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My "Tiny House Nation" Addiction

Real Estate Agent with RLAH@properties AB95346

Lately, I've gotten hooked on "Tiny House Nation", where two guys travel around the country trying to help people downsize - I mean really downsize!  Like down to a couple of hundred square feet  A huge part of their jobs is helping people to part with a whole lot of the stuff they've collected while living in normal sized houses and apartments.

My house has about 3000 square feet and a walk up attic. And while I think this might be a little excessive, the thought of paring down to a space that would fit into my current laundry closet - well, that just doesn't work for me. Even so, I'm learning a lot from the lessons the Tiny House guys are trying to teach us:

  • First, getting rid of excess stuff and clutter improves one's environment whether or not a move is in the future.
  • Things that are just collecting dust in your house might be really appreciated by a family being rehoused after homelessness. When I finish writing this, I'm going downstairs to fill a couple of boxes with a bunch of duplicate kitchen tools.
  • Nobody needs as many bed, bath and dining linens as are stuffed into my big hallway linen closet. Maybe I'll fill another couple of boxes with my excess.
  • Then there is just stuff - charger cords for dead computers  and cell phones that got dropped into the toilet, odd earrings, clothes from the 1980's, and old rugs that the dog peed on when I did something to annoy him.

A lot of the people in my client base are those baby boomers in big old houses and all children launched. And even if they don't want to move right now, a lot of them can't move because they have become prisoners of their possessions - mostly unused and unneeded possessions.

And it's not like they're really hoarders or anything like that. They just find it a bit daunting to dealing with stuff and the memories that it triggered whenever they think of donating a rarely used wedding present to a charity shop.

I've given lots of great advice to clients about dealing with their stuff, and I think it's time to start following my own advice. Um, that's true even if I decide to age in place, which is always an option. 

Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Pat:

So very nice to see you back in the Rain, and with some valuable tips and advice. We certainly have more stuff than we need, despite some purging, including still storing some things that belong to our daughters. There is more work needed ahead for sure!


Oct 16, 2023 11:41 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Patricia! How in the world are you? I have missed you here in the Rain. Big hugs.

Oct 16, 2023 06:05 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Gifting or donating stuff becomes a real challenge when nobody will accept your donation or gift, however, if that occurs , there's always the refuse complex that accepts anything you must get rid of, sooner or later. It's difficult to part with memories of objects, places or things , isn't it? Our reproduction rate is becoming less and less and eventually, small dwellings will be acceptable to most consumers IMO. 

Oct 16, 2023 07:19 PM
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

I love that show and the tiny homes, but it's way  too small for me. I have downsized several times, but I'm finished for now. I wrote my book 'Downsizing Homes' a couple of years ago and lots of people find it helpful. It sells quite a few copies every month on Amazon. Boomers are often feeling overwhelmed when they look at the job of downsizing.

Oct 16, 2023 07:51 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

My cousin gave me a good work of advice when deciding what to chuck out... did it serve its purpose?  That really helps to let stuff go.

Oct 16, 2023 09:11 PM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

I've been working on downsizing my closet. If I don't wear it in a year, it's going to a local center for their nonprofit causes.


Oct 17, 2023 05:10 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I don't think I can see myself in a house boat.  But to each his own.  When we get rid of stuff Wanda takes it to House of Mercy, a thrift store nearby.  They are always grateful.

Oct 17, 2023 05:11 AM
Eileen Burns 954.483.3912
Trans State Commercial Realty Inc. - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

Congrats on another wonderful, featured blog post Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 


Tiny homes serve a greater need for many single folks, veterans and homeless.  IF you are survivalist, love camping or glamping, THEN tiny homes could work for you.

We had a 29ft vintage travel trailer for years that showed us what is actually needed versus wanted.

When Mom did her condo reno in 2017 she had 60 days of memories and no one wanted her big dark furniture in sunny south FL, so she kept it until she closed her eyes permanently. 

