Downsizing for Retirement: 5 Hacks for Moving to a Tiny Home


Tiny home advocates credit their diminutive houses with lower living expenses and a renewed appreciation of life’s simple pleasures. Tiny homes are popular with outdoor enthusiasts, the environmentally conscious, and people downsizing for retirement.

However, the process of moving to a tiny home can be daunting. You may know how to pack for a move into a normal-sized home, but can you drastically pair down your belongings to just the essentials? Moving and packing take more thought in a tiny house than a full-size one.

Here are five packing tips for moving into a tiny home.

1. Figure Out Your Essential Items

Before you start to go through your belongings, fill a box with the items you consider most essential.

Some tiny house advocates suggest using your essentials box for a week. If at the end of the week you find you haven’t used some of the items, consider whether you’ll really need them in your tiny house.

2. Take Advantage of Tax-Deductible Donations

Did you know you can write off many of the items you donate to a charitable organization on your taxes? If you’re moving to a tiny home, you’re most likely getting rid of many of your possessions.

Keep a detailed tally of everything you donate and their estimated value. It could result in big savings when tax season comes around.

3. Get a Vacuum Sealer

A vacuum sealer is the tiny home dweller’s best friend. It flattens clothes and sheets into their smallest possible form.

Not only can it help you save space when moving, it is also an invaluable tool for tiny house living. Out-of-season clothes and sheets can be vacuum sealed and stored away, freeing up space in your closet.

4. Use the Four-Box System

This system is not only a time-tested trick for effortlessly decluttering your house, it can also be useful when you move.

When packing for your move, label four boxes: trash, keep, donate, and store. You should aim for the “keep” box to be the smallest of all.

If you’re not committed to decluttering your home, the “store” box can fill up quickly. Ask yourself whether you really need to put something in storage.

Keeping track of how your possessions are being divided up as you move can help you be mindful of if you are downsizing enough. The last thing you want is to have too much clutter in your tiny home.

5. Consult the Experts

If you still find yourself stuck, there is a ton of help and support for moving in the tiny home community. Consult websites like for more tips and advice.

Downsizing for Retirement and More

No matter where you are in life, it’s always good to take stock of what you do and don’t need. Whether you’re downsizing for retirement or just feel overwhelmed by modern consumerism, tiny house living is one path to living a simple, decluttered life.

For news on the housing world, tips for packing, and more, browse the rest of our real estate section.