One of the most difficult aspects of going tiny is downsizing. A limited footprint means storage space is at a premium, and there some items you just hate to part with. Those can be important things like vital paperwork or items of great sentimental value.downsizing important papers

My wife has kept every piece of art and school work that my daughter ever brought home. By her own admission it’s excessive, but she’s loath to get rid of it all. When we were in the process of downsizing, she acknowledged that we couldn’t keep it all but she couldn’t decide what to keep. So here’s what we did:

  • Lay everything out in the open – take all of your children’s drawings, school papers, report cards, school photos and lay them out in the open.
  • Decide which items really have special meaning – while each memento has sentimental value, certain items bring back unique stories or memories. These are the items you’ll want to keep.
  • Take photos – some of the artwork, while beautiful, takes up way too much room. These items should be photographed and the photos saved digitally. Once these items are photographed you can either offer them to family members or dispose of them.
  • Create art – the items that you’ve decided to keep need to be either displayed or stored neatly. There are a few creative ways to do this:
    1. Create a collage – the photos you’ve taken of papers and art can be arranged in a photo collage. You can even create a mix of photos and paperwork.
    2. Create a scrapbook – Scrapbooks are a great way to store photos and paperwork. But you want to be careful because scrapbooks can take up a ton of space if you get carried away.
    3. Create a shadowbox – Shadowboxes can be a neat way to display items. The only challenge is wall space is at a premium in a tiny house and too many things on the wall can make the space look even smaller and more cluttered.

Living tiny means some sacrifices. You can’t take everything with you, but some creative thinking can make it possible to save memories and still live tiny. Have other tips and tricks? We’d love to hear from you.