Day 1 · Streamlining
In 2007 our family was presented with an opportunity to move to Costa Rica and we decided to “go for it,” without understanding how much downsizing we’d have to do to make such a move. We had to empty out our 3,000 sq. ft. home and get rid of everything, except those items that would fit into the eight suitcases we were able to take with us.
Our family of four (including two teenagers) lived in a 450 sq. ft. home in Costa Rica for seven years and we thrived. We were “Tiny House Living” before it became trendy, and I’m going to tell you how you too can enjoy the benefits of “tiny living.”
Each day of this challenge I’ll discuss “tiny living” concepts and suggest actions you can take to not only physically downsize, but to mentally downsize as well.
No one makes this transition quickly or without effort. Changing how we think about our full-sized lives and possessions takes time, but I hope to plant seeds that you can cultivate and benefit from in the future.
Moving into a tiny house means reducing your square footage, but full-sized spaces can be easily streamlined so they function as a tiny house. Convenience and ease of access are hallmarks of “tiny living.” By simply creating a smooth flow of movement throughout your home you’ll begin to enjoy the benefits of “tiny house living” right away.
Activity – Choose one room to tackle today. Can you easily walk from one end to the other without waltzing around a maze of furniture? You should be able to cross every room via a straight line, or one 90° angle at the most. You want to eliminate any S, C, and Z maneuvers (or hurdles) through your rooms.
Anything that is blocking an easy flow of movement through that room, or your ability to accomplish what you need to get done in that space, can create chaos and stress and should be removed.
Move side tables and ottomans alongside seating and only pull them out when you want to use them. When it’s time to leave the room, be sure to return everything to its’ out of the way place.
Try to nest items under other pieces of furniture, or use multipurpose pieces like ottomans that double as tables, storage, or even pet beds.
Over time, thoughtfully consider each room in your home and eliminate anything that hinders the circulation of movement. This is especially important in your bedroom. You need to be able to confidently, and safely get to and from your bed in the dark.
This exercise will help you evaluate what you actually need in the rooms you live in.
Once you’ve created a clear traffic flow through each room, keep the items you’ve removed out of those spaces for at least a week and see how it feels to live and move more easily through your home.
Pura vida, Penny