The Simple, Organized Life: Mindful Consumption

Why not ask a professional?  Guest Author Crystal Eakle is a licensed professional organizer who brings extensive experience to helping businesses and consumers organize their priorities, processes and possessions. In this post, Crystal offers advice to start de-cluttering your stuff.

In our earlier posts, we addressed mental de-cluttering and physical de-cluttering before moving into a tiny house. If you have made progress and successfully downsized, then our last step will resonate: keeping things downsized!

How to maintain mindful consumption

1. Practice the "catch and release" plan.

For every purchase coming into the household, an item has to leave. Ask yourself if you really need the new item and always ask yourself where the new item will be located in your tiny house.

2. Don't shop when you don't need something.

Your new life is all about the purposes, principals and priorities that you identified earlier. Does this item fit in with your new lifestyle?

3. De-clutter 15 minutes every day.

  • Start with a drawer or shelf and empty everything out.
  • Sort through the items and group the essential items and items you like, need or love into one pile. These are the items that can go back into the space.
  • Clean the space and return the keep items grouping like with like. An example would be kitchen utensils: the serving utensils should be with serving utensils and the cooking utensils with cooking utensils.
  • Donate or toss the remaining items that didn’t make the cut.
  • Repeat this process for every drawer, shelf, table top, closet, or any other area that you are de-cluttering. 

 

Crystal Eakle is licensed, bonded and insured and a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), based in Beaufort, SC. She brings extensive experience to helping businesses and consumers organize their priorities, processes and possessions.

Reach Eakle:  crystaleakle-at-gmail-dot-com.
See Posts:  Mental De-cluttering - Physical De-cluttering  

 

Written by Guest Blogger — April 14, 2014

Filed under: Creating Priorities   Crystal Eakle   Downsizing   Less Stuff   Physical Clutter  

The Simple, Organized Life: Physical De-cluttering

Why not ask a professional?  Guest Author Crystal Eakle is a licensed professional organizer who brings extensive experience to helping businesses and consumers organize their priorities, processes and possessions. In this post, Crystal offers advice to start de-cluttering your stuff.

Mindful versus mindless consumption

Now that your mind is clear and focused on a new tiny life, it's time to dive into mindful consumption. I’m talking about all the stuff.

Believe it or not mindless consumption is becoming a thing of the past. Consumers are now giving more consideration to what they are buying and the practices and people behind the products they are buying. Living smaller is the new way to live fuller.

Enter mindful consumption: that place where you have everything you need and nothing you don’t. Mindful consumption restores balance in everyday life leading to less stress and better overall health.

Benefits of less stuff

One of the benefits of mindful consumption is less stuff. Less stuff results in less stress because clutter is a distraction. Less distraction can result in better focus. Better focus allows you to be more efficient. Being more efficient creates a peaceful outlook, allowing you to relax. (It's okay to re-read this again.)

Having less stuff frees up space, allowing for more living and less looking for items, re-arranging items, storing items and trying to remember where things are.

Less stuff can also save money. People purchase storage units for items they don’t need any longer, resulting in hundreds of dollars spent on things that aren’t adding anything to their lives!

If living in a smaller space or tiny house is a priority, you’ll need to practice and maintain mindful consumption.

Mindful consumption guidelines

Here are the guidelines on how to get to mindful consumption that will lead you to a new life in a smaller space.

1. Watch less TV. Watching television exposes you to advertising which can lead to more consumption. If you are still adding items into your already full life, then ask yourself if living smaller is really a priority or just something fun to think about.

2. Pause before you buy something. Make a decision to wait 48 hours and re-evaluate before purchasing non-essential items. This pertains to online shopping as well. Visualize where the item will be located in your tiny house.

3. Consider repairing items as opposed to replacing them or, better yet, ask yourself if you really need the item at all.

4. Borrow items when practical, and especially for limited use.

5. Donate or recycle things. If you don’t use it, need it, or love it - let it go!

 

Crystal Eakle is licensed, bonded and insured and a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), based in Beaufort, SC. She brings extensive experience to helping businesses and consumers organize their priorities, processes and possessions.

Reach Eakle:  crystaleakle-at-gmail-dot-com.
Other Posts:  Mental De-cluttering - Mindful Consumption 

 

Written by Guest Blogger — March 31, 2014

Filed under: Creating Priorities   Crystal Eakle   Downsizing   Less Stuff   Physical Clutter  

The Simple, Organized Life: Mental De-cluttering

Why not ask a professional?  Guest Author Crystal Eakle is a licensed professional organizer who brings extensive experience to helping businesses and consumers organize their priorities, processes and possessions. In this post, Crystal addresses the mental challenges of de-cluttering.

Make the dream of living in a tiny house a reality this year. The first step in making it a reality is to get mentally ready for a new and exciting life! Living with less stuff, stress, and obligations allow more time, money, and creativity to be your best self and live your best life.

Simplicity isn’t always a simple journey. The first step is identifying what is most important in your life and then carefully eliminating the rest. Let’s begin by eliminating internal mental clutter.

Addressing mental clutter

Mental clutter is something all of us battle in our daily lives. It can be overwhelming when our minds get noisy. The fear that a deadline will be missed or a loved one’s birthday will been forgotten creates anxiety. Our minds are filled with thoughts, worries, anxieties, fears, memories, desires, questions, yearnings, and more thoughts.

