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.
Connect with Crystal Eakle's on LinkedIn
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   Managing Stuff   Tiny House Questions  

Downstairs Sleeping For Two Real People

Sleeping obsesses us at Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. We are pleased to announce a new downstairs bedroom that's roomy. It is separated from the great room! It has storage! We're doing a happy dance, offering a new downstairs sleeping option for two real people.

Vantage magnifies the downstairs sleeping area, which measures 4'6" by 6'3"

Meet The Vantages

The floor plan is available in the Elm 24 Vantage and the Cypress 24 Vantage models. Four adults may sleep comfortably, in the loft and the new downstairs bedroom. Under the magnifying glass, you will see the 4'6' x 6'3" bedroom up close. We placed the sleeping area behind the kitchen, with an open hallway leading to back bathroom. Yes, even the bathroom location is new here.

In the Vantage, there's a folding ladder system (left) and abundant storage (right)

Wait, there's more

For the first time, a cool ladder system has been added to this home which either sits on the edge of the bedroom or tucks away into the loft above. Look more closely (above, left) and you will see the ladder goes through the loft: when you arrive up there, you don't need to rise over the edge of the loft. It's a nice ascent, whether you use the loft for additional sleeping or storage purposes. See drop down ladder in motion here.

With the Vantage floor plan, Tumbleweed delivers more storage than any other plan. In the bedroom (above, right) there are wall cabinets which take advantage of the bedroom walls. What you don't see in the blue-print here are the extra storage areas under the bed, in the kitchen AND in the loft.

 Here's the Elm 24 Vantage, outside and inside (downstairs plan)

Welcome the Elm 24 Vantage

One of three floor plans for the Elm 24' length, the Vantage delivers the bedroom along with a great room and kitchen which are 14'2" long. The other Equator and Overlook floor plans work for different reasons, with the Equator offering a back room for one adult to sleep (or a study) and the Overlook maximizing the great room. Both are fine but not the SLEEPER inside the Elm 24 Vantage, wrapped up in a iconic Elm home!

  Here's the Cypress 24 Vantage, outside and inside (downstairs plan)

Welcome the Cypress 24 Vantage

One of three floor plans for the Cypress 24' length, the Vantage is a special option for this popular home. You experience a roomy bedroom area, the 14'-2" kitchen and great room length AND the terrific bump-out area to use for cozy seating, a study or anything else. When surrounded by five windows, the "nook" is the favorite extra room that's inside and outside.

Decisions, Decisions

As you head into your spring build, the Vantages may offer the right response if you declare: "I don't want to climb a ladder!" or "My dog can't get here easily, and neither can I!" Furthermore, the ladder ascends into the loft and feels safe whenever you do need to reach the extra bedroom or storage up there.

At this point, we welcome all your comments! Did we address your needs? What works and doesn't work here? Would you select this model to build or buy? What questions do you have about the model? It's time for Tumbleweed to see if this floor plan hits your sweet spot, and feel free to drop us a line here.  

Written by Debby Richman — March 13, 2014

Filed under: Cypress 24 Vantage   Elm 24 Vantage   floor plans   Vantage floor plan  

Hands on six houses, one stove, two builds

Why not get "hands-on" at a tiny building and designing workshop? It's one thing to imagine building, and quite another to try it yourself. Head over to Memphis, TN to meet presenters, see demos, tour six houses, build a rocket stove and help construct two tiny cabins.

At Relaxshack's three day gathering, you won't be relaxing at all. You will learn about affordable building, design and decor from host Derek Diedricksen plus many other tiny builders, bloggers and dwellers. To claim your workshop spot, taking place April 11-13th, sign up here.

Joe Everson's Tennessee Tiny Homes is the workshop location

A Real Building Site:  Just outside Memphis, Tennessee Tiny Homes builds on its six-acre site. It's where the hands-on workshop takes place, so you may view six cabins and other projects underway. There's inspiration from seeing new and salvaged materials used in these builds. You may also camp out there!

Read More

Written by Debby Richman — March 03, 2014

Filed under: Derek Diedricksen   Joe Everson   Relaxshacks Build & Design Workshop   Tennessee Tiny Homes  

Deek-orating in Small Spaces

Derek Diedricksen is a tiny house expert, salvager, artist, videographer, author and Relaxshacks impresario. We welcome Deek's decor tips which he shares here, and you'll find more in Humble Homes, Simple Shacks. Take it away, Deek.

Check out Deek's latest videos and posts at

Six Simple Decor Tips

I've used many of these in budget-tight builds and more....

1. Don't be scared of re-purposing an old, or even a free-salvaged piece.

Many of the decorative items in my own home, and in the tiny houses, cabins, and shelters I build for clients have been scavenged roadside. "Trash Picker" you may be thinking/judging, but heck no, more like "Cash Picker" - I've sold SO many of these re-purposed items on craigslist to build funds for my projects. This not only saves you a bundle of money and keeps certain items out of the waste stream, but it serves to give your house a unique and often one-of-a-kind look. Sick of having the same exact furniture as half the neighbors on the block? Well here's your chance for individuality, creativity, and saving money.

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Written by Derek Diedricksen — March 03, 2014

Filed under: Derek Diedricksen   Relaxshacks   Salvage Ideas   Space Saving Decor  
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