Learning how to emotionally let go as you downsize.

As we downsize in prep to live tiny, I will confess, I have a problem with wanting to hold onto WAY too many “things”. I have a tendency to create emotional attachments for several reasons, and I’m slowly (or not so slowly) working through my bonds on things and making the hard decisions.

Letting go of something that costs a lot of money.

Have you ever been here? I am with a few things: our bed, our two La-Z-Boy recliners, and our dinning room table. These items tug at my frugal heartstrings. I don’t want to let them go because I never want to spend that type of money on those items again.

We could store them, but that’s just more money being spent. These are not items that are going to increase in value. I know this, I understand this, and I realize logically that we should sell them. I still have a really hard time pulling the trigger.

I’ve decided that for me, I need to let them go all at the same time. I was going to sell them one at a time as we started downsizing (plus the $ that we got from them would be nice NOW), but being so attached to them, I think that seeing them all go at once will keep me focused on the goal of tiny living.

Letting go of things that someone I love gave me.

Maybe it’s a hand me down. Maybe it’s a small gift. Regardless, it is always something that someone said “this reminds me of X” or “X would love this!” and because of the thoughts & love behind it… I struggle to let it go.

My rule here? Find someone that would equally enjoy/love the thing. Make sure that if you do decide to let it go, it’s going to go somewhere worthwhile.

These are items I would never donate or sell. I can’t bring myself to it. Plus, by giving away I am able to keep my emotional bond for the item through someone else.

Letting go of things that someone I love gave my children.

Same rules apply here, except I have no problem gifting to someone who is gifting to someone else. I might not be able to see the item cared for and loved, but I was so thankful to be gifted several items for both of my children that knowing items are going to someone in need makes me happy.

I gain a different type of emotion, and I truly enjoy it.

Letting go of things from my childhood / teens.

This one is pretty dang easy – I take a lot of pictures (or scan items) and organize them in an online Dropbox account.

There are few things that I have opted to keep (yearbooks, a baby cradle made just for me, my high school ring, baby blankets, some artwork, a journal, etc), but those are few and far between. Everything else had a picture taken, and then was lovingly let go.

Being okay with keeping.

We are working hard to downsize, and maybe you are too. That said, be okay with keeping some things! You can and will find the room. It’s A-O-Kay if you want to have a storage unit. I’ll be honest, we have one. It’s small, but it’s just the right size for some of the overflow of things that are just a bit too big for the fifth wheel.

This allows me to keep books that I love, a few toys that are too large (not fifth wheel friendly) for Harrison to have NOW but when we go “big” again, they will still be age appropriate and he will be so excited to have them.

Every month or so I add a little to storage, and I get rid of a little in storage. It’s all about balance. ❤

Preparing to Live Tiny

preparing to live tiny in a fifth wheel

I wasn’t really prepared for what Tiny Living meant. I mean, I knew we wanted to do it. I knew we wanted our house to “roll”, and I knew that we wanted to get going on this dream ASAP while the kids were still small. 

Small kids, small house. Amirite? 

Then suddenly Loraine the Fifth Wheel was parked and leveled in our yard. 

I started With the Closets

I already had a capsule wardrobe. I had downsized my own closet years ago. I didn’t force Dave into that lifestyle, but oh boy – I wish I had. We started rummaging through this clothes and there was a LOT that was just unnecessary & unused. It took a day (yes, a full day!) to go through everything on his side of the closet, but in the end he wound up with the items that 1) fit him best 2) coordinated 3) were his favorites.

If you are considering the tiny lifestyle (or even if you are interested in simplifying your life), I highly recommend starting your very own capsule wardrobe immediately. It is a good litmus test to see if your personality can handle living small. More on how to do start this in a later post.

The Bathrooms Were Next

I should have started here. This took less than 2 hours. I was shocked at how much medication was just sitting in our medicine cabinet expiring. I was also shocked at how many “samples” we had collected. Why had I never used these?

I pulled everything out, and repacked only the needs.

Hair brushes & hair dryer, hair products, facial products, makeup, deodorant, medications, toothbrushes & toothpaste, soap, towels… everything else was either tossed or it was given away. Honestly, I think the bathroom is a place where things get stored and slowly die.

On to The (Dreaded) Kitchen

Here is a pro-tip: always measure your tiny kitchen BEFORE deciding what is going to be kept. I made the mistake of not doing that… and I wound up trying to pack a bunch of pans that didn’t fit in our tiny stove. I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was pretty annoyed.

I also recommend cooking the family favorites for 2 weeks! Anything you used… keep. Past that, you really don’t need much more. There are awesome things that make life a lot easier, but if you only use them here and there what is the point on storing them?

For example, we opted to keep the mandoline but ditch the food processor.

I do make bread every week, so the mixer (heavy and bulky) has been kept. Funny enough, it’s going to be stored under the bed. I use it a lot, so although it takes a lot of space, we will be grateful to have it.

Pin now, read later!

The Kid Rooms

I knew the crib for our daughter and the full mattress our son uses were not fifth wheel friendly, so they were not even considered. The pack-n-play is perfect for the littlest, and a friend and fellow blogger (This Side of IF) had just bought the Nugget Couch for her littles (and recommended it to us). After checking it out we couldn’t resist! It’s lots of fun to play on, and the perfect sleeping location for Harrison.

I bought a “bean bag” chair for all of the stuffed animals, and started making the hard choices when it came to toys. I opted to pack only toys that would keep growing with Harrison & Hailey. Those items that had a short lifespan were not packed. Puzzles, books, blocks, vetch cars (go! go! smart wheels), and Thomas trains are good examples of those items that I feel will stay entertaining for the upcoming years. With limited space, the items I kept needed to have maximum entertainment life.

I kept the playdoh (homemade) and the coloring books as well. Not the cleanest option – but super fun and hours of fun. Oh! I also kept all of the magnets! They live on the front of the stove in the fifth wheel now.

Some examples of things that didn’t make the cut: door bouncer, baby walkers, large add ons for the mega blocks (a fire truck and ride on dump truck), very basic puzzles, the baby shark cube (this one might have just been for personal reason).

Then, the Miscellaneous

I guess our bedroom isn’t “miscellaneous”, but we lived so little time in there outside of sleeping… for me it fell into that category. The side tables were cleared out in less than 45 minutes. I also found an amazing jewelry storage option for the closet. I do think it’s a big pricey at $20, but I went from a jewelry box almost the size of ME to this. I was a bit embarrassed realizing that I should have moved to this option years ago.

Extra blankets, clothes that I (fingers crossed) will fit back into post-baby weight drop, baby clothes that I just can’t part with, and jackets/hats/gloves, and towels all went into space saver bags.

That’s it! It was a great purge and I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Living tiny is forcing us to be more “purposeful” in the items that we want to surround ourselves with. Not to get all “Marie Kondo” but the Fifth Wheel truly does only have those things that “spark joy” in our lives.

Don’t forget to follow the journey over on Instagram ❤