I have a friend wanting to sell her 5 acre ranch with plenty of collectibles that few have a hankering for in this day and age:  antique dolls..expensive dolls!  Just looking into her walkin closet will be a 5 day event she is not ready for.  She is 80.  She will never be ready and her son will fly into town and hire someone to take away all her memories and joy that living on her small farm has brought her for years.

Procrastination does not serve us.  Clear the clutter, one room at a time.😎   

Oct 17, 2023 07:05 AM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I was just going through my closet this morning to get rid of clothing that don't fit since I've lost 2 sizess. It's funny when I wear these XL clothing how comforted I am in my excessive fabric. However, the need to purge is alive. I have a neighbor who tells me when my britches are too big LOL. I've got tons of hangars waiting for some new stuff. I was thinking 5 each of the basics when I hit the clothing stores!

Oct 17, 2023 07:51 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

We are starting to think about downsizing. I am looking at the boxes in storage that we brought into the house 28 years ago and they haven't been moved at all. They are first to go.

Oct 17, 2023 08:31 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I so appreciate your post!  Am on my 4th estate type of sale where someone has either passed and/or going into independent or assisted living care.  Having seen the TONS of things to sell or donate provides real motivation for me to start that process now! 

Oct 17, 2023 11:52 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I've not heard of that show but it sounds like you could be a featured guest!!  Good luck--I am slowing getting rid of stuff, as my husband's stuff sits in boxes.....for 30 yrs!

Oct 17, 2023 12:35 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

My grandmother used to say things were backwards. Young families needed the big houses - their grandparents didn't! 

I need lots of room because I have big feet and don't like cramped spaces, but.... yes, we have too much stuff.  It got worse after I inherited a bunch of my Mom's furniture and other "stuff."

I need to make it a project and just get rid of a lot of it, but since that isn't happening, I'm just remaining on the lookout each day for things that can go straight to the trash. 

Oct 17, 2023 03:36 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Patricia,
I don't have any plans to move into a Tiny House or any other house at this point, but I DO need to purge so when the time comes, it will be a much easier task. I have things in boxes upstairs I haven't looked at in years.

Oct 18, 2023 07:58 AM
Anne Edwards Johnson
All City Real Estate - Austin, TX
Austin Realtor | HookemhomesATX (512)917-5260

Great reminder post to toss or give away the things that are no longer useful. I emptied a storage after years of paying outrageous monthly fees. It felt so freeing. And, I never looked back with any regrets.

Oct 18, 2023 09:00 AM
June Piper-Brandon
Coldwell Banker Realty - Columbia, MD
Creating Generational Wealth Through Homeownership

I have been watching that show too, and love it, I did purge when I moved the last 2 times and you'd still never know it.  I keep getting rid of stuff and paring down, finishing my quilt projects and make new ones to use up fabric.  I donated 6 large rubber maid totes of fabric to a local quilt group and 40 yards to a group making surgical caps and masks and still have an obscene amount of fabric.  I also donated 3 boxes of books.  I don't even think I made a dent. Back to the drawing board!!

Oct 18, 2023 12:37 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

My husband and I have been going through boxes and boxes of STUFF in the past few months.  Many are sitting my my office now and my challenge is in the next 90 days to go through at least one box a day until I am done!  Once I get these done I have a basement full of more things -- mostly my husband's things, so I'm hoping he will also take up the challenge and follow through.  Not sure we could ever live in a tiny house but I think they are adorable.

Oct 20, 2023 06:11 PM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Homes

I love this post. I see I’m late to the party but I’m just reading it. So many good suggestions. I think the decluttering is an ongoing issue for me. I’ve been tryin but still have stop much stuff 

Feb 03, 2024 08:10 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Patricia, although it does look very alluring, and easy to clean, I too think paring down from 3500 sf to 300 is just about impossible!

Mar 08, 2024 09:27 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

You are definitely thinking through the whole downsizing - de-acccessioning thought process

Apr 03, 2024 10:57 AM