Forget the “Stuff”, Live Tiny


We all get tired of the hustle and bustle of daily living.  Going to work in a place that we are generally anchored to whether we want to be or not.  Living in a traditional house in a particular town or city, tied to a mortgage for a long period of time.  Wishing at times that we could just pick up and go on a whim and not worry about all the responsibilities that go with it.  So why don’t we? It is possible to downsize your life, live more simply, and be able to go wherever we please while living without all the clutter.  How?  Two words. Tiny Living.

But I couldn’t get rid of all my stuff, I need it all.  Do you really? When is the last time you used that doughnut maker anyway?  Or that bean bag from the 70s?  Don’t get me started on that Chia Pet that looks like Shrek. 

The late and great comedian, George Carlin once said: “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.” And to be honest there is a lot of truth in that statement.  We collect stuff.  We get more stuff.  When we run out of room for our stuff, we get rid of stuff so we can buy more stuff.  But when we stop and think about it, why do we need it all? 

Dr. Regina Lark, an organizing and productivity strategist, claims that the average U.S. household owns over 300,000 things.  From old clothing that no longer fits to broken down VCRs we used to record our favorite shows in the 80s and 90s(way before our streaming days), to old photographs and music we no longer listen to, our homes have become warehouses of our past that we refuse to let go of.  Although having “stuff” gives us a sense of security, in the end, stuff is just stuff.  

Our society places so much emphasis on what we own and the ability to do so, that we forget it’s really not about what we own, it’s about how we live. We find it important to have the newest phones, games systems, and televisions that take up a complete wall.  By having the best and newest products that stores have to offer, we feel that others think more about us and that we have become successful.  But should we let our possessions define the person we have become?

What if we spent more time doing the things we like such as going on vacations, spending time with family, and trying new things?  It has been estimated that we spend approximately 153 days just looking for lost items in our homes.  When you think about it, if we lost it in the first place, it probably wasn’t that important to us.  What if we spent that time instead of looking for things that really didn’t matter, and using those hours to do meaningful things instead?  We should live life more instead of living life for our stuff.

Not only does stuff cost us time and take over our living quarters it also costs us a ton of money.  Take a minute right now and think about the items you bought in the past couple of months.  Do you still use those items every day? Do you know where each of those items is right now?  Were those items as important to you as you thought they would be when you bought them?  Your responses may actually surprise you and make you feel guilty at the same time.  Now think about what meaningful experiences you could have used that money for instead.

Tiny Living is a life choice. To live in a home that is generally less than 400 square feet in size, (compared to a traditional sized home around 2,600 square feet) downsizing is a must. That means that we would have to get rid of most things we own, and only keep the necessities although that sounds frightening at first. But when you think about it more, you would only be getting rid of the stuff that only takes up space instead of adding meaning to your life.

Living Tiny would free up space, give you more time to spend with others and yourself, add more money to do the things you like such as traveling, and most of all help you to find security in yourself instead of your possessions.

Photo: Shutterstock

F.A.Q. - What is a Tiny Home?

There is no set definition as to what constitutes a tiny house. However, a residential structure under 500 square feet is generally considered a tiny home.

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