To reduce mental clutter we need to get our minds in a productive state where we are in control, relaxed, focused, inspired, and engaged. Just like clearing clutter from a physical space, we need to decide what is worth keeping and what can be eliminated.

Here’s how to begin

First make a list of the purposes, principals, and priorities that make up what is important in your life. These are the things that you really care about and can’t or won’t live without. Maybe living in a tiny house will allow you to spend more time with family and friends, have time to volunteer and help others, spend more time outdoors, consume less easing the burden on the environment, or get out of debt.

Now make a second list of every small thing that you could, should, or might want to do. The collection device can be a notebook and pen, your physical inbox, smart phone, tablet or computer. From jumping out of a plane to buying a new kitchen trash can, it all goes on this list.

Now review the tasks on the second list. Does this list tie back into the purposes, principles and priorities that you identified on the first list? Which items give your life value and further your goals? Which ones add enjoyment? Which items are negatives that you have no intention of starting? Which items just don’t fit in with your new life?

Focus and begin to work on the tasks that tie back into the purposes, principles and priorities that you identified on the first list and you will begin to notice how much easier those items are to complete. Your mind will be in a productive state when you are working on those items because the tasks are associated with the important things in your life.

Moving forward

In the future, when you consider adding a task to your list, ask yourself the important questions. Does this task tie back into my purposes, principles and priorities? Will this task give my life value and further my goals? Will this task add enjoyment to my life?

Remember - when you introduce new tasks into your life, you immediately associate value with those tasks making it harder for you to give them up in the future.

Just like physical clutter, mental clutter is constantly tugging on you for attention. Stop mental clutter and be your most productive, focused and best self. 

 

Crystal Eakle is licensed, bonded and insured and a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), based in Beaufort, SC. She brings extensive experience to helping businesses and consumers organize their priorities, processes and possessions.

Reach Eakle:  crystaleakle-at-gmail-dot-com.
Other Posts: Physical De-Cluttering - Mindful Consumption

 

Written by Guest Blogger — March 17, 2014

Filed under: Creating Priorities   Crystal Eakle   Downsizing   Less Stuff   Mental Clutter  

Grist: Is Tiny For You?

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company endorses this new Grist chart because it should make you smile AND address key questions about going tiny. If you are considering full or part-time living in a tiny cottage or house to go, this chart is worth a couple minutes. We also offer our two-cents below.

Should I live in a tiny house?  (Grist, March 2014)

Primary motivations to go tiny

At Tumbleweed, our mission is to help you turn tiny dreams into reality and we're lucky to hear many reasons for going tiny. Your main motivations often include: 

  • Home affordability - having resources to either build or buy
  • Ongoing finances - getting out of a mortgage (or not taking one), changing jobs
  • Home ownership - wanting security of your place, on wheels or foundation
  • Environmental impact - reducing footprint, utility costs, whether on or off-grid
  • Aesthetics - seeking a nice, archetypal home, seeking a simpler mode
  • Adventure - moving elsewhere, wanting a vacation place, new hobbies
  • Life stages - graduating, empty-nesting, returning family, caring for others

Can you leap over the stuff hurdle?

The Grist chart asks about your stuff first, which is a funny yet true gut-check. We laughed because it should be as important as your motivations, philosophies and living priorities. In our culture, stuff is a big deal that fills a house. If you're not ready to store, sell, donate or trash your stuff, then (full-time) living in a tiny house is still a dream.

Written by Debby Richman — March 16, 2014

Filed under: Downsizing   Grist.org   Managing Stuff   Tiny House Questions  

Kendra's Walden Fundraiser

After spending a good amount of time in a variety of living areas, Kendra is seeking something more. Whether living urban, suburban, rural or in the wilderness, there's always a price to pay. Rent payments are neverending, and no kind of investment to speak of. To make a home somewhere so often means signing up for a mortgage or non-stop payment. Kendra plans to build her Tiny Home when the sun comes back to Seattle. From there she hopes build a farm, create a community center and continue her passion of working in outdoor education and community healing. She may even start a food truck (or food cabin on wheels), or help you build your tiny home, or your dream. 

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a house on wheels to live and adventure in. I asked for one that Christmas, and awoke to a girly RV toy with little dolls. Dismayed, my tomboy heart deflated a little. "No, like a REAL house, on wheels." I was informed there was no such thing. I then realized I was going to have to build it myself. 

Twenty years later, I was working as an Adventure Guide in Central America, living in a plastic tarp off very little money. I was trying to figure out a way to acquire a homey shelter that could afford me the feeling of home wherever I went. Rent was a taxing idea on so few dollars, and I had college loans to pay off. I recalled my childhood dream, and began searching the internet for images of 'houses on wheels'. I found Tumbleweed, and was romanced by the visions of their economical warm spaces. 

Tumbleweed's Walden 

This spring I will be building the Walden, in Seattle, Washington. Once it's built, I plan to continue working in as a youth educator and performance artist and build a community garden and healing center with my partner. We hope to host events such as concerts, farm days, DIY workshops, summer camps, as well as host getaways for individuals and families. You can be a part of the process! Check out the fundraising campaign here

Thanks for your support!



Written by Guest Blogger — February 05, 2013

Filed under: diy   downsizing   fundraising   health   lifestyle   seattle   share   walden  
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