What better motivator is there to downsizing and de-cluttering than transitioning into a tiny, or at least small, home? Fit a 3-bedroom house into a 37’ travel trailer? Challenge accepted! In my past struggles at getting organized, I’ve come across quite a few tips for de-cluttering and organizing. In this blog post, I will be going over 5 of the ones we are currently using while we get ready to move into our new home on wheels.
I’ve never been a very organized person when it comes to my house. There, I said it. Maybe now I can change it. I sure hope so because living in an RV is going to be very messy if I can’t get it together. There are days when I think, “It’s time to get organized,” and I get one area done and then life happens and it’s messy again. I’ve just never been able to get it all together at once and keep it that way. And I am not trying to take this all on myself. There are 3 other people helping to manage this craziness, but without a plan for organization, it all falls apart. I think I’ve come to understand that it’ll always be somewhat messy no matter where we live. I mean, we live there after all.
Enough is Enough!
Part of our problem, in my opinion, is that we just have too much stuff. Half or more of the things we have are never looked at…ever. I think most of the boxes we have in the basement are things we’ve looked at once or twice since we moved into the house almost 5 years ago. Yikes. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say. As much as I love the things I’ve bought and received as gifts over the years, I’m looking forward to having less clutter to clean.
Tip #1 – Have a Staging Area
In our situation, we will still be living in our house for a few more months so we can’t really pack everything up that we plan on taking with us, like silverware, dishes, the PS4. Knowing this, the first tip we are following is to have a “staging room” in our house, that we make sure is always clean and organized. Whether it’s the guest bedroom, a closet, the garage, an area in the basement, etc., just a place to keep the items we have already sorted into our piles of plan to sell, give away, donate, or keep. This way, we confine it all to one area as we go and don’t have to look at it constantly.
Tip #2 – One Room at a Time
Anyone else notice a sort of satisfaction when crossing something off a list? I think using this strategy will help us keep motivated. Our second tip is tackling one room at a time, then moving on to the next room. I’m hoping it’ll have a sort of snowball effect and keep us moving.
Tip #3 – Set a Timer
I know it’s probably going to take us awhile to get everything sorted out because we tend to procrastinate sometimes, and we get distracted a lot. Which is why I think this next tip is going to be helpful to us. Not just during this time of downsizing but also in everyday life in general. I’ve heard that if you give yourself a timer, you tend to try to work harder during that time to get whatever it is done. Whether it’s 10 minutes before you walk out the door, an hour while the kids are doing homework, or a 3-hour marathon cleaning session. I’m not sure why I don’t do this more often actually…I need to change that.
Tip #4 – Everything in Its Place
The fourth tip is something that will probably vary for everyone. The way we are doing it is to have 4 categories: keep, donate, sell, and toss. It’s winter in Minnesota so at this point a garage sale is not going to happen, but we will put some things on the Facebook Marketplace and other groups like that. We’ll see how that goes and if we have time in the spring, maybe think about having a garage sale. I’m pretty sure we’ll end up having to go through the keep pile again, but if we can avoid having anything in storage, that would be ideal. Shawn and I are both the kind of people that become attached to sentimental items, so we’ll see how well we do.
Tip #5 – Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
Tip 5 is a work in progress, at least until we can finally move into our new home. The final tip is to have a loose plan on how our organization will go when we finally move in. This should work for almost everyone, since it’s rare that people move somewhere they haven’t seen. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll know almost every little nook and cranny. We’ve only been in the trailer twice, but we’ve watched YouTube videos about that model at least 2 dozen times…maybe more. It’s safe to say we have an idea of where things will go when we finally get in there.
I’m sure we will have many more ideas on how to make downsizing and de-cluttering an easier task by the time we actually finish doing it. When that time comes we will make sure to share those ideas with you, as well as what worked and didn’t work for us. But for now, these tips seem to help us a lot. I hope they are helpful to anyone else planning on downsizing or even just de-cluttering. If you have any tips for us, please let us know! We can use all the help we can get. *wink*