How to Master Moving into a Tiny Home

Simple steps to make the small space more livable.

NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm

So you are joining the tiny house craze? Congrats! It is the latest trend, people are living in small spaces, but “living big!”  Living big means they are living more with less. Enjoying life with fewer things. So, how do you move from your larger space into your tiny space and make the most of your new tiny home?  

The “less is more” rule is especially true when living in a tiny home.  It is critical to plan ahead and downsize your belongings, before the moving truck arrives. And, once you move in, there are simple steps to make the small space more livable. It is no big task transforming a tiny home into a bright, organized, spacious home!

Here are BIG ideas on how to make your tiny home big livin’:

Room-by-Room Purge

  • Do a survey of your belongings. Pick one room per weekend, and sort everything in each room.
  • Empty everything out of closets, drawers and shelves onto the floor. I mean everything!
  • Create three piles: MOVE, GIVEAWAY, THROW AWAY

What to Giveaway & Throw Away

  • Having trouble letting go of clothing and nostalgic items? Ask yourself: When was the last time I wore or used this? If you can’t remember, get rid of it. Take a photo and kiss it good bye!
  • Ask yourself: Could someone else use this item even if I can’t? If so, donate it to a charity. If it is too worn, add it to the trash/recycle pile.
  • If an item is just too difficult to part with, place it in your move pile.
  • Evaluate all of your furniture, cookware, appliances, sporting goods, artwork, etc. Will you use them your new tiny home? If not, donate the items in good shape. Habitat Humanity ReStore, Goodwill, Salvation Army, veteran organizations and other nonprofits will accept these items. 
  • Look through your Move Pile AGAIN! Everything must have two uses. No one use kitchen gizmos, no clothes that can only be worn once in a blue moon, no knickknacks that aren’t functional. Go through that Move pile AGAIN. Yes, AGAIN! Think: the house up the block is on fire and the fire is headed this way, the Fire Department just shouted: “You have five minutes to evacuate”, would I grab this? Remember some folks have lived large with just 30 pieces of clothes. Check out this blog.
  • Bring gently used clothing you no longer wear to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America or any other charitable organization in your community.

Party!

  • If you find you have extra things you would like to give to friends & family, throw a reverse housewarming party! Set aside your unwanted items and instead of having your friends bring a housewarming gift, they are to pick one of your items and take it home with them. This is a great way to reunite with friends, find your unwanted things a good home, and de-clutter for your move all at the same time!

Box, Label & Move on Out

  • Take pictures of the items you plan to move and file them on your computer so you know exactly what is in each box. Carefully label or place a copy of the photo on the outside of each moving box. This will keep your moving boxes neat and tidy in your tiny space.

Strategic Décor

  • With that right décor you can make a space feel bigger. Here are strategies that will open up your tiny home while showing off who you are:
  • Functional Accessories: Once you are settled in, enhance your new tiny space by adding in functional furniture and accessories such as funky storage ottomans, a bench or couch with storage inside and over-the-door organizers. These stylish accents will help keep your home feeling open and relaxed, all without cramping your space or style.
  • Walls:Wall decals are the latest home décor rage, from formal homes to tiny homes. Shop online or in stores for the removable wall decals that speak to you.
  • Mirrors: Hang interesting The views and reflected light from the mirrors will make the space feel bigger. Select big and small mirrors with interesting frames to add dimension to rooms.
  • Color: Brighten a dark room by using bright colors, but stick with one color scheme. Too many colors can close in the space.
  • One POP Item: Choose one “pop” item that really makes it your home and wows guests. For instance, a chandelier, faux fur rug or throw, elaborate throw pillows, etc.

Become a Pro Organizer

  • An organized tiny home is a bigger home. Here are tips from the pros:
    • Clothing: Lay folded clothes (t-shirts, sweaters, etc.) inside your drawers vertically on their side (not stacked on top of each other). You can purchase wooden or plastic planks to use as dividers. This way you can fit more of your clothes and see them all at once when you open the drawer. Organize your closet and drawers by color, light to dark so you can always grab just what you want when you want it.
    • Laundry: Keep your laundry basket on the floor of your closet if there is room. This will leave more free space.
    • Storage Containers: Clear storage boxes can be a lifesaver in a small space and they come in cool colored tints. Use those boxes for seasonal clothes, phone chargers, electronics, etc. The more stuff you have stashed away the bigger your space will feel.
    • The Big Stuff: If you have skis, snowboard, surfboard or other big items look into getting a storage unit.

Now sit back and enjoy your huge tiny home — big space, big character. Take photos on your phone of how it all turned out so you can refer to the images if you slip up on the organization and get it back in shape in no time! Tiny home, big smiles!

Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.  

 

Lindsay is the the Senior Manager of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and manages the brand’s media and social media department. She is also a licensed real estate professional. In 2017, she was named a top 20 social influencer in the real estate industry in the annual Swanepoel 200 power rankings.

Lindsay lives in Livingston, NJ with her college sweetheart and now husband Joe and recently welcomed another Joe into her life as she became a mom in June 2016. Lindsay and her two Joes love spending their time playing with their cat Rory, watching sports and vacationing in Cape Cod.

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