5 Steps to Downsizing Your Life and Simplifying Your Stuff

You know that downsizing will allow you to save more money, live the life you want to live, and have the time and financial freedom to do what you want to do.

Maybe you’ve tried to “get organized” and “de-clutter” before. It probably felt pretty good…at first. But a few days later, your home looks the same as it did before… and the progress you’re making is slow-going. You’re stuck. You’re not sure why – because you’ve read the books and the blogs but nothing really works.

Well, today I can share five steps to help you let go, from my friend Mariah who teaches the Tiny Transition and Downsizing course. Registration is now open for the class that starts this Sunday November 1st!

And if you want to take it further and follow a step by step process and method (based on years of experience and working with hundreds of people to go through this transition), you can join the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course, taught by my friend Mariah.

Class starts on November 1st. You can register here!

Step 1. Why are you simplifying?

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself WHY you’re simplifying your life and your stuff, and establish some real goals (physical, emotional) about what you hope to achieve. Do you want to travel more? Have a better marriage or family relationships? Find financial freedom and eliminate debt?

Whatever it may be for you (and it will be UNIQUE!) you need to know what it is before you start.

And then you need to write it down! This helps you make it REAL.

Step 2. Assess your Stuff

Once you’ve decided to simplify, you need to ask yourself a few simple questions”

“Does this bring me joy?”
“What do I want to keep?”
“Would I buy this again?”
“Would I wear it on a first date?”

One way to downsize is to ask yourself the question: “What should I keep?”.

It’s a more “additive” approach which is a little more fun than a “subtractive” approach which is asking the question “what should I get rid of”.

Imagine that you have a completely blank slate. You’re building a new life from the ground up and you only need to bring the things with you that you truly love. Isn’t that exciting?!

Step 3. Eliminate Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue is when you become overwhelmed with making hundreds of tiny decisions about meaningless stuff that you become too exhausted to make bigger, important decisions. This is the reason that many successful people wear the same thing every day – they have more important decisions to make than to figure out what to wear every day.

Having too much stuff leads to decision fatigue. And when you’re trying to downsize and simplify, deciding if every single item you own should stay or go can be exhausting.

Here’s what to do about it:

  1. Have a simple outfit that you wear everyday. Eliminate the decisions around getting dressed, matching, all that stuff. I wear black jeans and a grey shirt. Easy.
  2. Make a big batch of food in the crock pot at the beginning of the week, then eat the same thing for lunch every day. I HATE deciding what to cook. I have more important things to do. I make a big batch of something on Sunday and eat it the rest of the week.

Now you don’t have to worry about this daily details, so you can focus on better things.

Step 4. Simplifying is social.

Trying to downsize on your own, without support or help, makes an already difficult thing so much more difficult.

Shopping is a social activity. Consumption is social. So why can’t we downsize in a social setting?

You need a community, a few friends, a support system. Without it, you’ll get so frustrated and bogged down. Most people quit at some place during their journey because without a support system, you have no one to cheer you on when you’re in the thick of it. Your house looks worse than it did before and you need to ask a friend over to help you. To tell you what clothes to get rid of.

I like the idea of starting a “consumers anonymous” monthly group that gets together and talks about simply living.

You can also join Tiny Transition and Downsizing where we have an incredible supportive group of people to cheer you on, lift you up, and answer all of your questions.

Not sure what to keep? Post a picture and the group will tell you.

Struggling to get rid of something you know you don’t want? Come into the forum and get the perspective of all of your peers.

Step 5: Remember that this is a PROCESS, not an EVENT.

8 weeks is just a start. You can make amazing progress in 8 weeks – but the main thing to remember is that simplifying becomes a new way of life. It’s a HABIT, it requires maintenance and mindfulness.

Some people take Tiny Transition and Downsizing for a year, making progress at their own pace. Some people start the course and have gotten rid of 90% of their belongings and moved into their tiny house in 7 weeks!

Everyone is different.

There is no “one” way to do this process. Everyone goes at their own pace, and everyone is in a different situation. It took me 2 years of downsizing actively to get to the point where I was happy with my stuff and my life.

