might be a good solution that saves the environment at the same time. Go for it, you can do it!