Downsizing is a slow, painful, and rewarding process. It's hard to let go of that book on the shelf you've never even touched since you bought it 7 years ago(but you still think you'll read it some day.) Or the coat your grandpa gave you before he passed away, even though you've never worn it. Yet on the other hand, it's a relief when you throw away a box of old documents, old clothes, or a bulky piece of furniture. I get excited after I finish a round of downsizing and see my surroundings tidier and emptier than before. I've done it enough times to realize the stress of getting rid of possessions ultimately pays off a couple months down the road when I'm cleaning and moving things around and see there really isn't that much to clean OR move around. Because I've done this a few times, I came up with a system that works for me.
Take everything you want to get rid of and put it in a box...and just let it sit there next to the trash for a few weeks.
Yeah, you might have an ugly pile of crap in your house for a while, but I've realized this makes getting rid of things less stressful and changes your point of view on what is special and what is trash. If I'm trying to get rid of things that use to be special to me, but are no longer useful I will let it sit in a box next to the trash. It puts me at ease knowing I'm not quite throwing something away, but maybe just rearranging where it is. Then while the box is sitting next to the garbage for next few weeks I see it every day, and start to associate it with the garbage instead of some special item. Soon I realize I don't really miss having whatever it is around and just get annoyed that there's a pile of clutter in the room and take it to the thrift store or throw it out with the rest of the garbage. I've been able to downsize my books, shoes, chachkies, and furniture using this method..but I'm still working on finding more items I don't really need or want. Each time I downsize my perspective shifts just a little, which allows me to go back through all my stuff a couple months later with a fresh eye where I see more things I don't really need.
Since I've been working on this for a while, I finally reached the point where I can start building up a collection of things I really love. And that includes actually buying new things for the house. I started this week when I went by World Market just to walk around and look at stuff. I really had no intention of buying anything, but when I got to the dining section I saw they had a sale on all tableware. So I picked up a cart and right then and there I bought everything but mugs and glasses for the house. I ended up paying $46.47 for all my silverware, plates, bowls, and three ramekins. I had been coveting that set of dishes for for years and was ecstatic they were so cheap. When I got back I unpacked them and started washing them. It was then I realized this was the first real purchase of something I loved for the tiny house..and it really made it feel like a home(and I'm not even living in it yet!). It really energized me to keep downsizing and focus on surrounding myself with things I really love. I'd have to say my takeaway from all of this is tiny houses are really about quality, not quantity.