Don’t get frustrated with yourself or your progress. It takes a long time.

You spent years and years accumulating stuff, it’s not going to disappear overnight.

Even just starting this process is more than what 99% of people attempt to do. Most people just stay in the sleep – work – buy crap – die cycle. You’re awesome for thinking about making a big change.

Mariah created the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course to give you the tools you need to let go of your stuff, let go of your emotional baggage and digital clutter, and create a new life with new habits and more happiness.

When you sign up for the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course, you get:

  • 8 weeks of downsizing lessons and challenges (it’s like Downsizing bootcamp!)
  • LIFETIME access to the private class forum
  • Accountability, support, motivation and camaraderie from me and your classmates
  • The tools you need to simplify your home, mind, and LIFE starting right now.

We go through everything from the WHY you have so much stuff and why it’s hard to downsize, HOW to happily get rid of your physical clutter and emotional baggage, how to downsize your expenses and digital life and more. All within a supportive group of other people on the same journey towards simplicity.

During the 8 weeks of the E-Course you will:

  1. Clear your space and mind of clutter, making room for what’s important to you
  2. Change your entire mindset and outlook on “stuff”, finally finding peace and focus
  3. Meet a group of soon-to-be lifelong friends who share your outlook and values and are on your same path towards simple living
  4. Get the motivation and support you need to make major life-changes for the better
  5. Make real, tangible steps to getting into a tinier, happier life

The next session of Tiny Transition and Downsizing begins on November 1st, and this is the last session of 2015!

Register now to save your spot in the class. Mariah is looking forward to welcoming new members into the community, and supporting you on this journey!

Tiny Transition and Downsizing 8-Week E-Course with Mariah Coz

The following is a guest post from Mariah Coz.

The next session of Tiny Transition and Downsizing, the 8-week e-course, begins on March 1st, 2015. You can register for the class and see all the details here!

Tiny Transition + W is the 8-week course that fundamentally changes your relationship with stuff and helps you de-clutter, downsize, and clear out your home and mind, in a step-by-step zero-overwhelm environment. Registration is open for the session beginning on March 1st. Preparing to transition into a tiny home, RV, trailer or cabin? Just want to clear your space and get some sanity in your current home? This is for you.

I’ve been getting emails from students who have completed the class, and I keep hearing this one thing that’s really stood out to me:

“I’ve tried everything before – read books, articles, blogs, bought all the containers – I’ve been trying to downsize for YEARS. But nothing worked until I took this class. This was totally different. It finally clicked.”

I love that. It really gets to the heart of what this course is all about: it’s NOT a bunch of downsizing and organizing tips  – it’s a paradigm shift in how you think about stuff, clutter, mental space and physical things. It changes the way you think about “stuff” so that you can get EXCITED about getting rid of what you don’t need and start living the way you want to.

It’s practical, step by step lessons AND the support you need to back it up and make it stick.

When I started the Tiny Transition and Downsizing class, I hoped that it would be helpful and motivating, but I had no idea that teaching it would allow me to witness the absolutely amazing things the class has accomplished.

Tens of thousands of items purged. 

Money saved and dollars kept in pockets, instead of spent on “stuff”. 

Bad habits broken and replaced with good, healthy ones. 

Unfulfilling jobs and relationships told to hit the road, to make room for the new joys of living simple. 

People have cleared out ad sold their homes during the 8 weeks and actually moved into their tiny home shortly after.

I’m literally floored by the courageous and incredible things people accomplish within the group. The combination of motivation, accountability, friendship and step by step instruction that the course provides is a powerful force.

I want to invite you to be a part of the next session of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing course.

When you sign up for Tiny Transition + Downsizing, you get:

  • 8 weeks of downsizing lessons and challenges (it’s like Downsizing bootcamp!)
  • LIFETIME access to the private class forum
  • Accountability, support, motivation and camaraderie from me and your classmates
  • The tools you need to simplify your home, mind, and LIFE starting right now.

I’ve been told that the group is a catalyst for lifelong change. That’s because we not only go through how to eliminate all sorts of crap from your life and space, but because we fundamentally change your relationship with “stuff”. It has the cascading effect of positively influencing every area of your life.

Here’s what some recent students had to say about their experience:

“This was the most helpful and inspiring course I have ever taken! I have learned so many things, gained new friends and have become more inspired to downsize my life. My life is forever changed (all for the better) after this course! Thank you for taking the time to create and make available to us this information to improve our quality of life!” — Shelby

“This class has single-handedly changed my thinking and life. The email course is rocking my world with the “how” to do this, the access to the associated group forum is invaluable. You could lurk and never post with this group and it’ll change your thinking and life.” – Andrea Mortensen

“In fact, I am more convinced than ever that taking this course to figure out how to ease into the whole downsizing process thoughtfully and gradually was one of the best moves I could have made, especially because of all the incredible support that this group provides in so many ways.” – Jack

“Mariah’s Tiny Transition E-Course was fantastic!  She provides tons of useful tips on how to start your downsizing journey and her encouragement and support are truly amazing.  One of my favorite things about this course was the incredibly supportive and engaged online community.  This course helped me jumpstart my own downsizing journey and gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my dreams.  This course will help you overcome obstacles, it will provide encouragement and it will help you succeed on your own downsizing journey!”  – Lora Higgins

“I took the challenge and am so glad I did. Even if you never “live” in a tiny house I found that the course helped me to look inside myself and found out all kinds of things about ME! I am truly grateful for the experience. You will find yourself very proud of what you will accomplish!” – Diane

I hope you’ll join us for the next session of Tiny and Downsizing! Class starts March 1st and you can register here!

Tiny Transition + Downsizing E-Course Now Enrolling!

The following is a guest post from Mariah Coz.

The popular Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course is now open for registration for the next session, which will begin on October 5th. When you sign up for the Tiny Transition + Downsizing class, you get:

  • 8 weeks of downsizing lessons and challenges (it’s like Downsizing bootcamp!)
  • LIFETIME access to the private class forum
  • Accountability, support, motivation and camaraderie from me and your classmates
  • The tools you need to simplify your home, mind, and LIFE starting right now.

Here’s how the class works:

Once a week, you receive the lesson for the week. You can work on the course material at your own convenience throughout the week. Lessons include actions, tasks, challenges, reading, and more. There are no “live” calls that you must attend, since we are all in different time zones (and there are people in the class from all over the world!). Then, you have 24/7 (LIFETIME) access to the private class forum so that you can connect with your peers and myself, ask questions, get support and motivation, share successes, and meet people who share your ideas, values, and goals. The forum is my favorite part and the class agrees!

“”This class has single-handedly changed my thinking and life. The email course is rocking my world with the “how” to do this, the access to the associated group forum is invaluable. You could lurk and never post with this group and it’ll change your thinking and life.” – Andrea Mortensen

I love getting to know everyone through their journeys. We’re all here with you along for the ride! It’s amazing to see people making such REAL, TANGIBLE (and quite honestly very IMPRESSIVE) changes in their lives as a result of doing the class with a group of newfound friends. Last session, we had one woman quit her unhappy job in order to pursue more creative endeavors, right after reading a particular lesson! We’ve seen class members sell their homes, move into tiny homes and RVs, hit the road, and find real freedom in the span of 8 weeks. I’ve witnessed group members leave corporate life to volunteer full-time and work with animals, all made possible by radical downsizing. Each person’s story is unique, and it’s a real honor to be able to see all these people make courageous changes in real time. And you don’t have to have solid plans to “go tiny” to do the class – we have many people in the class just there to reclaim some sanity in their homes, minds and lives.

Downsizing is HARD. But you don’t have to do it all alone.

I went from living in a cluttered, messy, out of control 1500 sq. ft., into my 100 sq. ft. vintage trailer, and then into my 35 sq. ft. Honda Element micro-camper (that we designed and built) and it took me years to accomplish. It’s an ongoing process. It requires you to think critically and intentionally about what you want your life to look and feel like, instead of just going through the motions of work-sleep-spend money-repeat. 99% percent of the people you meet won’t accept the challenge.

Will you?

You can join us in the next session of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course by registering here. Class begins on October 5th. I hope to see you there!